It's becoming increasingly common for Nintendo to lend out its IP and call on the services of external studios to help remake and remaster its classic library of games - so it's no surprise to discover that the company's latest release, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, was also handled by someone else.
As highlighted by the Australian Nintendo fansite Vooks.net, the developer of the enhanced Switch port was the Melbourne-based Aussie developer Tantalus. This information was confirmed in the credits of the game. While the studio may not be widely known, it actually has a bit of history with The Legend of Zelda series dating back to 2016.
Back during the troubled Wii U generation, it was responsible for the HD version of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess from the Wii and GameCube era. Series producer, Eiji Aonuma, originally recruited the studio because he felt it had "strong developing skills" across a number of remakes:
"I felt they had strong developing skills from seeing their work across remakes of previous titles, so I decided to ask Tantalus to remake this title."
Earlier on in the Switch's lifecycle, the studio helped out with Sonic Mania and RiME. How do you feel about this developer returning for Skyward Sword? Did you enjoy Twilight Princess HD back in the day? Leave a comment down below.
I heard Nintendo published the game too.
No surprise here.
I assume they'll also be responsible for porting Twilight Princess HD and Wind Waker HD to Switch when that time comes.
Get whoever the heck you want, Nintendo. Just give me a fun game
I'll have to see if they snuck in any developer Easter eggs then.
In Twilight Princess HD somewhere in Temple of Time, there's an innocuous wall texture that just spells out the alphabet in Hylian, but the framing has a hidden message from the lead graphic designer including their full name, including middle name.
From an old Miiverse screenshot I recovered, the text at the bottom in reverse reads "Jack Kirby Crosby made this".
Not very on topic with the article, but I feel like Zelda should abandon the open world style of botw and go back to the old formula. In replaying all the Zelda games I have access to in preparation for skyward sword I found myself playing botw first. It was fun for about thirty shrines but I felt after that point I was forcing myself to beat the game. Then I played games like ocarina and Majora and I didn’t want them to end. One underrated aspect is things like quivers and bomb bags. In botw I always had so many arrows and bombs which made combat feel less strategic and more just spamming arrows. In the older games I had to plan more and had much more risk versus reward. I honestly hope skyward sword makes newer fans of the series wish for the classic formula so Nintendo will stop trying to go open world with the series
@blindsquarel The original Zelda and A link to the past were both open world and really well done.
Breath of the Wild is the most classic style we have had in a long time. Though I agree the shrines felt very limiting compared to proper thought out dungeons. More sparse resources too though I believe Master Mode helps with that a lot.
In short there are ways they can keep the old school open world and bring back the classic dungeon and item management of old as well.
I loved their rendition of “I want to be your Canary” by Lord Avon. So I expect great things from them.
Tantalus worked on Tentalus.
@blindsquarel BotW has sold more than 22 million copies to date and is one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time. Frankly, they'd be absolutely nuts not to keep exploring this new style of open world game design in future mainline 3D entries.
@westman98 I really hope so! I'd love to see Twilight Princess on Switch!
@XenoShaun it’s not just item management and dungeons that feel like they are missing from Zelda BOTW.
Towns, characters, story, all feel so bland and generic compared to other Zeldas.
No unique items and tools to progress through.
Side quests feel really bland too.
There’s a unique design feel in the towns of OoT, MM, WW, TP and SS that are missing in BotW. Even side quest characters felt unique… here it’s just generic nobodies.
I guess because they are more focused, design wise. BOTW felt like too much butter spread really thin over its overworld.
Many things that made Zelda feel special were left out.
Don’t get me wrong, BoTW made many things great and I love the game, but I hope this style just stays for the former game and it’s sequel and doesn’t stay forever as the NEW Zelda formula.
Let’s be honest, sometimes BotW can feel like a chore to beat. A fun chore but a repetitive one with some moments of wonder.
Has Nintendo EPD made any games in the past 1.5 years WITHOUT outsourcing? Game Builder Garage seems to be the only one.
Well that explains why there was uncharacteristically poor communication over some of the features. They're obviously less used to communicating with this team than their in-house devs.
@AlienigenX nice FFIX reference!!
@fafonio Oh I agree there is a lot of things that can take from OOT style Zelda's. I was mainly commenting that Botw was more reminiscent of the original Zelda thus technically being more classic Zelda than say the OOT style. Item management and such was mainly in response to the commenters wants.
Open world's nowadays in general seem quite tricky to pull off. Every publisher and their granny thinks open world is about how big it is, but when there is always barely anything to fit in it, there's absolutely no point. Botw doesn't differ when it comes to that, but hopefully with more time and chance at the formula they can make the world more worthwhile.
Personally I'd take a far smaller open world packed to the brim with things to do than a massive open world that's shallower than a puddle. Though in Botw's defense I did enjoy exploring Hyrule even if there wasn't always a good payoff for it.
I said I hope they go back to the old style not that they should
@nitrolink I also realized Nintendo EDP hasn’t been outputting as much content as previous generations. My guess is because the games are larger in scale now and they also shoot out content updates for a while with games like Animal Crossing, Splatoon, and even Mario Maker.
There’s also a few mobile games they work on. From what I’ve read online DeNA isn’t the only team working on all the games.
I wasn't aware that Tantalus helped with the port.
Maybe a Switch port can refresh my memory.
Og Zelda was to open if that makes sense with how it told you nothing to just get started. And a link to the past is quite linear. Kingk has a good video on a link to the past if you are intrested.
So technically botw is the closest to the classic Zelda but I mean the formula a link to the past introduced. Would going back to this style result in less sales, probably but I don’t think Nintendo should do it just that I want them to
I think it's pandemic-related, but it's frustrating how Nintendo's primary studio is producing less than NDcube and Intelligent Systems for example.
That was mostly Intelligent Systems
My mistake I guess they haven’t. That is surprising
@blindsquarel I would like to think they could bring a good balance of both. As you said A link to the past was able to be linier structured but retain the open world style of the original Zelda. Maybe botw2 solves some of these issues?
I know it would never ever happen but I'd be down for a Zelda II style sequel.
@blindsquarel They should at least find a compromise, I do find the shrines to quality over quality and do miss the dungeons and atmosphere of classic 3d Zelda as well as music.
Okay now get TP and Wind waker HD on the switch! Heck port over the 3DS versions of OOT and MM while you're at it! It's just not right that those aren't available on switch yet.
@XenoShaun totally agree with what you just replied. Also I would be down for a Zelda 2 game too. By far the most underrated Zelda.
I think Nintendo already has a system that would at least give us the dungeons back in a non linear order with a link between worlds. Only problem with that is dungeons in that game feel over simplified due to only being able to use one item to ensure you would never be locked from completing a dungeon.
Which would carry over if they reused that style. Also I feel the open world lends to less replay ability because so much of the game is discovering stuff.
@blindsquarel I love BoTW. After completing the main story several times, I still just enjoy romping around Hyrule, raiding camps, playing around with the physics. I still see things that I've never come across before. I still love running across a hillside with the foxes at sunset. I don't get bored of it. I understand why people like a linear experience, but the gift of BoTW for me is that it is so open. It's like a Hyrule simulator, that just lets you exist in this wonderful fantasy place, where you can do whatever you like, whenever you like.
I remember them as the guys that ported the house of the dead to the sega Saturn, they have come a long way
@blindsquarel BOTW is literally based on the old LOZ OOC and MM open-world games on the Nintendo 64. Literally the first 3d Zelda games ever made.
The hell you on about "returning to the old formula"?
@blindsquarel I think LBW is the missing link between LTTP and BOTW. All 3 have ostensibly one large open world (albeit one that can only be fully explored after a certain point is passed). But where LTTP gear-gated chunks off in a progressive Metroidvania style (I hate the term, but it’s helpful), LBW turned it into a sequence of discrete levels that can be tackled in any order (not entirely unlike Mario 64), but had you return to base after each in order to change your kit. BOTW simplified it further by removing the kit, and broke down the discrete walls, but the Shrines are just like the LBW dungeons in being very specific to one core mechanic.
Personally the thing I miss most from pre-BOTW Zeldas is the expanding tool set. I like earning a new item and seeing what it can do. Whilst a lot of the weapons in BOTW serve a similar purpose, they are by design somewhat unnecessary, and with the limited availability/breakages, I end up just sticking to remote bombs and the Master Sword all the time...
@Mr_Humpf Well spoken. 100% Agree.
BOTW was revolutionary in how it approached open world action RPG games. Its by far my favorite Zelda game of the franchise simply by the "do whatever you want" aspect. Enemies and characters are so well designed as well, making encounters more realistic and lived in within the world.
One criticism I have and hope is addressed in BOTW2 are repeat events (think Yiga clan overworld encounters). After a while it was way too easy for me to just assume a human character to 9/10 times be an undercover assassin. Would be nice if they simply had things like missions that involve them doing more than just "kill on sight". Have them hold other people hostage and give us rescue missions or opportunities to end conflicts diplomatically, potentially allowing clan members to defect and join our side, etc. I dunno... They seemed really one-dimensional for such a cool enemy idea.
Also personally would like more housing options. Buy a house in one village, rent a condominium in another and sort out conflicts with the tenants who live there (or end up becoming the landlord) live in a ranch and help farm the land with the residents, etc.
Also Nintendo, please let us do more underwater exploration. Diving to find clams or rare minerals to make better cooking ingredients, maybe opening up side quests with Zora's, etc. Just another few ways to make the world more lived-in.
@gaga64 Seconded on the expanded toolset. We kind of get our toolset via the shekiah slate as various apps, but I miss going in a dungeon and earning a secret ancient weapon or tool that may help me on my quest. They can even make them break and reload like the master sword if they want to maintain that "everything breaks" mechanic they seem so obsessed with. Particularly for me, I just want a ball and chain again. I've had countless hours of fun just being able to slug that thing at baddies with it in twilight princess.
@blindsquarel Pretty much how I feel. It's also why despite me considering Zelda as my favourite series, I am not excited at all for BOTW2. I really hope they strike more of a balance with proper dungeons and items, rather than a small set of runes.
@Dethmunk Seamless world then smarty pants
They appear to have been increasing their staff levels in recent months, which is why I think work on porting previous HD releases (whether it be TP or WW from Wii U, or now OoT and WW from 3DS) is still a thing being planned. They just don't want to steal Skyward Sword HD's thunder for now. Their E3 "nothing planned" comment can easily change. Afterall, Skyward Sword HD was supposedly not in the works according to Nintendo at one point also...
I'm not too interested in these remasters. I just started playing Twilight Princess, and it's just so linear and boring compared to BotW. It seems the latest Zelda was too good, now sucking the fun out of the older installments at least for me.
@Bentendo1609 They could just as easily wait until '22 to release the games, it's only a bit more than five months away.
@Cia Like I always tell my friends, I think BotW is a fantastic open-world game, but it's definitely a mediocre Zelda game.
I think a really good hybrid way to inject a traditional Zelda feel into an open world like BotW would be to at least have a few key items discovered throughout the game (preferably in dungeons) as the story progressed, which allow you to access previously inaccessible parts of the world - I think BotW is just lacking that part of the magic, but otherwise is excellent of course.
Tantalus did a great job with TP HD. IT didn't look as good and renewed as WW HD, but the game's essence was there and the gameplay improvements were welcomed, the texture work was fantastic as well. I expect the same quality on SS HD.
Actually it is based on the og Zelda. Play botw then ocarina the Majora all back to back like I did this summer and you will see that Majora and ocarina are nothing like botw
@blindsquarel "Are nothing like BOTW"
1. The temple of time ruins
2. The great fairy fountain theme taken straight from OOT
4. The titular mask from MM being obtainable in DLC
Are all things based on OOT/MM that are found in the game. In fact BOTW doesn't only reference those games. It pays homage to almost all of them.
Easter eggs are not the same as being like another game. They play completely differently and are different genres. Temple of time is a timeline thing, great fairy’s are in most every Zelda game and don’t effect the game design at all. Z- targeting is so you can more easily fight enemies. And dlc is just Easter eggs. I seriously doubt you have played ocarina and majora
@blindsquarel "not the same as being another game"
The hell you on about? The game includes literally elements from past games. Z targeting was introduced in OOT. The temple of time is literally a reference to OOT and MM. Those aren't just Easter eggs. Those are game mechanics and part of the game's story. Stop moving the goal posts to fit your narrative. BOTW uses elements from tons of previous games, OOT/MM included, and your crying about being proven wrong doesn't change that.
The game is nothing like ocarina or majora. Have you even played these games. The temple of time and all other references are either Easter eggs or they are used to make more sense with the timeline. Other then that the games are not similar at all. No dungeons, non linear, can go to Ganon right away. Those all never happened in classic Zelda games. If you haven’t played ocarina or majora that is fine and I am not sure you have due to you not knowing how the games work but don’t try to say they are the same as botw
No. It was bad.
All they did was up the rez a slight bit and put thin "window dressing" on it.
Look at the original Twilight Princess HD screens that I think Grezzo did.
It looks so much better!
@blindsquarel I have played and completed both, along with every Zelda game to date on console, from the NES to the Switch. However, at this point it's apparent that you have not... And for some reason, choose to stay being too ignorant (or stupid), to realize that BOTW uses elements from almost every previous Zelda game in one way or another (including OOT & MM).
I couldn't care less if you think I've played the games or not, and quite frankly, you've given me no reason to consider what you care about in general. I gave examples and proven that OOT / MM elements exist in the game. You have literally no rebuttal other that "HaVe U PlAyEd ThE gAEm?" Which tells me that you have nothing else to add to the discussion. Thus, you are free to ignore facts when given, but I'm afraid that I find that this conversation is pointless to continue with you and will end it here. Have a good one.
I knew it was them, I guessed they'd the ones who would probably get to Skyward Sword after TP. It fits their style.Tantalus releases are about "simply" updating the presentation and UI, and adjusting the pacing, While Grezzo remakes are about overhauling the presentation, UI and coding like the N64 3ds remakes and Links Awakening as well as adding content here and there and adjusting the pacing as well.
Another reason nobody has any reason to be mad at SSHD existing. Nintendo didn't give Breath of the Wild 2 devs this project to work on the side, they had another team on hand.
Just because it has elements does not mean the gameplay style is the same. new super Mario bros has elements of 3D Mario are they the same no. And yes I have played them All
@Spider-Kev umm, Greezo didn't do TPHD, Tantalus did.
I said Twilight Princess HD sucked because Tantalus did it, not Grezzo.
Grezzo, however, did the original HD mock-up with link vs the spider boss
@Spider-Kev No, that one was done by Nintendo themselves, and it was only a proof of concept real time video, just to showcase the HD capabilities of the Wii U. No way they could have make the entire game look like that hahaha. That would have been a remake instead of a port.
The game could have looked like that. Instead, we got horrible Tantalus...
@Spider-Kev No, if Nintendo would have wanted to, they would have give the money to Tantalus to produce something like that. Nintendo only wanted a remaster of the game, not a remake. I was playing it yesterday, and it looks fantastic hahaha.
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