A new installment of Iwata Asks has revealed a few new tantalizing details about the upcoming Wii adventure, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. In particular, the game’s desert scene was discussed, which is populated by the remnants of ancient technology, including some mechanical, robotic beings.
Understandably, there was some initial hesitation about this design move. Many of the team, Iwata included, wondered whether mechanical beings would fit within the Zelda aesthetic. To alleviate this potential problem, designer Koji Kitagawa decided to turn to Japanese history in order to make a more fitting look.
“The designers in charge tried to give them a softer appearance,” explains Kitagawa. “They referred to ancient clay figurines and pottery from the Jomon period in Japan and wondered what they would be like as robots.”
The interview also gives a glimpse into a new mechanic for the game which had been hinted at in previous trailers: the Timeshift Stone. The desert area is full of non-functioning mechanical devices, but striking a Timeshift Stone will create an expanding field around Link that temporarily transports him through time.
Developer Hidemaro Fujibayashi explains that the inspiration for this mechanic came from quite a legendary source:
In Ocarina of Time, you went back and forth between the present and a few years later, but you had to go to the Temple of Time. Very early on, we began researching and experimenting with making use of the Wii console’s capabilities so players could go back and forth between the past and future in an instant, wherever and whenever they wanted.
An example as to how the Timeshift Stones work, the designers explained that they can be used to shift time back to when a vast sea covered the desert. Link can then use a boat to quickly traverse the vast wastes, creating a unique environmental contrast.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword launches November 20th… unless someone Timeshift’s that release date.