Thanks to GlitterBerri and her translations, we can read a series of interesting interviews about the development of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, with informations on some of the changes that were made. You can check the full interviews in here. Huge props to Glitterberry as always! Here are some highlights:
At the beginning, there was only Hyrule Castle.
In the beginning we put in so many trees, but they were becoming obstacles so we gradually removed them and in the end the wilderness disappeared.
For a long time Hyrule Field had nothing, it was terribly uninteresting. Of course, while you were trudging along in that wide empty plain we had planned to introduce effects such as wind, temperature, and atmosphere.
Absolutely, there were people suggesting “playing the ocarina is too tiresome, let’s make it automatic.” I was undecided as well, but when I went to examine the situation, I found the complainers were happily playing the ocarina too.
It’s also possible to call the horse with the ocarina.
In the beginning you used a reed pipe, but it was too much trouble so we eventually changed it to the ocarina.
I changed the ranch girl Malon into a songstress, so the horses were attracted to her because of her song. However, this didn’t really suit her dialogue at the time. Originally we had her singing alone in the middle of the ranch, but halfway through we changed it so she went to the castle, but then she didn’t sing anymore.
The story in Ocarina of time isn’t actually original, it deals with the Sages’ Imprisoning War from the Super Famicom’s ALttP.
Beyond that, at first it wasn’t a window Zelda was looking through, but rather a peephole. But then someone asked “why would there be a peephole in a castle courtyard?” Sadly, when we asked the the mappers to change the peephole to a window, I think we made one cry…
We also put material from one dungeon in others, no sense wasting what can be used again. It was easy to forget which devices were made for which dungeons.
We tried to put in lots of rupee-filled treasure chests at first, but people ended up getting annoyed wondering why there were so many rupees in a place where they were totally useless.
I, personally, really like the Forest Temple. It was the very first dungeon we designed in Ocarina of Time
We’d been fussing over how Link should open a treasure chest for 3 years. [..] We actually had some better ideas for the treasure chest, but we couldn’t fit it in this time. Maybe in the near future…?