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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Zelda: Skyward Sword HD's Non-Motion Sword Controls Took a Year and a Half To Perfect

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It took developer Tantalus Media a year and a half to turn The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword's original Wii motion controls into regular button inputs for Nintendo Switch HD version.

CEO Tom Crago shared the trials and tribulations of the game's development with the Fragments of Silicon podcast (as spotted by Nintendo Everything) and also dismissed rumours of a Zelda: Twilight Princess port for Switch.

The original Wii version of Skyward Sword used the console's Motion Plus accessory, meaning protagonist Link's sword swings would match the direction of the player's Wii Remote. While the Switch does support motion controls, the Switch Lite does not, meaning the developer had to translate those controls into more traditional inputs.

"Having it work button-only, joystick only was probably the biggest challenge for us," Crago said. "It took a year and a half, so it was a long process making this game.

He added: "If we hadn’t figured that out, Nintendo just wouldn’t have published it. They’re not going to put something out there that doesn’t really resonate with The Legend of Zelda, with the fanbase, and with the legacy. We knew that we really needed to get that right."

Crago also said that Tantalus, who remastered Twilight Princess for 2016's Wii U HD edition, hasn't been asked by Nintendo to create the long-rumoured Switch port.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD screenshots

"We'd obviously love to do that", Crago said of a potential port, "but that hasn't been a priority for Nintendo. At least not in conversations that they've had with us."

In our 8/10 review, IGN said: "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is a fantastic Zelda adventure that’s aged like wine, even if Wii-era motion controls still aren’t great."

Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale. He'll talk about The Witcher all day.

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