The future of the Zelda franchise is in safe hands according to Twilight Princess producer Eiji Aonuma, who has talked of how the GameCube title due later this year will appeal to a wider audience than ever before.
The Nintendo veteran, who has worked on the Zelda series since The Ocarina of Time, has also pointed out that the upcoming DS and Revolution Zelda games will take the series to a whole new level.
Speaking to Wired magazine, Aonuma-san declared that Twilight Princess' darker and more realistic style was intended to appeal more to Western gamers. "We had meetings early on with the North American localization team to discuss things like character design, particularly with Link. We're focusing heavily on the American market, and hope it will appeal strongly there."
He then discussed the problems with moving towards this more life-like style - "We're definitely seeing how hard it is to work with realistic graphics. If I'm showing something realistically, then I have to show the results in a realistic manner as well."
This has meant that Aonmua-san and his team have had to work especially hard on the game's action sequences - particularly the intense horseback battles seen in the E3 demo.
But Aonuma-san assured fans that the game would not turn into an all-out action fest. "When Link gets off the horse and back down on the ground, the action is going to be a bit slower."
And he explained why Twilight Princess will not feature voice acting. "I feel like it's not suited to the Zelda series," he said. "That said, I've always felt that if we can use voice in a way that's new and unique, it could be very positive for the Zelda series. We do have some ideas that we're thinking about."
Those ideas may form part of the mouth-watering prospects of all-new Zelda adventures on DS and Revolution. Although understandably reluctant to give out specific details on either game, Aonuma-san did confirm that the DS version will make use of the handheld's touchscreen and stylus control.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is scheduled for launch on GameCube before the end of the year.