Just a day or two before I completed The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo revealed some treasure in the form of the game’s original design documents. They’re fascinating.
Among them are sketches by the legendary Takashi Tezuka and the even-more-legendary Shigeru Miyamoto. I’ve put them right at the bottom of the post.
For me, the most remarkable thing about the documents is that I’ve lived in these places. For the past however many hours, I’ve explored every nook and cranny of this world. To see their neat pencil-lined, felt-tip scribbled origins is wonderful.
It’s not the first time design documents from The Legend of Zelda have been shared. During an old Iwata Asks, Toshihiko Nakagō dug out the first specification sheet for the game, as well as the first dungeon map:
He also produced the first land map of The Legend of Zelda’s Overworld. According to Nakagō, the map was drawn by Takashi Tezuka and Miyamoto.
If you look below at the newly released design documents produced by Miyamoto – the ones scribbled in coloured felt-tip – you can see the same kind of deal. They begin relatively neat, but there are patches where he’s clearly rushed.
I like the image this conjures of Miyamoto. For all the man’s spark and invention, he gets just as tired of mundanity as the rest of us. The design docs don’t just offer a closer look at The Legend of Zelda, they offer a closer look at the man who made it too.