The Wind Waker 2 is one of those long lost Zelda games that began early development, but ultimately got canceled as the franchise went in a new direction. In a new interview published in the Japanese version of The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts book (arriving in February next year in the United States), we learn some of the direction of the game as well as reconfirmation on the reasoning the title was canned in favor of Twilight Princess. This is all according to one of the artists on both titles at the time, Satoru Takizawa.
Realistic Link came back four years after Wind Waker in Twilight Princess, which was released on GameCube and Wii. The pendulum returned again to the realistic direction, but what kind of circumstances resulted in it?
Takizawa: To tell you the truth, we had begun the initial steps towards creating Wind Waker 2 around that time. However, demand for a more Ocarina-like game was growing by the day. We did our very best with Wind Waker, and put everything we had into it…
Takizawa: However, Wind Waker 2 would have taken place in a more land-based setting, rather than on the sea, so that we could have Link gallop across the land on a horse. But Link’s proportions in Wind Waker weren’t very well suited for riding on horseback, he was too short, and an adult version of Toon Link did not seem appropriate either. So, while we were stuck on those problems, we became aware of the greater demand for a more realistic, taller Link. High-budget live-action fantasy movies were also huge at the time, so with all things considered, we decided to have at it. I was on board with the project as art director, and started off by bringing [Yusuke] Nakano on to do the design for Link.
So the project began with Mr. Nakano’s Link as the basis?
Takizawa: He had joined after the graphics testing process, when we were trying to figure out the game’s “product-level visual identity”. I think that was the first time we had ever brought him on during that part of development.
Nakano: Yes. That was the first time for an internally developed Zelda game.
The Wind Waker did ultimately get a direct sequel in 2007 for the DS titled Phantom Hourglass, which kept the adventure at sea, while Spirit Tracks followed that game up 100 years later. However, it’s very clear neither of those titles represent what the original concept was for The Wind Waker 2.
Did you want The Wind Waker 2 to happen? Are you interested in the direction it was taking? On the other side, are you pleased it was canned in favor of Twilight Princess?
Source: Nintendo Everything