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Ocarina of Time's Z-Targeting inspired by NINJAS

5:00 AM on 06.17.2011 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

Here's a cute little story for you. According to general director Toru Osawa, the famous Z-targeting system pioneered by The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was inspired by ninjas. 

According to Osawa, his development team attended a Japanese period drama in the hopes of gaining inspiration for the N64 classic's combat. 

“As we went along looking at everything, it was so hot that we ducked into a playhouse to cool off. They were doing a ninja show,” he said. “A number of ninja were surrounding the main samurai and one lashed out with a kusarigama (sickle-and-chain). The lead samurai caught it with his left arm, the chain stretched tight, and the ninja moved in a circle around him.”

This led the team to create an invisible "chain" between Link and his opponents. In addition, Super Mario Galaxy director Yoshiaki Koizumi noticed that only one opponent would attack the ninja at a time. This was exploited in Ocarina so that you could highlight one enemy for battle and put the others on "hold", creating the illusion of multiple foes. NINJA!

Z-Targeting In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Was Inspired By Ninjas [Siliconera]


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Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
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Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

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