Zelda: Skyward Sword HD’s Non-Motion Sword Controls took a year and a half to perfect

It took developer Tantalus Media a year and a half to convert the original Wii motion controls from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword to regular button inputs for the 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 rumors of a Zelda: Twilight Princess port to Switch.

The original Wii version of Skyward Sword used the console’s Motion Plus accessory, meaning that protagonist Links’ sword swings would match the direction of the player’s Wii Remote. While the Switch supports motion controls, the Switch Lite doesn’t, meaning the developer had to translate those controls into more traditional inputs.

“Probably the biggest challenge for us was that it was button-only and joystick-only,” Crago said. “It took a year and a half, so making this game was a long process.

He added: “If we hadn’t figured that out, Nintendo just wouldn’t have released it. They won’t come out with anything that doesn’t really resonate with The Legend of Zelda, with the fandom, and with the Legacy. We knew we really had to get this right.”

Crago also said that Tantalus, who remastered Twilight Princess for the 2016 Wii U HD edition, was not asked by Nintendo to create the long-rumored Switch port.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD screenshots

“Of course we’d love to do that,” Crago said of a potential port, “but that wasn’t a priority for Nintendo. At least not in conversations they’ve had with us.”

In our August 10 review, IGN said, “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is a fantastic Zelda adventure that has aged like wine, although the Wii-era motion controls are still not great.”

Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally thinks about tweeting @thelastdinsdale. He’ll be talking about The Witcher all day. Zelda: Skyward Sword HD’s Non-Motion Sword Controls took a year and a half to perfect

Fry Electronics Team

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