The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a groundbreaking game for many reasons, but one feature that could go unnoticed by many players is the green, blowing grass that sweeps over Hyrule. Well, it turns out that the same weed caused a lot of problems for the developers of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.
Age of Calamity is a Musou-Style spin-off from Breath of the Wild, developed by Koei Tecmo. Released in late 2020, the game tells a story of what happened in Hyrule 100 years before the events of Breath of the Wild.
With the split taking place in the same world as Breath of the Wild, Koei Tecmo had to recreate many of the same locations, including Hyrule Field.
In an interview with the Japanese gaming magazine Nintendo Dream (translated from Nintendo Everything), some of Age of Calamity’s senior developers say it took hundreds of people over half the game’s development time to create the turf at Hyrule Field.
“This weed took forever,” said art director Yuu Oohoshi. “It took about half the development time to finish the game turf. We really struggled to recreate the atmosphere of Hyrule Field.”
Oohoshi says the team wanted to focus on Hyrule Field because the mission was at the beginning of the game and Koei Tecmo wanted to stun the players. The developers even had to ask Nintendo’s Zelda development team for help.
“We asked Nintendo’s Zelda team how they made the weed in Breath of the Wild, and even though they shared everything down to the finest detail of their methods, there was still uncertainty as to whether we could reproduce it,” says Development producer Masaki Furusawa said. “There’s a lot of grass in the game, so we thought about other methods.”
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The weed remained a lingering problem for Age of Calamity developers, who say the weed talks continued throughout production.
“The whole company got dragged into the grass chaos, wasn’t it?” said Game Director Ryouta Matsushita. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that we have spoken with development staff, CG departments, background and technical support all along.”
Well, all of the hard work seems to have been worth it, as we said in our Age of Calamity review that the game has a “clever adaptation of Breath of the Wilds Vision by Hyrule”. Recently, Koei Tecmo completed the second wave of DLC for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, which includes new stages and a further expanded list.
When you can expect to frolic in Hyrules weed again, the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is slated for release later this year. For more information, check out our Nintendo 2022 preview.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.