Eiji Aonuma has been the producer of The Legend of Zelda series since Majora’s Mask. Through his known history at Nintendo, he has worked closely with the Zelda series.
He joined Nintendo soon after graduation from Tokyo University in 1988, but it wasn’t until 1996 that he directed a game. “Marvelous” on the Super Famicom took some elements of A Link to the Past and threw them onto a non-violent desert island where the idea was to find all the residents of the island in a certain order (denoted by the number on their cards).
It was his work on a game so similar to ALttP that prompted Shigeru Miyamoto into asking Aonuma to work on Ocarina of Time, where he designed dungeons and enemies.
Aonuma became director of Majora’s Mask and The Wind Waker, and shortly after, producer of the Zelda series, overseeing development of Four Swords Adventures, Phantom Hourglass and Twilight Princess.
He currently plays percussion in a company band called “The Wind Wakers”.
Marvelous was a game released for the Super Famicom’s Satelliview add-on that involved running around an island collecting stamps from its residents. It was released in 8 instalments with two game types.
The game concept was used to create Tetra’s Trackers, a game mode in the Japanese release of Four Swords Adventures. In this adaptation, the pirates from The Wind Waker had spread themselves across an island and it was up to you, as Link, to compete against your friends to find them in the correct order.
As the game was played on the Game Boy Advance, Tetra would give different players different clues, and any other clues found independently would stay secret.
The Legend of Zelda [NES]
A Link to the Past [SNES]
Link’s Awakening [GB]
Ocarina of Time [N64]
Majora’s Mask [N64]
Twilight Princess [GCN/Wii]
After impressing Shigeru Miyamoto with his work on Ocarina of Time’s enemy and dungeon design, Aonuma was tasked with directing the next instalment of the Zelda series. Majora’s Mask was the weirdest, most innovative Zelda ever made, and sold incredibly despite launching on the same day as the PlayStation 2.
The game featured a unique 3-day system, transformation masks, and the darkest land of any Zelda game. He then went on to work on The Wind Waker, but unfortunately the game suffered at the hands of a tight development cycle, and was ultimately shorter and easier than any Zelda game before it.
Holding a desire to create a Zelda game greater than Ocarina of Time, Aonuma went back to the realistic graphical style for a new title set on land. Twilight Princess incorporated many elements of the Wii controller to bring gamers closer to the action than previously possible.