This week again, Nintendo published a blog post about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the official blog of the Legend of Zelda portal in Japan. This time, the post was written by Mitsuhiro Hikino, who was in charge of Sound Design.
If you’ve played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you’ve probably noticed that the sound effects are quite simply marvelous. That’s one aspect the development team put a lot effort into, so that players could really immerse themselves in the world of Hyrule. This new blog post explains how some of the sound effects were created, more specifically those for Link’s footsteps and equipment clanking.
The development team worked with Sound Racer, a studio specialised in sound effects (who also worked on Xenoblade Chronicles X). In total, they recorded more than 10 000 different sounds for the game.
The first picture shows the recording of sound effects for footsteps on the ice, while the second one shows the school bag they used to simulate the sound of rubbing leather.
For the sound of “normal” footsteps, they mixed various kinds of sands. As for the sounds effects of equipment, they had to search for various materials and find ways to use them. It looks like creating sound effects requires one to be quite the creative type!
Of course, the recording process wasn’t withot issues. Take the block of ice from the picture above: it always ended up melting, or getting cracks when the staff had to walk on it during recording. And you can probably imagine the stinky smell of grass they had to step on…
Mitsuhiro Hikino also points out that Link’s footsteps were made by a woman (first picture).
In-game, depending on Link’s actions and the equipment he’s using/wearing, the recorded sounds can be separated pretty finely, and volume is changed as needed to make a particular sound stand out.
Next, Mitsuhiro Hikino shares an example, with footsteps. You may not be aware of that while playing, but if you go listen to the sound samples on the blog, you can definitely picture grassland and a snowy field with just the sound effects.
And that’s how sound effects with various subtleties are created. As you can imagine, those sound effects will not sound the same if you hear them through the speakers of your TV than if you’re using headphones.
Previous blog posts: