Capcom is the only third-party video game development company to have developed The Legend of Zelda titles. In collaboration with Nintendo, they designed Oracle of Seasons, Oracle of Ages, Four Swords, and The Minish Cap.
Capcom is known for its numerous popular franchises such as Mega Man, Street Fighter, Devil May Cry and Resident Evil.
The Legend of Zelda Games Developed by Capcom
Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons
Capcom's first contributions to the Zelda series were Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages for Game Boy Color. The development of these titles was a joint venture between Capcom and Nintendo, lead by Capcom game director Yoshiki Okamoto. According to Okamoto, the development team struggled early on without Nintendo producer Shigeru Miyamoto's guidance. Miyamoto later became involved in the project at Okamoto's request. Rather than beginning development with gameplay design, as was Miyamoto's convention, the team began by using Capcom subsidiary Flagship to create the game scenarios (i.e. story and characters). This resulted in gameplay design difficulties; several aspects of the games had to be redone.
Despite initial concerns, Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages received a positive reception from fans and media alike. Capcom has been praised for their contributions to the Zelda series.
A Link to the Past & Four Swords
- Main article: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords
Capcom returned in 2002 to create the Game Boy Advance remake of A Link to the Past. On the same game cartridge as this remake came an original Zelda game created by Capcom, the multiplayer-only Four Swords. Four Swords introduced important plot elements, namely the eponymous Four Sword and the villain Vaati. These would reappear in the later titles Four Swords Adventures and The Minish Cap.
The Minish Cap
- Main article: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
In reference to their earlier works, the three Oracles make a cameo appearance in this game. Link can help each of them to find Vacant Houses in Hyrule Town. However, one of them will never receive a new house as a third one never becomes available. This may be an unfinished gameplay element. Alternatively, it could be a deliberate reference to Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages' unreleased third title.
Capcom has not been involved in the development of any Zelda game since The Minish Cap. Phantom Hourglass was the first handheld Zelda game since Link's Awakening to have not been developed by Capcom.
Keiji Inafune, the longtime creator in charge of the Mega Man series for Capcom, has also long been a fan of the Zelda series. His all-time favorite game is A Link to the Past. Inafune created the Mega Man Legends series as an homage to Zelda, and those games incorporate a great deal of Zelda-style gameplay elements. Ocarina of Time, released soon after the first Legends game, has a 3D gameplay interface strikingly similar to Legends. Inafune would later become directly involved in the development of the Zelda series at Capcom as the producer of The Minish Cap.
- Ocampo, Jason, Capcom Marks 25th Anniversary, IGN, published June 11, 2008, retrieved March 6, 2014.
- Sinclair, Brendan, Capcom scuttles Flagship, GameSpot, published May 18, 2007, retrieved March 7, 2014.
- "The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons are the result of a collaboration between game developers from both Nintendo and Capcom." — The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons Interview Part I, Nintendo of America (Internet Archive).
- "[F]or the first little while I had left the team totally alone [without Miyamoto's help] because I figured they'd easily be able to do this much by themselves. So I left them alone, and for the first year we did nothing but lose lots of money. . . . It's been taking up money for ages now, with all the people we've brought in. So I came in, and I saw that nothing was working out, and I went up to Miyamoto and was like, 'Help me!'" —Yoshiki Okamoto (The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons Interview Part I)
- "Mr. Miyamoto normally creates the game scenario (story and characters) after the initial game play is designed. If the action part of the game is solid, the scenario can be developed from there. We started by using the Capcom scenario creation company, Flag Ship, to create the scenario first. Then, we created maps and started developing the game. I don't believe that worked. . . . Using that system, the team had to redo both the scenario and the maps several times to make all the elements fit." —Yoshiki Okamoto (The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons Interview Part I)
- Tourian Tourist, Third Oracle House in The Minish Cap, Hyrule Blog, published October 14, 2009, retrieved March 7, 2014.
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