Nintendo hired Grezzo, a Japanese game developer, to remake The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the 3DS several years ago. The idea was that the Grezzo staff would be able to charge the remake with energy while retaining most of its original charm and splendor. As a fan, I’ll note that I think they succeeded.

Critically, and even internally during the development phase, the Grezzo team struggled with walking the border between creating a simple port and changing the original assets within Ocarina of Time. This game is a storied classic for almost every gamer around the world. Those that played the original Ocarina of Time remember it in its entirety; including the glitches, bugs and exploits.

During the most recent Iwata Asks (a Nintendo hosted interview series between the company’s president and its designers/developers), Iwata spoke with a large chunk of the team responsible for both the original Ocarina of Time and the 3DS remake. Shun Moriya, a programmer at Grezzo, highlighted the fact that most bugs were kept in the 3D remake for the sake of posterity alone. Here is the exchange between Moriya and Iwata.

Moriya: …One conflict arose when, as programmers, we wanted to get rid of bugs. But the staff members who had played the old game said the bugs were fun! We were like, “What?!” (laughs)

Iwata: Yes, that is an area of conflict.

Moriya:It wouldn’t be fun if your friends couldn’t say, “Do you know about this?” So we left them in if they didn’t cause any trouble and were beneficial.

Iwata:So you implemented them as you would specs, rather than treating them like bugs. It took some work and you had to go out of your way, but you preserved the spirit of the original.

Moriya:Yes. If something simply could not be allowed to stand, we begrudgingly fixed it, so some bugs don’t appear, but we left in as many as we could, so people will grin over that.

When working on an undisputed classic like Ocarina of Time, deciding which aspects to retain and which to scrape must be insanely difficult. Thankfully, the Grezzo team chose to polish the original title rather than remake it at its core. From start to finish, Ocarina of Time 3D is an improved version of the Zelda I remember.

Anything else, honestly, would have been disappointing.

[via Iwata Asks]