Japanese Nintendo-centric magazine Nintendo Dream has chatted with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom director, Hidemaro Fujibayashi, about what they wanted to accomplish with the critically acclaimed adventure. One thing which Mr. Fujibayashi says the team tried to do is to make the open world feel lived in. He said that they accomplished that with NPCs who “feel alive,” rather than just standing around, waiting for Link to go up and chat with them.
You can observe how the people have been rebuilding their lives or how time has been passing from conversations with the people of Hyrule too.
Fujibayashi: Tears of the Kingdom follows up on events post-Breath of the Wild, so naturally we wanted to demonstrate the passing of time for the people living in the world. This isn’t limited to just Princess Zelda; we wanted to make every character feel “alive”. Instead of having everyone wait around for the main character, Link, the world has continued to move even without him. That’s why we made all the characters’ dialogue change depending on the current situation.
Thanks to Greatsong1 for the news tip!