In a recent interview Legend of Zelda designers Eiji Aonuma and Hiromasa Shikata talked a great deal about the Nintendo 3DS title Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes. One of the things they discuss is why a certain “Naked” costume didn't make the cut.
Speaking with Game Informer, Tri Force Heroes director Shikata explained how they wanted to implement an outfit based around the famous tale of The Emperor's New Clothes, but things just didn't work out...
We wanted to implement some sort of outfit that would play off of [The Emperor's New Clothes] story, but we couldn’t come up with any abilities that that outfit would add, so they really weren’t able to bring that idea to fruition. We were really were disappointed that we weren’t able to implement it and bring it into the game.
It's a curious take on why an outfit didn't make it into the game. It had nothing to do with hardware limitations or artistic blockades when it came to the design... it was simply that they couldn't come up with an ability to match the outfit.
It's interesting because that's a similar reason as to why Shigeru Miyamoto stated that F-Zero wasn't coming to the Wii U. They just didn't have any ideas for it.
The reasons Miyamoto gave was received rather poorly in the gaming community because most people stated that they would have been fine with a copy-and-paste job for the Wii U if it just meant they could get more F-Zero. In the case of Tri Force Heroes Shikata and crew not being able to come up with any abilities for the naked costume so it hit the cutting room floor probably disappoints some gamers because I'm sure some people would have been fine with the costume making the cut even if it didn't have any special abilities.
What's especially interesting is that earlier in the interview they do discuss revisiting ideas and assets from previous Legend of Zelda titles, including some themes and gameplay elements from A Link Between Worlds. Aonuma explains that they wanted to streamline development of Tri Force Heroes by utilizing the engine and game systems of A Link Between Worlds.
The newest Legend of Zelda title for the 3DS has mostly become popularized for all of the different costumes that Link can wear, so despite borrowing systems and mechanics from A Link Between Worlds it still manages to hold its own thanks to focusing on the multiplayer puzzles and unlocking and adventuring for brand new costumes and abilities.
The game recently launched this past November, and according to Nintendo Enthusiast the title has been selling fairly decently in Japan. The game did not manage to crack the top 10 chart of the NPD figures for November in North America, according to Venture Beat. Maybe things would have turned out slightly differently had they included the naked costume? I guess we'll never know.
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is available right now, exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS. Eiji Aonuma is continuing work on The Legend of Zelda for the Wii U, which is scheduled to release in 2016 for the Nintendo Wii U.