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Zelda: Breath Of The Wild's Guardian Stalkers Were Actually Inspired By Octoroks

Anyone who's played "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" knows the frenzied feelings of panic and fear when encountering a Guardian Stalker somewhere across the plains of Hyrule. Once these hulking robotic behemoths have their eye set on the player, they'll pursue them relentlessly, firing highly-damaging laser beams that can set everything in their path ablaze. If that wasn't terrifying enough, they have one of the most anxiety-inducing piano riffs across gaming as the intro to their theme music.

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Despite being a completely new enemy in "The Legend of Zelda" canon, it didn't take long for the creatures to become a notorious staple in Link's rogues' gallery. However, while many players can easily recognize Guardian Stalkers, they may be surprised to learn about the design process behind the iconic baddie. In truth, these frightening bosses were actually inspired by one of the most common and long-standing "The Legend of Zelda" enemies: The Octorok.

The OG Octorok inspired Guardian Stalkers

In an official behind-the-scenes video from Nintendo, members of the creative team for "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" delved into the design process behind some of the game's characters and enemies. Notably, producer Eiji Aonuma stated that the design and behavior of the Guardian Stalkers were actually inspired by the Octorok.

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The idea for the Guardians was first birthed when Aonuma reflected on his experiences with the very first mainline "Zelda" game from 1986. "I just happened to be talking to one of the staff members, saying 'When I played the first Legend of Zelda game, I felt like the Octorok were pretty huge,'" the game producer said. "'They'd make all these complicated movements, and I really didn't like those guys.' So we thought about creating an enemy using that image, and that's how we came up with the Guardians."

Octoroks and Guardians do share visible similarities in their design. Both sport octopus-like qualities like tentacles and the primary forms of attack for both monsters are through fired projectiles. However, there's still a lot to differentiate the two, especially in terms of the Guardian's robotic design compared to the Octorok's more organic nature. "Creating a large octopus is kind of gross, so we decided to take the more sci-fi, technology route, and that's where the visual for the Guardian comes from," Aonuma told Time. "And that decision leads into the storyline, and influenced many other elements we added to the game."

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