Link's Crossbow Training Was Originally Meant to Be a Twilight Princess Sequel
How Twilight Princess sequel become a Wii Zapper game
The information has recently appeared on Youtube channel GameOver Jesse where the blogger shared some interesting details about Link's Crossbow Training development.
In one of the Iwata Asks series interviews that was about Link's Crossbow Training, Shigeru Miyamoto mentioned that after they finished with the development of Twilight Princess, he talked to the staff about possibility of developing a side story.
In spite of the fact that originally Link's Crossbow Training was obviously meant to be a sequel to Twilight Princess, it is unlikely that the sequel was intended to be a full-fledged game. In fact, Miyamoto wanted it to be a side story: “So, I asked our Zelda staff to think about a new project with an extra story based around Twilight Princess. But then, they were coming up with stories that can be described as ’epic tales’ rather than ’side stories’.” After that, he proposed to make a game that utilized the Wii Zapper. That is how the game has become what we know it.
Also, it is necessary to look into the reasons behind the idea of developing the sequel. Besides the fact that Twilight Princess is one of the best entries in the series, there are good reasons to interpolate the groundwork to the next project since it saves time and money. According to Miyamoto, they could use the existing assets: “The terrain created for Twilight Princess was vast. And honestly, I really thought there was more we could do with it.”
It is also worth noting that Nintendo has already done that before, releasing Majora’s Mask less than two years after Ocarina of Time. This incredibly short developing cycle was possible due to using the assets from the previous game. This is what Eiji Aonuma, the series director said to shacknews.com: "This was an idea that came from Mr. Miyamoto. The challenge he gave to me: to try and make a sequel to Ocarina of Time in just one year."
However, it seems that GameOver Jesse is exaggerating things. Even though the game certainly had connection with Twilight Princess, there is no reason to believe that it was considered as a major title like Twilight Princess 2 from the very beginning.