Fan-movie explains The Legend of Zelda-timeline

May 28, 2011

Nah, at some point in the video, it stops making sense in regards of the actual timeline of the Zelda-games, but it is a comedy-movie anyway. Has a really likable Link and a truly beautiful princess Zelda, as well as … another person. Go watch it, it´s better than your usual fan-made stuff.

Today is Kirby-day, lol – Also, Pandora´s Tower

January 28, 2011

Several coincidences clashing just after I wrote about a new business model for Nintendo yesterday. The company released its earning reports and Iwata himself said that the reason for why there´s only Nintendogs and Cats at the Nintendo 3DS´ launch is that they wanted to give third party-publisher a time to shine. Moreover, guess what game they announced today? Kirby for Wii! And it is not just some random new Kirby-game, it is the long-awaited Kirby GCN! A small teaser-video is on Nintendo´s website and the game looks fantastic, with classic Kirby-abilities all over the place.

Now, even more interesting, as far as I´m concerned, is the announcement of “Pandora´s Tower: Until I´m By Your Side Again“. No gameplay-details are known at this moment, but one artwork on the game´s website shows a rather pretty girl with a big tattoo, covering her whole back. What makes me extremely happy is the relatively “mature” art style. At the same time, the art makes it look like a new Monolith Software-game, and we all know how that turned out for the gorgeous looking Xenoblade, sigh. Still, the game is supposed to be released this spring in Japan, so maybe we´re lucky this time. For now, enjoy the girl and the music on the website.

Also mentioned in Nintendo´s earning report is the 25th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda-series. It seems that the company has some kind of plans for the best franchise in the world (feel free to agree, hah!). With Ocarina of Time 3D getting a remake on the 3DS, Link´s Awakening being a launch-title for the handheld´s eShop and Skyward Sword hopefully coming out at the end of the year, the emphasis on Zelda seems apparent. Now let´s just hope that the newest member of the franchise honors its anniversary through quality!

The Curious Loser – Proposition for a new Lead Character Model

August 20, 2010

Almost one hundred percent of all video game characters these days are badasses. Just look at all the “bald space marine”-like protagonists, or all the bulky, short-haired heroes. I´d even go as far to say: People complaining about the lack of females lead characters are complaining about the lesser problem. Just take a look at some of the females, and it´s just as bad as their male counter part. What is really missing are inconspicuous characters.

When I´m saying “inconspicuous”, I mean guys that are wispy, unimpressive, maybe plain. Average guys. The curious losers. It´s rather typical for such characters to be of younger age, but it´d be perfectly okay to have such character traits in an older person. I once wrote about how I prefer becoming a hero over being a hero from the beginning. That can be expanded into the topic of badassery, too.

Less of that...

The gaming world today is one giant power-trip. Start up Gears of War and feel powerful. Start up Final Fantasy 13 and feel powerful. Start up Mass Effect and feel powerful. And so on. Don´t get me wrong, I love Mass Effect, but you´re this confident captain from the very beginning. How much more interesting would it have been if you were a youngster with no knowledge, trying to find your place in this huge world? But it seems that gamers don´t want these games, at least not on a frequent basis. Having had a look at all the news from the gamescom expo, all I see are titles like Bulletstorm, Castlevania or Knights Contract – games that are all about a powerful character and badass-slogans as well as badass-actions. Seeing how all these games are getting hype from even freak-gamers on big gaming-boards, it´s safe to say that nothing will change about the instrumentalization of gaming characters in the near future.

...more of that

It´s sad, because I really think that playing as the curious loser would be a lot more interesting than as a ready-to-go badass. There are rare examples, most popular probably being the Legend of Zelda-series. Link is not a badass in any way, he´s just as knowledgable as the player. Looking at not just games, there´s also the “hero” of “How to train your dragon“, who was just so likable. As for more examples, simply take about every hero of a Studio Ghibli-anime movie. Perfect visualization of what I´m talking about. So why do I prefer this kind of characters? Because, as a fan of big action-adventures with focus on exploration, I feel so much more connected to the character I´m controlling when he´s like me: Curious.

Flying Link – Finally?

November 28, 2009

The following can hardly be called news, but it is something I personally wished for the Zelda-series to feature since forever. That is, a Link that can fly in the sky. Now, we´re far from being able to confirm anything, and as I said, it´s much more speculation than factual news, but it is a glimmer of hope. Here is what Eiji Aonuma, producer at Nintendo of Japan, told the British magazine The Guardian:

I have an eight-year-old son myself at home, and quite recently he started playing The Phantom Hourglass for DS, because when the software first hit the market he was too young. When he started playing with the boat, I told him: ‘In the next Zelda, you are going to be able to ride on the train.’ He answered: ‘OK, Dad, first boat, and then train? Surely next time, Link is going to fly in the sky … ‘”Aonuma pauses, grinning. “I just don’t know. If many people make many speculations … some of them might be correct. Right now, I have to refrain from commenting on anything.”

There we have it, Aonuma mentioning a flying Link and making all of it even more mystic by adding a pause, followed by a grin. How likely is it, though, to have a flying Link in Legend of Zelda Wii? Something supporting that is the fact that Zelda Wii seems to take a serious look at WiiSports Resort. Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma both talked about how gamers should think of WiiSports Resort if they´d like to get an impression of how sword fighting and bow-shooting is going to be like. There´s one discipline in said title that has you flying. Coincidence? Most likely, but it is not as if Nintendo doesn´t have any experience with air-gameplay. And to be more specific, WiiSports Resort is the game that made flying through the air to feel the most believable of all games I´ve ever played.

Aonuma also confirms that there´d be sword fighting in the next Zelda-games, which wasn´t that clear after the artwork was released, showing Link without a sword. There have been people thinking that there´d be a problem due to MotionPlus, which needs to be recalibrated all the time, which is why Link would only have s word at certain times. With Aonuma´s words backing up sword fighting, it´s likely that Link can use the sword at all times the player wants to. Giving it some more thought, the “Point at screen and press the A-button” that has to be done in WiiSports Resort, could be solved by the “master sword girl“, the girl on the artwork that looks like a humanized master sword. Instead of having your sword instantly ready in all past Zelda-games, in this new Wii-Zelda you´d simply have to point to the girl, which then transforms into the sword. It´s basically a form of unsheathing the sword manually, instead of it being done automatically. That way you´d have your sword all the time, but the possible problems due to MotionPlus would be solved.

What question remains is: How would Link fly?

There are many different approaches, but one can try to evaluate each´s probability. There´s the most direct option, a Link that can fly by himself. Maybe growing angel-like wings by using an item. I find this to be less likely, as that would be a very powerful ability and as much as I´d like it, it doesn´t fit past Zelda-games. Link was never “cool”, so giving him shiny angel-wings…rather not. Then there´s the possibility of him having some kind of mechanical device. A glider would fit into the medieval theme of the Zelda-series. A balloon could also work, but doesn´t sound like fun. Again, on the “cool” side of ideas he could have some kind of rocket boots that are run by steam. If anything, a glider sounds most likely. What is most likely at all, though, is some kind of animal that lets Link ride on itself. First thing that comes to mind is Epona, with wings. Basically, Epona turns into a Pegasus. What makes me doubt that option are the controls of Epona in former Zelda-titles. Nintendo wants to give the player as much control as possible, which in return made some people complain about Epona being to stiff, to unnatural. On ground that is no problem. But now try to imagine flying around at the sky with Epona, and then landing on the ground. In my mind, once you touch the ground there will be clipping errors, a framerate hickup and what not else, due to the horse controls being to stiff. And I wouldn´t want to have an automatic landing sequence, either. Which brings us to another animal that many Zelda-fans wouldn´t hate to see: A dragon. Ever since I read the Ocarina of Time-manga I long for Link to have a cute dragon by his side that, once grown up, lets him ride on itself. Imagine a smaller version of Volvagia. In terms of gameplay that could be perfect. The way Volvagia moves with its snake-like body negates all possible stiff movements, and thanks to the fact that Volvagia doesn´t have such an emphasis on its legs, once you approach the ground in order to land, it would simply slow down until your deep enough to get off its back. What I´m trying to say: Yeah, a dragon, please, Nintendo!

After all is said, there is no guarantee for anything of the above to happen. Some fans might remember an old interview Aonuma had with German GamePro prior to Twilight Princess´ release. The way he talked about the character´s options of movement made it seem as if he´d get to fly in that game. We all know that didn´t turn out to be exactly that way, except you consider being shot around by cannons “flying“. Nonetheless, with so few information and so much demand of discussion, a little speculation about a flying Link can´t be wrong. I´d like to see that happen. What about you?