Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nintendo 2DS

I won't jump on the shitstorm that is happening right now. Because the Nintendo 2DS is obviously aimed at younger kids, who want to play the newest Nintendo 3DS games, but where the parents are skeptical about the device, because of the 3D or because of the price and the fact that it looks quite luxurious for a child's toy. The Nintendo 3DS probably has trouble reaching the younger audiences and Nintendo wants to fix this.

It's cheaper, it doesn't have the questionable 3D effect and it looks more robust. The normal Nintendo 3DS is an easily damageable device, I'm really worried what might happen if it falls down, especially in its open state. The Nintendo 2DS looks like it can take a beating. It's perfect for childs.

The only weird thing is the fact that they again left out the secondary triggers and the second slide pad from the Circle Pad Pro extension. This time it really has the space for all of this. I mean, look at this thing. You could probably add three slide pads to it. The missing second slide pad was already ridiculous on the 3DSXL, but this time there's no excuse. How are they going to add a Circle Pad Pro to this thing?

And with Phantom Hourglass the Sun Key puzzle, which required you to close the Nintendo DS, will probably be impossible to solve on your own. You can't close the 2DS, you can however turn it into Sleep Mode. So, the game is still beatable, but how are you supposed to figure out the solution on a device that can't be closed? The puzzle is weird enough on a Nintendo DS, let alone on a Nintendo 2DS. Maybe Nintendo has to add an "if you play The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, please note that..." piece of information to the box.

But whatever, I think that the Nintendo 2DS is a smart move on Nintendo's end. It's design is questionable, but if it helps expanding the market with the younger audiences, then this is great.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Link Between Worlds Northamerican Cover

In a previous post I speculated about potential multiplayer functionality in A Link Between Worlds. And it seems that the game in fact does have some kind of network funktionality. Look at the cover:

If you can ignore the beautiful cover art, you can spot the Nintendo Network icon in the topright corner. So, there's something. I'm curious what it will be like and crossing fingers for Shadow Battles 3DS.

Also, I bet that the European cover will have a colored version of the same art... Wouldn't be the first time. :D

The Wind Waker HD: Special vs. Limited Edition

So, Nintendo now officially announced the Limited Edition bundle for The Wind Waker HD, but they also announced a Special Edition of the game, which has a two sided cover and a nice little Ganondorf figure.

The Wii U bundle doesn't have the game. Only a download code for the eShop, which I think is terrible. The limited edition console is clearly for collectors and collectors want a box and a disc for their games. On the other hand collectors also might want the Special Edition of the game and in which case, you don't get the game twice, but both the retail and the digital version of the game.

But the best solution would have been a Special Limited Edition, which does have the Wii U, the Zelda GamePad, the game with box and dual cover and the Ganondorf figure. All in one. But oh well... Looks like this is going to be an expansive Zelda year... though it doesn't seem to be too expansive, the console now only costs $300 and the Special Edition has a price of $55, so that's $355 for both. That's okay considering the Wii U itself was $350 just yesterday.

The Wind Waker HD vs. Twilight Princess HD vs. Skyward Sword HD

When we looked at creating a Zelda for Wii U, there were so many possibilities given the HD graphics. But rather than starting from zero, we actually ran a few tests. We tried converting other console games to Wii U. We actually did this with Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. And the result of that was, hmm, those are semi-realistic representations of the Zelda world so we weren’t really surprised with what we got. But with Wind Waker, when we converted that to HD we were really surprised at how great it looked.
- Aonuma in an interview with Wired

The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword - not counting a possible Majora's Mask HD, since this game will most likely end up on 3DS, those were the three options for a possibile HD remake on the Wii U. And many are surprised by the outcome, which is the Wind Waker HD. Obviously Twilight Princess would be the game profiting the most from an HD makeover. And when Skyward Sword came out, many sites argued there should be an HD version bundled with the Wii U as a starting title.

Now, let's try to follow Nintendo's thought process here. It's actually easy to replicate their HD conversion tests by simply using the Dolphin emulator, which allows you to play GameCube and Wii games in HD resolution. Now two of the games will surprise and maybe astound you with the results:

Both The Wind Waker and Skyward Sword use an unique visual style, which has a much more timeless approach. The Cel Shading visuals of the Wind Waker allow easy upscaling and downscaling in any resolution without any loss in quality. The game will always look great. And Skyward Sword's so called impressionistic paint dab style is pretty similar. Maybe some improved lighting and some better textures here and there and ready is the HD version.

Twilight Princess on the other hand hasn't aged so well. Its more realistic visual approach makes it look pretty shabby compared to many modern games. If they'd made an HD version of this game, fans would expect to look similar to the tech demo from E3 2011. But of course making this would be very expansive, they would need all new models and textures, resources needed for the new HD Zelda game coming to Wii U.

So, here's the problem. A fan might want an HD remake that gives the best visual boost. Something like Twilight Princess HD or Majora's Mask HD even. But Nintendo naturally goes for the game that can be remastered with the lowest possible effort to aim for the best profit. And that is clearly not Twilight Princess.

Skyward Sword HD might also get made at some point, but for now The Wind Waker was the best choice from Nintendo's standpoint. In addition to the timeless graphics the game also has the most room for easy improvement. Adding a faster sail, streamlining other things, improving the Triforce Quest, adding a harder difficulty - the game can be made so much more enjoyable with just little improvements. The problems of Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess go much, much deeper than that and can't be fixed so easily (except for the bigger glitches and the annoying Rupee and Treasure/Insect messages you get each time after rebooting the game), if at all. Additionally The Wind Waker can make good use of the GamePad, which wouldn't be possible with an HD version of Skyward Sword, which can only be played with the Wiimotion Plus and Nunchuk controls. And The Wind Waker is now 10 years old, old enough to be interesting again. Many people maybe haven't played the game in years, if ever. Skyward Sword is still too young, most have played it on the Wii, so there's no reason to get a Wii U for this. And you can still play both Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess on your Wii U thanks to its backwards compatibility, while you can't play the original Wind Waker on the system.

So, there you have it. The Wind Waker is easily converted into HD, easily improved, makes good use of the GamePad and is old enough to be interesting. That's why Nintendo chose to make The Wind Waker HD over Twilight Princess HD or Skyward Sword HD. And I'm okay with that. I wouldn't want them to make an expansive remake that steals from the development of a new Zelda game, which would be the case with Twilight Princess HD. Concerning Skyward Sword HD, I'm pretty that it will get made at some point for the Wii U, maybe in three years or so. Simply because it can be easily converted into HD, much like the Wind Waker.

The Linearity Check: Dungeon Orders

Exploration and freedom are usually two important factors for a good Zelda game and simply one of the reasons that made the classic Zelda games so exciting and enjoyable. And linearity is often considered to be the poison that rods the modern Zelda games, because it takes away from the freedom and even sometimes from the exploration. A Zelda game that proves to be less linear, often also adds a lot to the replay value, because you might want to try to play things out of order. The more ways you can play a game, the more often you most likely will play it.

So, I want to start a series of post, which ranks all the Zelda games in linearity. This has the goal to show, which Zelda games offer the most freedom and have the richest replay value. This also will clear up some myths. For example many people consider Ocarina of Time to be a very linear game, while in reality it isn't.

Of course there are many criterias for non-linearity. The order of dungeons, the dungeon structure, quest design, the world layout... The most obvious one is the order, in which all the dungeons can be played or completed. If you can play the dungeons out of order, the game is clearly non-linear.

The following list will rank all Zelda games by counting the number of possible orders, in which the main dungeons can be played. (This is the order in what the dungeons must be visited. Some games allow that you simply take an item from a dungeon and save the rest for later, so the orders in what the dungeons can be completed is an entirely different beast.)

  1. The Legend of Zelda: 872
  2. A Link to the Past: 66
  3. Ocarina of Time: 7 (55)
  4. Four Swords, Phantom Hourglass: 6
  5. Oracle of Seasons: 2
  6. Majora's Mask: 2
  7. the other 10 games: 1

I tried to count all possibly orders in The Legend of Zelda, but it's just so much that I had to use this program. There are very few restrictions here. Levels 2 and 8 can basically played at any given time. Yes, you can play and beat the eight dungeons first, which sounds crazy, but you can try. You need the Bow from the first dungeon to beat Level 6. You need the Raft from Level 3 to access Level 4. And you need the Stepladder from Level 4 to beat Level 5, 6 and 7. And the Flute from Level 5 to enter and beat Level 7. That's pretty much it and results in many, many different orders.

A Link to the Past is somewhat more linear, but the restrictions here are very simple. You need the Hammer from the Dark Palace to get to any other part of the Dark World. And you need the Titan's Mitts to enter Ice Palace, Misery Mire and Turtle Rock. Turtle Rock additionally needs the Fire Rod and the Cane of Somaria. That's it, which results in 66 different orders (source).

Ocarina of Time is usually considered to be very linear, because of Navi, which guides you from dungeon to dungeon. But in reality there are many possible options, you can visit the temples in 7 different orders. You need the Fairy Bow in the Water Temple and you need the Longshot (or Hover Boots) to enter the Spirit Temple. To enter the Shadow Temple you must complete the first three temples (the Kakariko well sequence gets triggered by collecting the first four Medaillons). So, this is how it looks (source):

Forest - Fire - Water - Spirit - Shadow
Forest - Fire - Water - Shadow - Spirit
Forest - Water - Fire - Spirit - Shadow
Forest - Water - Fire - Shadow - Spirit
Forest - Water - Spirit - Fire - Shadow
Fire - Forest - Water - Spirit - Shadow
Fire - Forest - Water - Shadow - Spirit

This only counts the temples, if you take the mandatory minidungeon Ice Cavern and Bottom of the Well into equation, you will end up with 55 possible orders, so Ocarina of Time scores a good 3rd place here. The Ice Cavern can be played at any point before the Water Temple and the Bottom of the Well at any point between the Forest and Shadow Temples.

And Master Quest might be somewhat different as well. Here you need the Fairy Bow in the Fire Temple, but not in the Water Temple, so you can beat the Water Temple first here. But it should be somewhat similar.

Phantom Hourglass is simple, you can play the Goron Temple, the Ice Temple and Mutoh's Temple in any order. This is achieved by collecting the 3rd and 4th Seachart in one run, which I have done before two times. It's even more obvious in Four Swords, where you have a level select of three dungeons.

Oracle of Seasons allows you to play Level 4 and 5 out of order. It's not much, but still better than it's blue brother Oracle of Ages. I also listed Majora's Mask here, where it's possible to proceed in Ikana with the Hookshot alone thanks to a well placed tree, though this probably wasn't intended by the developers. The idea was to get the Ice Arrows first.

But it's kind of saddening that the majority of the series does have a strict order. Of course this doesn't mean that the entire games are linear, just because the main order of the dungeons is linear. No one would dare to call Majora's Mask a linear game and even Zelda II - The Adventure of Link can be an open experience. Also, both games allow their dungeons to be completed in any possible order. You only need the items from the dungeons to proceed to the next territories, you don't have to beat the dungeon right on. In Zelda II this is even a common strategy to save all bosses for the end, because it helps with leveling up.

So, if we take into consideration in what order the dungeons can be completed (meaning in what order the main collectibles like the Medaillons or Triforce Shards can be obtained), we get suddenly get a different picture:

  1. The Legend of Zelda: 40320 (8!)
  2. A Link to the Past: 10080 (7! x2)
  3. Zelda II: 720 (6!)
  4. Link's Awakening: 120 (5!)
  5. Ocarina of Time: 36
  6. Majora's Mask: 24 (4!)
  7. Four Swords, Phantom Hourglass: 6
  8. Oracle of Seasons: 2
  9. the other games: 1

(The exclamation marks stand for faculty meaning 5! = 5x4x3x2x1)

Games like The Minish Cap or Skyward Sword heavily restrict the dungeon order by adding special events or items that don't get unlocked until the current dungeon gets finished. You have no choice but to complete these games in the given order. For example in The Minish Cap you can't get the Pegasus Boots until after the Cave of Flames. And usually you upgrade your sword, where the upgrade is required to get to the next dungeon. Similar in Skyward Sword. This can sometimes be very artificial, for example in The Wind Waker Makar doesn't appear playing his violin until after you've beaten the Earth Temple. Before that you simply cannot find him.

Some games do have these restrictions only partially, mainly Link's Awakening and Ocarina of Time. In Link's Awakening you have to beat the first three dungeons in order because of certain special events. For example the Chain Chomp BowWow doesn't get abducted until after you've beaten Level 1. Or Tarin doesn't ask for the Stick until after Level 3. But the last five bosses can be skipped until the end of the game and then be slain in any order.

Ocarina of Time adds certain possibilities, if you take the Fairy Bow from the Forest Temple and the Longshot from the Water Temple and simply continue without beating Phantom Ganon or Morpha. That way you can beat the temples in 18 different orders now. But you can also beat Jabu Jabu's Belly as a kid before beating Dodongo's Cavern. You only need the Bombs and there's even accurate dialogue in case you get the Zora Sapphire before the Goron Ruby.

A Link to the Past doesn't restrict you much. You have to beat the Eastern Palace first, because you don't get the Pegasus Boots otherwise. But you can take the Power Glove from the Desert Palace and then go beat Hera's Tower. And the 7 Dark World dungeons can be beaten in any order now. That's 5040 times two possibly orders.

Of course the king is still The Legend of Zelda, which allows for 40320 different orders to collect the Triforce Shards. However, there's one game that can keep up with that, namely The Wind Waker. While it's main dungeons can only be played and finished in a strict order, the Triforce Shards can be obtained in any possible order, much like in The Legend of Zelda. Some can be even gotten very early in the game, right after getting the three pearls. But of course that's a different criteria and has nothing to do with the main dungeons.

The order of the dungeons is only one of many factors to evaluate the linearity of a Zelda game. While the dungeons might be playable out of order, it can be that the dungeons theirselves are highly linear in level design (which is the case in Phantom Hourglass and might become a problem in A Link Between Worlds). Another question is how much freedom the game gives you early on. At what point can you explore the majority of the world and do sidequests? I will talk about these points in later posts.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Zelda Hits Virtual Console 3

So, this week it's time to re-release The Legend of Zelda for the fifth time! On the Wii U Virtual Console. If you buy the game yet again, you will get 1080 resolution, 60Hz, Off-TV play, configurable controls (very nice), restore points and Miiverse spamming. Which sounds good, but is still far behind from normal emulators on your PC, where everything is illegal, but free and literally ten times better. However, it's only 0,99€, if you have bought the game on the Wii VC and did a system transfers. Which almost sounds reasonable, if it wasn't for the fact that a system transfer basically makes your old Wii worthless. Why can't I keep my games on both systems? But it's better than the shift to Nintendo 3DS, where you buy the game for full price again and that's it. And it doesn't even have 3D or anything, only the restore points.

Nintendo NEEDS an account system. No, cancel that, they already got an account system... They NEED to put their account system to use. For Din's sake. With every Virtual Console release of a Zelda game, I repeat the same message. It's just ridiculous, how hostile this is with their customers. And the worst, if your Wii U breaks or gets lost, you lose your entire digital library. And with the Wii U you can't even transfer your stuff to another Wii U.

With the Wii U I will stop buying games digitally from Nintendo. Actually I should have done that on the 3DS already, I only bought the VC games there because of the Zelda eShop points cards I had from 2011. But from now on it's only games in form of discs and modules. Everything else is a "no no", unless Nintendo realizes that digital purchases should be tied to accounts, not to systems.

PS: I think they will re-release A Link to the Past some time before A Link Between Worlds, so that Wii U owners can experience the original again, before the sequel comes out.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Wind Waker HD: Knuckle, Tingle Statues, Tingle Bombs and other Tingle Tuner Items

Yes, I'm making another post about this topic, because I had some new ideas and insights here. It's basically the only thing, which we don't know about The Wind Waker HD yet and it fascinates me.

To get the facts straight: the Tingle Tuner will be gone from this version (which is kind of ironic seeing how the GBA-GameCube-connection potentially inspired the Wii U GamePad), so will be five of the Triforce Charts, which leaves five islands without a treasure for now. The Tingle Tuner quests offered several awards for the main game, mainly Knuckle and the five golden Tingle Statues, all of them located on Tingle island:

Awww, this looks so great! I would be a shame, if this was missing. But I doubt it will.

We basically just have to put it all together now. The Tingle Statues were found in hidden chests in the five main dungeons. There were not shown with the Compass and you had to use a Tingle Bomb to make the appear. Since we don't have the Tingle Tuner, I think those will be regular chests. But instead of giving you the statues, you will receive "Tingle Charts", "Golden Tingle Charts", "Tingle Statue Charts", "Kooloo-Limpah Charts", "Knuckle Charts" - you name it. Those you have to bring to Tingle, because they need to be deciphered much like the Triforce-Charts. 398 Rupees each. So, you have to spent the same amount of money on Tingle, but five charts will be optional. And they will be at the places, where the five Triforce Shards used to be.

So, what should the reward be? In The Wind Waker on the GameCube you would get Rupees from Ankle for finding the statues, 50 per statue and a final 500 for collecting all of them. However, you would have to spent a lot more money on the statues than you would get back from Ankle. If they want to keep all the deciphering, that is.

And then there's Knuckle. He's actually the guy, who carved the Tingle Statues, but he doesn't appear until a certain Tingle Tuner quest on Outset Island. So, previously I thought that you would unlock Knuckle by collecting all five statues. But that's not a real reward. Maybe he will appear only after all five statues are returned, but him alone wouldn't feel like it's worth the trouble. You need something from him.

In one of my previous posts I already detected that the inventory has one free spot, that there might be one new item in the game. And I think that whatever this item is, it's the reward you get from collecting the statues. What could the item be? I speculated something like a Seagull Beetle. But it might be more obvious. The Tingle Tuner itself had a bunch of special items. Each one of them could qualify for the secret new item.

- The Tingle Bombs. Those would act like normal bombs, but they would use 10 Rupees instead of a bomb. Nice option if you ever run out of bombs.
- The Tingle Balloon. It lets you float in mid air for a second. Similar to the Hover Boots in Ocarina of Time. Might be a broken feature though.
- The Tingle Clock. It tells you the time. Pretty simple, but still interesting.

Another reward from the Tingle Statues was a respawning pot with 100 Rupees on a cliff at Outset Island. You could basically unlimited Rupees from that. Maybe it's something similar like Knuckle giving you 100 Rupees each time you visit the island.

So, yeah, that's my theory. I'm pretty sure that some of this might actually come true. It just makes too much sense.


VentureBeat confirmed that the Tingle Statues are still in the HD version!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Wind Waker HD Limited Bundle Coming

Looks like I'm getting a Wii U this year. I definitely want to play The Wind Waker HD, it looks really nice despite the lack of new content. But I wasn't getting a Wii U, unless there's a limited bundle similar to the 3DS one two years ago. But there will be:

So, that's an easy decision for me.

As expected they use the default black system, but added some nice golden Zelda ornaments, similar to the 25th Anniversary Nintendo 3DS for Ocarina of Time 3D. Those two will go along well with each other. I thought they might also add a Triforce emblem to the main system, but there never has been such a custom Nintendo system (except for the Pikachu Nintendo 64 and some other rare stuff). Usually it's only the handhelds, which are getting custom designs, because the handhelds are more personal and not something used by the entire family. So, I wasn't sure, whether this will end up being a limited bundle or not. But if you think about it, the GamePad is more or less a handheld system. And therefore can be more personalized.

Actually I'm going to play this like a handheld. I don't have an HD TV yet and I'm not buying one, before I move homes early next year. I only have a small tube television, which was perfect for the Wii (the graphics look great on it), but probably not so much with HD games. But whatever... I will just take advantage of the system's main feature, which is the GamePad, for now.

And this is really the same thing as the 3DS bundle two years ago. Nintendo made a Zelda "remake", but not all Zelda fans are going to buy the new system for a remake, they might wait for the new game. But with this bundle, they get lured in. However, there is one MAJOR difference between the two bundles. The problem with the 3DS bundle three years ago was that they announced it half a year after the game's release. I already bought a 3DS and got angry that they didn't announce it earlier. But here they announced it before the release. Which is how things should be done. Makes me a happy Zelda fan.

Of course that is if the bundle hits Europe. So far this is only for North America, it seems.

Ah yeah, and it seems that the game gets bundled in disc form. Which is good. I would hate to have the game as a digital version only. I'm a collector, I want a box and a disc!

I've already seen quite a few comments from early Wii U adopters, who are really pissed about this bundle. And I feel them. I had the same problem with the 3DS. And since then I swore never to buy a Nintendo system early again - I will always wait until the very last minute, because there always could be such a bundle happening. For Nintendo these bundles are a double edged sword. They might win new customers, but they also teach their fans that it's always wise to wait. They're rewarding late adopters. And that adds to the problem that their new system have trouble selling. All the fans are hesitating and waiting for the special bundles.

PS: They should add this T-Shirt to the bundle:

It's currently only available in the Japanese Club Nintendo or at PAX Prime. But I really want one, it looks awesome. xD

Friday, August 23, 2013

Operation Moonfall Might Ruin Majora's Mask 3D

Don't get me wrong, I respect Operation Moonfall and its efforts, I support it and I also want Majora's Mask 3D. Mainly because it would feel incomplete when there's only Ocarina of Time 3D on the 3DS, but not the follow-up. It would be like making a remake of Super Mario Galaxy, but not Super Mario Galaxy 2. Or having a remake of Metroid Prime, but not Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time belong together. That's just the way it is.

So... the game's really a no-brainer, a sure cash-in. Majora's Mask reused all of the assets from Ocarina of Time, which means with Ocarina of Time 3D half of the work already got done. Even if it doesn't sell half as much as the original, it still might be profitable. There's no real reason, why Nintendo shouldn't make this. Also, Aonuma already expressed his interest that the game on the 3DS would heavily profit from the Sleep Mode or maybe a new saving system. Because saving in the original N64 version didn't work so well. So, there's already a good reason for the remake that would improve the game - Nintendo likes to have to these reasons.

In my eyes Majora's Mask 3D is a sure thing. I bet that Grezzo, who recently finished their little StreetPass Garden game, is already working on Majora's Mask 3D right now, so it can be released next Summer.

So... I don't really believe that Operation Moonfall will make any difference. Majora's Mask 3D will be made with or without it. What it does is giving Nintendo a platform for being the "nice guy". Even though they might have already planned Majora's Mask 3D years ago, they can pretend like the remake only exists because of the fans. "We gave the fans, what they wanted!" "Majora's Mask 3D only exists because of the fans!" Yeah, right...

And this will give them the excuse for an absolute minimal remake, something that makes The Wind Waker HD look like it's rich of new features. I could imagine that with Majora's Mask 3D they will only update the graphics and won't add anything at all. No Master Quest, no Boss Battle Mode and of course no new dungeons, because that's obviously something Nintendo is not interested in doing. Just the same old game with new graphics. Look, the fans want this remake so badly! So, why bother and add any additional selling points? Well, maybe the Hero Mode, because that's not hard to implement... and a Sheikah Stone, so that the newcomers don't ragequit. But nothing else.

Of course there would be massive potential with Majora's Mask 3D. They could improve the Picto-Box to the Wind Waker's standard, maybe even add a figurine collection to Clocktown. That would be amazing. They could modify the dungeons in the same way they did in Master Quest. I would love to see this in Majora's Mask! They could add a new Skulltula House for the Shard of Agony. I loved the Skulltula Houses. But like I said... why bother? The fans wanted it the way it is! And if you complain about the missed opportunities, you will get flamed from all sides by the fanboys: "Stop whining, Nintendo made this for YOU! Just be grateful for what you got..." Blah, blah, blah, ...

The main reason, why I always get excited about these remakes / enchanced ports, is the potential for new features. What they did with Ocarina of Time 3D and The Wind Waker HD was nice, but the bare minimum and not really exciting. And with Majora's Mask 3D it will probably be same. But thanks to Operation Moonfall you won't be able to complain about it... You will get a lazy remake and everyone has to pretend like they're happy about it, because some fans on Facebook asked for it.

But I would be happy to be proven wrong about this... so, let's see next year, how the game will turn out.

Update (November 2014):
After the announcement of Majora's Mask 3D I remembered this article and I think, I got it completely wrong. While it's true that Majora's Mask 3D was happening anyway, in fact development started even before Operation Moonfall, the fan demand is what encouraged them to give their best with this remake. Right now it's not known, whether there will be additional content or no, but the fact that the remake has been in development for three years now speaks for itself.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hero Mode in the Wind Waker HD, Five Triforce Charts Gone, Tingle Statues

IGN finally gave us the long desired insight to what exactly changed in the Wind Waker HD!

The big news: there really is a harder difficulty mode. Of course it's really just the bare minimum, it's the Hero Mode from Skyward Sword. You take double damage and there are no hearts. That's it, no other changes, no additional enemies, no Master Quest style dungeons, no swapped islands or anything else that could have been done. It's not exactly a game changer or a selling point, but it's better than nothing, I guess.

What's interesting is that the Hero Mode is completely separate from the original game's 2nd Quest. And unlike in Skyward Sword it will be available right from the start. So, if you're a TWW-veteran you can start right away into hard mode. Also, it will be an option. Something that you can turn on and off as you please... which I find weird. I mean, when I beat Skyward Sword in Hero Mode, I've beaten Skyward Sword in Hero Mode. But will there be something that indicates that I've beaten The Wind Waker HD in Hero Mode? Or doesn't it really matter, whether I use this option or not? Is it more like the difficulty options in Minecraft? The unanswered questions continue...

And I wonder, if really all hearts are gone. In Skyward Sword's Hero Mode you had the option to use Heart Medals, so that hearts would come back. I wonder, if there's something similar in The Wind Waker HD? For example in the original games Savage Labyrinth there were no hearts either, but you were able to steal hearts from enemies with your Grappling Hook. Maybe it works the same in Hero Mode.

Also, we've now learned, how they modified the Triforce Quest. And I like it. Not all Triforce Charts are gone, but only five. That means that there are still three Triforce Shards sunk on the ground of the ocean, which need to be salvaged and where you need to decipher Triforce Charts from Tingle, much like in the original. That's a nice compromise! I like it.

And if you think about it, you could argue that the underground minidungeons on Outset, Stone Watcher Island, Overlook Island and the Private Oasis, as well as the hole at the Bird's Peak Rock are actually dungeons in the old sunken Hyrule that are accessed from above the ocean, much like the Earth and Wind Temple. That actually makes a lot more sense than finding Triforce Charts down there! And it has this classic The Legend of Zelda feeling, where you find Triforce Shards in dungeons. The Ghost Ship, the Golden Warship at Needle Rock Island and the Islet of Steel are the places, where you would find the charts above the ocean. So, these remain.

But it might be that you get a Triforce Chart from Bird's Peak Rock and a Triforce Shard from the Ghost Ship. Mostly because it would feel more balanced, because otherwise the Triforce Shard at Bird's Peak can be gotten with little to no effort very early in the game, while the Ghost Ship quest feels like it has no ending. And storywise the Ghost Ship could be a vessel that salvaged one of the legendary "Triumph Forks" in the past, so it could still make sense.

And did you notice something? Exactly FIVE charts are gone! Five! I previously had the theory that the five golden Tingle Statues would be in the old Triforce Shard locations. And now that there are exactly five open spots (instead of eight), this makes a lot more sense now.

My theory is that in the chests in the five main dungeons, where you originally got the Tingle Statues, there are now "Tingle Charts" (or similar). Tingle needs to decipher them much like the three Triforce Charts for 398 Rupees each, but they are of course optional. And in the sunken treasure chests you now get the statues. Getting all five statues unlocks Knuckle. This way all the important Tingle Tuner unlockables would be handled nicely. And you could still add a new item, which you get from Knuckle. Remember that it seemed like there's one open spot in the menu? Getting one from Knuckle is probably a better reward than just having the character appear. Like the Seagull-Beetle. Another idea could be "Tingle Bombs" (which actually were a part of the Tingle Tuner). They work like normal bombs, but they use 10 Rupees instead of 1 bomb.

Ah yeah, and wev'e learned, where you can get the Swift Sail:

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Link Between Worlds and Multiplayer: Shadow Battles and StreetPass?

So, in my previous post I talked about how a new Four Swords game could essentially spawn from A Link Between Worlds. But of course A Link Between Worlds itself could already feature some sort of multiplayer. I doubt it will be an entire Four Swords game, because then Nintendo would have announced something by now, but there's still room for something small.

Both Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks came with their own Battle Modes. Both very different. Phantom Hourglass offered a very strategic 1on1 online battle mode, while Spirit Tracks had a local multiplayer four player Last Man Standing game. And both failed to deliver. While the mode in Phantom Hourglass can be played online, it's not very Zelda or fun. And the mode in Spirit Tracks, while it's not that bad, can't be played online. So, unless you had a friend with the game, you probably haven't played it yet. And it also wasn't that much fun to be honest.

You know, what was fun? Shadow Battle! The little deathmatch mode in Four Swords Adventures:

It's a small game, but a lot of fun to play. You can use all the Zelda weapons, you can slash Cuccos to make Cucco waves appear, activate traps and more. Perfect. And so much better than the Battle Modes on the Nintendo DS. And A Link Between Worlds has everything to reimplement that and make it even better! The game has the Dark World, so you could have Dark World levels again. And the Item Meter is perfect for the Four Swords item system. Adding Shadow Battles would work nicely.

Of course it should be online. Because otherwise it gets just ignored, much as the multiplayer in Spirit Tracks. And it would be so much fun! Imagine all the match making in Zelda communities. I would play this forever. It could really keep the game alive.

Another possibility would be the Monster Hunting from the Tingle Tower minigames in Four Swords Adventures also. There you were basically playing together against waves of enemies, but the player with the most kills in the end wins.

Another topic would be StreetPass. In Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks you had the Tag/Contact Mode, which was some sort of predecessor of StreetPass basically. It's purpose was to share Ship Parts and Treasures with other people. Well, you had to do it manually, but with StreetPass you could automate the process. Put your duplicate treasures up for "sale" and automatically receive treasures from others when StreetPassing them.

However, the trading idea came with a big bad downside: randomized collectibles. And without the trading it could take you forever to complete your Ship and Train Part collections. I hated that mechanic, where certain treasures would be super rare for you, just so it encourages you to trade. But what to do, when you have noone to trade with? If that's what StreetPass leads to, I'm against it. Or at least add the possibility to buy treasures with Play Coins. But generally I prefer it, when every item has its fixed spot in the game. So, I'm not a fan of this idea. It's still something that could happen nonetheless.

Four Swords Online next?

Will the Light World will never be free from the thread of darkness?
There may come a time when the land will have need of the Four Sword once again.

- Hyrule Historia

I've already talked about this in a previous post, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. On all their handheld systems Nintendo had a follow-up Zelda game using a previous engine. The Oracle games were based on Link's Awakening, The Minish Cap was based on Four Swords and Spirit Tracks was based on Phantom Hourglass. They even do this on the console with games like Majora's Mask, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes or Super Mario Galaxy 2. It's a good financial choice to reuse the engine and all assets of a successful game to release a follow-up. The Nintendo 3DS is far from done, so I'm pretty sure that they will make another Zelda game reusing the A Link Between Worlds-engine. It's only logical to do so and could provide another new handheld Zelda game in 2015.

Well, the A Link Between Worlds engine was made to match the A Link to the Past graphical style and world. And (aside from Ancient Stone Tablets on the BS-X) there has been only one other Zelda game to match A Link to the Past visually and gameplay-wise: Four Swords Adventures. Now the bold quote in the beginning of this post is from the ending of Four Swords Adventures in Hyrule Historia. There Aonuma is basically teasing another Four Swords game continuing the story after Ganon was sealed within the Four Sword. Also, Miyamoto and Aonuma expressed severals times that the Four Swords game were ahead of their time because of the technical obstacles like having four cables and that with online gaming and wireless network technologies Four Swords has the potential to evolve even further (see this interview on IGN for example). I think, at Nintendo there's definite interest in making another Four Swords game.

And A Link Between Worlds is delivering the perfect platform for it. Four Swords Adventures has its own Dark World similar to the one in A Link to the Past, but still different. It could be that the new Dark World in A Link Between Worlds is somehow connected to the one in FSA. They could expand upon that, maybe even introduce the Dark Triforce to the other timeline. So, even when everything is said, done and gone at the end of A Link Between Worlds, they would have a whole different timeline where they could continue the same graphical style and Dark World story elements. Four Swords Adventures makes it possible.

Also, the Item Meter would be perfect for Four Swords. So far bombs and arrows have been unlimited in Four Swords games, which allowed you to spam them, but an Item Meter much like in ALBW would add another strategic element to it. So, that's another thing from ALBW that would be perfect for a new Four Swords.

Of course the previous Four Swords games weren't really successful. But Nintendo is a company that likes to keep trying until their ideas take a successful shape. The Virtual Boy would eventually evolve into the Nintendo 3DS. The GBA to GameCube connection into the Wii U GamePad (even though this isn't really successful yet). To be successful, a new Four Swords game needs a full fledged singleplayer experience and online multiplayer. If you don't have any friends, who like to play Zelda and/or own a Nintendo 3DS, then the game will be useless otherwise and bomb like Four Swords Adventures did.


A singleplayer mode like in Four Swords Adventures or the Four Swords Anniversary Edition, which allows you to play the multiplayer levels alone, is absolutely mandatory (especially for online, more about that later). Zelda always was a singleplayer game and there's no way around it. There are many, many Zelda fans, who own a copy of Four Swords (better say A Link to the Past on the GBA), but were never able to play it. So, there needs to be some way to control multiple Links at the same time to master the levels on your own.

But that's just half of it. Playing Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures on your own is a nice in-between experience, but not a full fledged Zelda game. It's just not a real Zelda game, if it's in levels. It would need a full Zelda singleplayer experience, if it doesn't want to be a disappointment after A Link Between Worlds. But it can be done, The Minish Cap was basically a Four Swords story told in a singleplayer game. It would need another TMC as the main game and the option to play all multiplayer levels on your own. That way there would be plenty of interest in this.

Online Multiplayer

Even with wireless communication between Nintendo 3DS systems, you would still need someone, who owns a Nintendo 3DS and plays Zelda in order to enjoy local multiplayer. There are people out there, who can't even get a single Streetpass, let alone find someone to play with. So, an online multiplayer mode would be a necessity for everyone to enjoy the multiplayer. And it would be a huge hit. There are Zelda communities like ZeldaUniverse full of Zelda fans, who would love to play together. The only Zelda multiplayer game that was playable online, was Phantom Hourglass' Battle Mode. But that one was terrible. A real Four Swords game online, however, could be a hit. Imagine playing Zelda with Zelda fans all around the world!

Of course the player count would need to be dynamic. If someone leaves the games or quits the connection, you should be able to continue the game. But they already handled this in Four Swords Adventures. There, when a player would be missing, another player just gets to play two Links instead of one. If everyone else skips, you would return to singleplayer, where you play all four Links at once. Hey, you could even host like a dynamic game. You start playing in singleplayer, but leave the option for others to join you. That could work great.

I think that A Link Between Worlds will be shipped with a new Battle Mode, similar to Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. But it will be more like Shadow Battles in Four Swords Adventures, a Deathmatch game so to speak, and playable online. This would be a test to see if there's demand for something like a new Four Swords game. And if people like it, Nintendo starts developing Four Swords Online on the 3DS. I could see this happening.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A New Item in the Wind Waker HD? The Quest for Tingle Charts!

We finally got a screenshot of the inventory screen of the Wind Waker HD on the Wii U GamePad:

I like how they arranged the icons. Bottles grouped in the lower left. Tingle Bottle, Telescope and Picto-Box grouped together, as well as the three bag items. I guess, when you touch a bag, the right part with the main items will change to the content of the bag.

But... wait a minute! It seems like there's space for 10 main items. Three in the top row, where you already got the Grappling Hook, the Deku Leaf and the Bombs. Four in the middle row, where you can see the Boomerang and the Bow. And probably three more in the bottom row with the Hammer. Right? Unless the items are arranged strangely (like only two items in the bottom row), that's a total of 10 items. Six items are already displayed, but it's missing only three: the Iron Boots, the Hookshot and the Magic Armor.

The Wind Waker is now mapped to the D-Pad and not part of the item menu anymore. Similar to the sail, you can only use it on the boat, so it doesn't take a space in the item menu anymore. So... what's the last item in there?

I'm getting more and more the feeling that there's actually some new stuff, which Nintendo hasn't told us yet. It starts with the missing the Triforce Charts. What happened to the eight sunken treasure chests, where the Triforce Shards used to be? Are they just gone? Also, Tingle Island is completely useless now, if you don't have anything to decipher. And with the missing Tingle Tuner, you can't get the golden Tingle Statues anymore, as well as Knuckle... so much stuff missing!

My theory is that instead of the Triforce Charts you now have "Tingle Charts". Five of them can be gotten, where you had found the Tingle Statues in dungeons. Three more are in different places. The sunken treasure chests found with the Tingle Charts all contain the Tingle Statues, three of them new. And the Tingle Charts need to be deciphered for 398 Rupees each, much like the original Triforce Charts. With the Tingle Statues you can unlock different prices:

  • 2 or 3 statues: you get the new faster sail
  • 5 statues: Knuckle appears
  • 8 statues: you get the new mystery item

Of course that's just a theory, but it would fit in nicely. The three new Tingle Charts would be gotten on Outset Island, Forsaken Fortress and Windfall Island. It would be the Outset Tingle Statue, the Forsaken Tingle Statue and the Windfall Tingle Statue. The Tingle Tuner had special locations on all three of these islands. Like there was one in a giant pot in the Forsaken Fortress. Or one at the cliffs below the bridge on Outset. In both of these places you could now find treasure chests with the Tingle Charts. With Windfall it's a little bit trickier, because the special spot was on a canopy, where no treasure chest would fit. But there's space. You could put a chest in the prison cell for example.

(Update: so, it turned out that only FIVE of the Triforce Charts are gone, not all eight! That's a perfect fit, you can add the five original Tingle Statues to the open places and you wouldn't have to add any new ones. It's perfect. The Swift Sail won't be available on Tingle Island, so that's out of the equation, but you could still unlock Knuckle with theses statues. And maybe Knuckle gives you the new mystery item then, because only having Knuckle alone doesn't feel like a real reward.)

So, what could the new item be? I have no idea really. Most likely something that utilizes the GamePad. It could be something like the Beetle from Skyward Sword. It would basically act like an artificial seagull, it has the same controls as the seagulls, but you don't need to use Hyoi Pears anymore.

(Update: Another possibility could be the Tingle Bombs from the Tuner. They act like normal bombs, but use 10 Rupees instead of 1 Bomb. Or other items from the Tingle Tuner like the Tingle-Balloon or the Tingle-Clock.)

Of course it could just be that the items are arranged differently in the menu or that there's simply one open spot. Ocarina of Time 3D had two open spots in the menu, where I theorized for hours what it could be, while in the end there was nothing at all. And the eight sunken treasure chests for the Triforce Shards, as well as the five Tingle Statues could be just gone. But luckily we don't have to wait too long to find out.

Items in A Link Between Worlds

I'm really looking forward to the new item system in A Link Between Worlds, both the shop and the new item meter. So, I want to talk again about what items could be in the game. I already did that in a previous post, but since then we got some new insights.

List of confirmed items:

  • Bow
  • Bombs
  • Hammer
  • Boomerang
  • Hookshot
  • Fire Rod
  • Ice Rod
  • Wind Rod (new item in the shop)
  • Pegasus Boots
  • Lantern (shown in the Dark Palace footage)

The Pegasus Boots and the Lantern are the only items so far, which haven't appeared in the shop (unless they were in the spot with the book / book page thingy, if this is just a "sold out" spot). But since we will meet Sahasrahla's grandgrandgrand...grandchild (I really like this btw, it reminds me of old Niko in Spirit Tracks), it might be where we will get the Pegasus Boots. But it seems that the Pegasus Boots will be used with R (much like on the SNES), so they won't be their own item like in Link's Awakening or The Minish Cap. Because in the footage you can clearly see that the boots do not drain the Item Meter, where I suspect that all items use it.

The inventory has 20 slots, 4 will most likely be used by bottles, so that's 16 items alltogether. Seven(!) more to figure out, so let's take a look at what's left from A Link to the Past's inventory:

- Magic Powder: Likely, fits the new Item Meter very well and is interesting
- The three Medaillons: very unlikely to return, they are too overpowered in combination with the new Item Meter
- Flute/Ocarina of Wind: it doesn't seem to fit the Item Meter idea, but there needs to be some warp system; might get integrated into the map screen
- Shovel: yeah, probably
- Bug-Catching Net: could return and get expanded for a new sidequests, where you catch various insects and creatures
- Book of Mudora: makes more sense as a status item, but the page on the left shelf could be related to the Book of Mudora in some way
- Cane of Somaria: most likely to return, would play well with 3D
- Cane of Byrna: unlikely to return, it's too overpowered with the Item Meter, unless it drains it very quickly
- Magic Cape: no, basically the wall merging does everything, the Magic Cape did
- Magic Mirror: no, we've already seen, how you jump between worlds

So, we still got the Cane of Somaria, the Bug-Catching Net, the Shovel and the Magic Power that would fit in nicely. Maybe the Ocarina of Wind will return as well. So, it might be that this is it already it. The big question is whether the Cane of Byrna and/or the Medaillons will reappear. I suspect them to be too overpowered, with the Medaillons you could essentially clean the entire screen every so often. The Cane of Byrna might work, if it drains the new item meter very quickly, so you would only stay invincible for a couple of seconds. Or the item gets changed into a hazard shield - like poison swamps or spiked floors, but it doesn't save you from enemy attacks.

But with the Medaillons gone there's at least one more new item. And Bill Trinen mentioned that there will be "one or two new items" - so, there might be another new item next to the Wind Rod.

I've already speculated that there will be something similar to the Gust Jar / the Whirlwind - and there is, the Wind Rod, which I think could be very fun. And from the past games there are many other possibilities for what the new item could be. The Roc's Feather and/or Cape could return and add more to the 3D gameplay. Seeing how Four Swords Adventures (the only other Zelda game in the style of A Link to the Past) used this as well, it could be likely. Bombchus are another possibility, which would work nicely with 3D. So, there's already quite some blasts from the past, which would fit in nicely. Of course an entirely new item would be the most interesting and exciting thing.

I can't wait to see how the final inventory will be like.

- I made an update to this post, because I missed the Lantern in the newest footage. *feels stupid*
- I figured that the Pegasus Boots are not a X/Y-item, because they don't drain the Item Meter
- I reconsidered the Cane of Byrna

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The new A Link Between Worlds Artwork is terrible

Compare this beauty:

With this goofy something:

What was Nintendo thinking? The classic artwork style looked so amazing... But now we get retarded Link. This is aweful. I don't like it at all.

An interesting detail is the bracelet. In the original artwork it is green, in the new version it is purple. Much like the item gauge. So, it's most likely that this bracelet has something to do with the new item system and/or the wall merging.

If my theory about Link actually being a painting that came to life would be correct, it might be that the bracelet is what allows him to take human form and use other items besides sword and shield (those he already had as a painting).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Item Shop and Other World in A Link Between Worlds

As I thought, today's Nintendo Direct mainly focused on the Dark World. Though Nintendo just calls it the "Other World", which is weird. Well, technically the Dark World from A Link to the Past shouldn't exist anymore. But everything in the video looked exactly like the old Dark World. Same visuals, same enemies, same music. (I love how they made the abysses.) But Aonuma mentioned that this other world has its own kingdom...

Also, Iwata confirmed that the Dark Triforce in the logo is actually a thing! How exciting! I wonder if it uses Sorrow, Despair and Destruction from the flames in the Oracle games or some dark virtues to mirror the Triforce.

Well, and my theory that you would use the painting Link to enter the Dark World was confirmed. But instead of mirrors on the wall it's dark cracks in the wall.

The much more interesting stuff was posted on Miiverse. There Aonuma presented the new item shop:

He doesn't say what's this all about, only that this item shop is a very important place, the rest up to our imagination. Sounds like a job for Hyrule Blog!

Well, we clearly can see that this shop is selling the Bow, the Hammer, the Boomerang, the Fire Rod, the Ice Rod, the Hookshot and the Bombs. There's something like a book that I can't make out (the Book of Mudora? a sold-out item?) and something that looks like a mix between the Whirlwind from Spirit Tracks and a magic rod. I had already suggested that we might see something like the Gust Jar return as one of the two new items, but I guess the "Whirlwind Rod" (Wind Rod most likely) makes the most sense for this game.

So, what does this mean? Instead of getting all these items in the dungeons, you will buy them in the shop. And depending on what you buy first, your path through the game will look entirely different. I guess there are different obstacles everywhere. Like those poles that can be only pushed down with the hammer. Or ice walls in caves. You have to chose, what you want to overcome first. And depening on your choice you will play the dungeons in very different orders. Each playthrough might be very different depening on what you buy first.

If this is how it is, then I'm suddenly very excited for this game. This would be an all new approach to Zelda, but something very true to Zelda's exploration theme. It's a very nice way to make Zelda non-linear again, without having an open and confusing world full of dead ends. You directly chose your own path!

This could be very interesting.

What's suspicious is the shop owner, who looks like Nabbit from NSMBU, a stealing rabbit. It might be that he's stealing your items at some point? Or might it be that these are the items from the legendary hero in A Link to the Past, which Nabbit "found" somewhere? It's speculated that this is actually Link's old house. So, Nabbit nested himself in Link's old house and sells the items to the new Link. :D Link's house would basically be the central point. In the demo you've started at Link's house after buying the Hammer basically.

And it might be that in the Dark World there's a similar shop (where the Bomb Shop used to be), selling a new set of items.

So, Bill Trinen said that there will be a very good use for Rupees this time in the game, so I think those items area actually bought normally with Rupees. We've also seen that you get large amounts of Rupees inside dungeons (like 100 per chest). So, I guess the items will have massive price tags on them, like 1000 Rupees for the Hammer. You could grind all the Rupees to buy more at once, but the easiest is to use your newest purchase to proceed in the game, where you get enough Rupees to buy the next item. This would be somewhat similar to Tingle's Rupeeland, where you had to "buy" the tower expansions to proceed. But it was your choice, whether you would go through the next main quest or get the necessary Rupees otherwise. Of course I don't think that you will be able to entirely skip a dungeon in ALBW, but at least postpone it, if you want to.

PS: these news also come with a small fail quote from Aonuma:

That’s right, shops in the past Zelda games sold things that would run out once you use them like arrows and bombs, items that needed replenishing. They have never sold an item that doesn’t go away after each use like the boomerang or the hookshot.

Never? They never sold items that don't go away? Like never?

How about the Blue Candle, the Blue Ring or the Arrow in The Legend of Zelda? Or the Shovel and the Bow in Link's Awakening? The Shovel and the Arrow are even important items, which you need to finish the game. And even Aonuma's games do have one time purchases like in Beedle's Air Shop in Skyward Sword. So, he should be a little more careful with his wording, or else it might look like he doesn't even know his own game series.

No Triforce Charts in The Wind Waker HD?

Nothing new really was shown about the Wind Waker HD in Nintendo's newest Nintendo Direct. I was hoping to get some information about this rumored hard mode, but there wasn't any. But there was a really small sequence, which showed that the Triforce Charts were cut. Instead of the chart you directly get the Triforce Shard from the treasure chests...

Okay, this was something that often got requested by fans. But I don't like it. It doesn't make much sense, since the Triforce Shards used to be scattered in the sunken Hyrule. Now they are suddenly on shore? You can find a piece of the Triforce under a cabana? What's this?

Also, what happens to Tingle and all my Rupees? Does he sell the new sail for 3184 Rupees instead? :D (Oh, that would be such a bad move.) What's the purpose of Tingle's Island now? Tingle-Bottles? I also wonder, what happened to the eight sunken treasure chests, where the Triforce Shards used to be? I seriously doubt that Nintendo included eight new treasure maps with new content... I fear that they are just gone now, eight islands where you can't find anything.

I think a lot of people will be very happy with this change, because many hated the salvaging and collecting the Rupees. But I generally enjoyed this part of the game the way it was.

Well, on the other hand this is definitely more streamlined and the better game design. So, I'm not sure what to think of it, I'm mainly curious how this affects the other parts of the game like the now empty treasure spots or the role of Tingle Island.

A possibility would be the five golden Tingle statues. Instead of getting the statues directly in the dungeons, you get treasure maps ("Tingle Charts") that lead to the Tingle statues. Maybe add three more in different places. Collecting two or three unlocks the faster sail for purchase. And collecting all statues unlocks Knuckle as a character, who gives you something new in return, I don't know.

About the faster sail. It's not only faster, you also don't have to change wind direction with this thing. It always goes full speed independent from the wind. This feels really powerful and should definitely make the game less tedious.

Nintendo Direct: Moment of Truth

In about three hours we should be a little smarter about The Wind Waker HD and A Link Between Worlds. From today's Nintendo Direct I expect the following Zelda-related information:

  • European (and US) release dates for both TWWHD and ALBW
  • potential hardware bundles
  • all about the Hard Mode in TWWHD
  • info about the changes of the Triforce Quest (if there are any)
  • some new footage of ALBW, where we learn something new,
    for example how the Dark World looks and works

What I would hate to see would be limited special edition hardware bundles, like a Wii U with a Triforce Emblem or a golden Nintendo 3DS XL with a Triforce Emblem. In case of the Wii U I would probably feel like I need to buy this, even though I don't want a Wii U right now, because I don't really have the time for it atm. But I will buy a Wii U sooner or later, so it would be stupid not to buy the Zelda edition right away. And a limited Zelda 3DS XL would be a huge blow to the face after the 25th Anniversary Limited Edition 3DS. Then Nintendo would expect Zelda fans to buy yet another 3DS (for the second time, if you count those, who already got a 3DS when OoT3D came out). Though I have to admit that I'm actually interested in a 3DS XL, but such a bundle would create the most expansive Zelda year yet. Even a lot more expansive than the 25th Anniversary.

Since this Nintendo Direct is focusing on upcoming releases later this year, I'm not expecting anything about Zelda U. But still Nintendo likes to remind us that they're making an all new Zelda game for the Wii U, while talking about The Wind Waker HD. So, maybe there's a little teaser or some words from Aonuma.

We will see.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Painting Coming to Life

Remember how Aonuma teased that there will be a big surprise shocking you in the beginning of A Link Between Worlds? (Sauce.) I think I know what this surprise might be... I put it in a spoiler box, just in case (JavaScript must be activated to read it).

So, what do you think?