July 20th,, 2002
The Legend of Zelda
Release: February 2003
Originally published on N-Philes.com-
The Legend is Born
It's hard to believe it's been 4 years since the Nintendo 64 first
got Its first Zelda game, but that's reality and so is the fact
that the experience that is waiting for players in the latest
installment is going to be a lot different than the one that lured
in many gamers. We're talking about one of the best games on Nintendo
64, Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Nintendo of course hopes to be able
to make the new Legend of Zelda for GameCube an even better experience.
Before this, years amazing, Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3)
people thought that Nintendo's change in visuals, from a realistic
dark version like Ocarina of Time and the Space World version,
to a slick Cel-Shaded cartoon-like engine which was first revealed
at Space World 2001 was a BIG mistake. It's no secret that Nintendo
struggles with a kiddy image that it is trying to shake off with
some of their recently released mature games such as, Eternal
Darkness. But the fact is after playing, and viewing a lot of
new media it's obvious that Nintendo is doing the right thing
with The Legend of Zelda for GameCube.
- The newest Installment in the Zelda series
- An innovative storyline, involving Link rescuing his kidnapped
- Ocarina of Time play mechanics returning in the epic first Zelda
- Dolby Surround Sound support, including Pro Logic II and others
- Advanced Cel-Shaded graphics engine, making the game much like
an interactive cartoon.
- The first Zelda to ever be Cel-Shaded
- Detailed Animation, including face expressions - making the
experience all the more realistic
- 480p progressive scan support for all HDTV users
- Possible February 2003 US release
- Possible late 2002 Japan release
While the Space World 2000 version of Zelda looked pretty, and
showcased our hero, Link fighting off his enemy Ganondorf with
beautiful visuals and great textures, the new Cel-shaded toony
looking Zelda definitely is if not as beautiful in it's own way,
but more creative and definitely innovative than the Tech Demo
we saw two years ago. The new Zelda may have shocked and upset
many fans around the world, but the creator, Shigeru Miyamoto
knows what he's doing with his series. The game has that "A
Link to the Past" feeling that Ocarina of Time also had.
The world-surrounding Link will definitely bring back some memories
to veterans of the game who first got into the series many years
ago. We assure, despite that negative image that the new visuals
have received from disappointed and upset fans, the new Zelda
(which has still yet to receive a proper title) will be everything
you hoped for in the Space World 2000 version, if not more.
Even though Nintendo, like always has kept the press on a virtual
lockdown on most the storyline of The Legend of Zelda some of
the storyline was showcased at E3 this year to get players in
the mood, and to give players a pr-mature background on the game.
In this adventure, which seems to be the newest 'real' installment
in the series since Ocarina of Time - since Majora's Mask was
nearly a simple spin-off, or side-quest that the "gaming
god" developer, Miyamoto had little to no involvement with.
Link finds himself no longer on a mission to save Hyrule from
Ganondorf, or a wacky Skull Kid with plans to destroy the world,
but instead on a quest to save a his sister, "Arilla".
Some people didn't even know that this sister existed, but believe
it or not he does. In the beginning of the E3 Demo Link is shown
living what seems to be a "normal" life, Players are
introduced to a few new characters mainly Link's Grandmother,
and more importantly his Sister, "Arilla"
Soon enough the storyline begins to take action and un-rolls,
Arilla is snatched away by a huge, menacing bird. Though this
happening seems simple compared to Links earlier adventure in
Ocarina of Time -- It most likely do to the fact that as usually
Nintendo seems to be hiding something from the world, for this
seems to simple and ordinary for a Zelda/Miyamoto game. Keeping
that in mind and that according to Shigeru Miyamoto the Legend
of Zelda for GameCube is the first adventure of Links ever is
crucial to understanding the placement of Link in the game --
so think of it as a prequel such as Episode One and two are to,
Star Wars. Knowing this - we are surely missing something and
there is more to the game than what was revealed at E3 this year.
Judging the games storyline to harshly now may be the wrong thing
to do, in other words. It's only natural of Nintendo - don't feel
too special. Nintendo speaks more of the storyline at there website:
"The latest Legend of Zelda adventure begins with young
Link living a peaceful life on a tiny island. One day, Link witnesses
a huge, menacing bird that snatches Link's younger sister and
flies away with her. Link follows in hot pursuit. His search for
her sets in motion an epic adventure that will have Link sailing
the high seas and searching for answers to the mystery behind
The only worry that surfaces when considering the simple storyline
is that Nintendo will defiantly give us a game with supreme gameplay
and experiences, but may neglect the storyline of The Legend of
Zelda. But like we said before - there is more to the storyline
than we have seen, and expect a lot more media and revealing on
the storyline of The Legend of Zelda as its Late 2002, and Early
2003 release date draws nearer. There is defiantly more to be
learned and we have plenty of time left to learn it all.
Even if you haven't played the E3 Demo of The Legend of Zelda
it's obvious that it is packed with similar gameplay to both "Ocarina
of Time" and "A Link to the Past". Link takes to
sea, ground, and even mountains in the game. Plenty of action
is stirred up, and a little bit of Nintendo Humor will be found
along the way, as well. For those unfamiliar with how Zelda games
are played out - we'll sum it up for you. Zelda is an all real-time,
action, adventure, and role-playing game. No turn-based battles
like in the popular RPG series Final Fantasy. You control every
swing Link takes, and every step as well. It would even be okay
to say that The Legend of Zelda's gameplay (or at least the way
you get around) is similar to most 3-D Platform/Adventure games.
Mario, 64, Conker's Bad Fur Day, and the upcoming RAREWARE game,
Star Fox Adventures all use similar travel systems to The Legend
of Zelda. Players find themselves in a huge, animated world -
something that looks like it is straight from the movies, when
Link's journey first begins. The game is very much like a cartoon
now. A lot of enemies look like ones you'd see in a cartoon, and
even the battles you have as Link are very similar to the ones
Once E3 had been here and left us new things were learned about
The Legend of Zelda. The game will once again play similar too
Ocarina of Time. Instead of using "Z" Targeting this
time around, though Nintendo has made it so you use the "L"
shoulder button for all your targeting needs. Since it will be
triggered with your left index finger, like in Ocarina of Time's
"Z" Targeting, gamers will most likely find it comfortable,
convenient and similar to "Z" Targeting. With the ever
so comfortable GameCube controller new buttons will be used, and
some may find it too different to play the game with a new controller,
but for the most part, people that got to play the game at this
years E3 did anything, but complain.
Like said before "Z" Targeting is replaced by "L"
Targeting, which allows gamers to target an enemy and then attack
it. People who played Zelda: Ocarina of Time (OoT) should find
this similar, and easy to use. The "R" button is used
to use your shield, which is simple enough, and remains the same
as in Ocarina of Time. The "Y" button is used to use
items. The "X" button also is used to use items that
are set on "X", just like "Y" uses items set
to "Y". The "Z" button is not used as much
in the game but serves for a hint button when used in certain
areas of the game. It also serves as your free look button. The
"A" button is used to attack with Link's sword. (Which
was well expected, considering the size of the "A" button.).
"B" button serves as your action button. The "C"
stick is used to change your view of Link by rotating the camera
angle (like it is used in most 3-D games). Of course the Analog
Stick (control stick) is used to move link and move cursor when
in menu screen. Control Pad (D-Pad) is used for several purposes.
Pushing up on it is a short cut for sub-screen short cuts map.
Right: Item, Down: Turns off window display screen control (turns
on/off map), and left: quest status.
Even though a lot of the game will leave players pretty much
free to explore the world around them, Zelda has the same old
Dungeon System. To help move on through out the game, players
must make it through many different dungeons. The dungeons are
very similar to ones seen in past Zelda games in theory: players
battle enemies, solve puzzles, climb objects in different rooms
to find keys to unlock doors to move on through dungeons. At the
end of a dungeon you will find yourself face to face to some sort
of Boss. Each boss is always innovative, and will prove difficult
for players to defeat. While this all seems simple - it's not.
You wont know the real difficulty of making it through these dark
dungeons until you have experienced it yourself. In order to make
it through dungeons expect plenty of the traditional torch lighting,
item finding, and the traditional treasure chest opening. Compasses,
and Maps some time are what players will find in these hidden
treasure chest, but you'll get a fair share of other items, weapons,
and plenty of secret that we don't even know about yet. Link will
defiantly have his share of boulders, blocks and what not to push
into places that indented waiting for something heavy enough to
reveal a hidden area, or item of some sort too, as seen in the
E3 Demo - The Legend of Zelda is very similar to Ocarina of Time.
This will make many people happy. It made us happy. One thing
that was completely different from Ocarina of Time though is the
change from Fairy to a Gem that Link wears around his neck. The
Gen gives him hints just as Navi did in Ocarina of Time. Although
it's not a big deal, it came as a surprise, and well - was different.
Nintendo also has included something new for veterans of the game.
By using the Game Boy Advance icon in the game and having the
Game Boy Advance hooked up to the GameCube, Tingle, from Majora's
Mask, will appear onscreen. You can then move Tingle around using
your GBA controls, while the Zelda game indicates where Tingle
is on the map. You can then use Tingle to drop bombs on enemies
even when the enemies are not on screen. The person operating
the GBA can also use a Megaphone and the NGC player will hear
Tingle shout "Hey!" and the screen will look in the
direction of the Tingle cursor. This extra will help add to the
experience, making it more joyable, and something new for veterans
of the game.
So if the graphics of the game frighten you - don't fringe -
behind the visuals lies what seems to be the proper next installment
in the Zelda series.
Sound, and That Cartoon Thing
First thing that was really good to hear in the E3 Demo was Links
shout as he jumps to attack enemies. It was like a sound to sore
ears. This signature "shout" will be a common sound
in the game, so if you don't like it, get over it. But we're sure
that most people loved that shout that was used in Ocarina of
Time. For those of you who did, it's back! No really, it may sound
a little silly, but the signature shout that Link makes when jump
attacking enemies really made it clear the epic journey about
to be felt was the real thing. To further more set players in
the mood The Legend of Zelda is Surround Sound, Dolby Pro Logic
I, and Pro Logic II compatible. Basically you can play Zelda with
any surround sound system you have, it will defiantly sound great.
With the new fluid animation, and some of the "cartoonish"
sounds it is an experience that's a must to get the full out of
Zelda. I know when I get my hands on the finished version of the
game I'll be playing in Surround Sound.
As for that "Cartoon Thing" It's call Cel-shading.
It's a new engine that has become a lot more popular over the
years, and many other games have used the engine. If you haven't
seen any other games using this engine - the best way to describe
it is: as cartoon. At first the new look of the game wowed us
(maybe in the wrong direction), but slowly we've recovered, and
are looking forward to the wondrous things that can be done with
the type of art. Originally when the new look was revealed there
wasn't much to say. Only a few mediocre still screens were shown,
and short video with some stellar animation. Things only got better
this year at E3. Opinions definitely changed. It was obvious that
even though the realistic Ocarina of Time visuals were missing
the new "cartoonish" visuals were going to help set
the mood of the game, and add to the experience. Seeing Link run,
and then him winking only adds to the experience - that type of
thing can't degrade the experience you're going to get when the
games released. Changing the visuals was defiantly the right thing
for the game. Everything we've played, and seen looks, feels great.
The battles are tight, and quick. Action is around every corner.
Using the powerful, Cel-Shaded engine is one of the best things
that can happen to Zelda, and it's happened. Anyone who's going
to deprive himself or herself from this game because they don't
like how it looks is making a huge mistake. Of course the gameplay
will be top notch, but the visuals are too. So swallow your pride,
The Legend of Zelda is an artistic, visual masterpiece.
The Legend of Zelda is not a disappointment. It's still a letdown
to some people, but the truth is those people aren't willing to
except the fact that there's not Space World 2000 Zelda coming
out anytime soon. The sooner those people except the fact that
The Legend of Zelda is a interactive Cartoon the sooner they can
move on and experience what is sure to be one of the best GameCube
games, and one of the best games period. It's been a long time
since a proper Zelda game made its way onto a next-generation
system, but that's all changing soon. The game is expected out
February 2003 in the US, and a possible late 2002 Japan release.
Nintendo will continue to release media of the game, hoping to
change even more people perceptions of the game. Hopefully this
preview will help enlighten those who still refuse to like the
new Zelda. There's a reason why the series creator, Shigeru Miyamoto
changed the game, if you loved Ocarina of Time then you're sure
to love, or at least enjoy The Legend of GameCube. It's definitely
"Shiggy's" baby, back in action!
From what we've seen and played it's very noticeable and obvious
that The Legend of Zelda for GameCube will take players to new
heights with its spectacular visuals, and epic gameplay. In every
way The Legend of Zelda seems to live up to Ocarina of Time, but
the question is will it exceed its older brother, Ocarina of Time?
Will it sell systems? For the answers we'll have to wait, but
from what we've seen - It certainly seems like it will be an adventure
only available on the Nintendo GameCube.
Old June 02, 2002 Preview (outdated)--
Before E3 this year The Legend of Zelda was considered a failure
by a small few (because of the unaproved cel-shaded look), but
thanks to some beautiful, and fluid videos showing Link in action,
whether it be slashing his sword, running, pushing things, or
sailing an awesomely designed ocean, fans have reconsidered such
a harsh impression and are eagerly awaiting the title.
As E3 approached new things were learned about The Legend of
Zelda. The game will once again play similar too Ocarina of Time.
Instead of using "Z" Targeting this time around, though
Nintendo has made it so you use the "L" shoulder button
for all your targeting needs. Since it will be triggered with
your left index finger by most, like in Ocarinia of Time's "Z"
Targeting gamers will most likely find it comfartable, covinient,
and similar to "Z" Targeting. With the ever so comforatble
GameCube controller new buttons will be used, and some may find
it too different to play the game with a new controller, but for
the most part, people that got to play the game at this years
E3 people did anything, but complain.
Like said before "Z" Targeting is replaced by "L"
Targeting which allows gamers to target an enemy and then attack
it. People who played Zelda: Orcarina of Time (OoT) should find
this similar, and easy to use. The "R" button is used
to use your shield which is simple enough, and remains the same
as in Zelda: OoT. "Y" button is used to use itmes. "X"
button also is used to use items that are set on "X",
just like "Y" uses items set to "Y". "Z"
button is not used as much in the game but serves for a hint button
when used in certain areas of the game. It also serves as your
free look button. The "A" button is used to attack with
Link's sword. (which was well expected, considering the size of
the "A" button.). "B" button serves as your
action button. The "C" stick is used to change your
view of Link by rotating the camera angle (like it is used in
most 3-D games). Of course the Analog Stick (control stick) is
used to move link, and move cursor when in menu screen. Control
Pad (D-Pad) is used for several purposes. Pushing up on it is
a short-cut for Subscreen short cuts map. Right: Item, Down: Turns
off window display screen control (turns on/off map), and left:
As you can see the controls look easy, and gamers will begin
to love the GCN's comfortable controller even more than they already
do. The hardest part of the game to get used to will be undeniebly
the new look to it. In OoT, and the last Zelda game: Majora's
Mask, the game revolved around a real looking world. No longer
will Link appear as if in a movie, or in real-life. Now Link is
cel-shaded. Incase you don't know what that is, it's simple. Link,
and his world now look like a cartoon. Some people love the look,
some hate it, and some could care less about it, but the truth
remains the same. Cel-shaded engines can do AMAZING things. Link
will be able to move fluidly, and can now have face-expressions.
Gameplay will look like something that is seen in a awesome Cartoon
Scenes such as link sailing on a a small sail-boat are beautifully
done, and give gamers a sense of a whole new experience. The water
is done great, the sky, and the sounds around link. You can hear
what seems to maybe be seaguls. The sound of the ocean is percise,
waves crashing, with the sound of a breeze thrown in too.
Scenes with Link slashing at enemy's remind you of OoT the most.
From is signature jump to his signature shout as he jump-slahes
enemy's... Everything seems to be in memory of old Zelda games.
Old music, the kind you last heard in Zelda: A Link to the Past,
and Orcarina of Time return, as well.
Gameplay, and Storyline
Not only does appearances, and controls change in Legend of Zelda.
Storyline takes a drastic transformation. Somthing that was never
expected, and could be something unforgetable. Link no longer
finds himself on a quest to rescue Princess Zelda like in previous
Zelda games, but this time Link is on a quest to find non other
than his sister. This comes as a shock to some. Most of us didn't
even know the little guy has a sister. Make you think, why is
it still called The Legend of Zelda, and not something more appropriate
too the storyline. Well that would be because the title: The Legend
of Zelda is on a tenative title, and will be changed soon for
release. When it is changed expect something that will fit in,
and deal with the storyline.
Just like in all Zelda games, players travel room through room
in dungeons killing enemy's, solving puzzles, and getting items
to get keys to unlock locked dungeon doors. New enemy's will be
found in the game, along with new items, and new dungeons. Gamers
should feel satisfied, if not very pleased with the Legend of
Zelda's gameplay. It is a new adventure that will be one of the
best of this generation. Thats for sure.
According to new videos of gameplay Link will not only be on
land in the game, either. Link can now take to the ocean swiming,
and sailing his boat. We're sure there will be other secrets that
will be unveiled as the title comes closer to release as well.
Will we see Epona? That is one question we hope to get answered
as well. Since the game is reportedly interactive with the re-make
of Zelda: A Link to the Past on Nintendo GameBoy Advanced which
is being released sometime around with Legend of Zelda anything
Future, and Outlook
Legend of Zelda is sure to be a hit game, and will live up to
other Zelda games. Once again Link will return to your living
room t.v. for you to explore, defeat, and rescue things never
imagined. Since the game will be out after the release of the
Nintendo WaveBird controller players will be able to play as Link
for the first time wireless.
No release date is set for Zelda yet, but Nintendo rumors an
early 2003 release, and says that it will have a special conectivity
with Zelda: A Link to the Past for GBA. But one things for sure,
we will find ourself in an adventure like no other.
We are eagerly awaing The Legend of Zelda, and want to learn
more about it. We are sure we will before the game is released
and when we do we will tell you all about it.