Wednesday 16 June 2010
In Zelda news
It’s tradition every year for Nintendo to host a roundtable conference at E3, where developers of the recently-announced titles discuss and expand on them. This year, among others, Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s famed game designer, and Eiji Aonuma, who having directed pretty much every Zelda title since Majora’s Mask, is the most important man in Zelda today, were attending to discuss, you guessed it, Zelda.
So what was revealed? Lots. So here’s a quick recap about went on.
First, some plot details were revealed. In previous titles, Link has been everything from a ranch worker, to an island dweller, to a forest lurker. This Link comes from the sky. He’s an inhabitant of the floating island Skyloft. When we meet him in the game, he discovers that there is a whole new land below his feet, and finds it rife with evil. During the game you’ll travel between Skyloft and this land below (Hyrule?). This adds some meaning to the game’s title, and also the skydiving Link in the trailer. It also may have something to do with Aonuma’s hint from a few months ago that the game will feature flight.
The new art style, and its inspiration, were discussed. Miyamoto revealed that he found inspiration in nineteenth-century impressionism - the likes of Monet, as he claimed to be a fan of the art from that era. He said it not only affects the backgrounds, but the enemies, who have exaggerated dimensions and movements. The lush sky is a tribute to Cézanne. You’ll have to excuse my ignorance, as I have no idea who Cézanne is.
They also discussed the soundtrack, which you’ll be glad to hear is going to be fully orchestrated for the first time in the series. Miyamoto said that after Mario Galaxy 2, it wouldn’t be right not to do the same for Zelda.
Some gameplay aspects were expanded upon, too. The screen-consuming Wiimote HUD which was permanently attached to the side of the screen in the demo can be turned off, so hooray for that. They also said that maps will be easier to follow, as they felt previous games used maps which were difficult to read. Finally, they mentioned that the game will use MotionPlus and the sensor bar to track the player’s actions, even if you’re pointing away from the screen.
They also shed some light on the mysterious Ocarina of Time screenshots that appeared out of the blue yesterday. Miyamoto acknowledged them, and said that they were having a look through their back catalogue for titles that could use a 3DS version, by adding new features or simply giving them an extra dimension. Referring to Ocarina of Time, he said he enjoys the openness of Hyrule Field, and wanted to see how it looked in 3D. He confirmed that the game, and Star Fox 64 3D aren’t just tech demos, but they are being “actively developed”. Whether that development will result in a game on store shelves remains to be seen, but after revealing so much, I don’t think the fans will let them get away with not doing it!
And lastly, in reference to the remake, Aonuma revealed possibly the best news of all. He admitted that the game’s Water Temple stage was tremendously difficult (if you found it easy, you’re lying), and said that the new game could be improved by making it easier. He mentioned the touch screen could make the ability to change boots quicker and easier. Hear that? The Water Temple is going to be easier. Playing Ocarina of Time won’t make you bald.
*UPDATE* The existence of Ocarina of Time 3D has now pretty much been officially confirmed, thanks to this handy tweet from the official Nintendo twitter account: http://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/16268409393
So you can look forward to your 3D classic!