April 27, 2013 - Attention Uploaders!: Zelda Wiki's file policies have been updated. As such, the options on the upload form will have changed slightly. New guidelines for uploading are available at Help:Upload. If you have any questions about the new policies, don't hesitate to ask them at the Milk Bar.
April 18, 2013 - Feed Problems: Some of you (if not all of you) may have noticed that our RSS feed is not currently working. This is because our feed was hosted by fellow NIWA wiki, WiKirby, which seems to have gone offline recently. We are working on setting up a new feed, and we apologize to our community partners and our viewers for the downtime.
E3 is just around the corner. That means it is time for our yearly round of rumors to surface. The first rumor that we have is in regards to Zelda Wii U. This piece of news has shown up on popular sites such as 4CHAN and Newgaf. With that in mind, remember these are just rumors and are by no means confirmed.
Now, without further ado, according to the rumors, fans of the Zelda series should not expect to see much of Zelda Wii U at E3 this year. The game is apparently a mid 2015 title at the earliest. The game is said to be designed off of the tech demo we saw a couple of years ago and will be the largest and most grand Zelda title to date. However the game is still too early in development to show much at E3. Do not expect to see more than some concept art and a brief statement.
That concludes the Zelda Wii U rumors. Nothing too exciting at this time. Stay tuned for more Zelda Wii U news.
This is for all you ladies out there. Today we are featuring the unlikely duo, Link and Groose, drawn by Deviantart user lyiol. While this picture is somewhat awesomely goofy, it does immediately remind you of Link and Groose’s teamwork to stop The Imprisoned. In my very humble opinion, Groose’s character change in Skyward Sword is one of the strongest examples of character development in the Zelda series to date. So enjoy the totally gangsta take on Link and Groose’s relationship. The sunglasses really do the trick.
As my first ever video game system, I played a ton of games on the Game Boy. From the age of four I was glued to the green, monochrome screen on that brick-sized, bulky mass of digital wonders. It served as my introduction to many Nintendo franchises and the beginning of my favourite hobby in the world.
As someone growing up with these 8-bit classics (and as I’m sure many retro gamers can relate), I was no stranger to high difficulty levels. Missing a jump and watching Mario plummet to his death, getting punished by the Elite Four’s impenetrable Pokémon squad and desperately attempting to micro-manage high-speed falling Tetris blocks as they inevitably began to tower higher… Yet, I had never been challenged in quite the same way as when I first played Link’s Awakening.
More specifically, I first played the DX version. Since the gaming obsession had already dominated my young mind, I obviously begged my parents later on for a Game Boy Color. Shortly after receiving one, I had inherited a cartridge from my auntie which read “ZELDA” in big block letters, from the logo we all now know and love. I had never heard of Zelda before, but the image of a sword and shield was enough to convince me that this was going to be an awesome game.
After slamming in the cartridge and turning on the game, it was instantly clear that this was nothing like I’d ever seen. Again, to compare with those other games I played, this wasn’t the cute and cheerful world of Super Mario Land or Bubble Bobble. Sinister music began playing during the opening cutscene, with a thunderstorm raging on among harsh seas and black clouds. Upon seeing a mysterious man clinging on for dear life and screaming before his ship was struck by a lightning bolt, I knew this was going to be something I’d never experienced before.
Shortly after the game began, it was already more story-driven than anything I’d played before. As Link awoke to the friendly Marin and Tarin, I was seeing something I’d rarely encountered before: dialogue. I didn’t need a plot before to know how to move, jump and progress through a game. Yet, the speech and character interactions captured my interest. Wandering outside the house and into Mabe Village, I discovered even more characters and animals just living their own digital lives. Despite still being provided with an objective, for what felt like the first time I was allowed to explore and do what I wanted, at my own pace.
Eventually, with only a shield to protect myself, I set out in search of my washed-up sword. After navigating through Toronbo shores and avoiding the enemies that awaited there, I found and acquired my blade. This was my first taste of reward–after feeling considerably helpless against evil forces before, I could now feel deserving in the fact that I could now vanquish any foes in my path. Of course, with only three heart containers to boot, I still had to display skill and remain prudent to survive. I had experienced my first small victory, but the real challenges awaited.
It wasn’t until I reached the dungeons that I began to see the true extent of Link’s Awakening‘s strenuous nature. Instead of my reactions, it was my brain that was being tested. Thinking outside the box when confronted with the Owl Statues’ cryptic messages and riddles, remembering which rooms and areas to revisit later, trying out all of the items in my inventory in different situations… Solving puzzles and exploring the world quickly became the most rewarding gameplay I had ever experienced. Hours of frustrated wandering through dungeon rooms became infinitely worth the time and effort invested when I finally figured out I had to bomb a specific wall, or defeat enemies in a certain order. I even started taking notes and drawing maps on paper.
The strong atmosphere and sense of adventure was also maintaining my motivation and avidity to progress. The music changing as I traveled through each screen really brought the game to life, transitioning from the cheerful tones of Mabe Village, to the adventurous and vigorous main theme that plays across the overworld. Then, of course, there was entering into the Mysterious Woods for the first time; being suddenly plunged into a dark and eerie area crawling with enemies, the gloomy musical tones serving as a reminder of my solitude.
Being the DX version, the vibrant colors were beautiful and the variety of areas and themes across the entire map of Koholint Island was amazing. To this day I think the sprite art remains extremely visually appealing, creating characters with charm and spirit while also giving enemies and bosses a sense of evil and ferocity.
My emotional investment in the story meant that each time a dungeon was conquered and an Instrument was acquired, I felt content in becoming one step closer to waking the Wind Fish. There were only so many Game Over screens I could take in other platforming games, but in Link’s Awakening, my first true adventure game, the challenge only made me want to play more.
I still have that old cartridge you see above, complete with my old save file. Replaying it has been like talking to and enjoying the company of a long-lost friend – despite the years and years prior of no contact, the familiarity, nostalgia and long-running affinity allowed for an instant re-connection, like I was just playing the game yesterday.
Link’s Awakening will always hold a special place in my memory for a number of reasons. It was my first Zelda game, marking the beginning of a passion for the franchise; it’s in many ways responsible for my place here on Zelda Universe; and most of all, it taught me the importance of challenge, persistence and independence–aspects not only prominent in the enjoyment of gaming, but also true to success and happiness in life.
Now, I want to hear from you! Do you have any fond memories playing Link’s Awakening? Maybe you too remember playing it long ago, or experienced it for the first time on the 3DS eShop. Perhaps you played the original version, and/or the DX version. Or perhaps you’re experiencing it now for the first time through Chuggaaconroy’s ongoing Let’s Play. Share your thoughts, feelings and memories of the game below!
We’ve covered a number of Zelda Symphonies in the past, but this time we’re stepping up our game a bit. We’ll be sending a full-fledged camera crew to London today to cover the event, and will also be organising a Zelda Universe meetup and dinner.
If you’re interested in joining us, we have a thread on the forums with specific instructions about when and where we will be meeting up. All you need to do is to show up and have a good time. After dinner, we’ll be heading out to the Hammersmith Apollo to mingle with the crowd, where you can meet us if you can’t make the dinner.
We’re not sure where exactly we’ll be at the venue since we’ll move around to the most interesting spots to film, but we’ll keep you updated on our Twitter page throughout the evening. If you want to come by and say hello or film a short interview be sure to keep an eye out on Twitter.
Zelda Reorchestrated. I don't know where to begin! In case I go off on a long story about ZREO, here are some solid facts you should know. On June 12, 2013, the Zelda Reorchestrated site will be closing down. That site alone will be closing its doors, for-(the foreseeable future)-ever. Some good news, Radio Hyrule will be an independent project and will in effect cut all ties to ZREO. The music will still be available for download (Twilight Symphony not withstanding) for as long as my friend who owns it can keep it running. If you would like to download all, some, or any of the music available from ZREO, you can do so from the mirror site right here, for free. The music is in MP3 form (some in FLAC), and re-tagged compared to ZREO's original release. There are also ZIP files available for download (torrent-free). The ZREO YouTube channel will still be around, if you prefer to stream over downloading. If you were wondering why we haven't posted about their Twilight Symphony music videos, it is because of this article being held up. Two videos are after the jump, including the most recent one, so be sure to check them out along with the full album as it is released!
If you’re new to the concept of 3D printing, it’s a constantly evolving and relatively new art form that is becoming a hobbyist phenomenon. 3D printers use a digital model and recreate it in physical form, adding layers onto material in correspondence with the digital dimensions.
The Hyrule Foundry has created every single quest item from the original NES Legend of Zelda using this very technology, and the results are amazing. Read on to see more, and find out how you can get your hands on them!
Each piece looks exactly like its in-game counterpart, from Link’s iconic swords and shields to even the expendable Rupees and Hearts. You can purchase the whole collection or separate pieces over on Shapeways, with the complete set priced at around $300 and individual pieces $10 each.
Buying it all at once may seem a little steep, though I’m sure the following images will tempt you even more.
There is also a semi-complete set that excludes the potions, because Hyrule Foundry notes these as a “work-in-progress” and plans to create a superior version you see below in the future, with a clear bottle around the printed liquid.
And finally, to give you an idea of the size of these items, here’s a shot of the sword next to a coin.
The ZU Podcast is back, and this time we’ve moved to video format and will be uploading all of our podcasts on our YouTube channel! We’ll also continue to upload audio versions, but you may miss some video aspects of episodes, such as gameplay footage or Hombre’s cool sunglasses.
Hit the jump for the YouTube version of the podcast, or you can find the audio version on iTunes here.
We were able to reach out to Joe and speak with him about his inspiration for the film, his views on The Legend of Zelda, and even the legalities behind creating such an intricate fan project. Hit the jump for the full interview, and don’t forget to support It’s Dangerous To Go Alone: The Movie on Kickstarter.
What made you want to make a Zelda documentary? How did you end up where you are?
“I grew up with The Legend of Zelda.”
Wow. I could write a novel about that. I’ll give the short version. I grew up with The Legend of Zelda. Probably like most of you, it compelled my creativity. At six years old, as a direct result of playing the games, I started writing fantasy stories. I started drawing monsters and characters. I started planning my own video games on my driveway with sidewalk chalk. I used my Casio keyboard to write ‘soundtracks’. My first adventures through Hyrule gave life to that creative part of my brain. Fast forward almost 30 years, through my fascination with my parents camcorder, my learning to play various instruments and playing in rock bands throughout high school, learning basic programming and building small video games, writing a novel, joining a new band which toured the country, getting to play with bands that influenced me like the Toadies and the Misfits, opening my own recording studio, getting a film degree, starting a production company… my entire life (including my current profession) has been based around that creativity. What would have been different had I never exercised that muscle back in 1987? It’s fascinating to consider. As for the direct impetus for this project, replaying the NES games a few years ago with my production partner (neither of us had ever beaten Zelda 2 as kids… we made it a mission) during the course of filming a different feature sort of planted the seed in my mind about a documentary about The Legend of Zelda. Over the next two years, we conceived of a fun narrative, met a lot of amazing people, and started shooting test footage. Everyone was very encouraging, so I decided to launch a Kickstarter. That, in the most abridged way I can tell that story, leads us to here and now.
What types of people in the Zelda community are you working with?
The people we’re really focusing on are people who were inspired by the series and are now adults and artists in their own right. This won’t be a documentary about the creation of Zelda, though we may touch on it here and there. It’s more about its influence. We have sit downs planned with Hollywood writers working on big projects, successful musicians who have built careers around recreating 8 bit music live, filmmakers who have created homage projects to the series, the folks behind Symphony of the Goddesses, a cyber security agent who works for the government to protect the US from cyber terrorists whose first interest in technology was NES and Zelda… it’s a fascinating array of stories. I am being intentionally vague, because I want to leave some surprises for the film, but we’re very happy with how it is coming together and the breadth of interesting people with cool stories to tell.
“The people we’re really focusing on are people who were inspired by the series and are now adults and artists in their own right.”
How do you work? What’s your setup? physical equipment, apps, midnight food of choice, etc.
Haha. Well, when traveling my usual rig consists of what I can fit in a backpack – 5D, Juiced Link preamp with a few different microphones, Tascam DR100 just in case, a MacBook with an Apogee Duet, a handful of good lenses. When it’s a more planned shoot, I have access to a Red Epic and a C300 (which I love), and plenty of other peripherals. This film will probably see a lot of traveling, though, so it will probably mostly be shot on DSLR, unless I hire crew at the locations I’m visiting. Rather than revealing my midnight food (ahem… beverage), I will say that every adventure starts with a Monster energy drink and Pizzeria Pretzel Combos (and ONLY that type). And no, no one paid me to say that, but if you think they might, let me know! Haha.
In what ways has the Zelda franchise let you down?
I don’t know if I can say that the series has every fully let me down, though certain aspects have been rather disenchanting. Growing up in the 8 and 16 bit era, Zelda always had a knack for redefining gaming, usually by introducing new mechanics that became the standard. In the NES era, it introduced non-linear play, a revolutionary inventory system, a save and continue system… these things sound trivial now, but it’s only because the ideas were so well received in the original game that they were mimicked and copied so frequently that they became the norm. Ocarina of Time essentially introduced the foundation still built upon today, almost fifteen years later, as to how third person, 3D games should function. Even Wind Waker pushed the envelope of how expressive its characters could be by introducing a unique art style. I guess my biggest disappointment with Zelda games since is that they don’t feel groundbreaking. While I enjoyed them, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword did not introduce me to any truly memorable gameplay experiences that I hadn’t seen a hundred times over or couldn’t get from other games. There is a bit of stagnation within the franchise right now, and I wonder if I’d even have bought the games had such an attachment to the series already. I guess in that way, the series has begun to let me down a bit.
Would you be interested in a Zelda game set far into the future?
A Zelda game set in the future? I think it’s incredibly novel. It’s fun to consider in theory, but I think the execution would end up being very convoluted. I think it would feel more like a tribute game or fan game than an actual licensed release. The artwork would be cool… but then you’d play, and it just wouldn’t quite feel like a Zelda game. Link, rockin’ his Triforce Corporation stamped laser gat… wearing some sort of bullet proof armor and traversing a futuristic city in the Epona model flying vehicle… it sounds like really cool fan art, but I think it would truly hold up in the reality of Zelda.
Has Zelda gone from being “real and gritty” to “childlike and feminine”? Or is it the other way around? Why do you think these changes have happened?
“I didn’t have a problem with The Wind Waker.”
It’s funny, I’ve often compared the rather troll-like imagery from the NES game’s instruction manual to the current vision of Link. I always thought it would be really interesting to see a game that looked to those original illustrations for its art style. A lot of people bash on the art style of Wind Waker for being too cartoonish. While I like a more serious game, I actually didn’t have a problem with the art style of Wind Waker. I thought it was a great way to contrast the darker elements in the game, rather than Twilight Princess, which was so entirely dark throughout that without the proper contrast, wasn’t as emotionally interesting as it could’ve been in my opinion. My problem stems more from the ever-increasing cutesy cut scenes than the art style. The introduction to Skyward Sword was full of them. I felt insulted by all the silly little asides. I think there may be some culturally divergent things happening with that too, though.
How would you like to change the way people view video games and documentaries?
A lot of people view documentaries as boring. To those people, I say that you just haven’t seen the right documentaries! We’re hoping that optionally making this documentary a game like experience will invite a new level of interest from people who would normally not be interested in watching docs. As for how people view video games – there’s always lots of bad press. For those that have negative opinions about the effects of games, I say go talk to the people at Child’s Play charity and listen to some of THEIR stories before you settle into your opinion to wholly!
You’re releasing a game simultaneously with the film as a new, interactive watching experience. What are your plans for this medium?
We’re still testing the waters. Right now we’re in early proof of concept stages with it. It’s a viable scenario, and we think it works really well as a way to tell this story. The specifics… well, there are a lot of ideas on our proverbial dry erase board. It will be a top down adventure game with more modern 3D graphics. It will be reminiscent of Zelda, but not a Zelda clone. It will be it’s own game that could stand on its own and still be compelling. Its story will likely be loosely metaphorical of the actual film. We hope to make it as non-linear as possible and hide a ton of bonus material in the game where appropriate. Again, it’s in the early stages. If our project gets funded, we’ll be diving in with reckless abandon. If not… it’ll be a longer process, and the game will likely be a secondary concern.
What challenges do you face in designing new ways to interact with games and film?
Keeping up with changing technology is tough. We’re working within the limitations of current gen mobile technology. Actually, we’re already one generation behind. By the time the project is released, we’ll be TWO generations behind, and what the technology would be capable of will likely be far superior to what we’ve created. It’s the nature of the beast. There are also creative decisions to be made as to how the two will interact. I’ve never been a fan of games that are a string of cut scenes strung together by linear gameplay (unfortunately for me, the common trend). So one of the challenges is telling this story in a way that can still make sense to a viewer, yet be non-linear and with a focus on exploration. We have a few ideas that we’re toying with. I have a feeling the end result will be a fun experience, and like I said, may excite gamers who may not necessarily be interested in documentaries to experience this film.
What are the legalities behind producing your film? How are you hoping to avoid the ill fates of other fan projects?
“It’s a legal minefield, no doubt.”
It’s a legal minefield, no doubt. But for six months prior to even rolling cameras to film the first shot, we investigated legal boundaries of what we’ll be able to do. Fortunately, two things work wholly in our favor. Our project is pretty much the dictionary definition of fair use laws created specifically to protect documentary filmmakers in the US. We are not claiming the intellectual property of Nintendo as our own, nor is it the focus of the project. Our film is not a fan film that retells or interprets the narrative. It’s not even gameplay videos. It’s its own wholly unique entity. It is a commentary on the games’ influence. Contextually, most iconography for the games that is used is either incidental or used to directly demonstrate the point of the commentary of a particular segment. We have this great sort of ‘legal checklist’ that we pass every idea through to see if it meets the definition of fair use. If it straddles the fence, we scrap it or find another way to tell that part of the story. We’ve had to sacrifice some great ideas this way, but that’s a small price to pay if it helps keep the film safe to see completion from a legal standpoint. Of course, the ultimate hope is that Nintendo itself completely supports the project, which would open up even more fun possibilities. We haven’t gotten any notification either way on that just yet though.
Anything else you’d like to share?
The community of Zelda fans has been tremendous, and we are humbled by your awesomeness and enthusiasm. We really appreciate the support. We hope that we can bring you a very enjoyable experience about the influence of this great franchise.
If you were thinking about picking up the Oracle games upon their re-release on the 3DS eShop, then it seems snapping them up as soon as possible is your best option. Today Nintendo announced during their Nintendo Direct broadcast that both Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons will be priced at $4.99 each (reduced from $5.99) for three weeks after their May 30th release.
Hit the jump for a new trailer, which reminds players that if you buy both games then you can link them together for the extra content. While I wouldn’t be surprised if this deal became available worldwide, for the time being this applies to North America only.
In a Nintendo Direct presentation earlier, Nintendo announced that The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons will launch on May 30th for the Nintendo 3DS eShop for just $4.99 each for the first three weeks. After this promotional period ends, both games will increase to $5.99 each. Read the full press release, which includes other Nintendo related news, after the break.
True to its name, the sword is often seen to choose or accept its master by its own will, always a hero who has gone through great trials that test his courage, wisdom and power to prove him worthy of wielding it. This may be the conscious choice of the sword's spirit, Fi, who sleeps eternally within the sword and only assists her heroic master. (more...)
... that Morpheel is a reference to Morpha, both in name and in the way its first stage is defeated?
.... that Kooloo-Limpah is a romanization of "kururinpa", the sound that Japanese people make when doing the "Cuckoo sign", a circling motion of the index finger at the ear or side of the head that signifies that a person is crazy?