Wii PREVIEW: THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: TWILIGHT PRINCESS

Nintendo reveals GameCube and Wii version of Twilight Princess. Wii version will launch with Wii in November 2006. by Vaughn Smith

May 9, 2006 - At their E3 press conference Nintendo unveiled a game we're already familiar with, but demoed it being played in very unconventional ways. Twilight Princess will ship for both the GameCube and Wii in November 2006, which marks the first time a Zelda game would be ready for the launch of a Nintendo system. Some of my faithful readers would know that I was at least half right, as I suggested more than a year ago that the new Zelda game was delayed because it would be moved to the new Nintendo system as a launch title. So, I was right about that, I just failed to realize that they'd actually make two versions of the game so they wouldn't leave GC owners out of the loop.

As was demonstrated today however, playing the Cube version will be fine, but playing the Wii version will be out of this freakin' world. The Wii-Mote (remote) provides movement and interaction via the motion-sensing capabilities in ways you can't imagine until you see it and play it for yourself. Aiming the remote at the screen, a fairy will fly towards some area that you can interact with. Press the button and you'll shoot your hookshot towards, target with your boomerang, shoot an arrow or reel in a fish. Nintendo surprised everyone by demonstrating the speaker inhabiting inside the Wii-mote. Pull back on the bow and you'll hear the sound of the string being tensioned....once you release, the speaker in the Wii-mote will let you hear that too! You'll also be able to use the Wii-mote as a sword, swinging it through the air to cut down enemies. Spin it and Link will execute a spin slash! Cast it over your shoulder and throw it forward and you'll see Link fishing....incredible! We've only scratched the surface as to what is waiting for us in Twilight Princess in regards to functionality with the controllers, but it's safe to say that if you're looking for the next step in video game interaction, the Wii version is the one to get on launch day!

Preview By Vaughn

You'd think the hero of time would just get here already....by Vaughn Smith

April 5, 2006 - Nintendo's elf-like hero, Link, has reinvented himself more than Madonna over his (almost) 20 year career. He's been a 2D 8-bit sprite, an animated one-liner-spewing wiseguy, a plastic horse riding action figure, a 3D teenage time-travelling protagonist, a mask wearing adventurer, an anime-inspired wide-eyed swashbuckling child hero of the high seas… this kid gets around! In 2006 Link will star in his most dangerous adventure yet in LoZ: Twilight Princess which Nintendo is taking in a much darker direction than their previous Zelda outings.

Each Zelda game has its own encompassing thematic element that figures greatly in the overall picture. Ocarina of Time emphasized the use of the haunting magical melodies of the ocarina, Majora's Mask involved donning different masks to alter Link's abilities and Wind Waker featured the musical baton, which provided power over the wind. Twilight Princess continues this tradition by creating a relationship between Link and the various animals found within the world of Hyrule. The animals that we have confirmed to appear in Twilight Princess includes monkeys, dogs, cats, goats, a hawk which can be utilized much like a boomerang, cuccoos (chickens) which Link can use to hover for short distances and of course, Link's favorite mode of transportation, his trusty horse, Epona. The animal theme takes on a much more important role in the game when Link enters the black and white Twilight Realm where he can transform into a wolf and be ridden by a mysterious female figure named Midna.

For continuity sticklers, we've learned that Twilight Princess takes place decades after the events of Ocarina of Time but not before Wind Waker, which would signify that, the Link in this game is a completely different hero altogether than we've seen previously. We've also confirmed that Princess Zelda will return (it's in her contract considering her name is on the box) and you can also expect to see that earring wearing evildoer, Ganandorf, who will as usual, be up to no good.

Insane rumors regarding rapper 50 Cent and exercise guru Richard Simmon's providing voices for the characters have turned out to be completely false. Nintendo has stated that there will not be any voice acting in the game aside from the usual grunts, groans, laughs and screams which have served the characters well for many years.

Fans of the series can expect to find many new and exciting enemies, areas, weapons and alliances as well as many old favorites. With its decidedly darker tone - some of the enemies are downright frightening - and rumored to clock in somewhere around the 100-hour mark, it's no mystery why Twilight Princess is one of the most anticipated games of 2006. With a new DS adventure planned for release at roughly the same time (The Legend Of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass), if there are no delays (wink wink), 2006 could be one heckuva year for Zelda fans.

By Vaughn Smith
CCC Site Director

Rating out of 5
The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC/Revolution)
NA
Graphics
Not Available
NA
Control
Not Available
NA
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Not Available
NA
Play Value
Not Available
NA
Overall Rating -
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
Preview By Vaughn

Updated: Yes the news is true and it's all bad....kind of. Twilight Princess has been delayed until 2006. The good news is, when games like Zelda are delayed that usually means they will be far more kick ass than originally anticipated and that's always a good thing. Don't panic about the rumors swirling around that Twilight Princess will become a Revolution exclusive title. While we certainly wouldn't put it past Nintendo, we don't see this happening. Now relax with a new screens of this beautiful game.

Updated: We have learned from E3 that the rumors are true! Link will be able to transform into a bizarre werewolf like creature and be ridden around by a yet undisclosed character. These scenes take place in a dark world - see screens below - which looks to be something of an alternate reality compared to the colorful style of the rest of Hyrule. What this has to do with the Twilight Princess is also unknown.

We have also been told that this game features a different Link character (ala Wind Waker) and takes place hundreds of years into the future beyond the timeline of Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask and seemingly Wind Waker. Be sure to check out actual guerilla footage of the game below!

Preview: First the bad news - the next Legend of Zelda won't see the light of Wal-Mart store shelves until later this Fall. That's a big kick in the Hylian Shield for those of us, present company included, who were hoping and praying that Nintendo's earlier release date of May 2005 was within the realm of reality. Okay so we knew in our heart of hearts that a Zelda game wouldn't be a Zelda game without numerous delays.

The good news for those eternal optimists is that Nintendo isn't planning on holding this game back and releasing it on their next gen system code named "Revolution", even though it would be one of the biggest killer apps in the history of videogames. Which makes me wonder just what is Nintendo planning on releasing with the Revolution....stay tuned. The answer just might surprise you. (I don't really know the answer, but I sound smarter if I hint that I do. See how that works? It's a completely useless journalistic trick that makes you think that I know more than you.)

Anyway, this WILL be a GameCube title even though by all appearances it looks like it could be running on next gen hardware. When you see LoZ in action, you'll think someone crammed an Xbox into that tiny little square box.

Showing off the latest trailer at GDC this week, Nintendo floored showgoers with vivid examples of how dark and mature the next installment of Zelda will be. If you balked at the cartoony-ness of Wind Waker, there is simply no chance in Hell that you will be disappointed. For those of you who read EGM, my first question is "Why?" Like those 3 sentence reviews do you? Very insightful. My next suggestion is don't believe everything you read. Their latest April Fools Joke (Yawn) involved pre-ordering the new Zelda game and receiving a bonus disc with a graphically updated Wind Waker. Ain't gonna happen. Thanks to "Amux12" for letting me know this.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so check out the new screens and trailer (again kudos to Amux12 for that). More info will start pouring in during E3. Stay tuned.

Preview By Vaughn

How do you improve upon a game as perfect as Ocarina of Time? The truthful answer is: Maybe you don't. That would be asking to achieve the impossible, wouldn't it? We say, as long as they try, that's good enough for us. Majora's Mask was more of an encore, while Wind Waker was a sidestep (both games were equally brilliant), but can Nintendo manage to top itself in 2005?

Much to the delight of Zelda fans (maybe we should say Link fans) everywhere, Hyrule's prodigal elf, Link, is getting that darker, mature makeover you won't see on the Oprah show and incidentally was promised to Cube owners before the system was released. Needless to say many were shocked at the cartoony style of Wind Waker and were a tad miffed that the darker tone of the series which started with OoT wasn't being continued. That's all water the bridge now, especially after you see the game in action (we have).

Although we know absolutely nothing in regards to the plot of the game or what delicious new items Link will be able to play with, we can tell you that horse riding makes a triumphant return and swordfighting on horseback debuts! Hey, we loved sailing in Wind Waker, but riding a horse just seems to fit the whole Zelda deal, ya know?

In terms of playability, it appears that Nintendo is opting to continue the basic movelist from OoT. Link can roll, backflip, sword jump and do a charged sword attack which looks identical to the movesets from OoT although graphically enhanced on the Cube to absolute videogame perfection. Remember this when you see the trailers: what you are seeing is gameplay, not CG cinemas.

With Nintendo keeping details very close to their chests on this one - like every other game - we'll be sure to keep you updated on any tasty morsels we can find. Hey, look on the bright side; it's only 9 months away. We can pretty much guarantee that this one will SELL GC systems, so we suggest getting your pre-order in nice and early.

Click For Media
System: GC (shown), Wii
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: Nov 2006
Players: 1
Preview By Vaughn

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best