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How the Revolution Will Change Zelda
game: Zelda
posted by: George Holomshek
date posted: 01:24 PM Sat Sep 17th, 2005
last revision: 02:18 PM Sat Sep 17th, 2005

Click to read.By now, nearly everyone and their dog has seen Nintendo\'s new controller. For those of you still in the dark, our first report and impressions are available to get you up to speed. A little while back, Miyamoto made some rather cryptic comments about how Twilight Princess would be the last Zelda game as we know it. Now we know why. Nintendo truly means to revolutionize gaming. So what does this mean for Zelda? How much can change before it stops being the Zelda we love, and becomes something we have to worry about. Should you be excited, or should you be worried about what\'s going to happen to your favorite franchise?

Fighting one handed:

For starters, this probably means that we will no longer play Link; we will be Link. Ironically, seeing that the name \"Link\" was originally chosen to represent the bond the player has to the character, this will bring even more meaning to his name. For as Link holds the Master Sword in his hand, so might you. You make a downward slash with the controller, Link slices through an enemy. You hold the controller to your side, Link charges up his spin-attack. And, providing the lock-on system is kept intact, you could use the analog portion of the controller at the same time, and fighting just changed forever.

The shield and fighting two handed:

Swinging your sword might not be the only option. Nor is it good to assume that you\'ll only be using motion to control either the shield or the sword, and not both simultaneously. In the most basic form, imagine holding the controller in one hand, and raising it to your face to raise your shield in the game. But keep in mind that the system is obviously capable of tracking two controllers at a time; why not have a controller in one hand that tracks your sword, and an identical \"player 2\" controller in the other that lets you raise your shield. Combat may be a very different experience in just a little bit of time, exchanging blows with your enemies instead of just hitting buttons. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past gave Link a mirrored shield that he could use to reflect certain types of enemy fire. Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker had similar shields that you could use to direct light around the room and shield yourself from blows. The possibilities are really fairly large.

What about other weapons?

But as we all know, there is more than a weapon and a shield in the Zelda series. Let\'s start with the simple hookshot. Use the remote to look around a room and then pull the trigger to send the hook flying, or an overhand throw could toss a hook over a wall. The same premise could pass for shooting arrows as well. Imagine pressing the trigger to set an arrow, but then as you pull the remote toward you, Link draws his bow. Then release the trigger as if you were actually releasing the string itself. Wow, talk about getting chicks with your bow hunting skills. You could even add the analog dongle (there\'s that word again) to steer Link\'s horse as you unleash arrow after arrow on a field of enemies. Or, considering the second controller again, one could be held out in front of you like you\'re gripping the bow and aiming, the other could be held close to your cheek like you\'re drawing the string. How fast you could aim and shoot would be determined by your actions, not by the animation on the screen. How far you shoot could be determined by how far back you pull the string.

Other motions get their day:

It is also obvious that fishing is now required for the next Zelda game. Using the remote to cast, then to jerk on the line to reel in fish would make a great mini-game even better. This exact type of functionality was even demoed by Nintendo. As for other items, bombs or jars could be thrown by swinging the remote toward the TV, or bombchus let loose simply by pulling the trigger. Or if Link were to discover a telescope akin to the one in Wind Waker, moving the controller to or away from the TV would change the zoom. Not to mention the hand motions Wind Waker used to call up storms; you wouldn\'t be pushing left and right on the thumb stick anymore. Other interesting elements, like catching fairies with your net, or throwing and catching your boomerang, make for interesting speculation.

Lighting, anyone?

The lantern or candle has been an element of the Zelda franchise since the early days of the NES. Imagine entering a dark cave, rich with shadows and evil creatures, controlling where your character walks with one hand and using the other to hold high a light-casting lantern. The graphics of the next generation will certainly boast some impressive light rendering; how creepy would it be to wander through a cave actually having to hold the lantern up over your head to get a better view of that dark recess where doom might lurk? Talk about immersion.

Spell casting:

Link might not cast spells quite like Harry Potter, but there\'s certainly a bit of magic in his corner. Wind Waker had the hero waving a wand in the correct directions to call up a storm, for example. On the GameCube, you used the yellow c-stick to control your young musical director; we\'re pretty sure you\'d be doing it yourself on the Revolution.

Of course, all these comments are just speculation. Nintendo could very well add a feature or two, or make a slight change to the setup. But as you can see, the possibilities just keep piling up. And a mysterious comment by Miyamoto which once caused fear may actually be some very exciting news for Zelda fans. I personally can\'t wait to see what more this new form of input can do. Sitting here, I can just imagine what actually swinging the sword of evil\'s bane will be like. Regardless, no matter how Nintendo decides to use the controller\'s functions in its games, one thing is for sure: we are in for one hell of a ride next year.

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