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The New Zelda 329

freakonaleash881 writes "IGN is reporting that the new Legend of Zelda for the Gamecube is going to be a cartoon...that's right, a cartoon! It's supposedly showing off the Gamecube's realtime cartoon shading abilities. I just don't know about this..." I think it looks sweet considering the general poor quality of the snapshots. I tell ya folks, the next few months are going to be really exciting for console games with the new Final Fantasy, and the release of 2 new systems.
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The New Zelda

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  • 404 not found - do they delete these as soon as they make the /. front page?
  • Interesting (Score:2, Insightful)

    by UberLame ( 249268 )
    This could be really interesting. Should Zelda be realistic or cartoony?

    It started as cartoony out of nescesity of being a sprite based game, and while moving to 3D, it still maintained what I believe to be a somewhat intentional cartoonish appearence. So, in a way this is going back to basics.

    But, so far I haven't been impressed with realtime cell shaded games. They just don't seem right, and the graphics have tended to be rather distracting in the past.
    • niether damn it! It should be an overhead view with beeps for sounds and very blocky characters... why do they have to ruin a good game!
      • I'm assuming your being sarcastic, but I actually prefer it this way. Maybe not the crude graphics, but the overhead puzzle view felt much better to me.

        Call me old fashioned, but it was the kind of gaming that I liked. Too much emphasis is put on graphics these days.
        • I agree. I recently bought a SNES just to play Link to the Past.

          The dungeon puzzles are what made LTTP such a great game.. N64 Zelda couldn't touch it.

          And maybe they're just bad screenshots, but I think the cartoons look dismal. They could have gotten a much better cartoonist.
          • I just watched the movie... It looks really good, I'll have to give it that. I'm still skeptical of gameplay, but the animation is great. (I still think Link looks like and ugly little girl).

            BTW, the reason the quality is so bad is because it is a video of a video presentation - meaning someone filmed a projection screen with a HandyCam. Then they used stills from the HandyCam tape for screenshots.
    • While I like cartoon shader work (see Snoopy for Quake 3 at for a good example), that new Link looks butt ugly... I like the porcs though.
  • If after reading the text you still think a cartoon approach is bad, check out the movie at the bottom of the page. Although not the same feel as the previous version of Zelda it certainly is a novel approach and one that might find a number of imitators.
    • Yeah, it looks like nice eye candy, but I think that it could distract game play. Of course, we won't really know until it is out.

      Also, I kinda pictured it as something that would have a darker and more aggresive shading style than those screen shots indicated. The movie wouldn't work for me, unfortunatly.

      This does make me want to get a new n64 and a zelda cart to play it again.
    • Gotta love that Sorenson codec for linux!
    • If nothing else, it allows Link and other characters to depict facial expressions and physical activity that would be difficult or impossible otherwise. This is something that's usually very lacking from 3-D computer games.

      I think it's more significant, though, to note what a change in style this is. Nintendo and Sony have already neatly divided the gaming market into two pieces: mature players (PS2) and kids (Nintendo). Sega got caught between the two, which is what ultimately cost them in the console wars. By "tooning" Zelda, Nintendo is trying to make it more appealing to a younger audience who might otherwise be turned off by the renowned complexity of the game.

  • Zelda (Score:5, Funny)

    by Wind_Walker ( 83965 ) on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:16AM (#2213101) Homepage Journal
    I have never really been a huge fan of the Zelda series but I do enjoy it. I played the SNES incarnations and they were good and I found them fun to play however when I bought the N64 Zelda's I just didn't and couldn't get in to them like how I did with the SNES games - I didn't like the seriousness of the game so I never actually got around to completing them as they just bored me.

    When I first saw the The Legend of Zelda for the GCN, it was a picture, and I did think for a split second, oh my god, what on earth has Nintendo done (around this time I had only had about 3 hours of sleep as I stayed up for Spaceworld as I live in the UK). I could not picture Zelda to look like this after seeing last years Spaceworld footage and the N64 versions. However after a lot of thought I realised Nintendo is going back to their roots and that is when I finally understood Miyamoto's reasons for making the changes - he doesn't want to make rehashes of the same old game with just prettier graphics, he doesn't want to do what most other developers out there would be afraid to do and that is to try something different and go along the same lines that made the Zelda series great in the first place.

    I believe that the reasons why many people are upset about this change in Zelda is because the videogame industry hasn't had a wake up call (I apologise if I offend anyone when I say this) and that the Sony Playstation has done something to this industry that Nintendo is trying to prevent from happening - and that (Playstation) is preventing developers from making new and original games and stopping them from making new ideas - instead they just release game after game after game which don't have any different gameplay in them and yes, I know you shouldn't fix something that ain't broke but Miyamoto knows that if he doesn't do something to the Zelda series soon, then that too will follow the path of say the Tomb Raider series.

    People complaining should think long and hard and try and understand that what Miyamoto is doing is for the good of the Zelda series as Im sure none of you would like to see Zelda dry up, cause if it did, Im pretty damn sure you would be begging for a change in the series like this to happen.

    The Legend will live on!

    • Is the "change" that Zelda is now a cartoony game as upposed to a realistic game? ... uh no, Zelda has always been cartoony.

      Is the "change" that Zelda is now aimed at young children... uh no, Nintendo's target audience has always been young children.

      Is the "change" that Zelda is now in 3d with the latest 3d technology powering it... uh no, Zelda 64 had the latest 3d technology powering it too.

      I can't understand why anyone is in a huff... there is NOTHING different here from all the other Zeldas.

      Personally I loved the Zelda games on my NES when I was 8... and I expect the 8 year olds of the world in 2002 will love this incarnation.
      • Over at IGN, for a while now, there's been a preview [] of Zelda. It was shown at E3 in 2000. They show an incredibly dark, incredibly detailed, and incredibly lifelike personage for both Link and Ganondorf (also called Ganon). The stills for the preview are just phenomenal (I can't say that enough). Go over and take a look at what the original concept was.

        Everybody's bitching because it feels like the old bait-and-switch. Miyamoto dangles these beautiful carrots in front of everybody, showcasing exactly what the Gamecube is capable of, and then he says, "No, sorry, we've completely re-designed the game, and now it looks cartoony. Sorry." He has even admitted that the change was made before E3 of 2000, and the shots were of a game that was not in the works

        It's not that the new game is different from other Zeldas... It's that the new game is not the game we were shown.

    • First off cell shading is a bad idea, period. The media must fit the type of game. A 3-d game needs to have depth perception. Zelda has never been succesfully copied that I can tell. The original Zelda was probably the first game I ever played up into all hours of the night. Granted I was 6 and had to sneak away from parents to do this should tell you how much I love this game. Still the Zelda storyline has always been serious, simple yes, but serious. The only way I can compare it is with the original fairy tales, not the disney crap. No, I don't want Zelda to look photo-realistic, but the 3-d style of the N64 one was nearly perfect even if the world was to small. I feel like I've been raped. You've taken a serious part of my youth and made it look like Power Rangers. This as tantamount to me as if Carmack decided to make Doom 3 cell shading. I still play the original Zelda and the snes ones. I'm not ashamed they were serious games.
    • I agree that the Playstation has just made developers release the Same Old Crap. I remember when the N64 came out and there were only a few games available, compared to hundreds on the PSX. However, the games on the N64 were far superior in quality (me and my freinds stayed up all night beating each other in Star Fox and Mario Cart).

      I realize that Miyamoto likes doing new things, but is this cartoon really the answer? I'll wait to play the game before passing judgement.

      • Umm, did you just bash sony for making a market full of same old crap, then hail Nintendo for making remakes of their best SNES games? Whoat, theres some circular logic. Take a closer look - Nintendo's only reason for their apparent superiority is that they demanded serious personal reviewing of games before they came out, and Nintendo ports of any game had to have additional features. Sony let anyone come in and wipe their feet on their console.... however, this doesn't mean ps games suck, its just that there are more PS games, and a worse signal to noise ratio. Still, that also means that Sony let in some wierd, rare games you'll never find on any other console - like Carnage Heart, competitive Mecha and AI design.
  • Maybe it's just my opinion, but havent the Zelda games in the past been cartoons? Look at other popular PC and console games like Resident Evil, Diablo 2, and stuff like that. They try to realistically portray the human form. I've never seen Zelda try to accomplish that. I mean, for God's sakes, the characters are for the most part elfin. Of course it looks cartoonish.
    • Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link was supposed to be more realistic in style, but really it was just a terrible game. The rest of them had a much more cartoon style, though. That really struck me as part of the appeal, and part of why 2 was so bad.
  • It's interesting to note that the cartoon-shading technique Sega used for Jet Set Radio was according to developer interviews 'a Dreamcast exclusive; we wanted to do something with the Dreamcast that COULD NOT be done on the Playstation 2.'

    Not too long ago, when asked if Jet Set Radio Future (the sequel) would be an X-Box exclusive, Sega said it would be multiplatform after an exclusivity period runs out.

    So here we have a toon shader on GameCube, and Monster Rancher 3 uses a toon shader on PS2...

    It's getting hard to figure out what's hype, what's system FUD and what's a legit feature set for these machines.

    • I don't know the details of the systems, but the cell shading may have been done more efficiently using the Dreamcast hardware (clock for clock), or it may have been done more easily (in programmer-hours). However, both the Dreamcast and the Gamecube are Turing complete... with enough power and patience, any effect is possible on either platform.

      BTW, somebody get Taco a DC, now that they're dirt cheap. Clearly his Playstation mania has left him out of some great gaming experiences if he thinks nothing has been happening the past year or two in the video game industry. (Then again, I should thank people like him. DC stuff wouldn't be anywhere near as cheap if demand was as high as it should have been...)

      • [...]both the Dreamcast and the Gamecube are Turing complete...

        Life as an embedded programmer: "I don't believe it! The CPU on this thing is a Turing Machine!" "Uh, you mean Turing complete, right?" "NO! A freaking Turing Machine, with paper tape and all. Talk about design by buzzword bingo. Can GCC even be retargeted to a Turing machine? And what about devices, how do I communicate with them.... oh, wait, there's a paper tape multiplexer. .... <sound of teeth grinding> .... this is gonna be a loooong dev cycle..."


  • Yuck. Those screen shots don't look too good. I miss the original legend of Zelda -- the graphics were good, considering that all of the sprites were the same size.

    If they really wanted to have a "cartoon" look, they should have gone for an Anime motif, rather than a South Park paper-cut-out motif. I dunno... maybe it looks better in motion, but I'm always skeptical: The more toys the developers get, the more the story line and playability seems to suffer.


  • Ugh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kypper ( 446750 ) on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:16AM (#2213109)
    That cartoon looks REALLY bad.

    It may be only to show off lighting and shading, but... you'd think they could design something enjoyable.

    Now me, I'd like to see an anime Zelda if they really wanted to make a 'cartoon game'.

  • I went to see the screenshots and I have to admit I am disappointed. The demo we were shown a few months ago (the 3D rendered fight scene between Ganon and Link) was much more impressive and seemed to me to be the future of the Zelda series.

    What we were promised was a beautifully-rendered adult Link (in what seemed a more real & detailed version of the 3D world we first saw in Ocarina of Time) and what we are given is... something that looks like it was stolen from a saturday morning kiddie show.

    Even the 80s cartoon based on the Legend of Zelda looked better than this.

    I'm wondering why they made this choice when developpers all seem to be converging towards more encompassing (and realistic) 3D worlds...

    • I'm wondering why they made this choice when developpers all seem to be converging towards more encompassing (and realistic) 3D worlds...

      This is not true. The wall game developers are running into (and I am one, not just some lunatic fanboy), is that making encompassing and realistic 3D works takes a huge amount of time. We're talking months and months for one medium-sized level. And that's with 'old' technology, not all the new crazy stuff that's coming out in hardware (programmable vertex shaders, for example). So we're headed toward games that will take armies of people ten years to create. Wouldn't it be better to take a different approach and concentrate on fun?

      Here's a link to an article [] that Slashdot ran last year on the subject.
    • When I saw the word "cartoon" I was thinking, cool Zelda is going to get some cool anime type form! Unfortunatly Link is now the lost power puff girl.

      Sorry, but no thanks.
    • Nintendo never promised anything. In fact, they said on several occasions that the clips shown at last year's spaceworld were just demos and did not indicate that the games were in development. If you choose to base your expectations of future games on them, it's your fault.

      Besides, there will be a million "mature-looking" adventure RPGs that will probably all be just like Ocarina because the rest of the industry has a hobby of doing whatever Nintendo just did but with more blood. The cartoon version, if done well (and from the reports of people who saw it, it looks a hell of a lot better than it did in that video) will be like playing a cartoon, how cool is that? I can't wait for this game, which is really annoying because I just spent a year waiting for the GameCube and now I don't even care about the launch titles any more because I want this game so much. Oh well, I've gotten good at waiting...

  • I thought the animation was incredible. Link's movements were decent, but the enemies featured in the shot were hilarious. On the other hand, the shots of Zelda standing still looked like fan-art from a very confused 12 year old. Only time will tell if this method works. But if you're looking for a more conventional game, check out the Mario Sunrise converage. Now THAT looks like a complex 3D environment.
  • According to IGN's poll:

    Legend of Zelda for GameCube -- like the new look, or not?

    24.6% - This is the worst day of my life

    20.1% - I love it!

    18% - I'm not so sure

    15.7% - Huh? What have they done?!?

    10.8% - I like it

    5.7% - I don't like it at all

    4.8% - It's ok

    Seems like you will either love it or hate it

    • When I first saw it, I thought it was a joke...My dissapointment shot sky-high when I realized it wasn't. The original demo looked IMHO a million times better.

      I hope I'm wrong, thogh. We have to remember that this is a very early demo, maybe the South Park look will go away in favor of something...I don't know, not South Park looking =).

      Shigeru Miyamoto is a frigging genius, though, so maybe he knows something we don't.

  • Reminds me of the old PS game, PaRappa the Rappa. That game was sorta cool, but because of the idea behind the game: Mash buttons in rythm to the beats to become the best 'rappa' around. Why would you change the virtual world of Zelda? It's like going from 2d overhead 'simulated' 3dimensional space (Zelda 1), to an isometric view (SuperNES Zelda), to full 3d (N64 Zelda), and then back to some wierd mixture of 2d characters in a 3d world (Gamecube Zelda). That's like putting us four dimensional humans into a 6 dimensional space!
  • Awesome game. I uhh, downloaded the Japanese version, played through it despite the language barrier, and loved it. Hard game too. This reminds me of that quite a bit.

  • looking at the pictures, they arent as life-like as past games have been. Character faces are very flat, like pre-Renissance (sp?) era paintings. It looks like the game is not taking good advantage on the graphical performance a system like gamecube offers. Nintendo has prided themselves on graphical performance and have strove for better graphics ever since the original 8 bit system came out in '85. I think they're taking a step backwards in graphics technology development by using cartoony graphics in a game series as popular as Zelda.
  • Who cares about cartoons.

    All I care about his extreeme detail on eyeballs, bits of brain and skull, rib cage bones, and knee joints as they fly in every direction after killing your enemy.

    Race games are fun too.

  • Is it just me, or does this look like the sequel to Parappa the Rappa? Although Parappa was a fun game, I like the look of the old Zelda better.
  • My opinion is that the general look and feel of a game should not change drastically. If it does, then it should be called by another name not XXXIII. I'm tired of sequels anyway, video games are following the path of Hollywood, which I'm not too impressed with.
    My two cents.
  • The article says: "it stands to reason it will still have the patented Z-trigger lock-on battle system".


    Now I will have to buy an X-Box.
    • Hmmm... If I remember correctly the 'Z-Trigger' is the 'gun trigger' like button on the controller of the N64...

      So they patented a system for locking on to a target by using their controllers 'Z-Trigger' ?
    • The article says: "it stands to reason it will still have the patented Z-trigger lock-on battle system".


      Software patents are evil, but this isn't a software patent... its a patent on a unique and novel user interface mechanism which Nintendo paid a lot of money (in the form of user interface studies) to develop, and it easily copied by other companies. Now, if they patented the particular method of implementing this user interface, THAT would be evil...

    • Even in the traditional moderatorial state of crack-addledness, one should be able to determine that this is on-topic. Half the words in the post are directly lifted from the article, the other half form a connected argument from that statement.

      -1: Troll?

      -1: Flamebait?

      +1: Funny?

      -1: Offtopic?
      You are a crack-head moderator and I claim my five pounds.
    • Holy shit, people, I think this comment is supposed to be funny, not off-topic, flamebait or anything else. Ms. Rosen was making a joke.

      I doubt that Nintendo actually has a patent on the lock-on mechanism used in the Zelda's for the N64. (At least I couldn't find any in any patent searches I used.)

      If they do have a patent, then why the hell haven't they protected it from being misused by Sony in their recent PS2 game Dark Cloud? Hell, to the casual observer, the action sequences in the game could be mistaken for a Zelda game. While playing once, a friend of mine made the mistake...

      I think IGN was using the word "patent" here a little like wrestling announcers during their commentary. When they say, "Here comes Super Macho Man with his patented 'Spinning Right Hook'," they don't mean that the fucking guy went and actually patented the a right hook at a US patent office. It just means that it's his "move", dammit.

  • I'm sorry, but I think that this has to be the wrong direction for this game. Moving from a sprite based game to a 3d rendered game was a great move.... but that is where it should have stayed.

    Is Nintendo trying to prove that they can create something that looks as rediculous as Parappa The Rapper? =) When I saw the shots of that trailer, I was just waiting to see a Toon Onion telling me how to dance.

  • it looks sweet. for a cartoon. I am really impressed with it, actually. Realtime high quality cartoonage. Now if only they didn't waste zelda on it.

    But you gotta realize their target audience. They want kids to play. They want really kid-friendly games. Too bad we lose out.
  • looks childish... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    i think that the idea is quite fantastic. however the animation looks like what we see on saturday morning cartoons nowadays, it just looks childish to the extreme. if they took more of an anime style high-quality animation, it might make me want to buy a gamecube. as of right now, i'm still going for the ps2... good try nintendo
  • Man i cant wait for nintendo to release their new console....nintendo really is a great company...ecspecially since they tend to keep their consoles alive as long as possible unlike other gaming cosole makers.

    and that power pc processor nintendo is going to use,will open up all kinds of cool things for it like "linux"

    "when im not being mean,im actually a nice guy"
  • Can't wait (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nerds ( 126684 ) on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:24AM (#2213150) Homepage
    I really want to play this game, too bad it's not supposed to come out until next Christmas. It's kinda funny that a lot of people looked at the new Mario title and said "It's disappointing because it just looks like Mario64 but prettier" and then complained when the new Zelda didn't look like Ocarina only prettier.

    I've read all kinds of opinions on this thing and it seems that everyone who was actually at the show was apprehensive at first, but by the end of the clip they loved it. That, along with the fact that there is a year of development time left, and, well, because I just think it looks cool, has convinced me that Nintendo knows what they are doing and aren't afraid to try something because they think it would be fun. Sega and Nintendo are the real trailblazers when it comes to video games, the PS2 and XBox can go take a running jump.

  • Zelda2 looked like crap, but did anyone care? No. The game was almost IMPOSSIBLE to beat. It was good graphics for back then anyways. I really don't care what this Zelda game looks like, as long as it uses the GameCubes full capabilities I'm happy. I just want it to take a LOT to beat it, not 2 days like the first N64 Zelda game took.

    Nintendo, there better not be any annoying talking fairy following Link around the whole damn time!

    • by freeweed ( 309734 ) on Friday August 24, 2001 @11:03AM (#2213331)
      Nintendo, there better not be any annoying talking fairy following Link around the whole damn time!

      Microsoft, following in the inspired footsteps of Nintendo, is adding Clippy(tm) as a sidekick to each of its game titles.

      Their first racing demo shows just how much Clippy(tm) enhances a gamer's experience:

      You have pressed the 'GAS' and 'BRAKE' buttons at the same time. Do you want to: go faster? go slower? drive into the fully 3d-rendered crowd of spectators?

      When asked why so many gamers who have tested Tomb RaiderX have cramped thumbs, a Microsoft spokesman's only comment was 'apparently, some kids thought it would be funny to shoot at Clippy(tm). What they didn't realize is that our beta-testers had already done the same thing incessantly, so we've re-designed the game to make this feat impossible. After all, how could you complete any game without the aid of Clippy(tm)?'

  • As others have seed, the current screenshots don't look very pretty (I did like the 'art of a confused 12-year old fanboy' comment).

    I'm not opposed to a Zelda game taking a cartoon approach -- though I'd rather see a more realistic rendering method -- but I do hope that the character designs being shown were early prototypes and that the finished product will have a more anime look to it. Even if it looks like a cartoon, it could look like an epic-adventure type of cartoon rather than South Park.

    (Not that I don't like South Park)
  • by derrickh ( 157646 ) on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:28AM (#2213178) Homepage
    They're just using the age old method of 'cell shading'. 3D apps like lightwave have had this for ages. And the Dreamcast already did a game using cell shading(Jet Grind Radio) last year.

    In fact, there's a good chance that cell shading is less intensive than regular texture mapping. You dont have to worry about moving huge textures in and out of memory and your color pallete drops from millions of colors to thousands.


    • When I got Final Fantasy VII for my PC, I thought it looked great. I believe it was Gourard shading; no textures on the models, at least. FF VIII and MGS, however, looked like poodoo, with low-res textures. I think that 3d will become ultimate when there are no textures; it's all shaded polygons. After all, get enough polygons, shade them correctly, and it'll look like your texture. :-)
    • True, cel shading has been around for a long time (what, ten years or so?). However, Nintendo's take on it is unbelievably advanced, with very impressive lighting and shading -- this makes Jet Grind Radio look like crap in comparison. I think saying that "they're just using the age old method of 'cell [sic] shading'" is doing them a tremendous disservice.

      You might as well be saying that we shouldn't get excited about today's 2GHz machines, because after all they're just the same old von Neumann machines we've had for decades, while ignoring the fact that modern machines are millions of times faster and doing tricks John von Neumann never even dreamed of. This really is groundbreaking stuff, folks.
      • Why should anyone get excited some old shading technique done with more lighting, or about a 2GHz machine? If you are into quantity, then I guess it's fine. But if you are turned on by quality and innovation (god, that word has been ruined by corporations), then faster and bigger gets old.

        Admit it, you probably liked that turkey of a movie Pearl Harbor, the biggest fastest war movie of all time.

      • ... The door warps outward exaggeratedly before it bursts, whereupon the soldier stands in a cloud of smoke. ...

      C'mon, it's not just the rendering technique. Video games are always moving closer to looking like your character is part of a movie. Graphics alone doesn't do it... art and atmosphere contribute significantly to that. If Zelda can do all this when you're playing, it will be a lot better than Jet Grind Radio.
  • I like it. Now if they'd consider reviving some older games with this view, I just may have to take out a loan and buy them all, all over again, for the new box. Exactly what game marketing people want to hear, YET, they won't do it because they fail to see there's a lot of gold in the past!

    A few games that would do well with this:

    Bard's Tale

    Impossible Mission

    Questron/Legacy of the Ancients

    Come to think of it... a version of Larn or Nethack with such a display would kick butt.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:32AM (#2213185)

    That article explains it and I think does a decent job of getting his message across.
  • It looks as if Miyamoto liked Herdy Gerdy, [] so much... he decided a cartoon game would be a good way to showcase the new system. Its pretty clear that the new console horsepower is allowing Miyamoto and others to design movies (cartoons) you can play.
  • My friend sent me a video he took of it at the Spaceworld show, and I'm still not sure what I think.

    It LOOKS like it could be a "remake" of the original game, in a pseudo 3d world, which could be really good, or really bad, depending on how Nintendo handles it. Or, it could just be completely "original", with Link fighting the baddies we all grew up with, ending with the evil Gannon [none of this Mask of Majora or Ganondorf crap]. ;)

    And the cartoon cell-shading thing? Isn't it just a BIT overused? Games like Jet Set/Grind Radio pretty much made it look as cool as possible, but now with it being used on dozens of new PS2, XBOX, and now GCN games, I'm starting to think if everyone is just running to make the next "cool" game using this "new" "cool" effect. There's nothing wrong with that if ALL, if all these games use it to their own advantages. But if a game has it for no real purpose beyond it just being there, I struggle to see the whole point of it.

    Unfortunately, that's gaming's biggest problem now. They all want to make "the next Half-Life" or "the next Tony Hawk". Very few will try and go ahead and make something original like Shenmue or Max Payne.

    And note, if the poor quality shots aren't enough, most people probably don't realize that there's a poor quality video to go along with it (plaintext link): vi es/
  • Those shots really reminded me of the old Dragons Lair game.
  • I'd like to thank all those people making PaRappa I can't get Navi's rapping outta my head:

    Navi: Swing, roll, LinkLinkLink!
    Link: *swing*, *roll*, *jump*
    Navi: Nonono...swing, roll, Link Over-over here!
    Link: *swing*, *roll*, *block*
    Navi: You're adventurin' bad! LinkLink *tinkle* swing roll over here *tinkle*!

    The horror...the horror...

  • Zelda looks to be one of the first games to pit gamers in a convincing cartoon environment, complete with all the dazzling animations, particle effects, and exaggerated look one would expect.

    I think that would be Jet Set Radio.
  • It looks less polygon-ish, which is a good thing, though it makes me think of Dragon's Lair, or was it Dragon Quest? the cartoon game?
  • what happened to this?

    is this not the same game? These are the screenshots for zelda that have been around for months now. Perhaps it's not a launch title because they changed the format recently?
  • Actually, Zelda as already been a cartoon ... on CD-i.
    Those were really bad games made by Philips who got the license.
    More infos available : Faces of Evil [], Wand of Gamelon [] and Zelda Adventure [].
  • I barely do :)
    I do remember that Fridays were Zelda... so this isn't such a new idea after all! If anyone actually does remember this... I don't... and I'd love for you to help me out here ;)
    • Oh yes, that was the best cartoon growing up. They were alway chasing after the TriForce. It was a riot!

      My childhood consisted of: Play Super Mario Bros. 3 (remember the racoon tail and frog suit?), play Zelda II, take a break to watch the cartoon, beg parents for Super Nintendo, repeat...

      Oh, and excuuuuuuse me, Princess!

    Seriously... The entire reason i've bought ANY of the previous game systems was Zelda, Mega Man [sob] and Metroid... Occasionally Mario. I'm not a huge gamer, but those are the only games i've ever played since I was 5 years old. I'm not a huge fan of 3D worlds - My favorite zelda of all had to be Link to the Past. Theres something to be said about the flat overheads that i just didnt get from N64. I disliked Ocarina of Time's gameplay enough that i sold my N64 and didnt even bother playing the new zelda.

    The approach of this new game is just too odd for my comfort - What i'd love to see them do though is bundle that cartridge with a "Super mario all-stars" like redo of all the previous games (well, maybe they can leave out Adventure of Link). Then i'd buy it.
  • by Satai ( 111172 )
    Next Up: GameCube remake of Dragon's Lair.

    But seriously, this looks kind of neat. The Zelda games have always had a subtle sense of humor, and this one seems to make it far less subtle and far more Chuck Jones. (Now, I'm basing that on the article - I don't have a QuickTime viewer on this system.) That doesn't have to be a bad thing; often the unexpected is the best. I've enjoyed every Zelda Game up to this point - and since I'm pretty terrible at games, they've all had lots of time dedicated.

    ...with the notable exception of the CDi games.

  • Is it me or does Link look like a walking hieroglyph in this? I look at that face and I just get annoyed.

    The animation looks spectacular, but the characters just look lame. They could have made him look SO much better.

    It looks like gameplay may improve a bit. But it's disappointing that Nintendo tried to go with shock value, making the characters look radically (and horribly, IMHO) different, instead of maybe concentrating on innovative gameplay.

    Now this is obviously all speculative, as all I've seen is a 20 second clip or whatever, and I can't tell if gameplay's gonna improve, and who knows if they'll keep these changes.

    All I know is I liked the look of the graphics in the initial movie from E3 (with Link and Ganon fighting) - THAT'S the Zelda games I remember. Not a Saturday morning battle for the Triforce. Or if you're going to use cartoons, go hire the animators from "The Batman and Superman Adventures" (or the greatest cartoon of all time, Transformers). Don't make Link look like a Nickelodeon cartoon.
    • Sure, I'll get an offtopic for this, but what the hell:

      "greatest cartoon of all time, Transformers"

      ROFL, you're kidding right? Are you evaluating greatness by golf-score style cel-counts, and perspectives that look like the bastard love child of Dali and cubism?! The Transformers embodied everything that american animation stands for - get a good franchise, and the fans will be totally blind to brutal, shoestring budget art.
  • Just don't make metroid a cartoon... that's all I care about...
  • Maybe I'm in the minority here, but what has always impressed me most about the N64 Zeldas (my entry point into the Zelda story) has been the wonderfully balanced gameplay and control.

    They've always managed to strike a perfect balance between challenge/difficulty, and achievability. Puzzles are tough, but not obscure. Beating bosses are a challenge, but don't take nanosecond twitch responses to pull off. There's no "find the magic pixel" or "die a thousand deaths".

    Future game developers would do well to study the N64 Zeldas. They're as close to perfect as any game I've ever played.

  • by novarese ( 24280 ) on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:52AM (#2213279) Journal
    It makes sense that they would go back to a more figurative representation of the characters instead of continuing to pursue photorealism.

    Once you can do photorealistic images (or even get close to it), what do you do next? We already know the answer, because it already happend in fine art. The greeks and romans perfected realistic sculpture, and all sculpture afterwards became more figurative (see byzantine and gothic sculpture). The renaissance artists perfected photorealsim through use of perspective techniques etc, and what followed?

    OK, so we're not yet at real-time rendering of final fantasy-quality movies on our desktop, but it's just a matter of raw computing power at this point; there's no new conceptual territory to cover. Hardware will continue to advance, and we will eventually have realtime photorealistic rendering, but expect the mainstream game designers to go back to figurative representations, at least until the next big technology comes along (holographic games, anyone?)

    • I agree. It's also important to note that Miyamoto comes from a culture where stylization is one of the key elements of entertainment. Look at Kabuki and Noh theater. Both forms of theater use massive quantities of makeup to completely hide the features of real people. Almost all anime and manga have characters stylized with huge eyes and pointed chins. The ultimate form of stylization in Anime and manga 'Superdeforming' removes hands and feet to make a super-cute characture of human anatomy. There are even characters on TV shows that wear costumes or makeup to alter their appearance.

      That Shigeru-kun decided to go for a more stylized cartoon rather than a photo-realistic human character (ala Final Fantasy) was only to be expected. I'm wierded out by the style he chose to render Link in, but think that it's a good move nonetheless.
      • Isn't "Shigeru-kun" a little familiar? Seems to me "Miyamoto-sama" would be more appropriate.
        • You're right that '-kun' is *way* too informal, but '-sama' is almost unused in modern Japanese. You might use '-sama' when addressing the emperor or perhaps your corporate superior several levels up.
          • Yeah, well he is Miyamoto! Anyway, what's better? -dono? Or just plain -san?
            • '-dono' is(was) only used to title ranking officials of the government or similar. It is also *totally* archaic. I have heard it used precisely zero times.

              And yes, he is Miyamoto, so if you worship the ground he walks on, sure, use '-sama'. I hope you understand that worshipping the ground someone walks on doesn't look sane in any culture, OTOH. Be prepared to be scorned, and deservedly.

              '-sensei' *could* be appropriate, but you're still on tricky ground. '-san' is best. Japanese are extremely polite, and it's not just a totally cosmetic effort with a bunch of self-debasing titles. Your politeness is evidenced by a wide swath of changes in your behavior and form of speech. Trying to find a suitable title to say "I'm not worthy", as you are doing, just makes you look like an idiot, and an insincere one at that.

              Oh, and ignore The_Messenger. He appears to be on crack today.
      • mmm...SD Zelda...that would be tasty...

        Hopefully these are EARLY shots and don't reflect the art of the final version -- I'd love to see a more anime-like Zelda, rather than...well...whatever this is.
        • mmm...SD Zelda...that would be tasty...

          That would be *very* fun to play and watch!

          The art is kinda out there, but it looks like the engine is finished. I would expect multiple revisions of art, character design, and level design by the time the game actually shipped.
  • The CPad .. the handheld .. the side scroller ... Nintendo has been responsible for so much of what is taken for granted in the console industry that it's always amusing to see people trash Nintendo.

    Sure, you may not be a fan of the style in the screenshots and movie, but it does highlight what Nintendo has always been good at: innovation.

    Other developers are usually content to raise the bar on the present set of conventions and standards, in terms up updated graphics (making the characters look more lifelike), etc .. Nintendo has always focused on innovative game play and a unique approach to old franchises.

    I for one think that the style Nintendo is going for here is refreshing - way too many games take themselves way too seriously. And Link has always held an element of novelty and humour. I mean, how serious can you be when you're a green-garbed elf who occasionally stops by the chicken coup to ruffle a few feathers for the fun of it?

    And, for the 20somethings who really won't touch a game unless its covered in blood, don't worry - Nintendo is handling their licencing issues far better this time around. We've seen some evidence that Microsoft's money will ultimatetly help see tons of the Xbox titles get ported to game cube, hopefully shutting up the thousands of console FANBOYS who only seem to pledge allegiance to systems with the darkest most 'adult' image, regardless of the reality.
  • The move to cartoon Zelda was not just a demo for the GameCube's shaders- it also is meant to simplify gameplay.

    Many game fans are put off by the complexity of most RPG's. Zelda titles have been much simpler than most, but all the same, it will be simplified to appeal to a larger audience.

    Instead of epic quests for a glowing sword or whatever, you just try to survive from room to room. Example: your guy runs into a room and rocks start falling- what do you do? Pick a direction to run in and that's it. If you choose wrong, you die. Try again. No health status and objects to find- no alternate endings or pointless side quests.

    Nintendo has plans to make a space-oriented cartoon Zelda for release in Japan early 2002. []

  • by Sludge ( 1234 )

    Non photorealistic rendering is a very cool field of graphics, if that's what these guys are doing. For more info on the technique, check out this google-attained page here [].

    For fleeting minutes, one of the games I considered creating in this very past year was a Zelda-type game where the models are cartoon NPR-rendered but with a richly detailed Street Fighter World Warrior type colourful background.

    This doesn't seem too far from that. I think M[ia]moto (sp) is using his instincts on this one.

  • I have a love/hate relationship with the Zelda games. They tend to be very involving, fun games to play. The storyline isn't Dickens, but it's worthwhile (which is more than can be said for most RPGs). The characters are usually pretty cool, and there are "trademarks" that sort of reward the repeat player. (A friend of mine always sings the little tune that plays when you find the Boss Key: "You got the big keeeeeeeey!")

    So it's all good, and you're enjoying your little quest, with its puzzles and mini-games and whatnot. That is, until you run into the patented Nintendo Cheap Shot Syndrome, and end up knocked on your ass mainly as a result of the interface. (Anyone who's fought the later bosses in Ocarina of Time knows what I'm talking about). Then, of course, you're thrown just far enough back in the game for it to be a nuisance. But by this time, you've come too far to just pack it in...

    I'm on the fence as to whether I'll play another Zelda game or not... after years of gaming, I've come to the conclusion that challenge is good, but I'd rather play a game than fight it.

  • Miyamoto says:

    "In the game industry the people that are most sought after are the people with better technology than skill, rather than the people who love to challenge themselves to make something very fun and deliver breakthrough ideas. That kind of situation I really hate. So that's why I told my staff members that they should have more freedom to create anything they like..."

    This is precisely why Nintendo has continuously released games far superior to the competition. They have always been a company focused on quality at the expense of quantity, which is something you just don't see much in the video game business.

    In a way, the developers and engineers at Nintendo are a lot like dedicated open source people. They strike me as gamers writing games for gamers, not weenies releasing as much crap as possible with the hopes of making a quick buck. Everything from the design of the controllers, to the hardware itself, to the simple but powerful (gasp!) interfaces in their games, to the atmosphere they create is all well thought out and works flawlessly (or damn close to it). They consistently create something spectacular for gamers of all ages to enjoy, without having to clone other popular games or rely on gimmicky stuff like excessive gore.

    Personally, I think this Zelda looks great. I'm not really into the powerpuff girl facial features, but the cinematic feel is very cool. And when you come right down to it, the best games are the ones that give you that feeling of being somewhere else, whether in your mind (pencil & paper rpgs, nethack) or in some virtual digital world.

  • OK, I won't post the link to the old Zelda pics for fear of being redundant, but it's clear that there's already been a lot of development on a realistic, lifelike version of a Zelda game. And now here comes this jolly happy cartoon Zelda game. Somehow, the plot seems to have been lost along the way...

    But why shouldn't there be BOTH in the same game? It's clear that the last few Zelda games have all dealt with an alternative world somehow, be it the Lightworld / Darkworld in Link To The Past, or the Young Link / Old Link worlds in Ocarina Of Time.

    Given this pattern, perhaps we might see a Realistic / Cartoon world changeover in this next game. Remember that the actual plot of this game hasn't been published yet. So for the moment, anything goes!
  • Out with the swords and spells and in with the falling anvils and pianos. They should make a fortune off of Acme product placement.
  • I really think Nintendo is missing the point. I remember when Nintendo was more about the game than the graphics. Look at what they're doing -- they're forming a game around the graphics capabilities of the system. They're making the game to show off the graphics. The story and game itself should be shown off, and the graphics should be simply the visual presentation. Since N64, Nintendo on more than one occassion has said "[such and such a game] will really show off [a 3D effect]."

    I just think they're missing the point. I'm all about 3D gaming and incredible graphics -- and yet I can't help but think much of the storyline went out with the SNES series.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle