Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Let's Update A Link Between Worlds

"Let's Update" will be a new series on this blog, where I talk about hypothetical updates to Zelda games released on current systems - something like the Den of Trials update for Tri Force Heroes, but for the games that came out before. This is not really about, what I think might happen, because Nintendo is clearly done with the previous games, so they most likely won't see any updates. So, this is about, what I would have liked to see in hindsight, if the game ever got an update. But at the same time I still want it to be realistic in the realms of what Nintendo actually could have pulled off, so something like an entire 2nd Quest or new dungeons isn't exactly reasonable.

Let's start with A Link Between Worlds. What if A Link Between Worlds received an update? What would you add? How would you add it? What would you change? Other than the usual "stability improvements" and fixing of glitches, of course. (Some of this was inspired by a thread on ZeldaUniverse.)


Boss Rush Mode

I very much enjoy battling the bosses in A Link Between Worlds, so it's a shame that there's no quick way to battle them again. Every Zelda game should have such a feature and I don't understand, why Nintendo never did it again after Ocarina of Time 3D and Skyward Sword in 2011.

I would add it as another level in the Treacherous Tower. They won't let you enter it, unless you brought all items. It might also only extend to the bosses, which you've already beaten so far to prevent spoilers. And I probably would leave Yuga out of it, since his appearance there wouldn't make much sense and his boss fights are not that much fun anyway. So, it would be Moldorm, Margomill, Arrghus, Stalblind, Gemasaur King, Knucklemaster, Zaganaga, Grinexx and Dharkstare seeking revenge on you.


The reward for your troubles could be an upgrade to the Hint Glasses, which colors them blue, similar to the Super Lantern and the Super Lamp. It's the only item in the game, which didn't receive an update and it would fit the pattern. With the "Super Hint Glasses" you can not only see Hint Ghosts, but also the health bars of your enemies, similar to the Hero's Charm in the Wind Waker. So, whenever you fight a boss again, you can see exactly, how much health he has left.


Naturally such an item shouldn't be given to you at the very end of the game, like they did in the Wind Waker HD, because then it won't find much use. But maybe like the Hylian Shield in Skyward Sword, you can get it after beating a part of the Boss Rush. Let's say that only the bosses, which you've previously beaten, appear in this level. And if you can clear a course with five or more bosses, you will be rewarded with the Super Hint Glasses.

(Another item that potentially could be upgraded are the Pegasus Boots, so that they let you change direction while running, like the Pegasus Boots in Ancient Stone Tablets.)


Minigame Improvements

Make it so that the Endless Cucco Run rewards you with the Giant Cucco after 100 seconds, not the full 999.99 seconds. Make it so that the Endless Cucco Run rewards you with the Giant Cucco after 100 seconds, not the full 999.99 seconds! Make it so that the Endless Cucco Run rewards you with the Giant Cucco after 100 seconds, not the full 999.99 seconds!!

I admit that's all I really want, the rest is just a bonus. And this is certainly a change that would make completionists like me quite happy. The four people on this earth, who actually already did the full thousand seconds of torture, still get the bragging rights with the record. There's no need to keep the reward exclusive to so few individuals.

The Octoball minigame also caused quite some frustration, where they probably could have made things a little bit easier...


For example you should be able to give a horizontal window with the Circle Pad; center, left or right. And the timing for the precise aiming should be easier to hit by making the ball slower overall.


Buy Shadow Links from Play Coins

Currently, if you can't find people for StreetPass, the only way to complete all 50 StreetPass challenges are the pre-generated Shadow Links. However, those only appear after every five hours of unpaused ingame time. And that's too rare. They should reduce this time to two hours and/or even make it so that you can use Play Coins to buy Shadow Links from Gramps. After all that's what Play Coins are there for, they let you get stuff in StreetPass apps for whenever you took the 3DS for a walk, but didn't meet anybody.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Twilight Princess HD: Mirrored Hero Mode, Ghost Lantern

Next to the probably awesome stamp collecting there have been other reveals about Twilight Princess HD today, since we now officially reached the preview phase. Let's briefly talk about them.

Going through my suggestions from last month, you can cross out many things there already. Wii controls won't be supported, but I probably wouldn't have used them anyway, so I don't really mind. And the mirrored world is still in the game...


Mirrored Hero Mode

So, there really is a way to play the mirrored Wii world in this version, which is good, but they combined it with Hero Mode, which is bad. It's akin to the Master Quest mode in Ocarina of Time 3D, just without any actual Master Quest features. It mirrors the world, you take double damage and there are no hearts to find.

Now, I was actually looking forward to playing the GameCube world again, because that's how I love and remember the world of Twilight Princess. But I also wanted to play Hero Mode, because the game is too easy... Why can't I do both?

They should have made a "Mirror Mode", which is something you chose at the start, like a 2nd Quest. And in addition there should have been a Hero Mode like in The Wind Waker HD, which you can toggle on and off at any time.

I wonder, if it still can be toggled. It probably won't, because it would be weird, if you could flip the entire game world at any time...


Ghost Lantern

From what it seems, this is another disappointment. If I understood this new item correctly, it only tells you that there are still Poes around in the area. You still have to wait until it's night to actually capture them.

Most useless additional item ever! I already know, where all the Poes are, I don't need an item telling me. I just want Poe collecting to be more efficient. They should have added checkmarks to the map, like Ocarina of Time had for the Gold Skulltulas. If you killed all golden spiders in an area, it added an Skulltula icon to the map. They could have done the same here with Poes. And the Poe Lantern should have been a way to make them appear during day, because waiting for nightfall takes way too long in this game. Or at least add a way to alter the day of time.

Sometimes I just can't understand Nintendo's game design decisions and I still hope that there's more to this thing... I haven't seen any preview yet that actually showcases this item.


Item Inventory


No fifth bottle, too bad. If you look at the item menu, there are 21 slots, one more than in the original. But that slot is probably used by the Ghost Lantern, because the bottles are visually connected and there are still only four of them. I guess, the open slot below the bottles will be used for the Horse Call and the Ghost Lantern will be among the normal items, probably right next to the Hawkeye.

It could be the other way around, but I suppose that both the Horse Call and the Ooccoo will be items, which you don't have to equip anymore to use them. Just tap them in the menu.


Cave of Ordeals 2

Yeah, this is a pure clone. It even has the exact same layout - talk about lazy! But it's apparently not an actual place in the game, it's more like a minigame, which starts, as soon as you scan the Wolf Link amiibo. And the whole point seems to aim for highscores, which are stored on the amiibo and even take the Ganondorf amiibo into consideration. So, for the most impressive results, you need that one as well. Combat will be quite boring though, because all you will do are wolf combos all the time.

But if it wasn't for the larger wallet, I would say that this is one of the better amiibo usages I've seen so far. Without amiibo you wouldn't miss anything essential and the whole thing revolves around the figurine, where you keep using it for highscores. However, thanks to the reward of the bigger wallet, completionists are now forced to buy the amiibo, if they want everything in the game. So, they should have made this a pure extra.

Twilight Princess HD: Miiverse Stamp Collecting!

Today there has been many more information about Twilight Princess HD and its new features. And the one that caught my attention the most was the Miiverse Stamp collecting!


I feel like this is going to be the best addition to the game without any doubt. No, I'm not joking - it basically adds a new collectible quest and at the same time it takes care of all these boring chests with Rupees in the game.

The Miiverse features were also one of the best additions to The Wind Waker HD, because the Tingle Bottles made the sailing less boring and it helped with completing your figurine collection. You can even get the missable figurines from Tingle Bottles, which was a gift from the goddesses. And receiving funny selfies from other people certainly was fun, too.

Now, in Twilight Princess HD the Miiverse features improve the game in equal quality, but with very different measures. It's not about Miiverse messaging this time, but about collecting the stamps, 50 in total. Games like Super Mario 3D World already had this and while the stamps won't have any ingame value, it still will be fun to collect them all. I love collectible items in the Zelda series and the more the merrier.

From what I've seen, they are hidden in chests, which originally only gave you Rupees. And the game has tons of these. There are many chests, which are well hidden throughout the game, and some which even require you to solve some clever puzzles. And every time I was disappointed to only find Rupees... Like remember the two big chests south of castle town? One was in the center of the fountain and the other one on the pillars. They are not easy to get to and you'd think that you would get a Piece of Heart out of at least one of them, but nope... In Twilight Princess HD they might hold stamps, though!

You also now finally have an incentive to check all chests on the game world, other than your personal satisfaction of being thorough. We recently had a discussion on this blog about how opening all chests is actually part of 100% completion, but it's a fishy requirement, because you can't clearly tell, if you really opened them all or not, except for chests in dungeons. But in Twilight Princess HD you at least want to find all chests with stamps, because those get counted in your inventory. If you don't have all 50, there's clearly a chest that you haven't found yet...!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tri Force Heroes: Lucky Lobby Music Ball Song Additions


I love the Music Ball or "Lucky Lobby Ball" in Tri Force Heroes, because it's a fun little minigame that keeps you entertained, while you wait for other players. And you might wait a while these days, where current selection of songs can get a bit stale.

Currently there are 23 different songs in the Lobby Ball game (a full list exists on ZeldaWiki) and hopefully they will add more in a future update of the game. Let's make that a 42!

(Capcom Zelda games are out of question though, because it seems that Nintendo doesn't hold the rights to the music from these games. So, no Dancing Dragon Dagon for us!)

Here are my additions, my Lucky Lobby Ball B-Side:

  1. Underworld (The Legend of Zelda)
  2. Overworld (Zelda II - The Adventure of Link)
  3. Town (Zelda II - The Adventure of Link)
  4. Palace (Zelda II - The Adventure of Link)
  5. Lost Woods (A Link to the Past)
  6. Sword Search (Link's Awakening)
  7. Mountains (Link's Awakening)
  8. Hyrule Field (Ocarina of Time)
  9. Astral Observatory (Majora's Mask)
  10. Deku Palace (Majora's Mask)
  11. Windfall Island (The Wind Waker)
  12. Dragon Roost Island (The Wind Waker)
  13. Lake Hylia (Four Swords Adventures)
  14. Midna's Theme (Twilight Princess)
  15. Title Theme (Spirit Tracks)
  16. Groose's Theme (Skyward Sword)
  17. Beedle's Theme
  18. Hyrule Castle
  19. Kakariko Village

What songs would you add to the Lucky Lobby Ball? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Remaking Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks

While replaying Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks it became very apparent to me that these two games are going to be the next big Zelda remakes, maybe even made by Grezzo. I know that a lot of Zelda fans are probably sick of remakes / remasters by now, especially Twilight Princess HD seems somewhat unnecessary at the moment, but it's also partly our own fault, since we literally begged for Majora's Mask 3D to happen. Anyway, I'm not talking about this generation, but about the next with the NX and whatever there may come. Right now you can still play these games on both Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, so there's no direct demand. We all want Zelda U next and if we get bored in a couple of years, let us have these.



Graphics

The current Wii U versions certainly do tell their age. The Nintendo DS wasn't really great for 3D graphics starting with an entire lack of shading and quite pixelated 3D visuals. When I rode the train in Spirit Tracks, I constantly imagined, how the beautiful the game world would look like in a 3D or HD remake. Of all Zelda games these two certainly would require the graphics update the most, since early 3D graphics didn't age well, unlike 2D sprite graphics, which still look fine today.


Controls

A lot of Zelda fans also probably would wish for optional button controls and especially after coming from Tri Force Heroes I also felt the urge to play these games with the GamePad in my hands. However, while an analog stick or slide pad certainly offers the same precision as the touchscreen controls, it would not offer the same speed. This is very obvious with the archery minigames, where there's no way that you would be able to pull off a high score with button controls. You really need that point and click speed.

But for the most part I could see the games working with button controls, at least during topdown view. The boat and train rides on the other hand were really developed around touch, but even there I could imagine that you would steer with the left analog stick, view around with right stick and precisely aim with the gyroscope. That could work just fine.

This way you could also play the games on a 3D screen...


Treasure System

This needs to change so badly. There's an annoying level of grinding required in both games, if you want to complete your collections of Ship Parts and Train Cars. And fighting a random number generator is usually not the best use of your gaming time. In Phantom Hourglass the massive size of the collection was an issue, where getting the last few parts could take a while, while in Spirit Tracks they improved the system, but made some treasures super rare for you, so you would have to trade with others.

But Phantom Hourglass should simply follow the approach of Spirit Tracks. Instead of finding the Ship Parts everywhere, you simply buy them from treasures. The best place would be the Treasure Teller in Mercay:


It makes a lot of sense. He has the money and the goods, while he lives right next to Mercay's shipyard. This certainly makes more sense than finding gigantic Ship Parts in small chests... Just replace all those with treasures, which you then use to buy the Ship Parts.

In the game one treasure corresponds to one set of Ship Parts in their values. Like this:

  • Pink Coral ↔ Bright Parts
  • White Pearl Loop ↔ Iron Parts
  • Black Pearl Loop ↔ Stone Parts
  • Zora Scale ↔ Vintage Parts
  • Goron Amber ↔ Demon Parts
  • Ruto Crown ↔ Tropical Parts
  • Helmaroc Feather ↔ Tourist Parts
  • Regal Ring ↔ Golden Parts

And I wouldn't go for crazy prices like in Spirit Tracks, since there are so many Ship Parts. I would simply make it so that one treasure gives you a Ship Part of the corresponding set. So, from a Ruto Crown you can get a new tropical part. And from a Regal Ring you earn a golden part. That way you won't keep getting duplicates like in the original, where you might find five Golden Chimneys in a row, but not that Golden Wheel that you still need. Here you simply would get another gold part, as soon as you find another Regal Ring. And if you've already completed the gold set, you can still sell the Regal Rings for 1500 Rupees, which was their original use.

In Spirit Tracks they just have to get rid of the random rare treasures per savegame. Treasures of the same price should all have the same chance of appearing. This already would improve and fasten things a lot.

But additionally they should also add more spots, where you can find a specific treasure. The game already has this partly: you can get Stalfos Skulls from killing Stalfos, you can get Bee Larva from destroying bee hives and you will always get a Regal Ring in the Lost at Sea Station. They could do more than that, e.g. scoring high in the Goron Target Range always gives you Goron Amber. Something that makes sense.


Ship Parts and Train Cars Abilities

Tri Force Heroes showed that appearances alone don't matter: the outfits in the game might look interesting, but they most importantly give you different abilities. And this could even be adapted here in various ways by completing a set of Ship Parts and Train Cars.

So, each completed set would offer a certain perk next to the additional hearts. These could be things like:

  • Enhanced Speed
  • Big Cannonballs
  • Triple Cannonballs
  • Scaring Enemies
  • Higher Jumps (PH)
  • Quicker Salvaging (PH)
  • Happier Passengers (ST)
  • Freight Protection (ST)

For example Demon Ship and the Dragon Train scare enemies away, so you won't get attacked as often by pirates and the like. The Iron Ship and Skull Train could offer stronger cannons, while the Cake Train makes its passengers extra happy, so you don't lose points as easily. Stuff like that.


Other Improvements

Since improving the game flow was a big thing in all Zelda remakes so far, the Nintendo DS Zelda games certainly wouldn't be an exception. I guess, the Temple of the Ocean King is the first thing that would come to mind for many Zelda fans, but I personally enjoy it the way it is. They could add more midway points though. Some people only have an issue with repeating sections, so let them skip them. I never use the midway point, because I want to use shortcuts for an optimal time, but I wouldn't mind the option.

But I personally would look more into Spirit Tracks when it comes to improving things, starting with the slow train rides. Just make it faster, problem solved. Add a 3rd gear and maybe a 2nd reverse gear. And maybe even add some of these insane Tears of Light on the overworld for light speed travel. Those could even be unlocked by Force Gems and new tracks, since some of the additional tracks are quite useless. Naturally the boat in Phantom Hourglass also could need an additional gear, but thanks to the teleporting the boat rides are not as tedious already...

The whole Phantom mechanics in Spirit Tracks could also be smoother. Maybe add a way to control the Phantom directly, instead of just drawing paths. The Phantom should also be faster and less prone to run into obstacles.

With Phantom Hourglass I would also want the fishing to be improved, so it's less random, especially getting a Stowfish. Spirit Tracks on the other hand needs a bigger Rabbit Net, which you should get after collecting 10 Rabbits or so. The minigame is way too annoying the way it is...


Additonal Features

Hero Mode from the start. Clear thing. Easy Zelda games are too easy.

With Phantom Hourglass they could also add something similar to the "Take 'Em All On!" challenge, where you fight lots of enemies and have a way to rebattle all bosses again. Don't lock it behind amiibo though...

Replaying Spirit Tracks on the Wii U

Done. This was the third time that I have completed this game. I went for the 100%, so I've caught all Rabbits, unlocked all tracks, got all Train Cars, earned a Diamond membership at Beedle's shop, scored 999 hits in the sword training (technically only 900 is necessary) and so on. I'm even a little sad that it's over. And that's some big statement considering that I usually claim this to be one of my least favorite Zelda games and the Zelda game with the lowest replay value.

Especially when I replayed this game in late 2010 (see here), I complained about, how slow this game really can be. But I guess, I went back to the game too early. Now, five years later, I didn't mind the train riding as much. The beautiful music really helps, as well as the entire scenery, though most of the time I simply imagined, how this pixelated mess would look like in a pretty 3D remake.

Pace

It still takes its time, I clocked 44 hours for this replay, ten more than with Phantom Hourglass. This is easily one of the longest Zelda game to complete, but not because it offers so much content, but because it plays quite slowly and a lot of grinding is required to complete your Train Cars collection.

One example of slowness, which really struck me this time around, are these birds around Papuchia, which you need to get from one small island to the next. In Phantom Hourglass you would simply draw a line with your Grappling Hook and you're over there in a split second. In this game you have to call the birds with a song, then attach to them with you whip and hold as they slowly fly towards your destination... Ugh.

But I've already compared both games in the past, where I pointed out, how Phantom Hourglass plays significantly faster in many ways.

Totem Time

I also wasn't very fond of the entire Phantom mechanics this time around, especially the path drawing feels inconvenient. And the Phantom is a lot slower than you, so you have to keep waiting for it, so the whole gameplay just drags on too much in these parts.


But it was interesting to see, how this game inspired the whole totem mechanic of Tri Force Heroes. I almost forget about these things and after playing Tri Force Heroes a lot going through these parts again was quite the surprise. The Phantom takes you piggyback, where you use the Whirlwind to blow off enemies riding on Armos. There's even a part, where the Phantom blocks flame throwers in order for you to pass, where a very similar puzzle exists in the Fortress area of Tri Force Heroes.

I also have to say that the final part of the Tower of Spirits is ingenious, easily one of the most clever dungeon parts in the series. This had good replay value, since even though I played this for the third time, I still struggled with some of the solutions. And it's rare to find puzzles of that quality in Zelda. Though a part of it had to do with the fact that you have to cross that long lava pit multiple times, because it takes a while to unlock shortcuts, which was rather badly designed and again adds to the slow pace of this game.

Spirit Flute

While the slow pace wasn't as much of turn-off as the last time, on the Wii U Virtual Console I was faced with an entire new problem. Let me present to you the real final boss of the game:


That's right, the Spirit Flute! Or let's better say the Wii U microphone. It really doesn't work well with this game and now I can fully understand the frustration people had in the original with this feature. On my Nintendo DS Lite playing the Spirit Flute never was an issue - blowing into the mic gave a continuous tone, as it should. If I ever had problems, it was with staying in tact. But the Wii U microphone seems to have some sort of noise filter activated. So, whenever you start blowing into the microphone, it shuts off. Or at least that's my theory, how it works, because it simply doesn't register all your hot air the same way the Nintendo DS did. And this can be super frustrating. Imagine that you want to play the right note, but nothing happens. And it's not your fault.

I'm not even exactly sure, how I did it in the end, but mostly I used short bursts to play every note individually. This, however, might take too long. And sometimes even this doesn't help, where you can blow at the thing all you want and nothing happens. Finding a good angle helps, but mostly it's just luck and you have to keep trying many, many times in order to complete all the Lokomo duets.

This even put me off, when I started to replay the game on the Wii U. Originally I wanted to play this right after Phantom Hourglass, but I ended up playing all the GBC Zelda games instead. I even continued with Harvest Moon GB afterwards, just because I felt replaying that would be more joy than the messed up Spirit Flute. But this week I finally got myself around to finish this despite the technical difficulties.

Nintendo needs to fix this somehow, either get the microphone to work properly or offer a button for microphone input. They still haven't released this elsewhere and this might even have to do with these issues...

Treasures

Another big problem in Spirit Tracks are also the fake rare treasures, which is every completionist's nightmare. Random stuff is bad enough, but random stuff with tampered probabilities is a lot worse. In Spirit Tracks some treasure might appear for you very rarely in order to have an incentive to actually use that Contact Mode with other people. In the original this was already an issue, but on the VC you can't even use this feature anymore and Nintendo didn't bother with fixing this problem, so you're stuck with near endless grinding.

This time I even had it a lot worse than on my cartridge savegames, where only two treasures seemed to be rare at a time. Now, the following five treasures played hard to get:

  • Demon Fossils
  • Star Fragments
  • Dark Pearl Loops
  • Ruto Crowns
  • Mystic Jade

What a mess! In my original playthrough on the Nintendo DS it used to be Wood Hearts and Black Pearl Loops. And when I replayed the game for the first time it was Bee Larva (I believe) and White Pearl Loops / Pearl Necklaces. And now I got this...

This was the first time that a 500 Rupee treasure turned out to be rare for me. And two of both the 50 Rupee and 150 Rupee category. With the 50 Rupee treasures this actually felt natural, since blowing leaves in Whittleton gives you acorns, bee larva and skulls most of the time... things that you actually might find under foliage, as opposed to fossils and crystals. And the Demon Fossils didn't appear to be rare at first, while the Star Fragments did. You only need nine Star Fragments, so this is one of the best treasures to be rare, but it later on bit appeared more often (though not as often as the others), while the Demon Fossils wouldn't show at all for me. And you need 25 of those...

With the higher prized categories I tried to abuse the Restore Points of the Virtual Console, but it didn't really help much. It felt like the probablities to get that Mystic Jade were around 1%, so I could reload dozens of times without any luck. But similar to Phantom Hourglass the game starts to have these bursts, where you suddenly you keep getting what you need, if you try long enough. Or at least it changes the probabilities temporarily, so a mixture of replaying the same minigame and Restore Points did the trick.

I also noticed, how either the Alchemy Stone / Gold Crystal or the Regal Ring will be rare for you. I went back to my old savegames on the Nintendo DS, where on my 2nd playthrough I didn't have many Alchemy Stones, but lots of Regal Rings. This time it was the other way around, I would find Alchemy Stones in random spots, but Regal Rings only in their set spots. Which actually is better, since you can always get more Regal Rings from the Lost at Sea Station (one of my favorite mini dungeons). The Alchemy Stone doesn't have a similar spot. Though this is only an issue, if you actually sell them.

It's quite weird, how this game is already six years old and in all this time no one has found out, how exactly the whole treasure system works with its probabilities. It would be nice to know...

Restore Points

While they didn't help too much with the treasures, Restore Points were at least very helpful with other things, especially the rabbits. Trying to catch all those can be frustrating, because if you miss, you have to go back to the nearest station. And some of these rabbits are very hard to catch. But luckily this was not an issue on the Virtual Console.

It also enabled me to do the 999 hits in the sword minigame in the "intended" way. Originally I abused a glitch to get there, but I couldn't get it to work this time. So, I decided to do those 999 hits the real way with the assistance of Restore Points, which really makes this bearable. I couldn't do it without it and I have huge respect for anyone, who did.


If A Link Between Worlds will ever be playable with Restore Points, then that's when I will finally complete the game with the 999.99 Cucco Run challenge. Even that would be bearable then.

Fin

Despite all the issues I enjoyed replaying Spirit Tracks more than I thought I would. I probably won't play this game again until there will be some updated remake, which I suspect might already happen in the next generation. Both Nintendo DS Zelda games haven't aged well with those graphics and there are many things to improve here, where I probably make another blog post about this. But it was nice to refresh my memories of this game a little.

Next Zelda games on my replay list are the NES Classics on the 3DS Virtual Console, where I probably just keep praising Restore Points. I will play these in February, which certainly will be a nice fit for the start of the anniversary. And in March I will be busy essentially replaying Twilight Princess with its HD re-release.

After the Nintendo DS Zeldas I also really want to replay Skyward Sword, since it followed these games, but I still don't have a TV yet, so this will have to wait until later this year...

Monday, January 25, 2016

30th Anniversary Banner?

The 30th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda starts on February 21st, in less than a month. And in March Nintendo is already releasing lots of Zelda stuff like Twilight Princess HD, the New Nintendo 3DS XL Hyrule Edition (in Europe) and Hyrule Warriors Legends in the West. But why is nothing here already put under the 30th Anniversary banner?



(image by Alexander Martinez)

Well, some of these things were already released earlier in other regions, but at least Twilight Princess HD should fully fall under the 30th Anniversary releases. And in 2011 nearly everything Zelda was released under the 25th Anniversary banner, starting with the Ocarina of Time 3D soundtrack CD. So, why not here? What are they waiting for?

Okay, in 2011 the Anniversary banner was already revealed at GDC in March, but they waited for the E3 to reveal their full 25th Anniversary plans, so Ocarina of Time 3D itself didn't receive this label at first. And the same might happen right now with Twilight Princess HD and all the other March releases. It's still quite curious, because it feels like they would start advertising all these products with the anniversary right away, instead of waiting until E3, just for the hype of it.

And what will be left? 2011 had the reveal of 25th Anniversary concerts, the Four Swords Anniversary Edition, Hyrule Historia, Skyward Sword with a golden Wii Remote and more. There were quite some big surprises and I wonder, what surprises the 30th Anniversary will offer.

Naturally the Zelda game for Wii U will get the most attention and considering that the 30th Anniversary of Super Mario Bros. focused almost solely on Super Mario Maker, it's entirely possible that Zelda U will be the entire focus of the 30th Anniversary as well. Aonuma said that there might be 30th Anniversary concerts, but that's nothing new or surprising, especially since they have Zelda concerts all year long.

But what else could they do? We have been recently teased by the new president Kimishima that Nintendo is licensing movies and TV animes, where something for Zelda would certainly be a surprise, which might please many Zelda fans...

I'm also considering the possibility of a smaller release, maybe revolving around the first Zelda game, like a new Zelda game that is made in a similar style, though we certainly had our share of remakes, remasters and requels in the last years. But The Legend of Zelda for the Wii U is going to be the 19th Zelda game, unless they put some small game before that, because then Zelda U would be the 20th Zelda game during the 30th Anniversary, offering a double anniversary. For this the release would have to be something original though or at least something similar to A Link Between Worlds, because remakes, remasters and re-releases don't count.

This brings me back to my idea of Random Zelda, where you might have a game following the style of the first Zelda game, which randomly generates worlds and dungeons each time you play it. This could be interesting, but it would also fall behind Super Mario Maker, while being too similar at the same time.

With the 25th Anniversary they wanted to avoid doing the same things they did for Mario and this will probably apply to the 30th Anniversary of Zelda as well, while at the same time they want to avoid copying the 25th Anniversary of Zelda. Nintendo wants to surprise people for better or worse, where a Zelda anime certainly would feel different enough from anything they've done so far, not counting that 90s TV show (though I personally find that one hilarious). Imagine an anime in the same art style as Zelda U - the game already gives you a certain anime vibe, which could be expanded upon.

Anyway, still I would like to see something like the "Realm of Memories" as a new set of levels for Tri Force Heroes as a 30th Anniversary gift, though this would be quite similar to Four Swords in 2011. And they probably shouldn't wait until E3 to release new content for Tri Force Heroes, this game needs attention now.