Friday, January 9, 2009

Miyamoto patents hint and digest system

This may be the first information about what you can expect in the next Zelda game. On January 8th 2009 a patent of Shigeru Miyamoto was published by the US Patent & Trademark office. It contains technical information about a new hint system and a digest mode, both of them may be used in the next Zelda game.

However it is called "Computer-readable storage medium having game program stored therein, and game apparatus" and reading patents is a skill of its own. But if I understand the specifications correctly, it does the following:

  • The hint system let's you view demos how to solve certain puzzles in the game, if you can't solve them.

  • The digest mode gives you the possibility of replaying certain parts of the game without the help of seperate savegames.

You can read the full patent and even view images about how the systems work here. This information is still unconfirmed and brand new.

My thoughts:

Well, if the digest mode works like I think it does, it is actually a really cool idea. In previous Zelda games like Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess I used to store extra savegames for the dungeons on seperate memory cards, so I could replay them any time. With the digest system, something like this wouldn't be necessary. You just unlock the "scenes" by playing through the game.

About the hint system, obviously Nintendo wants to take players into consideration, who gave up on a game midway through, because it was too hard or frustrating or whyever. However, this isn't bad news. That's definitely better than simply making the games easier. Those, who can't solve the puzzles or beat the bosses by their own, just play in the hint mode and everything is fine. So, games can be hard again.

Source: US Patent & Trademark Office

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