Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Spirit Tracks and a Stage Builder

Apparently this fall we will get the first DSi-exclusive and DSi-enhanced games (source). You can probably compare this to the GameBoy Color, some games like Link's Awakening DX did run on both GameBoy and GameBoy Color, but came with some exclusive features for the new system, and some games like the Oracle games were entirely exclusive for the GBC and didn't run on the older version of the GameBoy. Same concept here with the DSi.

While The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks was announced to run on all three DS versions, I wouldn't wonder if it's a DSi-enhanced game, which comes with some DSi-exclusive features to boost the sales of the DSi system a little. Nintendo does that all the time, just take a look at the Zelda series. I already mentioned Link's Awakening DX, which came with the Color Dungeon. Oracle of Ages & Seasons did have the GBA Shops, which were selling two exclusive (but worthless) rings, but you could only enter the shops while playing the games on a GameBoy Advance. Probably not biggest motivation for someone to buy a GameBoy Advance, but still an exclusive feature. And finally The Wind Waker featured the Tingle Tuner to advertise the GBA connection cable. Of course those are all just small things, you could look at them more as a bonus for having the new hardware, not as a real reason to buy the hardware.

As for Spirit Tracks I don't think, that we would get something, that utilizes the cameras. But the game could take advantage of the option to download things on an SD card. One possibility could be downloadable content, like a new bonus dungeon, that can only be downloaded and played on the DSi. That would be similar to the Color Dungeon in Link's Awakening DX in a way. Or since Spirit Tracks will have a multiplayer mode, they could offer new stages. But why not even take it further and give the Zelda fans the possibility of making their own stages? Much like the Stage Builder in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. People loved that thing, just look at the thousands of stages available at IGN. Stages for Spirit Tracks could be stored on your SD card and traded all over the internet.

And unlike the Stage Builder in SSB Brawl selfmade stages wouldn't lack quality compared to the original stages. Because the graphics in the NDS Zelda games are already very simple. You wouldn't need much, the default stage while loading the Stage Builder would be a large floor square enclosed by walls at the perimeters. You would be able to place new walls, to change the floors to your liking and to place game elements like items. And there should be different themes. The dungeon theme of course with spiked floors, pits and maybe safe zones. And an outdoor environment theme with water, trees and rocks as special structures. You wouldn't need too many elements to make a powerful editor, which is able to create stages close to the environments in the actual games. The following picture, which I've made using Photoshop, shows how I would picture such an editor:

I guess, something like this would be a lot of fun, Zelda fans all over the world could trade their self-made Zelda stages. For me personally this even would be finally a good reason to get a Nintendo DSi (I still don't have one, only a DSLite). I love working with level editors and my own Spirit Tracks stages would be a nice addition for my download section on this blog, which only features Unreal maps and SSB Brawl stages so far. And I don't think, this is an unrealistic vision, since the Stage Builder of SSB Brawl was quite the popular feature and because Nintendo is experimenting with User Generated Content a lot lately, especially on the DSi. So, I wouldn't be surprised, if we get a level editor for Spirit Tracks' multiplayer mode, actually I would be a little disappointed if not.

1 comment:

Ocarina of Time Fan said...

that is true. i have the zelda DS, and want a dsi for that reason, (the enhanced features)