Monday, September 30, 2013

You can't miss Knuckle's figurine in The Wind Waker HD

Got this confirmed from jayman7 @ GameFAQs, who tested this. The figurine collection won't get completed until you have a figurine of Knuckle.

The figurine description of Knuckle even says something about him not liking the fact that the gallery used to be considered complete without him. :D I like this. They really did a great job with all the improvements.

This also means that there is absolutely nothing missable anymore in The Wind Waker HD. Even if you fail to get a Pictograph of some of the missable characters, you can still get them from Tingle Bottles. So, there's no way to screw up your figurine collection.

I should be getting this game on Friday. Can't wait.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tingle Bottles can give you Missable Figurines

I always try to complete my Zelda games for 100% and missable items can be a problem with that. In The Wind Waker there is a series of figurines, which you can miss by not taking their pictographs at the right time or before they are gone from the game. This is them:

  • Big Octo
  • Cyclos
  • Phantom Ganon
  • Helmaroc King
  • Tetra
  • (Kogoli)
  • Wizzrobe King
  • Puppet Ganon

Kogoli was probably the worst, because he's just some random insignificant Rito, who disappears from the game for no apparant reason after Medli awakens as a sage. Easy to miss. But it might be that they patched this... I'm not sure.

Now, The Wind Waker HD made collecting the missables already easier with the "Carlov Sigil", which tells you whenever a pictograph is good enough to be accepted by Carlov. The best examples, where this is useful, are probably Cyclos, Puppet Ganon, Helmaroc King or Tetra. To makes sure you really get these figurines you had to go through quite some extra trouble. For example in the case of Cyclos you have to take a pictograph of him, manually travel to Forest Haven, get the figurine and then you can finally fight him to get the Ballad of Gales. With the new sigil function you can just get the Ballad of Gales right away. Or with the Helmaroc King and Tetra you had a long series of cutscenes and events and you weren't allowed to save until Carlov accepted both figurines. If you screwed up one of the shots, you had to start over at the Helmaroc King boss battle and go through everything again. But now you have assurance that your pictographs work. So, you can save normally, play the game normally without worrying about the figurines.

Of course not everyone knows what figurines are missable and most people probably won't bother with collecting them until the end of the game. But not missing anything requires knowledge of what can be missed and not forgetting about the figurines, etc. So, if this is your first time playing the game, you will most likely miss something, unless you're really thorough.

But The Wind Waker HD even has a solution for this! You can actually use pictographs from Tingle Bottles - you can give them to Carlov and he will accept them as they were yours. Which makes sense. And if you're lucky you find a bottle with a pictograph of Tetra or any of the other missable figurines.

I on the other hand would even go as far and be the nice guy, who sends out Tingle Bottles with pictographs of all eight missable figurines. Missed Cyclos? Here you go! I'm really starting to like the whole Tingle Bottle Miiverse thing. Of course it's basically Zelda Instagramm and you will get lots of crab, but it obviously can be useful as well. And collecting the bottles seems to be fun.

And wonder, if Knuckle is actually still missable. He was missable in the GameCube version, if you tried to get his figurine last. Carlov ended his work, whether you got Knuckle's figurine or not, because if you don't have a GameBoy Advance or the cable, you would never have been able to complete your figurine collection. I'm pretty sure that they will fix this, since you don't need any extra hardware for Knuckle anymore, but I will test this. Because if he's still missable that way, even Tingle Bottles can't help you.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Postbox: Minish Cap Quick Questions

Hi Tourian Tourist,

just two questions, you might be able to answer them from the top of your head:

1. In Minish Cap are there kingstone fusion points which are possible to miss due to advances in the story?

2. What is a good betting strategy for getting all the figurines? (I mean, if you can secure the shell supply you can always go for the 100% in betting for an individual piece and I don't think that is the case.)

Your answers will greatly define my enthusiasm in getting a 100% here.


1. None are missable. But you can miss the Light Arrows, which you can only get after fusing with the stranger in a house in northwestern Hyrule Town. This fusion creates a portal in South Hyrule Field (right above Link's house), which leads to a mysterious building of the Wind Tribe. In the upper floor you can find a sick, old man named Gregal, who is haunted by a ghost. Suck in the ghost with a Gust Jar. If you don't do that before reaching the building on the normal path later in the game, he will pass away and you can't get the Light Arrows from him. So, do this as early as possible.

Also, if you happen to play the European version, there's a glitch with one of the Scarecrows that prevents the fusion with him. This leads to missing one of the Gorons in the Goron cave, missing a bottle and ultimately the Mirror Shield. Very nasty. Just make sure that you have the blue Kinstone pieces (the squared off one) before attempting to fuse with him. If you're playing the North American version, don't worry, this got fixed.

2. It's best to only bet one shell at a time. The probability remains high enough and you will most likely get a new figurine per shell. Even probabilities of 30% to 50% are still good enough, so keep going with one shell. The amount of shells, which you need to get back to 100% is much higher than the amount of individual shells, which you will statistically waste on duplicate figurines. For example a chance of 33% means that you still get a new figurine about every third try. So, with 33% you would have to bet about 3 shells to get a new figurine, if you use one shell per bet. However, you would need to invest 67 shells to increase the probability back to 100%. It's always one additional percent per shell.

So, you see, the most cost-efficient strategy is to place one shell per bet, not more. You might get many duplicates, but you will save many more shells. But when the probability goes below 15% you might want to bet more shells to fasten the process. At this point it's unbearable to bet only one shell, because the chances are so slim.

To farm more shells, use the infinite Rupee trick at Link's house. Left to the door of his house on the outside you can dig up 20 Rupees. Go back inside and the 20 Rupees will be back again. Repeat this multiple times to get enough Rupees. You can buy 30 shells from the shop for 200 Rupees, but you can also get a Green Picolyte from Beedle for 100 Rupees, which is more efficient, if used right. Use the latter in the grassy areas of Trilby Highlands in combination with a Great Spin Attack to get many shells at once.

I got the light arrows by myself, so this means I can backtrack all the areas and get my 4 missing fuses? I might got to the wrong conclusion based on this:

"This guide aims to help people find all the remain Kinstone fusions, but since most aren't available at the end of the game and that some fusers disappear as part of the plot."

GameFAQs: Kinstone Fusion Guide

I'm also missing 5 hearts, 1 chicken game (argh), 1 for figurines and 3 I think I can get by backtracking.

Also, if I understand correctly, there is no special reward for killing the golden beasts, they're just part of the kingstone process.

If you got the Light Arrows, there's nothing you can miss. And yes, the guide is correct that there are many fusers, which will be gone at the end of the game (like the King of Hyrule). But... there are more fusers than fusions. A majority of Kinstone fusions get shared by many people all over Hyrule. So, you can get the same fusion result from two different people. There are people, which will be gone at the end of the game, but it doesn't matter, because you can get the fusions from someone else. You can potentially fuse with every single character in the game, but when the fusions run out, the people won't fuse with you anymore. For example you might never fuse with Epona, even though it's possible. But you still get all 100 fusions.

There are Kinstone fusions, which you can only get from a specific person (like the Ghost at the graveyard makes he ghost at town disappear), but none of these persons will disappear. So, there isn't a single Kinstone fusion, which you can miss. You can get them all at the end of the game.

And yes, killing the golden beasts only yields Rupees and no additional rewards.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Wind Waker HD: Treasure Charts 42, 43, 44, 45 and 46

I've been following LightninZombie's stream, who 100%ed the game except for the figurines. Finding all of the new Treasure Charts was quite tricky... but this is where you can find the new treasure charts:

I also noticed that the Magic Armor now actually consumes Rupees like in Twilight Princess and not magic. But not all the time, only if you get hit. However, the hits consume tons of Rupees, so you will lose all your money pretty quickly if you keep getting hit. But I guess it's a good use for all the Rupees that you save and win from the shortened Triforce quest, the new Treasure Charts and the Tingle Statues.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Wind Waker HD: Knuckle and Tingle Statues Unlocked

Cosmo just found one. Apparently all you have to do is placing a bomb, where you normally would place a Tingle Bomb. The treasure chest with the Tingle Statue then appears like it would on the GameCube. Yay.

Right now there remains the question, how this got revamped as a new quest. Because if you haven't played the GameCube original with the Tingle Tuner, there's no way that you would find these on your own. Like in the original they are not marked on your map. And it would be weird if Nintendo had these in the game without any clues.

Maybe it has to do with the Miiverse. Like some secret treasure hunting where the people post the statue locations on Miiverse. And in the original it was Ankle, who asked you to collect all statues, so maybe he gives you some hints about the statues.

All of this would be nice to know, because we still don't know about Knuckle. Maybe he gets unlocked by collecting all statues, like I theorized before? And I wonder, if you can also make the 100 Rupee pot spawn on Outset Island in similar fashion.

But right now I'm just happy that you're still able to get these. Can't wait to learn more!

As I thought, Knuckle gets unlocked by collecting all five Tingle Statues. LightninZombie did it in his stream. Ankle gives you Rupees as he did in the original.

It seems like there are no clues or hints for the statues at all. So, it might be that it's just a Miiverse word of mouth thing? Or maybe it's a secret that's meant for the people, who've played with the Tingle Tuner in the original. You don't get anything from this except for Rupees, Knuckle's figurine and Miiverse bragging rights.

The Wind Waker HD: Lots of Small but Great Improvements

So, I've been watching Cosmo's Livestream all day and he showed us several new and improved things. Also, there has been a video from GameXplain, which showed some previously unannounced improvements:

- you can now change directions while swinging
- the Pictobox now adds a "Carlov Sigil" to Pictographs that will get accepted by Carlov
- Carlov accepts multiple figurines per night!
- Deku Leaf now uses the Tingle Tuner reticle to show your position
- much faster screen text
- options for HUD and camera controls
- Forest Water lasts 30 minutes, shows timer on item
- hints from Fishmen can be viewed in the map menu

All great stuff. Well, the extension of the Forest Water's time doesn't seem necessary now that we have the Swift Sail, but whatever... I really like how they improved the figurine collection. This might now actually become a very fun and enjoyable sidequest, instead of being the most tedious sidequest ever. For example you can now easily make a picture of Cyclos and the camera tells you that it's okay - so you can shoot him and teleport to Forest Haven right away. No need to take his picture, travel back to Forest Haven and then face him again. And that you don't have to play the Song of Passing 24 times per run is a huge relief.

The 2nd Quest sadly didn't get mirrored. It would have been nice to see the world in a mirrored version. Imagine Outset in the southeast and Dragon Roost in the northwest. I kind of like that thought.

Cosmo is also looking for Knuckle and Tingle Statues, if they're still in the game (I believe they are) - so stay tuned. I might have been right that you need to throw Tingle Bottles at the places, where the statues used to be.

Apropos Tingle Bottles - they are all over the place and it looks like collecting them is a lot of fun. They also add to the sea travelling, because you can find them everywhere on the ocean.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Two weeks!

That The Wind Waker HD gets released digitally two weeks before retail release in North America, but not Europe, is just inexcusable. The world is connected today and patience isn't a modern virtue anymore. They can't just release the game two weeks apart in different English speaking regions. You can already watch Live Streams, Let's Plays and everything of this game, but you can't buy the game here in Europe. It's sad. It feels like you have to watch all the other kids getting the cool toys. I'm unhappy about it. (feelings, Nintendo, feelings)

The game is out, but you can't buy it. People here in Europe will watch playthroughs on Youtube instead and when the game finally gets released in two weeks, they've seen all of it. Which might cause some people not to buy it... or buy it at a later time, because they're sick of it at the moment. In today's world two weeks are a long time.

Bad move, Nintendo. This will better not happen with A Link Between Worlds. We don't live in 2003 anymore, sync up.

PS: Watching Cosmo atm!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Wind Waker HD: IN-credible Chart Revealed

Nintendo lifted the review embargo for The Wind Waker HD and the game already has been seen in stores, so in the next few days we should learn everything we want to know about the HD remaster. Sadly most reviews so far have been very shallow, dealing more with the content of the original game than the improvements of the HD version. So, so far we still haven't learned anything new yet, like let's say the whereabouts of the Tingle Statues.

The review from GameTrailers (written by TSA) is one of the more critical ones, which I like, because surely they could have done more with The Wind Waker HD than they did. But in his video he presented us with the IN-credible Chart, which is great, because we finally get to know, which Triforce Shards can be gotten directly without a Triforce Chart. So, let's take a look:

It was safe to assume that the four minidungeons at Outset, Overlook Island, Stonewatcher Island and your private cabana would lead down to Hyrule and give you the Triforce Shards directly. And this seems to be the case. The last Triforce Shard goes to the Ghost Ship, which I think is an excellent choice. It's probably the longest quest next to the Savage Labyrinth, so having a shard here makes it more balanced. And storywise the Ghost Ship could become a vessel that was looking for the "Triumph Forks" and they actually managed to salvage one, but then they became cursed by evil. This works just fine. With the Golden Warship, Islet of Steel and Bird's Peak Rock the quests are very short, you can get the Triforce Chart with little to no effort, so still having a Triforce Chart in these places makes it feel more balanced as well.

Bird's Peak Rock would have been another option, because it does have a hole potentially leading down to Hyrule, but they would have needed to add another minidungeon to this place to make it feel like an actual effort.

It also seems like the three remaining Triforce Charts lead to the original places. The chart from Islet of Steel leads to Greatfish Island, the chart from Bird's Peak Rock leads to Stone Watcher Island and the chart from the warship leads to the Cliff Plateau Isles. Actually this looks all very close to each other, so you can probably combine some stuff, like getting the two Triforce Shards at Stone Watcher Island at once.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Let's Design a Cave of Ordeals / Savage Labyrinth for Ocarina of Time

I guess one of the biggest missed opportunities of Ocarina of Time 3D was adding a pit trial dungeon similar to the Savage Labyrinth from The Wind Waker or the Cave of Ordeals in Twilight Princess. A simple addition that Zelda veterans love to play. So, let's try to design our own 50 story pit trial dungeon for Ocarina of Time.

It will use the same structure as the other ones. You go down and need to kill every enemy to progress. Every tenth floor is a safe zone with a price and an optional exit. It mostly uses enemies from dungeons.

Forest Floors (1 - 10)

Floor 01: Deku Baba
Floor 02: 2x Mad Scrubs, 5x Keese
Floor 03: 2x Skulltula, Big Deku Baba
Floor 04: 2x Wolfos
Floor 05: Stalfos
Floor 06: 3x Big Skulltula, 5x Skullwalltula
Floor 07: 5x Blue Bubbles, 3x Gohma Larva
Floor 08: Big Deku Baba, 5x Gohma Larva
Floor 09: Club Moblin, 2x Stalfos
Floor 10: 10 Bombchus (each time)

Fire Floors (11 - 20)

Floor 11: Beamos, 6x Baby Dodongo, 3x Red Tektite
Floor 12: 6x Door Mimic, 2x Lizalfos
Floor 13: 3x Dodongo, 5x Fire Keese
Floor 14: 3x Lizalfos
Floor 15: Beamos, 8x Armos, Like Like
Floor 16: 6x Torch Slug, 3x Blade Trap
Floor 17: 2x Boulder, 4x Like Like
Floor 18: 3x Dinolfos, Fire Eye
Floor 19: Boulder, Blade Trap, Flare Dancer
Floor 20: 50 Rupees (each time)

Water / Ice Floors (21 - 30)

Floor 21: 6x Shaboms, 6x Ice Keese
Floor 22: 2x Bari, 6x Biri, 3x Tailpasaran
Floor 23: 4x Shell Blades, 5x Spikes, 2x Blade Traps (water pool)
Floor 24: 6x Blue Tektite, 3x Stinger (water pool)
Floor 25: Big Octo
Floor 26: 5x Freezard, 8x Ice Keese
Floor 27: 2x White Wolfos, 6x Ice Keese
Floor 28: 3x Stalfos
Floor 29: Dark Link
Floor 30: Pegasus Boots

Shadow Floors (31 - 40)

Floor 31: 8x ReDead
Floor 32: Dead Hand
Floor 33: 3x Poe, 3x Blue Bubble
Floor 34: 3x Beamos, 3x Floormaster, Blade Trap
Floor 35: Wallmaster, 3x Blade Trap, Fire Eye
Floor 36: 5x ReDead, 6x Big Skulltula
Floor 37: 10x Gibdo, 2x Like Like
Floor 38: 4x Stalfos
Floor 39: 2x Dead Hand
Floor 40: 200 Rupees (each time)

Spirit Floors (41 - 50)

Floor 41: 8x Leever, Big Leever, Blade Trap
Floor 42: 3x Anubis, Floormaster, Blade Trap
Floor 43: 6x Gibdo, Iron Knuckle
Floor 44: 3x Floormaster
Floor 45: 6x Beamos, 3x Armos, 2x Dinolfos
Floor 46: 2x Club Moblin, Iron Knuckle
Floor 47: Wallmaster, Iron Knuckle, 4x Floormaster
Floor 48: 3x Iron Knuckle
Floor 49: Dark Link, 2x Iron Knuckles
Floor 50: Great Fairy (Grants you Hylia's Light)

Or something like that. Feel free to use this as a blueprint for your own version. You could also consider that Master Quest might get a tougher variant of the dungeon.

Hylia's Light would be another of these spells (similar to Din's Fire, Nayru's Love and Farore's Thunder), but it doubles your sword power for a certain amount of time (it makes your sword glow in light). The Pegasus Boots simply make you walk faster as adult Link (similar effect to the Bunny Hood). Both items would fill the two empty spots inside Ocarina of Time 3D's inventory.

I personally would have loved that. Ocarina of Time 3D would be a lot better with additions like these.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Aonuma Laughs at Question about Majora's Mask 3D

... but wants the fans to interpret the laughter in any way (IGN).

It's interesting that Polygon asked him about a potential Twilight Princess HD or Skyward Sword HD and he clearlys says "no, not right now, unless someone else does it". But when asked about Majora's Mask 3D he's dodging. So, it's safe to assume that it's at least something Nintendo is considering at the moment. Because otherwise he would give a more direct answer.

As I've already said before, Majora's Mask 3D is more a question of "when". Half of the work got already done with Ocarina of Time 3D, they would be stupid not to do this. And Aonuma already expressed how the game would profit from the system's Sleep Mode. Grezzo, the studio that made Ocarina of Time 3D and its engine, have finished their last project in June (the StreetPass Garden game), and I wouldn't wonder if they're already working on MM3D. Could be slated for a Summer 2014 release.

And since they've already finished the engine with Ocarina of Time 3D, they could focus on actual new content this time, something that has been badly missing from Ocarina of Time 3D and The Wind Waker HD.

Light Ring Chart

(No, not the ingame item, but something that's actually useful...!)

So, I dug up my beloved old GameCube to play The Wind Waker a little bit, just to get the full feeling of the old game, before the new version hits the stores. I already had replayed the game two years ago, but your memories still might trick you into thinking that the game was something that it's really not. Interestingly Aonuma used this as a design approach for The Wind Waker HD according to a recent interview with US Gamer. If something didn't match up to their memories, they tried to improve it.

Well, I didn't want to replay the game from start to finish, because that's something I want to do with the remake, so I decided to do some sailing, looking for some uncharted Light Rings, which I might have missed. I usually try to 100% all Zelda games and I claim that I did that with every Zelda so far, but in some cases it's really hard to judge, if you really got everything and didn't miss anything. Of course for Pieces of Heart and similar collectibles that's easy to figure out, because you have clear indicators for those, but with uncharted treasure chests out in the open, you never know. Especially with all the little Light Rings on the ocean of The Wind Waker. They are everywhere and very easy to miss.

Previously I used the Tingle Tuner to "scan" the ocean for any left treasures in my 100% completed 2nd Quest savegame. However, that was a big hassle. You have to move the reticle over every pixel of the map screen in order to find something hidden. And of course the Tingle Tuner will be absent from the HD version, so that's not really an option anymore. Luckily there's the incredible Light Ring Chart at GameFAQs by Crono2418 and Banjo2553. Definitely one of the more useful guides out there (next to my awesome Ring Guide). It tells you the locations of all the uncharted Light Rings, which is a huge help, if you really want to have nothing left in the game world.

I even made a printable version of the guide for myself:

Print this and mark the Light Rings, when you get them. Perfect for a new playthrough. (I assume/hope that the Light Rings remain in the same position in The Wind Waker HD or otherwise the above chart will sadly be useless in the HD version.) You could consider this "cheating", but I suppose it's better than travelling over every point of the ocean and never knowing if you missed any. Or using the Tingle Tuner.

So, I returned to the savegame from my replay session two years ago (a 1st Quest, where I managed to collect all figurines at the end), travelled the ocean and looked for any left treasure chests there ... The Light Ring Chart works great, but in this case it was hard to use, because I didn't know which ones I already had gotten two years ago. But with The Wind Waker HD I will print this chart and cross out the ones I get right from the start. Should work great then (unless of course they changed the locations). I also used to make a little note chart while playing, where I would write down, in which squares I've conquered Platforms, Submarines or Secret Caves, got Blue Jelly from Blue Chu Chus or defeated Big Octos. I guess I can just combine the two, cross out the Light Rings and write down any stuff I did on the squares.

I've played the original GameCube version for about two or three hours this week and I have to say that I really, really want to play the new HD version instead. While sailing on the ocean all I could think about was the new Swift Sail. I want it SO BADLY. You travel much faster, there's no need to change the wind, it's perfect. I could imagine that the new Swift Sail makes cruising on the open sea so enjoyable that you won't miss any Light Rings anyway, because you'll cruise over every square inch just for fun.

And navigating in the original version is really inconvenient, when you constantly have to switch between the game and map screen. It should be so much nicer, when you can just look at map on the GamePad, while playing the game on TV. I'm really looking forward to these improvements.

Also, I think the original looks kind of dull and bleak now that I've seen the updated visuals. I know that many people don't like all the bloom and are making lots of bloom jokes, but I think it makes the game look a lot fresher and more interesting. It makes it really pop. The only thing that might disturb me is when there's new lighting effects without any obvious light source. I've noticed this seems to be the case in dungeons, where they cast shadows while there's no torch, lantern, window or anything in the room...

The Wind Waker HD: Early Deluxe Picto Box

According to ZeldaUniverse you now can get the Deluxe Picto Box on your first visit at Windfall Island in The Wind Waker HD, even before heading to Dragon Roost. Which means you don't need a Forest Firefly to get the upgraded color camera.

And I've also heard a rumor on NeoGAF that the Pictobox now tells you when a shot is "great", meaning that it will get accepted by Carlov, which should make dealing with the missable figurines a lot easier. Combine all of this with the fact that you can now save up to 12 pictures instead of just 3, there's little to no excuse not to get an entire figurine collection on your first playthrough. I was aiming to do this anyway, but I didn't expect that it's going to be so much more easy and enjoyable.

However, this makes me wonder about the 2nd Quest... next to outfit changes, different treasure locations and the ability to read Hylian the main aspect of the 2nd Quest in the Wind Waker was getting the Deluxe Picto Box right at the start. For the most people the main reason to play the 2nd Quest was completing their figurine collections... Since that's so easy to do now in your first playthrough, why play the 2nd Quest?

I hope Nintendo considered this and added some twists to the 2nd Quest. I know that the "mirror the game world" thing from Ocarina of Time 3D's Master Quest and the Wii version of Twilight Princess is somewhat cheap, but I'd like to see it in The Wind Waker nonetheless. Imagine Outset to be in the southeast, Dragon Roost in the northwest... It's one of these things, where a very small change can have great effects. It's easy to implement (like the Hero Mode), but it screws with the orientation of the player so badly that it turns into a whole new experience. So, I hope that the 2nd Quest at least becomes a "Mirror Mode" now.

Also... the Tingle Statues still remain to be a mystery. Well, it could be that collecting the Tingle Statues is something that you do in the 2nd Quest only.

Aonuma Says Some Good Stuff Lately

It's known that I'm not the biggest fan of Aonuma. He has never beaten the NES games and therefore probably doesn't know what made them great at their time (he couldn't even get past the Octoroks!), he has made a Zelda game about trains for his little son and regularily expressed that he's tired of making Zelda... so, it's only natural that a fan would blame the guy for everything that's wrong with the Zelda series at the moment. After all he now became the face of Zelda after Miyamoto left.

But I must say that lately he has been saying some good things. Things I wanted to hear for a long time. For me personally exploration and freedom are very important aspects to a Zelda game. I want to explore on my own, I want to play dungeons out of order, I want to have many solutions for a single dungeon. Linearity and hand holding are usually the poison that plagues the modern Zelda games. I also want environments rich of secrets and other things to discover. I want to feel like I'm exploring and not just following some linear path.

Now Aonuma already announced in January that they want to let you play dungeons out of order. And in A Link Between Worlds it seems like you get to chose the next item, which determines your path through the game. So far so good. Maybe a little bit too extreme, but it's an interesting approach that I like.

Now, here are some quotes from an interview with IGN:

"Well, as you know, Wind Waker really takes the biggest look at Hyrule. It has the biggest world of all the games in the Zelda series, and players are able to move around it freely [...] I think it’s something that I’d like to be able to implement in other games moving forward. Again, just the idea of giving players the freedom to move about and have an enjoyable experience is definitely something I’m keeping in mind when looking at new development."

"[The player is] always discovering new things within that world, rather than just wandering around a physically large area. That’s something I want to continue doing in development going forward – creating that environment where [they] can go explore and find new and interesting things."

Exploration. Thank you! That's something that has mostly been missing from Skyward Sword. Well, I enjoyed Skyloft and the Faron Woods, but the rest has been pretty linear and/or empty.

And this is just an example. He's been talking about exploration and giving the player freedom a lot lately.

Another quote from an interview with MTV Multiplayer:

"What I really, really want to create, what my ultimate hope or goal is, to create a game without a story - not to say that the story is nonexistent, but it's a story that isn't already created. It's a story that the player, in interacting with the space or environment, creates. So, a story that is defined by the player, not one that is already prepared, and a game that just kind of follows that path, if that makes sense."

This goes well in hand with my idea that an entire Zelda game might get generated while you play. Every playthrough offers a different experience. I would like to see this in Zelda, but he might be talking about something that turns into its own IP here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Wind Waker HD has new Treasure Charts and Relocated Items

This comes from Zelda Informer, look at the comments:

Hero's Charm has been replaced with Treasure Chart #45 which is for a 200 Rupee chest. The Hero's Charm has replaced the Heart Piece in the 50-floor dungeon on Outset Island. I still don't know where the relocated Heart Piece is.

So, it appears that the five removed Triforce Charts have been replaced by five new normal Treasure Charts (#42 to #46). I previously had the theory that the five new Treasure Charts will be "Tingle Charts" and would lead to the five golden Tingle Statues. After all it was reported that the statues will be still there and it made the most sense to me, since there were exactly five missing charts and five statues...

However, this doesn't seem to be the case. Instead you get charts with even more Rupees (though you don't really need them anymore for Tingle). Also, ZeldaDungeon is currently updating their walkthrough with many new screenshots of The Wind Waker HD. One caught my attention:

What do you see? Yeah, nothing. The spot on the other side used to have the chest with the Tingle Statue. I don't know if there's another method of revealing these chests or if they're completely gone. We'll see. In the original you had to make the chest appear with a Tingle Bomb from the Tingle Tuner. Since the Tingle Statues were based on the dungeons, it would be a little sad not to get anything here. Maybe you can only see them with the Hero's Charm or something similar. Maybe this gets unlocked by using the Tingle Bottle or receiving Miiverse messages. For example the treasure chest could appear, if you use a Tingle Bottle at this spot and throw it into the lava. We'll see.

About the Hero's Charm, it's a little sad that it's now the reward from the place, where you potentially would use the item the most. But it's definitely better than a lame Piece of Heart. Or 10 Rupees. You have to consider that in the Japanese version of The Wind Waker you actually got 10 Rupees at the end of the Savage Labyrinth. This was probably some evil joke by the developers that got removed in the Western releases. And that's definitely a huge improvement in item locations, at least in Japan. The Piece of Heart I think was found under Grandma's house instead (where you get 100 Rupees in the other versions).

It should also be interesting to see where the other new Treasure Charts will be found. I could imagine that some of them are gotten from collecting the Tingle Statues from either Ankle or Knuckle.

The Piece of Heart from the Savage Labyrinth can now be gotten via a new Treasure Chart found on Pawprint Island.

Club Nintendo Japan Gets The Wind Waker HD Sound Collection

This seems to be similar to the Ocarina of Time 3D Soundtrack two years ago, it even got the same red CD. However, the soundtrack of Ocarina of Time 3D was with the exception of the credits the same as the original soundtrack. This time, however, they updated some of the music pieces in The Wind Waker HD (like Windfall Island for example), so this should be more interesting.

Like with the Ocarina of Time 3D soundtrack you have to register the game in the Club Nintendo to get it.

I really hope that we can get this in Europe as well. It makes all the day one purchasing even more worth it!

Source via NintendoEverything

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ocarina of Time 3D: Horseback Archery 2000 Points

Yesterday I dug up Ocarina of Time 3D to refresh my memories about the remake. It's nearly two years ago that I have played this, time flies by so fast. One thing for sure is that it plays a lot slower that the original version, it feels like Link is constantly moving in slow motion. It's weird.

Well, in the past I always went for the 2000 points highscore in the Horseback Archery minigame at the Gerudo Fortress, which requires some practice. So I decided to get the highscore on the 3DS version as well, both in the normal quest and Master Quest. I hated the aiming with the analog stick, but the gyroscope aiming works really well. So well that I can rack up 1300 points even before making the turn. And I'm looking forward to playing The Wind Waker HD with gyroscope aiming on the Wii U GamePad.

The gyroscope stuff, which Nintendo did, really adds to console gaming. As a PC gamer I'm used to mouse aiming and using analog sticks to aim is just a pain. Of course the gyroscope is not as precise as a mouse, but it's a lot easier to aim with it. And this is one more good reason to have Majora's Mask 3D. Especially Clock Town Shooting Gallery can be a pain in the ass and the gyroscope might be a big help.

A big problem though was switching to Master Quest 3D. It's not that only the enviroments are mirrorred, the bow is as well. And my aiming was completely off because of that...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Random Zelda

I'm a huge Minecraft fan and I have to say that Minecraft became my favorite game over the last two years, removing the Zelda series from its pedestal. One of the main reasons, why I play Zelda is exploration and discovery, I love exploring virtual fantasy worlds, finding hidden treasures and hitting things with my sword. Minecraft offers all that as well, but infinitely. You get randomly generating worlds and you can always go explore more.

With this you get this feeling that you've found something, which noone else has seen before. With Zelda in my childhood it was similar. Of course it was silly to assume that you're the only one, who discovered the hidden grotto at the entrance of the Sacred Forest Meadow, but it was a time, where broadband internet connections in households were an expansive and rare thing (we didn't have one). So, you had only your friends to talk about the game and among them you might have been the great explorer, who found the big secrets in the newest Zelda game. Today, where everyone lives in the internet, there's always someone who figured the entire game out at Day 1.

That's why Minecraft is so exciting. You're playing in YOUR world. With landscapes and caves no one else ever has explored (unless they have the same seed value, which is very unlikely). The problem with Minecraft though is that this games lives from your own goals. Usually you only go explore, because you're looking for certain items or minerals, which you need to do something else in the game.

Minecraft is not a game with clear goals, with a clear ending like Zelda (unless you count the Achievements and "The End", but that's nothing much really). So, what I would like to see is a "Best of Both Worlds", so to say. A Zelda game that randomly gets generated!

The idea would be that each time you play, you get a different world, a different story, different dungeons and maybe even different items. It could follow classical story patterns like "collect eight of something" or "collect three of something, enter parallel world, collect five more" as a giant template. It could use a variety of bad guys (like Ganon, Onox, Veran or Vaati) and pretty ladies in need of rescue (like the Oracles and of course Princess Zelda). The stories would be simple, because randomly generating a complex story might be difficult, so think in terms of the earlier Zelda games.

Because this would be much easier to do with a topdown Zelda, let's focus on a topdown / 2D game for now like A Link Between Worlds. The game would need a vast variety of assets that it can use to generate a Zelda themed world. Graphics and templates for various environments and dungeons. Forests, villages, mountains, lakes, swamps, etc. Dungeons in different styles. But this wouldn't be the first time, a Zelda game does something similar. Four Swords did it already and for a GameBoy Advance game it did an amazing job with that. Its levels get generated from a large pool of templates. It's so many that you can play this game dozens of times and still get to see new areas. And this random Zelda game would be similar, just that instead of single levels it generates the entire game in this style.

You will get a new experience with every playthrough. Of course just changing the enviroments simply isn't enough. It can't be freely generated, the computer is not a creative being who constantly thinks of new worlds, it must use templates. And if you play often enough, the templates will repeat. You can only play so much Minecraft until you notice that while all mountains, caves and mineshafts are always different, they are still the same in a way. Or if you play Four Swords often enough, you will get similar areas than before.

So, there needs to be more than just different worlds and dungeons. They also need to change items and enemies with every playthrough.

They could have a large pool of different items and maybe you only get a fixed number per game. This time you get the bow, in the next game you get a Slingshot or something else. Collectible sidequests should be also swapped. Next to the Pieces of Heart, which randomly get hidden within the world, there is one more sidequest that randomly gets chosen, when the game world is generated. It could be Secret Seashells like in Link's Awakening, Spirit Gems like in Phantom Hourglass, insects to catch like in Skyward Sword or similar. The rings from the Oracle games might also be a nice possibility. Maybe you only get 16 rings in the game, but their possible effects are randomly chose as well.

Similar to items there should be a large pool of different enemies and bosses, which also get chosen at random. Let's say the game offers 30 possible bosses, but each playthrough only has eight of them. The same with normal enemies.

This post is merely scratching the idea and concept of a randomly generated Zelda. There are many more aspects to it, for example puzzle generation patterns. But randomly generated game worlds become more and more popular nowadays. Look at games like Minecraft, Don't Starve or Sir, You're Being Hunted. And a Zelda game in this style would be the next evolution for the series. Even as just a small handheld topdown title, it would be awesome. The replay value would be MASSIVE. It would be like getting a new Zelda game every time you chose to start over. Add in difficulty levels so that Zelda veterans get their nasty challenging Hero's Trial worlds and beginners can enjoy a friendly and relaxing Zelda game.

I must say that random Zelda is the future of Zelda.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Wind Waker HD: Nintendo Gallery?

Collecting all figurines in The Wind Waker was probably the most tedious sidequest in the entire Zelda series. The Pictobox only allowed for 3 Pictographs, Carlov can be very picky and it takes one entire day for a figurine to be made. They already fixed the problem with the 3 picture limit. Now you can take up to 12 Pictographs, which should be enough to get all figurines from one place in two travel sessions. This also helps a lot with the one time shots like Helmaroc King or Tetra. The more pictures you can take, the higher the chance that there's one good shot that Carlov likes.

But the one figurine per day thing is still a problem. For every figurine you needed to play the Song of Passing two times. There are 124 Pictographs to be made into a total of 134 figurines (10 are gotten from other Pictographs). So, that's playing the Song of Passing a total of 248 times. That's about an hour of time just wasted...

An easy solution would be Carlov accepting many orders at once and all doing them in one night. So, you can give him 12 Pictographs at once, play the Song of Passing twice, get 12 new figurines. It doesn't have to be realistic. But it should be streamlined as much as possible. Seeing how they tried to make the rest of the game play a lot faster and more convenient, I really hope that they considered this.

On NeoGAF it was said that the Pictobox now actually tells you when a shot of a person or creature is "great". That's a huge help with the one time shots like the Helmaroc King or Tetra. Previously it wasn't safe to save until you reached Carlov and he accepted your shot. Let's say you screwed up Tetra or the Helmaroc King, you had to reset, rebattle the boss, go through all cutscenes again, etc. etc. - a hassle. A different scenario is Cyclos, you can't risk to hurt him until Carlov made his figurine. But if the camera already tells you that your shot was good, then this is not an issue at all. Kill Cyclos, warp to Forest Haven, get your figurine. Me likes.

Update 2:
And yes! Carlov is actually accepting more than one figurine.

A Link to the Past DX

I wished they would have called the A Link to the Past GameBoy Advance version "A Link to the Past DX". First of all it would go well along "Link's Awakening DX" prior on the GameBoy Color. Both games even share similar logos. But the main reason is that it's easier to distinguish from the SNES version. Whenever I talk about A Link to the Past on the GBA, I have to say "ALttP on the GBA" or "the GBA version of ALttP" or "ALttP with Four Swords", which feels like a hassle. "ALttP DX" would be so much easier to say and everyone would instantly know, that you talk about the GBA and not the Super Nintendo version.

So, from now on... whenever I say "A Link to the Past DX" on this blog, I mean the GBA version. Just so that you know. :D

Thinking about this again, I guess that "A Link to the Past GBA" does the job as well.