As Zelda fans, we often discuss, debate about the series and so on. As fans we can become very excited over news, whether it be a new game annoucement or something such as competitions and the like. In this case, people becoming excited over a possible new game is very much true. On January 14th, 2008, fellow ZU member TourianTourist had discovered a countdown page for a new game on Marvelous Entertainment’s website. As everyone has probably known by now, it depicts a triangle-shaped clock floating above the countdown. The hands on this clock did not point to numbers, but rather pieces of what appears to be the Triforce. A triangle shaped clock, Triforce pieces instead of numbers… the first thing to pop into your mind would probably be a new Zelda title being announced.
And the thread was filled with countless theories and speculation as to what the countdown may be for, others have strongly disagreed and passed the countdown as being not related to Zelda at all. Indeed, the Triforce is not just used in gaming but in various other places. For example, it is often used as the symbol of the Hojo clan in Japan. In other countries, it is used for other things such as on the back of a truck. Yet as Zelda fans, it is only natural that we discuss and speculate and so it continued. But then on January 18th, just four days after the discovery of the countdown, Jason, webmaster of ZU, made an announcement that strongly told of his feelings on this matter. He dubbed that the countdown was not related to Zelda at all. He also mentioned the patent that Shigeru Miyamoto had sent about a year ago and dubbed it as being too old and outdated to really matter in present day.
However as a few have stated earlier, Jason did not provide evidence that the countdown was not related to Zelda at all. Let us look on both sides of the story.
First of all, the Triforce pieces. It is very true that they are indeed used as symbols for other things in real world and not just the gaming industry. Obviously this countdown is supposed to be for a game, and, although we still don’t know what it is yet, the clock indeed has Triforce pieces. When you see the Triforce symbol used in conjunction with a video game, the first thing that anyone is going to think is Zelda. How many times has the Triforce been used in the real world? Countless times. But how many times has it been used in a video game or something closely related to a video game? Only one series so far: Zelda.
Marvelous has worked with Nintendo for years, especially since they are famous for their titles such as Harvest Moon and Legend of the River King. They’ve been around with Nintendo since the NES days and continue to be with them as a third-party developer. Zelda is a very popular series, so its only obvious that Marvelous would be very well aware of the series and know of its most well known symbol, the Triforce. Is it a coincidence that Marvelous used the Triforce on this clock, a triangle shaped clock? Was the Triforce used to get a lot of attention? Maybe so, maybe not. While the symbol is used a lot in every day life, it holds a different purpose in the gaming industry and is mostly used in the Zelda titles or as a reference to Zelda titles. Nintendo has had third-party developers work on several Zelda titles, such as Flagship (a division of Capcom) working on Oracle of Ages, Oracle of Seasons, The Minish Cap, and Flagship also even helped with the development of Phantom Hourglass. A third-party developer also developed Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland. Nintendo has had third-party developers work on some of their titles before, and it can always happen again, especially by a company that has been with Nintendo for awhile.
Marvelous probably knows that if they used the Triforce symbol to simply gain attention, it would result in one big disappointment for many people. Marvelous obviously knows that and if they really want people to try out this new game they’re planning, they wouldn’t use the Triforce just as a marketing ploy.
Finally, the translation. People discovered that Google was also linking to the site, complete with a short summary in Japanese. There have been people who are quite experienced in the Japanese language who have translated the summary. All it really mentioned was a new game, something about a “new lap of time”, and nothing about Zelda. While this is true indeed, I have to disagree on something. That summary alone does not rule out the possibility for a new Zelda title.
What is the purpose of the countdown? Its meant to bring hype, to make people wonder what it is, and to surprise them with an announcement. That is the true point of the countdown: to surprise people. If the quote had blatantly stated what the game was about, people would find out what the title was before the countdown ended, completely ruining its original purpose. If anything, the ambiguous summary is merely supposed to make Japanese-speaking people more curious about this mysterious game.
Curiousity. The human mind is naturally curious, hence all of the theories and speculation comes from. While we wait for the at least four days to pass, we can speculate what this is. It is a pastime, but unfortunately we’ve had some people like Jason telling us “No, no, no. Stop speculating NOW, ‘cause this thing isn’t Zelda!”
But then again, who is to say? Maybe I am wrong. Maybe Jason is wrong. Maybe everyone is wrong. Jason has only been telling us that this is not Zelda, using the Triforce pieces and the translated summary as his reasoning. Yet as I have just pointed out, the Triforce is used much more differently in the gaming industry and that the countdown is meant to surprise people whenever it ends.
We have also heard that people fast forwarded their internal computer clocks to the countdown’s ending time, but all this did was either keep the countdown or cause the words “Coming Soon” to display with no other real change. However, many webmasters are smart and can know what visitors are thinking. They would probably only put the actual thing up whenever the countdown nears its end at their time. They do that to prevent people like us from discovering sooner by fast forwarding.
The only way to know for sure what game this is is to wait for the countdown to end. There is no other way. Marvelous is being secretive about this and no matter how many quotes you translate, it won’t reveal what this countdown is. Maybe it is Zelda, maybe it isn’t. We will never know until the countdown ends, and I suggest that everyone else waits, too, and doesn’t their hopes up too high.
Patience is the key to everything.
Signed: The Goron Moron, Hero of Mountains (and guest writer).