Welcome to this new article series here at Zelda Universe, which is so fittingly titled “While We Wait” – Here, I will every week be discussing different aspects of the upcoming game which we has us all going like kids: “Is it out yet? Is it out yet?”. I will try to cover everything that possibly can be covered about the game so that the wait will go just a little faster – The facts, the rumours, the hopes and even the fantasies and dreams about the game.
Since the E3expo is less than a month away (the conference starts on May 17th, Norway’s national day!), I think it would be suitable to start off this new series of articles by taking a look at all the facts we know about this game, since judging from the e-mails that people send me, there is a lot of confusion going on about what’s real about the game, and what’s mere rumours.
Public Footage and Screenshots
As of today, the amount of “teasers” released from this game can be counted on one hand. The first we ever saw of this game was the E3 Trailer that was showcased 11 months ago. Some “industry insiders” got to see an extended version of this trailer, which featured two minutes of gameplay footage, but the extended E3 2004 trailer has never been shown to the public, and chances are it never will be.
In December 2004, right before Christmas, Nintendo generously released a whopping three new screenshots. Yes, it’s true, three screenshots. These featured Link sitting on his horse, an enemy facing Link (while we only saw Link’s back), and Link swinging his sword while on the horse.
And then finally, in March this year, at the Game Developers Conference, they showed the second trailer. This was not the extended trailer from E3 last year, but a brand new trailer. In addition to this trailer, they also released ten new screenshots which weren’t taken directly from the trailer, but they were from the same “scenes” as the trailer featured.
Additionally, there are currently two pieces of official art available from the game, one of very high quality which was released at last years E3 convention, and a low quality cropped image which we got out of the GDC together with the second trailer and the screenshots. That’s it, and if anyone else tells you that they have seen anything else from the game today, well they are telling fairy tales.
I don’t think there exists a number large enough to display the amount of e-mails I have gotten about various “confirmed” release dates for these games. As late as today I got one saying something like this:
“OMG I am so disappointed in Zelda Universe that you don’t have the release date updated for the new Zelda game, when it is listed on [ insert random online store here ], where you can even pre-order the game. LOSERS!”
Newsflash : Nobody knows the definate release date for this game as of now. Chances are that Nintendo will reveal it at the E3expo in less than a month, but for now the closest thing we have to a confirmed release date is “Q4 2005”, which Nintendo stated in their online press section, and this was backed up by Reggie Fils Aime who said that the game was most likely coming out around the holiday season (Christmas) of 2005.
Online stores (or any stores for that matter) are not reliable sources for release dates, and you can quote me on that. If we were to listen to the stores, well then according to some (I won’t mention names) you would be playing the game right now instead of reading an article in a series entitled “While We Wait”.
The facts about the storyline which are known today are more or less non-existant. Everything you have read about the storyline until today is pure fiction and speculation. The closest thing to an official revelation of the storyline we have gotten from Nintendo as of right now, is Eiji Aonuma (Producer) being quoted saying that this game will take place after The Wind Waker. Of course this is grounds for some serious speculation, but as said, there is nothing definate known about the storyline yet, and the statement doesn’t even say that it will be a direct sequel to The Wind Waker, only that it will take place some time after it.
As can be seen here, there is also speculation about that Ganon will be in the game going on, and what his role in the game will be, but just as the rest of the storyline details, this is just speculation and must be taken with a grain of salt. We can expect E3 to reveal more about the storyline, but don’t get your hopes up too high, because we basically knew nothing about the “true” storyline in The Wind Waker before the game was released.
Not a whole lot has been revealed about the gameplay either, but we have seen two trailers from the game, both of which focus on different details of the gameplay. It is for certain that the game will be featuring a lot of horseback riding, picking up where Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask left off, and even taking it to the next level by introducing battles while on the horseback. This should certainly be very interesting.
Other than that, there has been a lot of speculation about Link’s connection to animals after the second trailer was showed, and some reputable sources have speculated about the opportunity that Link will be transforming in to different animals in the game. Needless to say, these are pure rumours for the time being, and I for one hope that they will stay that forever. Time will tell however.
Yes, there will be pre-order Bonus Disc, at least according to Reggie Fils Aime. However, he has said nothing more about it, and there certainly won’t be a “realistic remake of The Wind Waker” on this disc, which some were lead to believe by an April Fools joke courtesy of EGM.
All we know today is that Reggie Fils Aime has stated in an interview that there will be a Bonus Disc for those who pre-order the game, but don’t run off pre-ordering just yet, because if we learned anything from The Wind Waker’s pre-order deal, it was that pre-ordering before you know exactly what you are pre-ordering might leave you with a feeling of being cheated. Once Nintendo officially announce this offer, and exactly what will be included in it, that’s when you can start to contact the various stores to see which ones can guarantee you these exclusives. Don’t pre-order before you have a guarantee from the store you’re pre-ordering from that you will receive the promotional offer, as many did with The Wind Waker.
Well that’s about it for this time. I think I got most all of the most important facts, as well as the most annoying rumours about the game covered, but if I forgot something feel free to e-mail me with your comments at webmaster[at]zeldauniverse.net. Be sure to stop by next week, as I will then be exploring the possibilities of how this game will tie in with the rest in the oh-so-famous Legend of Zelda Timeline.