Nintendo’s 3DS conference took place earlier today in Japan and seems to be more or less the prelude to the Tokyo Game Show taking place later this week.  And what better way to start off Nintendo’s 3DS conference than one of the most anticipated games for the… Nintendo Wii.  Well, who cares if it’s not a 3DS title?  We’re more than happy to take ANY Zelda news we can get.

Beware, minor spoilers within.

And there are a few tidbits today that will really whet your appetite.  The first offering is that GameInformer, in honor of Skyward Sword being the cover story for their magazine this month, has scored some sweet videos about the game that show off as of yet unseen areas of the game.  Today’s video sounds like it’s going to be the first of many, and they have a video on their site that drops Link (quite literally!) in Eldin Volcano.  Could this possibly be the same sort of place as was found in Twilight Princess with Death Mountain over in Eldin Province?  The naming does seem rather coincidental, and the geography is highly suspect as well.

The video shows Link leaving Skyloft by jumping off the familiar bridge and summoning his bird to take him off into the distance.  From there, as Link travels through the clouds, you can make out a pillar of red light shining off in the distance, and so Link heads off in order to investigate.  Then, with sheer bravado, Link takes a leap off of his bird and barrels down at top speed into the volcanic area, slowing his fall at the last minute by a makeshift parachute.  Phi comes out from the Master Sword and mentions that the volcano is rich with the power of the earth as the camera begins to pan upwards towards the volcano’s peak and the few trees overhead.  You can check out the video of the new location on GameInformer’s website.

The second interesting tidbit is the announcement from Shigeru Miyamoto himself that the game will have somewhere between 50 and 100 hours worth of gameplay.  Now I’ll be the first to say that that’s a huge range, and it probably won’t be quite that dramatic or extreme; one hundred hours seems a little on the tall end to be totally reasonable.  Miyamoto is probably padding the number just a little bit here.  However, Twilight Princess claimed a little under 40 hours of my time in the first play through (granted, without all of the side quests finished), and Miyamoto mentioned that the 100-person staff for Skyward Sword spent five years on the project, so having a 50-or-more-hour game definitely is a possibility!

The last little piece of news is a little more disheartening at least for me.  If you remember the Super Guide features that were found in games like New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario Galaxy 2, well, it has decided to rear its head in its first Wii Zelda game.  Apparently there will likely be some sort of helper system in much the same fashion in Skyward Sword.  It’s currently unknown if you’ll be able to turn these features off permanently or (what is more likely) if you can just constantly say “no” or ignore the prompts for help; after all, when it comes to actual puzzle solving, once the solution of the puzzle has been shown to you, you can never physically solve it yourself ever again!  Hopefully there’ll be a few more details about this system in the final weeks before launch.

Source:  GameInformer, Kotaku