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In the semi-sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, titled Zelda Gaiden, a lot of new additions have been implemented -- and a lot has changed. The game will be playable at Nintendo's Space World in little more than a week and, of course, we'll be there to cover it. But in the meantime, we've compiled a list of newly released facts about the game that are sure to spark your interest. Enjoy:
A Parallel World
In Zelda Gaiden, Link finds himself in a parallel world where characters that were introduced in the first game may be introduced slightly different. In other words, some of the characters in the game will offer players different quests and form decidedly opposite partnerships with our hero than they did in Ocarina of Time.
A New Story
The game is again set in Hyrule, a few months after the events in Ocarina of Time took place. Naturally, Link is his young elf self again and Ganon's threat has been completely defeated. One day, Link happens to bump into a strange fellow in the woods, Stalkid, who mocks Link and tells him that he has "foalnapped" Epona, Link's horse. Before Link even knows what's going on, Stalkid takes off and escapes through a mysterious door. Like in "Through the Looking Glass" (Alice in Wonderland), Link follows the odd guy and finds himself in an all new world, where an ominous moon threatens to crash to earth and destroy all life. Of course, it's Link to the rescue... With the help of his trusted friend Navi, he must overcome the dark threat and try to prevent the deadly catastrophe.
The use of masks has been greatly expanded over Ocarina of Time. Link will be able to use the power of certain masks to change his appearance and give him special abilities. For example, one mask turns him into a Zora, enabling him to swim underwater. Another mask will turn him into a Goron, allowing Link to curl up into a ball and roll around. Yet another mask will turn Link into one of those annoying Deku Nut guys and allow him to fly with the use of a flower in a hang glider-like fashion.
Many of the classic Ocarina of Time weapons and items are back, including the hammer, the bow and arrow, hookshot, the boomerang, the ocarina, the bombs, and the dagger -- only that young Link can now use all of them. There may also be some new items in the game that Nintendo hasn't unveiled yet.
The game will progress in real-time. There is a meter at the bottom/middle of the screen now that shows the position of the sun or moon at all times. It is believed that the time that passes during gameplay affects the outcome and story of the game much more than in Ocarina of Time. This feature is no doubt a remnant from the game's planned 64DD incarnation, where everything you do in the game causes lasting repercussions.
Gaiden features completely new, big bosses. While the specifics of all the bosses in the game are still being kept secret, we do know of at least three: a Gohma-like creature, an oversized frog and a giant warrior.
Since the game was originally designed to run on 64DD, a unit that required the 4MB RAM expansion, it's no surprise that Gaiden (now on cart) will support the RAM Pak. However, it is very likely that the RAM Expansion will actually be REQUIRED to play Zelda: Gaiden -- just like with Donkey Kong 64.
Gaiden is expected to ship in Japan March 2000. Look for more news and images for Gaiden next week from Space World.
More Zelda Gaiden Details
- Gaiden takes place only a few months after The Ocarina of Time left off.
- The world as Link knows it temporarily seems fully restored and at peace, but something goes wrong.
- The moon above the land is gradually falling from its place in the sky. "If left alone," says Miyamoto, "the world will - come to an end in a matter of days. If the moon were to fall all the way down to the earth, that would be it for the people."
- The game utilizes an improved version of the Ocarina of Time engine that utilizes the added RAM of the RAM Expansion for more detailed environments and a greater number of enemies on screen.
- Link's physical appearance may change whenever he dons a mask now. In a style similar to that of Rare's Banjo-Kazooie, players will need to determine which character (or mask) to use in specific scenarios.
- The number of masks has increased greatly. Players will be able to carry multiple masks, rather than exchanging them for different ones.
- I- n Gaiden, child Link will be able to ride a young Epona. "Things that people wanted to do in the last game, we are trying our best to include them this time around," says Miyamoto.
- The sun moves in real-time, as we reported yesterday. But there is more to it. Just as the sun moves, so does the moon above the earth, which is slowly falling downwards onto the planet. So players cannot waste time lounging around the environments and staring at the sun. Miyamoto comments, "This time, if you just sit around and look at the sun, the world is finished (from the moon crashing on the sun). It's that type of game."
Zelda Gaiden and Ura Zelda are two Different Games
Miyamoto confirms that Zelda Gaiden and the 64DD "Ura Zelda" are two separate games.
In an interview with Japanese game magazine Famitsu Weekly, Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed once and for all that the cartridge-based Zelda Gaiden and the long talked-about 64DD Ura Zelda are two separate projects.
"We wanted to make a new game that is based on the Zelda system," said Miyamoto in reference to Zelda Gaiden. "Also, in the light of games that require the memory Expansion Pak like 'Donkey Kong 64,' we wanted to make a 'Zelda' game that took advantage of the Memory Pak as well. That game is Zelda Gaiden. Therefore, this will not be a game where the locations of the dungeons are simply changed around."
While Miyamoto did note that "The 64DD 'Ura Zelda' is moving along on its own," he was not willing to divulge further details regarding the game. When Nintendo first announced the already released Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, it was planning to make the game the 64DD disk drive's flagship title. But hardware delays and a lack of third party support forced Nintendo to convert Ocarina of Time to a cartridge game and start work on a second, add-on adventure for the 64DD. Dubbed "Ura Zelda" (Japanese for "Another Zelda"), the 64DD adventure is said to enable gamers to revisit areas and dungeons of Ocarina of Time and experience new adventures in familiar surroundings.
Gaiden, on the other hand, which is best translated as "side story", only takes Ocarina of Time as a starting point and seems to offer plenty of new dungeons in addition to an all-new quest.
Zelda Gaiden, which is scheduled for a March 2000 release in Japan (and possibly worldwide), will be playable at next week's Space World in Japan. There are currently no plans to unveil the 64DD-only Ura Zelda at the same time.
Even More Zelda Gaiden Details
In an interview with Japanese game magazine Famitsu Weekly, Zelda Gaiden's designer Shigeru Miyamoto revealed new tid-bits on the anticipated Zelda semi-sequel. The creator of the Zelda franchise (and countless other Nintendo mascots) spoke on everything from Gaiden's fishing aspect to its percentage of completion. For your convenience, we've compiled the most notable revelations of Mr. Miyamoto's interview into an eye-pleasing list. We do this because we care.
Jabu Jabu Fishing
The fishing sequence present in Ocarina of Time will be enhanced. Miyamoto comments, "Rather than taking the fishing part of the last game to extremes, we want to do something new with it. Like 'Jabu Jabu' fishing." As you may remember, Jabu Jabu -- a gigantic fish -- was the deity to the Zora in Ocarina of Time. Link journeyed into the belly of Jabu Jabu to save princess Ruto's life.
Miyamoto, unwilling to reveal all the details surrounding the enhanced fishing mini-game, did offer Famitsu this: "If you catch the 'Jabu Jabu,' it may cause things like stopping the fall of the moon."
The fishing mini-game will offer a means of earning Rupies in Zelda Gaiden.
Time for Sale
In Gaiden, real-time progress will play a much more integral role than it did in Ocarina of Time. As a moon above Link's planet slowly falls towards the earth, players will have to accomplish all of their tasks before time runs out. Lazy adventurers, though, will be happy to learn that time, it seems, is not without its price. "They say 'Time is money,'" elaborates Miyamoto. "You will be able to buy time using Rupies. There will be a merchant who sells time."
Complete or not Complete?
According to Miyamoto, Zelda Gaiden's engine is already finished. "I would say [the game is] about 50% complete," comments the designer. "All that is left is the second half of the data."
Gaiden is scheduled for release in Japan March 2000.
Expanding on the Pak
Zelda Gaiden will use the 4MBs differently than any other N64 game to date. Full details.
In the past, when gamers thought of the 4MB Expansion Pak, one enhancement generally popped into mind: a high-resolution mode. This was the case for Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, the game that helped introduce the extra memory into the US market, and this has been the case for countless Nintendo 64 titles since then. Zelda Gaiden and Donkey Kong 64, however, will take the 4MBs into a new direction -- one that seems infinitely more important.
"Zelda Gaiden and the upcoming Donkey Kong 64 will use the memory differently (than Turok 2 or Episode I Racer," game designer Shigeru Miyamoto told Famitsu Weekly. "Of course the graphics will look better, but the memory will be used for improving framerates."
Additionally, the enhanced memory will allow for more enemies on-screen (with a smooth framerate), smarter enemies and, according to Miyamoto, "the text will be more detailed." We're not exactly sure what he's referring to here. Could this mean that text will be displayed in a high-resolution mode, enabling crisper detail?
The game, like Donkey Kong 64, will absolutely not work without the extra memory.
When asked if he thought the number of games requiring the Expansion Pak would increase, Miyamoto had this to say: "I think so. If you have the Pak, it makes some things in games better. At any rate, the number will increase because it makes better games. I think people that have really pushed the abilities of the N64 will want to try using the memory Expansion Pak next. Especially Rare, who look like they want to use it in all their games."