Ask Dan (8/7/98)

Q: Dear Dan, first of all you rule so now that I have that behind me, where did Mr. Miyamoto get the idea for the Zelda series, because Zelda is THE best game on the face of this planet!!! Zelda-ishly, Andross 64DD


A: There have been several stories about the origins of the idea behind Zelda. Mr. Miyamoto once told me that there were two innovations that led to the creation of the original Zelda. The first was the battery backed memory, which allowed players to save their game in progress. With this feature, Mr. Miyamoto could create a long, involved adventure that would take many hours to complete, and not worry about players having to enter long passwords. Secondly, the development team created the basic system in which the world was essentially formed of single screen "rooms." Changing the placement of walls, objects and enemies in the different single screen rooms, but keeping each room basically the same size, allowed the team to use the memory in the cartridge very efficiently. Thus they were able to create an adventure of unparalleled length. Of course there are other stories about the actual atmosphere of the game being inspired by Mr. Miyamoto’s explorations as a boy. I’m sure a lot of different sources influenced the development of Zelda.


Q: Dear Dan, can you tell me if Link is going to have to save princess Zelda and recover the Triforce from Gannon like in the Super NES version. -- Chichorio

Q: I know that Link will be able to ride a horse in his next game, but will there be situations where Link will be able to fight while riding his horse and who is Navie, what is she for? -- dwrigh8

Q: Dan, I know you are probably tired of answering questions about this game, but you can probably take a guess that this is a hot issue with Consumers. I'll follow along your rules laid out in your FAQ, just to brown nose and get on your good side, but most importantly, to abide by the rules(which is lacking these days). I just finished Zelda: A Link to the Past for the 119th time, and it suddenly hit me: Will Zelda: Ocarina of Time have any sort of mail or armor? All I've seen him in is normal hum-drum green mail. Any CONFIRMED ideas to the red or blue mail? Maybe I should just be patient(which is accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it) and wait and see and not wail and complain about not knowing enough. I think we have too much information available to us these days... --Robert Hulson/PorkfatRules

A: I’m not tired of talking about Zelda 64, but do you really want me to tell you the answers to these questions? Don’t you think it will spoil some of the fun you could experience finding these things out on your own? If I had my way, there would be no more screen shots, no more press conferences and no more information of any kind released on the game from now until the game actually comes out. I mean, look at all the hype about Godzilla—it was certainly boosted by the secrecy surrounding the new monster design. (Too bad the new monster turned out to be lame, in my opinion.) But I totally agree that there is too much information out there about games before they are released these days.


Q: Dan, is Nintendo ever going to send out a demo tape of Zelda 64, or Turok 2, or F-Zero X. The screen shots look great but you never actually get to see what those games look like. I know you can down load movies of them off the internet, but they are never really detailed or long enough. – JmPlchk

A: We are considering a video for Zelda 64, but there are no plans to make videos for Turok 2 or F-Zero X that I know of. However, there may be short clips of these games and other coming titles included on the Zelda 64 video.


Q: HI, I am an AVID Zelda fan and I still play every game in the series to this day. A Link To The Past is my personal number 1 game of all time, so I am obviously betting my left arm that Ocarina of Time will blow it away and take my new top spot. This is the game I have been waiting for for years. Every time I hear it is delayed I think "Yes!! They are making it longer, or giving it better graphics". I love to hear it when the Zelda games are delayed. But my number one concern is the length of the game. In the August 98 issue of Nintendo power, there is an interview with Miyamoto and he answers some questions about the game. One of the questions asked was how long is the game going to be (which has been my burning question for over a year now). And he answered "At least as long as a Link to the Past". Needless to say, that wasn't very reassuring AT ALL, considering that I can beat ALP in about 10 hours, and the Game Boy one was larger than the SNES one. He then said it would take about 40 hours to complete. But as you know, Nintendo Power is pretty one-sided sometimes (although the magazine is getting better, thank you!) and I was wondering if you could clarify that. Do you know if he meant 40 hours like your first time playing (which always takes much longer because you don't know what to do), or a 40 hour minimum time to beat the game in? Final Fantasy 7 has a 70 hour minimum time without even getting half of the items. And I KNOW Zelda can BLOW AWAY FF7 if it is even remotely long enough ( I would be VERY happy with a 40 hour minimum time!!!!!). In today's RPG gaming world, they need to be VERY long to stay in the pack. So if you could tell me what the length of the game is ( or projected to be), I would very much appreciate it. This is what everyone I have talked to wants to know, so I hope you can tell us what we want to hear! I have heard UGLY rumors that it is going to have a 10 hour minimum time (like a Link to the Past) and I am, to put it honestly, SCARED. Thanks for reading through this long letter. As you can see it is something I am really concerned about. Sincerely, Brett Kipley

A: Well, it’s impossible to judge how long the average player will take to complete Zelda 64 at this point. It isn’t even possible to get through the entire game from start to finish at this stage of development, since we’re still hooking all the levels together. However, from what I’ve seen, the game has incredible depth, with a huge overworld, lots of dungeons and many mini-games. Now you say Final Fantasy 7 takes a minimum of 70 hours. I seriously doubt that, but even if it does, how much of that is boring, repetitive fighting to build up your experience points?


Q: First of all, I wouldn't call Zelda II a failure either, but it certainly did suck. It was too hard and fighting the bad guys is repetitious and I can't remember much else about it cause I only had it 4 a little while and then I got rid of it so long ago. Also, about the person who said there are different Zeldas and Links, obviously they're the same ones but they're younger and older. Has it ever occurred to him(her?) that just because a game is made after another one doesn't mean that it takes place chronologically after? It's called a PREQUEL. Like sequel, but pre. Pre meaning before. Can you say PREQUEL? I knew you could. Just like the Star Wars prequels. Yes, 4 those of you who r uninformed, they are making BRAND NEW SW movies next year, although I think they take place 40 years BEFORE A New Hope, which makes sense because A New Hope is Episode IV, and the one in 1999 is Episode I. Then will come II and III. Lucas will finish in 2003 and then he'll start making VII, VIII and IX. I got kinda off track there, but I'm just talking about prequels. and sequels. This is getting kind of confusing. Please print this online. Evil Dan Rules -William

A: I think Zelda II would be hard for a four year old! You’ll find out a lot about the story in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I don’t know if everyone’s questions will be answered (some questions just don’t answers) but there may be some loose ends that are tied up.... That’s all I’m going to say.


Q: Dan, I've read that in Zelda 64, it would be 70% main goals and 30% secret stuff. I've wondered what those secret things would be (duh). Maybe you could help me out here, like on types of new items. Also 'Ive seen a picture of Link standing on a column with buttons or symbols on it, and another column with a sight on it in the distance. What's that about? I mean, yeah, Zelda does have puzzles, but usually they're in areas where you have to think as you swing or you're Dodongo chow (possible product of future Dodongo owners. Wouldn't they make good pets?). Don't let them put in too much stuff where you have to stop and say something like "Hmmmm.... I think I'll put down the controller and think about this thing and see if it works with the doohickey from whatsisplace or the thingamajig from thatsitsgo." Quite frankly, I, as do most other Zelda players prefer puzzles that make you say "Ok, if I can get this @#&*! mummy off of me long enough, I might be able to hit that chest behind the glass wall with a blast from that %({$@#! wizzrobe's and reflected off of that mirror on the wall!". Of course you die a couple times, but that is what a video game is about. Learning from your mistakes so that next time you WILL beat that fire breathing thing goes hand in hand with finding that hidden rock you hammer to get an extra heart and find the golden plated alarm clock so you can awaken the sleeping dude beneath the sunken ruins at the center of lake Hylia. So I implore you, Dan, keep the action in Zelda so I can keep the sword in my back, the arrow in my thigh, the jawbone on my ankle, and the stalactite in my forehead. Thank you. --EOgden4364

A: Hey, have you been playing the game already?!


Q: Dan, when's going to be up? U rock. –GoldenToad

A: We’re working on it! We’re working on it! Sheesh! :-O


Q: Dan, I'm am probably the biggest Zelda fan there is of Zelda games. I own all of the Zelda games (except for those on super Nintendo) and they are all beaten deleted and beaten again. Anyway, I've heard rumors that Z64 is coming out 11/23. Now I just want to know if there is any truth to this rumor. I'm hoping that there isn't and it is actually going to come out 9/18 or sooner (my b-day). You see, I have been waiting for this game since the N64 was called ultra 64, and I really don't want to have to wait till x-mas to get it! --Justin Fabian

A: The rumor is true. Zelda 64 is coming out on November 23rd. Reserve your copy now!