By Maniacal Clown
In my previous editorial, I challenged whether Zelda Gaiden would really be such a great game as everyone seemed to think. Let us put that aside for now and look at the positive aspects that we have seen from the numerous screenshots, movies, and overall buzz.
The Story Line: I can sum this up in one word: different. No Zelda game, and no Nintendo game for that matter, has ever tried anything so dangerous as to completely flip the polarities of the main characters. Granted this is a parallel universe, but can fans go for an EVIL princess? Of course! Modern consumers just suck this kind of stuff right up. What surprises me, however, is that virtually no one has thought of the most obvious character in Zelda Gaiden, a friendly Ganondorf. Makes sense doesnít it? Iíve heard the snobby Saria and good Mido stuff, but never anything about Ganondorf. Come on! Itís more obvious that a "Days of our Lives" plot!
The Screenshots: Thereís nothing like a few teasers to stir up the crowd, and Nintendo delivered with the ultimate teasers, screenshots. Viewers of the screens immediately noticed one thing. What the heck is that thing at the bottom? Early speculation was of a meter of some sort. Close, but not quite. A rival site was the closest when they said, "Maybe a Hyrulian sundial?" Indeed, it measures time. The time until that big olí moon comes crashing down on your party. What a shame. It should make for an extremely fast paced game. Also, about the guy in the screenshots who looks like a clown (Yes, Nintendo loves me!). He looks like an immobile test sprite. Iím sure that scene is not in the game. (We can only hope!)
The Movies: Not much to say about these besides, "wow." Personally, Iím looking forward to turning into a Deku Scrub and hang-gliding all over the place. Sounds like fun! That put aside, it seems that Link will move throughout his beautiful 3-D environments just as easily as before. Thereís still the question of a return of the dreaded graphics glitches, but none were seen in the movies. (I wonder why...) Hopefully, the required expansion pack will eliminate this potential problem. Which brings me to...
The Graphics: I donít know anyone who wasnít disappointed to find you could see through the walls during the fight with Big Octo. This was the one major flaw with the masterful Z-Targeting system. Nintendo has about two years to correct the problem so it should turn out fine. As for the other graphics problems, they may be remedied by the expansion pack or just two years of hard work. Even so, it seems to be a common problem among most N64 games. Perhaps nothing can fix it. Weíll just have to wait for the Dolphin.
Wait a sec...Did you say a FRIENDLY Ganondorf!?: I mentioned this before, but now Iíll elaborate. In the game, Link crosses over into a mirror universe, ala Star Trek. In a mirror universe, of course, everyone has an opposite personality from the counterparts in the "real" universe. This will make for some interesting gameplay. Imagine fighting your way through the Hyrulian guards on your way to see Princess Zelda, only to find out sheís this universeís version of your Ganondorf! If thatís the case, whatís to stop you from enlisting the help of THIS universeís Ganondorf? Get out that bottle of Anvil...
Clown Boy: Just who is that masked man in the forest? Hereís my wild guess: At the end of OoT, Ganondorfís power had grown to great proportions. What if his power extends beyond the Dark Realm in which he is sealed? Perhaps he was able to create this alternate dimension and then manifest himself as Clown Boy in order to draw in Link and destroy him, once and for all. Or maybe the game designers know some contacts on the street...
Whatís Next?: Man have wondered why Nintendo did not design an entirely new Zelda game as a sequel to OoT. There have been numerous speculations, but no one knows the true reason. I give my speculation: Perhaps Nintendo HAS been working on a true sequel! Maybe Gaiden in just something to throw us off the trail. Maybe weíll see this speculated sequel as a release game on the Dolphin. Only time will tell. For now, letís just enjoy Zelda VI.
Pre-Release rating: 9.4 out of 10