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Legend of Zelda for GameCube

This is an article taken from; please note that I did not write it.


Legend of Zelda for Gamecube

Early info to tide you over until the real thing arrives. Tons of pictures and video included.October 13, 2000

      Ganondorf knocked Link down with a fierce kick to his shield signifying the return of the eternal Hyrulian battle. We were shown what we already knew - Zelda was back, but this time it looked too good to be true. A franchise deemed one of the best of the century has returned fully glorified in a realistic 3-D world. Even if what we saw was just in demo form.


    Huge lifelike worldsFully animated facial expressionsCinematic cut-scenesFully orchestrated soundtrack
The Story So Far.
      Unfortunately, all we have to go on right now is a brief demo. The demo itself showcased one of the most enjoyable parts of any Zelda games - the final battle. Of course, Nintendo would never actually show the final battle scene so we know this isn't the real thing, merely a demo. However, there are a few things to be gleaned from the demo such as what the general mood, environments, and characters will be like.

      Nintendo has fully transformed Link into one of the coolest characters yet to be seen in a 3-D game. No one can argue that this elfish boy has more passion and determination in his look than most do in their actions. Nintendo might have you believe that these characters were merely made for the demonstration, but the Link featured here is a fully decked character model equipped with a bump-mapped sword and shield. There's far too much detail to believe that Nintendo would scrap the models and make new ones. So, we think it's safe to say the new Link will look a lot like this. Overall, we're very happy with his new immaculate hero look.

The ancient nemesis has returned in Ganondorf form yet again. Again, there's no guarantee that Ganondorf will actually make it into the next installment of Zelda, but there's just so much detail in the character model we find it hard to fathom it could be any other way. You'll notice that Ganondorf's sword is also bump-mapped so it actually appears battle-worn and chipped on the edges; when coupled with the lighting effects it produces some of the best eye-candy ever seen in real-time. Also to note is that Ganondorf has had a slight makeover so he doesn't look like so much the hobgoblin that he did before. His face was just a horrible sight to see on the N64. Not on Gamecube, though, for his face represents the pure evil within. Say hello to the new King of Gerudo Thieves.

      Now that we've established what the characters might look like we can deeper explore the subtleties of the demonstration. The scene begins as Ganondorf tries to kick Link in the chest, but Link blocks the giant's foot with his shield and is knocked back. After that Link is not easily fended off again, and we also see the return of his spin attack. The one thing that this demo really shows off is Gamecube's awesome lighting effects. If you watch the demo slowly you'll see that not only is there a ton of light sources, but the models are also feature specular lighting. Even when Link rotates his sword in the middle of the demo we see red and orange reflections from sources across the room. To top it all off, the animation in this sequence is extremely fluid. The moves were also likely not motion captured, so this is a perfect example of just how much Gamecube can do. Granted what we see is a cut-scene, but we've seen that Nintendo always takes a lot of care to fluidly animate its characters. Even by comparison Mario (64) moved very fluidly. These are all things we can expect in the final version, and probably something even more brilliant.


      We have no doubt in our minds that The Legend of Zelda on Gamecube will deliver in a big way. The Ocarina of Time revolutionized industry's perception of how well a world could be accurately 3-D. The control, the camera, and real-time cut-scenes made The Ocarina of Time one of the top-rated games in the history of videogames. Nintendo now has access to a console with extremely powerful capabilities. Nintendo is free to orchestrate a soundtrack, create huge environments that span as far as the eye can see, and incorporate many subtle touches. The designers at Nintendo can let their imaginations run wild with no limits. Expect the day/night sequences to return in full glory, temples and mountains reaching into the sky, and lifelike towns. We're not sure how much Nintendo will add in this game, but what we are sure of is that this game will not disappoint. We leave you with the thought of saddling up on a beautifully rendered horse and riding into the Hyrulian sunset as wind gently blows through the horse's mane. We can only hope to see such brilliant visuals at E3 2001.

2000 Used without permission.

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