New Fan Works
Old Fan Works
Are You a True Fan, or Fair-Weather
By now, we've all seen what the new Gamecube Zelda
looks like. I think it's safe to say that the entrie Zelda community was
shocked by the new look. Many were outraged. I didn't know what to think
at first. It was nothing like the demo video we saw last year. Last year's
video was shockingly realistic. The new footage looks like a cartoon. The
thing I wonder is: why do people hate the new look so much? I like cartoons.
Cartoons are great. Zelda is great. Using the transitive property of mathematics,
I can make the assumption that the new Zelda game will be great. Allow
me to illustrate this. Cartoons = Good. Zelda = Good. Therefore, Cartoons
= Zelda and Cartoon Zelda = Good. But since a simple logical statement
totally defeats the purpose of rambling, so allow me to delve further into
this sensitive subject.
I remember back in the day. I'm talking about the
original Zelda for the NES. Back then, extreme graphics were something
out of science fiction. We were happy with the squarish, 8-bit graphics
that Nintendo pumped out. Despite the relatively crappy graphics, The
Legend of Zelda was a damn good game. That one game started a whole
new world: the world of Hyrule. Over the years, Zelda has become more than
a game. It has become a legend in and of itself. Zelda is, and always has
been Nintendo's flagship. Sure, Mario is the first thing people think of
when somebody says "Nintendo", but Zelda is the real meat and potatoes.
Over the years, Mario has become Nintendo's whore, appearing in every game
and plugging everything in sight. Thank God that this never happened to
our beloved Legend of Zelda. I remember when The Adventure of Link
came out. Everybody was shocked when they saw the new side-scrolling platform.
Most people didn't like that game, and some consider it not to be a true
part of the Zelda saga. Humbug, I say. Zelda II was as much a part of the
Zelda world as any of its successors. After all these years, it's still
my personal favorite. Then we were subjected to a horrible waiting period.
It took years for A Link to the Past to come out. But the wait was
well worth it. The first thing I heard people say about Zelda III was "Wow!
These graphics are awesome!" Graphics, that's all everyone cares about.
Well I got news for you buddy, graphics ain't all that matters! I paid
no attention to the graphics when I first slid that beautiful cartridge
into the equally beautiful console. I didn't buy it for graphics, I bought
it because it was a Zelda game. I bought it because I knew it would be
a great game. And I wasn't disappointed. As you all probably know, the
gameplay in A Link to the Past was absolutely extraordinary. The
world was huge. There was a story behind it. And the puzzles left us guessing
forever. Some people used the strategy guides, I used my wits. I don't
need no stinkin' strategy guide. But my point is that I played the game
for the game, not becuase "it has good graphics". I remember waiting for
of Time. The wait had be so long, that I almost fell out of the Zelda
loop. I didn't follow it to closely anymore. But the old games never got
lost or fell into disuse. Every couple months, I would dust off my SNES
and pop in A Lik to the Past and relive my first adventure there.
Sometimes I would get really nostalgic and pop in Zelda I or II. Both games
were so addictive that when I fired up my old NES and finally got it working,
I played the game from beginning to end without stopping. I'll tell you,
it's an eerie feeling waking up in the morning, turning on the Zelda game,
beating both quests, and then finally emerging from my room to hear
my parents say "Where have you
been all day?!" Yeah, those were
the days. There's nothing like losing eight hours of my life to a video
game. But as I was saying, I fell out of the loop before and during OOT's
release. The main reason: we had no money. My family couldn't afford an
N64. We could barely afford to pay our bills. Instead of going over to
a friend's house and playing the game, or renting a system from a video
store, I waited. I did nothing at all to familiarize myself with the game.
I wanted to see it for myself. So I waited. Then the day finally came.
It had been a year since OOT's release. I had heard rave reviews about
it's spectacular gameplay and equally spectacular graphics. It had even
earned a spot in the Guiness Book of Records. Allow me to quote from this book if I may:
Most Advance Orders for a Game More than 325,000 US consumers
put down deposits for copies of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TIme, a Nintendo 64 game, to ensure that they received
their copy as soon as it went on sale on November 23, 1998.
My friends, this record still stands. But let me return to what I was
saying. It had been a year since OOT's release, and my birthday was right
around the corner. We finally had enough money, so I asked for a Nintendo
64 with the Zelda game. That's all I wanted, and that's all I got. I'm
sure you can all understand how ecstatic I was when I ripped open that
box and saw that beautiful gold box looking up at me. I swear I had the
N64 hooked up and the game running in less than a minute. And I played
it until 4:00 in the morning. I played that game for hours on end every
single day until I had beaten it. Playing OOT for the first time brought
back so many memories. I did the exact same thing when every other Zelda
game came out. But allow me to get to my point, I played OOT because it
was a Zelda game. I played it because it had good gameplay. Sure, the graphics
amazed me at first, and they even pissed me off. I was so used to the flat,
bird's-eye world, that I had a hard time getting used to this new three-dimensional
world. The analog stick pissed the hell out of me for days. I finally got
used to it, and now I don't know how I got along without it. But frankly,
the graphics had no effect on me. I wouldn't have cared if the graphics
sucked. The game was all I wanted. Graphics didn't fit into the equation.
So the point I will eventually get at is: why do graphics matter for the
Let me ask this again: Why do graphics matter
for the Gamecube Zelda? I really don't think that they do. Besides, the
graphics in that game are spectacular. Take a look at the motion
and the animation. It is smooth and flawless. There isn't a single jagged
edge like in the N64 games. The shadows are actually perfect outlines of
the figures, instead of a black circle. The fire from the torches ebbs
and flows just like a real flame. I think the complaint people actually
want to make is not that the graphics suck, but the portrayal of the characters
sucks. I'll admit, everything does look cartoonish. But like I said before,
I like cartoons. I honestly don't see what's wrong with the new look. It
reminds me of the old days when we were free to imagine. Sure, realism
is great, but I want to play games in order to escape reality. If I want
to see reality, I'll turn on the news. Maybe all these "reality" TV shows
have spoiled us. Doesn't anybody watch Looney Tunes anymore? I love Wile
E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. Obviously the coyote and the roadrunner don't
look anything like the real animals. But I don't hear anyone complaining
about how realistic they look. So why does Zelda need to be "realistic"?
There are so many more things you can do with a cartoon character than
with a "real life" character. Realistic characters have to follow logical
laws of nature, cartoon characters can do anything. Making Link into a
cartoon can enable him to do hundreds of moves that would look ridiculous
if he were a realistic character.
And what's with this stupid petition that everybody's
signing to try to get Nintendo to change their mind? Come on people, do
you have any idea how the corporate world works? Corporations are not democracies,
they do whatever they want. You're all just wasting the Internet's bandwidth
by signing a useless petition. If they decided to go ahead and change everyting,
the entire game engine would have to be rewritten, which would put off
the release of the game by at least another year. I don't want to wait
for even longer just so a few crybabies can have the Link they want. Don't
waste your time signing some petition. I guarantee that Nintendo won't
even look at it. You have better odds of seeing Al Gore chug a beer and
crush the can on his forehead than Nintendo actually taking the petition
seriously. Frankly, I'd rather see Al Gore chug a beer and crush the can
with his head than see a realistic Link in the GC Zelda.
Wait, I'm not done. I have one more bone
to pick. So far, the only thing we've seen of GC Zelda is a very short demo
video. From a logical standpoint, we simply don't have enough information to
make an accurate judgment. A 30-second clip is hardly enough to decide if the
game is worth playing. It's like trying to write a book report based entirely on
the picture on the cover: it'll work, but it won't be very good. Before
everybody starts jumping to conclusions, I think we should all just wait. Don't
give me any crap about how much Gamecube Zelda sucks because you haven't played
it. And no, I won't believe you if you say you know some insider in Nintendo who
sent you the beta version of the game. That's a lie and you know it. So don't
start jumping to conclusions until you've played the game yourself.
Kasuto of Kataan
© 2001 Kasuto.net. All rights reserved.