Tuesday, 30 October 2012

A Link To The Future~ Legend Of Zelda Presentation

Our assignment A Link To The Future was to discuss about the gaming platforms Link has appeared on and how the games have progressed since 1986. We had to present what we found yesterday to the whole class with a time limit of 5 minutes- sadly mine was 18 but I didn't fail because I cosplayed as Link.

I gained a double distinction according to Kyle- yay! I did say though I would post up my assignment notes after I presented my work...

So here we go!



The Legend Of Zelda series is as nearly old as the Mario brothers and over a long period of time, has developed along with various other consoles.


 Legend of Zelda game appeared in Japan on February 21,1986 on a system called Famicom Disk. It was a cartridge version using a battery-backed memory that was later released in the US on August 22,1987 and five days later for Europe. At this point the game featured a ‘second quest’ which was only available after the game was completed or by registering your name as Zelda when starting a new quest. This would then lead to dungeons and items placed elsewhere in the level and eneimies becoming harder to kill.

The Famicom System was created and released on February 21, 1986 by Nintendo.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was again released for Famicom Disk System but it was also released for Nintendo Entertainment System as well between 1987 in Japan and 1988 for Europe and North America. This time the game allowed the gamer to experience a top-down perspective for side-scrolling and introduced RPG elements like experience points, health bars ect Meanwhile none of these featured in the first Legend of Zelda. Both were released in gold-coloured game cartridges instead of grey ones and were re-released in the final years of the NES.

The NES was released in Japan in 1983, 1985 for North America, 1986 for Europe and finally 1987 in Australia. Both the Famicom Disk System and NES were created by Nintendo as home consoles during 1980. Comparing between the two Famicom ignored standard cartridges and used big yellow disks that would contain game data on both sides. This meant the data could be saved on the disk or the game copied onto a blank disk. The Famicom Disk System was able to manage larger quantities of graphic data and featured an extra sound channel.

Even though the console was a success, it meant players would have to swap the side of the disk to continue playing the game and also hardware faults were at the time really hard and expensive to fix. Eventually the console dropped to replacing the disks with cartridges which meant minor alterations had to be made to the games such as loss of extra sound channel and passwords for saved data.

The NES was actually a US release of Famicom but renamed and modelled into a grey box with a flip lid, with an aim to sell the console as a home entertainment device rather than a videogame console. The cartridges for the NES were larger than Famicom carts and featured an indent for pushing the game down into place. However problems with the console were the significant amount of dust building up in the connectors at the back of the console. Controllers were no longer hardwired making them easier to swap and replace with other controllers and add-ons.




After four years another game known to be The Legend Of Zelda: A link To The Past was released for the NES in Novemember 1991 then later re-released for the Gamboy Advance hand held console on December 9th, 2002 in North America using a cartridge  that contained four swords. It was the first Zelda to be multiplayer and added concepts of an alternate dimension, the Dark World. The same perspective views from previous game remained on this one.

Later’ A Link To The Past’ and a loosely based sequel called BS Zelda no Densetsu Inishie no Seikiban were released on a downloadable format for Satellaview in Japan on March 2nd 1997. In 1994 where the Famicom’s lifespan was nearing, the original game was also re-released on a cartridge format along with a modified BS Zelda no Densetu on August 6th 1995. Both titles has rearranged dungeons, an altered overworld and new voice acted plot lines.


The Satellaview is a satellite add-on for NSFS (Nintendo’s Super Famicom System) which released in Japan in 1995 and came bundled with the BS-X Game Pak and an 8M Memory Pak. It became developed to receive signals broadcasting from satellite TV station WOWOW’s satellite radio’s St. GIGA. These were responsible for the file server management, maintenance and vocalisation for ‘SoundLink’ However for any broadcasts to be seen, people had to have the use of a BS tuner and if one didn’t have this, they would have to buy it from St. GIGA and sign up to a monthly contract plan- reducing sales of the Satellaview in June 2001 by around 46,000 subscribers.


Link’s Awakenking became the first Zelda in the series to be released for a Game Boy handheld in 1993. It’s set outside Hyrule excluding the Princess Zelda. In 1998 the game was re-released featuring a full colour format as a launch title for the Game Boy Coluor as Link’s Awakening DX. In addition it featured also an extra coloured-based dungeon and a photo shop that could collaborate with the Game Boy Printer.

The Game Boy is an 8-bit handheld console that was manufactured and licensed by Nintendo and was also the first even hand-held video game device created. It’s release date was April 21,1989 in Japan, August 1989 in North America and September 28th 1990 for Europe.  As time grew on for the Game Boy Colour to be released despite other handheld consoles introduced to public, the Game Boy systems were a huge success and sold 118.69 million units worldwide

Finally graphics started getting better by making them 3D with Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64 released in November 1998. It was initially known as Zelda 64 and still have core gameplay of the previous Legend Of Zelda 2D games. It ranked highly on IGN and EGM’s ‘greatest game of all time’. The improved gameplay had a lock on targeting mechanism which focuses the camera on a nearby targer and alters the player’s actions. This then could allow precise sword fighting is a 3D space because the actual game relied heavily on context-sensitive button play enabling the player to control various actions with Link only using one button on the N64’s game pad. In 2002 Ocarina of Time re-released for Nintendo GameCube when it was offered as a pre-order incentive for the Wind Waker in the U.S, Canada and Japan. Europe however continued to receive it free in every copy of the Wind Waker except for the discounted Player’s Choice version.

It included a previously unreleased 64DD expansion known as Ura Zelda in Japan and Ocarina of Time Master Quest in North America. Ocarina of time was included as part of Collector’s Edition for the Game Cube in 2003- now it’s available through the Wii’s Virtual Console service and in 2011 a 3DS titled game called: The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D was released.

Game Boy Advance is a 32-bit handheld console also manufactured by Nintendo and developed from a Game Boy. Its release was March 21th 2001 in Japan, June 11th 2001 for North America and 22nd June 2001 for Australia and Europe. Compared to the Game Boy, the GBA had a smaller screen but better graphics/sound qualities, smaller cartridges and was easier to store away.


Ninentdo 64 is the third home console for international markert. It has a 64 bit central processing bit( hence the name) and released between 1996-1997 for Japan, North America, Europe, France, Brazil and Australia. The N64 became the last home console to use ROM cartridges to store games but continued to use Game Paks. In 2002 the N64 was discounted because of the new release called Game Cube in Japan, North America and other PAL regions. The N64 console was released in 8 different colours and sizes with an assortment of limited edition controllers that were sold or used as contest prizes during the N64’s lifespan. During the fifth generation, the Nintendo 64 was the most technologically advanced with one minor drawback of limited texture cache which could only hold textures of small dimensions and reduced colour in depth that had to be stretched to cover larger in-game surfaces. Eventually due to its storage media limitations many third-party publishers that previously supported Nintendo’s past consoles would reduce or stop publishing games. In fact the most successful titles of the N64 came from first/ second party studios.

The GameCube game console was released by Nintendo in Japan on September 2001, November 2001 in North America, May 2002 for Europe and Australia.As part of the sixth generation of gaming, the Nintendo GameCube competed with the Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation 2 and Xbox.


Game Cube’s greatest features were using optical discs as its primary storage medium and compared to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, the GameCube used miniDVD-based discs instead of full-size DVDs. Therefore it does not have the DVD-Video playback functionality of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox systems and couldn’t play CDs as a part of this.  It became the first Nintendo console outside Japan to support online play collaborating with the Nintendo GameCube Broadband Adapter and Modem Adapter and allowed to the Game Boy Advance to access exclusive features of certain games or to use the portable system as a controller for the Game Boy Player.


Majora's Mask was released in April 2000 and uses the same 3D game engine as the previous game Ocarina of Time. It added a time-based concept which Link relives the events of three days as many times as needed to complete the game's objectives. The gameplay changed significantly eith a time-limit feature and using masks to transform into creatures that hold unimaginable abilities whilst containing a motion-blur in some part of the gameplay. However the game deals with darker emotional themes like death, tragedy and an impending doom. It’s now available on N64, Game Cube and Virtual Console.


Virtual Console is an online service of the Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo eShop, allowing  players to purchase and download games and other software for the Wii and Nintendo’s 3DS . . It launched on November 19th 2006 for the Wii, June 6th  2011 for the 3DS and will be re-launched on November 18th 2012


Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages were simultaneously released on February 27, 2001 in Japan, May 14, 2001 in North America, and October 5, 2001 in Europe exclusively for the Game Boy Colour and interacted using passwords or a Game Link Cable because after one game had been completed, the player was given a password that allowed the other game to be played as a sequel; like Oddworld’s Abe games. Ninetndo collaborated with Flagship in the development if both games, experimenting with porting the original ‘The Legend of Zelda’ to the Game Boy Colour. Oracle of Seasons was more of an ‘action-packed’ genre compared to Oracle of Ages which was in fact mostly about puzzles.


The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords is an action-adventure game released on December 2, 2002 in North America, and on March 14 and March 28 in 2003 in Japan and Europe and Australia; co-developed by Nintendo and Capcom, published for Game Boy Advance as the ninth installment in The Legend of Zelda game series. The actual game contains modified parts of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past that was released for the NES and created an original multiplayer-only game titled Four Swords. It was later released on September 28th 2011 for the DSI including new features such as single player mode and more areas.


Wind Waker released for the Nintendo GameCube in Japan on December 13, 2002, in North America on March 24, 2003, in Europe on May 2, 2003 and in Australia on May 7, 2003. The game is set on a group of islands in a vast sea, making an instant difference to the other games in the series. In the game, Link struggles against his nemesis, Ganondorf, for the control of an ancient relic known as the Triforce. Throughout the game Link spends a lot of the time sailing between lands and searching in dungeons/temples to gain the necessary power to defeat the antagonist Gandondorf, whilst searching for his younger sister Aryll. A lot of gameplay is based on its previous series Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, as an added feature the gamer must learn as Link how to use and control the wind with a baton called Wind Waker (hence the name) This helps in sailing and floating in the air.


The next game released was Four Swords Adventures for the Game Cube,again, which released in 2004 in Japan and America, and January 2005 in Europe. Based on the handheld Four Swords it focused on level-based and multiplayer gameplay containg 24 levels and a map screen; there is no connecting ‘over world’ unlike the other game series. For multiplayer features, each player must use a GBA system linked to the Nintendo Game Cube using a certain cable for this. It also contained two gameplay modes, these were:

·         Hyrulean Adventure- where the plot and gameplay are parallel to some of the previous game series.

·         Shadow Battle- which multiple Links battle other players.


The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap is the twelfth game in The Legend of Zelda series developed by Capcom, with Nintendo watching the development process. It released entirely for the GBA hand held console in 2004 in Japan and Europe and 2005 in North America and Australia. It’s known to be the third Zelda game that involves the legend of the Four Sword, expanding on the story of Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures. We meet a new character, who’s a magical, talking cap named Ezlo who can shrink Link to the size of the Picor-a thumb-sized race that live in Hyrule. It was named the 20th best Game Boy Advance game in an IGN feature!


Twilight Princess was originally developed for the Game Cube but instead released as the first Zelda game on the Wii, and then only later in December 2006on the Nintendo GameCube. Compared to the Game Cube, the Wii presents a ‘reverse world’ where everything is in the east whilst on the Game Cube it’s in the West. This was to make Link right-handed so it looks more natural to the Wii gamer, whereas in the other games Link is actually left-handed.

In the game Hyrule is threatened by a mysterious force called the ‘Twilight Realm’, an elder version of Link desperately struggles to clear the troubles caused by this. Upon entering the realm he’s transformed into a wolf which changes during gameplay. Twilight Princess finally features horseback transportation and mounted battle scenarios, including boss battles. It became noted the game had an ‘adult’ like theme to it due to the graphics becoming more detailed in comparison to the cel-shading during Wind Waker.


The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass was released after The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Wii and before The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for the Nintendo DS. It’s an action-adventure game published for the Nintendo DS, being released in Japan in June 2007, in North America, Australia, and Europe in October 2007. Due to being the first Zelda DS game the graphics were 3D cel-shaded with an overhead camera perspective. It taken advantage of the Nintendo DS features for controls which including the touchscreen and microphone and the Wi-Fi Connection for online play, allowing people to play against other players.

 Phantom Hourglass’s story follows that of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, focusing on Link journeying to save his friend Tetra from the story's antagonist, Bellum, with the help of Captain Linebeck and his ship; the S.S. Linebeck.


The next Legend of Zelda for the DS was The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks and it released in December 7, 2009 in North America and December 11, 2009, in the UK. During the game 'spirit tracks' are actually railroads which disappear without a trace due to Zelda’s chancellor’s evil magic; extracting the princess’s spirit from her body. Zelda and Link go to the 'Spirit Tower' to find out how to revive the spirit tracks and defeat the antagonists, who’ve stolen her body for the resurrection of the Demon King. They use a modified engine that was used in Phantom Hourglass and for the first time in the series, they’ve allowed the gamer to control both Link & Zelda during the quest.


Nintendo DS is a hand-held console first released on November 21, 2004. It’s special features are the use of two separate LCD screens, the lower of which is a touchscreen, closed within a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP. The console also promotes a built-in microphone and supports wireless standards allowing players to interact with each other within short range, or online with the Wi-Fi Connection service.

On March 2, 2006 in Japan, Nintendo released the Nintendo DS Lite, which is a slimmer, smaller and lighter version of the original DS later being released in North America, Europe, and Australia in June 2006. The DSi however, possesses more powerful hardware than the original DS, including a faster CPU and more RAM. Unlike previous models it doesn’t contain a slot for GBA games because this has been taken for the use of SD memory cards. On November 21, 2009, the same company also released the Nintendo DSi XL which featured higher screens than any DS model.


The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D’s genre is an action-adventure released on June 16, 2011 in Japan, June 17, 2011 in Europe, June 19, 2011 in North America and June 30, 2011 in Australia. It features the original version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time mirrored some of the rearranged dungeons taken from the Master Quest version of the game, along with updated graphics and added 3D effects. As of July 2012, the game has sold over one million units in the U.S. and 2.68 million worldwide!


Skyward Sword is the sixteenth entry in the Legend of Zelda series. It was released in all regions in November 2011, using MotionPlus of the Wii for sword-fighting, with a studied Wii Remote pointing system used for targeting enemies in the distance or high in the sky. Skyward Sword’s game plot is set in the earliest Zelda continuity, preceding The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. It follows an incarnation of the series protagonist Link, who’s raised in a society above the clouds known as Skyloft. After his closest childhood friend, Zelda, is swept into the land below the clouds by demonic forces, Link does whatever it takes to save her traveling between Skyloft and the surface below while battling the dark forces of the self-proclaimed "Demon Lord", Ghirahim.


 The Wii is a home games console released on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii competed with the Xbox 360 the PlayStation 3. As stated the console targets a broader demographic than that of the two others. In the first quarter of 2012 the Wii leads the public over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in worldwide sales and in the US, it broke the record for best-selling console in a single month. It features primary wireless controller, the Wii Remote, which can be used as a handheld pointing device and detects movement in three dimensions, whilst being able to connect to WiiConnect24, which enables the Wii to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby/gaming mode.


Nintendo 3DS contains an auto stereoscopic device which is capable to project stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glasses or any additional accessories, whilst featuring backward compatibility with Nintendo DS series software, including the Nintendo DSi software and now competes with Sony PlayStation Vita handheld console. The Nintendo 3DS was released in Japan on February 26, 2011, in Europe on March 25, 2011, in North America on March 27, 2011 and in Australia on March 31, 2011. Just like the Nintendo DS models, a redesigned version called the Nintendo 3DS XL, was announced on June 21, 2012, featuring screens that are 90% larger than the original Nintendo 3DS just like the DSI XL.


Compared to the first Legend of Zelda game that released in 1986 on a home-console, Namco were still releasing arcade based games. However an arcade version could be quite costly in comparison to buying the Famicom Disk System in the long run, plus you would no doubt have to wait for someone to lose on the arcade game in order to play, meaning it could take a while and you couldn’t save your progress either. Unlike the Famicom Disk System, whos graphics wasn’t as good as today’s, they were worse on an arcade platform and only allowed you to use a joystick and two buttons for the actions of the protagonist, whereas the FDS had similar controls to that of the Play Station.

Although the arcade games did contain what seemed to be ‘special features’ back then, which the Zelda didn’t have until 1988 with their second game. This feature was changing the gamer’s perspective to their advantage. For example Genpei Toma Den was an arcade game developed by Namco and released in 1986, in its gameplay it offered three types of action: Small Mode, Big Mode (standard but with large characters and usually boss fights) and Plain Mode (viewed from an overhead perspective).

Another thing compared to the first Legend of Zelda series was the actual storyline behind Zelda, even though each one started off differently with different Links, none of the arcade games could compare to the protagonist risking his life to protect the princess and Hyrule by discovering different dungeons, monsters and items. On the other arcade games were classed as ‘simple-minded’ because the actions were very limited due to only able to use a joy stick and two buttons. A lot of the games released were mainly shooting games.

Initially a compromise was made between Nintendo and Phillips in the 1990s to create a series of games for the Phillips CD-I.  However both companies failed to develop a CD-I based version from the NES. Phillips then created games known as: Link: The Faces of Evil, Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, and Zelda's Adventure, which hold no influence from Nintendo-hence why they didn’t include them in the Zelda timeline; considering them to be in a separate, self-contained canon.

Legend of Zelda II- Still used the 2D gameplay but started introducing RPG elements.

A Link To The Past: Returned with a top down (¾ perspective) view

Games made for the Game Boy handheld started to increase speed in the game, graphics started becoming clearer for the player instead of just using blocks. Sounds were slowly developing from the occasional bleep to more recorded sounds, such as a monster’s roar, door slamming and even sword duelling.

During Ocarina of Time 3D graphics were introduced to the public earning respectable reviews and was classed as one of the best games made.

Wind Waker’s graphics became cel-shaded because the target audience was aimed at children more than teenagers.

Four Swords became one of the first multiplayer Zelda games when it was created for the GBA.

In Twilight Princess, Nintendo strived to make the graphics more realistic to public; speed was increased tenfold because the Wii focused on motion-sensor meaning that the game has to incredibly responsive to the gamer’s movements especially during sword fighting and target practice. By now a lot of sounds were being introduced during the game making each set of music different to place/character, whereas before a sound could be interpreted by numerous characters during the game.

In the DS versions they adapted the graphic style to a chibi like version, bringing in again 3D rendering techniques.

Throughout Legend of Zelda we know the main plot is all about rescuing Hyrule from evil forces such as Ganon and saving Princess Zelda from the antagonists. We also know Link has to travel through countless dungeons in order to gain needed times like a sword, shield and of course Rupees (all except one game) to unlock the secrets of each mystery, that will save the world! In some games like The Adventure of Link, it’s hinted a romance between him and princess Zelda after he’s rescued her, again. During the third game it’s based around another world other than Hyrule called ‘Dark World’ which is ran by the main antagonist Ganon.

In Ocarina of Time we witness Link being able to ride upon his horse, Epona, fighting on horseback even during boss battles. One of the best Zelda games I’ve witnessed is Twilight Princess which I’ve seen been played. In this game Link must go through the Twilight realm in order to save Hyrule from a mystic power as well as saving princess Zelda. He can change into a wolf and can still ride around on Epona, however the game was considered ‘the darkest Zelda’ due to its over-powering emotional themes of death and destruction which drove away the younger target audience.

In respects to this Nintendo aimed the DS Zelda series at the younger audience once again pulling them back into the world of Link. They used a boat that travels around Hyrule in Phantom Hourglass and a whimsical steam-train that’s used in Spirit Tracks, plus in this game you can also play as Zelda to solve certain puzzles and take out enemies by using her spirit. In Skyward Sword it allows Link to fly around on Loftwings and takes place outside of Hyrule where Zelda is actually Link’s childhood friend.


1.       Storyline: In Okami the main objective is to retrieve 12 Celestial Brush Techniques from 12 Celestial Gods by freeing them of evil and defeating the dark lord (Yami) as wolf with a companion known as Issun who’s a poncle. In Twilight Princess you must rescue 4 light spirits from evil in order to carry on through the game by collecting light beads with the help of Midna , an Imp, also as a wolf from the Twilight Realm. Both Gods and spirits are portrayed as animals.
Movements: Even though Link isn’t always a wolf in this game, the movements you can get him to do are similar to Amaraterasu. They can both dig in order to carry through the level or find treasure, both bite and share similar fighting techniques when confronting the enemy.
However the art style and graphics of the game are completely different. Okami is based on an old Japanese art known as Sumi-e style which is a watercolour art. As mentioned before Twilight Princess conisits more of a realistic 3D graphics because even though it was meant for the Game Cube, it released on Wii first whereas Okami was going to also go for this style but failed due to the PS2’s limitations on texture cache and didn’t change when the same game released on Wii not long after because it was rated and still is rated one of the best games by IGN and Nintendo magazine.

1.       Instead of the graphics being focused on the characters more than the background, the devlopers have decided to change this so that the backdrop is more detailed.
Based after Skyward Sword?
The Wii-U has a larger ram than PS3 or Xbox 360 and is supposed to beat them at anything possible including wi-fi/EE/3G connectivity- something Nintendo never really focused on.
~ Taken from Nintendo magazine.

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