Anyone who’s played Zelda: Ocarina of Time is probably aware of the fact that it is one damn good game. I personally rank it in the top few of all time; it felt incredibly epic back in 1998 with a massive world, almost endless gameplay, and generally astounding quality on every front. It is a masterpiece, and many think that its Nintendo 64 sequel Majora’s Mask is of similar or even superior quality.
Although a GameCube Zelda was released in 2003, it wasn’t really that much of a spiritual sequel like Majora’s Mask was. While the gameplay was very similar and all the hallmark Zelda elements were there, it felt very different from Ocarina of Time. Gone was the realistic graphical style, replaced with cell shaded cartoon-like imagery. Hyrule, the land that Ocarina of Time was set in, was nowhere to be found for the vast majority of the game. And of course the locations were a series of islands in a massive sea (which was boring to cross) rather than spread throughout a reasonably interesting land like in Ocarina of Time. I of course speak of none other than Zelda: The Wind Waker.
While a good game overall, Wind Waker was not the sequel many were expecting — especially after an early video showed what looked like a more Ocarina of Time-esque style. And of course, the storyline itself was set long after the events of Ocarina of Time transpired, with a completely different world and no recognisable places or faces (with the exception of a very short part of the game; those who’ve played it know what I mean).
Fortunately Twilight Princess is nearly upon us, and it indeed a spiritual sequel to Ocarina of Time in every way. Back is the realistic style, now more so than ever before. We’re also back in Hyrule, with many locations that’re loosely familiar, including a farm that has subtle segments of the Lon Lon Ranch music worked into the soundtrack for maximum nostalgic impact. Gone is all that piratey nonsense; we’re back in the fantastical world that Ocarina of Time laid out but only gave us a glimpse of. And the storyline is set between Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker.
Now, getting back to the original point of this post, an article has appeared on IGN which looks at a bunch of upcoming Wii games, and under the Twilight Princess part it’s revealed that Hyrule (which is traditionally an overworld) will take a whopping 45 minutes to cross — even on horseback! Now at first that may seem ridiculous, and I am slightly suspicious about the number, but the fact that we’re even up in that area has gotten me a bit excited. After all, Ocarina of Time’s Hyrule overworld was massive back in its day, and that took a few minutes to cross. Add eight years of technology and having such a massive world doesn’t seem so ridiculous.
After all, Nintendo has had around three years on this, and possibly even longer if development overlapped Wind Waker’s (which isn’t an unreasonable assumption considering that several handheld Zelda games have been/are being developed, including the upcoming Wind Waker sequel). Zelda games have traditionally been very long, and it looks like Twilight Princess will be no exception. If this game ends up being as good and as relatively long as Ocarina of Time, well… I’ll see you in a year!
Yeah, Bethesda had their fun with Oblivion, but Zelda’s where it’s really at. Twilight Princess still remains at the very top of my “most anticipated” list, and I have a very strong hunch that it’s going to tear up other games that release around the same time. Heck, the fishing side of the game will be worth the price by itself!
Does anyone else want to share my massive tangent and express how much they’re looking forward to this game?