In The Wind Waker, Nintendo told us something very important: The Legend of Zelda is a story about good and evil which repeats itself. It spares them of course the trouble to explain how the different games are intertwined into a story line, especially since A Link to the Past, but it also allows them to radically change the style from a game to another like it's happening between The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. Different people, different moods. While The Wind Waker had some cartoony graphics and a joyful feel with dark elements, its follow-up will have realistic graphics and a dark atmosphere with so far nothing which looks like joyful elements. Link is now a serious, preoccupied, handsome adventurer.
As such, the game feels closer to what probably was the most succesful Zelda to date, The Ocarina of Time, and one can't help thinking the game somehow follows the adult Link of this game. After all, several elements remind us of Link from Ocarina of Time, the main one being the horse, whether its name is Epona or not. That's when knowing The Wind Waker's tale becomes crucial, because it helps us to accept all the contradictions behind Twilight Princess: this, is the story of another Link, like it could simply be the story of another boy, of another man, following the steps of past heroes into their struggle against great evils.
This time, Link is clearly a young man not the child or adolescent he's been in the past. As a farmboy of Taoru village, he's entrusted with an important duty, he must go to attend the meeting of the villages of Hyrule in the name of the mayor. It is during this journey that his fate will become adventure, when great enemies and dangers will cross his path, and people's lives will then depend upon his actions. Among those persons are two prominent and yet very mysterious figures. One of them is the princess of Twilight, who most likely is Zelda, and is said to turn into a falcon when inside the land of darkness. The other character is Midna, who seems to be the strange stone creature Link carries on its back when he turns into a wolf.
The Twilight Realm is a return to Zelda's roots, those of A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time especially, when the world of Hyrule was divided into two worlds, one of light and one of darkness, born from the evil doings of Gannondorf. But this time around, things are different and much more complex. Similarly to one of the most beautiful sequence of The Wind Waker, the Twilight Realm is depicted in black and white, moreover, some characters - our protagonists at least - turn into animals, such as Link who becomes a wolf. At this point, it is difficult to link all these elements into one sensible story line, though the truth is that we certainly don't want to know more until we have the controller in our hands and the final game in our GameCube.
What we can be sure of, is that Twilight Princess will be a skilful mix of the familiar Zelda playground with brand new gameplay elements, and perhaps the latter one will present some of the most radical changes to be seen in the Zelda series. Among the traditional elements, we find some common items (boomerang, lantern...), the ability to ride horses (or other mounts, this is new), typical Zelda puzzles, training, the fishing, the chicken, etc. Nintendo had said it before, an adult Link means a more adult game. So far, there's no reason to doubt that, Twilight Princess seems by far the darkest episode of the saga with gruesome, blood-thirsty looking enemies. Nintendo did not try to hide the vicious look on their face or the dull glare of their evil eyes, weapons are sharp and look ready to spill drop. Even though we might not see a drop of it, we can't help thinking this is a major departure from the traditional Zelda atmosphere, some of the screenshots would suit better Resident Evil 4 than The Wind Waker.
And this, is maybe too much. It's too early to judge, after all this is only a preview, but along with the few heavily movie-influenced ideas (The Lord of the Rings and Lady Hawke), Twilight Princess could be going too far away from what we know and love about Zelda. The game, no one will object, looks fantastic and highly promising, yet, does it still retain the soul of Zelda games beyond the fact that it tells again the same legend ? Isn't it darker than it should, and to which benefit ? How much people are responsible for it, people who have been hassling Nintendo with the "kiddy image" for years ? We will be looking forward anxiously to the answers. However, if the fear Nintendo is going after a trend exists, there's no doubt of what awaits us at the end: one incredible game, "two or three times bigger than Ocarina of Time", with awe-inspiring graphics and the display of a vivid imagination. Knees will shake, jaws will drop and The Legend of Zelda will rule, once again.
Samurai Nintendo thinks this game is too scary for children
I've been waiting forever for this game! I've never wanted a game this badly before and I've been a Nintendo fan since kindergarten!
-- From Dj
I've loved every game so far that's come out. This looks like the best one yet! Before the game came out I was thinking...woah wouldn't it be cool if Link could turn into a wolf or something? And wow! My wish came true! All the best components of the game are put together in this. The great graphics are a nice touch, too.
-- From Zeldagirl4eva
This must be the best Zelda I have ever witnessed. Just the box looks mysterious and awe-inspiring! I can't wait to get my copy on that shelf! Everyone would die for it. Link is hotter than ever!
-- From Megan
I can't wait for this game to come out I've waited far too long for it, I'm going to buy the Nintendo Wii with it; it is said to help the gameplay of the game. I've always been a big fan of Zelda, so far I've beaten all the games.
-- From danny
I want it, I want it, I want it! Any real game freak would want it!
-- From Samantha
I wish they would finally release this Game!! I loved all the other ones, so I'm sure this one will rule! If there is one thing I could do right now... it would be... ok, 2 things, it would be buy this game and beat it! Hope it's way longer than the other ones.
-- From Kevin (Zelda Masta)
I cannot wait till it comes out in stores! Time cannot move fast enough.
-- From Christy
I can't wait the game to be released in Europe! The graphics are better than I thought and the story isn't bad, too. I love the The Legend of Zelda games since the very beginning. But it's a pity that this one will be the last game of the Zelda-Series...
-- From Kuja_tenshi
This game RULES can't wait for it to be released. The game will rock Nintendo forever.
-- From jordan
Yeah! it's about time they got a new Zelda game, I loved the others and have completed every one, when I heard this one was coming out I knew I had to get it (plus, what's the werewolf about? I heard he turns into one).
-- From James
This game is so cool. What I also like about it is that you can name your horse and turn into a wolf, and you can ride other animals than your horse. The best thing is that you can take out your sword while on your horse. This is gonna be the best Nintendo game, EVER.
-- From nano92
I have been a Zelda fan since birth and I'm so happy that another game is coming. This game looks so cool I would do anything to get it except die because then I would not be able to play. GO ZELDA!!
-- From Jacob
Amazing, this game looks awesome. I have been a Nintendo Kid since birth (I had the 16-bit, 64-bit, and GameCube, I also had a load of handhelds) I love the GC! I can't wait for this and the Revolution to come out!
-- From Daniel
I so cannot wait for the release of this!! I love Zelda and I'm so excited that there is a new game for the GameCube - Zelda is one of my favorites!!
-- From Jacy
I want this game so bad I would pay 500 dollars for it right now. I'm just mad that they keep on delaying it but I know they're just making it better and longer so it's for a good cause, I know this will be the best game of all time.
-- From ramiro
This Game looks like an awesome game, with stunning visuals and gameplay. I just hope that it takes a long time to beat, and is full of surprises. Keep up the good work NINTENDO!!! ^_^
-- From Zora
I say I got to get this game! I mean this game has cool graphics, sweet features, and best of all you can turn into a wolf.
-- From BIGGEST ZELDA FAN
What I say about this game is that it is going to be the best friggin GameCube out there. GameCube is the only place Link belongs.
-- From Austin Thomas
I say that it will be the best Zelda game yet. I can't wait for it to come out.
-- From Nathan
I am very excited to wait in breathless anticipation for this awesome new adventure. It feels like waiting for Christmas or my birthday is coming!
-- From zelda
Boy this shall be awesome!! I just can't wait to buy it!! It is all I will ever play!
-- From The Zelda fan
I say you should put princess Zelda back into the game.
-- From amanda
It seems like it'll at least be better than Wind Waker. I didn't really enjoy that installment in the series. Well anyway, the game looks awesome to say the least. I'm just curious about this story. Princess Twilight? a.k.a. Zelda? Or nah?
-- From Big D
BOY O BOY!. Thats what I say about this game. Link will return to bless us all with another adventure which only he can deliver. With this game coming out soon, who really cares about the PS3 or 360.
-- From The One
I think that this game will be one of the best to ever grace any of the home consoles. The graphics are gorgeous and I absolutely love the concept of fighting on Epona (presumably). The game may be taking way too frickin long to come out, but as Shigeru Miyamoto himself said, the longer a game takes to come out, the better it gets. I know there is no way this game can disappoint and when it comes out I will literally live in it until I beat it at least twice.
-- From Brian
This game looks incredible, I can hardly wait, I even dream about this game! Just looking at the pictures makes your eyes pop out and your jaw drop down! I'm just so exited to see the actual game playing on my TV screen, it is just amazing!
-- From BIG ZELDA FAN
This looks to be the best Zelda video game ever! Im a great fan of The Legend of Zelda, and right here, in my opinion, this just might be the best game ever to hit our very own Game cube.
-- From Ben Kocher of Iowa
This is the best Zelda game I've ever seen! I can't wait to get it!!!
-- From Wes Curfman
I say that the game is going to be too cool to be true. It is going to be the best Zelda game ever. I'm a big Zelda fan and by the look of the movies and screenshots I have been seeing, even I am going to take a while to figure out the game. It's got a big playing field. And the best thing is, its action role play. So we can go back to places we have been already to get extra stuff. Like all zelda games of course. But the only bad thing is it is taking way too long to be released. They keep switching the release dates. And I hate when things go that way. But overall I can't wait till this game comes out.
-- From Brandon Reese
Oh my god, this game rules, I have to buy it when it comes to stores. I thought that Majora's Mask was good, but this is better !
-- From Therekku
When this game comes out... it will be my life until I beat it.
-- From Happy
Wow... I am so excited I come here everyday and look at this page just to be close to the game... I'm speechless from excitement.
-- From Josie
Ooh hell, yeah ! I have waited years for this I have been a fan since 5. 5 months that is!! I know 127 people who want this game, if you want to get rich: get the darn game in stores already!!
-- From ARAMIS
This game is going to be cool, I loved all the Zelda games. My dad gave me the first game and I got hooked into it. God, when I heard that a new Zelda was coming out, I was so happy I was like yeaaaaaaaah yayaya finally they had made a new one!! ;)
-- From jerry.S
I have waited a year for this. This game is awesome!! Please, I beg you, sell this game in the year 2005.
-- From Aaron Medrano
I think this will be the best Zelda game ever. I am a huge fan and think that, because of the graphics and because it is a great RPG (role playing game), it will sell a lot of copies. I can't wait for it to come out.
-- From zach
This will be the greatest game ever in the Legend of Zelda, even more wonderful than Ocarina of Time. I can't wait for controlling Link for the first time.
-- From anonimus
Twilight Princess is gonna be awesome, probably even better than Ocarina of Time wich was called the best game ever made.
-- From Alex Rhoades
It looks great, I can't wait to buy it.
-- From Sparky
This game looks like the game that will bring back all of the Zelda games.
-- From Link attack
I'm looking forward to this game more than the next generation of consoles. The longer it takes, the better it will be. Ocarina took 3 years to come out and look how good that was, arguably the best game ever in my eyes. This is what Nintendo is about.
-- From DIZNEY
This game looks like it will own all the other zelda games. I can't wait till it comes out. Hurry up Nintendo!! I'm waiting.
-- From alex c
I am so hyped for this game that I'm gonna die before it hits the stores. It's time to pull my sword from its sheath and fight to the death cuz its comin soon. Let's celebrate!!
-- From Travis
This looks like the best Zelda game ever to be made and people who think it looks too real or too serious, that it's lost its touch or the magical feeling, well, you know people said Wind Waker was too kiddy or cartoony, now the creators are giving you what you wanted and now you say: oh this looks too serious ! I think it looks great and it looks like it will be one of the ones people really talk about like Ocarina of Time and it will probably be the best addition to the series and I can't wait.
-- From rey ramos
I wanna play this game so flipping badly that it's not funny.
-- From Edward
This game truly looks awesome. My friend Zack and I just can't wait, this is going to be the ultimate zelda game of a life time. Thanks to Eiji aonuma series producer and Shigeru miyamoto series creator. I can't wait !!!
-- From jedi master plo koon
I heard that the next zelda game was going to be a sequel to Majora's Mask, as in to what happened to Link after that! In the Wind Waker it states when you have to find the Triforce of Courage, that the Hero of Time left Hyrule while leaving the Triforce behind. With that said we can tell that was when Link went to Clock Town, but what happened to him after that?
-- From justin
Friggin' Awesome! a fan since 10 months old, I say possibly THE LEGEND'S BEST!
-- From Dante
At first, of course, the surprise was a rather good one. What, a realistic-looking Zelda game? This must be a first! But to be perfectly honest, on the other hand, I'm not entirely sure this is a change for the best. Sure, the graphics are pretty gorgeous and sharp, but it seems to me -this is just my humble opinion of course- that a portion of the Magic and Dream of the Zelda series have gone along with it. In fact, there are a few pictures that I find quite PC-ish looking, almost in an Everquest-like fashion. (The ones entitled Band of Brothers and Chase of the Wild Boar.) Furthermore, no matter how well things are represented here, it seems to me that what is represented is not very original and fresh. Plains, Beast of fire, Lizard-looking foes? Yet again, it is still a Zelda game and I'm confident in Nintendo to bringing us a fascinating adventure associated with solid gameplay. Wait and see? Impatience level: 7/10
-- From Cédricman