It’s a great day to be a Zelda fan right now. We have The Wind Waker HD arriving later this year on the Wii U, and now an all new 3DS exclusive game, currently known as A Link to the Past 2. Yesterday I spent a lot of time defending against some of the initial negative impressions some had (what’s this, the “Zelda Hater” defending Zelda instead of criticizing? I thought we didn’t do that around these parts!), but today I go into some things that while some might have noticed, it is very likely many didn’t.
There were some interesting aspects that I feel are worth pointing out if for nothing other than “we like to over analyze everything”. Hey, it's fun, and most seem to enjoy it.
Glorious A Link to the Past Sound Effects
There was a lot of hoopla yesterday, and a couple trailers running around. If you listen closely to the trailer available on your 3DS (or conversely, available right here), you can actually notice a few things sound wise that are sure to bring some nostalgia to A Link to the Past veterans.
Namely, the Sword Beam, the Charging sound (for spin attacks), and picking up hearts all use the same sound effects as the first title. There may even be other similar sound effects throughout the trailer that I might not have noticed. Either way, it’s a nice throwback and surprisingly it still sounds good in a modern adventure.
You Can Swing Your Sword Freely at Green Chus
While destroying Green Chus, or ChuChu’s as they later were called, became a simple affair – back in the A Link to the Past days you couldn’t kill them by freely swinging your sword. It would electrocute you, making them a tad annoying for some players. That doesn’t appear to be the case anymore.
There were Two Different Swords, and yes, One Appears to be the Master Sword
Link can be seen using two different swords in the trailer, suggesting what has become the “usual progression” from initial sword to the heroic weapon of ages, the blade of evil’s bane… the Master Sword. The first sword is actually brown on the blade, suggesting it’s a wooden sword or potentially a bronze sword.
Magic Meter is More of a Stamina Meter
It’s true; it appears the magic meter has returned – something many of us have been clamoring for. It has the up and down style (typical of old school magic meters) and yes, there is even an ability that is certainly more magic related (turning 2D sticker style to move where platforms don’t exist).
Yet, it works, clearly, in a fashion better suited for a stamina meter. It auto-regenerates, a feature typical of stamina meters and not magic meters. It’s also shown going down when firing a bow or slamming the hammer, both feats of physical strength… not magic. It is always possible the meter serves both purposes (and could, conversely, be used as a measure for how long you can sprint), but it’s hard to tell. Right now the score is 2 for stamina, 1 for magic. How this plays out has yet to be seen.
Bombs do Indeed Pop Out From Cutting Grass
This has long been a staple of the series – getting random items by cutting grass – but it hasn’t been as prevalent in recent outings. It was only a small glimpse, but it’s there and it’s glorious. In fact, it happens so quickly towards the end of the trailer with the logo present, we are unable to get a clean screenshot of it. You will have to watch the trailer for yourself to see it! EDIT: It appears it is not a bomb after all! That's what happens when you over think things.
Health and Stamina/Magic Meter Located at the Bottom of the Screen
It’s a minor change from the olden days of listing such things at the top of the screen, but it’s also a rather obvious change as well. It’s rather clear based upon the perspective and the fact the trailer itself is in 3D on the 3DS that the games main view is on the top screen. Thus, locating these statistics on the bottom of the top screen puts them in closer proximity to other useful information on the touch screen.
Link Sounds Like Toon Link, But Looks Like A Link to the Past
If people got a Toon Link vibe out of the character model, that’s completely understandable but not likely for the reason you think. The sound effects Link uses vocally and such are directly from The Wind Waker. However, if you think his character model itself is designed like Toon Link… that’s not true at all. In fact, it’s clearly resembles the official art for A Link to the Past.
I think what gives off the difference in him appearing slightly younger is just the fact the that model itself carries on the big head, small body technique popularized in games like The Wind Waker, but a tall slender character doesn’t exactly bit into a top down Zelda game. In many ways, it feels just right the way it is (and if not, it’s not like you spend a lot of time staring at the face anyways!)
Link’s Shield Matters… A lot
Obviously we haven’t played the game – we have seen the same footage you have – but it became apparent very quickly that unlike in many Zelda games where the shield is sort of a throw away item (in 2D games, that is), it’s actually important and used for blocking attacks. One such attack shown is when Link is blocking incoming bone throws. It may be subtle, but it’s a nice touch and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for this novel concept.Is there anything else you noticed that we missed?