Overview: Mike “TSA” Damiani, of The Hylia, put together this webmaster roundtable. The purpose was to bring our community closer together, have fun, discuss interesting topics with a group of fellow webmasters, and basically just have a blast. I personally think it was immensely fun. First things first, here is the list of webmasters that were there:

• TSA (The Silent Assassin) - The Hylia
• Dabombster - Exploding Deku Nut
• GoddessRinoa - Zelda Infinite
• Jack - Desert Colossus
• JC - Phoenix Saga Zelda
• Scott - Zelda Universe Network
• Lord-of-shadow - Zelda Legends
• Link of Hyrule - Legend of
• Lysia - Legends and Adventure
• MNgoldenEagle - Zelda's Secret Ocarina
• Nathan - Zelda Domain
• The Real Link - Nintendo Universe
• Archaic Sage - Rauru's Return
• Captain Cornflake - VG Resource Center
• TS - Z64 Station
• IceSycle - Ice's Zelda Central
• Link - Zelda Cavern
• Kifika - Exploding Deku Nut
• Leinator - Exploding Deku Nut

And here’s the transcript:

Chat Moderator: Okay... Thanks for coming, we are going to get this thing underway. According to my random nickname script, Dabombster will be the first to speak about the subject. I must reiterate that we do not know anything new about twilight princess. The views spoken here are the views of the webmasters of various sites and not necessarily the views of each community, and all that technical mumbo-jumbo.

So, lets get underway with our first question: Has working as a webmaster or staff member for a Zelda site enriched you in any way? If so, how? if not, what do you get out of it? What motivates you to selflessly work to build your sites?

Dabombster:< Well, working for the Zelda sites has helped me in times I have felt down, or that I'm not capable of doing anything. For this sites I've worked for my bosses have encouraged me through all my tough times.

F3: It's definitely been an enriching experience. I've learned plenty about graphics, coding, writing content, and managing a forum.

GoddessRinoa: Absolutely. For me, it's more about meeting people and building relationships. I love the ZIers with all my heart. If we were all in one city, we'd be inseperable best friends. Getting to know all of these people I've met in the last six years has really had an impact on my life.

Jack: Personally, working on TDC has made me a bit more competent with the hidden minutiae of the internet (HTML, PHP, the like) which I wouldn't have known otherwise. Great resume stuffers!

JC: Building a Zelda site has definately opened my eyes to new things. I've learned many new tasks, and it has definately re-shaped my life. It forced me to become a more mature, smarter, and technically-able person. This was something I've always wanted to do since I saw my very first Zelda sites which were Ganon's tower, Zelda Legends, Zelda Universe, and the Original ZHQ.

Scott: I find being a webmaster to be very 'enriching'... it certainly doesn't help my wallet, much. Most of the things for "enrichment" are purely technical... I knew basically nothing about all the web coding things before. And there is the community aspect, with managint the forums, and keeping the moderators and the community at large happy. It is quite an experience. Often stressful, too, but I like it.

lord-of-shadow: What motivates me to do what I do? I've thought on this question before, and it's a relatively difficult one, but in the end, I think that I do it for the community. I love seeing people reactions when they read my articles and enjoy them. I love it when people get to know me because they visit my site regularly. I love interacting with other fans and spreading everything Zelda, in other words. And I love attention, heh.

Link of Hyrule: Making a Zelda site has both given me skills (learning coding, managing content etc). Learning such abilities will I am sure help me in future life. However I would have to say that these things come second fiddle to the friendships and contacts I have made, this as many webbiesw will agree is the most rewarding part of working on Zelda website.

Lysia: What motivates me? The fans. I spend a lot of time on my site posting fan works, and their excitement at seeing their work online is what gives me motivation. Especially for those fans who wouldn't know how to make a website of their own.

MNgoldenEagle: I never thought I would end up creating a Zelda community, but I've never regretted it. It's given me a chance to meet some incredible, fun people, and I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world. I just wish I knew some of the other webmasters here better!

Nathan: It has been very enriching indeed. I have gained many friends and learned a lot about myself. I have been doing the Zelda site thing for 7 years, and in that time I have come to love the community and engross myself further into the zelda series then I thought I ever would.

The Real Link: Its been fun covering all of the areas of the Nintendo Universe including Zelda and keeping it real playing and supporting Nintendo. I also enjoy writing the content and helping other Nintendo fans. I have also made many friends through this including the staff who I really have come to appreciate for all of their help and friendship.

Archaic Sage: Working on a Zelda site has enriched me in many ways. It's led me to open up a passion for talking about Zelda, in more ways than I'd've imagined before entering the online world. It's also allowed me to learn how to code in HTML, from early on I've been a firm believer of knowing HTML, which was thankfully installed in me from many places, Lysia being one of them. Websites are now a part of who I am, and I'm happy to be a member of them. The fans are what makes my site. The community that I'm a member of I feel that I'm here to serve, in the only ways that I know how.

TSA: I've learned what it takes to run a community. It's a lot harder than I thought. You get to see a lot of wonderful things as a webmaster, you get a chance to create pretty good content and stuff for fans. However, you learn you can't please everyone, and you get a glimpse into the dark side of some people, perhaps even yourself. But, you get involved in something, it's pretty awesome. I wouldn't trade it for anything else.

Captain Cornflake: Even though VGRC isn't a Zelda site, I'd just like to add in my two cents. It's been a fun project. It's not exactly the most popular place out there, but we all enjoy the frequent compliments we get, and attention (as small as it may be) from publishers and high traffic places like Digg. Makes us feel like something has been accomplished.

lord-of-shadow: As I said, it's the community that motivates me. I've been a member of the overall Zelda community for years now, and I have seen sites from the view of fan, reader, staff, and webmaster. When I was younger, I practically idolized these big important webmasters. Knowing that now, I am in that position, and that there are younger fans out there that look at me in the same way... it is a wonderful experience. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Scott: I didn't start ZU, so I can't say I feel special for creating some big community, I just joined it one day out of boredom, mostly... bit it was certainly cool (for me) to go from being a random member to being the webmaster of one of the largest Zelda sites out there... I'm not some prodigy when it comes to Zelda; TSA & l-o-s have that market cornered, I'm not all that good when it comes to coding and graphics. I'm just a guy, who does stuff. Moral of the story, anybody can do it, if they really want.

The Real Link: I have also loved leaning all that I have about webdesign. Its been great and I really hope to continue learning and keeping the other Nintendo fans informed.

JC: When it comes to the Zelda Community, you don't need to be a important webmaster. Zelda is a world where you can be your own self. The Zelda Community is a place where you can freely build a website that reflects your expressions of the Zelda series. The Zelda Community is a land of opprotunity.

Chat Moderator: Our second question is: Why do you think no TP media has been revealed in eight months?

Lysia: I believe that Nintendo want to build up the suspense, and let the fans use their imagination. Sometimes, if you release too much too early, it could give too much away.

MNgoldenEagle: Hrmm.... it is an unusual move for Nintendo, considering how much media they spew out for Pokémon and Mario. With so many fans watching over it like a hawk, my guess is that they must be doing something big to it that they don't want us to know quite yet. A big surprise, hopefully.

Nathan: They hyped it for a last year release date, What do you exspect. If they keep releasing more we will know the entire storyline before the game even hits our consoles. Nintendo is staying reserved, because they can be. Overhyping is overrated.

The Real Link: I am starting to get suspicious of this. I am starting to think Nintendo may be hiding something from us. It may a cool little feature not talked about or possibly, they just do not want to give too much away. It will be interesting to see what happens.

TS: Nintendo is very uptight about the inner workings of its game, and most likely want to keep the story-line as secret as possible. However, I would disagree with the question, as I know a few people with the actual demo...

TSA: I think they couldn't show anything. Any new media may reveal something they don't want to be seen. Personally, I think they're going to drop a bomb at E3. Perhaps as big as the revelation of Cel-Shading.

Captain Cornflake: Because it's big secretive Nintendo? Durh.

This is what they're famous for: Holding back information, letting as little trickle to the press as possible; only enough to get the fans nice and rabid enough to want it on launch day. They've done this for as long as I can remember.

F3: It certainly stirs up speculation - hype - if there's little to go on. It seems the less we know the more it bothers us. Maybe they're taking a page out of Bungie's book? Release a name, a few screens, some tiny details. They just have to be careful about how far they take it, or risk losing the interest of all but die-hards. It also worries me, because I've seen this kind of silence with. Halo 2 and Windows Vista. Both were being scrapped and rebuilt from scratch during those long periods of silence. I shudder to think Nintendo may have needed to stop what they were doing to completely rebuild to codebase at some point.

GoddessRinoa: Hype. The less they say, the more we speculate, and the more excited we get. Personally, as frustrating as it is sometimes is, I like that they're keeping so quiet. This way, just about everything will be a big surprise, and will make the game more fun for us. Why would we look forward to Twilight Princess if we already know a lot about it? I think this year's E3 will prove to be quite interesting.

IceSycle: With so much impressive software on the market right now, and the strong Nintendo and Zelda brand name, I think the reasoning is along the lines of under-promise and over-deliver

Jack: A horrifying new secret: the main character is now Tingle! (Okay, that was terrible.)

JC: Twilight Princess is definately something new. It's something new for the world of Zelda. It's going to be the new extreme for the Zelda universe. It's typical that Nintendo doesn't want to show any new info. No game company would. What's the point of making a game if you are going to just spoil it for everyone? I should know. I'm making my own Zelda fan game. I know exactly how Nintendo feels with all of it's fan want more.

Link: I believe they are holding Information because, they want people to stay interested in the project, if to much information is released people could decide whether or not to buy it, if there is no information released people will buy it to play it to see what its all about, or the possibility that what if Nintendo is releasing 2 zelda games(for gamecube and/or revolution), and they need to finish the other one before they release another. As we dont know alot, its a very good possibility that there is infact a second zelda game. TP could have many good twists involved that cannot be released, as you may know there was originally 3 oracle games, one was dropped because of passwords problems, i dont think its to hard to understand that if they could connect games for LoTR: Third Age, they could easily do it here.

Kifika: Hmm, stinks that i was toward the end because my answer is not at all original; though its what i believe. I think Nintendo has not shown us any thing its not only that they are doing it for suspence ( which i think they are) but also to keep the veiwers and the fanboys(girls XP) on their toes, but also i believe that they are still tweaking it, adding little things, like for the revolution features which at first you heard nothing.

Scott: Not telling us anything for so long isn't some big conspiracy. Nintendo does several things very well. The first is they're good at coming up with "out of the box" things. The second is they're good at making a crap load of money off rehashes. The third is they're good at the hype deal. Microsoft dumps millions of dollars into advertising. Nintendo gives you a gigantic flourish, then sits silent, letting people squirm, wishing they knew more. That wishing builds wants.

So, Nintendo knows good and well the silence bothers people, leaves them wondering. And that builds a desire to know, a desire to have. When they do release information, the frenzy will be so insane, they don't NEED to spend the millions and millions that other companies use for their media hype, it'll happen on its own. Oh, they're good at what they do... VERY good.

Link of Hyrule: Its Nintendo guys, look at how much mystery surrounded the other games before they were released. Nothing is better publicity than keeping quiet and creating an aura of mystery.

MNgoldenEagle: I don't know... look at Ocarina of Time. It was one of the most successful Zelda titles ever produced, and the amount of media released was enormous. We speculated about the plot even after the game was released, thanks to all the screenshots! I think they could release more, it's just that there's something about it they don't want us to know until much later.

lord-of-shadow: I think the general sentiment that they're trying to build up suspense has more or less hit the nail on the head. I don’t know how many of you have been following Nintendo Power’s monthly Inside Zelda feature, but they’ve been hinting at big and interesting things in all those articles. I think that Nintendo is just holding back, so they can unleash lots of media on us all at once. Doing it that way builds up far more hype then giving us a constant trickle of info. Personally, I am grateful. The more info that’s released, the more likely I am to be spoiled, and I don’t want that. Ultimately, I think the effect they’re going for is to reveal some cool stuff at E3, perhaps the Revolution controller capatibility along with actual game info… but save all The Real Link meat of the game for the actual release. Kain brought up an interesting possibility: a second Zelda game. I personally don’t think it’s likely. If you read the Inside Zeld features, you’ll get a glimpse of how much effort and Nintendo resources are really going into the TP development. Another Zelda game on top of all that is not very likely.

TSA: If Nintendo is under-promising, over delivering -they're sure doing a bad job. Shigeru Miyamoto said it would be "perfect" and Eiji Aonuma said it would be the best "Zelda Game". How's that for under-promising?

lord-of-shadow: Good point, TSA. There's an odd contradiction there. They've been hyping it like mad in the interviews and stuff they HAVE been releasing... but they're hardly releasing anything at all, so it defeats the purpose.

Scott: On the surface it does, l-o-s, but think about the way of it all. They're making all these huge promises, gigantic talk, and all that, yet they show us almost nothing. It goes perfectly with what I said. Not only are they not telling us anything, but they're saying how amazing it all is, all the time. That's enough to drive people mad with materialistic desire.

F3: Does anyone else find it possible that something has actually gone wrong in development? This is an unusally long pause, even for Nintendo.

TSA: We haven't heard from Eiji in a few months. Maybe something happened to him...

IceSycle: If I remember correctly, they promised perfection with Wind Waker as well ... and Oot ... and even Majora ...

lord-of-shadow: I may be placing too much trust in NP's inside Zelda features - in fact, I definitely am - but those have not given any hint of any problems, just of painful, drawn out crunch times. And Aonuma is definitely scheduled to appear at E3, so he should be fine.

Captain Cornflake: To add on to what Fury 3 said, I don't think it's that long of a pause. Anybody recall the massive delays Perfect Dark had? I remember promises of Game Boy Camera functionality, then they delayed it even more just to cut that feature out. Maybe the same deal is happening with this supposed Revolution remote compatability... Just mere speculation, of course, though.

Scott: Capn's right. The development pause has not really been all that long. It has been a while, yes, but it's not beyond Nintendo to take forever. I very much doubt that something has "gone wrong."

GoddessRinoa: I don't know if I'm being too trusting or what, but in my opinion, no matter what the causes of the delays are, they should be able to just do what they have to do. I'm willing to place my trust in them, hoping that they will do whatever can to produce the best game they can, whatever that requires.

The Real Link: With the talk of Revolution features, they may be adding some little tweaks to the graphics or even completely overhauling them for the Revolution. Just a thought that came to my mind before, doubt it is the case.

MNgoldenEagle: Hrmm... here's some food for thought: the Revolution is not that much stronger than the Gamecube, but has a higher polygon count and some other upgrades. Perhaps TP was too much for the Gamecube, so they expanded it into the Revolution.

Chat Moderator: Question 3: From the sounds of things, the music in Twilight Princess will finally be orchestrated, a first for the Zelda series. Orchestrated music is generally considered a very good thing, but many people have expressed worry - after all, this is a change, and will undoubtedly have an effect on the character of the music... and not all change is good change. What are your views?

TSA: We got into a heated debate about this at IGN... Apparently people don't get what a MIDI is, and people were arguing the soundtrack needs to be orchestrated, not MIDI. I don't care what format the music is in... Or how it is made... As long as it can be as dynamic as it has been in previous games (like adding more instruments and speeding up tempo as enemies approach)... and it sounds GOOD. Like the Final Fantasy VII AC soundtrack.

Captain Cornflake: The Hyrule Symphony CD was decent, and that was just orchestral adaptations. Imagine how much better original composed music would be? Zelda soundtracks have, historically, never been that bad. I have a feeling that TP shouldn't be any different.

Archaic Sage: I like the idea that there is going to be a change for Zelda music, although as long as it's kept with Koji Kondo, all is well for me. Although I'm not very happy about it moving into Orchestarted music as it means it's going to take up far more space on the disc, which could be used for games. But as long as it sounds good, and there's not a ton of songs with tons of singing, I'll be happy.

GoddessRinoa: I enjoy orchestrated music as much as the next person. I have both orchestrated soundtracks of OoT and MM. But... can orchestrated music really provide the type of drama that TP might need at some points? I don't know, maybe I'm just uncultured. I just remember how music was utilized in WW. During some parts of the plot, my heart actually beat faster because of the music alone. I just don't know if orchestrated music will have the same effect on me. And it's possible that I could be proven completely wrong. I certainly hope I am.

IceSycle: Orchestrated vs. MIDI ... a mere technicality. All that will change is the sound quality, and it should; the system is better. Zelda music has been "orchestrated" from day 1, if you define it as consisting of more than one instrument. And to clear things up, about half of the Zelda music wasn't written by Koji Kondo.

Jack: I think it should give the opportunity for darker, or at the very least, more emotional music, which would definitely match the character of the game as we understand it thus far.

JC: I just want the music to feel right. It doesn't matter if its orchestrated or not. As long as I don't hear beeps when I strike down Ganon, I'm good.

Kifika: I like the orchastraded music idea, because in my opinion it sounds alot better, and personal. Alot of games, movies, and shows, are swiching to this because it gives a more livley tone that somthing done in a small office by a couple of people, pluce i like they fact they put money into the game as far as little things go. As long as they dont change the over tone, and still keep the same style of music.

Scott: The music as it was before was nearly what is called "orchestrated," as has been said. The only real difference was that it was synth, and not The Real Link deal. Making the music sound more real cannot be a bad thing, in my opinion. Not all change is good, but no change is bad.

Link of Hyrule: I think that having the music in this format will hopefully give more of a regal feeling to the gameplay and create more atmosphere. The music of the games has always been one of my favourite aspects of the Zelda games and I personally can't wait to hear the soundtrack. I know it will bring a smile to my face when I hear the Zelda theme song for the first time while playing Twilight Princess.

lord-of-shadow: I have had some people express worry about this, and I could understand their reasons. Essentially, they felt that the charm of video game music came from it’s simplicity. It’s easier for a simple piece of music to make a large impression on you, and to stick with you longer, then it is for a sweeping orchestra to do it. Compare the music from older games, like Mario, to the sweeping orchestra of, say, Shadow fo the Collosus… Collossus had great music, but it can’t stick in your head. Ultimately though, I think that going to orchestra is an improvement… as long as Koji Kondo is very careful to keep the Zelda atmosphere, and avoid overdoing it. And there is also some confusion as to what exactly Nintendo means when they say orchestrated. Do they just mean higher quality music, with real instruments? Are they going to have an actual orchestra? Something else? I am inclined to think it’s just going to be higher quality music with real instruments, but maybe someone could clear that up? Sweeping orchestea like that found in Shadow of the Collosus is great, but not fit for the Zelda series, in my opinion.

Lysia: I feel that the orchestrated soundtrack will only enrich the music. Like capncornflake said, Hyrule Sympthony was decent. One of my personal favourites is the Sound and Drama soundtrack for LttP. I don't see how orchestration could actually change the excellent Zelda melodies, unless Nintendo purposely decided to change the music style.

MNgoldenEagle: Hrmm... to be honest, I like the dynamic form of MIDI and think that, when the wavetables are made properly, it can be just as powerful and effective as other formats. Sometimes I even prefer the MIDI version over the Orchestrated version. But then again, you usually get nicer stuff with orchestration, and if you have the room and the dynamics you need, then orchestrated music is certainly the way to go.

Nathan: Honestly it is just going to make for a richer sound game and increase the "into-the-game" feeling. Otherwise it's nintend0, it's zelda, it's music. It works.

Leinator: As a former Zelda Music member and a firm beleiver that Koji Kondo is a genious, I think this is an important subject to touch on, but not one that will really effect the series. The MIDI was very well programmed in previous games and at times it sounded almost orchestrated. I personally think it won't matter, they sound quite similar and I don't mind it either way in terms of sound. The problem is that orchestrated will probably take up more disk space.

The Real Link: I think the change is for the best. Zelda music has always rocked and will continue to no matter in what form they go with. As long as they keep it true to series, I know most Zelda fans and I will love it.

Leinator: so weigh that with the fact that it probably won't sound much different anyway, and my opinion is that it should just stay midi.

TS: Personally, I've always been a fan of the music Nintendo implements into their games. However, be the console NES, SNES, N64, or Gamecube, the music has always suited the game perfectly, and I expect the same for Twilight Princess.

IceSycle: "orchestrated" is a technicality of digital format ... LttP through today had "orchestrated" music represented in a musical instrument digital interface - MIDI. And now it will be in a straight pcm format. It's not the huge change you may think it is; most people won't be able to tell a difference at all. Half of Smash Bros Melee is "orhcestrated", and half is MIDI ... I'll pay anyone in this room $10 if they can tell me which tracks are which.

Kifika: I think that they only way it could be bad for the series is if they over used it.

Captain Cornflake: Of course, I was secretly hoping that Nintendo would go the Digital Devil Saga route in terms of soundtrack.

TSA: I think there should be lyrics in one of the songs in Twilight Princess. It would be really cool. I like remixes with lyrics on OCR, and I like the song on Re-Arranged with lyrics (Lon Lon Ranch). NO MORE.

lord-of-shadow: I very much hope that we never see real lyrics in any of the Zlda games. I just don't see it fitting well at all. The closest we could get and still have it work is something like Malon's "singing" in OoT... where they just use a voice that's not actually saying anything in any real language as an extra instrument in the music.

Scott: Yeah, I really don't see how lyrics would fit in with Zelda. Of course, the only way to know would be to actually see it.

Leinator: I think they did it right in FF crystal chronicles in terms of lyrics. The game was all wordless midi, but during the opening sequence they had that cool, inspiring song. that's the only type of lyric music I'd like to seen in zelda, something in the opening sequence, but nowhere else.

Chat Moderator: Question 4: Do you think there should be a "unified" Zelda community? Why or why not?

IceSycle: Not even worth debating, because there never will. however, this segmentation that we have is kinda strange ... I think we should move more toward a "Specialization." for instance ... having the same images at every site is a waste. having one central location where fans can get images, now that makes sense. having news at every site is also a waste, having one central location for that makes sense. so on and so forth ... that's just my view. personal zelda pages should be more for personal expression.

Chat Moderator: I think thats what meant by a "unified" community, but, thats my input on the matter.

IceSycle: "hey, this is what I think about Zelda, this is what I like about it." the vast repositories of info should be centralized to one place, almost like a library, and the individual sites should be more like the villager's houses.

Jack: That's like saying "should there be a UN?" The answer is: sure, it sounds nice, but it really can't work in theory because there are too many competing interests. We can always try, but there's no guarantee of success. In the end, though, the trying is definitely worth the while if we can only get even halfway unified.

JC: It really depends on what you mean by "Community". If you decide to let everyone act in an organized manner and take things from people's sites, that's not a good idea of a 'Unified Community'. The Community should NOT discriminate between bigger sites and smaller sites. Bigger sites should give the smaller sites a chance. That's a very good act of a unified Community. I mean, every Zelda site celebrates the same thing : The Legend of Zelda series. If you want to unify the Zelda Community, have every site like every site. No discrimination between the sites.

Kifika: Honestly i dont think there should be, because no matter how long nintendo, its games, or its rumors have been out there has never been a subject that EVERYONE can agree one, and because people like different looks, and styles, and different ways of running things.

Scott: A unified community? Can't happen. Simple as that. People are people, and will neer fully agree on how things should be run, how things should be portrayed, and all that. Not to mention ownership and things. This is a capitalist world. On the idea of a single location with images and established information, that wouldn't work too well either, simply because again, people don't all agree. Not everyone chooses the same wordings, the same presentations. Not to mention bandwidth. I'm all for having some sort of "unity" among the various Zelda sites out there, but I just don't think it's viable to combine. Leave the sites independent and running their own deals how they wish. Sorta like the UN and the countries within, only not quite so big and important. And pompous.

Leinator: This is definitely an important question that I put a lot of consideration into befor this chat even started. Personally, I like the state of the community now. What we have today is similar to the state of the "european community" during the early 1970's. Each country was separate, but they shared agriculture, economy, and industrial produciton. They were kept from a full alliance becuase of differing governmental views. If you compare this with the community today, this is exactly what is going on. each site is a separate entity, but we are unified through our sharing of knowledge and material. We are kept apart though becuase of differing community government views and differing views on smaller aspects of the games. Do I think this is healthy? yes I do, becuase argument and debate keeps the community alive, it keeps the fire buring within us to prove our views on the particulars of the game.

Link of Hyrule: There are arguements for both sides of this question. I think the community should be united as it makes the people from each site visit other sites and not just sit around at one as was the case back in the Oot era of the community. However on the flip side having a slightly divided community does make each webmaster put more into their own site and genenerally bring up the whole quality of the entire zelda community generally. This isn't in my opinion an easy question to answer however if I had to say either way I would want a united community I think.

lord-of-shadow: Ooh, touchy subject. A unified Zelda community. It’s been tried, with the Zelda Alliance, affiliation systems, people sharing content… sites working together on a small scale is fine and dandy. On a larger scale, I would love to see more interconnectedness, with different sites linking to each other’s projects, lending each other support… But ultimately, going for any real unity just doesn’t work. People fight, they disagree. We like having our own niche, things we have power over. We like being able to express ourselves through our sites, create the atmosphere we want. All of us here know that. Ice’s vision is actually a very intriguing one, and has some similarities to the old Zelda Alliance project… but those same problems I mentioned, like people wanting everything at their sites and enjoying their individuality, got in the way. And what happens when people don’t like the layouts or the atmospheres of the big library sites? I don’t think it could work, and I wouldn’t really want it to work. I love being able to see a lot of the same stuff presented by different people, in different words, in different atmospheres. It is one of the beauties of our vast Zelda community. Leinator had a great example, the best, I'd say, when he compaed us to the European countries of hte 1970s.

Lysia: Zelda fans love different things about the games, and therefore they will gravitate towards sites that cater for their own ideas. Therefore I don't believe that we will ever have a truly 'unified' community in that sense. Diversity is a good thing which I encourage; if every site had exactly the same information, it would be boring. So the fanfic writers will spend time together, the speed-runners will have their own place, the Zelda shippers, etc. What I don't understand is how nasty the fighting between groups can sometimes get. After all, we all have something in common - ZELDA!

MNgoldenEagle: I'd love to see Zelda sites work together more and have cooperative events, but I think there'd be a lot of issues regarding getting everyone to work together and not slack off. But consider this chat room effort. I really think that's part of forming a unified community, and hopefully as time goes on we'll be able to make this work even better. Of course, I think people need to realize that not everyone has to agree with each other in order to make a unified community. You just have to realize that, unless the answer is proven true, everyone has the right to their own opinions and hypotheses. Get past that, and you'll be that much closer.

Nathan: I think seperate works best. We should unify ideas, share communities, but seperate has to happen. It's just too hard to govern such a vast community all in one spot. We need to stay interactive amongst the communities, but keep some form of seperation. It works best that way> We need to work together more often however. There our several fans who bash other zelda communties. that is an issue we should try and resolve.

The Real Link: We are all supporting the same game series. I think the best way to help other fans like ourselves is to work together. However, it is also good too be different at the same time as it allows for a much more diverse community that covers almost every aspect of the series to varying degrees. It is good for the community to have diversity, but at the same time we must also work together.

TS: I'm not sure, really. I mean, most of the Zelda communities online have split off from a larger community, something which will always be happening. Firstly, if there is one big community, everyone will know the same information, and normally secretive things will be public knowledge. If you have many seperate communities, it is hard to keep track of new information, and rumours for that matter. However, in smaller communities, people get to know eachother better, which leads to a better, happier community.

TSA: I proposed to Scott of ZU the other day a universal Zelda community idea that stole from MySpace, basically. But it goes beyond that. Multiple "portal" pages, which are the sites, linking thousands of photo galleries, blogs and forums together via one account per member. But the problem is...there's still a force controlling it.

lord-of-shadow: And nobody wants to be put under someone else's power here.

TSA: In short, I don't think there should be "one" place for Zelda. It defeats the purpose. There's more than one fan, there should be as many Zelda sites as possible. I don't want a unified community in the sense we all do the same thing.

Nathan: I feel that the idea of joining the sites is nice, but honestly we just need to be more "open" to each other in sharing the goods. We keep too much too ourselves and leave other communties behind.

TSA: I would like it that we're all on the same page about a few basic principles...and courtesies.

Nathan: Exactly

TSA: But as far as diversity - keep it going. We have opinions, and that's what Zelda is about. I'll never buy into an idea of a unified community again if it means everyone working on one "site" or "idea".

Archaic Sage: In concept, it seems like a great idea. People all working toward a common goal, almost like wikipedia. However, we've all got our own egos to feed, and we've all got our own take on what is right and wrong for the community. Within the community, there are old likes and dislikes of people all over the place, and as such, it'll never happen. The closest we've got to this is ZeldaBlog, which is great. However, it would never really work as a giant site, as simply, there'd be no one webmaster if it were truly 'unified'. However, I do think that community-crossing is good. Never isolate yourself to one forum, as it's a bad thing to do. You don't get a full view on the Zelda world, join more than one. Besides, that way you make

Captain Cornflake: I'm all for good 'ol fashioned capitalism; have everybody fight for the top. However, it would be a nice idea to keep everybody sort of together, somehow, like what we're doing right now. Share ideas and projects... I've done that with other sites in the past, and is almost always beneficial. (Like E3 last year, where us and a couple other sites collaborated on E3 coverage. Worked out quite well.)

Of course, we (VGRC) don't have to worry about squabbles in the Zelda community for the most part, so it's not something I think about. :P

F3: I know my Zelda bookmarks don't fit on my screen. I can't help but think that some webmasters with struggling sites would be better off working as part of a staff team on another site.

Scott: So, it seems we all here can agree about a unified community: It's like communism. Sounds nice, but just doesn't work.

MNgoldenEagle: One place, no. I agree with that. But we could still work together to help bring our communities together, like this here, more often than we've done.

GoddessRinoa: "Unity" is good in the sense that sites aren't out to actively destroy each other. "Unity" in the sense of working together now and then. Zelda Blog is a good example of that. We're all a team. Debates and disagreements are healthy and help us move forward, but they shouldn't bring us down. However, I think it's also important for sites to maintain their individuality. We should all try to get along with each other and cheer each other on, but we should all try to do our own thing, too. The community loses its meaning and purpose if all sites are the same.

TSA: What is the goal of your site? Do you care that others see it? You should only start a website if you feel you are doing it for the right reasons. I'm not happy when people compare sites to each other. It's like comparing Final Fantasy to Zelda. People need to stop focusing on other sites, and focus on their own.

Nathan: People should not compare sites. honestly.

Leinator: We're all pretty much on the same page here I think. If I may summarize what a lot of people are saying, I think we should implement "reforms" in terms of how close we are, but completely unifyinh the community is saying the one entity has the power to decide what we all beleinve in terms of the series and the community, it just doesn't work when you think about the fact that we all have different views on how things should be run.

TSA: One last thing - It would be awesome if everything that went wrong in the community wasn't always blamed on me.

Scott: Haha, fat chance of that, man.

Chat Moderator: Question 5: Do you think Nintendo has cut back on the amount of effort it puts into the total Zelda" Package - for example, the ALttP on SNES manual had so much artwork and information, as did the guide. A lot of little things were treated with care. Yet, now it seems like a simple formula rehashed over and over, and Nintendo cuts corners.

Archaic Sage: Yes. In a word. All of the new manuals and players guides and things do seem to be rather lacklustre. There is far less storyline in these booklets, and the artwork is sub-par. Majora's Mask in the UK was good, Ocarina of Time was poor. Not to mention The Wind Waker, it was all a little... rushed. In The Legend of Zelda, the manual had all of the monsters listed, with their own artwork with it. Do we see that anymore? Nope. We do see the occasional, bigger monster, but that's only online from someone else's hard scanning work. In addition to this, in England, the manuals for the Portable games are always in black and white. I blame NoE for a poor job on things like this, at least in England. It sucks and they really need to put effort into it.

GoddessRinoa: It's hard to compare these games with LttP. After the big stink that AoL was (in my opinion), Nintendo had to come back from it, and threw EVERYTHING they had into LttP. I still enjoy the recent games, but they indeed are lacking in effort when compared to LttP, because Nintendo wasn't coming back from a bombed game.

Jack: We need more easter eggs that would provide fodder for a hundred exploratory articles. As it is, I'm still scraping the bottom of the barrell with what I can find in the more recent games.

JC: I'd really love to see some pretty accurate, correctly translated stories in there. We all remember what happened with the Alttp SNES Manual. A Total mess. It Can't be trusted. I don't really look for art, personally. If I see art, I always link it back to the constant thought in my head: "How does it effect the timeline." Personally, the manuals should focus on the stories a bit more. But, this doesn't mean Nintendo is taking easy way outs. Manuals are often made 6 months before release so they can be manfactured. That's during the dreaded Crunch time. You really can't blame them sometimes. If you get what's needed to be conveyed in the Booklet, you shouldn't have a problem with it. That's why we PLAY and EXPERIENCE Zelda games: for the meaning of adventure.

Scott: "Cutting Corners" when it comes to manuals and the like is not unique to Nintendo. Every game company, for nearly every game does it. It's not really all that bad of a thing, if you really think about it. Sure, we don't have all those pretty manuals with all kinds of pictures. But think about why they were there in the first place. In the old games, all you saw were the little sprites, which left quite a lot to imagination. Detail of story and things were fairly sparce in-game across the board. So, the manuals and things were there to show more of what everything was. But now, you can see it in the game, and don't need all that other jazz to understand. And, of course, they haven't done what SEGA did in the latter days of the Genesis: Stop making nice plastic boxes for the games, and use cardboard cutouts. As for the games themselves, no, Nintendo is not doing less work than before. Far more, in fact. It's just that the same amount of work equates to less game these days, and that's all people see.

Leinator: tell you the truth, I don't really care. In my opinion all the games have been quite good, and to me the guides don't really matter. yes, we all enjoyed the cool artwork, and I have to admit, even the LA guide had more stuff than the ones today have, but as long as the games are good, should we really care?

Link of Hyrule: Yes I would definatly like to see more care taken over elements of the Zelda franchise like making the manuals more detailed, giving more history background, more maps and developing storyline's of each character's background. But not at the expense of the actual game obviously. But yup definatly I would like to see the franchise expanded upon in this kind of way. Is Ninty cutting corners? Well looking at how long Twilight Princess has been in development for my answer to that would have to be a simple NO! Or at least I hope so!

lord-of-shadow: I too have lamented about the loss of quality in manuals and game guides. I used to sit down and read and reread LA, LTTP, and OoT manuals. I loved looking at the pictures, loved reading the stories. I would sit down and drawn the items from the item pages, etc., etc. I was a crazy little obsessed kid, in other words. And the game guides! So much art, so much background, so much of interest! Where has it all gone? Guides and manuals today suck compared to the old ones. But… I don’t mind much. Do you know why? Today, all the detail and art that went into those things is made up elsewhere. For world details, the games themselves are much more fleshed out. Art? They release tons more official art these days. Look at The Wind Waker, or the Minish Cap. So much art… The only real problem is that we now have it all in one style. Before, you’d have official art, and then game guide art, which was clearly done in a different style. Now it’s all the same. Oh, and the artwork in general needs more variety. I don’t need to see images of Link and Ezlo in five hundred million different poses. I want scenery, other characters, backdrops, scenes, interesting stuff that I can make wallpapers out of.

In terms of effort on the games themselves? If you look at the main games, I don’t think it’s really gone down at all. If you look at spinoff or less important games, like Four Swords, the MInish Cap, and probably the Phantom Hourglass… there is definitely a lot less work, time, and care put into them. Back to the manuals, I kinda miss the archaic language of the style used in A Link to the Past’s backstory and info. They may have not done a particularly great job with the translation, but in the end, I think the manual and game were better for it. They wording and info that the American translators used greatly added to my enjoyment of the game. Wise Men? Awesome. That creation story in LttP backstory? Beautiful. The extra tidbits of info about the book of Mudora, prophecies, etc? I don’t give a damn about the inconsistencies, the game was better for it.

Lysia: When Aonuma admitted that the ending of WW - gathering the Triforce pieces - was rushed, I was kind of shocked. Shocked, but not surprised, because while I enjoyed the game, I found it too short. It seemed repetitive in some parts too; I felt as though I was always fighting the same enemies over and over. So yes, I do feel that Nintendo have rushed some things more recently - in comparison with some of the Zelda games. And don't get me started on the instruction manuals! A beautifully illustrated manual, packed with information, is one of my favourite things, it just seems to add to the quality and world of the game. Now it seems that the manuals just follow a 'cookie-cutter' format.

MNgoldenEagle: Hrmm.... well, here's one thing to take into consideration: production costs. LTTP was a sprite-based game using an engine Nintendo's been working with for ages. OOT used a completely redesigned engine, was their first 3-D modeled Zelda game, and took about four years to finish. It was also one of the first games released in a 256-MBit cartridge, which is more expensive. So if they had to cut corners, there was definitely a reason for it. The costs to produce all the material haven't gotten any cheaper, either, and we all saw that E3 video with the intricate setup. That was incredible. Obviously they have to prioritize their funding, and I'd rather see the game get the funding than the instruction manual. Not to mention the fact that the game can convey more of the story now, so having it in the manual isn't as important anymore.

Nathan: Well it's the easy way out and people still buy the games> What can we really exspect. We buy mario rehash's over and over, so it proves my point. With Zelda games, they can cut back because it's such a great franchise that the formula works. I am looking forward to Zelda of the Revolution more so then TP honestly, because it will break the lazy mold and cutting corners idea. The manuals need more info, but honestly I don't read them.

The Real Link: Yes, but if that is Nintendo 2019s weakness I am cool with it. Their greatest strength, making games more then makes up for that.

GoddessRinoa: I just wanted to re-enforce my point about Nintendo coming back from a problematic game. Whatever your personal opinion of AoL, it wasn't well received by the public in general, and that's what they had to come back from. Wind Waker, though a good game overall, was extremely controversial and they made a lot of mistakes in its development, and now they're coming back from THAT with TP. Will TP be another LttP? We shall see.

Captain Cornflake: When half the time, you get games used, without cases and instruction manuals (or from publishers who send you a crude PS2 disc with a super basic label in a paper sleeve) you don't really care about instruction manuals and fancy box art. That's all I really have to say about that. Next.

Jack: I'd like to see TP come out with something like the deluxe "Guide to Tamriel" that came with the limited edition Oblivion package.A packed "guide to hyrule" with descriptions of the history, races, characters, etc. leading up to the events of Twilight Princess. It'd dwarf aLttP's manual and provide great reading material. But in the end, we're not playing the manual, we're playing the game. So I'd prefer more time be spent on the latter even if it's at the expense of the former.

Archaic Sage: On Nintendo cutting corners in the game on the whole, then yes, I'd have to say that they are. There is no real merchandise in the UK for Zelda, there is next to no promotions to win the games and I can't remember the last time I saw an Advertisment for Zelda. Nintendo, just seem to cut corners in England all the time. It depresses me, as Europe is a huge market for them to utilise on the whole. Yet, it's ignored.

Link of Hyrule: Yes I totally agree that Europe as a market has been overlooked by Nintendo for way to long, as a resident of the UK we have almost no merchandise Zelda or Nintendo related. I hope that TP remadies this problem!

Lysia: Nintendo Australia are even worse. Wind Waker came and went with barely a whisper, and merchandise? You've got to be kidding!

Chat Moderator: Alright, Question 6. Taking into account the current trend of Zelda games and Nintendo's current position in the market, where do all of you see the Zelda series in ten years time, and what type of Zelda games will we be playing?

Leinator: In short, fun ones. I don't see nintendo seriously changing the forumlae too much, but I'm sure the revolution will grant us quite a few new features to play with. Again, I don't see the game changing in a HUGE way, but as Anouma stated, after TP the series will change, so we'll just have to wait and see.

Link of Hyrule: I personally think that if Ninty know what is best for them they will not edit the formula of the Zelda series much, a little addition from each game to game is the way to go and what they have always done. I am however extremely worried about the new Rev controller and hope that its application doesnt mess up the zelda series

lord-of-shadow: I have always found that predicting the future of Zelda is a mistake. Nobody predicted THe Wind Waker. Nobody predicted Majora's Mask. Nobody predicted Twilight Princess. I will simply sit back, and watch, and see.

Lysia: That will depend on how much (if any) Nintendo plan to change for Zelda Revolution with their mysterious, "TP will be the last Zelda game as we know it" comment. I don't think we'll be rehashing the same formula over and over by then. In 10 years' time, Zelda will be 30 years old! It might be a bit stale by then. I would like to see Nintendo keep all of the things we love about Zelda, but keeping the series fresh at the same time.

MNgoldenEagle: I think Nintendo will be able to survive with the Revolution (won't go into that one), but their financial status might be questionable. I think they'll always devote as much money as they can to Mario and Zelda, but by then it might be too little. We'll have to show support to Nintendo still if we want to see the Zelda franchise weather any storm Nintendo goes through, because otherwise our beloved series might end up in the hands of, say, Microsoft. And I'd prefer Nintendo over that monopolistic monstrosity any day. :P

Nathan: I think Zelda will be inthe top 3 games across the board in 5 years time. The revolution, to me, is looking like the bright spot of the future and Everyone agrees that Zelda on teh revolution will be truly spectacular. Honestly, Zelda is the one constant that keeps non-nintendo fans still turn there heads and applaud.

The Real Link: Very good question, I expect we will see at least three new console games other then Twilight Princess that will do very well on the Revolution and a possible new system. Other then that they will be Zelda and who knows. It is anyone 2019s guess where the series goes from here.

TSA: Virtual Hyrule. I hope we get a VR Hyrule in 10 years. So I can go and live there.

Chat Moderator: haha

TSA: And then I can get a sword... and beat away n00bs. But I probably won't be as good there as I am with the games ;)

Archaic Sage: Who knows what sort of Zelda games we'll be playing in five years time? Who knew that Ocarina of Time would be the way it is when A Link to the Past came out? In two generations time, we don't know what we'll be playing, for all we know we may be in a virtual reality playing Zelda and attacking anything. Hopefully, the formula would have changed a little. I don't want to see Ganondorf being taken out, but I know I don't want the same stories, over and over again to be shown, every five years. Majora's Mask was a nice change of the norm, as was The Wind Waker. However, we do need epics like Ocarina of Time every now and again. I'd like to see some major ch