Zelda News: Trailer analysis. 56K WARNING!

Posted by on March 10, 2005

I'm looking at each part of the trailor and dissecting it, essentially - describing it, trying to notice the little details.

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The trailer starts with the Zelda logo, minus a subtitle, on a black background, and a spinning sword slamming into it. We’ve seen that before, and it’s unchanged since the last trailer. Then it cuts to the scene pictured above – Link standing in some sort of gate or archway, presumably into the city pictured behind him. He draws his sword and swings it around a bit, and then the trailer fades into the next scene. Once again, something we saw in the last trailer, with a few small changes.

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This scene starts with Link treading water in a crystal clear lake or pond. He swims forward a little bit, and then dives underwater. The details here are impressive – right before he dives under, he takes a deep breath and rises a little bit above the surface, tog et some momentum. Underwater, there are fish all over the place, and some strands of an aquatic plant. It’s obviously located in a forest area. On the flip side, the textures of the logs and walls in the background are unimpressive, and Link himself doesn’t seem to show any signs of being wet or underwater.

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The next scene seems to take place in some sort of enclosed forest area – kinda reminds me of the place where the Deku Tree was located in OoT. You can see Link slowly walking out of a tunnel or natural arch or some sort, and on the left you can see a pale, mossy arm and body. It’s hard to make out many details, since there is an almost over-powering yellow light throughout this. After a second or so of that, the camera moves a bit, and shows the mossy creature more clearly, standing next to Link, as well as a large tree growing along the side of the walls there.

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Next up, we see Link picking up a cat, running out of the cave he’s in, and the other two cats follow with a meow. I love cats. Seeing them in the trailer is a good sign, I think wink.gif It’s worth noting that the “cave” probably isn’t a cave at all, but some shelter underneat a tree or some sort – the walls and ceiling resemble large roots, I think, and the things hanging from the underside support that impression. We also get a good look of some sunlight filtering through the trees outside.

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The screen fades into the scene pictured above. Link runs down some steps and then away from that golem monster. It reminds me of Gohdan from tWW, especially with those glowing lines running all over it. Notice the weird wall in the background, too, with some tiles sticking out further than the others.

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Next up, we arrive just in time to see Link jumping off of some sort of ledge, and doing one of his jumping attacks onto a poor Lizalfos. Notice how it drops all it’s stuff when it gets hit. You can see some lines of lava or flames on the ground, and a bunch of little ledges and fences and whatnot. Weird. It reminds me of the Fire Temple, minus all the cool architecture and style.

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It switches to a view of a forest (probably the same one we’ve been seeing since last E3) at night. Notice the moonbeams shining down to light the area. Link has his bow out, and is aiming it at two winged bats-like creatures. When he shoots, he kills one in a little flash of red light. Oh, and while the camera is circling the scene, we catch a glimpse of some tree and it’s roots forming an enclosure like the one seen in the scene with the cats. And, last but not least, you can catch a glimpse of the stars through the forest canopy.

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This part shows Link riding Epona, and being chased by five or six pigs, each of them with two riders – one controlling the mount, and the other shooting with it’s bow. Some of the arrows that the bokoblins are firing are flaming, and you can see them falling away behind Link, and one passes over him. They seem to be on some completely open fields. And these fields look pretty barren and lifeless, which worries me.

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This next scene takes place in a graveyard, at night, during a thunderstorm. It’s raining pretty hard, and you can see lightening flashing. The graves are old and seem to be on the verge of falling apart – but you can still see writing carved into them. Link is fighting some undead boars, with patches of old rotting cloth still clinging to their bones. He kills one with a jump attack.

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I found this scene very interesting – perhaps the most intriguing part of the whole trailor. As you can see, he’s fighting a Goron. This Goron tries to punch him, but is blocked by Link’s shield, and then swings again, knocking him over. And look at his face – this Goron is clearly not happy. I like the tattoos, they’re a nice touch. You can see the sun setting in the background, with it’s red light shining over the area.

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This scene also takes place in a graveyard, probably the same one from the earlier scene. Link is standing in front of a piles of bones, which all magically come together into these three Stalfos.

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This scene takes place in what looks like a dungeon or some sort. Perhaps a dungeon in the normal sense of the word, since the windows have bars in them. Link is fighting the same Lizalfos-type enemies we saw at last E3. There are some of the traditional Zelda pots in the corners of the room, too.

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This was another interesting part. It shows a baboon, with a bright red butt, leaping from pillar to pillar. At one pillar, it throws it’s boomerang at Link. At the same time, some uprooted Deku Babas are slithering across the floor towards the player. When the baboon throws the boomerang, Link does a back flip, over the Deku Babas, and the boomerang hits them instead, killing two of the three. The room itself is weird. It seems to be in some old ruin or something, and you can see what looks like tree roots growing out of the walls.

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This scene starts with a view of a sewer of some sort, complete with canals of what I would assume is sewage or nasty water or something. A few seconds later, some weird effect is applied to the screen, and suddenly these ghosts and that yellow line of stuff become visible. I don’t know whether it’s a cutscene or someone looking from a first-person point of view. Either way, it definitely suggests that we’ll be seeing an equivalent of the Lens of Truth.

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This scene starts out with Link in a corner, wrapped in spider-webbing. The red spider jumps over and wraps it’s legs around him. A second later, Link does a spin attack, knocking the spider back onto it’s back and freeing himself from the webbing. He then jumps up and does his downward stab, from AoL, into the spider’s stomach. It disappears in a cloud of purple smoke.

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In this scene, Link is riding through a big field, including a stream and a few scattered trees. Above him, pterodactyl-like enemies are swooping and attacking him. Link draws his bow and shoots what looks like a fire arrow, which explodes and kills one of them. In the background, you can see that he’s riding towards a large castle of some sort.

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Interesting, wouldn’t you say? Link is running from out newest incarnation of Gohma, in some sort of canyon or cave. The screenshot says it all here. Personally, I think it’s way to similar to Shelob, from the Lord of the Rings.

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In this sscene, we see two more Stalfos pulling themselves together, though this time one is armed with a shield. One of them stabs Link, and when he stabs back, it blocks with it’s shield – which promptly shatters. Very nice. Once again, it’s in a dark forest, with moonbeams shining down.

Hahah. Look, Link is riding into battle, but not on Epona. He’s riding what looks like one of the Bokoblins’ boars, and trampling a small group of them with it. Once again, it is raining, and there’s lightening in the background. Notice that this time there seems to be wind driving the rain – it’s not just falling straight down.

Back in the forest, this time to fight a weird black monster. It’s skin is doing something weird here, but it’s not shone long enough for me to get a good glimpse. Link blocks it’s attack with his shield, and then stabs it, killing it.

The trailer ends with this scene – a wolf, howling at a very big, and very full, moon. Perhaps that old false Aonuma interview, about how Link would transform into creatures like wolves, wasn’t entirely false? Hmm. We shall see.

In closing… I am unhappy. On the surface, this game looks very cool. But over the course of writing this, I’ve looked more closely at every part of this trailor, and what I see worries me greatly. Why? Well… this game looks like it’s stylistically dead. It’s lifeless. We are going from the odd and unusual (and commonly disliked, for whatever reason) but unique, colorful, and stylish graphics of the Wind Waker to a generic fantasy style, complete with an overdose of undead, a lack of color, a foolish focus on the lighting effects… it’s gone from a unique and beautiful style which was disliked by the majority, to a clichéd and needlessly dark and LOTR-like style which will probably be liked by the majority.

I hate our society.

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lord-of-shadow says:

Ack! What's wrong with my code on these last few pictures? Really bad timing too, since I don't have time to fix it. Davogones, Khuffie, HoW... if any of you have time, can you look into the problem?

Hero of Winds says:

Ya, ya. Sure. I'll also put in a 56K warning. wink.gif

And lighting effects are foolish?! No offense l-o-s, but I STRONGLY disagree with your conclusion.

EDIT-Found the problem. You posted more images than one post can handle. You'll have to log in and split it up, unless I find a way to do it for you...

lord-of-shadow says:

Maybe not exactly foolish, but they ARE being overdone. Look at the battle with the Goron, or the part near th beginning with the wierd mossy creature - the light is so overpowering that you can hardly even see anything.

Hero of Winds says:

To me, this game has a similar atmosphere to Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

You may be right about the light being overpowered, but it looks like it's only a few instances. Plus, you have to take into account the quality of how these screens were pieced together as a trailer.

And if I REALLY wanted to justify this game's lighting and realism, I could say that of course the third picture is really bright... because the sun is really bright. wink.gif

lord-of-shadow says:

Looks like the Sands of Time? Strange, I don't see it... but that would be cool wink.gif

Hopefully this is just another case of Nintendo showing off all the dark stuff in the trailor, and saving the quality Zelda atmosphere for the game. Happened with OoT, happened with tWW.

Beno says:

Wouldn't it just be hilarious if this game was fake and Nintendo crushed everyone's dreams again and did something completely original again?

Psithurism says:

I think they might just be showing off the lighting... There’s no shame in that.
However, the art direction seems to reveal influence rather than creativity. The baboon reminds me of the character from that Disney movie based on Hamlet. (And we’ve already touched on LotR similarities.) The whole wolf/moon thing really threw me off. It’s not Zelda at all; it’s a very gothic image, which doesn’t seem fitting to the franchise.

evrythngevl99 says:

I know i'm pretty knew, but i've played zelda for god knows how many years, and no matter how it looks on the outside, i've learned that zelda games are always jaw dropping when they come out, and i have absolutely no doubt that this will be just the same, and personaly, i love it, and i know they could never be alike, i mean why are you just judging the book by the cover, even if thats all we have, i mean, wait, and instead of arguing about it, start guessing what you think it may be about, i think that's alot better usage of all of your time, and thoughts.

when i said alike, i mean it and lotr, and also when i said i love it, i mean the graphics, they're amazing, i think some of you are more so looking for something wrong, stop, :-/

EDIT by HoW- Don't double post.

Psithurism says:

Why shouldn’t we criticize the new game? In my opinion, this is constructive (unlike much of what was said about Wind Waker). Blindly saying that the new Zelda will be great is like proposing that criticism of classic literature and art is off limits because we know they’re the best. What makes them great is that they have stood up to years of such analysis.

evrythngevl99 says:

I didnt say dont critisize it, i said wait tell you know something about it until you critisize it. and its also that some of you aren't giving the game a chance, How do some of you know it'llbe like LOTR, i dont see any "elves, or dwarves" and it is purely original, that is my BELEIFE and well, it sjust critisize it, i in no way am saying not to, im just trying to say be optimistic about it

ZingaBilly says:

i havent seen the trailer yet, but the truth is... i dont need to. ive learned to trust nintendo with their signature franchises. they know what their doing. i agree with evrythngevl99 says it will be awesome when it comes out because its zelda. things were said about how the windwaker was going to suck because of the graphics and the child like environment. how wrong were they. it was an awesome game and i have no doubt theyll do something to innovate and make this game great too. as for the lighting and dull graphics... this is just the trailer theyll clean it up by the time the game is released.

Snowsilver says:

From an artistic point of view, I was impressed with the lighting, and also the physics that were displayed during this trailer.

It might've been nice to see plot and stuff...but this was the GDC, not the press conference. Guess we'll have to stake it out until E3 for that stuff.

Rich Roy says:

Well this is all crap what you are talking about. It`s just a trailer which in my opinnion looks great. If there would be a game that is known as THE game of 2005 then it is this game. After seeing this trailer I just don`t know what`s wrong with the style. Some of you say that some things would not fit in a Zelda game like the wolf for example. But hey 6 years ago would nobody would have said that a falling moon would be Zelda style.

lord-of-shadow says:

Majora's Mask a deviant in the series. It's an awesome game, but it's not "Zelda style" as you put it.

However, MM had it's own unique style to fill that gap, and that gap was filled well. I have yet to see anything but washed out generic style here.

However, it's been pointed out to me that the still screens aren't nearly as washed out - the colors are more vivid and whatnot. Perhaps the washed out look in the trailer is simply the compression used. I hope so.

Klapaucius says:

Goron. Goron. Goron. Goron. Ghosts. Ghosts. Ghosts. Ghosts. Gohma. Gohma. Gohma. Gohma. Dragons?

Zgamer(HVCR) says:

How could you davos?...It's
FILTHY! We talked about this.

Oh no, wait...Davos is
right! But the realistic
graphics are...nice...

Mongooseman says:

I like the graphics, and I like TWW's too. I agree with whoever said that they were probably just showing off the lighting. I also agree that some things (such as Gohma) seem generic. I don't mind a few "classic" fantasy things, and as long as they don't over do it, I'm fine. Keep in mind that this is just a trailor, and it seems to show alot of the same areas over and over (forest, field, dungeon ect.). Just because that is all that is shows doesn't mean that they are all that there is. I'm sure that they are still keeping alot under wraps until E3 or later.

Zgamer(HVCR) says:

Ghoma.....Honored Zelda Boss Tradition.

Klapaucius says:

Keeping with what Nintendo have done before with their trailers of Zelda games, they never show very much of a game. Like, only the first dungeon, and very little of that. So whatever we've seen so far is only a tiny portion of what's truly to come, is the point I'm trying to make.

Don't take Gohma on face value. Maybe its not Gohma? Could be a usual enemy, or a mini boss, or whatever.

evrythngevl99 says:

but then again it could be ghoma AS a mini boss smile.gif that wouls be pimp

davogones says:

IGN has also posted a close analysis of their own. {linky}

Klapaucius says:

or Gohma as a 'normal' enemy... i like that idea.

Thanks for the link. Interesting to see their views aswell as the ones here.

NGM says:

Well, whatever happens, if it is bad we can blame it on Anumo (or whatever his name is)

I just hope the 4 sword doeosn't make an appearance in it...

and I hope it isn't too dark, I like Ocarina of Time because it isn't very light hearted, but not dark either, and I like TWW because it takes a break from the darker side of Zelda, and into a mroe light hearted environment while not being too light hearted.

Klapaucius says:

I'm hoping for a lighter and darker side to it... like the way tha playing as young Link in OoT was more lighthearted than playing as sdult Link, when the game was dark. Dark is good, but it gets jarring and I always enjoyed playing as young Link more than the darker adult Link section.

Mario Jr says:

Well at least judging by the scenes we know this game won't be a gore fest. Heck, the enemies still explode in a ball of light like in TWW!

Klapaucius says:

Gore would keep the age rating up. Nintendo want this game to be playable by as many people as possible.

Mario Jr says:

Whatever, I just wanna know what's up with the gothic werewolf scene. Reminds me of Underworld.... which kinda reminded me of TWW... for some weird reason. XD

LazyLink says:


Don't worry about the empty places in some scenes. I don't have the link, but many scenes in OoT and MM were empty at first too. Programmers of the game, when making it, tend to put as little as possible to keep the engine from crashing. Later, as the game is improved, more things are added. One way to close this argument would be to look at an artist's rendition of an area. With a picture showing what it should look like would calm my nerves too.

Also, I don't believe the game is stylistically lifeless and cliche. Almost all of the enemies and weapons in the game were immediately recognizable. I'm not saying that this proves it is not cliche, but Zelda is becoming its own cliche. There have always been undead in Zelda, but this (does html work) trailer has more of them. I myself, along with many other people, have sometimes thought this shows everything in the game proportionally. This is not true. If you were shown a trailer for OoT with shots of the graveyard, adult link, the dark temple, and Hyrule field at night, you too may think that OoT focuses on darkness and the undead. In the same vein, this trailer only seems to show the undead in two places: the sewers and the graveyard place. There just isn't enough information to worry about anything. We haven't seen any shots of a town, there is no information about many of the symbols seen in the game. When I first saw the trailer, the wolf made me think that link is a "lone wolf." I knew about the shape changing, but it didn’t seem appropriate. Perhaps a picture of a wolf attacking an enemy, or a wolf running through the woods, but this seems more to be a symbolic moment, not gothic, not a revelation, but a symbol, kind of like the spinning sword at the start. Nobody thinks that means link is going to throw his sword in the game... I hope 

Finally, I want to recap the entire trailer, just to give you a sense of how little is shown
***Note: all names are just that: names. I am just naming it the first thing that comes to my mind***

Place: Focus: Thoughts

2-Hyrule Castle: General Coolness:
3-Water Pool: Water Effects: Realistic water
4-Bright Chamber: Lighting/Yeti: good Lighting
5-Bright Chamber: Yeti/Lighting: a drained Water Pool?
6-Forest: Cats: Root Cave
7-Ancient Temple: Enemy/Temple:
8-Fire Dungeon: Jump Attack: Puzzle Room
9-Forest: Bats: Root cave again
10-Overland: Horseback/Enemies: Sword on Horseback
11-Graveyard: Undead: Jump Attack
12-Unknown: Goron: Top of Death Mountain?
13-Graveyard: Undead: Resurrection
14-Dungeon: Lizalfos: Fight
15-Ancient Temple: Boomerang: Backflip
16-Sewers: Undead/Lens of Truth
17-Fire Dungeon: Spider: Spin Attack and Stab
18-Overland: Horseback: Bomb Arrows/Hyrule Castle
19-Forest Dungeon: Ghoma: Realistic Head Movement
20-Forest: Undead: Break Shield
21-Plains: Boar: Ride other Animals
22-Forest: Dark Enemy: Lots of time in forest
23-Forest: Wolf: Moon may have a role

As you can see, there is a lot of time in the forest. I also think that someone needs to look at the hilt of link’s sword for reference to the time frame. I think that your analysis was spot on, but I disagree with your pessimistic outlook. Yes, I would not like Zelda if every game was like this one. But I also would hate it if every game was like WW.

As my final thought: “Change is good”

Klapaucius says:

Woah. O_O LazyLink wins the internet. biggrin.gif

I think what people are losing sight of is that this trailer is showing very little of the overall game, and of a game that is not complete. Also, we should all trust Nintendo to deliver the goods rather than being pessimistic. Personally the cel shaded graphics of Wind Waker only excited me, but I know that a LOT of people hated them when the original trailer was shown. Seems now that people are criticising the game when its exactly what they wanted - "realistic" graphics. Why can't people just be happy that its Zelda? A series which hasn't failed to be brilliant (well, except I think Adventure of Link, and those crummy CD-i games...). Trust in the game's creators, rather than think you know how to make Zelda.

Mars says:

I am loving these trailers so far. They have great "show-off" quality and are very OoT-esque which seems to promise something...enlightening. I'm keeping faith in Nintendo to give us more great Zelda.