E3 2005 Trailer analysis

First things first, there are a few things which are certainly not confined to one individual scene in this lovely trailer. The music, for instance. The trailer features some great orchestrated stuff… though we’ve yet to see whether this will make its way into the final game. Hopefully we’ll get a glimpse of the in-game music during the playable demos that will be present in the E3 for the next few days.

Second thing is the coloring of the environment. In every scene with the wolf, everything is grayed out (with a few exceptions). My first explanation for this was that, since dogs are colorblind, the world would lack color while you were in wolf form. Another possible explanation was that perhaps, whenever you were the wolf, you were in the Dark World, and a wolf was the shape that Link’s heart most resembled. But Nintendo’s storyline details seem to offer an explanation: some sort of “shadow” has covered Hyrule, creating a “Twilight World,” and, when Link first enters it, he is transformed into a wolf. Obviously I don’t know the mechanics of this “Twilight Realm”, but it seems safe to assume that whenever Link is wolf form or the world has been grayed out, we’re in it. I get the impression that the Twilight Realm is not a brand new world, but rather… a state. Hyrule covered with shadow. We’ll see.

Scene #1 (1-12)
The trailer starts with a look at a big, gray castle. The camera swirls around a few towers and pinnacles, while some hug vulture-like creatures (if you pause the trailer, you can see some definite vulture features), probably kargarocs. This must take place in the Twilight Realm, since there’s no color to the place, and even the storm clouds and lightening in the background seem faded. Also worth noting is that there are weird black… spots, flecks or something, rising up into the air. These specks don’t seem to be effected by the driving rain, so I’d venture a guess and say that they’re otherworldly in origin, and evil to boot.

Scene #2 (13-22)
This scene, too, is grayed out. Notice the distinct lack of color in the trees and ground. It starts out with a view of the sky, where our color-less clouds are twirling about in a sort of vortex. Then a weird portal appears in the middle of that vortex, and three enemies drop out. This portal was extremely interesting to me. I’m sure you all remember the Tower of the Gods, from the Wind Waker. The way that the Tower and it’s boss, Gohdan, had weird, colored lines running down the edges and surface. Runes, or maybe power conduit, or just aesthetic effect, it was there. This portal was the same. It was black, but it had green lines all over it. The enemies look just like the weird shadow creature from the last trailer, except that they have weird red, glowing symbols on their backs, and they’re wearing little metal plates over their face. And they seem to have developed some tentacles growing out of their face. To quote the first thoughts of Link Harkanian, from the North Castle forums: "Dude! Ganon called in those favors from Cthulhu!" There are no recognizable symbols on their little head plates, by the way. These three monsters fall out of the portal into a forest clearing and start wandering off in different directions. It’s worth noting that those black dots are here, too, and still rising. One last note – even though everything else here is colorless, the portal and the red symbols on the monsters are not.

Scene #3: (22-24)
Another grayed out scene. This time it’s inside the room of a tower, presumably at the same castle shown earlier in the trailer. We catch a glimpse of large, ornate windows and a fairly normal looking chair. More importantly, there is a cloaked figure standing at the window, looking out into the storm. You can’t see this level of detail in the trailer, but other screens have shown that this is Princess Zelda, since she wears the same headwear, and her cloak has the same markings as the mysterious cloaked figure from the EGM cover art.

Scene #4: (25-34)
This scene is actually more like three scenes, but they’re all pretty much the same stuff, do I’ll just describe it all. This is the first scene that’s not in the “Twilight Realm” – instead, it takes place along a well-worn road through a forest. Notice the bird (butterfly?) flying through the trees in the background, and the odd plant/flower along the side of the road, which seems to be moving a bit. If you look back the way Link came, the road seems to extend back a bit… or it’s supposed to look that way, at least. Link is wearing his farmer’s outfit by the way, so it’s still very early in the game. There’s a kid standing in the road, and when Link gets nearer, the scene fades out and then back in to show Link talking to the kid. Behind the kid is a small tunnel in a wall, the sort of tunnel you could climb through as a child in OoT, but not as an adult. The sort of tunnel a wolf may be able to fit through. On the other side of the tunnel you can see a clear glimpse of most forest, after exchanging a few words (his mouth moves, by the way), the kid crawls through the tunnel and Link continues on his way. And you can see a squirrel in the background now. A second later he starts running. Which looks weird – they still haven’t fixed the awful running animation. You can clearly see the Triforce mark on his hand at this point.

Scene #5: (34-39)
The last scene, ending with Link running, fades into this scene, which starts with Link running. Nice transition thing there. However, now it’s night… clearly a different forest, and Link is wearing his trademark green clothes. You can also see stars in the sky, through a patch of clear air. You can see that, as he runs, his head turns to the side to follow one of those weird new Keese that’s swooping down at him from behind. Then it switches views to one behind Link. Same area, slightly different scene. This time Link is carrying a lantern, a la LttP, which is illuminating the forest a bit. Doesn’t look to useful though. I’m willing to bet that that is not an item you use, just… something Link brings out automatically on occasion. The camera is zoomed waaaay back, by the way. I wonder if that’s something we’ll be able to do in regular gameplay?

Scene #6: (39-45)
Back to the cloaked Princess of the second scene. This time it’s not grayed out, just… somber colors. Nothing much to say about it, really. Only thing of interest that I noticed was that we could see the black specks floating up outside – but not inside. Don’t know what to make of it, but it’s cool.

Scene #7: (45-54)
Here’s where the really interesting stuff starts. Link is running through a pass, in twilight world again. You can vaguely see some huge trees on the other side, and what I at first thought was snow, but which turned out to be more of the black stuff. Halfway through the pass, Link falls to his knees, lets out a scream, and turns into a wolf. Looks painful actually, though I remember the MM transformations looking painful as well. It is worth noting that this wolf has green fur all along the top of it’s head, neck and back, eyes the same color as Link’s, and it’s wearing earrings. I find that very amusing.

Scene #8: (54-1:03)
This scene starts out with wolf Link, in some sort of big metal cage chained by one leg. He has the chain grasped in his jaw and is shaking it around. The screen switches to a view of Midna against a black backdrop, slowly zooms in, then it goes back to Link. Link suddenly looks to the side – apparently Midna is in the same cage or prison or whatever. It switches back to Midna, keeps zooming in. Her (I assume it’s a girl, I suppose I don’t know for sure) expression changes from a very weird, almost evil-looking smile to a real smile. Midna is a very odd, and intriguing, character. She has the same markings that the enemies and that portal have, and a weird… elastic, multicolored thing attached to the back of her head (or her headgear), which seems to be able to do a lot of stuff. Oh, and she doesn’t lose her color when in the Twilight World.

Scene #9 (1:03-1:06)
Next thing we know, Link, with Midna on his back, is bursting through some bars high up on the wall in a hallway or dungeon or something. Midna raises her arm and points forward – looks like she’ll be continuing the proud tradition - upheld by Impa, talking boats, Owls, Deku Trees, Princesses, wise sages, and weird sheikah – of telling Link what to do wink.gif

Scene #10: (1:06-1:10)
The next two scenes are all Midna riding on Wolf Link’s back, in what appears to be an outdoor section of the castle from the first scene, black dots and twilight in all. In the first instance, they run across a very odd bridge… it’s a wooden bridge, but it’s swinging and convulsing very wildly in the wind. To illustrate the point even further, there are some scraggly banners (which I can’t really get a good look at) waving pretty wildly too. You can see some of the terrain around the area, and it looks like the castle is set in a mountainous area. In the second section of this scene Link and Midna face off against a Kargaroc. Midna’s arm is extended – looks like we’ll be using it in battle, at least while in wolf form. In the background you can actually see a pretty nice-looking, mansion-like segment of a castle. I get the feeling that either this fortress wasn’t always evil, or Ganon/whoever owns is more of an elegant enemy then the Zelda series is used to.

Scene #11: (1:11-1:14)
This scene looks like it takes place in the ghost sewers from the last trailer. Link is sitting there in wolf form, panting, looking a bit tired and maybe wounded, while Midna is sitting on his back with her arms crossed. Suddenly a bunch of ghost rats appear on Link and start chewing, while in the background, some more ghosts can be seen.

Scene #12: (1:14-1:20)
This scene, though it didn’t interest me that much at first, is one of the entire reasons I wanted to take a close look at this trailer in the first place. Link and Midna are in a twilight forest, and they are facing off against the three shadow monsters from scene #2 – or ones just like them. This shows off how an actual fight while in wolf form will work. It looks very odd, and I’m not sure I understand it. A circle of red… stuff extends outward from Link – or more specifically, Midna – and seems to push back the effect of the Twilight realm. TSA of ZHQ speculated that it might be a targeting system of some sort. Notice how, as the edge of the circle touches the enemies, Midna shoots out some weird stuff from her head, which clings to them. One they’re all targeted, wolf Link does some really, really fast lunges, killing all three of them. So… it looks like a multi-targeting system, which is different from the Z-targeting one. Wonder how that’ll work? And I suspect it’ll only be there while a wolf.

The bodies of the dead monsters explode into little puffs of purple and rectangular pieces – this indicates to me that they might be constructs of some kind, though maybe I’m just reading too much into a death animation.

Scene #13: (1:21-1:26)
This scene shows a heavily armored Moblin on an equally heavy armored boar. This Moblin has a long pole sticking up from the saddle, and tied to it is a long, thick red cloth and a boy – looks like the same little boy from scene #4. Standing a bit further away is Link, astride his horse. After he draws his sword, the Moblin rider blows a huge horn, and the scene ends. Notice the little spikes all over the boar’s armor. And also notice how this does not take place in twilight world – and Link is not a wolf any more. I doubt it’s a coincidence.

Scene #14: (1:26-1:30)
Immediately after we finish seeing the armored moblin blow his horn, we switch to this scene of Link riding through driving rain, surrounded by Moblins on their boars. Some of the boars have two moblins on their backs – a driver and an archer – and others have a single moblin with a melee weapon. I think. What I found extremely cool was at a point where Link knocks an arrow out of the sky with a twist of his sword. Wonder if that’s something we’ll actually be able to do during normal gameplay? You can see the boss, with the kid strapped to that pole, in the background at one point. And at one point during all this he shoots a bomb-arrow at one of the bokoblins. Oh, and notice the little puffs of water that the horse kicks up while running through the rain-soaked field. Nice touch.

Screen #15: (1:30-1:32)
I loved this scene. It’s a girl grooming your horse in the middle of a shallow body of water, with waterfalls and a nice lake/pond in the background. The girl is going to be an important, or at least semi-important, character, I’m sure of it. And we’ll have a bazillion fanfics starring her, I’m sure. She might be a new version of Aryll or Malon, but I’m hoping for a brand new character.

Screen #16: (1:32-1:34)
This is a very short scene, featuring a weird-looking old village woman that seems to be showing off a vial of bottle of milk. Now where have I seen that before? I like her cat though. Notice how much her mouth moves as she talks.

Screen #17: (1:34-1:35)
Augh! It’s the weird-shaped bouncy mouthy girl of doom! Seriously. What is her problem? She needs to calm down wink.gif Notice the little kid just barely coming in on the edge there, and the elevated house in the background.

Scene #18: (1:36-1:38)
Remember that Aonuma interview where he said you’d still have a boat? Well, here it is, people. Though this may not have been the one he was referring to, it’s still a boat. I liked the house on stilts. And the fact that we can see through the water again. If you look in the background, you can see a bunch of ledges and plateaus. And notice the weird tower-like building inside this cute little starting village. Didn’t expect to see that there.

Scene #19: (1:38-1:40)
Link, standing there with Taoru village in the background. You can get a nice look at the detailed and stylistic door and windows of one of the village houses. Very cool. You can also see what looks like a little garden patch. Oh, and the hawk. At first I thought it was another Kaepora Gaebora, but it’s not an owl at all. I've seen some speculation on it, but the only semi-believable thing I heard was that it might be Midna's form while in the normal world. I don't know what to think.

Scene #20: (1:40-1:42)
We get to see Link round up some of those blue ox things. I never realized that their horns were actually all one big piece, and that they were circular… weird. Off in the distance you can see the entrance to the little gulley that this ranch is in, and some big nice clouds.

Scene #21: (1:42-1:43)
(Oh man, these scenes are way to short) This one shows Link standing at the entrance of what looks like a forest-themed dungeon – probably the first dungeon of the game. I like the totem polls. And I love how it’s actually open to the air, and not some enclosed cave.

Scene #22: (1:44-1:45)
This is very cool. Link Vs Spider. Link, however, has a boomerang, and not just any boomerang – a whirlwind creating boomerang. When he throws it at the spider, it creates a whirlwind, and picks up all the tiles from the floor as it goes along. Notice the other spider hanging from the ceiling in the background. And boy is that ceiling high. I’ve seen a lot of caves in my video gaming days, but few can match the sense of size this one has.

Scene #23: (1:45-1:47)
Link, slashing some odd-looking, club-wielding moblins. He does some sort of spin attack, but I get the impression that it’s just part of that combo, rather then the spin attack. In the background you can see a castle – maybe the one from scene #1?

Scene #24: (1:47-1:50)
Another forest, this one looks different from both of the other two we’ve seen so far. Notice the falling leaves. And I think this forest looks a bit unhealthy – everything is tinted oddly, and those certainly aren’t colorful fall leaves. I like the floating, wooden enemies descending on Link here. They look like puppets one moment, like weird spirits the next. I like their mad grins.

Scene #25: (1:50-1:52)
This scene starts with a really scary-looking chimpanzee of some sort – except it has a beak, and it’s throwing a boomerang. It’s standing on some central stairs in what looks like the same forest dungeon from earlier, and at the top of those stairs is a door with the Kokiri symbol on it. After the monster throws the boomerang, the trailer shows the boomerang cutting through some ropes on a wooden bridge. The wooden bridge is spanning what looks like a big dangerous chasm of some sort, but that might just be the camera angle.

Scene #26: (1:52-1:53)
This scene shows what looks like the remains of a rope bridge (not the one from earlier). Hanging by its feet from the rope is a monkey, and when Link jumps out into the gap, he grabs the monkey’s hand and swings across the gap. It looks like it takes place in the same forest-themed dungeon from previous scenes, especially once you notice the Kokiri symbol on the door in the background. The gap stretches from a raised wooden platform to a ledge with a door (also with the Kokiri symbol). Below is more of the room, so it’s not a dangerous gap, just an obstacle that needs to be crossed. Notice the Deku Baba in the background, and how high the ceiling is. And there are also some Deku Baba buds or something on the ground.

Scene #27: (1:53-156)
Oh man. Big ugly boss. I bet I know where it’s vulnerable point is. I especially like the little, slightly different versions of itself that are sprouting out of it. It looks like you could fit something into their mouths, like a bomb or something, though I doubt that’s what is supposed to happen here. That thing sure drools a lot. Oh, and notice how it splashes up from the purple (poisonous?) water. And also be sure you note the wooden ledges along the walls.

Scene #28: (1:56-1:57)
Nothing new here, really. It’s three stalfos attacking Link in a dark forest area, just like the last trailer. Only interesting thing is that Link hasn’t drawn his sword yet, but he IS holding the lantern. I like how it swings around when they hit his shield.

Scene #29: (1:57-1:58)
This is either the same scene that we’ve seen many times already, with the boar-riding bokoblins in the rain, or it’s one just like it. This time Link is standing on the ground, aiming a bomb-arrow at a bokoblin that is charging at him. The bokoblin shoots a fire arrow, which somehow manages to get deflected by the shield strapped to Link’s back. Then Link let’s loose and launches a bomb into the thing’s face. Very satisfying, I’m sure. Oh, and look at the little, on-foot bokoblin stumbling around in the background. Pretty funny.

Scene #30: (1:58-2:00)
This scene takes place on a huge stone bridge, spanning across a large chasm or canyon. You can see the setting sun in the background, all beautiful and whatnot. This bridge is pretty narrow considering its length, and it doesn’t have even a hint of a fence or safeguard. Cool. Oh, and I forgot to mention, Link and the big armored boar rider from scene 13 are charging at each other from opposite sides of this bridge. Before we get to see what happens, the screen goes black and shows us the logo. I love the logo, by the way.

Make what you will of these details, I just wanted to point them all out for you people.