GDC 06: Zelda DS-bound

[UPDATE] Link is on his way to Nintendo's portable in an all-new adventure, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. First trailer inside!

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The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
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SAN JOSE, Calif.--As part of its keynote address in conjunction with the 2006 Game Developers Conference, Nintendo has announced a new game for the Legend of Zelda series for the Nintendo DS, titled The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. The game appears to use the stylus in a few different ways, such as drawing an hourglass shape to open a door, plotting out the path of a ship on the ocean, and writing numbers, though the reasons for the number writing are currently unknown. Gamers will also be able to use the touch screen to direct your boomerang shots, as shown when Link hurled his weapon towards targets on the opposite side of a chasm.

Graphically, the game has a cel-shaded look to it that's similar to Wind Waker, though there's a bit of Four Swords influence in there, as well. The Phantom Hourglass Link is almost a spitting image of his younger self in Wind Waker, with large anime-style doe eyes. The game is shown on the upper screen of the DS, while the lower screen displays your map, but occasionally, the two will switch places. The gameplay appears to rely on some of the same puzzle-based dungeon mechanics seen in previous installments, including hitting multiple colored buttons to affect different things in the world.

The brief demo being shown at the Nintendo keynote also showed Navi, the fairylike sparkling glow that let you see what you were targeting back in The Ocarina of Time, as well as an outdoor battle against a cool, squidlike boss that was perched atop some pillars. Link could attack from the bottom screen with projectiles, and knock the boss to the bottom screen, where he would finish him off with his trusty blade. There was also a clip of Link sailing the seas in a boat, and attacking enemies with a cannon.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is currently scheduled to be released later this year. We'll have more details as they become available.

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