The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess E3 2005 Trailer Impressions

Nintendo today debuted new footage of the new Legend of Zelda game, and here are our impressions.

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One of the highlights of Nintendo's E3 2005 press conference was its unveiling of a new sequence of footage from The Legend of Zelda, which was also bedecked with a now-official subtitle: "Twilight Princess." Since most of the former Zelda games had gameplay mechanics that tied into their subtitles, we can only speculate as to the meaning of this subtitle, but the new footage did give one strong indication of how the melding of day and night might affect you while playing: As Link walked along a narrow canyon path, he suddenly bent to his knees and, incredibly enough, turned into a werewolf.

Yeah, we'll repeat that for emphasis: In the new Legend of Zelda game, Link will apparently be able to turn into a werewolf. The gameplay effects of this are only hinted at in the new trailer; oddly enough, it appears that Link will have some kind of partner in crime that will actually ride him like a horse while he's in wolf form. This unknown and rather sinister-looking creature is a diminutive elflike thing. It appears that Link is at one point captured and imprisoned while in wolf form and that the new teammate, as yet unnamed, will help him bust out. Some of the wolf-form capabilities are revealed in the trailer, as well; you'll be able to climb walls and engage in combat while in wolf form (or perhaps just while your partner is riding Link). The final sequence of the wolf footage shows Link and friend taking on three shadowy forms and almost instantly taking them down with a series of rapid charges. Whether the wolf form is some kind of constantly usable power or is something that's triggered at certain junctions of the storyline is currently unknown.

The rest of the video offers some sneak previews of the other characters Link will be encountering during his journey, including a number of new animal companions, such as a rideable horse and what appears to be a falcon that mounts on Link's wrist. The horse itself was a significant part of previous Legend of Zelda trailers, and it still looks pretty impressive. Apparently one of the significant enemies you'll be up against is some fearsome foe riding a boar, who has a hostage tied to a large stick attached to his mount. It appears that Link is going to have to fight his way through a small cavalry corps to reach this boss. Could a boss battle be far behind?

One of the interesting aspects of this new footage is the splash screen that appeared at the beginning of it. It features a drawing of Link standing shoulder to shoulder with a character presumed to be the big boss of the game. Oddly enough, this doesn't look very much like Ganon, who's traditionally been the boss enemy of the console Zelda games, leading to speculation that Twilight Princess might actually feature Vaati, the boss from the Minish Cap GBA game, or a completely new enemy.

GameSpot will of course have more details on Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess during the rest of the show. Check back tomorrow for hands-on impressions of gameplay.

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