Reboot, revival, revolution - it will give many names to what we saw in Japan Nintendo's headquarters in Kyoto. The system sellers simply and hope of a faltering company, its Wii U actually still one of the greatest innovations of this console generation: "Zelda". We were one of the first editors throw the world a look at the new Link adventure as a project entitled "The Legend of Zelda: Book of Hyrule" is.

Note: Nintendo has not released any pictures or video, this will happen only in the Nintendo Direct to the Tokyo Game Show, along with other announcements concerning the titles. We fill the article therefore Press images and concept art with explicitly marked, already known by fans. "Book of Hyrule" clearly stated as a working title, this is definitely not good.

In a distant land ...

Unadorned, but full of secrets: Nintendo's headquarters.
Nintendo invested tons into an old franchise. The roar of some of Nintendo's critics, why not for creating new brands, is loud, but unnecessary. The "Wii Sports" games were best sellers (also in Japan, where they did not came with the console), "Wii Fit" brought the couch potatoes of their sofas, niche titles such as "Sin & Punishment: Successor Skies" and "Excite Trucks" was given a fair chance, the RPG-studio Monolith Software granted all the freedoms. Nintendo is known and remains as before but with games in which a pudgy plumber plays the main role - and just "Zelda".

A few months ago the HD remake was announced by "Wind Waker" very concrete, which is in the dealer shelves in October. Since the presentation of the Wii U demo at E3 2011 rumors wafting back and forth that the game appearing in 2014, the largest (and most expensive) "Zelda" to be all time. So far, so trivial. We were invited to take a first look at it. Total one days of arrival we were happy to take this into account, especially since Japan has always appealed to us. Once there, we were disillusioned architecturally: Nintendo unadorned building in downtown Kyoto is anything but a lavish corporate headquarters - and inside it does not look much better. Where Western developers like DICE put on lounge atmosphere and technically appealing design agencies, you feel at Big N as set in the 1980s, when large offices with just reaching to the chest partitions were all the rage. 200 full-time employees sitting and mainly at the new "Zelda", added external staff, the textures, sound bites and blocks the all-new game engine are joined contribute. Sketches of the great walls of the new title, and deployment plans (only fleetingly readable for us) Stickies hang up in gaudy colors. Although much is operating, the noise level is low, only the typing of key breaks the silence, here and there, some developers talk to each other. All in all, are involved in the project up to 400 people. The exact investment? Withholding by Nintendo. Eiji Aonuma, producer of the series since "Ocarina of Time", personally guides us through the premises and directed us to a little more pleasant presentation room, which is paneled in light wood. In the deep, black chairs we sit - the show can go Nintendo still provides a "time line chart" with evolutionary links with.. - Editor Daniel

So close ...

What we want: Gannondorf throughout nasty! As Finanzhai! Construction bungler! Or thief of cheese slices! (Source:
The biggest surprise presented us with producer Eiji Aonuma at the beginning: "Link is not a boy in a fantasy world, he lives in our presence," The Black HDTV with incredibly large screen diagonal is bright and we look a boy forward with his big blue eyes. Link, we recognize the strand of hair hanging in his face, the shape of his head to the round ears ... wait! No pointed ears? Aonuma reassures us: "We have prudently on the roots of the series. As you know, [Japanese are always so polite! - Editor] Miyamoto-san had the time used his childhood memories of the straying as the basis of the first Zelda games. Now we finally have to show the technique, which is inherent power of imagination children. "Well, we see nothing of it. Almost bored sitting this round ear-link on his bed and bums around in green t-shirt and blue jeans, stuffed the kids with some toys, including, of course, is also a Wii U, a 3DS, in the light passing through the window sunlight shine.

Here comes in a screenshot of the Young Link! Provides about the Nintendo TGS -. Anm Daniel A Nintendo employee, who is introduced to us as Akinawa-san, now serving the tablet controller of the Wii U - the official Vorspieler. It comes into the match. Link gets up and runs through the elongated room to cut the door to the hallway. Fine: As he opens the door and goes, he reaches a hand to his backpack, which is parked next to the door. The game runs more comfortable, there is not a visible delay. This all happened almost casually. Link turns to the left, go past the left hand to another room, briefly looks pure and turns his attention back to the front, as he walks towards the door. There are his shoes on the right chest is a bright bluish smartphone. Both he grabs and the harsh blinding sunshine comes out. He sits down on the steps and puts on his shoes, shouldering his backpack and puts a smartphone. An interruption? Aonuma smiles. "No," he protested, "not directly. Such animations are available for the load times bearable. "Better than a loading bar that's all, especially the reloading is not really noticeable, the frame rate hits the entire presentation with about 60 frames per second.

Fantasy in the neighborhood

The small link now trudges through a suburb. The sun beats down on the lush green grass, the leaves of the trees rustle softly in the wind, in the front yards (never Curiously, both together) playing dogs or kids, cars driving leisurely through the streets, in the distance stands out from the skyline of the city. So, now what? So our link running through a modern city, wearing a smart phone, so what? Is it still "Zelda"?

And how. The highlight is the second screen of the Wii U. Akinawa-san turns the controller in our direction - on the touch screen is the same area as seen on the big screen - only alienated. From the accurately cut trees are gnarled old trunks, the paved road to the trail, the neighboring houses to peaceful peasant huts, the children wear old clothes reminiscent of costumes. And link? Has known us to the doublet and his nightcap, he even has his distinctive pointed ears. "All that you see here," said Aonuma, "is the fantasy of this young boy." Despite the computing power of Wii U for two displays to be enough, everything looks sharp crack and detail how we betrays a developer later, rich resources even so annoying flickering edges does not occur for an excellent anti-aliasing. For a while trudging pre-adolescence through the link botany before Akinawa Aonuma-san and call the Debug menu and jump to a new scene.

A book full of myths

Legend of Zelda
Hyrule's forests - see the game from something like this Deviant art. (Quele:
Seconds later, Link standing in a room full of books - the local library. Aonuma would now like to say a few words to the story. We did not hear anything, so it may seem a little rough here and there. The ten-year link a few months ago moved with his parents to a new town, on the outskirts of the city, we saw a skyline. Everything is new to him - the environment, the school, his classmates, a girl is very nice to him. Guess who that might be ... For his birthday he had given to his first mobile phone and does the same day on the way to the library to borrow new tome. There, he finds a mysterious book in his hand, which the legends of a sunken kingdom called Hyrule told - and talks about his cities like Kakariko or the nearby Deku Forest. All long gone, after an evil sorcerer king defeated in a terrible war. The interest is aroused and Link takes the dusty book home. When he reads this in the dead of night, at his window a shadow flits along ... one of the mythical creatures that are also described in the book? Or just my imagination? He sets out on a search, backpack, wooden sword and smartphone in the luggage. The adventure begins.

Technology and gadgetry ... Dark Souls light

The connection between the real world and the fantasy of the young Link not only looks interesting, it plays very well. After the presentation we had a few minutes to the controller and television and current Erten curious through the levels, we could play fragmentary. The university and school at night to be threatening Dungeons, The Cornfield to the plane with magical lighting in gaudy colors, the big city to the scary castle. Again and again we are fighting imaginary opponents of the little link that with his wooden sword rumfuchtelt in reality, in his imagination, but swings the famous master sword (probably later to be acquired) in tandem with the shield. By pressing a button on the second controller we call a menu item or to "change" the screens, then the figment of imagination on the big HDTV is present.

Nintendo suggested the use of the second screen already at E3 of 2012 - including screen-swap button, how to recognize the right of the image.
Away from visible features are more playful innovations are integrated. The smartphone can about a card (link in both cases looks down at his cell phone, but only the fantasy link keeps the Stoff-/Papierkarte in hand) and be used as a social networking hub: Wii U players around the world are in the expansive world of Hyrule can leave notes ("Dark Souls" says hello), also can be used as a notebook's own cell phone, camera shoot photos, which are then registered as a drawing. Through the contact function in the smartphone link may his allies reached by telephone (in the fantasy of course "call" mystical), the time is to him what time it is, remember the daily routines of the NPCs in town on the behaviors in "Majora's Mask" . We even see some familiar faces again: The Mad Mask Shop operates a toy store, the Witch and the pharmacy Tingel willingly give information, but are much scarier in real life than as a figment of the imagination.


After half an hour we finish our intro session, and although we were allowed to ask a few questions, questions remain. Must puzzle between the "dimensions" be solved? Who is the villain of this game, what happened to Zelda? And how to shape the daily routines? The levels are similar to free as in "GTA" or just delineated areas la "Tomb Raider", which are then connected by hubs? And how integrated the Nintendo Note function so intelligent that spoiler omitted? Anyway, we are excited to see how the new Nintendo "Zelda" presented at the Tokyo Games Show, and contrary to the long video and image material that is published in the same period. We'll keep you up to date anyway!

We thank Steven Szabolsci, who was available to us as a translator, for his services in Kyoto.