Nintendo Copyright Claim Removes 3D Zelda Tribute

Nintendo’s attitude towards their dedicated fan-base paying homage to the company’s previous works is nothing short of appalling. They’ve consistently launched copyright claims against YouTuber hobbyists simply trying to showcase what made their favourite games so special. Instead of admiring this level of passion, the company feels the need to flag anything which uses their intellectual property. In some cases, this makes sense if the game is episodic and people can watch a playthrough instead of purchasing it through legitimate channels. However, Nintendo is applying this kind of behaviour to NES, SNES and other classics to push their own overpriced Virtual Console store.

Only three days ago, a new project came to fruition designed to honour the 30th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda. This allowed players to enjoy the game through a web browser and looked absolutely stunning. Sadly, Nintendo didn’t approve and believed this infringed on their intellectual property. It’s clear that the creation breaches copyright, but it’s just a small team trying to share the magic of the Zelda series. The project creators, Scott Lininger and Mike Magee announced the news on zelda30tribute.com which reads:

“Nintendo asked us to remove this site for copyright infringement. I guess Zelda30Tribute was a little too pixel perfect. We’re sad about that, but we get it. We started this project because we love Nintendo and the joy they have given us throughout the years. From the start of development, we knew this result could potentially happen. Nintendo has every right to protect their IP. No complaints from us, we had a blast working on this tribute and made some friends along the way.”

Of course, Nintendo are well within their rights to protect intellectual property. On the other hand, it comes across very poorly given the game’s age. Furthermore, it’s a terrible way to treat loyal fans showcasing their creative abilities. Nintendo desperately needs to adapt to the modern world and encourage community content as a way of indirect marketing.

Play a Voxel Powered Zelda Recreation in Your Browser

Been looking for an excuse the replay the original Zelda? Well, we’ve got a great one for you! A team of Zelda fans has taken the classic RPG and rebuilt it in 2.5D to celebrate 30-years of the franchise. No doubt this is one of those “play it before Nintendo shoot it down” scenarios, so it’s best to get playing while it’s still alive.

Zelda30Tribute is playable directly in your browser, meaning you don’t have to hang around to get in on the action. What’s really cool, however, is that the game is created using Voxels, giving it a really unique visual appearance. Unfortunately, it is still a work in progress, so only three dungeons are ready right now, and if Nintendo kill it, it’s likely you’ll have to dig a little deeper on the web to find future builds, but they’ll certainly be out there.

You can hit up Zelda30Tribute at the official website here, and be sure to let us know what you think of it in the comments section below.

What was your favourite Zelda game? Would you like to see it getting a modern remake or are you happy with it the way it is?

Dolphin Emulator Now Has DirectX 12 Support

DirectX 12 is a low-level API which has the potential to allow for console-like optimization across a wide range of PC hardware. While it’s still early days, there’s a great deal of excitement surrounding games with plans to use Microsoft’s revolutionary API. For example, Quantum Break is a DirectX 12 exclusive so it will be fascinating to see the performance numbers on various setups. Additionally, there are rumours circulating which suggests that Rise of the Tomb Raider might receive a DirectX 12 patch. On another note, the Vulkan API is an open source alternative supporting Windows 7, 8.1, 10, Linux, Android and more! Competition is vital to push technology forward, and it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities to see emulators adopt both APIs.

Dolphin is one of the most promising emulators and allows users to play Gamecube and Wii games! This is a fantastic project because it’s possible to experience iconic Nintendo games at high resolutions. On the original hardware, the output resolution is quite limiting and features a really murky look on modern Televisions. As always, it’s incredibly difficult to create a working emulator with low hardware demands. Currently, Dolphin works very well using the DirectX 11 but there’s some room for improvement.

The user “hdcmeta” on the Dolphin forums, has created a DirectX 12 backend which exhibits performance improvements of up to 50%:

“Generally, graphics-intensive games get a nice win, while (Gamecube CPU)-bound games (Zelda OOT from the ‘bonus disk’ is a good example) are the same – graphics wasn’t on the critical path there. At higher resolutions, graphics becomes more important, so the relative improvement can increase there. In general, CPU usage is now much lower for the same workload relative to DX11/OpenGL.”

Here we can see the percentile difference between DirectX 11, DirectX 12, and OpenGL:

 

This is astonishing and showcases the kind of optimization on low-mid range hardware. I’m interested to see if the performance increases scale in a similar fashion on higher end GPUs. Whatever the case, it seems DirectX 12 has a major benefit in emulators and this is going to be great news for anyone wanting to play older Nintendo games in glorious detail.

Fictional Weapons Come To Life As Boomerangs

You load up that new game or sit down to the latest movie and suddenly all you notice is the high-tech gadgets and weapons they seem to pull out of every nook and crevice. From Batmans Batarang to the pickaxe from Minecraft, you’ve seen them all. You’ve never seen them in real life, which is about to change as Victor Poulin has created a series of fictional weapons as boomerangs.

Poulin is from the group Boomerangs by Vic. Not only did he dream it but he has created not just one or two but six boomerangs based on film and video game weapons. If that wasn’t cool enough, he has a little video to show you that no only do they look awesome they also all work.

From the Batarang to the Pickaxe Poulin has used “the best 10inch birch on the market” to create six weapons that if someone throws at you, you should really have started running away a long time ago.

Showing honour to not only the classic boomerang designs, like Sokka’s boomerang from Avatar the Last Airbender but the more uniquely shaped weapons like Minecraft’s pickaxe and even the tomahawk from Black Op’s 2 Zombies.

I know that if push ever comes to shove, these weapons are something I’d rather be using than facing. If you could see one weapon from a video game or movie come alive as a boomerang, what would you choose?

Blind Gamer Beats The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Blind gamer Terry Garrett has spent five years trying to complete the N64 classic The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a task he finally achieved in the last few days. Garrett is an engineering student at the University of Colorado, set to become the school’s first blind graduate, and has ambitions to become the first blind person in space.

Garrett has previously proven to be adept at completing 2D games, having beaten Abe’s Oddysee already, but wanted to challenge himself to finish a 3D game. Garrett began the endeavour, as documented on his YouTube channel, on 8th May, 2011. He uses stereo speakers positioned close to him to determine the position and movement of enemies and his fairy companion Navi, relying on save states with an emulated version of Ocarina of Time for trial and error. He explains his process in the first video of the series:

“After about 5 years of working on this series,” Garrett wrote beneath the final YouTube video. “I have finally uploaded the entire play through first! A totally blind person completing Zelda Ocarina of Time, with just walkthroughs, helpful vids from fans, and save states. It has been long in the making, but I have finally accomplished my goal! Who knows what is next! Thanks for all those who have stuck with me through this series even after it seemed like I was giving up.”

Unofficial Zelda Maker is Available on PC

Mario Maker on the Wii U has been described as “Nintendo’s Minecraft” and allows players to let their creativity flourish. The game features a number of advanced tools and user-creations are bound to test your reaction times. Unfortunately, as a Wii U exclusive, the PC will never be able to experience the joy in Mario Maker. However, an independent developer has created a fan-project for PC based around the Zelda universe. Here’s what the project entails:

“Zelda Maker (Temp) is a non-official project started by myself, which will allow players to create and share Legend of Zelda worlds of their own. Nintendo might cease and desist a project like this, so in time, when I’ve got the ability to change the sprites, I will do so, and I will also add things that Zelda games don’t have to make it a somewhat unique experience. Regardless, I won’t be acting like this isn’t going to be a Zelda (Maker?) clone, through and through. I’d just like to add some things that I think official Zelda games could use. This is a very early build of the game, and it does not represent what the final game will look like.”

As an unofficial creation, it’s likely Nintendo will demand its removal given their less-than-stellar track record. Although, the pixel art, and gameplay looks absolutely stunning! I wish Nintendo would support projects like this from fans who invest so much time and skill in honoring memories from their childhood.

Despite being in such an early stage of development, The Legend of Zelda Maker has loads of potential and I could easily spend hours creating dungeons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1OlEyY6e-A

You can download the Alpha release here, but I would be fairly quick as Nintendo lawyers will no doubt shut down the official links quite quickly.

Ocarina of Time Kakariko Village Recreated in UE4

Tired of that same modded scene which features a variety of classic game characters running around a field? Here’s something much cooler and with much more detail than that wave of recent attempts! Keen modder and YouTuber, Ioannis Papazis has been tinkering in Unreal Engine 4, recreating the Kakariko Village from Zelda Ocarina of Time and the end result is simply stunning!

Of course, this is far from a total remake of the game and it’s missing a few details, most notable are the complete lack of NPC’s and chickens. However, every building and tree is right where you would expect it to be and while the original barely compares visually, it’s still immediately recognisable to anyone who has played this iconic RPG.

What’s amazing is that this was simply a personal project, but credit where credit is due, this is incredible work. Of course, I would love to see the whole game brought to life like this as it’s a clear example of how an HD remake of the game would be absolutely freaking awesome.

Enjoy the video below and let us know in the comments section, which classic games would you love to see brought back to life like this?

LEGO Hyrule Castle Took Two Years to Build

The term ‘superfan’ – like ‘genius’, ‘legend’, and ‘reboot’ – is oft overused, but in the case of Joseph Zawarda could be well deserved. Legend of Zenda fanatic Zawarda spent two-and-a-half years building a scaled replica of Hyrule Castle from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess from LEGO. The brick sculpture, unveiled at LEGO-fest BrickFair in Virginia, is so huge that it requires two cars just to move it.

YouTube channel Beyond the Brick interviewed Zawarda about his audacious creations. Some facts gleaned from the interview:

  • Zawarda struggled most with the design of the roof, since he had to develop a way to make blocky LEGO bricks appear curved. He considers the top of the roof the most difficult part to construct;
  • A large portion of the two-and-a-half year building process was dedicated to the castle’s greenery, since Zawarda wanted the surrounding to look “as organic as possible”;
  • He used parts from multiple existing LEGO castle sets, as well as some LEGO Technic pieces for the mechanical drawbridge, but had to order a number of specific pieces from Scandinavia via LEGO trading site bricklink;
  • The castle can be broken down into 40 pieces for transport, which Zawarda spread between two cars to transport to the BrickFair event.


More of Zawarda’s LEGO Zelda recreations can be found on his Flickr page.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information.

E-Mails Reveal Sony Chasing Rights to Super Smash Bros. Movie

E-mails from last year’s Sony Pictures hack have revealed that the studio has been actively pursuing the film rights to Nintendo’s mass beat ‘em up franchise, Super Smash Bros.. The discovery of these e-mails follows the entire contents of the hack being published on Wikileaks earlier this week.

Former Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal – who lost her job in the wake of the leak, after she was seen to criticise movies with black casts – received e-mails in February 2014 that named Super Smash Bros. as a potentially lucrative franchise, and linked producer Avi Arad – responsible for the vast majority of Sony’s Marvel Comics adaptations  – to a potential rights grab, with Arad “planning to meet with his Nintendo guy (who he has been courting for a couple of years) when he goes to Japan.”

A later February e-mail between Arad and Pascal referred to the “five year chase” of trying to acquire the rights to every character featured in the game series, from Mario to Zelda to Donkey Kong. Arad referred to his Japan trip again, saying, I am going to try and bring back a little plumber […] I guess we can all use our pipes cleaned.” He then pitched the idea of a Pokemon movie to Pascal, saying that it was “the other property I am working on with Nintendo.”

Despite output of variable quality, Hollywood seems determined to mine video games as established properties for adaptation, with a Five Nights at Freddy’s movie in the works and Netflix producing a Legend of Zelda TV show. Which untapped video game gem would you like to see make the transition to the silver screen?

Thank you Ars Technica for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Nintendo.

Songbringer: The Zelda-a-Like That’s Different Every Time You Play

“What if each time you played The Legend of Zelda it was a different world with unique secrets and mysteriously new dungeons?” the maker of Songbringer, a new dungeon crawler seeking funding on Kickstarter, asks. It sounds very appealing: a procedurally generated experience, unique to each player, not only increasing re-playability but offering gamers a playthrough that will never be replicated, for them nor anyone else.

Songbringer’s pitch on Kickstarter continues:

“Songbringer is a Zelda-like action-adventure-RPG in which you can explore over 300 million unique worlds overflowing with recently awakened demons, virus androids and other sullied creatures. Along the way you will uncover long lost devices and combine them into powerful artifacts. If you are skilled with the nanosword you will vanquish giants and save a planet from being overrun.”

Developer Nathanael Weiss explains the mechanics of the game’s procedural generation:

“You choose a 6-letter world seed every time you begin a new quest. This seed is used to procedurally generate the planet, overworld, secrets and dungeons. As a player, you can choose to enter a unique seed and play an entirely surprising world. Or you can enter a seed you are familiar with and can rip through at a speed run pace. Maybe you are going for the global record?”

“Lore, cooperation and competition can be shared between you and friends because entering the same world code will always generate the same world. While the events of Songbringer take place on a single planet, if a sequel game is produced, the same world seed can be used to continue into a wider galaxy based on that seed!”

The idea of having your own sui generis world to explore is very exciting, but the worry is that the lack of a creator’s hand on the details may pale in comparison to the deliberate craft of, say, a Legend of Zelda game. As effective a shorthand as it may be, it’s possible that the Zelda comparison does Weiss’ game a disservice. I’m still anticipating Songbringer with a sense of hope.

The Songbringer Kickstarter has already raised over $1,000 of its $9,000 target, with 30 days still to run. The game is also featured on Steam Greenlight.

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information.

The Legend of Zelda for Wii U Has Been Pushed to a Next Year Release

Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma have announced a few months back that The Legend of Zelda for the Wii U will be releasing in 2015, but fans will be disappointed to hear that Nintendo recently came forth and announced that the game will have a delay, pushing back the release date further into 2016.

“In these last three months, as the team has experienced firsthand the freedom of exploration that hasn’t existed in any Zelda game to date, we have discovered several new possibilities for this game,” Aonuma explained. “As we have worked to turn these possibilities into reality, new ideas have continued to spring forth, it now feels like we have the potential to create something that exceeds even my own expectations.”

“We are no longer making our 2015 release our number one priority. Instead, our priority is to make it the most complete and ultimate Zelda game,” he added. “I hope to use the added time to make The Legend of Zelda for Wii U into a game that will reward you for your patience.”

Also, the push-back seems to have affected more than just the release date, having Nintendo announcing that it will not showcase the title at E3. This could also indicate that a release in the first quarter of 2016 is highly unlikely.

Thank you Gamingbolt for providing us with this information

Legend Of Zelda TV Show In the Works at Netflix

Netflix is developing a live-action adaptation of Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda franchise, according to the Wall Street Journal. The series, following the story of the games, is said to follow the adventures of Link as he travels through Hyrule to rescue Princess Zelda.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the show is being pitched as a family-friendly Game of Thrones but, being in the early stages of development, not much more is known about the endeavour. Let’s just hope that it improves upon the last Nintendo live-action adaptation, Super Mario Bros.

Source: TechCrunch

30-Minute Legend Of Zelda Speedrun is a New World Record

A Legend of Zelda player has beaten the game in a record-breaking 30 minutes and 29 seconds. The speedrun was completed by Darkwing_Duck_sda, just 8 seconds faster than his previous best of 30 minutes and 37 seconds.

Darkwing took advantage of a screen scrolling glitch to skip through the game at abnormal speed – according to the website How Long to Beat, an average Zelda playthrough takes approximately 10 hours.

This excerpt, from Speed Demos Archive, explains the glitch and how to take advantage of it:

To clip through a wall (screen scroll glitch), you must stand toward that wall and be a specific amount of pixels away from the wall (either 5 or 7, the amount escapes me at the moment) and then move one frame in a side direction. This will cause Link to turn around, but stay on the same pixel. Then you can move through the wall. You only get to move through a half step of solid wall, but that’s enough to clip through things that are set diagonally, or push you through the screen transition “wall.” Clipping through the edge of the screen sends you to the other side.

The question is, should speedruns using glitch exploits really be considered a true completion of a game?

Source: Kotaku

Nintendo Shows off Wii U Zelda, Mario Maker

Nintendo practically took over last night’s Game Awards, with Reggie Fils Aime, Nintendo of America COO, opening the show alongside Nintendo’s Beethoven of video games, Koji Kondo, composer of the music for most of the company’s legendary titles.

They used the opportunity to provide some updates to two of their 2015 releases – the yet to be titled Zelda game for Wii U and ‘Mario Maker’ for the same console.

They showed off some of the first gameplay footage for Zelda, with lead producer Eiji Aonuma at the controls while Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto asked questions. The video is an intriguing look into what will undoubtedly be a great game. We get to see Link riding a horse and exploring the huge open-world map – a first for Zelda.

There was also ‘Mario Maker’. Obviously a less significant title compared to Zelda, but one that will definitely be a lot of fun. Here we get to see more detail of what the game will entail, courtesy of Miyamoto-san.

Source: Kotaku

Legend of Zelda Recreated in LittleBigPlanet

The capabilities of the LittleBigPlanet game engine have always amazed me, from playing remakes of classic Super Mario levels, to one gamer who recreated the entirety of Final Fantasy VII! Now another iconic gaming title has been fully remade in this versatile game.

LittleBigPlanet 3 only launched a few days ago and promises and even more advanced editor, but the video below was recreated using the PS Vita edition of the game. Personally, I find it more impressive that this was made on a hand-held console.

If you could remake any game in the same fashion, what would be it? I’d personally remake Unirally, although I’m doubtful that many remember it.

Thank you GamerHeadlines for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of GamerHeadlines.

Nintendo Patents Game Boy Emulator for Phones

In what could be seen as potentially a big change of opinion for Nintendo, the company has filed a patent for a Game Boy emulator for “a personal digital assistant” and “a cell phone”. 

Nintendo has previously been strictly against the idea of releasing its games on other platforms and more specifically, mobile devices. Investors have on numerous occasions rallied at Nintendo, which been losing money recently, to re-release classic Nintendo titles on smartphones and tablets. It’s no surprise, as clearly the company could easily make a fortune by selling Mario, Zelda and Pokemon games to the hundreds of millions of smartphone users that exist today.

“A software emulator for emulating a handheld video game platform such as GAME BOY.RTM., GAME BOY COLOR.RTM. and/or GAME BOY ADVANCE.RTM. on a low-capability target platform (e.g., a seat-back display for airline or train use, a personal digital assistant, a cell phone) uses a number of features and optimizations to provide high quality graphics and sound that nearly duplicates the game playing experience on the native platform. Some exemplary features include use of bit BLITing, graphics character reformatting, modeling of a native platform liquid crystal display controller using a sequential state machine, and selective skipping of frame display updates if the game play falls behind what would occur on the native platform.”

Is this merely an act of experimentation or is it something we’ll see in the future?

Source: TechCrunch

Petition to Make Link a Young Black Female in next Zelda Game

A new petition which seeks supports to change Link into a black female for the next Wii U release in the Zelda series. The campaign only recently launched on Change.org and doesn’t seem to be getting too much support at this time, but it does raise some interesting thoughts. I mean, would a games developer ever bow to pressure to make such a big change to a gaming icon? After all, the gaming community did manage to make EA re-do the end of one of their games, and it really can’t be too difficult to include a race selection, even in many iconic franchises.

“For too many years have the black community been underrespresented [sic] in the video game industry,” Watabe wrote on Change.org. “Nintendo went too far this time when they chose to make the new Link white and white only. We need to end this injustice, equality has sadly still not been truly achieved.”

Gaming is a medium that can change and can give users more options, more so than any other kind of media. Personally I wouldn’t mind if Link had a gender and race swap or not, but having this kind of option in more games couldn’t do any harm.

Thank you Stevivor for providing us with this information.

One of a Kind £100,000 Ocarina of Time Prototype Hits eBay

There are many rare collectables in the world of video games, but very few of them are as expensive as this one. A super rare prototype cartridge for Nintendo 64 masterpiece The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has surfaced on eBay, it’s buy it now price set at a staggering £100,000 or best offer. At last check the item had 7 offers on it, but remains unsold.

The game is said to be a debug version and includes a special debug menu that you can navigate after loading the game. The game is said to only work with an expansion pak attached and can be seen being operated in the video below.

The seller states that this is the only copy of this cart in known existence, but how this could be validated (other than by the fact we’ve never seen one) is unknown. The item appears to be legitimate, with the eBay user in question selling many other rare games of this type, although perhaps not at this price, while maintaining a 100% review score on their profile.

The question is, would you pay £100,000 for a rare collectible like this? Let us know what you would do with that money in the comments section below.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/lFElDAn7Df4[/youtube]

Thank you eBay for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of eBay.

Legend of Zelda Gets The Oculus Rift Treatment

Developers never cease to blow my mind with their Oculus Rift creations and th latest effort which sees the gaming masterpiece that is The Legend of Zelda for the original NES brought into the real of virtual reality is nothing short of awesome.

the new demo is a little bit of a headache factory, and the 8-bit graphics don’t really scale as well as you would like, but the end result does mean that you can go free roaming in the world of Zelda, beating the crud out of enemies with your trusty sword!

Only the first dungeon and the game’s overworld are available in the demo, but the plan is to scale up the whole game to be playable by March of this year, and best part of all it’ll be free!

If you’ve got an Oculus Rift and want to get in on the action, you can download the demo here. If you don’t have an Oculus Rift, you’ll just have to settle for the eye bending video below.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/6gzXHUyfdyM[/youtube]

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.

Nintendo Announces Zelda Special Edition 3DS XL

A new “Golden” edition Nintendo 3DS XL has been officially announced. Though it has been rumoured for quite some time now that there would be a “Legendary” version released. Mr. Eiji Aonuma officially announced this Special Edition Nintendo 3DS XL and has given a release date for November 22.

As the years have gone by we have seen many golden cartridges for Zelda games, now we are getting a Nintendo 3DS XL. Normally the 3DS XL would retail for $199 this special edition will retail for $219 but will also come with a digital copy of A Link Between Worlds which retails for $39. If you’re in the marked for a new 3DS then this may be the way to go, getting yourself a new Gold and Black Zelda themed handheld system.

A Link Between Worlds is set to release on November 22, the same day that the Nintendo 3DS XL bundle comes out.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOA_LcqaQNc[/youtube]

“Hello everyone, I am the producer of The Legend of Zelda games, Eiji Aonuma. We have a tradition of making the Zelda series gold. Today, I would like to introduce a new product that follows that tradition. A gold-colored Nintendo 3DS XL that will be on sale the same day as The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. I am grateful for the fans supporting Zelda over the years. Please enjoy Link’s new adventure with the gold system”

The system is gold-colored just as you may remember the cartridge for The Legend of Zelda on the NES. Keeping true to the tradition the new 3DS XL will Gold on one the front, while the back will be black representing parallel worlds that Link travels to in the game. Both sides will feature the iconic Triforce on the exterior.

The game will be familiar to those who had hours of enjoyment playing A Link to the Past on the SNES, taking place in the same Hyrule after many years have passed. In A Link Between Worlds Link will venture between Hyrule and Lorule using a power that lets him become a drawing on walls. Players will get to solve puzzles and explore dungeons in a new way.

Thank you ZeldaDungeon.net for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Youtube.com.