E3 Impression

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess




After three hours of waiting, Elliot and I entered Nintendo's inner sanctum: the curtained area that shielded the Legend of Zelda from the eyes of commoners. The first chamber was decorated to look like a forest. There were artificial tree trunks that stretched far up above my head, and they had moss drooping from their branches. Light streamed down from above, and artificial ferns peeked out from behind monitor stands. This "forest" is where I played the first half of the demo.

I walked up behind a guy who was fighting many moblins while on horseback. He followed one into a castle, where they faced off on a long bridge. They charged each other, but the moblin, riding on a large pig, kept knocking Link off. The guy gave up and tossed the controller to me. I quickly charged the moblin rider, and pulled to the side as he got near me so he couldn't knock me off. It was a cross between playing "chicken" and jousting, and it reminded me of one boss battle in the second Zelda title on the NES. After a couple of runs, I got the hang of the timing, and I drew my sword and started taking swipes at him while I charged past. The moblin knocked me off a couple of times, but I got three good hits in and sent him flying off the bridge. Epona reared up on her hind legs and Link raised his sword in victory as the setting sun shone behind them.

That was too short, so I tried the village demo. It started with a mini game of herding goats into a barn while riding Epona. I had to press one button to "whoop" and startle the goats, then ride Epona around them to herd them into the barn. The next sequence involved jumping some gates, but right after that, a booth worker chased me away from the game.

Elliot and I then walked out of the "forest" by crossing over a fake stream with fish and water ripples made from light beamed onto the carpet. We turned a corner and entered a "dungeon" with brick walls and fog. I looked to the side and saw a large animatronic Stalfos groaning and waving his sword around.

Deeper in the dungeon, there were more fog machines and spiders made from light beams projected on the walls. There were also more demos set up with different scenarios; this time, players could choose a boss battle with a giant plant or explore a forest dungeon. As soon as a demo became available, I chose the forest dungeon as my 15 minutes of fun.

Fighting is very similar to that seen in other 3D Zelda titles. One can lock on to monsters and hack away at them, but this title has an added bonus. After executing a series of blows and knocking the monster flat on its back, the A button gets a new option: "Finish." Hitting the A button at this time makes Link leap up and downward stab the twitching enemy with his sword. Sure, it's flash and excitement, but it's really fun.

"Fun" is a good way to sum up Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I greatly enjoyed the demo and it was certainly worth the three-hour wait. The title already shows a lot of promise with its mesmerizing graphical details and its immersive gameplay.

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