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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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The very first Zelda story

Shigeru Miyamoto talks about the series’ GameCube debut

Some games demand a loyal following to thrive. Some games simply enjoy the privilege of a loyal following. The Legend of Zelda series of games has always deserved one, and even though there has been widespread criticism of Shigeru Miyamoto's design decisions for the perky princess and her would-be-rescuer Link's GameCube debut, I know deep down that when we finally get our hands on The Legend of Zelda (working title), it will be a benchmark in cel-shaded adventures. Shigeru Miyamoto has been back in the specialist headlines this weekend after officially published American magazine Nintendo Power ran an interview with him, and to a lesser extent newly installed president Satoru Iwata, on the subject of Zelda GameCube. "I think a really large goal was to find a kind of expression that really fit the Zelda world - to create his own universe," Miyamoto recalls. "In doing so, we came up with many ideas and went with the cartoon-style of cel-shading that we now have." At the time that it was announced, many labelled the decision to switch to cel-shading a blatant attempt to cash in on a popular technique, but that has rarely if ever been Nintendo's style. "In Zelda, we're not just taking this technological trend and applying it to the game," he confirms. "We're really taking the idea of it being a cartoon and creating the entire world as a cartoon rather than just applying a graphic technique to an already created world." Miyamoto-san has spoken before about the power of the GameCube as a technology base, and he describes its spawn as a sort of visual cocktail of elements, with flame, smoke, particle effects and things like that - and in a first for a Nintendo console, Dolby Pro Logic II Surround Sound. "The overall ability to handle these different effects is very good and makes the complete effect very strong. On top of that, we have our own basic ability to come up with easy-to-control camera systems and menu interfaces and items and designs that are really suited to the world." Speaking of these elements, both Miyamoto and Iwata teased gamers about some of the effects that make up Zelda's new world. The heat waves for instance…"the heat waves are one of the Nintendo GameCube's strong points. It's really good at those, and you can see similar types of effects with Metroid Prime. When you use the charge beam, it has great warp effects." As if we weren't hyped up enough about Zelda at this point, he has to go and mention Metroid Prime… "They're called indirect textures," Iwata-san offers. Miyamoto also goes on to comment on the length of games, but he had something else for everyone. "This is the very first Zelda story. If all we ever did was try to continue the story, we'd lose some of the interest. It's fun to jump back and forth." Finally, my parents will have something to say when I walk up to the dinner table drunkenly on Christmas Eve and ask where Hyrule came from. Related Feature - The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages / Seasons review (GBC)

Source - GameCube Europe