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End of an era for Zelda?

Miyamoto gets mysterious.

Eagerly-awaited Gamecube title The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will mark the end of an era for the hit series, according to a transcript of a recent radio interview with Shigeru Miyamoto.

"This will be, without a doubt, the last Zelda game as you know it in its present form," Miyamoto is quoted as saying.

He declined to reveal any more details as to how the series will be reborn, but did go on to assure fans that Twilight Princess will be absolutely aces: "Our goal was to make the best Zelda game ever. The most rich, satisfying and [melancholic].

"I worked on it personally, moreso than Wind Waker. I haven't invested as much into any game as I have this one," Miyamoto said.

"We've really improved it in just a few months. Everything's coming together, much quicker. We may have some last minute ideas," he added.

And it's not just Zelda who'll be getting a next-gen makeover - everyone's favourite Italian plumber is set to star in a new game that will "surprise many people," according to Shigsy.

"Mario is and always has been a concept title from his birth. We are always looking for new ways of playing with him, manipulating him, to create something new and unique. We're in the midst of preparing something special for his future, something never before seen.

"Give us the benefit of the doubt. I think we'll present you with a new way to have fun."

Miyamoto also revealed that Mario is getting a brand new sidekick, but kept firmly schtum on the details. However, he did confirm that Mario 128 is simply a working title for the forthcoming game.

"Of course we will rename it, obviously. That won't be the only surprise of next year though.

"Mario 128 played a large role in the Revolution's conception, much like Mario 64 in its time. But we won't just be focusing on Mario. We're working on some very impressive games which push interactivity to the max. Games of a new era," Miyamoto said.

"We will be revealing many details soon... While our gamers are sleeping, we're busy thinking up new ideas. But while they're playing, we're playing as well," he concluded.

Let's just hope they're not too knackered to finish Twilight Princess - the game was recently delayed until next year, with a Nintendo bigwig saying it won't appear until April at the earliest. Roll on 2006...