In recent times, fan game development has become a bit more difficult than usual. It’s been under fire from lawyers and internet sites, with claims going around that it’s of questionable legality. It’s seen an increase in take downs from paranoid companies (like Nintendo and Konami). And with the recent track record of projects released to classics like Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time, many developers are now looking for an alternative.
And in most cases, that means turning to indie game development. Or just rebranding their projects so they’re not based on an existing IP.
So here are some examples of this. Here are some examples of fan game creators becoming professional game developers, starting with a small company you may not have heard about yet…
Despite actually knowing the fan games they’ve developed. Why? Because the folks at Fusion Gameworks were responsible for Mushroom Kingdom Fusion, Super Mario Fusion Revival and Mega Man Day in the Limelight. Yes, that Mushroom Kingdom Fusion:
The one where Mario (and a bunch of other characters) save the multiverse from the forces of evil in an absolutely gigantic mega crossover. That was these guys’ first (and most well known) project.
Since then though, they’ve slowly gotten tired of the fan game world, eventually culminating in their recent decision to stop making them altogether. That’s in part because of Nintendo’s recent fan project shut downs, and the team deciding Super Mario Fusion Revival (their most recent project) was too risky to continue in that form.
So they quit fan game development for the time being, and are working on a bunch of indie games with a similar gameplay style to their fan projects. I can’t say more than that yet, but they do look really good none the less.
And hey, talking of crossover fan game devs, they’re not the only ones to have moved to the indie scene…
Oh no, their ‘rivals’ in crossover fan game development are doing likewise. That’s because Exploding Rabbit are the creators of a game called Super Mario Bros Crossover, and they’ve also decided to move into the realm of indie games.
They’ve done this with a game called Glitch Strikers, a 2D platformer mixing various gameplay styles from the eight bit era. This project (previously titled Super Retro Squad) was announced back in 2012 and had a successful Kickstarter campaign to go with it, raising over $50,000 from more than 1,800 backers.
Unfortunately, that’s where the story kind of goes a bit wrong. Why? Because it turned out that $50,000 isn’t really all that much in the greater scheme of things, and the title’s development eventually collapsed on itself. This was not taken well by certain people online. Nor by certain gaming blogs, who accused them of ‘spending the money on a house’ or funding it with Super Mario Bros Crossover revenue.
Still, it’s back in development now, with a new trailer:
And more updates on their official site and YouTube channel. Hopefully this revitalised attempt at making the game will work out a bit better than their first one.
Either way, onto a slightly more experienced example of fan game dev turned pro now. Why more experienced? Well, because they’ve actually made multiple games. Two full titles in a seriescalled Last Legacy, and without having to raise any funding for either on Kickstarter.
But this wasn’t where they started off. Oh no, they started off with some fairly well known fan game projects beforehand, and those were what they build their name on. Said projects were a Super Mario 64 demake called Super Mario Sunshine 64:
Plus a more advanced one called Super Mario 63:
Both were damn impressive works in general, and their indie works were arguably just as good. So yeah, it seems making the move from fan games to indie games can be done successfully.
Wow, it’s certainly been a while hasn’t it? When was the last time a trivia article was posted here on Gaming Reinvented?
Oh, back in 2016. Yeah, I apologise for that. It’s been pretty tough finding interesting facts to fill one of these lists with. Especially given my interest in avoiding cliches or things everyone and their dog already knows.
But thanks to the recent release date of the Switch and Zelda Breath of the Wild, I’ve now got some more interesting facts and tidbits. So here they are. Here’s the next round of interesting Nintendo facts and trivia that you may not already know about…
Wasn’t That Bat on Fire?
Starting with a minor yet still interesting bit of trivia about the Fire Keese in Breath of the Wild.
Basically, it seems they don’t like rain very much. As a result, avoiding them while it’s raining for a few minutes will actually cause the flames to go out and then the creature will soon drop dead. Literally:
Guess elemental monsters should carry an umbrella at all times!
The Divine Beasts Call for Help
And talking of characters not liking stuff in Breath of the Wild, it seems the Divine Beasts (or Champion spirits) don’t like the presence of the Ganon Blights and corruption there either. That’s because if you listen to their music closely, you can hear a faint SOS call in each of the themes. Have a listen at around 15 seconds into this video:
It’s faint, but it’s there. Ah morse code. Bet you never expected that in this series!
The Thin White Line
Onto another interesting detail in the game that you may not have noticed now though. Namely, the white line at the Hateno Tech Lab. Here’s a picture of it:
Notice how it’s got a bit of text? Yeah, that’s because it’s one of those house/room divider lines you see in TV shows. You know the ones. Where two ‘duelling’ parties are all like ‘this is my side, and this is your side’.
That’s the deal here too. Purah and Symin clearly aren’t getting so well at the moment, so they’ve divided the lab in two as a result. And that’s not all we’re seeing here either.
Nope, the line’s been moved a few times, with Purah’s side gradually getting larger each time!
Guess someone is acting a tad pushy now!
The Zelda Cameo in Superstar Saga
Still, let’s look at a Zelda reference in a non Zelda title now. Namely, one hidden away in Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga for the GBA.
Yeah, I know what you’re going to say. Link was going to make an appearance, and the Great Force item was originally the Triforce. There are even sprites for it in the game! I already know all this stuff!
And to that, I say you’re correct. But did you know there’s ANOTHER Zelda reference in Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga?
One that may 0.1% of the public may have ever spotted?
No, I’m not joking. Remember that mini game with the skeletal Donkey Kong? The one called Bink or something?
Well if you get enough points, a Stalfos from the Zelda series appears for about a second on the right of the screen! Here here is now:
Didn’t catch it?
Here’s a picture:
Yeah, it’s a pretty subtle reference, and one a lot of people will never see. But wait, there’s more! If you keep going even longer (about 50 points), a little skeleton Chain Chomp will pop out instead! Aww, isn’t it cute?
Again, it’s only on screen for a second or two. But it’s a neat little cameo either way, and one that most players never got close to noticing. So yeah, good job AlphaDream. You really know how to hide secrets in your games!
The Purchasable Green Tunic
Onto actual Zelda games now, with an interesting bit of unused content in Zelda Breath of the Wild.
Basically, you know that ‘Armour of the Wild’ set that acts like BOTW’s version of Link’s traditional green clothing?
In that sense, it was really meant to be the Korok Forest specific armour set, in the same way that the Flamebreaker set was tied to Goron City and the Snowquill set to Rito Village.
Wonder if its stats were really so good at that point in development?
A Reference for Every Generation (BOTW Map)
Guess we’ll never really know to be honest. But hey, did that easter egg sound familiar to you?
Yeah, it did to me too. Namely, it was a bit like how Ocarina of Time started you off in said clothing, and had it as a Kokiri fashion item. But that’s not the only old school Zelda reference in this title.
Nope, there are hundreds of them.
For example, Zelda 1 gets referenced via boss names used for bridges and areas. These include the ‘Digdogg Suspension Bridge’, the ‘Manhala Bridge’, Aquame Bridge and Gleeok Bridge among various others. Zelda 2? Well, that one has an area named ‘Rebonae Bridge’ after the Iron Knuckle boss Rebonack. And the list just goes on and on. So here are some references you may have missed, ordered by game release date:
Link’s Awakening: Tal Tal Peak returns, as does Mabe Village in ruins form.
Ocarina of Time: Lon Lon Ranch is clearly featured in game (albeit mostly destroyed), and areas called Ruto Lake, Darunia Lake and Mido Swamp are clearly named after the OoT characters.
Majora’s Mask: Romani Plains is named after the ranch owners in the game.
Oracle of Ages: Brynna Plain is based on Labrynna from this game.
Oracle of Seasons: Horon Lagoon and Lodrum Headland are named after the region Holodrum found in this game.
Four Swords: Stone Talus bosses may be partly named after Talus Cave in this game (though a Talus is a real type of cave)
Wind Waker: All the islands to the right side of the Akkala region are named after Tingle’s brothers in this game. As is Mekar Island (after the sage Makar)
Minish Cap: Crenel Hills and Crenel Peak are based on Mount Crenel. The Trilby Plains is named after the Trilby Highlands and Veiled Falls after Veil Falls.
Twilight Princess: The Arbiter’s Grounds seemingly returns in ruins. Faron Woods first appeared here.
Phantom Hourglass: Linebeck gets an island named after him, with islands like Mercay Island and Molida Island having versions in this game too.
Skyward Sword: The Breach of Demise is pretty obvious here. Less so are the Owlan and Horwell Bridges, named after two instructors at the Knight’s Academy. Floria Lake comes from here too.
Link Between Worlds: Oren gets a bridge named in her honour.
It’s an absolutely incredible amount of references for a Zelda game, with almost every game getting at least one location or landmark named after it. But if you think the details in this game stop with just names… well, they sure as hell don’t
Your Photo Provides the Answer
Because as people online figured out a few months ago, even the Sheikah Slate has an incredible amount of details hidden in its UI. For example, do you remember those memories? Those scenes you had to find for Link to remember a bit more about his past?
Well it seems like you don’t actually have to talk to anyone to hunt them down. Why? Because the information was right there all along! The Sheikah text on the photo actually gives you the location you need to go to:
Damn, that’s an impressive level of detail for a game like this. Wonder what other interesting things you’d learn if you could read Sheikah text more easily?
To something a fair few people might not know is actually based on real life. I mean, what did you think when you explored the Tabantha Scablands in Breath of the Wild?
That this was some sort of Super Mario Bros deal with giant mushrooms? Yeah, me too. I mean, you don’t see anything like this in real life do you?
Well actually you do. Turns out these giant objects are not mushrooms at all, but a real life species of tree called the Socotra dragon tree or Dragon Blood Tree. Have a look if you don’t believe me:
Yeah, it’s pretty much a perfect match. So yeah, those weird objects you pass by when going towards the Tabantha Bridge Stable? They really do exist in real life.
Marshadow and Nightmarchers
And hey, talking of elements you may not know were references, here’s another. The new mythical Pokemon Marshadow is actually based on a variety of Hawaiian legends.
One of which is that of the Hawaiian Nightmarchers.
So what is a Nightmarcher you may wonder? It’s the ghostly apparition of a spirit warrior, whose purpose differs significantly based on the legends in question. Some say these things are avenging their own death or trying to refight a lost battle, others say they’re looking for an entrance to the next world.
Either way, their characteristics are reflected in Marshadow. For instance, the typing pretty clearly reflects that of a ghostly warrior. Especially given how said typing (Fighting/Ghost) is one that’s completely unique to the series so far.
Other traits that reflect this include its eyes (which seem to represent the glowing torches held by Nightmarchers in legends), the general shadow type design motif (which seems awfully similar to the cloaks seen as a prominent part of the lore) and perhaps even its special Z-Move (Soul Stealing 7 Star Strike). This connection also ties in well with the setting and themes found in Pokemon Sun and Moon. Why? Because according to various sources I checked for this article, they appear based on the phases of the moon, with their marches tying into the last four Hawaiian moon phases. Seems like a way to connect it to Solgaleo and Lunala if you ask me!
It also has a few connections to Menehune legend too. This one is about dwarf type creatures who live in forests away from human society. These seem closer in size and personality to Marshadow, and also represent a likely inspiration for the character.
So yeah, Marshadow seems to be influenced by quite a few obscure legends from the region. But it’s not the only Nintendo character inspired by interesting cultural details. Oh no, the Yiga Clan from Zelda Breath of the Wild are like this too…
The etymology of the Yiga Clan
Starting with their very name. Do you know where the name ‘Yiga’ comes from?
No, not from the guy in A Link Between Worlds. Though Yuga may have been a member of the group at one point or another. Or at least it’s Lorulean counterpart.
Instead, it comes from the Iga Province in Japan, an area where one of the (few) known actual ninja clans was based. This area, alongside the nearby Koga region (which is the source of Master Kohga’s name in Breath of the Wild) were the bases of the two known ninja groups in 15th century Japan, making the use of their names for the game antagonists all the more meaningful.
And the similarities to real life ninjas do not end there. Oh no, there are also a few more similarities in Breath of the Wild too.
For example, they’re also closer to how real life ninjas may have operated. Why? Well look at the Travellers a minute. They’re not going in all guns blazing like a medieval James Bond. They’re trying to trick their enemies via pretending to be a typical peasant. By staying beneath notice.
Other similarities here include:
Their weapons. The traveler ‘Vicious Sickle’ is very much a Zelda equivalent to the real world ‘kama’, a simple sickle based weapon. Why did it have that design? Well apparently it was easy to turn back to normal farming tools if you were about to get caught/needed to blend in again. Unlike the obviously Katana inspired Windcleaver the Blademasters use in Breath of the Wild.
Add the mountain hideout (based on where actual ninja clans may have retreated after the Iga Revolt) and their employment by various shogun of the era (ninja groups would certainly switch loyalties rather easily), and you’ve got a setup which is actually a fair bit closer to real life than you’d expect. Albeit minus the obviously fictional magic or teleportation abilities.
The Yiga Clan really are closer to reality than many people imagined…
And that concludes the list. Hopefully it was a tad more interesting than the usual ones you’ve seen on other gaming sites, and went into the origins of various video game elements a bit more than ‘did you know Super Mario Bros 2 was not originally a Mario game’ (or other common sense, old hat ‘revelations’ of a similar nature).
But hey, what did you think? Did you enjoy the list or learn anything new while reading it? Or by some miracle, did you know literally everything included here beforehand?
Post your thoughts here or at the Gaming Latest forums today!
However, while we know ARMS and Splatoon 2 are featured, that’s only part of the story. For example, we don’t know what will be shown from those games. How Nintendo is going to make Splatoon truly better and more unique than the original.
Or how the 3DS will be featured, given some comments on their Twitter about the presentation.
So here are my predictions on the matter. Starting with the obvious inclusion…
Since it’s pretty damn obvious that ARMS is getting a trailer.
Really, there’s no doubting it. Nintendo themselves said it was the main focus here.
But it’s what will be in the trailer that’s interesting. And I think that is basically ‘more content’.
Cause right now, ARMS looks very barebones. We know just five characters, one arena and a few gameplay options, yet have no info on the game’s world or general setup.
So I believe that like with the recent Breath of the Wild trailers (that moved away from the Great Plateau) that ARMS will get a similar deal that really blows the game wide open. That makes us think that this is more than the live event/E3 demo.
And the same will also go for…
Since like ARMS, we know very little about this game and its setup. In fact, a lot of people think it’s so similar to the original that they mistake it for an actual port!
So that needs to be fixed by a new trailer and information. Ideally in a way which focuses on things like the single player mode and the changes to the story and characters included.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Moving on from the confirmed stuff now, I also believe Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will make an appearance here too.
Why? Because Nintendo are promoting the hell out of it, and it seems like the changes made go beyond just new characters and battle mode (like with the pink sparks for extra strong mini turbos).
So I suspect this’ll make an appearance in the Direct too. Complete with maybe even a mention of some new DLC for the game.
And it’s not just existing Nintendo games which could be shown or announced either. Oh no, I think a Switch Pokemon announcement is possible here too.
That’s because a while back, we learnt that Game Freak were working on a new Pokemon game for more powerful systems. As a result, I believe we’ll see that announced sooner rather than later, regardless of if its a new generation 7 or gen 8 game we’re getting.
But it’s not just Nintendo who may have games featured here…
Because I also think we might see a release date for Yooka-Laylee on Switch too. That’s because while it’s a Nintendo focused project with many Switch owning backers, it’s currently only been released for other systems.
So I feel Playtonic may take this chance to announce a release date for it. To prove that yes, Nintendo fans won’t be waiting months for the game.
And yeah, other indie game trailers seem pretty logical to expect here as well. Every Direct and Nintendo presentation comes with a bunch of them.
As does a look at the online services. That’s because three big games in the next few months (Mario Kart, ARMS and Splatoon 2) all use them heavily, yet we don’t even know what the subscription entails yet.
So an update here seems only fair.
Finally, I believe we’ll get some other minor games shown tonight as well. Probably Beyond Oasis and Pikmin 3DS really. I mean, they need to update us on them at some point, right?
Yeah, I guess so. And today’s Nintendo Direct is a great time for this.
And so those are my predictions for today’s Direct. Some are a tad optimistic, some are more likely, but all are completely possible in my eyes.
But hey, what do you think? Are my predictions for tonight’s Direct realistic ones? Or are there things I’m missing or have got wrong?
Recently, The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild was released for the Nintendo Switch. An incredible game with a huge explorable worlds and tons of interesting things to do, it received universal acclaim from players and critics alike.
In other words? It became the Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo Switch era.
However, as great as the game is, that still leaves one ‘issue’ for Nintendo. Namely, how do you improve upon near perfection?
Because let’s face it, Ocarina of Time left Nintendo in the same daunting situation. And while their follow ups to it were all great games in their own right, they also all felt like they lacked something or another in general. Like Nintendo had kind of missed the point in regards to what made Zelda popular or beloved.
So to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, here are my answers to that question. To how Nintendo can in fact improve upon Breath of the Wild with their next few Zelda titles…
1. Focus on a New Central Idea for a Direct Sequel
Or in other words, you’ve got a great engine now. Time to consider the Nintendo Switch equivalent to Majora’s Mask. Aka a game with the same engine and resources but a new main concept completely different to anything found in Breath of the Wild.
Heck, maybe even bring back the parallel universe gimmick. After all, there are lots of NPCs here that you could put into new roles, and plenty of neat twists you could make to the ideas found within the title in general.
So yeah, start with something simple first.
2. Expand upon the dungeons and bosses
But then move onto improving perhaps the only minor ‘downside’ Breath of the Wild has. Namely, that its dungeons aren’t as interesting or unique as those in past games.
Okay, don’t get me wrong here. The Divine Beasts being huge animal shaped mechs is amazing, and the idea of you fighting them in a boss battle before you can get inside is a really neat twist on the formula too.
So those aspects could easily be retained for one or two of the dungeons. However, what’s less amazing is the actual inside of the dungeons themselves. Basically, they have too little variety in enemies or puzzle setups.
Seriously, look at the dungeons here and tell me what enemies you remember fighting there. I’m pretty sure the answer is ‘just Guardians and Corruption Eyes’.
And that’s a bit disappointing really. One of the best aspects of the older games was how each dungeon used to have a unique mini boss encounter in it, as well as how the dungeons and setups would be themed around the region they’re in. No, that doesn’t require the game to be linear or the dungeons to be bland item puzzle based setups either. Just look at Link Between Worlds if you need proof of that.
So another improvement they could make in a sequel is to bring back the themed dungeons and greater enemy variety inside, and add them to the amazing world presented in Breath of the Wild.
I also think the bosses could be improved here too. Yeah, they are brilliant in Breath of the Wild (especially in a mechanical sense). And I do like the idea of bosses that act more like a physical battle than a glorified item puzzle, where the player can choose how they take them down. That’s really appreciated too.
But the downside here in Breath of the Wild’s bosses is that design wise, they just don’t look very varied. They’re all Ganon Blights, no exceptions. Which in turn makes them all weird Phantom Ganon like ghosts with Guardian weapons attached.
Hence I feel that visual design thing should be improved upon in future Zelda games too. Make the bosses look as unique as they feel, while keeping the same ‘action’ based setup as in Breath of the Wild. Give us a ton of different looking bosses with the same battle strategies and AI skills as the Ganon Blights. Make the bosses in Zelda both visually interesting and difficult at the same time.
3. Reintroduce some Classic Items and Upgrades
Another thing I feel future Zelda games could do is bring back some of the items and upgrades from past games. For example, the Hookshot could be reimagined to let Link instantly shoot to any land or wall he can climb within a reasonable distance. Or to steal items away from enemies like the Grappling Hook in The Wind Waker.
And the same goes for many other items. Not all of them mind (since many have been rightfully replaced by the weapons system or runes), but enough of them to expand upon the formula a bit. You could bring back the Magic Cape and its invisibility effects. The Dominion Rod could be merged with the Command Melody to brainwash enemies (imagine how cool it’d be to turn a Bokoblin or Moblin against its friends!) The Mole Mitts… well, digging underground seems pretty useful in an open wide title like this one.
The list just goes on and on. But that’s not all that could come back either.
Oh no, upgrades could return to. For example, remember the Golden Gauntlets (or slightly weaker Silver ones) in Ocarina of Time?
Yeah, those let you pick up and move large objects. I think those could make for an interesting rune or magic spell in a Breath of the Wild like game too. After all, we can already fling metal objects with Magnesis or catapult heavy ones with Stasis, why not let us literally throw or swing around even bigger ones with this power too?
Similarly, the boots from Ocarina of Time could make a comeback as well. I mean, we’ve already got sand and snow shoes (to walk at full speed on sand and snow respectively). So why not add in Iron, Hover and Magnetic Boots too? These could let us go underwater/brave strong winds, hover in the air for a few seconds or even climb on metal walls/ceilings like in Twilight Princess’ Goron Mines!
Really, there are so many great possibilities here, and I hope Nintendo looks into some of them for the next Zelda title.
4. Allow for new methods of exploration
Finally, I think Nintendo should consider allowing new methods of exploration and new places to explore in the next game. What do I mean by this?
Well, at the moment we can go anywhere we like on land via climbing. We can swim or sail anywhere we like providing our stamina holds up/we can find a raft. And with Stasis and some neat tricks, we can do a few more creative things there too.
But we cannot quite do everything just yet. We can’t actually go underwater, minus some recently found glitches. Flight is more like gliding, with no way to gain height in mid air. And while anywhere on the surface can be fully explored and enjoyed, going beneath that is limited to a few caves or Shrines.
So that’s the final thing I think Nintendo should work on in future Zelda games. A way to let us not only explore an open world environment on the surface, but to fly around, go underwater or even dig underground to drastically increase the number of possibilities for locations and mechanics. Take what you learned from Ocarina of Time, Minish Cap and Skyward Sword and implement it into the open world environments of Breath of the Wild.
That’s what Nintendo should do to build on Breath of the Wild’s success. Take what worked well, and add in the few things missing from Breath of the Wild to make an amazing new set of Zelda games for future generations.
But hey, what do you think? Do you feel Nintendo should do the above for the Zelda games post Breath of the Wild? Or is there another direction the series should be taken in now?
A couple of days back, it finally happened. The entirety of The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild was leaked online, with hundreds playing it early thanks to ROMs and shared review copies.
And embargoes be damned, this leak just blew the floodgates off. We had the whole soundtrack posted online. Every item icon and costume was data mined from the game within a matter of hours. Either way, anyone looking for information was quickly buried under too many sources at once. The sheer quantity of people playing it early and sharing their thoughts just made it impossible to find out any one thing in particular.
So to clear things up, we’ve decided to write a summary of a lot. A long, detailed article going into every bit of information we know about Breath of the Wild from the leaks, videos and message boards dedicated to it across the internet.
Hence here it is. The definitive overview of everything important you’ll see in The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild.
Just be warned about spoilers okay? Because this articlecovers a crap ton of things Nintendo likely didn’t intend for anyone to know til long after the game was released… Continue Reading…