Is Adi Shankar in Talks to Produce a Legend of Zelda TV Series?

Over the last decade or two, Nintendo hasn’t exactly been willing to loan out their characters to other characters for adaptations. Indeed, after the 80s/90s and the disastrous Super Mario Bros movie, it seems Nintendo’s willingness to allow for adaptations into other media has mostly stopped with Pokémon and the odd animated short, with longer projects on par with the Super Mario Bros Super Show being non-existent.

But things are changing. Not only has Detective Pikachu got a movie in the works, but there’s a Mario movie in development too, with a Nintendo World section at Universal Studios in the pipeline. And now, it seems the Legend of Zelda may well be the next series to get the adaptation treatment.

That’s because Castlevania series producer Adi Shankar is teasing an upcoming project that he’ll be announcing on November 16th. This project is apparently one he’s working on with an iconic Japanese gaming company to adapt one of their iconic franchises into a series, with no more details given beyond that.

However, it seems that series may be the Legend of Zelda. That’s according to The Wrap anyway, whose anonymous sources have supposedly said the series Shankar is adapting is Nintendo’s legendary franchise.

This would line up quite nicely with Shankar’s wording in the original statement, and provide a neat follow up to the (highly acclaimed) Castlevania follow up.

And it’d also likely provide Zelda fans with a decent cartoon too. After all, Castlevania is the best received video game adaptation in history, with both the public and critics loving the serious storylines and fantastic animation of the series. That’s good news for Zelda fans worried about an adaptation, especially given the absolute disasters that were previous attempts at adapting the series in this format (glares at the 80s Zelda cartoon).

Above: Or the CD-I games, which used a similar animation style to the cartoon show

But is it true? How would said series adapt the Legend of Zelda series?

Well to be honest, it’s hard to tell for the first point. Again, The Wrap is going on anonymous sources with this story, and said sources haven’t seemingly talked to other publications about the rumours. Meanwhile, Nintendo’s own response is the usual vague ‘we have no plans to announce at this time’ malarkey, which means they can’t back up or deny the rumour either.

So it’s not really possible to judge the first part. As for the second?

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A New Super Smash Bros Ultimate Nintendo Direct is Coming this Thursday

A couple of days ago, we posted about a Super Smash Bros ‘leak’ going around online. Featuring such characters as Banjo-Kazooie, Shadow the Hedgehog and Mach Rider, the leak was based on a ‘promotional image’ posted on Snapchat, and appeared to give away the entire roster for the upcoming game.
However, there was no proof either way as to its validity. Oh sure, it looked legitimate enough from a distance, but there was evidence both for and against it found easily online, and the whole thing could just as easily have been a hoax as a legitimate leak. Based on that, we just had no way of knowing the situation.
Until now. Because as the title suggests, a new Nintendo Direct for Super Smash Bros Ultimate has been announced for this coming Thursday, and it promises to blow the lid off all manner of Smash Bros Ultimate reveals and inclusions. Here’s the tweet about it from Nintendo of America’s official Twitter account:

As well as similar tweets from their counterparts around the world:

In addition to a list of times for the event:

RegionTime
US (PT)7 am
US (ET)10 am
UK2 pm
France3 pm
Japan11 pm

As you can see, there’s no denying this is gonna be a big deal. It’s being talked about everywhere, it’s getting a ton of press, and it’s got 40 minutes to fill with Super Smash Bros Ultimate announcements and reveals. That means the likelihood of at least two or more characters being revealed for the game is extremely high, and given the situation (last Direct before launch), even means it’s possible we’ll see every single remaining character announced as well.

And that means it’s judgement day for the ‘grinch leak’. Will Banjo-Kazooie get its protagonists as newcomers? Will Mach Rider make his Smash debut?

If so, then the leak was probably legit, and we can add it to the ‘actual leaks’ list along with the Paper Mario and Pokémon ones of years past. However, if no one like this does get revealed (or worse, they’re revealed as Assist Trophies or background characters), then we consider it dead, and the whole affair a complete waste of time and effort.

It’s all to play for, and it’s this Nintendo Direct that’ll be the deciding factor. Let’s see what Thursday brings!

More Super Mario Odyssey Concept Art Reveals Early Designs for Cappy, NPCs, Enemies and More!

A couple of months ago, a couple of pages from a book called The Art of Super Mario Odyssey were posted online. These featured everything from an official Bowsette to a cartoony version of New Donk City, and gave a ton of interesting insights into the changes the game went through in its development.

Yet as interesting as that selection was, it turns out it was only the tip of the iceberg where ‘beta’ content and unused ideas was concerned. That’s because a Twitter user by the name of Akf̶a̧m̡ilyhom̴e̴ bought the book recently, and the pages he’s been posting online show even more interesting ideas from Odyssey’s development cycle. Like say, these early concepts for Cappy, showing even more possibilities for his design:

Early Cappy Designs

They’re pretty cute really, especially the crow like one in the bottom left and the penguin/mouse esques ones above it.

And it seems Cappy and the Bonnetors weren’t the only ones to get a design overhaul either. No, the citizens of Bubblaine (aka the Seaside Kingdom) went through a fair number of changes in their designs too, ranging from regal squids to Mario & Luigi Dream Team inspired sea snail people:

Bubblaine NPCs

Same goes for the New Donk City NPCs as well. Those guys went through literally hundreds of redesigns over the course of the game’s development, with some of the older variations taking a fair bit of inspiration from Stanley and other characters of the 8-bit arcade era.

New Donk City NPCs 1

New Donk City NPCs 2

Which us make us wonder whether the game may have worked out better had they stuck with the older variations. After all, the current citizens of Bubblaine look a bit plain all things considered, and the realistic humans in New Donk City seem extremely jarring in a Mario game like this. Perhaps the older ones would have fit the universe better, and given the game even more charm?

It’s hard to tell. Regardless though, what definitely would have worked better are the characters in this artwork:

Doki Doki Panic References

Why?

Because they seem to be inspired by the original cast for Doki Doki Panic, aka the game that became Super Mario Bros 2. To see them in Odyssey would have been a fantastic call back to the 80s, and nicely tied Doki Doki Panic into the Mario universe, confirming its status as a Mario title in all but name.

Still, I guess the theme for the world worked against that idea. Remember, Odyssey’s desert world isn’t your typical Mario desert world, it’s a Central American one with a Day of the Dead style populace. The Arabian characters wouldn’t have fit well in this area, and given the choice between ‘Mexico’ and ‘Middle East’ for their desert region’s inspiration, it’s likely Nintendo just thought the former made for a more interesting level.

But there’s no reason certain other ideas shown in this book couldn’t have been used in the game. Like these cats, which were clearly meant to be a part of New Donk City’s landscape at some point in development:

Cats

Bit disappointing to see those didn’t make it in really. Dogs are already present in many kingdoms (and the Odyssey itself in the postgame), so a few cats in the alleys of New Donk City wouldn’t have gone amiss here. Nor would Bowser’s trenchcoated design for the same area:

Bowser in Trenchcoat

Indeed, can you imagine if Bowser had a different design for each world? That would have been a great idea to include here, and (given Peach’s tendency to dress for each kingdom she visits in her postgame tour with Tiara), would have worked wonders for the globetrotting aesthetic this game was going for. Imagine Bowser wearing samurai armour in his own kingdom, or dressing like a Communist leader/Russian tsar in the Snow Kingdom! That would have been awesome.

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Has a New Super Smash Bros Ultimate Leak Revealed the Final Roster?

Edit: This is fake. View this article for the real final roster instead.

Given the game releases in about a month or so, it’s honestly a miracle that Super Smash Bros Ultimate hasn’t seen many real leaks yet. After all, every other major Nintendo game gets leaked. Pokémon games do, with every generation from Black and White onwards being dissected days or weeks before its release date. Same goes for Mario titles, with titles like Mario + Rabbids being leaked months beforehand.

In other words, it was all but guaranteed Smash Bros Ultimate would see some credible leaks. Yet for whatever reason… it didn’t. The game wasn’t revealed early, the ESRB didn’t leak anything like with the fourth game, hell, even the rumours about the title weren’t really credible or backed by any evidence.

But that may have now changed. Why? Because a recent post from a French Snapchat user appears to show some promotional material for the game, complete with a banner featuring the game’s entire roster! Here’s the picture if you haven’t seen it already:

Smash Leak Picture

As well as a more detailed version outlining who the new reveals may be:

Smash Leak Outlined

As you can see, it looks pretty credible for the most part. It’s blurry sure, but the presentation is done well, and the effort required to fake all this ‘merch’ is a fair bit beyond the usual piece of paper with names on it seen in previous leaks.

At first glance, it’s as convincing as you can get.

But is it all what it seems?

Well to be honest, we’re not all that sure. Yes, it’s definitely more well done than most leaks have been in the past, and faking the banners like this would certainly have required a bit more work than your standard dodgy screenshot on 4chan.

Yet at the same time, nothing here is beyond the capabilities of a normal fan. I mean, I could probably fake this if I knew Photoshop. I’d certainly be able to print out a giant banner and line it up in a cell phone photo, and a couple of runs through an image editor would probably tank the quality level enough to make it seem as blurry as the photo here does.

And I’m sure many others in the community could do likewise. Hell, someone with the skill level of Artsy Omni or whatever he’s called could probably do this in a matter of minutes.

Above: Like with the Rayman hoax for Smash Bros 4.

So the existence of the picture doesn’t really prove anything here. And the characters don’t help clear things up either.

Because while some of them genuinely do seem to be credible choices (Shadow the Hedgehog and Ken are pretty obvious choices for echo fighters, and Geno certainly has support in the fanbase), others seem rather out of left field. Like Mach Rider, who’s not been relevant in years and who (from what I remember) got rejected from previous Smash games for limited moveset potential. Same with Chorus Kids, who don’t really have a huge fanbase and mostly only seemed credible in the Smash Bros for 3DS/Wii U days.

Additionally, it also lacks characters people predicted may be in too. Like Incineroar or another generation 7 Pokémon, who’s been featured in virtually every other rumour and who seems to have a pretty solid chance of making it into the game.

So the roster choices are… interesting, and may not back up the legitimacy of this thing all that much.

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New Super Mario Odyssey Mod Adds Master Mode to the Game

Are you an expert Mario player? If so, by now you’ve probably played through every inch of Super Mario Odyssey on the Switch, having collected every Power Moon and outfit possible to get in the game.

And unfortunately (like with most Nintendo games), there isn’t exactly much to challenge your skills at that point. Oh sure, you could play Luigi’s Balloon World or the high score games, but even those will fall pretty quickly for someone who’s decent at the game.

However, it seems this new mod may have the answer! Why? Because it actually adds a special ‘Superstar’ mode to the game, with the intention of creating something akin to a Master Quest for the original title. Here’s a video showing it in action:

As you can see, it’s a pretty brutal challenge. You’ve got more enemies everywhere, reconfigured level layouts with trickier jumps and obstacles, and heck, even the bosses are a bit more of a challenge now (thanks to their altered arenas and patterns).

And it doesn’t end there either. Nope, as mod creator SKELUX shows off in another video, the original levels have also been expanded in size and complexity too. Like with the Ruined Kingdom, which now has an actual tower to climb to reach the Ruined Dragon boss:

As well as (likely) quite a few other levels too. Plus a few other things, since it’s the creator of Super Mario Star Road we’re talking about here, and the kind of the guy with enough programming skill to do basically anything with any engine he takes on.

So if you’re interested in playing a harder version of the game, check it out. It’s gonna be great!