Aonuma Tried to Give Link a Gender Neutral Design?

As we likely all know by now, Link will be male in The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. There are no options related to this, no extra playable characters… it is only possible for Link to be male in this game.

But did you know Aonuma was going for a more ‘gender neutral’ design for him in this game? Yes really. Here’s what he said on the matter in an interview with TIME magazine:

Back during the Ocarina of Time days, I wanted Link to be gender neutral. I wanted the player to think ‘Maybe Link is a boy or a girl.’ If you saw Link as a guy, he’d have more of a feminine touch. Or vice versa, if you related to Link as a girl, it was with more of a masculine aspect. I really wanted the designer to encompass more of a gender-neutral figure. So I’ve always thought that for either female or male players, I wanted them to be able to relate to Link.

During the development of Twilight Princess, I went a different route and created a version of Link that was more masculine. But after Twilight Princess I went back to the drawing board and decided Link should be a more gender-neutral character. Hence I created the version of Link that you see in Breath of the Wild. As far as gender goes, Link is definitely a male, but I wanted to create a character where anybody would be able to relate to the character. So that’s why I think the rumor went around that Link could be a female. Because maybe the users were able to relate in that way.

Link with a bow and arrow

So while Link is definitely male, he’s designed in a way to appeal to players of both genders. Hopefully that stops a bit more of the criticism towards the lack of gender options in the game.


Next Link May Not Be a Girl, But He’s Androgynous by Design – TIME

Is a Fake Nintendo Employee Taking Down Fan Works?

Recently, there has been a bit of an increase in Nintendo fan works being removed from file hosting sites via DMCA notices. These notices are attributed to someone calling themselves ‘Jason Allen’, and have been responsible for the take downs of one Super Mario Fusion Revival demo, Ocarina of Time 2D, many Mario Kart custom tracks and the Dolphin emulator.

But if renowned Super Mario 64 hacker Kaze Emanuar is to be believed, the person taking down all these recent fan works might not be a Nintendo employee at all! Instead, they could just be a bored troll using fake claims to make sites like Mediafire and Dropbox remove works that Nintendo themselves may not have any real problems with.
Here’s the video where he discusses the situation:

Didn’t want to watch it? Want a bit more detail about what’s going on? If so, it seems to be as follows.

Basically, an unknown internet user is using the email address and name of a person called Jason Allen, and pretending that they’re a Nintendo lawyer with the rights to remove works based on Nintendo’s IPs.

However, there are some interesting things wrong here.

Firstly, the imposter doesn’t seem to be very good at proof reading his fake legal demands. How do we know that? Because previous attempts have actually had him misspelling the word ‘Nintendo’ as ‘Nintento’. That’s either a very sloppy, careless mistake for a lawyer or a clear sign of someone rushing to fill in the fields and not giving a toss about all the ridiculous errors he’s making in the process.

It also quite clearly goes against what Nintendo said about fan projects. Remember, back in 2010, Iwata said he didn’t want to ‘criminalise’ fans:

Of course, we cannot say that we can give tacit approval to any and all the activities which threaten our intellectual properties. But on the other hand, it would not be appropriate if we treated people who did something based on affection for Nintendo, as criminals. It is true that some expressions are detrimental enough to diminish the dignity of our intellectual properties, and others destroy our intellectual properties’ world-views by connecting them with something not based on fact. We think one of the criteria for deciding how to respond is whether the expression in question socially diminishes the dignity or value of our intellectual properties or not. Of course, it is very hard to have a blanket standard as this problem involves many complex elements that are very difficult to judge.

In response to a question on Nintendo’s attitude towards fan projects. Yet this Jason Allen guy is ruthlessly trying to take down everything even remotely Nintendo related.

People have reported custom Mario Kart tracks and characters being removed. Fan games being removed. Heck, we’ve even seen cases where music based on Undertale (which Nintendo doesn’t own) is being taken down by this guy!.

This all points to someone trying to mess around with video game fans, not a legitimate lawyer who knows what they’re doing.

He also doesn’t identify the copyrighted work which is being infringed upon. Another important aspect of a legitimate DMCA notice which is being left out here.

But most importantly, Jason Allen does not work at Nintendo any more.

Edit: It’s likely the Jason Allen referred to is the one below:

He also doesn’t have anything to do with Nintendo any more. His profile says he’s worked as an Internet Specialist in Global Product and Cyber Security, but he hasn’t been there since October 2015. It’s also unknown whether this role includes sending take down notices for copyright infringement related events.

So whoever is taking down these projects is using the name of an ex Nintendo employee who never actually worked in their legal department, misspelling the company name and sending floods of notices about works that either Nintendo doesn’t care about or that are associated with IPs not actually owned by Nintendo.

He’s also using fake information on his DMCA notices, which is very legally questionable in of itself.

Either way, this is likely a copyright troll that’s going around and taking down Nintendo fan works under false pretences. And its quite possible that this includes most of the items on my list of Nintendo Fan Works Shut Down by Nintendo. Nintendo isn’t killing as many fan projects as people believe, a copyright troll impersonating an ex Nintendo employee is.

More Information

Jason Allen Nintendo bogus DMCA claim – CapnCoconuts on Pastebin

A New Kind of Mario Game is Coming in a Year or Two?

It’s only been three years since Super Mario 3D World, but it seems like we’re already about to see the next Mario platformer! Here’s Shigeru Miyamoto’s comment about a new Mario game, straight from a recent IGN interview:

we’re always challenging ourselves to create something new, so hopefully you’ll see a new kind of Mario in about a year or two.

Maybe next E3 we’ll be able to share something.

So what is this ‘new kind of Mario’? Well, the Nintendo fanbase has been kind of split in regards to that question.

On the one hand, some people are thinking it might be something akin to a Mario 64 style 3D platformer. You know, more open levels with multiple stars to collect in any order, except with shiny HD graphics. Which makes sense; there’s certainly demand for that sort of game now.

However, it’s not the only possibility. For example, could this mean another genre hybrid instead? Like a Mario First Person Shooter or a Mario Action Adventure akin to the Zelda series? Maybe, it’d certainly be a ‘new kind of Mario’.

It’s also quite possible that it could refer to the content or tone instead. Perhaps its an ultra violent M rated Mario title. That’d be pretty original, at least for an official Nintendo game. Or maybe it just drops most of the current characters (Peach, Bowser, traditional enemies, Toads) and introduces a whole new setting. Imagine seeing Mario get a full blown dark reboot!

Above: Or maybe like that.

Or it could just mean a few new powrups or stuff. After all, one of Miyamoto’s previous quotes about the future of Mario was:

Who knows what Mario will look like in the future? Maybe he’ll wear metallic clothes!

And lo and behold, five years later we got Metal Mario:

Sm64 metal mario

So anything could happen here. Anything from a full blown Mario reboot to an extra power up or two in a traditional Mario platformer.

But what do you think? What is this ‘new kind of Mario’ that Miyamoto is referring to?


E3 2016: Nintendo: ‘A New Kind of Mario’ Is Coming – IGN

Monolith Soft Working on Breath of the Wild?

With The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild having such a gigantic overworld, there have been quite a few comparisons to Xenoblade and its sequel.

But did you know that staff from Monolith Soft are actually working on the new Zelda game? Yes, the folks behind Xenoblae Chronicles X are indeed helping the Zelda team put together Breath of the Wild, and make it as good as can possibly be! Here’s Shigeru Miyamoto’s quote about it from a recent Game Informer interview:

Yes they are involved in this Zelda. People from Tokyo and Kyoto are working together on this. There is a team of over 100 [from Monolith] helping work on this project, and their work has really been helpful

So yeah, the team with experience of making large, open world games is indeed helping out with this one too. Hopefully that means Breath of the Wild will learn some valuable lessons from the Xenoblade series!


Monolith Is Helping Work On The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild – Game Informer

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild; Unreleased E3 Trailer!

Remember the awesome trailer we got for The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild? The one that got over a hundred thousand likes on Youtube and made it the most popular game of the whole event? That was pretty amazing, right?

Well, apparently that wasn’t the only trailer Nintendo made for the game. Oh no, they also showed a different trailer to people actually at E3! So to get everyone even more excited for the game, here’s that previously unshown trailer. The full length, expanded version of the E3 trailer that actual attendees got to see:

Above: Thanks to FinnGamer for uploading this!

It almost makes you wonder why this version wasn’t posted on their Youtube channel, eh? The social media hype for the game could have been increased even more if they did post it!


Zelda: Breath of the Wild Unreleased E3 Trailer – Reddit