As you likely know, the final mission in Super Mario Odyssey’s Snow Kingdom is known as the Bound Bowl Grand Prix. This is a racing mini game where players have to bound around an icy track in order to win a Multi-Moon, with extra prices being available for harder variants. It’s an interesting challenge, and a moderately fun mini game whose high scores can also be shared online.
However, as it turns out, that mini game isn’t all the track can used for!
Oh no, thanks to the work of a modder called WexosMK on YouTube, it can now also be used for Mario Kart races too! That’s because as the video below clearly shows, the track has now been ported over to Mario Kart 8 on Wii U, complete with everything present in the Mario Odyssey original:
And what’s more, it works really well too. Oh sure, it doesn’t have the most complex layout (that’d probably be the Iceburn Circuit) and it’s not super gimmicky (like say, Mount Wario), but it’s a nice solid track design that’s plenty wide enough for karts and works really well in Mario Kart 8’s physics engine.
Which then makes us wonder:
What else from Super Mario Odyssey could work as a Mario Kart track?
New Donk City? Tostarena Town? Steam Gardens?
Maybe even a new version of Bowser’s Castle based on the one from Odyssey?
All of those would be fantastic ideas, and all could become likely now models are being ripped from Super Mario Odyssey and imported into games like Mario Kart 8. The possibilities really are endless, and the list of cool custom tracks still to come will likely just grow and grow.
So yeah, check out the track if you’re interested, and download it from the Mario Kart 8 custom track wiki too.
It’s well worth it!
Snowline Circuit (Mario Kart 8 Custom Track Wiki)
Unlike past games in the series, getting arrows in the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild is not always the easiest thing in the world. Enemies don’t drop them unless they’ve got a bow, grass and bushes don’t hold them like in past games, and while shops do sell them, their supplies are usually limited, and cap off at around the 200 mark or so.
However, help is now at hand. Why? Because thanks to the Breath of the Wild speedrunning Discord, a new way to farm arrows has been found in the game. What’s more, it’s both trivially easy to pull off and entirely free too!
Here’s how you can pull it off:
Firstly, make sure you’ve got the following items nearby:
- A multishot bow, like a Lynel one
- At least one arrow.
- A source of fire. This should ideally be either a campfire or a cooking pot
- Something arrows would get stuck in, like a tree or wooden object
Once that’s set up, you then need to take out your bow, and dip the arrow in the fire. Do that, and then shoot the thing at the tree.
This will cause the arrow to get stuck in the tree. However, as it turns out…
You don’t just get one arrow back from it. Nope, because your bow shot multiple arrows, you get as many arrows back as you shot out. This is a pretty damn good exchange rate, especially if your bow can shoot 5 arrows at once like some of the special Lynel ones can!
And it all works because Breath of the Wild does one little thing for player convenience. Namely…
It only uses one arrow per shot, regardless of how many your bow supposedly fires. So, while you only use up one arrow while shooting the tree, the game gives you back up to 5 arrows when you go and pick them up afterwards. It’s basically an infinite source of ammunition.
Plus, it’s quick too. In my video of the trick (shown below), I managed to go from 36 arrows all the way to 105 arrows in merely 2 minutes. Hence if you’re got about 15 minutes to spare (as well as a few disposable bows to use), you can easily make it all the way up to the 999-arrow cap without batting an eyelid.
Try it out if you can. It’s much easier on your wallet to going to all those Hyrulian shops!
Late last year, Nintendo released an interesting book to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Zelda series. Named The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Master Works, the book was meant to be a celebration of the game and series as a whole, with artwork for numerous characters, enemies and places throughout the game.
However, as it turns out, that’s not all the book has in store. It’s not merely a collection of official art for Breath of the Wild characters.
Nope, it has exclusive concept art for things from the game’s development too! From older versions of characters to unused Divine Beasts and enemies, the book is crammed with interesting details about the game you’d never know otherwise.
And unfortunately, there’s no word on if it’ll be translated into English. As a result, it’s unknown when non Japanese fans will be able to see this artwork, or if they’ll ever be able to see it at all.
Well, until now that is. Because thanks to certain sources online, we’ve got a hold of much of this new concept art and have been looking through it for the best details on Breath of the Wild’s development and lore. So, in this article, we’ll be looking at some of these designs, and seeing exactly how different Breath of the Wild could have been had Nintendo not gone down their current route.
Starting with the most well-known enemy in the game.
Yep, the Guardians from Breath of the Wild didn’t exactly start out with their current design. Nope, way before their reveal trailer (the one which also showed Link in his Champion’s Tunic outfit), the enemies had some very different designs laid out by Nintendo. Such as these ones, which should look awfully familiar to die hard Zelda fans.
Yeah, it’s the one from the Silent Realms in Skyward Sword. Seems like the Breath of the Wild ones really were originally meant to resemble their older counterparts here.
And that’s not all. Oh no, other artwork on the pages shows some very unusual designs for the mechanical monsters. Like a much more organic looking crab creature, or a Grim Reaper like revenant from the depths of hell:
Indeed, it seems like most of the original plans didn’t have the robot aspect at all, and were going for much of a darker feel for Breath of the Wild in general. Wonder what version of the game was going to be like anyway?
2. Divine Beasts
Ah well, there’s a topic for a day. Because as you’d expect, the Guardians weren’t the only fundamental part of Breath of the Wild’s lore that changed during its development. No, the Divine Beasts also changed a bit in development too.
For instance, you know how at the moment, we’ve got Divine Beasts based on an elephant (Vah Ruta), a salamander (Vah Rudaniana), a bird (Vah Medoh) and a camel (Vah Nabooris)?
Well it seems those weren’t the only ones planned for the game, with Divine Beasts based on a variety of other animals being considered as well. Have a look at some of them from here:
As you can see, there are quite a few interesting beasts there. There’s a Manta Ray that can swim through the oceans. A giant enemy crab that was presumably meant to stand in for Vah Rudania at some point.
And heck, even things like a jellyfish or dinosaur themed Divine Beast. When it comes to finding animals to represent as giant mechs, Nintendo certainly left no possibility untouched here!
But the most interesting one of the lot isn’t one of the unknown ones. No, it’s actually the whale themed beast shown in the bottom right of the picture.
Why is that? Because as it turns out, the game developers actually left in references to it in the game, with the tech labs having models of the unused Divine Beast hanging from the ceiling:
Which in turn implies the developers cut it from the game quite far into development. And that may answer a question I’ve always had about Breath of the Wild. Namely… why are the beach areas so empty?
Think about it. When was the last time you had to visit a beach like area in Breath of the Wild? You know, as part of the main story rather than a sidequest or optional shrine?
The answer is probably never, since even Lurelin Village has very little to do in it.
However, if a Divine Beast was originally meant to be located there (which the whale, jellyfish and manta ray ones likely were), that would have given the region some purpose, and tied it to the story of Hyrule overall. Heck, maybe Lurelin Village may have even once had its own Champion!
Or maybe not. It’s hard to tell at this point.
Still, moving on…
3. Hyrule Castle
To a non ‘beta’ related topic also found in the book. Because you see, as neat as the beta content actually is, that’s not the only thing the book gives away details on. Nope, it actually includes a fair bit of backstory too, with pictures showing scenes that were never available in the game itself.
And this includes what Hyrule Castle looked like before the Calamity. There’s a picture of Castle Town as it was in peacetime, looking rather like the ones in Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess:
Plus a few other pictures showing the castle itself in all its majestic glory. Damn, that place looked absolutely incredible in its prime, didn’t it?
It really does make us want to see a full game set in this time period, with Link exploring a version of Hyrule right at its prime. Ah well, maybe it’ll happen later in the Switch’s lifespan!
4. The Horse God
Either way, back to early development concepts now, this time with a character you’d never expect to see change all that much. Yep, as the subtitle suggests, Horse God Malayna also went through a few redesigns in the making of the game too.
Like how in this picture he resembles a Lynel rather than a skeletal fairy:
Which makes me wonder…
Was Malayna always meant to be a good guy?
Cause with his creepy design and mannerisms, he’s also struck me as the sort of character you could almost see as a bonus boss. Heck, I almost expected him to fight Link after realising the latter killed his own horse!
And the Lynel like designs just strengthen those suspicions. Perhaps he was meant to be a Lynel leader instead of a fairy, or the leader of the group who’d tell them to stop attacking Link after being bested in battle. You just have to wonder, don’t you?
Still, enough about Malayna for now. Cause there are quite a few other characters who went through radical redesigns as well…
5. King Dorophan
Like the Zora King. In his early concept art, we actually get to see him as a young adult, complete with a figure that bears a lot of resemblance to his son Prince Sidon:
So, if you’re wondering where Sidon got his looks from, well wonder no more. Seems his dad was a lot cooler looking in his own youth too!
However, not all characters changed as much as the Horse God or the Guardians. No, some like the Akkala Tech Lab’s Robbie mostly kept the same design throughout the game’s development.
Or at least in Robbie’s case, they kept most of their design throughout development. Because his original hairstyles…
Look absolutely and utterly ridiculous. He’s got an afro in one of them, he’s got a fireball for hair in another…
And then he’s got the one at the bottom, which can best be described as ‘a winged hairdo struck by lightning’. Seriously, just look at these early designs. The hairstyles look so ridiculously silly:
They’re certainly appropriate for the ‘mad scientist’ vibe he’s going for in game, but yeah, you can kind of tell why they went with the hairstyle they did here. It’s just impossible to take a character seriously if their hair looks this strange!
And talking of the Sheikah, they too went through a fair few designs in development as well. For instance, here’s one dressed like Sheik from Ocarina of Time:
As well as another picture showing early concepts for the Sheikah in general. Seems they didn’t go for the rural Japan aesthetic first of all, and actually considered all manner of different clothing styles for the tribe before settling on what they had:
As you may have noticed, updates have been pretty slow here on Gaming Reinvented.
But don’t panic, there is a reason for this.
Namely, I’m redesigning the entire website. Why? Well to be honest, there are two reasons.
Firstly, the existing site doesn’t really work for its purpose at the moment. It’s meant to be a service, yet currently feels more like a traditional blog. And that’s fine if you’re running a blog.
But I’m not running one. I’m running a service where people are meant to post their own content. It’s basically a social media type site for writers, in the guise of a news site.
And the current design means people don’t understand this. They don’t realise they can post their own articles or content, they keep asking me to post them as if guest blogs were still relevant and gaming sites require professional staff.
So that’s one reason I’m redesigning the site. To encourage people to use it in the way it’s meant to be used, not as yet another blog they have to send messages to about guest posts and staff writer positions.
Reason number 2 on the other hand… well that’s a bit philosophical. Basically, as I realised a few months or so ago, traditional content sites don’t really work anymore. Why is this? Because society has moved on. Instead of using traditional desktop computers, people use smartphones to access the internet through most of their day.
However, most existing sites don’t get this, and as a result, they’re stuck in the desktop era.
And that’s a huge issue. Put simply, the workflow required for old school news sites and platforms doesn’t work in this new world.
Think about it. How convenient is it to post an article on mobile?
On like, any CMS you can think of?
Not very. This means sites like Medium (and traditional CMS systems like WordPress and Drupal) lose out whenever audiences on their phones.
Yet it’s not just limited to them either. No, the same goes for news reporting too. Want to cover a Nintendo Direct? Yeah, good luck doing that on an iPad, since taking and uploading screenshots is hell and videos are even worse. Add glacial upload speeds, fiddly buttons in website interfaces and awkward plugins telling you how hard to read your work is, and things just become a complete nightmare.
But we want to fix this. We want a world where reporting the news is super simple, lightning fast and convenient for everyone. One where authors can write a beautiful story on the bus back from work without worrying that their 3G connection will fail while they’re doing so. Where users can read articles even while offline. Where modern, futuristic looking articles can be written and posted without the backing of a high-tech development team and thousands of dollars in media production skills.
Hence that’s why we’re redesigning Gaming Reinvented right now. Because in today’s smartphone era, the competition just isn’t good enough.