Tag Archives: zelda

Guy Builds Incredible Replica Of Link To The Past In Dragon Quest Builders 2

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is one of the most recognizable games of all time, with an iconic overworld that players become intimately familiar with during their travels as the Hero of Time. A prolific creator recently took a stab at recreating Hyrule in the blocky anime style of Dragon Quest Builders, with absolutely beautiful results.

For two years, BenXC has regularly uploaded YouTube videos showcasing his Dragon Quest Builders projects, which range from relatively simple builds like hotels and bridges to more detailed ones like the treehouse from The Simpsons. A little while back, BenXC previewed work on a much larger project to recreate the overworld of A Link to the Past, followed by detailed looks at his work on the Eastern Palace and Death Mountain. Now, seven months later, he’s ready to unveil the entire thing.

According to the above video, BenXC spent 150 hours faithfully constructing the landmarks and monuments of Hyrule in Dragon Quest Builders 2. Fans of A Link to the Past will immediately recognize some of its most iconic locations, like Hyrule Castle and the Lost Woods. BenXC says that the venture includes over 300,000 blocks, not to mention the 2,500 trees he had to plant by hand. It’s an incredibly detailed project that adds a brand new look to the classic world of A Link to the Past.

The coolest thing about games like Dragon Quest Builders, Minecraft, and Mario Maker are the tools they give users to flex their creative muscles. This often results in folks transplanting completely different games into these spaces, giving us the opportunity to view classics with a new coat of paint. Interested players can check out BenXC’s version of A Link to the Past’s Hyrule for themselves by using the following Island ID: npyrd8ZJVM. Happy exploring!

Source: Kotaku.com

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening: The Kotaku Review

The best feeling you can possibly feel while playing a video game is the act of swinging a sword in Zelda. I came to this conclusion recently, while playing the new remake of Link’s Awakening and trying to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes me love Zelda games so much. The answer, I think, is the way Link swings his sword.

Just look:

Is there anything more delightful, more palpably satisfying? The developers at Nintendo have always understood that a video game is only as good as its verbs—its actions—and they’ve always endeavored to make those actions induce as much joy as possible. Over the course of this playthrough of Link’s Awakening, I swung that sword thousands of times, and it never failed to bring me a jolt of happiness as it connected. Look at the way the blade cuts through the air, leaving an arc that almost looks like lightning. Watch how that poor Moblin staggers and flashes a satisfying shade of red. You can’t hear it in a gif, but it sounds delicious, too—an empty whiff when you miss, but a satisfying crunch when you hit. If you told me I could only perform one video game action for the rest of my life, Link’s sword swinging would at least be in the top three. Link’s jumping—not common in Zelda games, but brilliant in Link’s Awakening—might be up there, too.

You know what? Everything you can do in this game feels pretty damn good.

This remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, out for Switch on Friday, is a near 1:1 recreation of the 1993 Game Boy game. At the time of its original release, Link’s Awakening was just the fourth game in the Zelda series, a line of games in which you, as a floppy-capped, pointy-eared boy named Link, solve puzzles, fight monsters, and save princesses. Link’s Awakening was a strange game but a wonderful one, and people still rank it among the best entries in a series full of excellent games. Its music, dungeon design, and light but melancholy story have always made it stand out.

Many people coming to this remake will know of it already and want to know how it’s different. Its structure has not changed, but its aesthetics and the conveniences it affords players have.

For the remake, the developers at Grezzo and Nintendo have re-designed every screen in the world, replacing the old sprites with beautiful painted 3D tableaus that make it feel like you’re looking down on a toy set. The old MIDI soundtrack has transformed into a flowing orchestra, full of woodwinds and choruses. The characters and puzzles remain untouched, but they look very different.

There are a few other key differences between the original and this remake. First and foremost, you no longer have to waste time juggling items. Every Zelda game gives you a stable of go-to gadgets for fighting monsters and solving puzzles, so it’s helpful when you can access as many as possible at once. The Game Boy version of Link’s Awakening was limited by the system’s two action buttons, A and B, and you had to go into the menu and assign an item to one of those buttons every time you wanted to use it. This included the sword, shield, and even the Power Bracelet, an item that let you pick up rocks, bottles, and other heavy objects. If you wanted to, say, lift a rock and throw it at an enemy, you’d need to open your inventory, select the Power Bracelet, swap it in with one of your equipped items, and then press that button next to the rock. It wasn’t hard to get used to this system, but it was tedious.

Fortunately, the Switch has a lot more buttons than the Game Boy, and the designers of the Link’s Awakening remake have taken advantage. Your sword and shield now have dedicated buttons, as do the Pegasus Boots, an item you’ll get early in the game that lets Link dash at super-speed. You no longer have to equip the Power Bracelet to pick up rocks. You just have to own it. These changes might sound minor, but they make a huge difference, and this version of Link’s Awakening feels like it belongs in 2019.

The other big difference is the addition of a side feature—Chamber Dungeons—which is boring and tedious. It’s an optional mode in which you can take rooms from dungeons you’ve already beaten and rearrange them using layouts provided by the Zelda stalwart Dampé the gravedigger. Unless you enjoy playing through the same rooms over and over again, it’s just a big waste of time. (Read more about Chamber Dungeons here.)

There are a handful of smaller tweaks, too. You can save and then re-load the game from anywhere. You can catch fairies in bottles. The fast travel warp points are more frequent and easier to use. Unlike the Game Boy version, Link’s Awakening on Switch has a few notable framerate issues. While walking around the overworld—which, rather than a grid of single-screen rooms, is now a continuous map—I ran into some choppiness. (I played the game entirely in handheld mode.)

What hasn’t changed is everything that made Link’s Awakening work so well in 1993, all of which holds up today: the locations, the puzzles, and most importantly, the moment-to-moment satisfaction of smacking slimes in the face with a boomerang.

Some quick history. Back in 1987, The Legend of Zelda blew people away with its promise of what an open-world video game could look like. It encouraged exploration and instilled a feeling of adventure unlike anything we’d seen on the NES before, but it was very shallow, like a blueprint for what Zelda could look like in the future. Its sequel, the black sheep Zelda II: Adventure of Link, experimented with sidescrolling action to mixed results. It wasn’t until 1991 that the Zelda formula first emerged with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the game that established conventions that would be used for many years to come.

Like the original Zelda, Link to the Past dropped you into an open world with little but your wits and the sword in your hand, but unlike the first game’s flat layouts and simple topography, Link to the Past was dense. Different areas of the world had different themes, almost personalities, like the swampy Misery Mire and the chilly Kakariko Village. Rather than ask you to walk through a series of indistinguishable flat maps as the NES game did, Link to the Past was full of elaborate mazes and tangled designs. The world bulged with secrets, and around every corner you’d find a hidden chest or cracked wall to blow up. Your options would be limited to a few areas at first, and over time, as you acquired more items—the Power Gloves, the flippers, the hookshot—you’d be able to access more and more of the world. Backtracking to old areas would reward you with cool stuff, like item upgrades and pieces of heart.

Link’s Awakening started off as an experiment to remake the Link to the Past on the Game Boy, according to an interview with the game’s original developers. Soon it had evolved into something much weirder. Taking influences from sources ranging from Mario to Twin Peaks, the developers filled their world with quirky characters and a variety of locations: magically enhanced forests, cactus-infested deserts, mazes full of bushes and deadly holes.

The game starts off at some indeterminate point in Link’s life. Our hero is sailing through a nasty storm when suddenly everything goes dark. He winds up on a beach, where he’s rescued and taken to safety by a girl named Marin who has a beautiful voice and a magnetic appeal to cute animals, like a chibi Disney princess. Turns out that Link is on a mysterious island called Koholint that’s full of strange people, talking animals, and a whole lot of references to Nintendo’s Super Mario series. A talking owl sends Link on a mission to go wake up the Wind Fish, a godlike creature who lives in a giant egg in the center of the island. Soon he’s off on a journey to go find eight instruments in eight dungeons across the world.

Like Link to the Past’s Hyrule, the world of Link’s Awakening is dense and full of mysteries. It starts off feeling constrained, limiting you to a handful of areas thanks to obstacles like heavy rocks and bottomless pits. The more you play, the more you’ll break down those barriers. By the time you’ve hit your stride and explored enough of the map to see how it all fits together, you may appreciate its intricacy, as if you’ve just cracked open a mechanical watch and learned what makes it tick. In the Game Boy version, the world map was broken up into 256 screens, most of which had their own gimmicks or secrets. The Switch version links them together in one large world map. Both styles are appealing, but the latter is easier to get around, and it’s a delight to see how it all weaves together.

Link’s Awakening’s eight dungeons each follow a traditional pattern, blending puzzles with navigational challenges and obstacles that you’ll need that dungeon’s item to overcome. One puzzle might task you with killing three enemies in the right order; another might involve maneuvering a floating block until it fills every gap in the floor. None of these challenges or puzzles are particularly complicated. Usually they’re just subversive enough to stymie the first solution you think of, but the second will work. Still, completing them is usually satisfying, and the themes grow more interesting as you go. The seventh, Eagle’s Tower, has one of the more memorable gimmicks of any Zelda dungeon to date. The optional ninth Color Dungeon, added for the Game Boy Color version of the game in 1998 and retained for this Switch remake, is actually the weakest of them all, which may come as a disappointment to anyone who played the original and was hoping for something brand new.

And there is nothing brand new to the main adventure here. Link’s Awakening is a beautiful recreation of a legendary game, but it doesn’t have much to offer to players who already know the ins and outs of Koholint Island. For newcomers, or people who played Link’s Awakening two decades ago and can’t remember exactly how to finish the trading quest or track down that damn singing frog, this is a worthy remake and a must-play Zelda game.

You may recall that two years ago, Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, an all-time great that revitalized the iconic series. The company’s latest Zelda game is so radically different that they basically feel like different genres, but when taken together, they help explain what makes The Legend of Zelda so special. On one end of the spectrum, there’s the vastness of a polished, beautiful open world full of strange places to explore; on the other, there’s the density of an island packed with secrets. If the two games have one thing in common, and offer one reason to keep playing Zelda all these years later, it’s this: They both make it feel pretty damn incredible to swing a sword.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Link’s Awakening Remake Is A Complete Graphical Overhaul

I thought the original The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening looked great on my Game Boy when I was a kid, but they Game Boy had nothing on the graphical capabilities of the Nintendo Switch. In this side-by-side comparison video showing the Switch and the Game Boy Color versions, you can observe the gorgeous details in the upcoming Link’s Awakening remake. Houses in the starting area are stuffed with tiny details, like flowers, clay teapots and framed photos of the characters who live in them. Plain brown tables now have wood grain, and dungeon floors are outfitted with subtle stone detailing. The leaves on the trees in the Mysterious Forest reflect the sunlight, and the water in small pools ripples to suggest depth. All in all, Link’s Awakening looks damn good on Switch.

Source: Kotaku.com

Zelda: Link’s Awakening’s Chamber Dungeons Are A Big Disappointment

The appeal of a Zelda dungeon is in its intricacy. A good dungeon starts off feeling overwhelming, full of buttons and doors and strange obstacles. As you make progress, solving puzzles and acquiring items, it all slowly begins to make sense. You get a complete understanding of how the passages flow and the rooms all weave together, as if you’ve just solved a tough math problem or learned the secret behind a magician’s trick.

The upcoming remake of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, which launches for Switch on September 20, includes a new optional feature called Chamber Dungeons that lets you design your own versions of Zelda dungeons. In theory, this should let you recreate the elegance of Nintendo’s design, like Mario Maker does for its platformers. In reality, however, these Chamber Dungeons are boring and tedious, a big glaring wart on an otherwise fantastic game.

Here’s how they work. After you’ve played Link’s Awakening for a few hours, you’ll run into Dampé the Gravedigger, a recurring Zelda character who in this game is obsessed with watching Link complete dungeons. Every time you beat one of the game’s nine standard dungeons, Dampé will unlock all of that dungeon’s rooms for his Chamber Dungeon creator. He’ll give you challenges to arrange those rooms into your own unique dungeons, each following a specific set of guidelines or restrictions.

The rules are fairly straightforward. Every dungeon needs an entrance room and a boss room. It needs an even number of stairways. The number of locked doors needs to be equal to or fewer than the number of chests. You can’t choose what’s in these chests, only whether or not you’re placing a room with a chest in it. The final chest you open when you’re adventuring in a dungeon will always be the boss key. The other chests will either contain keys (if there are locked doors) or rupees (if there aren’t). All of the rooms need to be accessible in some way, and almost all of them are based on dungeon rooms that you’ve beaten before. Some of Dampé’s challenges will give you character limitations, like “three hearts only” or “you can’t use a sword,” while others will offer design restrictions, like this early one:

A successful implementation of this challenge might look like this:

When you’re finished arranging a dungeon, you’ll have to go in and beat it, and that’s where the Chamber Dungeon mode becomes truly tedious. Because the bulk of rooms you can place are from dungeons you’ve already finished elsewhere in Link’s Awakening, completing a Chamber Dungeon means doing the same things you’ve already done, just in a different order. Having to defeat all of the hidden slimes to get a key or defeat a tough boxing mini-boss to move forward is far less fun when you’ve already done it. When you know exactly what’s coming next, it’s actively frustrating.

The nature of this mode means that each room has to be completely self-contained—after all, you can play them in any order—which makes them feel even more monotonous. There are no grand, interweaving puzzles or design tricks here. You’re just running from room to room, doing things you’ve already done before, all culminating in a boss fight you’ve already beaten. After a couple of challenges, I found myself starting to design each dungeon based not on what might feel smart or elegant but based on what would let me finish as fast as possible. They’re all so boring and easy that Dampé’s one-liner at the end of each completion makes for a terrible punchline.

This feels like a rudimentary, stripped-down version of what a Zelda Maker could look like, and the results are really bad. Fortunately, Chamber Dungeons are the only major flaw in this Link’s Awakening remake, which is a beautiful recreation of the Game Boy classic. We’ll have a full review next week.

Source: Kotaku.com

A New Bomb Trick Is Blowing Up Breath Of The Wild Speedrunning

The act of finishing a video game as quickly as possible, or speedrunning, is an iterative process that evolves quickly with the contributions of a large community. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has seen numerous updates to its speedrunning strategies in just two years, and the latest technique has the potential to be a massive step forward for players that gotta go fast.

Until now, Breath of the Wild speedrunning has revolved around two techniques: stasis launching and bullet time bounces, both of which utilize careful movement and physics manipulation to send Link soaring through the sky. The one drawback to these tools, however, is that their specific setups rely on using objects and enemies in the game world that, at times, don’t always cooperate like they should.

A new technique known as “bomb impact launches” opens up additional possibilities for speedy travel. According to Breath of the Wild speedrunner Zant, bomb impact launches were first demonstrated by Twitter user Satougashi020, whose original video showed the technique being used to launch Link into the air and quickly finish a shrine on September 5. After some experimentation, the speedrunning community realized that this trick could be used outside of shrines as well, giving them a powerful new tool to traverse the game’s huge open world.

“Up until this point in Breath of the Wild speedrunning, Link essentially had to rely on third parties to launch him around the world,” Zant explained in his own video. Stasis launching requires that Link find a nearby object, while bullet time bouncing required an enemy character. “But now that Link can simply pull out two bombs and fly across the map, we can take more direct routes than ever before between objectives,” he added.

The most consistent way to perform bomb impact launches is known as the “double backflip method.” First, the player needs to find something a little taller than Link that he can jump off in order to activate the slowdown that occurs when he pulls out his bow in midair. After lining up with the object and doing two backflips for consistent spacing, players then place a square bomb on the ground in front of Link.

Then, while still aiming, players need to walk forward and climb onto the item from which they plan to jump, with the square bomb situated behind them. After backflipping off this object and entering bullet time, players then need to drop a round bomb, timing it precisely so that it drops when the stamina bar is one-third empty.

At this point, quickly swapping to and detonating the square bomb will launch the round bomb, which will be sped up thanks to bullet time manipulation. If everything is done correctly, Link will be shot into the air by the round bomb, allowing him to glide to his next objective.

While bomb impact launches don’t travel the same distance as other tricks, they are much more convenient than both stasis launches and bullet time bounces because Link always has his bombs available for use. Speedrunners that skip directly to Hyrule Castle will likely stick with old techniques for their routes, but there’s definitely a place for bomb impact launches in runs that hit every main quest or complete all the dungeons. Further experimentation by the speedrunning community is sure to come up with tons of uses for this powerful trick.

“I seriously cannot understate the versatility of this trick,” Zant said. “We have more routing freedom than ever with this game, and I seriously can’t wait to see where it goes with speedrunning in the next year or so.”

Source: Kotaku.com

I Remember Every Single Detail Of The First Thirty Minutes Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Everything that anyone has ever liked about a Zelda game happens in its most perfect form in the first 30-minute setpiece of the 1993 Game Boy masterpiece The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, a beautiful screen-for-screen remake of which is coming out next month on Nintendo Switch. Listen to me go into extreme detail about the brilliant design of every screen layout in this hour-long video.

In an effort to challenge myself, I’ve been stepping in front of a camera every Wednesday afternoon with no idea what I’m going to say. This week, I recited the layouts of every screen in the first 45 minutes of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening from memory.

The inspiration behind this improvisation has its roots in a particular neurological condition I suffer. To summarize my suffering: I remember everything. It has not made me rich and it is seldom genuinely useful.

Usually, it goes like this: I’ll look at the date, and then I’ll accidentally remember deep childhood memories associated with that date. Basically, I’ve got a Facebook Memory Generator inside my skull.

This week’s instance of my freakish memory took me back to Saturday, August 21st, 1993, into a captain’s chair behind the driver’s seat of my dad’s 1990 Dodge Ram conversion van. My aunt had given me $20 behind my mom’s back. We were returning to my aunts’s house in Pottstown, Pennsylvania from the King of Prussia Mall, where, using that $20, I had just purchased The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening from Electronic’s Boutique.

The ride back to my aunts’s house took about 30 minutes, if I recall correctly. I had already read Nintendo Power’s feature on the game. My play performance was marvelous. I defeated the first boss and returned to the village right as my dad’s van pulled up in my aunts’s driveway. All thanks to my Handy Boy.

By 1993 I was already a Zelda veteran, though this first vertical slice of Link’s Awakening charmed and thrilled me like no game yet had. Later in my life I’d go on to design levels for triple-A video games. My levels were never very good, though maybe none of that would have ever happened without Link’s Awakening.

I rattle off about a billion and a half details in this video, and even though I just spent all day editing it down from its original 80-minute running time, the experience is already slipping back into the haze of my internal Facebook.

So I’ll leave you with this one detail that I feel beautifully sums up the appeal of good video game writing on a molecular level.

Link awakens in a bed. His saviors and caretakers are a man and his young daughter. They tell him to follow a road to the south to see if any of his belongings have washed up on the shore. We follow the road past three screens bursting with tiny yet charming details. On the final screen before we leave town, two young boys are throwing a ball. The ball’s flight path passes over the road, back and forth.

As we leave town, it’s likely we’ll walk beneath the ball as it flies.

On our way back into town with our trusty sword in hand, we pass the kids yet again. We follow the road north to a point where we must leave it, to enter the forest. In the forest, we get a key. We take the key back southward, through the village. The key will unlock the Tail Cave. In order to get to the Tail Cave, we have to leave town through the south exit. This means we pass the catch-playing kids for a third time.

We adventure east, off the road, away from the beach, and to the Tail Cave.

After enduring a cave full of puzzles, obtaining a powerful item that lets us jump, and defeating two visually exciting bosses, we emerge from the dark dungeon. We head back to the village. We enter through the south entrance.

As the screen scrolls upward to reveal the town, before even a single idle frame can transpire, before the catchy village music we’ve already started to love can begin to play, the ball-throwing kids lunge at us. Scary music plays. They tell us “Something’s wrong!” So Dungeon #1 has seamlessly connected to Dungeon #2’s pre-dungeon quest.

Link’s Awakening never loses this electric pacing. It is both a perfect video game and a perfect action video game design textbook.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening comes out on Switch on September 20th. I’ve seen the trailers. I’ve read that it’s geometrically the same game as the Game Boy original (and its Game Boy Color remake). In this video, I lay out my case for why getting the exact same game again is a wonderful thing in this case.

Also, I adore the new graphical style. So if you want to consider this video and post my personal review of the Switch version of Link’s Awakening, please do so.

And yes, in case you’re reading: Nintendo, please remake Link Between Worlds. It’s the third-best Zelda (after Link’s Awakening).

And yes, of course I’m saying that Landstalker is the best Zelda game.

By the way! If you personally liked, commented, and / or subscribed to our YouTube channel, that would definitely fuel my habit of making a lot more videos like this. I promise you might love it.

There’s even a playlist of all my other videos. Wow!

Source: Kotaku.com

Zelda Fans Protest, Smash PS4 Over Very Similar Chinese Game

Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.  

Open-world game Genshin Impact has been described as an anime Breath of the Wild. Some Zelda fans in China are not happy about it. At all.

The Chinese-developed RPG’s first gameplay footage was shown recently at the China Joy gaming expo.

As ZhugeEX and CCN report, the game has been called out for allegedly copying Breath of the Wild.

Via Twitter user Vivian.Ysy, here is a side-by-side comparison of in-game screenshots.

Image: Weibo

At China Joy, Zelda fans took photos of themselves holding their Switch consoles running Breath of the Wild flipping off the Genshin Impact display at the Sony booth. They’re upset that Sony would release such a similar-looking game.

“Despite this, we noted it was the most popular game at Sony China Joy booth with very long lines,” ZhugeEX tells Kotaku.

Still, as Hachima reports, one guy even destroyed his PS4 in protest.

Cosplay protest was far less destructive.

Source: Kotaku.com

Meet The Pixel Artist Recreating Breath of The Wild Scenes In 8-Bit

Image: ncxaesthetic

On Tuesday, Instagram user ncxaesthetic began uploading a series of “screenshots” in which he took iconic scenes from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and rendered them in the 8-bit pixel art style of the Game Boy Color Zelda games like Link’s Awakening DX. Here, for example, is a scene from early in the game, where Link meets the “Old Man” shortly after awakening at the start.

Dig back further into ncxaesthetic’s profile, and you’ll see he’s been working at this for a while, remaking scenes from almost every 3D Zelda in the style of the 2D Game Boy entries.

Turns out ncxaesthetic—also known as Nate, 20—began making these pieces as a way to get better at something he loved doing: making pixel art.

“Around January of this year, I was replaying Link’s Awakening DX on my 3DS and out of nowhere I just thought to myself, I wonder if anyone has drawn up the bosses from the 3D Zelda games in a 2D format?” Nate wrote to me via email. “So I did some digging around and much to my disappointment, I found none.”

So Nate decided to do it himself. He started with Gohma, the first boss from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and began using a 7-year-old laptop with a cracked screen and an old copy of Photoshop CS6. Soon, he had fashioned every Wind Waker boss in pixel art.

“I found that project very fun to complete,” Nate said, “so I just continued making content from there and now here we are.”

Nate began making pixel art four years ago. He had been on his way to a convention and planned to attend a signing by one of his favorite actors from The Walking Dead. As a gift, he had brought a pixel-art representation of the character.

“The artwork was absolutely terrible and I give him props to this day for acting like it was good,” Nate says. “It truly showed me how talented of a performer he is.”

It took Nate two years before he returned to pixel art, recreating scenes the iconic finale of The Walking Dead’s sixth season and its seventh-season premiere with Mega Man sprites.

Image: ncxaesthetic

“At a certain point I realized I really did enjoy making pixel art, however I was still terrible at it and that bothered me,” Nate says. “I told myself I’d make at least one pixel artwork per day as a way to keep practicing and keep getting better, so that’s what I did. I took a few breaks here and there, but currently I’m on almost a nine-month streak of making pixel art every single day.”

Thus Nate began working his way through 3D Zelda games. It’s a task that he says is much harder than it looks. He walked me through how he translated the entrance of the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time into 2D.

“My first step was to take a look at the room from the original game and to see the basic layout of everything. The entrance lies south, a door to the north, two dead trees symmetrical to each other on both sides of the room and a climbable wall to the right that provides access to a chest and key. The Game Boy Color is a very limited system, so my biggest challenge here is to figure out how to incorporate that climbable wall into my piece. I save that for last because it helps me to visualize things better when I have something to look at; so I create the room, add the trees, the door, and the entrance. To add some extra flair to the room I add symmetrical pillars to either side of the north door. Now I approach that challenge I mentioned earlier. In Link’s Awakening, Oracle of Seasons, and Oracle of Ages, there are two ways to create “height” in a dungeon: either by adding an interactive staircase texture leading up to a whole other floor or by adding a plain staircase texture paired with a wall below which takes up quite a lot of room on the screen. The latter isn’t an option given the size constraints of the room, so I opted for the interactive staircase as my method of translating the climbable wall into a 2D format.”

To Nate, the placement of different objects and textures on the limited amount of space you have when recreating a Game Boy screen is a challenge akin to a good puzzle game, one that he says is only enhanced by the limitations of his old equipment.

“The crack near the middle of my screen slowly grows larger week by week, however I find it humbling in an odd way. There is a common notion that to make decent content you need decent tools. However, here I am making content with a less-than-decent piece of hardware that even sometimes gets in the way of me trying to work,” he says. “It’s almost poetic—a reminder that anyone with a creative mind can still create no matter the quality of the tools they work with.”

Source: Kotaku.com

Meet The Pixel Artist Recreating Breath of The Wild Scenes In 8-Bit

Image: ncxaesthetic

On Tuesday, Instagram user ncxaesthetic began uploading a series of “screenshots” in which he took iconic scenes from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and rendered them in the 8-bit pixel art style of the Game Boy Color Zelda games like Link’s Awakening DX. Here, for example, is a scene from early in the game, where Link meets the “Old Man” shortly after awakening at the start.

Dig back further into ncxaesthetic’s profile, and you’ll see he’s been working at this for a while, remaking scenes from almost every 3D Zelda in the style of the 2D Game Boy entries.

Turns out ncxaesthetic—also known as Nate, 20—began making these pieces as a way to get better at something he loved doing: making pixel art.

“Around January of this year, I was replaying Link’s Awakening DX on my 3DS and out of nowhere I just thought to myself, I wonder if anyone has drawn up the bosses from the 3D Zelda games in a 2D format?” Nate wrote to me via email. “So I did some digging around and much to my disappointment, I found none.”

So Nate decided to do it himself. He started with Gohma, the first boss from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and began using a 7-year-old laptop with a cracked screen and an old copy of Photoshop CS6. Soon, he had fashioned every Wind Waker boss in pixel art.

“I found that project very fun to complete,” Nate said, “so I just continued making content from there and now here we are.”

Nate began making pixel art four years ago. He had been on his way to a convention and planned to attend a signing by one of his favorite actors from The Walking Dead. As a gift, he had brought a pixel-art representation of the character.

“The artwork was absolutely terrible and I give him props to this day for acting like it was good,” Nate says. “It truly showed me how talented of a performer he is.”

It took Nate two years before he returned to pixel art, recreating scenes the iconic finale of The Walking Dead’s sixth season and its seventh-season premiere with Mega Man sprites.

Image: ncxaesthetic

“At a certain point I realized I really did enjoy making pixel art, however I was still terrible at it and that bothered me,” Nate says. “I told myself I’d make at least one pixel artwork per day as a way to keep practicing and keep getting better, so that’s what I did. I took a few breaks here and there, but currently I’m on almost a nine-month streak of making pixel art every single day.”

Thus Nate began working his way through 3D Zelda games. It’s a task that he says is much harder than it looks. He walked me through how he translated the entrance of the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time into 2D.

“My first step was to take a look at the room from the original game and to see the basic layout of everything. The entrance lies south, a door to the north, two dead trees symmetrical to each other on both sides of the room and a climbable wall to the right that provides access to a chest and key. The Game Boy Color is a very limited system, so my biggest challenge here is to figure out how to incorporate that climbable wall into my piece. I save that for last because it helps me to visualize things better when I have something to look at; so I create the room, add the trees, the door, and the entrance. To add some extra flair to the room I add symmetrical pillars to either side of the north door. Now I approach that challenge I mentioned earlier. In Link’s Awakening, Oracle of Seasons, and Oracle of Ages, there are two ways to create “height” in a dungeon: either by adding an interactive staircase texture leading up to a whole other floor or by adding a plain staircase texture paired with a wall below which takes up quite a lot of room on the screen. The latter isn’t an option given the size constraints of the room, so I opted for the interactive staircase as my method of translating the climbable wall into a 2D format.”

To Nate, the placement of different objects and textures on the limited amount of space you have when recreating a Game Boy screen is a challenge akin to a good puzzle game, one that he says is only enhanced by the limitations of his old equipment.

“The crack near the middle of my screen slowly grows larger week by week, however I find it humbling in an odd way. There is a common notion that to make decent content you need decent tools. However, here I am making content with a less-than-decent piece of hardware that even sometimes gets in the way of me trying to work,” he says. “It’s almost poetic—a reminder that anyone with a creative mind can still create no matter the quality of the tools they work with.”

Source: Kotaku.com

Zelda Can’t Make This Jump In Wind Waker

Hello! This week we find a never released NES game, explore the history of the Air Bud franchise, figure out how screwed up that last Steam Summer Sale event was, build with friends, do some farming and watch Zelda fail. It’s Morning Checkpoint!

Great Kotaku Content From The Past Week

Like most weeks, Kotaku was filled with some great stories. Here are a few of my favorites!

I can’t read anything about Terminator, even this really interesting post about an unreleased game, without hearing the theme. You know, the “DUN-DUN, DUN, DUN-DUN.”

Look! Look with your special eyes!

For the last few years, every single Summer Sale game that Valve runs seems like the most complicated, terrible mess. And this year it was even worse. And after it all, it seems devs got screwed.

I will never play any of these levels, but I love watching other folks play them and fail.

Tweets!

The best way to explore the history of Air Bud is while playing Doom. This is true of most things in life.

You know, anybody can hit a baseball really hard. But aiming it just right and going a specific distance seems much harder and more impressive.

Uh…are you okay? Do you need some help? Tetra? Pirate Zelda? Hello…?

News

Trailers And Videos You May Have Missed

Dragon Quest Builders 2 fixes my biggest problem with the first game: No co-op.

I literally can’t stop playing Dr. Mario World multiplayer. Please send help.

I genuinely love that this is a big deal and gets a whole trailer. I played Farming Simulator once and it was sooooo boring. But I still love that it has a huge community and is so popular.

This seems like a wonderful new feature that I will use a lot. I also hope there is some system in place to keep people from spamming this stuff or it will become really annoying, fast.


Morning Checkpoint is all about catching you up on the past week. You can email me anything you want or drop a comment below. Suggest tweets, comments, ideas, new sections and more for next week and thanks for reading!

Source: Kotaku.com