Nintendo Unveils First Real-Time Footage of Zelda Wii U

Zelda U E3 2014

Nintendo’s next console installment in The Legend of Zelda series was met with a warm response at E3. People were jazzed at the prospect of an “open world” Hyrule, bugger than any version before. Despite this, we still don’t have quite the sense of just how big the new Zelda really is. A new video topping off the Game Awards showed Shigeru Miyamoto and series director Eiji Aonuma playing the game in real-time, and it is glorious.

As we see in the above video (it could hardly be a trailer), the land of Hyrule is so massive, Miyamoto and Aonuma were merely traversing the lower corner of the overall map. It was confirmed that one way Link can travel is with the sail cloth to fly down from high cliffs, returning from 2011’s Skyward Sword. Link’s trusty horse also returns, with Miyamoto referring to it as “Epona”, though not confirmed to be the eponymous Epona from 1998’s Ocarina of Time. To navigate the massive overworld, the Wii U GamePad can be used to mark way points on the map, and Epona will navigate you there. Finally, we got a glimpse of slow-mo arrow action as Link can leap off his horse to take down enemies, as seen in the E3 reveal.

We also learned the surprising news that the new Star Fox for Wii U would be released before the new Zelda. This is surprising considering that it was in tech demo form prior, and Nintendo was actively seeking development partners to complete this new entry, the first genuinely new Star Fox in almost a decade.

Zelda Wii U will presumably launch sometime late in 2015, so there’s plenty more preview demos to go in order to sell this vision of a larger Hyrule.

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A man with a plan. My favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. I can also tell you trivial cartoon factoids.