A few of you may remember my impressions of a certain Link’s Awakening 3D project a while ago. As it happens, a second LA3D, entitled Ballad of the Wind Fish, is in the works, complete with an alpha demo release. Rather than taking the Phantom Hourglass approach of a top-down 3D world, Ballad of the Wind Fish takes an over-the-shoulder perspective common to 3D console Zeldas.

lozbotwf.jpgGraphically, the game aims to be a cross between The Wind Waker‘s cartoony look, and Ocarina of Time‘s realism, a feat I personally believe is achieved beautifully. With so many A Link to the Past clone 2D Zelda fangames out there, it’s nice to see one in an original art style that has actually had effort put into it.

As for the demo itself (which can be downloaded here, or here if you have a weaker computer), it plays very solidly, but suffers greatly from extremely bad performance and a plethora of glitches. In particular I had trouble negotiating with the movement input itself (if you’re running straight forward, the demo seems to randomly not want to recognise other directional input until the up arrow is released). And yes, the game really was running at 1fps when I took that screenshot.

There is no goal in the demo. You can speak to characters and interact with the environment, but there is no actual story element. Nonetheless, you can explore a variety of areas, cut down bushes, kill a few Octoroks, amongst other distinctly Zelda stuff, and messing around does give you a good idea of the engine. Performance and glitches aside, there has clearly been a lot of work put into this for a beginning project; the animation is solid, the AI is solid, and so forth.

I can see great things coming from this project, but only if a great level of work is put into cleaning up the existing issues the alpha has. It’ll be nice to see how Ballad of the Wind Fish compares to the other Link’s Awakening 3D project in the long run.

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