Posted on July 03 2011 by Locke
Wired recently held an interview with Mario series producer Yoshiaki Koizumi. Koizumi also worked in various capacities on several of the earlier Zelda games, from A Link to the Past through The Wind Waker. While speaking of the future of Mario on the Wii U, he was reminded of an experience from the days of Majora’s Mask development. Here’s the excerpt from Wired’s article:
Koizumi said he worked on something similar years ago, a game that connected the Nintendo 64 and original black-and-white Game Boy systems to play on two screens. But he clammed up when I pressed him for details, only saying that it was a feature that was cut from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.
“The information’s going to be shared at some point, but I don’t think today’s the time,” he said.
The concept of augmenting a console Zelda game with a handheld device didn’t die when it failed to be implemented in Majora’s Mask. It came to fruition only two years later as an item in The Wind Waker called the Tingle Tuner. This made use of the GameBoy Advance to unlock additional features that help Link battle enemies and discover secret treasures. Did the Tingle Tuner come as a direct result of Koizumi’s unfinished project in Majora’s Mask? Koizumi was one of the directors for The Wind Waker, so I don’t think that’s too much of a logical leap.
Four Swords Adventures took this idea a little farther, allowing a muli-player cooperative adventure on five screens. But if we’ve already seen what became of Majora’s Mask’s GameBoy link, then why is Koizumi so secretive? Does this feature still hold some relevance today – or in the future? With the positive reaction to Ocarina of Time 3D, the possibility for a Majora’s Mask remake has been a popular topic for discussion. If it ever happened, then maybe it would include this feature, and only when promoting the remake will the feature be discussed openly.
With talk of the ability to use the 3DS as a controller for the Wii U, there are so many new and innovative ways in which such an experience can be accomplished. I think it’s better to come up with brand-new ideas for new games than to brood on the missed opportunities of old games. Some of the most frequent questions I see in interviews just after a game’s release are “were there any ideas that you weren’t able to implement in this game?” or “were there any ideas that you weren’t able to implement in the previous game that you used in this game?” I think this is precisely what happened with the Tingle Tuner, and is what should always happen with unused ideas: make them better and use them in the next new experience.
What are your opinions on this unfinished feature and the Tingle Tuner? Do you want to see a Majora’s Mask remake? What kinds of things do you think Nintendo can do to make console-handheld connectivity more innovative in future games? What would the GameBoy have been used for in Majora’s Mask? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.