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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Save the Wii U

    [08.13.13]
    - Danny Cowan

  • Bernard John (B.J.) Badger, Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy alumnus, Sheikah: Rise of the Shadow People

    Sheikah: Rise of the Shadow People is a spin-off from the The Legend of Zelda series. It follows the exploits of Sheik (different person than disguised Zelda), first of the clan of mysterious shadow people who are seen serving the royal family of Hyrule as guardians and agents in previous Zelda games. For Zelda fans, the release of a new game in the series does not represent merely the potential for a familiar yet fresh experience of fun; it is a vital piece in the growing lore of a vibrant fantasy world. Sheikah feeds this hunger for new knowledge and history while providing a stealth-heavy twist on traditional Zelda gameplay.

    The TV screen and Gamepad screen are used to provide two different perspectives on the game world in Sheikah. The TV displays an angled overhead perspective of a three-dimensional world, much like Metal Gear Solid. This is the primary view used for navigating obstacles and taking action. Meanwhile, the Gamepad shows a straight-down, two-dimensional, map-like representation of the current area, including symbols for key elements. This perspective gives a view of the world which can be zoomed in and out at will, useful for planning routes and tracking enemy movements.

    Light and shadow play an integral role in the mechanics of Sheikah. While in shadow, Sheik is undetectable to most enemies and can perform silent takedowns to eliminate foes. Fighting in the light is possible, but risky and heavily reliant on surprise tactics. Manipulating sources of light allows Sheik to move the shadows to more advantageous positions. There are also some monsters even more attuned to darkness than Sheik; light may become Sheik's ally against these.

    As with traditional Zelda games, a growing arsenal of weapons, tools, and techniques provides the player with increasing mastery over the game world in Sheikah. Some classic Zelda items fit very nicely with the game's theme, such as the hookshot, boomerang, and deku nuts. Here are a few new ones:

    • Whip chain: metal link whip as used by Sheik in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl. Useful for pulling distant objects (including light sources), swinging over gaps, and yanking unsuspecting foes into the shadows for a takedown.

    • Gossip stone: magically linked stones which carry sound from one to another. Can be planted to provide warning of movement in an area or eavesdrop on conversations. Also can be used to project noise as a lure or solve sound-based puzzles.

    • Zapchu: A mechanical mouse which can be set on a path using the stylus and releases a discharge of electricity on reaching its destination. Can stun foes or activate machinery.

    • Shadow step: a magic spell which allows Sheik to teleport from one shadow to any other shadow with no obstructions in between. Very useful for escapes and getting behind enemies, but consumes a significant amount of mana.

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