So ever since the 15-second long teaser trailer for the upcoming The Legend of Zelda Wii U game surfaced online courtesy of Nintendo Direct fans of the series have been relentlessly analysing and searching for clues in the background of the short clip. And for such a short clip there's actually a lot to talk about, and a lot to speculate upon.
Firstly there's the world itself. Behind the hills and in the far distance we can see certain iconic landmarks littering the world; Death Mountain can be seen, as can the ocean in the far background at the end of the sequence.
With the new super detailed world, featuring highly textured grass and animals like birds and goats that react to Link and Epona's presence, its pretty likely that this will come hand in hand with new gameplay mechanics involving greater interaction with the world around you, possibly even introducing a stealth mechanic as postulated by GameXplain.
But perhaps more interesting is Link himself, and the equipment he carries with him.
We've seen the wooden shield before in the E3 reveal, although this one does appear to have a different design to the earlier one which had a curving eye design recalling the symbol of the Sheikah (and we'll come back to that later).
Is this an upgraded design, or does this mean we'll be swapping between different versions of the shield? We'll probably upgrade from the wooden shield before long regardless.
Well, that's a big sword. Like seriously that's at least the length of Link's body. How can he even wield that? He must have some serious hidden strength in those stick arms.
Kinda reminds me of the Biggoron's Sword from Ocarina of Time, and since we saw Death Mountain in the background earlier its probably a safe bet to assume that we'll be seeing some Gorons popping up before too long.
Whilst the E3 trailer showed us Link wielding an electrified blue arrow, the ones we see here appear to have green and white tips instead.
Again probably an indication that we'll get access to many different types of arrows with different properties throughout the game, as it appears like this sequence takes place near the start of the game it's safe to assume you'll start out with the basic type then pick more up as you move along.
Did you see the sleeping mat rolled up on the back of Epona?
The fact that Link carries it with him from place to place means that we might gain an ability to set up camp for sleeping through the day/night, the function served previously by the Sun Song.
Sheikah Eye Book
So the book that Link carries at his hip appears to have a glowing Sheikah eye design on it, similar to the shield we saw in the E3 footage. Given its prominent placing it seems reasonable to assume that it's an important item, perhaps even the centrepiece of the story as HMK has speculated.
We haven't seen this item appearing before so the properties of the book itself are still unknown. The Sheikah (Shadow Folk) have served as the protectors of the Hylian Royal Family and are prominent in many of the Legend of Zelda games, but this explicit reference suggests that they may have an even more involved role this time around.
Does this mean Link will be related to the Sheikah tribe in a more explicit way than before? That would certainly make for an interesting narrative as well as opening up new avenues with regards to abilities and gameplay.
For now we'll just have to wait and see until The Legend of Zelda comes to Wii U at an unspecified time next year.