Phantom Hourglass: Stylus controls

The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass will make extensive use of the DS touch-screen, with Link performing three different sword attacks depending on how you swish your stylus. He'll also leap or run to distant areas you poke at, while walking toward closer places you touch.

These morsels of control info come from Japanese gaming mag Nintendo Dream.

Our recent previewof the game hints at other controls (like nautical combat) however the only release we have so far is the Japanese street date June 23. We're likely to have quite a wait, so in the meantime we've been thinking up some new stylus features for Link's latest adventure:

1 Swatting away bothersome dialogue
While most of Link's fellow villagers are charming, sometimes even the nicest of neighbors can get tiresome. We'd love a feature that enabled you to swipe away a whole conversation, especially one you've heard before, animated by Link waving his hand at the speaker as if to say "Skip to the end..."

2 Graffiti artistry
Ideally, we'd like to write "Ganon is a big girl's blouse!" in ten feet high letters on the side of his palace. But we'd settle for being able to leave marks and directions in labyrinthine dungeons, to save us valuable wandering time through the winding corridors.

3 Prodding an unhelpful fairy
As is traditional with most recent Zelda games, Link is accompanied by a twittering, fluttering fairy co-star. So it'd be satisfying to be able to prod, poke or otherwise annoy your Tinkerbellian chum if he should follow the other fairy tradition of being largely a source of repeating, irritating advice. Maybe you could stroke him to say sorry afterward.

4 The old switcharoo
Old fans will remember a classic trick in Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, letting you swindle the local shopkeeper by running circles around him until he got dizzy. We'd love to see this underhandedness return, in a chav-tastic distraction style. You'd point at something on a high shelf, the clerk would turn his back to reach it and you would be free to fill your little tunic pockets with whatever goods are within snatching distance of Link's grubby hands.

5 Ocarina mini-game
Everyone's favorite shell-shaped recorder could return, with the touch-screen enabling you to drag and drop notes onto a scale and create your own screeching whistles. Peep, peep, and all that.

May 25, 2007


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