Thoughts from a (girl) Gamer

Tara Voelker's thoughts. A lot about video games, a little about life

Tag Archives: Zelda

Where was I? Things I neglected to post from June through November

So, as always, a long time has passed and I haven’t posted anything. To be exact, I haven’t posted anything since June. Why haven’t I posted? Well first the standard reason – I’m horrible about posting, and then the second reason – crunch. (For those of you who don’t know what crunch is, it’s a game industry term for working stupid amounts of overtime. In my case, 12 hour days with occasional weekend work).

But what’s sad is that I’ve actually had some cool (and one not at all cool) things happen during those few months. So I decided to make 1 giant mass dump of everything I didn’t post. So here we go!!

JULY

  • I attend the Zelda – Symphony of the Goddess concert while taking a 3 day trip to Orlando. It was amazing, and I was so glad I got to see it. Even more awesome, I ran into the Jeron, producer and creative director, Eímear, conductor, and Chad Seiter, the composer at the hotel bar because they were staying at the same place Max and I were. To make things even cooler, Jeron asked for a photo with me because of my sweet Zelda tat, and we drank to the wee hours of the morning. I decided I had to see it again when it came to Boston, and then woke up with the worst hang over I had had in a long time. WORTH IT.
  • Sometime during July, I finished out the work on the outer portion of my Spirited Away half sleeve, leaving only my inner arm to be completed in the spring. As it turns out, I didn’t really take any good pictures of it. It came out awesome. But like I said, no good pictures. So here are a few mediocre ones. I’d say I’d post better ones later, but we all know I won’t. I also got my Zelda tattoo touched up.

Sprited Away TattooSpirited Away SleeveSpirited Away Tattoo

    Went from pink hair to blue hair.

September

  • I hit my one year at Irrational, and get my awesome logo hoodie.
  • My cousin is in a life threatening car wreck, in which her van collided with a semi truck. She is airlifted to a hospital where she receives 8 hours of emergency surgery. At the time it was really scary, but we know she is expected to make a full recovery, although she won’t be about to return to work for a full year.
  • Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark comes out in IMAZ and I got to see it. It was beautiful. Snagged a poster that’s now hanging at work.
  • A bunch of my coworkers surprise me with a pre-order of the Deluxe vault hunter’s edition of Borderlands 2. Once the game is released, I’m obsessed with the game, and fall in love with Tiny Tina.

October

  • A benefit auction is schedule for my cousin. Harmonix and Irrational both donate items. Harmonix sent games for both the auction and directly to my cousin, and Irrational donated a signed poster for Bioshock Infinite (see below). I had several of my coworkers reach out and ask if they could donate money. Everyone was so supportive, it was amazing.

Signed Bioshock Infinite Poster

  • I continue working tons of crunch on Bioshock Infinite. Mid October, we ramp up our marketing again and release this awesome trailer.
  • I go see Zelda – Symphony of the Goddess again, here in Boston. This time my friend Aaron tags along. We all dressed fancy. Afterwards I ran into the Jeron, Eímear,  and Chat (again!) although no drinking with them this time. The bar was crowded and we weren’t staying out long this time.
  • Saw the new movie in Silent Hill movie in 3D. It was terrible.
  • Irrational holds our annual Halloween party. I dress up as Tiny Tina, complete with mismatch shoes.

Tiny Tina costume

Novemember

  • Dyed my hair red
  • In one of the more surreal moments of my life, I was introduced to Randy Pitchford by Ken Levine. Said I was a huge Borderlands fan, and tweeted my Tiny Tina costume at him.
  • Max and I decided that we are taking a trip to Japan next year.
  • Accidentally dyed my hair pink again.

And now here we are. I could have made larger post about most of these things, but I don’t have the time and I still wanted to share. Eventually I will ship this game, and have more time for things like… oh you know, life and blog posts again.

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My Wedding Slide Show

So, here is a slide show from my wedding, with music from the ceremony (Halo 3, Zelda, Jurassic Park) and a transcript of the service below.

Ceremony by Matt Fear.
First off I would like to start off with a little something I have always wanted to do…

“Mawwage. Mawwage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam.”

Ok…thanks for letting me get that out of my system. I can now mark that off my bucket list.

But in all seriousness I would like to welcome everyone to this amazing event. The marriage of Mr. Max Voelker and Ms. Tara Tefertiller.

I have to admit…it was a pretty cool feeling to be asked to actually marry two people…especially when it is one of my dearest friends and the woman that he has decided to spend the rest of his life with. It is also kind of stressful…I mean…what do you say at time like this? So for inspiration I turned to renowned mathematician and chaos theorist, Ian Malcom

For those of you that don’t know who Ian Malcom is, he was one of the first people to step foot in a little place called Jurassic Park. He said…

“If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, expands to new territory, and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously”

I know that Dr. Malcom is referring to the creation of the DNA engineered dinosaurs that inhabited the a fore mentioned amusement park…but his words actually do hold a special meaning for a day like today. Simply replace the word “life” with the word “love” and it goes something like this…

“If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that love will not be contained. Love breaks free, expands to new territory, and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously”

How true is that? Love will not be contained. Love breaks free…crashes through barriers…

Love is so powerful, it inspires people to write, sing, paint, fight, and it is such a beautiful thing to see two wonderful people stand in the presence of their friends and family and declare their love for each other and their desire to grow old together. I hope that each and everyone of us appreciate the significance of this day.

Carl Sagan once said “For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.” Standing here in the Orlando Science Museum it is easy to see that in the cosmic scale of things we are small, but it is good to know that even though you may be a tiny part of the universe…you are a tiny part that has found another tiny part and have decided that being tiny together makes everything ok.

I was recently made aware of a slam poet by the name of Anis Mojgani in his poem “Shake the Dust” he offers some amazing words of wisdom…and I would like to share them with Max and Tara.

“So grab this world by its clothespins and shake it out again and again
and jump on top and take it for a spin and when you hop off shake it again for this is yours.

Make my words worth it, make this not just another poem that I write, not just another poem like just another night that sits heavy above us all.

Walk into it, breathe it in, let is crash through the halls of your arms at the millions of years of millions of poets coursing like blood pumping and pushing making you live, shaking the dust.

So when the world knocks at your front door, clutch the knob and open on up, running forward into its widespread greeting arms with your hands before you, fingertips trembling though they may be.”

You two are starting a whole new life with each other and I commend you both for that. You are, in fact, already doing what Anis has said to do…you are grabbing life by the clothespins…and you should do that every day of your marriage. Do not let a day go by that you are not thankful to wake up next to someone you love. Do not let a day go by that you don’t look at one another and say “I love you”…

Because lets face it…you never know when another giant meteor is going to crash into the earth and cause another Ice Age.

Then we exchanged our vows. 🙂

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Review

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Box artI had waited for this title. I really, really wanted it. And of course, I got it on launch day.

Legend of  Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is a remastered version of the classic title that original appeared on the N64, which is possible the best Zelda game of all time. And of course, one of my personal favorites.  So, it’s time to talk about it

Note: This is an article for fans of the original. If you haven’t played the original, or aren’t a Zelda fan, I don’t give you much back story.

How does it compare to the original version?

The over all game play is pretty much the exact same. Levels, bosses, difficulty, items, etc are almost the same as they were in the original.  All the audio is identical to the audio in the original. Everything that we’ve loved about Ocarina of Time (and Navi) are all there,  very true to how they were on the N64.  And it’s completely splendid.

Of course, there have been some changes and new additions. Master quest is now available when you beat the game, and you can now go and battle any bosses you’ve beaten. I didn’t ever play master quest before, so I’m excited about it. I haven’t tried the new boss battle system, and honestly likely won’t try it, so I don’t have much comments there.

Now the most notable changes are the new controls with the 3DS, the HUD rearrangement, the gyroscope-view feature, and of course the 3D and graphic overhaul. So let’s break this down.

The New Controls:

So, the first challenge Nintendo had was taking controls from this:

n64 controller

And putting it on this:

Zelda Ocarina of Time 3DS

How did it end up working out? Awesomely. Assigning items to different buttons is a breeze with the touch screen and the controls feel completely natural on the new console. The ocarina now has it’s own static button on the touch screen, which means you essentially have an additional item slot.

Additionally- they have made probably the greatest change in the history of  Zelda.The iron boots, which were clothing and had to be equipped and unequipped by pausing the game and going to the clothing screen, are now (along with the hoover boots)  items that can be assigned to a button- no pause screen needed! The water temple is way less of a frustration that it was in the original.

The HUD Rearrangement:

So, on the N64 and your single TV, Nintedo had a lot of things to put on screen. Your hearts, items, buttons, maps… a lot. The 3DS, however, has the benefit of having 2 screens. This means that a lot of space is cleared and you have a much better view of Hyrule. Here are two pictures for comparison.

Ocarina of Time N64Ocarina of Time 3DS

The Gyroscope Aiming: 

In Ocarina of Time 3D, you have 2 choices. You can either use the analog stick or the gyroscope feature, which I feel is one of the best additions they made to the game. With the gyscrope feature, you actually move the 3DS to aim, just like you do on games like Face Raiders or the AR Games.  . Now picture this- you pull out your sling shot, and have all intentions of aiming up to shoot the Skullata above you. But rather than using the joystick, you simply adjust how you’re holding the DS! HOW AMAZING!  Okay, maybe that isn’t very exciting to read. I swear though, I loved this addition. I used the gyroscope aiming over the analog stick aiming 95% of the time. It’s quick and easy to use. It’s smooth. I loved it.

Ocarina of time Comparison of the N64 vs 3DSGraphic Overhaul:

So, Nintendo really did a number on the graphics. Nothing went untouched. It’s amazing. Everything is beautiful. Hyrule is brighter, crisper and with more detail. I was going to say the only way you can truly appreciate it is to see a side by side comcaparison. Lucky enough for me, NOA tweeted the picture to the right just this week. Click it to enlarge.

3D Visuals:

Of course, being on the 3DS, this title has 3D visuals. I want to go on the record and say:

I like the 3D visuals.

I really do. I think it looks great and although its not some game altering experience, and isn’t revolutionizing the title or anything, I enjoy having it on. I also want to go on record and say:

I always end up turning the 3D off.

The problem with the 3D is you have to hold the system at a certain angle. When I first start playing, it’s fine. I always start playing with the 3D on. The 3D becomes an issue when I’ve been playing for a while, or want to lounge in bed while playing. I just can’t hold the 3DS and be comfortable. I start seeing like a second version of Link just off to the right… then I turn the 3D off. If I could lounge and see the 3D fine, I’d keep it on. But I can’t. And my want of being comfy is greater than my want of playing in 3D. So, off it does.

 

Final Call:

This is a great title that I love. It appeals to the old school fans like myself while offering it a way the new players can become involved in an amazing series. A+

Nintendo Announcing a New Console?

So, yesterday afternoon my Twitter feed blew up with tons of posts about the rumors that Nintendo is going to be announcing a new HD console. Like really, it was insane.

Firstly, I’m not here to speculate on that. If I were to say anything I would just be copying Game Informer or Kotaku or some other gaming news site. I just wanted to make the following known:

 Dear Nintendo,

You will completely break my heart if you push by Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword so that it ends up being a release title on this new system (if there is a new system) just like you did with Twilight Princess and the Wii. Please, please don’t.

But, you know that I could never stay mad at you even if you did, because I’m a Zelda fanboy.

And one more thing… please give up the Wii-motes. I mean let’s all be honest… Twilight Princess was much better on the Gamecube.

Love,

Tara

New Zelda for DS on it’s way

some news from Tara

Are you a fan of Zelda? Did you think Phantom Hour Glass was this shit? Did you hate the boat?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, I have great news for you! Last week at GDC (Game Developers Conference), Nintendo announced that they are in the last stages of developement for a new Legend of Zelda game for DS slated to be out later this year. I had been waiting for as much information as possible before posting anything, but not much has been heading me way. Instead of continuing to wait for more details, I’m just going to let you know as much as I know… which is not very much. Luckily, Nintendo did release this game play trailer… let’s check it out.

As you can see, it is the same art style as Phantom Hour Glass. There’s a train… some new weapons I know nothing about… some kind of staue you control… It looks awesome. I can’t wait. I doubt Amanda can either. I’m sorry I don’t have more information to pass on, but trust me, I will try my hardest to keep you updated.

I got a(nother) tattoo.

by Tara

Maybe this new tattoo will spark some sort of idea for a gaming tattoo article… but not today. So for now, just check out my new Zelda inspired tattoo. 🙂

photo-41photo-282photo-213

The Cool Thing I Found During Today’s Lunch Break

So some guy (who probably is made of awesome) decided to do something amazing. He played the Zelda theme song with Tesla coils over “Sexy Back.”

  • I especially love at 1:06 when he plays the Link “Hyeh!” sound effect to go from JT to Zelda.