News Item Challenged

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News Item Challenged:

CantainN64 alerts: Hello. Before this spreads to every website, the picture you put up in your last news post of what looks like a more realistic Zelda is FAKE, it was sent to IGN by a fan, its not real. If you take a good look at all 3 pictures you can see they are fake. The author also reveals this in this post.

You weren't the only one though, other people thought the samething.

Conrad replies: Thank you for your information. I sincerely appreciate the effort to help our abilities to be a news site of integrity.

First, let me say that there are numerous pieces of information to back up the claim of the expansion disc.

First and foremost, Nintendo of Japan has stated it exists. To see this for yourself, search for the words "immortal masterpiece" on HYLIA.Com's main site.

Second of all, IGN has stated "the adventure will require 12 blocks of memory." This is detailed technical information, not the result of some photoshop work in a image-manipulating program. Also, IGN's network of sites is a news-reporting organization that benefits more from posting new articles of information for their visitors to read than what they would by trying to try to propogate known-to-be-false rumors. I still don't see any new articles debunking the authenticity of the graphics or stating that any of their previous reports surrounding this disc have turned out to be false. Surely someone at Nintendo of America would have noticed the fake graphics by now if they were fakes.

Third of all, there is the advertisement in Famitsu magazine. They serve as a third professional resource making the claim.

The posts on message boards by people who don't remember Link ever swimming in Ocarina of Time (just what do the scale powerups do then?) and think that Microsoft Visual C++ is a likely program for making faked, detailed 3-D images are quite possibly overlooking some simple facts about the expansion disc's development. First and foremost, it's still in development. Graphics may look simpler or even rougher and buggier than the final version. In development, issues regarding text fonts are especially likely to be a minor concern until more major aspects are dealt with. Like removing one of the item button icons since none of the screenshots show it ever being used, and the Gamecube controller does indeed have one less button near the A and B buttons. Or changing the button icons so they don't look like N64 C buttons anymore. The font can be fixed when the new interface is designed, hopefully after user feedback tells Nintendo that players don't want a large swirly object taking up screen space unless it serves some purpose in Ura-Zelda that we don't know about from Ocarina of Time.

Secondly, Nintendo has shown an interest in making a Zelda game using some realistic graphics back in SpaceWorld 2000. And third, if the graphics look somewhat simpler than SpaceWorld 2000's footage, that just makes sense. The graphics in a quest on the expansion disc should all look like they belong to each other. The characters in the SpaceWorld 2000 footage were created just for this one action scene which occured entirely in just one room. To make the entire Ocarina of Time world just as detailed would take some amount of financial resources and time on Nintendo's part, and it's not likely that Nintendo spent that much development resources just for an expansion disc. If Nintendo did spend a great amount of time on a realistic world, they probably would have created a new quest and new dungeons to go along with it, and released it as a seperate game. While that's a very realistic option to happen in the future, it just isn't what's happening right now. Fourth, IGN is likely to know whether the graphics were sent in by some fan who may have faked them, or a more reliable source. More likely the graphics were made by IGN themselves using a disc for the press, or IGN obtained them from an already-known contact working at Nintendo. Fifth, this piece of news does seem to fit well with comments by NOA's Perrin Kaplan in March, explained well by Rick's first two paragraphs of comments on Planet GameCube's News Article announcing the expansion CD. (Although I personally disagree with his later comments about Ura-Zelda being unlikely to be translated, especially if Ura-Zelda consists of a lot of new dungeons and relatively little text to translate.)

Getting back to reporting news on this website:
I have found determining whether news is fact or rumor to be very difficult, and I try to be cautious. By delaying the news until I saw it on a reliable source, I didn't begin helping to spread unfounded rumors that there would be a CD which included Majora's Mask in the Expansion CD. It was only when I read on IGN that there was an expansion disc that I went ahead and reported on this. They are the professionals. I'm not saying they'll never make mistakes due to supernatural powers, but I do believe that their abilities to sort between myth and fact are better than mine. If for no other reason, IGN has much better resources available such as being able to get information straight from Nintendo far sooner than I've ever been able to.

When I do report on news, I have made efforts to document where the news seems to be originating from. This isn't just to save our hides in case some news story being reported turns out to be false. It's also meant as more than also being a way to share due positive credit to others. It is meant as a method to alert saavy readers where information is coming from, so that they can notice if we are using a new and potentially unreliable source of information. If information is found to be unreliable, people can then dismiss not only our news article but also any one found on other Zelda websites which is quoting from the same piece of unreliable information.

So, in summary, I do appreciate your letter of concern. Nayru knows I could have used such advice in times past. My analysis continues to support the claims made, though, and debunks the basis of the theory that these are elaborate faked fan-created graphics. If things continue to look more and more suspicious as details are thoughtfully analyzed, instead of less and less, then I may think more about issueing a retraction of the recently-posted news story. At this time, though, I'm not ready to be doing that.

What final comments do I have for this edition? Hmm...

This community is filled with speculation, sometimes deliberately false. Try to stick with the sources you can most trust, and we'll try to deserve being one of those sources for you.

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