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Nintendo Goes RPG Crazy: Twilight Princess HD! Dragon Quest VII and VIII! And... Cloud Strife in Smash Bros.!?

The current slate of Nintendo consoles may be entering their twilight years, but they sure won't be going quiet into that good night.

News by Jeremy Parish, .

The Nintendo Direct streaming press conference series made its long-awaited return for the first time tonight since the passing of NCL president Satoru Iwata back in July. But Wii U owners hoping the event would introduce a bevy of surprise announcements to breathe some life into the platform were sorely disappointed by the showing, which—aside from some assurances that, yes, that Zelda game is coming to Wii U—did very little to triage the suffering console.

That said, Nintendo seems determined to usher both the Wii U and its miniature counterpart (the 3DS) to their graves by focusing on substance over numbers. Tonight's Direct presentation was heavily weighted toward large-scale games, including an HD conversion of the massive The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and the very welcome news that the portable remakes for both Dragon Quest VII and VIII will indeed be coming West after far too many years of that beloved franchise foundering outside Japan.

The Direct paid lip service to plenty of current Nintendo initiatives — the Amiibo count hovered somewhere around a dozen, and the games-as-platforms spirit is alive and well with major updates for Triforce Heroes and Splatoon — but by all accounts the major theme of this Direct revolved around role-playing games. With four different Zelda titles (the last being the 3DS port of Hyrule Warriors, featuring at long-last a female Link, "Linkle"), two Dragon Quests, three Fire Emblems, a new Final Fantasy (Final Fantasy Explorers), Mario & Luigi Paper Jam, Xenoblade Chronicles X, wireless-capable 8-bit Pokémon reissues for Virtual Console and Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, plus more, Nintendo seems suddenly dead-set on being the destination for role-playing fans. The DS and 3DS have been hotbed of RPG excellence for a decade, but this is a new milestone.

Even Nintendo's fighting games are getting RPG-ified. Pokémon/Tekken crossover Pokken Tournament is due for Wii U next year, and then there's the real mind-boggler: The announcement of Final Fantasy VII protagonist Cloud Strife as a new fighter in Smash Bros. 4. Besides this being a new and hugely popular addition to the fighting roster, it also breaks the unspoken Smash Bros. rule that fighters have a direct connection to Nintendo. Sure, Final Fantasy got its start on Nintendo Entertainment System, and there's a Cloud costume in Final Fantasy Explorers, but Final Fantasy VII has always been closely associated with Sony. More than that, FFVII has always been emblematic of the series' departure from Nintendo, a very public schism. The addition of Cloud to a Nintendo-exclusive fighting game probably won't go over well with die-hard Sony and Sony-era Final Fantasy fans, and it should inspire considerable theorizing. Will there be a Cloud Amiibo? Will the FFVII remake come to Nintendo's next platform, NX?

In any case, Nintendo's upcoming plans may be something of a letdown for folks expecting things like traditional Mario and Metroid titles. But I haven't seen this sort of large-scale RPG dominance by Nintendo since the Super NES era, and as a fan of the genre, I am pretty OK with that. Nintendo platform releases are looking awfully sparse compared to those on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which are reaching their respective primes, but fans of Wii U and 3DS will still have plenty to keep them busy... well, assuming they enjoy RPGs, anyway.

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Comments 43

  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #1 cldmstrsn 2 years ago
    I literally jumped up and down when they announced those DQ games. So much so I scared my dog haha. So happy and so excited by all these announcements. TP HD looks fantastic and I cant wait to go through that again!
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  • Avatar for Daikaiju #2 Daikaiju 2 years ago
    Yes! Female Link makes the leap off the concept board!Edited November 2015 by Daikaiju
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  • Avatar for jeffcorry #3 jeffcorry 2 years ago
    I have to say I haven't been this pumped for Nintendo for quite a while! The phrase, "Take my money." comes to mind...
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  • Avatar for Godots17thCup #4 Godots17thCup 2 years ago
    I'm really grateful that no one else was home when I watched this Direct, because my reaction to BOTH Dragon Quest VII and DQVIII getting localized was rather enthusiastic. And embarrassing.Edited November 2015 by Godots17thCup
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #5 Kuni-Nino 2 years ago
    I'm just glad it isn't a female Link. It's Linkle, a totally different character. It's the best way to pander to both sides. She looks cool too!

    That Dragon Quest VII announcement got me fist pumping for some stupid reason. I don't normally do that for announcements but I've been wanting to play that version of DQ for so long. Goddamn finally. I'm guessing Bob probably fainted at the news lol.

    Twilight Princess HD, I'm glad it's real. It's going to be my third playthrough of the game easily. I don't even care if they change anything or not. I just want to play it again with sharper visuals. And that new glimpse at the Wii U Zelda...my fucking god, I just don't know what I'm looking at! I want to study it. I like it. I want to know more!

    The Smash thing, well, it had to be Sakurai. When everybody thinks he's going to zig, he zags. Great character get.

    It was a nice Direct overall. I'm excited for next year.
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  • Avatar for mganai #6 mganai 2 years ago
    Ok, my brain just shattered.

    If FF7 remake will (eventually) be Nintendo inclusive, hopefully it'll mean the same for FF5/6. Cross-platform would make the bill easier to swallow for SE.

    In the meantime, YES!!! Finally we're getting DQ VII and VIII!
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #7 SuperShinobi 2 years ago
    Are JRPGs still a thing commercially? The much-delayed FF15 and Kingdom Hearts 3 may be the last chance for a turnaround for the dwindling genre. The PS Vita is a great system for JRPGs, but what did that ever do for it sales-wise?Edited November 2015 by SuperShinobi
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #8 SatelliteOfLove 2 years ago
    @Kuni-Nino

    I'm kinda let down there wont be a Sheik game though.

    Oh well, when more people than just me get together real quick and ask for something, the smart company makes it if at all possible.
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  • Avatar for Namevah #9 Namevah 2 years ago
    For a bit there, this Direct wasn't doing anything for me. Splatoon is cool, but I don't (yet) own that game. Animal Crossing hasn't done anything for me, and a board game doesn't change that. Star Fox looks cool, but nothing from that footage makes me think they heard the criticisms from the E3 demo. Only Twilight Princess HD stood out.

    Somewhere between deluxe edition of Fire Emblem: Fates, Pokemon on Virtual Console, and two Dragon Quest games, this became my favorite Direct in recent memory. Cloud was a (somewhat confusing) cherry on top.Edited November 2015 by Namevah
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  • Avatar for Neifirst #10 Neifirst 2 years ago
    This is by far the greatest Nintendo Direct since Xenoblade Chronicles X was first revealed in January 2013! I'm actually starting to wonder if the portable version of NX really could come out in 2016 - this is a very packed 3DS lineup, at least for the adventure / RPG fans out there.

    I've already preordered Twilight Princess HD and Fire Emblem Fates Special Edition, and will happily buy all of the Square Enix releases too.

    I tried to muster up enthusiasm for PS4 releases like Fallout 4, but I can't help but push them aside for a lineup of games like this instead.
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  • Avatar for Tetragrammaton #11 Tetragrammaton 2 years ago
    Absolutely incredible direct, with tons of surprises. Absolutely gaga over so much of the news.
    @Neifirst With this I'm pretty sure we can say that NX is 2017. Both versions of it, at that.
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  • Avatar for wooden-spoon #12 wooden-spoon 2 years ago
    As an RPG lover, my old SNES has been my favorite system for years and years. I think my 3DS is finally surpassing it, which I would never have expected a couple of years ago. This news is all so exciting.
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  • Avatar for GaijinD #13 GaijinD 2 years ago
    @Kuni-Nino Does it really make a difference? Isn't Link already a name given to several different characters? I mean, the guy in Zelda on NES isn't the same guy in LttP, who isn't the guy in OoT, and so on and so forth, right?
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #14 MetManMas 2 years ago
    I know Cloud's the most recognizable character from the Final Fantasy series, but I certainly did not expect him to appear in Smash Bros., especially given that his game was the first Final Fantasy to not be a Nintendo exclusive and Final Fantasy VII was rival Sony's huge moment of success.

    That said, I guess it's not that much weirder than Solid Snake being in Brawl was. Sure, Snake was at least the star of most of the games he was in on Nintendo platforms (Cloud's got what, Kingdom Hearts cameos and Theatrhythm PC status?), but every Metal Gear installment on a Nintendo platform has been either a remake or non canon game, and like Final Fantasy the PlayStation's where Metal Gear became a really big hit.

    Anyway, between Cloud in Smash and official international releases of Dragon Quests VII and VIII I'm definitely excited.Edited November 2015 by MetManMas
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  • Avatar for Hero-Protagonist #15 Hero-Protagonist 2 years ago
    I'm glad my girlfriend had just left for work, because the moment DQVII was announced I started emphatically punching the air and loudly proclaiming "Mfffyeah! "Hyyyeeahhuuhh".
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  • Avatar for Mikki-Saturn #16 Mikki-Saturn 2 years ago
    This direct was actually great - lots of substantive announcements. I would have liked a bit more info on Bravely Second and of course, new Zelda Wii-U footage would have been excellent, but still all in all there was nothing but good news here.

    And that Cloud announcement! Who on Earth could have predicted that? This feels like a significant turning point - from here on out anyone could appear in Smash. I'm honestly amazed.
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  • Avatar for The-Challenger #17 The-Challenger 2 years ago
    Sometimes I love Nintendo in a platonic sort of way.
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  • Avatar for abuele #18 abuele 2 years ago
    After reading this article I will be throwing NINTENDO my wallet.
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  • Avatar for docexe #19 docexe 2 years ago
    It was really better than I expected, and I have to eat crow given I didn’t expect them to announce Twilight Princess HD =D. The amount of content was certainly impressive: There was Mario Tennis, Xenoblade, and Animal Crossing like I predicted, but also some truly welcomed surprises like the Dragon Quest games. Star Fox Zero is also shaping up fine for me, even if I’m probably in the minority about that opinion. Final Fantasy Explorers and Fast Racing Neo also caught my attention.

    The only thing missing, IMO, was more information on Genei Ibun Roku. I suppose NoA won’t start promoting it until early next year, when it will be closer to launch in the American market.

    And well, I did a spit-take when the trailer with Cloud played. I don’t know if this indicates that he won the Smash Bros. ballot, or if something else is in the cards (like as stated, the possibility that the FFVII remake is also targeting the NX as a release platform). In any case, another Direct dedicated to Smash Bros. will come in December, so I presume he won’t be the only new DLC character that we will see.
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  • Avatar for Exhuminator #20 Exhuminator 2 years ago
    Tatsumi Kimishima is about making that money son.
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  • Avatar for link6616 #21 link6616 2 years ago
    So... with Ocarina of time, Majora's mask, Wind Waker and Twilight princess remade, Link to the past getting a direct sequel, four swords dropping a sword for the sake of fashion the NX is going to have an awesome time with zelda remakes.

    I for one am extremely excited for the Link's Awakening remake or Sequel or that simply must be coming for it.

    This was a pretty good nintendo direct. Although, I still haven't opened that Japanese copy of DQ7 I bought a month ago... Which stings a little. (as I'd thought, "Well, DQ7 missed the boat, but DQ8 holds a good chance" ...

    But, pretty cool direct overall.
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  • Avatar for Roto13 #22 Roto13 2 years ago
    I would have been happier with literally any other Final Fantasy protagonist, tbf.
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  • Avatar for DrCorndog #23 DrCorndog 2 years ago
    TP is an underrated Zelda game, and I'm looking forward to playing iy in HD, PROVIDED Nintendo adds some gameplay enhancements as they did with WW. At the very least I expect a Hero Mode.
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  • Avatar for Sturat #24 Sturat 2 years ago
    I'm super excited for Dragon Quest VII and VIII, but where's my Rhythm Heaven!?!
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  • Avatar for alexb #25 alexb 2 years ago
    Nobody in the long chain of localization pointed out how terrible Linkle sounds?
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  • Avatar for SargeSmash #26 SargeSmash 2 years ago
    @SuperShinobi : They're on life support, for sure. But I think that's mostly due to the overall lack of quality of most JRPGs these days. There are a few good ones here and there, but stuff at the level of the SNES/PSX/PS2 days has been sorely lacking on consoles, and a lot of the RPGs I see on Vita also look like C-tier stuff.
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #27 cldmstrsn 2 years ago
    @Roto13 I think it might have been strategic. Who knows. FF VII remake might be coming to NX.
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  • Avatar for Monkey-Tamer #28 Monkey-Tamer 2 years ago
    You just had to mention Cloud amiibo. There goes money out of my wallet again. If FF7 makes it to Wii U they'll sell me a system. I've been on the fence, and that will put me over.
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  • Avatar for vincentgoodwin88 #29 vincentgoodwin88 2 years ago
    Yay for Nintendo Christmas!

    After I saw the Dragon Quest and Pokemon Picross announcements, I told my wife and son that I loved them and I'd never see them again.
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  • @alexb Seriously. The Japanese version at least sounds like a name (Linkuru, as in Mikuru).
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  • Avatar for manny_c44 #31 manny_c44 2 years ago
    Jeremy are we ever going to get a stand-alone small New 3ds (in white)? Do you know anything?
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  • Avatar for Thad #32 Thad 2 years ago
    Great news on the DQ7 rerelease. Well, except for the part where I have no idea where I'm going to find the time to play all the way through it a THIRD time.
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  • The Legend of Zelda is not an RPG series.
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  • Avatar for AlxndrNevermind #34 AlxndrNevermind 2 years ago
    The lack of Metroid news is disappointing. Considering its 30th anniversary is next year, and the Direct only made reference to Zelda's 30th anniversary, memories of its 25th anniversary (or lack thereof) come back to mind. I am still interested in seeing what is going on with Metroid Prime: Federation Force.

    On a positive note, I don't even know how I can fit all those RPGs in next year. I mean, what is the expected game time on most of those games? 50-80 hrs at least? And that does not even include the Japanese Direct games that were shown like GIR#FE (can't remember the full name), and SMT: IV Final. Really looking forward to the latter game.
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  • Avatar for sylvan #35 sylvan 2 years ago
    Well it's a pretty great day to own a 3DS! I am gonna love playing DQ VIII again, and not having to break out my PS2. Man that's awesome. And Megaman Legacy Collection. Portable! Um, yes please. I am gonna get so much longevity out of my 3DS its insane. Honestly one of the finest platforms (console or handheld) Nintendo has ever released.

    And no doubt I am getting Xenoblade Chronicles X and probably TP HD. Also, truly relieved to hear that the next LOZ will be on the Wii U. I have no complaints about the Wii U right now, and despite its poor sales I don't consider it a failed console at all. If they give me a new LOZ I will be very satisfied.Edited November 2015 by sylvan
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  • Avatar for Pacario #36 Pacario 2 years ago
    A solid Nintendo Direct, and like everyone, I'm gladdened about DQ 7's announcement. But all these remakes, remasters, and sequels is a very telling sign that the Wii U and 3DS's days are indeed numbered as Nintendo covertly ramps up development for its future platforms. And while this may excite some, I, for one, wish the Wii U could have had at least one more truly momentous year.

    Ah well, at least Zelda Wii U is still on its way.
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  • Avatar for Roto13 #37 Roto13 2 years ago
    @cldmstrsn That has been rumoured. Who knows?
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  • Avatar for theresacatalano27 #38 theresacatalano27 2 years ago
    Star Fox is still looking amazing, besides Xenoblade it's the thing I'm most excited about!
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  • Avatar for Gamer-Law #39 Gamer-Law 2 years ago
    All I can say is that stories of the 3DS's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Fire Emblem Fates, Bravely Second, Dragon Quest VII and VIII...the only question is where I will find the time to enjoy all of those terrific games.

    The highlights of the Direct for me were the announcement that Bravely Second would be arriving in the first quarter and that we will be getting the Fire Emblem Fates Special Edition bundle in North America.Edited 2 times. Last edited November 2015 by Gamer-Law
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