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Nintendo Unveils Zelda: Skyward Sword

Shigeru Miyamoto takes the stage at Nintendo's E3 presser to show off the long awaited Wii Zelda game.

The new Zelda sports a cell shaded look, but features an adult-style Link.

Nintendo wasted no time heating up its E3 press conference today. The event began with a live play demonstration of Wii's new Zelda game.

The new game, teased over the past year, is officially titled, in English "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword." It will see release some time in 2011.

Speaking first via a video message, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto said of the game "I think this game will be remembered as a key turning point in Zelda's history."

Miyamoto then took the stage to demonstrate the basic control scheme.

Players make use of the Wiimote, equipped with the required Wii Motion Plus, as their sword. The Nunchuck is used as shield. Said Miyamoto, "It's really not that difficult. Just imagine that you're holding a sword and shield yourself."

You shake your right hand to make the sword emerge. You can then swing it at any angle. You can also hold Z to target in front of you.

You have access to a variety of moves using the sword. You can swing both hands in the same direction to do a spin attack. You can also hold the sword straight to the sky, allowing you do "sword beam" attacks. Miyamoto said that this charges the sword with "the power of the heavens," hinting at what may be a storyline connection.

In previous comments, Nintendo hinted that the Wiimote would be used for some puzzle solving. The demonstration showed one of these. Miyamoto was faced with a door holding an eye in its center. If you attempt to strike the eye, it closes, and you can't get through the door. To solve this puzzle, Miyamoto rotated the Wiimote around in a circle, making Link do the same with his sword. The eye follows the motion of the sword and gets confused. You can then strike it and open the door.

The shield is also used heavily in combat. Similar to the sword, you shake the Nunchuck to raise your shield. One sample move with your shield is a "shield bash," which, if your timing is right, will send projectiles flying back at enemies.

Other moves during combat include the A button, which lets you jump. When not in battle, you can press A to run.

Miyamoto also demonstrated the game's item system. To use items, you press B, which brings up an item circle from which you can select your item. He demonstrated the following:

You don't point at the screen to aim. Instead, you move Wiimote around in front of you like you're moving a real sling shot.
Press A to set bombs on the ground. To throw the bombs, you raise the Wiimote over your head. You can also drop your hand to roll the bomb like a bowling ball.
Bow and Arrow
To fire arrows, you pull back on the Nunchuck while holding C.
A new item for the new game. Once you've shot the beetle, you directly control its flight with the Wiimote. You can use it to collect items, for instance.
Another new item. The whip changes its movement depending on your motions. Some enemies can't be defeated with the whip, but you can easily switch back to the sword.

Miyamoto was having difficulty controlling some of the items, but he assured that the controls are very smooth.

Miyamoto plays the new Zelda game in this photo distributed by Nintendo.

E3 attendees will be able to play the new Zelda on the show floor, as it's playable in Nintendo's booth. We can likely expect detailed impressions over the coming days.

You can see video streams of the Zelda presentation here:

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