We'll start with the bad: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has been delayed. Luckily, it's only by about a month, pushing the release date from sometime in February to March 25, 2003. At least it has an actual date now, so let's just hope it sticks.
Don't be discouraged though. We reported recently that by pre-ordering The Wind Waker in Japan would net gamers a free game - Two in fact. In one of the best freebies in recent gaming history, fans got a GameCube disc with the Nintendo 64's first Zelda game, Ocarina of Time. To further sweeten things, the disc also includes 'Ura Zelda', an add-on to Ocarina of Time originally made for the N64's 64DD add-on, but never released.
But you probably knew all that, and are likely jealous. Well, it seems this pre-order goodie WILL be available Stateside as well. In fact, you can even pre-order online through EBGames now to get the disc, despite the fact the promotion doesn't officially start until February 16th.
For those wondering about Ura Zelda's name, yes, it is going to be changed. EB is listing the English title for the game as 'Ocarina of Time: Master Quest.' Hardcore Zelda fans will recall the first Zelda title contained a second quest, with a redone overworld, and completely different dungeons. While Master Quest apparently isn't near as ambitious of a second quest, it could be considered a remix of the original game.
As if giving away two (essentially) games for free wasn't enough, the framerate and resolution has been improved on the GameCube, and is said to run nicer overall. Note that this technical information is based on impressions from Planet GameCube, as I have yet to get my copy of it. Rest assured that there will be impressions written when I do, though.
In the meantime, go pre-order Zelda: The Wind Waker. It's not every day that you get three games for the price of one, so you'd best take advantage of this amazing deal.
But if you're still not sold yet, we also have that big gallery update, which features 140 new screen shots across five pages, as well as Japanese packaging for the game, and for the bonus Ocarina of Time disc. For more information on the game, check out our preview below.
It was recently brought to my attention by a reader confused about where the promotion is stated on EB's page, that it's been removed. Or technically, the line has been altered. In place of the line that once mentioned getting a disc with Ocarina of Time and Master Quest (and littered with typos), EB has replaced it with "An exciting pre-sale offer will be announced soon. Pre-order now to lock in this bonus offer!" This could be because Nintendo has yet to officially announce the promotion in North America just yet. Don't worry though, because it IS coming.
Also, the same reader aksed if he would get the bonus disc when he pre-orders. For anyone else wondering, that's a big no. Since the promotion is said to begin in February, the discs won't likely ship out until then. That gives you about a month to play through them before The Wind Waker comes out, so it works out fairly well.