One Hundred

November 16th, 2005 at 7:34 pm by The Missing Link

Craving Twilight Princess news, anyone?

Acording to a Japanese article, “between the single-player adventure and all of its hidden side-quests, there are over 100 hours of gameplay to be experienced. Also on the subject of size, it’s said that the game in general is much bigger than any Zelda before it. Finally, the article goes on to relay that the fresh and new gameplay mechanics introduced in Twilight Princess will set the benchmark for the next generation of Zelda” (emphasis mine).

If you remember, the last time we heard an indication of length, Aonuma guesstimated 70 hours. Whether his estimate was strictly storyline or included side-quest tallies as well, I can’t say for certain, but I think something interesting to point out is that, out of all the RPGs I have ever heard of (the only games that are typically measured in “hours”), I have never heard of any non-MMORPG lasting 100+ hours. (You all can correct me if I’m wrong, but even Final Fantasy X didn’t advertise that, and it was a huge game. Perhaps I’m trying to count my cuccos before their hatched, but I believe that this not only sets a benchmark for Zelda, it will set a benchmark for all RPGs to come.

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One Hundred Hours


100 Hours! DAMN. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a game with that much gameplay either. Hopefully it won’t get boring by the end, but no Zelda game has done that yet. May the way of the Hero lead you to the Triforce.

Wow!!!! No wonder they delayed it….. thirty more hours!!! Thats almost equivalent to another game! My GPA is definately suffer from this one.

Btw, what’s MMORPG?

It’s an abbreviation for ‘Massive Multi-Player Online RPG.” At least, I’m pretty sure. :)

What are the odds. I was reading that same article on Zelda Legends and then clicked on the link here. :D

As long as the 100+ hours isn’t like Wind Waker’s time eater (sailing while doing nothing except checking if your boat doesn’t get stuck or hit for countless hours), this should be awesome!

100 hours.Thants gonna keep us busy, VERY busy.

Allow me to post what I posted in response to this in the NC forums:

I’ll believe it when I see it. Windwaker would’ve taken god knows how long if I collected all the trophies/photos etc. I really hope the game length is similar to ToS, not just through repetitive ‘collect’ quests, but through a decent-length plot and a multitude of varied, optional side quests and true exploration (such as that in Alttp).

Sidequests, when implemented with thought and attention, can be enjoyable and add to the overall experience of a game. However, Nintendo’s idea of a ’side quest’ in the Zelda series at least is just a series of ‘collection’ quests that comprise of ‘Go talk to X, do Y, go back and talk to X, then go talk to Z then start over.’ It can get very tiresome, and doesn’t, for me, add to the appeal of the game.

Let me quote some text from one of the designers of the Ultima 5 remake, Lazurus.

A goal was to adapt the style of Ultima 7 where there are a lot of recurring themes, and side quests built around them. In the Black Gate, you had themes such as the Fellowship, the anti-gargish racism, the growth of the Britannian Mining Company and the resulting pollution, the government’s neglect of the farming communities and many more. In Lazarus much is centred around the conflict between the Oppression and the Resistance which I will come back too, in addition to some others you will discover when you play.

When I talk about quests here, I do not always mean instances where a guy stops you in the road and asks you find his family heirloom that he lost the other day. Sometimes the “quest” is a clue you get through a conversation with one person in one city that may prove to help you solve a mystery somewhere else. Or you may find out that a person is troubled by something and you decide that you want to see if you can do something about it; not because she told you to, but because you feel it is right.

There are many other scenarios. We have grand quests and small quests. Being a hero does not always have to be about slaying Dragons and battling Shadowlords. Helping people and learning to know them on a personal basis has always been important in the Quest for the Avatar.

Now if Nintendo could apply this kind of thought to TP, we’d be in for a real treat. Ultima 7 and Planescape Torment are my favourite RPGS because of the multitude of options you have as a character. You can plow through the main story and ignore half of the sidequests with no consequence - however, if you complete various side quests you will see the consequences either ingame or in the ending. Some people have argued, wrongly I think, that Zelda games should not have sidequests because Link is too busy saving the world. If done rightly, side quests can add to the replayability and the experience of a game. Nintendo are never going to give us a Bioware style RPG with sidequests that let us explore darker aspects of our character (which of course limits replayability in some cases), but I really don’t see why Nintendo can’t begin to be a bit more thoughtful with their NPC and sidequest design. Compared to some RPGS (ToS, U7, Jade Empire) they are severly lacking. If TP seeks to readdress this balance, then I’m all for it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Zelda series, but if Nintendo combined the ingenuity of their control, strength of the franchise and dungeon design with the attention to detail Bioware pay to their NPCS and side quests, we’d be in for, without a doubt, the best RPG ever. Well I can always prey Elevation Partners buy out Nintendo I suppose. ;) (God, don’t stone me for that comment!)

Incidentally, the play time of Baldur’s Gate 2 with its expansion pack is well over 100 hours, and with replayability factored in this can extend to possibly hundreds of hours of play. It took me MONTHS to complete.


I don’t like super long games. I thought nintendo was trying to stay away from them. I mean, it took me like 6 or 7 hours to beat OOT, and that was not 100%. I liked beating OOT and windwaker for the first time in 15 hours (give or take an hour or two). It makes me feel like TP is now trying to compete with ff12 and elder scrolls 4: Oblivion.

To be honest with you guys I’m not a huge fan of RPG’s, especially Elder Scrolls. I like them, but there not the best. I have FF8, which is ok, and I’ve played a little FF7 to which was a tad better. I liked Diablo, Fable was OK, Pokemon’s are fun, WoW was cool, and yeah, some others I liked too….

Don’t get me wrong though, I like all genres except really sports and racing. Will I buy TP? OF COURSE!!! WILL I LIKE IT? YES!!!
I’d rather prefer something shorter…. like maybe 40 or maybe 50 at the most…

Well, bawp, two things:

1) Given that they’re taking a lot of extra time on this project, I don’t think you’ll have THAT many needless side quests in the game. I honestly don’t, especially with this being what they champion as the best Zelda to date.

2) The time estimations aren’t always going to be precise. Personally, I never reach those time limits and I find my times through the games 10 to 20 hours shorter than advertised, but some take much longer. It’s always variable, and no matter which side of the marker you’re on, the 100 hours will probably be correct for someone out there. ;)

Yes… Kinda like ToS; advertised play time of 70 hours; My first play through took me a little over 30; of course, its one of few games I played through more than once.

Also, I must express my opinion that Zelda isn’t an RPG, at least not in the traditional sense (in the same way that Metroid Prime isn’t a FPS). In fact, both of these games fall into the same Genre of “Action / Adventure” games, given that neither has the ‘features’ of what is considered a ‘true’ game from its respective assumed genre, and surprisingly, both have the features often described as common to adventure games.

Relating this to the topic; Twilight Princess wont set new standards for RPGs, but for action / adventure games, as it fits much more snugly into that genre.

I figure with a full sidequest enriched walkthrough, I could probably shave it down to 60 or so. Don’t get me wrong, I used to always play the game without a walkthrough, and only use it for 100% completion the second time around, but nowadays I just don’t have time for it.

DaMoose, the term (computer) RPG is vague at best and meaningless at worst, and so we could endlessly debate whether Zelda is an “RPG” or an “Adventure game” until the cows come back to Lon Lon, and I will definitely post my thoughts about it one day in an article on here. ;) However, until that day, we should be able to agree upon the fact that Zelda does share a lot of elements as RPGs (not withstanding that you, the player, roleplay as Link, the character, but again, saved for a later article), and seeing as how Zelda these days tends to be measured in hours like most RPGs, not to mention that Zelda competes with and is compared against other (non-MMORPG) RPGs in the industry (Final Fantasy, anyone?), for the purpose of simplification, I loosely classified it as an RPG. So let’s not split hairs … at least yet. :D

Well the 3d games are more like adventure and the 2d games are more like rpg’s.And as for side quests they can be quite good between dungeons when you start to get bored of the main story look at Majora’s Mask for example it had great side quests.

Alls I’m saying is I don’t want Nintendo ‘beefing’ up the play time by putting in some long winded ‘collect-a-billion-items-quest.’ However since this type of ‘quest’ has become a fixture in the Zelda series (seashells in LA, Skulltulla’s in Oot, Trophies in WW, Kinstones in MC) then I can’t see them not putting one in. Strangely enough, I didn’t mind the collecting element in LA & Oot, but detested it in WW (due to the stupid amount of going back and forward to that island you had to do).

But basically, if the game is going to be 50 or 100 hours long, I want to see variation in the sidequests. I have no trouble with the plot and the dungeons being fantastic, that’s a given, but the sidequests need to be better (Majora’s Mask had decent side quests, which probably made me think a great deal more of it than I thought I would - so something in this direction would be welcome, but Nintendo need to step it up a bit). As TML said, the Zelda series, whether or not it is an RPG (personally I think not) is in competition with other ‘RPG’ games such as the Final Fantasy series. With no party system or levelling up to beef things up game time, Nintendo need to compensate for this in other ways.

Anyway my optimistic prediction is: Gameplay time 25-35 hours, Total Play Time 50-60 hours.

Prove me wrong Nintendo!

  • jrz says:

will there be two or three disc

Well because i hate the kind of games like final fanasy (besides Crsystal Cronicals) Because its pretty boring in a battle all u do is attack (useing the command not pressing a button and then attack on zelda) then u use magic and potions to heal NOW THATS A BORING RPG i mean WoW is good because the walking is added War3 is good because their is a million bnet custom games but in all ive beat all the zeldas besides the 2nd one(i Didnt like) and i loved them all and all i hope for is to get stuck in sumthing and not try to rush though it i did that to alot of other zeldas and it makes me kinda sad that the adventure is over sp the longer the game the better If the game is hard enough for me to get stuck on a weak Ill love that. besides zelda still it the best game and will kick sonys and xboxes all the way to the moon to get eaten by magorias wrath and stuff like that

I can’t wait! And that is all I have to say.

I would like it to be long, as long as it has plenty of sidequests like other zelda games, so if your bored of keeping doing dungeons you can do something else. I hope they don’t make the mistake of it being to long that it is repetitive and boring.

100+ hours OH YES, YES, YES thank the Godesses and thank Nintendo this is the greatest news EVER I want this game soooo badly now.

BTW considering that the Revolution will be on-line and FREE On-line to boot wouldnt it be cool to have a MMORPG Zelda Game, you could either be a Hylian, Zora, Goran, Sheikah, Gerudo, Deku Scrub, Kokiri or a Moblin, how does that sound?

  • TSA says:

It is not going to be 100+ hours. Try 50+ for the 100% completion, 30 for basic completion. Ocarina of Time was only about 20-25 hours, so if this game was double the size, it would be around 50 hours. I seriously doubt this game is four times as big as Ocarina of Time - Ocarina had far more development time than Twilight Princess.

Well, technolgy tend to get better as time goes by, so its probably easier to make a game like that now than it was a few years ago.And I agree that as long as it was not time consuming, its going to be good.

Hmm… you know what 100 hours means don’t you? It means this game will be more then one discs. This may very well become the first 2 part zelda game in the franchise. THAT would be an interesting subject, and would be a definate milestone that would come up for years.

Remember that Ocarina of Time was also the first Zelda to ever use a 3D engine. Much of the development time was in adapting Zelda to a 3D world rather than the traditional 2D style we were used to seeing.

There may be a correlation between development time and amount of game there is to play, but that correlation is a weak correlation.

Either there is 100+ hours, or they’re saying that as an excuse for delaying it or something, all we can do for now is wait and see (or consult Zelda and her prophetic dreams)

Even if it doesn’t turn out to be QUITE 100 hours of gameplay, it’s not gonna be 30, either. And that, I’m quite thrilled about. If they’re making us wait as long as they are for TP, and are hyping it up as much as they are, I want it to later represent a large investment of my time.

I’m sure I will -mysteriously- come down with the flu the week it is released so I can stay home from school.

Shame on you GR.Overall, no maatter what, this game will be great (I seen some sort of footage around a website a few weeks ago of Link sword Fighting Ganon) a good ‘ole sword fight is what I like.100+ or not, we’re waiting for it.

  • JC says:

TP is based off TWW’s engine. But there were alot of modifications, they really can’t call it the same engine anymore. I’m sure they kept the initilization part of the engine and such.

They had to optimize mostly the graphics part. When dealing with realistic graphics, it’s alot more vertices on polygons to render. It seems they didn’t have too much work to do with psychics. I’m sure the bounce back for Link is set a little further, due to the graphical representation of the game.

As for music…eh. Music is easily placed to in a game. It’s just a matter of the game’s infostructure. Once you’re able to set up the graphics and scripts engine, and input engine, you could have a fully functional game..just without music.

Placing scripts in a 3D world isn’t too dificult either. Most of that work is in TWW’s engine. I don’t think they needed to toy much with that.

So basically, TP is TWW advance. Better graphics..engine..music..story, etc. Even with a solid, complete engine, you could still have a pretty empty game. That’s prolly what happened with TP. They spent alot of time making the engines and graphics, they go screwed up with everything else.

I’m sure they are just adding more substance to the game. Something to make it flow better maybe. Maybe they ran into unexpected bugs.

See, they probably hit what the game industry calls the “code complete” milestone. Believe it or not, it’s possible. This “code” could be for the basic story of the game. For that, you need Graphics, Sound, Input, Script, and output. Then just add your graphics in, create the scripts, save the resources to the disc, and compile. (I’m not sure how Nintendo does it, but.)

If you want to add more to a game, you need to have pointers to your engines. Lets say for the graphics engine, you want to reference it when you want some..oh lets say..Tingle sprite displayed. You’d have a pointer to the display function in the editor. Pointer, or reference. Like so:

ZeldaGraphics -> RenderTingle()

It’d go something like that. When adding more to a game, you have to be careful. You don’t wanna screw with the game’s engines too much, or you might end up having a chain of bugs in your program that’ll cost you time, and most of all, money.

But a 100 hour game? It’s possible..but it seems..strange. The GCN can hold alot of resources. It’s just a matter of where your resources are and how you get to them. If your system fails during rendering, you might have a back-up system..but it might not be fool-proof.

Even through all that, I’m with TSA on this one. A 50 hour game seems logicial for this.

Yeah, sounds logical enough.Of course, there’s the added hours of riding across Hyrule’s fields.The field is much bigger in TP than OoT, if you seen the movies/trailers.In one, i saw Link fighting off several monsters (bokoblins maybe) and saw nothin’ but green grass extending upon miles without a single land mark.So that probably make 55-60 hours for the field.Hey, atleast its beter than sailing across a vast sea.

Shame on you GR.

It’s TP! Feigning sickness for TP is perfectly justifiable!

JC, as a practising programmer, I think you’re approaching the whole coding paradigm incorrectly. Additions and changes to both concept and code are a natural part of any software engineering model, and while it is true that they’re harder to work with late in a project development, projects that are done well can usually use existing APIs with very limited “exception” code in order to allow for the alternate functionality. I could go into it at length, but that’s not a debate for this article. Feel free to E-mail me if you want to hear my take on it. :)

As far as resource management is concerned though, you have to consider the sense of scale that we have in today’s gaming marketplace. Each GCN disc holds 1.5 GB of data, so if we even pretend that Twilight has 2 discs, you get 3.0 GB to play with. Granted, since you have to run off of the two discs, you’re going to lose some of that space because of duplicate data that needs to appear on both discs. However, let me compare this with other games of which I’m pretty familiar with:

1. Tales of Symphonia is a two-disc game that took me 60 hours to compete, and it was slated at 70 hours. Most of the game was plot, and I didn’t spend all that much time just having to “level up” my characters. The second disc was MUCH shorter than the first disc, the first one containing about 75% of the plot.
2. World of Warcraft is an MMORPG that is VERY vast as far as size. The amount of physical game space in that game is quite simply immense. The game is an install on four CDs (2.8 GB), although I reckon some of it is compressed on disc. (My folder weighs in at 5.0 GB, but that’s not exactly a fair measurement since I’ve had to download several patches since playing the game.) It’s easily a 100+ hour game. However to put it in sense of scale, the graphics in WoW have to support “bad” and “good” graphics cards alike, so texture data is highly repeated in multiple resolutions. On GCN, you only need to support one mode (since GCN isn’t HD-ready), and beyond that, the Gekko graphics card in there can support native compression of texture data up to 6x. Since graphics are probably the lion’s share of the discs (sans voice, which neither uses an insane amount of), these can probably be put into comparable orders of magnitude as far as size goes.

Thus, 100 hours isn’t out of the question. It will inevitably depend upon if they use a second disc, how much of it they use, what sidequests they use, and inevitably each player’s rate of progression.

I too will be very sick the week when TP comes out, I will be suffering from a mysterious illness that may or may not be realted to hangover, lol

BTW I hope to god that Tingle isnt in this game and I would also like to see the return of Agahnim and Dark Link because those would be incredible fights and Agahnim would have a bit of a grudge to settle, lol

Agahnim and Dark Link…Good.Tingle bad!Tingle bad!I would fight all the final bosses rather than face that thief again.He was ok in MM, but he took heavy hits at my wallet in TWW, and in FSA, he tries to get the good force gems (cursed tingle) and if he ever shows up in TP, he’s wolf bait!!!It isn’t worth having 100+ hours with Tingle in it, and IF he is in it, the MM one will be target practice >=[

100 HOURS!!!!!!! WAITING HAS PAID OFF!!!!! Insane! Hopefully…
I don’t care though because Zelda is Zelda and every Zelda has been and is still fun.

I do not care what any pessimists say! This is some of the greatest news for Twilight Princess I have ever heard! XD YEAH!

I wonder what TP would be like if it came out in December/January like what was originally planned…?

  • JC says:

Heh. I personally don’t believe they’ll go to a second disc. What I posted up there is for a one disc situation. If two discs, then sure 100 is possible. But I dunno..I have this feeling that using two discs for it seems kinda..unorthodox when it comes to a Zelda game. *shrug*.

But really, if you think about it, TP is a HUGE update of TWW’s engine. Graphically at least. Thats all they really needed to work on the most. Graphics. You need graphics in order to have a game, y’know. :-p

I don’t think they really needed to mess with sound/music/events/script placements. I’m sure they use some type of script to place enemies in TWW. They could have carried that over to TP. It’s not like its impossible. It’s always happening.

After all the initial stuff is set up, they work on the game’s “sub-engines” meaning Ruppees..HUD..Items…etc. Thats ALOT of work and you’ll need a fine-tuned engine to make it all connect and work.

Whose the pesimist?

  • Kai says:

Yes, the Twilight Princess is already a very big game among many. And if this many hours are put into the game I dont think it will only be a benchmark for all RPG games to come, but it might be a benchmark even for Video Game history! :)

Well, at this point, assuming that Zelda will only go single-disc at this point isn’t a guarantee, so we can’t count cuccos before they’ve hatched. The possibility of 100 “for someone” is there, and that’s what I’m coming down to.

You are spot on with the graphics part though. Textures take time, and graphical polish isn’t something that comes overnight. But this setback of creating graphics is something every game on the planet has to do, and that puts their development cycle on the order of Final Fantasy, which is roughly three years between the release of FFX-2 and FFXII. And these aren’t just paltry games we’re talking about here; you could easily get 65-70 hours out of FFX. Again, this isn’t a stretch. The same thing goes with the module interconnection thing; every component has to talk to nearly every other component in every game, so that’s not a setback.

In short, 100+ hours is not impossible, and being that it’s advertised in this way, I doubt they’re just blowing smoke up everyone’s tunics either. Sure, the number may not be correct for everyone, but numbers do have one universal tendency: With regards to scale, they’re usually pretty darn close.

And just for the record, I think “module” is a better term than “sub-engine” every day of the week, but that’s just me.

After all the initial stuff is set up, they work on the game’s “sub-engines” meaning Ruppees..HUD..Items…etc. Thats ALOT of work and you’ll need a fine-tuned engine to make it all connect and work.

Ok I say that it may still be 1 disk and 100 hours of play i mean we have memorie cards maybe the game gets uploaded to to memorie card are maybe it comes with and expansion pack Like on Magorias mask but it is for th extra memorie and the people who say its basicly wind waker is wrong because if u see in previews link fights a goron witch could play a good role in the game none the less it should be nothing like wind waker with link turing into wolf and the shadow monsters coming out of th esky i mean that was nothing like wind waker just to make you guys think a little but non the less when in games u have to lvl that usally wipes out 20 hours r so once again my opinon but maybe tingal will get eaten in this and never make a apperance (probley not most people in china and japan like him i mean thats why they r makeing a game on him

I just want to see the Zoras again, Zoras are cool

100 Hours. I don’t know what to say…

Pretty hard, I’ll be using all summer and weekands….Look, I disagree with some things above. I’m no fan of final fantasy, but a similar game, Fire Emblem uses many similar concepts, and if anyone says fire emblem is lame compared to zelda, which it is just a bit lower than zelda, I will grab the master sword and stab that person. RPGs with no real-time are fine, zelda if you forget to push the start button, you get killed if you walk away for 10 seconds….goodness know how many times that happened to me….Oh, and I agree with one other thing. DIE TINGLE!!!!! He stole all the good stuff, the only cool thing about him in TWW was shooting him…

Obviously you’ve never heard of the pokemon geeks. I myself have logged 200 hours per game on them. Of course, that’s for people who want to build a competive team of 100s… the actual story lasts like 12 hours.
There’s also the function the of difficulty. Super Mario RPG easily took me over that time amount, simply because I stunk at it at age 12.

O My!!!! 100 hours. I’m set. I’ve been waiting so long. I will be so happy to sit in front of my tv with this game for 100 hours. Bring it on! :D

  • jrz says:

has a game ever been that long except pacman wich had 555 levels
and remember months ago they said there would be 3 different versions of the game so maybe theres 3 disks man resident evil 4 wasn’t even that long

100 HOURS!!!!!!!! wow! this is a BIG plus for me because i hate, and i meen HATE beating a legend of zelda game. Dont get me wrong, i LOVE the loz series, because its the only series that causes you to think! ferinstance.. that Dragon Ball Z taiketzu game was a joke! i beat it on my way home in the car for crying out loud! Zelda games challenge me. and when i beat one. i know that i wont get a grand gaming experience for a while. so getting a guaranteed 100 hours of play suits me just fine (;

Dont worry Filo you are not alone, im up to 300+ hours on Pokemon Emerald, lol

i wondr how hyrule keeps getting bigger and smaller in wind waker hyrule was was huge but a shield blocked you from leaving and rural village wasn’t a town before and what do you think the bosses look like theres balrog that knight on the giant bull and gannon thats 3 out of eighteen dungeons not including sub bosses and there going to hopefully make spaceworld 2000 one day but the name was preeeeettttyy darn dumb