Rumors of Golden Sun for GameCube are escalating, and Louie the Cat is here to sort things out! Includes previously unreleased comments by Camelot's Takahashi brothers.
Hello there! Last time you heard from me, I was just about to award myself with a nice leaf of catnip…apparently I ate too much, because I woke up several days later with a major headache and some other kitty’s fur all over me. Such is the life of a bachelor cat, I guess!
Well, the big Nintendo rumor right now is that a new Golden Sun game is set to be announced soon for GameCube. There’s no concrete source for these reports…just gossip from Japan. But Golden Sun fans are in a joyous frenzy over it, and who can blame them? The handheld games in this series have their detractors, but there are plenty of people who think you can’t get a better RPG on Game Boy Advance. And I think we all want to see how Camelot would translate those beautiful graphics to the GameCube!
I haven’t heard anything through my LBSN (Little Birdie Spy Network) about this particular rumor, but intuition would say that it has a good chance of being true. You don’t need to rely on intuition though, because I’ve got a bit of historical information that supports the rumor more convincingly. You see, the boys at PGC had a nice, long interview with Camelot’s Takahashi brothers way back at E3 2003. This interview was never published, but I’ve got Jonny’s permission to show off a few excerpts that show how much the Takahashis were planning for Golden Sun even back then. The GBA sequel, Golden Sun: The Lost Age, had just been released in America, and everyone was starting to wonder when the obvious GameCube sequel would be announced. To PGC’s surprise, Shugo and Hiroyuki were more than happy to discuss it!
Takahashi Bros: At the beginning we were planning on just making one title. But, you know, as they we going through the development process we’re like, “We can’t possibly put everything in one Game Boy Advance ROM—er, one cartridge—that we want to do. A LOT!” (laughter) Originally we had made a game called Shining Force 3, and it was popular here in the United States from what we had heard; and, you know, in that game you had the ability to play both the good side and the bad side—the good characters and the bad characters, and that seemed to be a really nice way for the players to understand the entire setting and a good way to convey information and story. And so when we were doing Golden Sun we again thought, well, we could expand upon that. We brought in a Star Wars reference: you have the Empire and you have the Rebels, and if you understand both sides of it, it makes for a more complete story, and that whole type of storytelling methodology we decided they wanted to bring into Golden Sun. You need to understand the motivation behind each individual character’s actions and that sort of thing. And for us, as far as the whole Golden Sun setting, the world, the storyline for us, in our minds, Golden Sun 1 and 2 are prologues to the real event yet to come… So those games are created—again, from our viewpoint—as a way of introducing this world to the game players.
Planet GameCube: Is that introduction leading up to, possibly, a GameCube version of the Golden Sun Universe?
Takahashi Bros: Do you think people would like to see a GameCube version of Golden Sun?
PGC: Oh yes. Oh yes. I think there was a great deal of confusion at the end of the first Golden Sun game because of the abrupt way in which the game finished. There were definitely a lot of story that was left to be told, and I think that was one of the things people were disappointed in with the first one. So being able to possibly get a complete story with the graphical capabilities and whatnot of the GameCube, I think a lot of people would play with it.
Takahashi Bros: You know, [when you] take a fantasy world, basically, the standard motif is sword and sorcery: you’ve got a sword, you’ve got magic, for example a Lord of the Rings type of thing, and it’s really—it’s almost a complete motif. You’ve got swords and you’ve got sorcery: that’s fantasy. But we are saying [that] if you plant a fantasy world that didn’t include magic, and for us—we really felt that we were more familiar with and had more of a drawing to, say, super ESP or supernatural mental abilities. Things of that sort were more familiar and we thought we’d create a world where the ESP type of powers would be very appealing to a worldwide audience. And so, one thing…fantasy role-playing games could have people who have these magic powers, and yet still had to go through and step on the switch to open the door, press the block to get everything …we really wanted to give a feeling, give the players a feeling of extraordinary ability able to move them around, doing things without, maybe, some of that tedium. And that’s still really what we want to bring to people…hopefully [with] the foundation work we’ve done so far, and, for a Nintendo console, whether it’s GameCube or something else, but we definitely want to continue with that lead and create a world that people—gamers who love that sort of game—will be able to experience.
PGC: Yeah, I think that really is a big advantage of Golden Sun, is that you can take the magic outside of the battles.
Takahashi Bros: We want to do so much more! Yeah, we just really want to do much more with the ESP, the ability to fight for the riddle in the end that the sequel presents. And, again, just, if we are able to use that effectively, the amount of varied gameplay we can bring is just tremendous.
All of this stuff should be interesting to Golden Sun fans, but I bolded the most important parts for you. See, Camelot has wanted to do a console Golden Sun RPG for a while! They really think of the GBA games as being an introduction to the world, a prologue to the real story yet to come. And they want to take the idea of using ESP powers outside of battle and do many new things with it. You can bet that if and when a console Golden Sun game is announced, it will fulfill both of these goals. My whiskers are tingling with anticipation! Current rumors also specifically mention a multiplayer mode, but that really shouldn’t be surprising, since both of the GBA games had link cable support. Maybe the GameCube version will take the idea much further, though.
By the way, what about Camelot’s other big console game, Mario Tennis? Nintendo showed a few brief moments of it on video at this year’s E3, but otherwise the game has been in total seclusion…despite being announced simultaneously with Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, which has been out for a year! There were certainly some crazy things going on in that E3 video, but some rumors, fueled by the Nintendo’s E3 2004 press kit, say the real reason for the game’s long development time is that it will be incorporating a LAN mode or possibly even real online gameplay. Well, guess what - PGC asked the Takahashis about this too, back in the same interview.
PGC: Is Camelot exploring any of the other connectivity options, perhaps using the broadband adapter for LAN gaming for Mario Tennis or that sort of thing, or are you primarily going to stick with the way the GameCube links up with the Game Boy Advance?
Takahashi Bros: We have no plans to use the broadband adapter at this point.
Takahashi Bros: Oh!…are you shocked to hear that? Do you prefer to have it using the broadband adapter? We’re here to show Mario Golf. This is the first time we’ve had it on display, playable, people can see it, but we’re also here because we want to hear what the American gaming public wants. We feel that we are very—we take the feelings of the gamer into consideration when we’re working on things, and we would like to be able to carry and use some strong opinions. Well, you know, we’re trying to be able to development schedule-wise…it’s too late for (Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour). But it’s something we might consider in the future. Please let us know.
Hardly juicy stuff, but you can tell that they are interested in the feature and willing to consider it. By the time Mario Tennis finally comes out, it will have been at least two years since this interview was conducted, plenty of time to introduce such a feature if Camelot decided to try it out. Camelot experimented with the wireless GBA adapter for Mario Golf: Advance Tour, after all.
Well, that’s all for now, but I’ll try to avoid the catnip and stay alert for more Nintendo rumors this summer. See you soon!