Tag Archives: Zelda

E3 2017: I’ll Be Your 1-Up Boy

For many gamers across the world, E3 is like Christmas. Being the pinnacle of video game marketing, the event itself is overflowing with the energy of a theme park – complete with colorful attractions and lines of people waiting for their turn to have fun. Being my third E3, this was a first for me as not a part of the IGDA scholarship program – originally a recipient and now a manager of it. IGDA Scholars no longer includes E3 as part of their roster, but E3 still holds significance for my agenda. As someone who specializes in journalism, marketing, and PR – specifically in games – E3 is a great opportunity for me to continue fostering friendships in the industry.

Traffic in New Donk City

With a love for Nintendo games which dates back almost as long as I’ve been alive, naturally, my attention was mostly on the Big N this year. Nintendo certainly did not disappoint. Their presentation managed to hit all the right spots, successfully building more hype for the Nintendo Switch. There’s a lot to look forward to this year for Switch owners: ARMS, Splatoon 2, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Fire Emblem Warriors, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and – especially – Super Mario Odyssey. Reveals of new Yoshi and Kirby games, plus announcements of a core Pokémon game AND Metroid Prime 4 in development only adds fuel to the flame.

As Nintendo continued its E3 coverage with Treehouse Live and additional reveals of another Metroid for the Nintendo 3DS and new amiibos, my anticipation for visiting Nintendo’s booth grew. Super Mario Odyssey was the clearly the star of the show with Nintendo’s booth dressed up as New Donk City. However, with an E3 opened to the public for the first time in several years, Nintendo’s booth resembled that of a giant mosh pit more than anything else.

People waited for up to four hours in undefined lines just to play 10-minute demos of Super Mario Odyssey. The crowds were a common complaint and although crowd control improved over time, it was clear that the ESA was ill-prepared for this influx. I only got to be hands-on with two games at E3 as a result – Super Mario Odyssey being one of them.

Having Tea with the Professor

In my position as a social media coordinator for Novy, I was really happy to have been given an opportunity to work with Level-5 to plan and host the Layton café – a one-day event at E3 celebrating the 10th anniversary of the series and promoting the upcoming Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy. I’ve enjoyed Level-5 games since I’ve played Professor Layton and the Curious Village for the Nintendo DS, so it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

Our hard work paid off as the Layton café was a big success with media and fans alike. Personally, I helped with media interviews with Akihiro Hino and as a “puzzle master” – welcoming guests and providing “hint coins” (a.k.a. clues) for puzzles. Witnessing the excitement from fans as they soaked in the atmosphere was a very rewarding experience and something I’m glad I got to play a role in.

Music from the Heart

That night ended on a high note – literally – as I attended the Kingdom Hearts concert with Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts composer) and Tetsuya Nomura (Kingdom Hearts director) in attendance. Again I witnessed the enthusiasm of fans as they shed tears over a performance they never thought would come to fruition. I’ve never seen a more passionate audience for an orchestra.

On a Throne for a Day

I wrapped up the remainder of E3 exploring the parts of the L.A. Convention Center I did not yet explore. After a bit of dancing at the Ubisoft booth, I got to play my second demo – another Level-5 game, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. After defeating a dragon and taking my place upon the throne at the Ni no Kuni booth, the rest of my day was dedicated to meeting industry friends.

E3 was a fruitful time for me – particularly in rejuvenating relationships. The two games I was able to play left a favorable impression on me. Mario Odyssey is bringing back a beloved old 3D Mario formula with many fun twists and Ni no Kuni II’s revamped battle system is a welcomed change. E3’s lively atmosphere is contagious, but I particularly loved how Nintendo transported its visitors to the bustling streets of New Donk City – fitting considering the traffic this year. Nintendo proved that it is a good year to be a Nintendo fan. Having the chance to do event marketing for a Professor Layton title was the cherry on top. Until next E3, I’m looking forward to seeing how the year plays out.

E3 2016: Nintendo’s Zelda Creating Big Ripples

E3 2016 Expectations

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

In complete honesty, I didn’t expect much from E3 2016. With the growing presence of the Internet, the need for a gargantuan press event seems to shrink by the day. However, the spectacle of E3 still makes me long for it. Like a kid wishing to go to Disneyland.

I spent most of E3 2016 watching the the most unlikely of candidates: Nintendo.

I need to make a special shout out for Sony. They delivered a press event that left people on the edge of their seats with nonstop, impressive showings with titles such as Horizon: Zero Dawn, The Last Guardian, and a surprising empathetic twist on God of War (a bloodthirsty game that typically doesn’t appeal to me). Sony’s dive in VR this autumn was the cherry on top. Despite this, I spent most of E3 2016 watching the the most unlikely of candidates: Nintendo.

Continue reading E3 2016: Nintendo’s Zelda Creating Big Ripples

Turning Zelda into Art Nouveau

In 2012, I was enrolled in one of the most enjoyable courses I took in my college career. It was called “History & Principles of Design.” Essentially, it covered the history of graphic design. Each student was assigned to create a poster reflective of one of the great artistic movements in graphic design and advertises a product of that era.

I was limited to pick a product that existed during the Art Nouveau period. Lucky for me, Nintendo was founded as a playing card company in 1889.

I was assigned Art Nouveau. Naturally, I immediately started brainstorming of ways I could incorporate this project with my passion for video games. The result was “Nintendo Playing Cards.”


Art Nouveau: A Brief Explanation

La Loïe Fuller (1893) by Jules Chéret

Art Nouveau, or “New Art,” is a major design movement from the late nineteenth century. It was largely influenced by the European introduction of Japanese woodblock prints and the desire to beautify an urban world shaped by the Industrial Revolution.

Art Nouveau pieces are defined by symbolism and sensuality, focusing much on expressive organic forms. Therefore, nature and floral forms are strongly prevalent. Curved lives and geometric patterns, known as arabesques, are common design elements. Idealized, young women were also a reoccurring subject for Art Nouveau.

Zelda’s fantasy world lends itself naturally to the aesthetic of Art Nouveau.

Even when advertising a product, emphasis was placed on the overall artiness of the piece.  This often made it unclear what the poster is about. Eventually this would lead to the rise of Sachplakat, a radically simplistic style.

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“Nintendo Playing Cards” was greatly influenced by the works of Alphonse Mucha. It also has a little taste of Jules Chéret.

Merging Nintendo’s Zelda with Art Nouveau

I was limited to pick a product that existed during the Art Nouveau period. Lucky for me, Nintendo was founded as a playing card company in 1889. Nintendo originally produced hanafuda (Japanese playing cards), but they did start producing western-styled playing cards in 1902.

Official The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Playing Cards from Nintendo.
Official The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Playing Cards from Nintendo.

Zelda_Skyward_SwordTaking a bit of modern liberty, originally, I was going to do a Super Mario-themed poster. Instead, I decided to go with The Legend of Zelda for the franchise’s access to numerous nature themes which were a common aspect of Art Nouveau. I am pretty fond of Zelda’s character in Skyward Sword, so I made her the predominate female figure, another notable Art Nouveau element.

Focusing on Skyward Sword, various parts of the poster’s design fell into place. There are many references. Can you spot them all? Some of them are more difficult to find than others. Here’s a list:

  • Zelda from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • Deku Babas
  • Bamboo from Bamboo Island
  • Pumpkins from Skyloft/Pumpkin Landing
  • Gate of Time
  • Goddess Harp
  • Insignia for Din, Faron, and Lanayru
  • Clouds/Sky
  • Triforce Motif
  • Original Nintendo Logo
  • Nintendo’s Vintage Ace of Spades Logo
  • Card Suits from the Zelda 25th Anniversary Playing Cards

“Nintendo Playing Cards” was hand-drawn, traced with Adobe Illustrator, and colored with Adobe Photoshop.


Combining this project with my love for video games made it a challenging, but enjoyable experience. Zelda’s fantasy world lends itself naturally to the aesthetic of Art Nouveau. There were many elements from the Zelda universe that I’ve considered using, but left out in favor of design or creating a unifying theme.

Although art and design is an never-ending process, I am satisfied with what I’ve accomplished. What do you think of it?