Last year - around the same time that Nintendo announced it was releasing a HD remake of Twilight Princess - we spoke to Tomoya Hamasaki, the leader of a team working on its own fan-made upgrade of the esteemed title. The project was incredibly ambitious, with the aim being to use the incredible power found in modern PCs and harness it to create the most stunning version of Twilight Princess ever.
At the time, we broached the subject of Nintendo shutting things down, but Hamasaki didn't seem worried:
I'm not concerned since this project is basically heavily modding the ISO and emulation. Our project is just going to be a huge patch that requires you to own the physical copy of the game (either GameCube or Wii). If we receive a C&D (cease and desist), let's just say the project will finish one way or another.
That "if" seems to have become a reality, as Nintendo appears to have lodged a complaint about the videos. However, true to his word, Hamasaki is refusing to throw in the towel and the project is still very much alive - but will now go on a short hiatus. Hamasaki and his team intend to use the break to work on their own game. All video progress will be moved to Twitch in the light of the YouTube takedowns.
Were you following this fan project, or has the release of Twilight Princess HD knocked your interest? Let us know by posting a comment.
Although I can understand why Nintendo would object to this, it does remind me that their policy for video creators is absolutely dreadful.
It's not like Nintendo doesn't have a right to issue a C&D on them, but their own Twilight Princess HD was lackluster, compared to what many were hoping for. I'd like to see this project finished, but Nintendo will probably try to pull the plug on it, as it does pose a threat to TPHD's sales.
when fans make projects like this that expand and improve the original, they should be embraced and encouraged; eventually even getting legitmized. some of today's biggest developers started out as modders, like dice with their battlefield series.
Frankly, Nintendo released a game with crisp but blocky, dated visuals. I like what they did add to the gameplay but the resolution alone is not enough to make me buy and play Twilight Princess for a third time. I understand, and respect maintaining the spirit of the original but TP struggled to do what it set out to do even back upon original release. Its two biggest flaws were the rough graphical edges and the emptiness of those Hyrulian fields. Together these issues robbed it of its goal of recapturing the magic of Ocarina of Time.
These fans are really putting forth more solid development effort into the remake than Nintendo was willing or able to allocate the manpower for and they might be wise to leverage the skills of people like this given the profitability of remakes. Will TPHD make a lot of money? I expect it will, but if it looked like this it would surely make a significant amount more.
Good, I'm glad. They don't really have the right to do this. They're clearly very talented, but in poor taste going up against the official remaster using less powerful tech, which feels more like a cheap way of getting attention than a genuine love for the game.
As the guy said, you'd need a legit copy of the game anyway, this was basically a patch. It's his copy of the game and he is entitled to do what he wants with it as far as I'm concerned.
Fan projects such as this only enrich the fanbase and probably only draw in more interest for their IPs.
I can see where they're coming from though, why buy TP:HD when you could just patch your old game for free?
I'll just take it as another reminder that I love Nintendo's games, not their business practices.
@Mainsaile [Twilight Princess's] two biggest flaws were the rough graphical edges and the emptiness of those Hyrulian fields. Together these issues robbed it of its goal of recapturing the magic of Ocarina of Time.
Have you played the original Ocarina of Time recently? Because that game also had rough graphical edges and its iteration of Hyrule field was also pretty empty, with a few enemies here and there.
@Mainsaile An actual remake instead of a remaster wouldn't make any difference to sales because the main hamper for 2016 Wii U game sales is "Wii U is dead, bring on NX" logic.
Stay classy, Nintendo.
@Mainsaile I dunno - it's been a while since I played TP, but I remember liking the large Hyrule Field despite, maybe because, of the emptiness, I felt it gave it a really grand scope. I never beat the game because I was lending it from someone way back, but I remember adoring it, and loving the atmosphere and epic scale.
Seriously, Twilight Princess was the worst Zelda game to ever come out. I don't get why Ninty or the other guy even bother remastering it. Those times would had been better spent finishing the new Zelda Wii U game or at least start on a new one for the NX. Of anything Nintendo could had just hired the guy and his team, give them a few zennies and be on their way.
It kinda annoys me how people harp on TPHD for not looking good enough compared to a fan mod while not considering its mainly a remaster that was outsourced to a third party studio on a likely more limited budget. When ypu put the original side by side with the HD version there is a difference its just harder to spot because of the art style
I don't know why they are bothering
Tphd is stunning
@allav866, you are right about the graphical rough edges but only if you are making a contemporary comparison. At the time of release Ocarina of Time boasted what were then very striking visuals and lighting effects.
Graphically, Twilight Princess simply attempted to keep up with its contemporaries (and mostly succeeded).
Regarding the fields, Ocarina was the first of its kind, while TP should have been more of an evolution. I made a choice to enjoy the vast emptiness as well but I have not read or heard that the designers intended that. I would have preferred more bustling variety.
I am a fan of both games.
They could have at least waited some time after TPHD came out to show some progress. That's probably what they are doing right now
Not surprising at all. But as long as he wasn't making any money from it, I don't see what the issue is (at this time, at least).
If you take someone's intellectual property and likeness which is heavily associated with your brand, then modify it and publicise that you've modified it without their permission, you can't be surprised that the owners come after you. Where I work we have to deal with copyright and usage of images and footage all the time to make sure we don't end up in court. Something as big as the Zelda brand? You're playing with fire.
Eh...this was pretty much inevitable. On one hand, yes, it was free, and you did need the game to actually download this. On the other hand...Nintendo kind of has their own TPHD, and this does actually pose a bit of a threat to it.
This is yet another example of Nintendo taking advantage of the American Digital Millennium Copyright Act to do as they please. The DMCA is quite a specter... And no one seems intent on repealing/reforming it any time soon, what with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under constant assault from big corporate pockets.
Google (which owns YouTube) is now one of the biggest corporate sponsors of political candidates who support their agenda, of whom are also connected to those who have an interest in keeping the DMCA alive. So it's natural that they would allow some crack downs on anything that doesn't hurt their profits. On the other hand, for example, they would never allow this to happen to prominent Youtubers like Pewdiepie. Those who make enough profit for Google are above the "law".
As for Twitch, Amazon owns them now, and they're generally of a similar mindset as Google. I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo is able to further exploit the DMCA to hound Tomoya down on Twitch, as well. He may just have to rely on a personal website with embedded videos, which would make for more work, but it's looking increasingly likely that it will become necessary.
And even then, Google and Nintendo can further abuse the DMCA to plague Tomoya by giving him copyright violation strikes when his content or site would appear on Google searchs. (Which starts involving the FBI if further "infractions" after a takedown notice are filed by the wealth owners; this is a way to get around filing a cease and desist, of which could be seen as bad PR.) We'll have to see, but it could end up being a lot of work to dodge Google's spindly spiders.
Really hope they'll get it done someday; I have my GCN disc ready for this.
@WiltonRoots Nah, Nintendo products get modded all the time, and almost none have received takedown notices over the years, not even when they're showcased on YouTube with thousands of views or more. The DMCA is what allowed Nintendo to go after Tomoya here, through specific filing requests. In other words, Nintendo's legal team has specifically targeted Tomoya.
Fair Use Doctrine can be claimed in many cases of modding, so long as no profit is being made; it supercedes the corporate produced "agreements" that gaming/tech industry lawyers draw up. The only reason it wouldn't is because big corporations have been trying to steadily weaken and then kill Fair Use for the past century. They're getting close, but it hasn't happened yet.
@Mainsaile Me too, but I must respectfully disagree on both points. While Ocarina of Time was one of the better looking games at the time of release, other games would surpass it without the use of the Expansion Pack. Twilight Princess was one of the best looking games on the system, at least for GameCube, and the Wii even threw in some extra bloom, iirc.
As for the fields, Twilight Princess was more packed than people give it credit for. Where OoT had a few small grottoes and Big Poes scattered about, Twilight Princess had treasure chests, Poes, Pieces of Heart, golden bugs, hidden grottoes, caves, and even some puzzles to discover. There was even a wider range of enemies to encounter than what OoT offered, most of which could spot you from far away, and had ranged attacks to boot!
For how spacious the fields are, it's more time consuming to go from Point A to Point B, and if that's all you're concerned with, then you probably won't even notice how much Hyrule Field has to offer, which may be why I hear people call TP's Hyrule Field "empty."
@Mainsaile Unfortunately, the small data limits of the GCN discs probably weren't enough for cramming anything more into the Hyrule Field. The Wii discs had more than enough room for that, but then it wouldn't have been ready in time for launch. It must have been a tough compromise...
And I thought Nintendo's YouTube partner program was dreadful, oh wait, it is.
When people can't see any problem with this project or why Nintendo bother to shut down, i start to think that a lot of people here are just stupid and love to whining.
@Damo Wait, this is just YouTube takedowns? Because there is an enormous difference between that and an actual cease and desist notice. The former simply involves YouTube telling you that you can no longer publish videos through their site of a particular thing, and the latter involves attorneys asserting legal authority to demand that you stop doing something or else get sued. So this doesn't mean that this project has been stopped by Nintendo, it just means that they had some videos of the project taken down. Also, do we know if Nintendo is even behind the strikes? Because YouTube acts on their own to make strikes on copyrighted content all the time, usually because of the music in the video.
what TPHD SHOULD have looked like...
@Moon It's not 'his' copy of the game though, all he owns is the physical media it's on and a license to play it, Nintendo have ultimate ownership of the code and copyright over it. Buying somebody else's game doesn't give you the right to modify it and potentially sell it on to other people making 100% profit from what is mostly somebody else's work. Same as you can't buy a book, alter a couple of chapters and then redistribute it yourself as if you'd written it all. Even if he distributed it for free, it'd still be like he was taking credit for Twilight Princess even though he wasn't involved in it's original development, and Nintendo's name and reputation will be attached to his HD update even though they've had nothing to do with it.
There's a lot more to it than just 'it's his copy, he can do what I like with it'.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a lot of fan mods and edits, but it doesn't surprise me when publishers get heavy handed. Especially seeing as Nintendo have literally just released their own version of Twilight Princess HD.
Honestly, it shocks me that Nintendo couldn't be bothered to make TPHD look as good as this project. TPHD is really not a looker.
@J-Manix98 um it looks better than this, if you play it you'll know that. don't judge off a youtube video cause the games look better on your tv than youtube always.
@TheDavyStar um again play the game... also it would have taken them a long time to make this work, i can bet you it wouldn't run as smoothly as the official games do also.
I've played TPHD on a very nice big TV, and I can tell you that the differences between HD and the Wi version are extremely minimal. A couple of texture and framerate upgrades, but beyond that it is very difficult to distinguish the difference.
@kenrulei Well whether or not it runs depends on your PC...PCs aren't easily compared to consoles especially Wii U.
@TheDavyStar yes but the videos showing the in progress wasn't that good to me at least.
But really, you see more impressive graphical improvements in Skyrim Mods that people make for free than in Twilight Princess HD, if Nintendo is aware of the minimal changes in the nearly full price for a brand new game they are charging for Twilight Princess HD maybe they should have put as much effort into it as Windwaker HD.
Aren't you glad that you got that crappy port in Twilight Princess HD, Wii U owners?
I agree with a lot of people above, Nintendo are overcharging for Twilight Princess HD (without the amiibo) and it could be so much better.
LOL It's like a battle between people who got TPHD WiiU, and people who are bitter mad that Nintendo beat this fan made thing to the punch for some strange reason. But lets face it, this would be the same battle if for some reason they busted out and made Mother 4 and mowed over that fan made one. Luckily there is the third group, the group of people who played the GCN or Wii version and don't care about this anymore because we're tired of playing the same game every gen or just don't need to play it thrice.
Well, I don't expect anyone who thinks that this fan based project is completely benign to have any intellectual property background whatsoever. I will say though, that a tenant in U.S. trademark law is that if you do not protect your intellectual property rights, you could very well lose them. This situation will never rise to that level, specifically because Nintendo is diligent in protecting their intellectual property rights.
And the trademark issue is only a very thin reed in a large bundle of sticks that represent the good and sound reasons to protect their property rights. Indeed if their attorneys did not suggest that they protect their rights at every turn, the attorneys themselves should be held liable.
I have no problem with complaints and accusations that Nintendo is being completely wrong headed in this matter. Just try to keep a little perspective.
@Mahe Actually it's really good and makes gameplay refinements(you know the important part of a video*game*) in addition to improving the graphics.
The people enjoying TPHD probably aren't concerned about a fan project that started before the official remaster that only reworks the graphics and still hadn't finished by the time the official one is out.
but it looks so beautiful... ;-;
@Mahe Yes, I'm enjoying TP:HD a lot! I beat the game 2 days ago, and now I just walking around collecting/discovering the remaining stuff and having fun. Today, I've spent lots of time just fishing and playing "Rollgoal" (which is brilliant on the Gamepad) at the fishing hole. When I've found all the stamps, I'll probably translate all the hylian texts that are found in the game.
@GLA If there was no genuine love for the game, why do you think we practically killed our asses for nearly a year doing what we did?
Oh, composer for the project here btw.
What we're doing isn't illegal, by any means. We don't advocate pirating the game, selling the mod or anything of the sort.
"Going up against the official remaster with less powerful tech"? Have you ever read something so wrong you don't know what to say?
All I will say on that is we started this project last April, a time when no one had any idea of an official HD version. We weren't intending to enter direct competition with Nintendo, even now.
This is a pure passion project to turn what we found to be an 'alright' game into something we would love to play over and over.
@TingLz Us showing progress had been our practise since the beginning, way before we all knew about the official TPHD.
@WiltonRoots The material is purchased, therefore you're free to do with it what you will (besides claiming it as your own or make money off of it).
Standard copyright avoidance is to modify all assets by at least 10% for you to be safe from any copyright infringement.
What you're saying is it's not okay to mod anything you purchase and tell people you've modded it. Think about that.
@rennandovale When Nintendo manually targets your project and not anyone elses emulator-based modifications to their games, that's when people ask questions.
@CHET_SWINGLINE Composer here, the copyright claim on each video states it was "manually detected". Nintendo directly targeted our project.
Not just our videos either, several other YouTubers who simply spoke about the project had their videos flagged.
The point of us going quiet is to avoid Nintendo having to force a firmer hand.
@TromaDogg The project was free, it was a simple mod. This 'potentially sell it on' does not and would never exist.
People mod games all the time, people mod Nintendo games all the time. Modding isn't illegal.
This project was confirmed to be manually targeted, and even other YouTubers had their videos merely mentioning the project taken down.
Except this isn't the same as altering chapters and redistributing it as if we'd written it all. We stressed every time we showed progress that you had to have bought the game already, you had to have given Nintendo money for the game already. This was a simply 'patch', I'm not sure how you even got to that analogy, it does not correlate at all.
@Roynerer Hi, thanks for responding. Having only watched a couple of the videos (and it was months ago, at that), I don't remember what music was or wasn't playing in them. You say you're the "composer," but what does that mean, exactly? Like, you composed non-Zelda music to go over videos of a Zelda video game, as opposed to just playing the soundtrack from the game itself? Also, what evidence is there that Nintendo actually "directly targeted" your videos, instead of just being flagged by YouTube? Forgive me for coming across as accusatory, I'm just genuinely curious, because when YouTube videos get copyright strikes, the assumption is almost always that the copyright holder was the one to initiate the strike, when in many cases there's no way to actually tell one way or the other. And as I said in my earlier comment, a YouTube take-down notice isn't necessarily immediately detrimental to the actual project, it just means that you can't post videos of it to YouTube.
As for the implications of Nintendo targeting your project, if indeed they did, that's a pretty divisive topic that I should probably avoid getting into. But I will say that, if they truly did go after your remake, it is more than likely fueled in no small part by the fact that they just released their own HD remake of Twilight Princess, as I'm sure you know, and it seems only natural that they would be especially protective of that particular IP at this point in time.
@TromaDogg Oh, but there ARE people who make money off of modding other people's books. They're called Cliff Notes. Of course, that's not exactly the same thing. Most people rent those from a library, and code rights are quite different from book rights.
In any case, Fair Use Doctrine applies to freely available mods of copyrighted computer programs. Corporate lawyers just don't want us to think so.
@Roynerer comment #53 Actually, under the DMCA, modding can be considered illegal. It is still a somewhat unsettled issue, but it largely depends on the permission given or withheld by the copyright holder. Or in the least, the legal status of modding under that law is debatable.
@CHET_SWINGLINE There's no way YouTube's algorithm is advanced enough to flag people who simply mention the mod project. People have gotten around the flag system just by changing the aspect ratio, sound bit rate and pitch, and display colors of copyrighted videos. If the algorithm can't even pick that up properly, but can pick up voice recordings that are being collected and compared to an approximation of something like "Twilight Princess mod", then actual human beings are specifically targeting that data.
The act of jail breaking an iPhone is now legal, and the DMCA is extended towards that. If it is reformed, the DMCA can also be altered to protect game modding. It's not set in stone. Corporate lawyers have just had a stranglehold on the law since it was signed in.
@PlywoodStick I know it's not set in stone. That was precisely the meaning of my comment. And I wasn't asking about the people who were supposedly flagged for "simply commenting" on the project, I was asking about what evidence there is to support the claim that Nintendo "directly targeted" the project itself. I have a really hard time even believing that people had videos actually taken down for simply talking about this project, but that's not what I was asking about anyway, so that part of the conversation isn't really significant to me.
@CHET_SWINGLINE No worries, I am the composer as in the guy who recreates the original soundtrack and sound effects of the game to be put in the mod.
The evidence of it being directly targeted is the fact that under every video on YouTube it was listed as "manually detected", not automatic by YouTube's wacky algorithm or anything.
A few separate YouTubers got the exact same 'Manual Detection' claim on videos that only mentioned this project, they didn't show it.
@Mahe How is it a "crappy port"? For one thing it is not simply a port, because it is an enhanced and improved version. And secondly it is not "crappy" because, like I just stated, it is an improved version of the game. You can say it's a crappy job of up-rezzing a game, or a remake that is more crappy than you were expecting or hoping for, but since it is a massive improvement over the original version and it has been changed in a number of noteworthy ways that make it superior to the original version, you can't call it a crappy port. A "crappy port" is something that was hastily brought over from one system to another without being optimized for that system and thus it loses performance integrity, and/or one that has had features stripped from the game.
And yes, I am quite happy with it. It is a decade-old game that is now capable of running in a 16:9 aspect ratio at full 1080p so I can actually stand to look at it on my enormous modern television, and it has had gamepad support added in so I can hot-swap and manage items and inventory, check my map in real time, instantly switch between human and wolf forms with the tap of an icon, and play off-tv. It's fantastic for a number of reasons, not just because of the improved graphical performance.
@Roynerer But that doesn't necessarily mean that Nintendo had anything to do with it. YouTube doesn't just rely on their algorithm to hunt down copyright violations, they have a staff of actual humans that review videos that have been flagged by viewers for any number of reasons. So it could just mean that some Nintendo fan saw your videos and took it upon themselves to notify YouTube, who then reviewed your videos and made their own determination. I'm not saying that I think Nintendo couldn't have been involved in the take-downs, just that "manual detection" notices don't always mean that the copyright holder was behind it.
The majority of the comments are complaining how Nintendo's Twilight Princess HD is blown out of the water compared to the fan project, and I'm just sitting here happy that we at least have some sort of Zelda game to play while waiting for the new one.
@whiffy5 Indeed. I am currently playing through Twilight Princess HD, and I bought both Ocarina of Time 3D and Majora's Mask 3D for when I'm done with that. At the rate it takes me to finish a Zelda game, I should have all three completed by the time Zelda U comes out. Hopefully.
@Roynerer Hey, I don't have an issue with it. Read everything I said in my original post.
You need to tell this to Nintendo though, not to me.
@GLA They have ALL right to do this. They're not getting any money off of this, they're not giving away the original game, it's basically just a patch of the Gamecube/Wii version of Twilight Princess.
Why are people on NintendoLife so quick to jump on the "Nintendo did nothing wrong!!" bandwagon? Jesus christ.
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