|Dan, aka Ganon, has been
around the Zelda community longer than most other fans. I first heard
of Dan through our local newspaper, The Dallas Morning News,
in which he and I were interviewed about the future of Nintendo. I
also, unknowingly, was a staff member of a site he once helped run,
Zelda Games. Ganon's been through a lot of history in which I actually
missed, so his story is something you should pay attention to if you
want to learn a thing or two about where the Zelda community has been.
That's if you can catch him in that Mustang of his.
|TSA: Alright, so you've
been around the Zelda community for quite awhile now. Could you tell
us about how you first got started online and what your first webmaster
Ganon: I started out just visiting Zelda sites during the Ocarina
of Time hype, and eventually wanted to learn how to make a site of
my own, and started one based on Zelda that eventually turned into
Ganon's Tower. It was pretty boring, even the title was just a generic
"Zelda 64" but it was a starting point.
|TSA: Ganon's Tower has
a pretty long history and it's been around for quite awhile. You actually,
I believe, ran two Zelda sites - Zelda Games and Ganon's Tower - at
the time. What was that like and how did you exactly decide to stick
with Ganon's Tower?
Ganon: It was a lot of work, because whenever there was news
I had to update two sites, plus Zeldagames.com had some fan submission
sections that GT didn't have, and really couldn't have had since if
I added them to GT it would have been a blatant ripoff. The reason
I stuck with GT rather than either giving it up to concentrate on
Zeldagames was because I wasn't the founder of Zeldagames and I wanted
to have a big site that was entirely mine, plus even when I ran Zeldagames
I had to run any big changes by the actual owner. With GT I had the
freedom to do anything I wanted with it, so that was nice as well.
|TSA: Apparently much
of your fan base is descendant of Hyrule.ar forums, GFX and HTLOZ
(the original). Do you think your fan base is a bit more mature than
the some of the other sites out there? Do you think that your fans
expect certain things out of Ganon's Tower because they are from other
Ganon: I think so. I try to gear my site towards older visitors.
For example things like cussing are alright on the forums, as long
as it's not directed at anybody. I'm probably one of the older webmasters
in the Zelda Community right now, and I want to enjoy the site and
forums as well, so rather than censor it so that 8 year olds can enjoy
it, I'd rather have a more relaxed environment where people can just
come and have fun without worrying about getting banned instantly
for saying a bad word or something. I do think that fans should expect
a certain level of quality from GT however. It's been around almost
8 years and is one of the more popular Zelda sites around, so I think
things such as frequent updates (something I've been a slacker with
lately), accurate news, and high quality content should be expected
of the site.
|TSA: Not many fans know
about Hyrule.ar, and I don't mean to go off-topic, but perhaps you
could clarify to the readers exactly what it was and why it closed
down (if you know).
Ganon: Hyrule.com.ar was one of the biggest Zelda sites around
when I first started, and for the first few years of GT. I really
credit them for being the first step towards GT becoming a popular
site. I asked them for affiliation not really expecting Andrea (the
webmaster of the site) to say yes, but she did and from then on things
just kept getting better for GT, more visitors, people were offering
to make me high quality layouts, and the forums started around that
time. The site unfortunately closed down, they blew the bandwidth
on their host if I'm remembering right, and I helped them find a couple
other hosts before they finally got booted from the last one, again
for bandwidth reasons if I'm not mistaken and decided they didn't
want to move again even if I could help them find a host.
|TSA: I see, thanks. Now,
you're very generous in hosting other sites and projects. One of those
projects is Joe Morriss' film. Can you tell me how you two met and
why you decided to help him out?
Ganon: Joe Morriss first emailed me several years ago with
some fan art. The first picture he sent me looked EXACTLY like this
image of Link in the Adventure of Link instruction booklet, but he
pointed out a few differences to me so that I'd know it wasn't a fake,
and I believe he had some original art in that email as well, so I
could tell he had the skill to make a picture that looked like the
one in the AoL manual. We got to talking on AIM for a while and eventually
he told me about the movie project. I believe in his skill as an artist
(although if the movie is made he will be hiring animators to do this),
and he's told me a lot about the script, and I honestly believe that
if he gets the chance to make this movie, it will not be just another
crappy video game movie, I think it's something I'd go see even if
I didn't like Zelda. I decided to help him out because I really want
to see this project succeed.
| TSA: How did you first
get into the Zelda series?
Ganon: I had played it on a friend's nintendo before I had
my own and enjoyed it. When I got my NES for Christmas, the original
LoZ was one of the games I got with it, and it was my favorite game.
It was just different from other games at the time, there was so much
more to do and it was all fun. I got hooked on the characters and
the story and just had to have every Zelda game that was released.
|TSA: As an older fan,
what has been your take on the recent Zelda games such as The Wind
Waker, Four Swords Adventures and The Minish Cap?
Ganon: Each game I thought was good, but with flaws, they're
not as good as older games such as A Link to the Past or Ocarina of
Time. With Wind Waker I really enjoyed the story element of it, but
the sailing got tedious. It wasn't a horrible idea, but I think there
should have been more land areas to explore and more dungeons. I also
think that it was by far too easy. I was able to beat the game without
really coming close to dying a single time, and every other Zelda
game I've died at least once my first time through it. The graphics
didn't bother me though, I actually liked the style and I wouldn't
be opposed to more games in that style as long as they still make
realistic ones as well. Four Swords Adventures I had fun with, but
I think in a way it cheapens the series to have these side games rather
than just major console games. While it was fun, I think Zelda was
better when every game was either a major console game or a gameboy
game, but still part of the main story. Minish Cap I really enjoyed,
I liked how it explained who Vaati is and how he became powerful,
but, while it was probably necessary for the story I hope they don't
carry the four Links over into future games. I've always seen Four
Swords as just sort of a side adventure and not part of the main series,
and I hope it stays that way.
|TSA: Do you have any
fears about the upcoming Twilight Princess? It seems to truly hark
back to the older days of Zelda, especially in what it is doing for
the community. Do you foresee any issues that may arise in the community
as a result of Twilight Princess? What about the game itself - do
you think it will live up to the hype?
Ganon: Personally I think it will live up to the hype. Everything
I've seen looks great, and I think Nintendo knows they can't screw
this one up since their competitors are releasing new machines and
they need a huge game to keep interest. Zelda has always been the
biggest franchise Nintendo has, so they know they need to do this
one right. My only fear is that somehow they will find a way to screw
it up by relying only on the realistic graphics and not concentrating
on game content, but considering they've delayed the game for months
just to get it right I don't think it's going to be that big of a
|TSA: Okay, just a few
more questions. First, what do you think about the future of Zelda?
We've seen Tingle DS shown off, but the recent craze with Mario Kart
DS and Animal Crossing: Wild World thank to Nintendo WiFi seems to
have Zelda fans all worked up about an online Zelda. What are your
thoughts on an online Zelda for DS? For Revolution?
Ganon: I think the future of Zelda is bright. The Revolution
controller could turn out to be great for it. Imagine using the controller
to actually swing the sword, it adds just a huge amount of extra realism
to the game. My one concern is that with all the spinoffs they seem
to be making (Four Swords, Tingle DS, etc.) I just hope they don't
cheapen the series and start putting quantity over quality. I'm not
really sure what to think about an online Zelda game. It would really
depend on how they did it. If it fits into the game then I would like
it. A version of Four Swords that comes bundled with Zelda Revolution
that is online supported might be nice. And at least the first Zelda
game for DS is going to be a version of Four Swords, so there really
is no reason not to give that online capabilities. I don't know that
I would want to see a part of the main series with online capabilities,
since other than Four Swords, multiplayer just doesn't seem to fit
|TSA: So a MMORPG Zelda
like World of Warcraft is out of the question?
Ganon: Well, again it would depend on how they did it. I've
been used to playing as Link for such a long time, it might be weird
to play as somebody else, but if they could find a way to make interesting
playable characters it could be a great addition to the series. There
would already be a huge variety of enemies and even bosses to use
in dungeon / instance areas. Nintendo would just need to find a way
to make playable characters that fit with the series, since obviously
not everybody can play as Link in a MMORPG.
|TSA: Last question -
What are your thoughts on the Zelda timeline? Do you think Nintendo
should reveal it in detail, or keep it a mystery?
Ganon: I would kind of like to see it stay a mystery. I like
the debates on what it really is, and I've always enjoyed trying to
tie all the games together myself. Plus the one time Nintendo tried
to reveal the timeline on Zelda.com it was a disaster. It contradicted
things they mentioned in their own instruction manuals and eventually
Miyamoto made them take it down. Even if he endorsed the new timeline,
I think the debate is half the fun.
TSA: Alright, thank you for your time Dan.
Ganon: No problem.