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New info on new GameCube Zelda

Link's next adventure will be three times bigger than Ocarina of Time - plus more!

If there's any GameCube game more eagerly anticipated than the new Legend of Zelda, we don't want to know about it. While we're impatiently waiting for E3 to get our paws on it, the first gameplay details are starting to filter down to us via Spanish magazine Hobby Consolas.

The most interesting nugget we've come across is that producer Eiji Aonuma reckons the new Zelda will be two to three times bigger than Ocarina of Time - a staggering assertion which could mean we're looking at up to 70 hours of gameplay goodness.

As if that wasn't enough to perk our Zelda peckers, it turns out that Link will be in his mid-teens when the game starts in the village of Toaru and visibly mature as the game progresses. He might be a spotty pubescent elf when the game starts, but by the end he'll be a battle-hardened hardarse.

Those stunning images of horse riding in the Zelda movies weren't just for show, either. This will be a big portion of the new game, with one example of horseback action being a mini-game where you have to herd cattle into a pen. Horseback combat will also feature heavily, as well as jousting-style competitions.

The controls will apparently stick close to the Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker's familiar set-ups. A new underwater environment is also strongly hinted at. We're not sure how this will work - possibly some kind of submarine or diving suit, or maybe a new magical power that lets Link operate under the sea?

One last thing: the legendary chicken-like Cuccos will be making a return, possibly as a substitute for your proud steed. Bu-KACK!

Aonuma-san also briefly mentioned the DS version of Four Swords. It seems like it won't be too different from the GBA/GC version but will exploit the DS's wireless link and touch-screen control in exciting new ways.

Excited? We're messing our green tunics. More on Zelda hot from E3.

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