- Game developer Brett Douville has updated his Brett's Footnotes blog with an intriguing chat/rant about Zelda's money system, particularly in Twilight Princess for Wii, which he thinks is, well, broken in terms of money management and its related fetch quests, to say the least.

Douville's overall argument starts by noting: "You are frequently maxed out on money, even when you go from the kiddie wallet to the adult wallet, even when you go from the adult wallet to the ultimate wallet", but then overflows to pure annoyance when he finally saved enough and did multiple rote tasks to grab the Magic Armor, the most powerful armor in the game.

And what happens then? "The Magic Armor converts damage to a loss of money, and slowly burns through money whenever you're wearing it besides... That's right, the whole exercise of spending something like 2600 rupees (easily found, slow to amass unless you're thinking about it) was to be able to convert money to health. Something that you could do basically the first time you got an empty bottle -- by buying red potions to fill that bottle from a local vendor."

Douville continues: "Now, I didn't feel gypped -- it more felt like some sort of cosmic joke, really. I had a bit of a laugh when I got the ultimate wallet and the magic armor, only to find myself quickly penniless (rupeeless?) whenever I wore it. It came in handy really only in one circumstance, in the Cave of Trials, a 50-level dungeon of increasingly difficult combatants where there was virtually no health to be found."

So what of this? Douville goes deep for his conclusion: "I can think of two explanations for the Zelda economy in Twilight Princess. The first, and the one I want to believe, is that the designers are trying to say, "Money isn't everything. Money just gives you means to do stuff. Doing stuff is more important." The other is that it's essentially the biggest shell game I've ever participated in. Come to think of it, it's probably both."

Hm - I vote for the latter alone, because I think repetitive leveling is such an ingrained part of many Japanese games that crazed money-centric shenanigans like this are considered legitimate gameplay-extending design concepts. Which is quite possibly a hoop-jumping shame.