There's been some talk and speculation for a while now about just what kind of preorder or collector edition bonus Nintendo will offer to promote the upcoming Nintendo GameCube title The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. While the company has not made any specific announcements regarding such a bonus, they have gone on record that they plan to offer one, either through a free-gift-with-preorder promotion as they did for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker or offering a Collector's Edition package for ten dollars more than the standard edition that includes Twilight Princess and some sort of nifty extra. Like any video game fan I can't help but speculate on exactly what Nintendo plans to offer.
A popular theory is that Nintendo will offer up another GameCube port of a past Zelda title, but there's really no reason for the company to do so. I'm not expecting A Link to the Past to be given away for free when there's a Game Boy Advance version for sale already, and every other Nintendo home console Zelda title from years past is already available for the GameCube. I don't want to see the CD-I knockoff titles and neither do you, no matter how much of a collector you are. Don't expect to see Wind Waker redone in "realistic" graphics either. Aside from offering up the classic Game Boy Zelda titles in modern form, I'm not expecting a free game this time around. The free Ocarina of Time bonus of 2003 was designed to attract gamers who were planning to pass on Wind Waker due to its cel-shaded visuals. Twilight Princess has enough positive buzz among the fan base that Nintendo doesn't need to offer a free game in order to persuade anyone to buy it.
So what do I expect? I can tell you what I want. A soundtrack CD of the game's music would be nice. Even though only a little bit of the game's musical score has been revealed, the Twilight Princess team has stated they have big plans for the audio portion of Link's adventure. Zelda titles always have amazing music, so having the soundtrack right there packaged with the game would be a nice bonus.
I'd be thrilled with a behind-the-scenes book that chronicles the game's development all the way from the first SpaceWorld 2000 realistic demo of Link and Ganon about to fight, through the Wind Waker controversy, past Twilight's initial announcement, beyond E3 2005's impressive booth, and ending as the game is completed and prepared for shipping. I want the developers behind the game to tell their stories. I want to know what ideas didn't make it into Twilight when all was said and done. I want to see some of the character artwork used during the game's development. Most importantly, I want this hypothetical book to put aside the marketing and spin control and actually reveal the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the game's creation. Was there a point where they considered scrapping the whole project? Was there a debate on just how the Twilight Realm should effect Hyrule? I want to hear the whole story from start to finish.
Whatever Nintendo decides to do, I want the extra item to be informative and entertaining. I don't want a Link action figure, nor do I want a little clock or a bag of Triforce Treats candy. Twilight Princess is shaping up to be the most artistic and satisfying title in the entire Nintendo GameCube library. I want the bonus item to reflect that.