Dolphin-Free Zone


The Introduction


Nintendo has held a tight shroud of secrecy around Dolphin from day one, refusing to release any information except to say that fans would not be disappointed when the system was finally unveiled. Well, that unveiling took place on the 24th of August, and I must say that while I wasn’t disappointed, I wasn’t thrilled either.

The Name

The system is officially called the Nintendo GameCube.

Thrill-o-meter says: Not Very Thrilling.

This name was chosen in order to position the system as a mature product in the eyes of the consumer. Unfortunately, the fact is that the name “Dolphin” has been around for so long, I’ve gotten kinda used to it. In conversations with my friends, I notice that we start off calling the system “GameCube” but quickly and unconciously switch over to using “Dolphin” again. I suspect the same thing has happened to most people out there.

The Look

Like the name implies, the GameCube is shaped like a cube. It features a top-loading drive that accepts special 8-cm discs, and has four controller ports and two memory card slots on the front. Continuing the trend it started with the Gameboy, Nintendo will offer the system in a variety of colours, including purple, pink, black, copper, and silver. The underside of the system has several expansion ports. Rounding out the package is a handle on the back.

Thrill-o-meter says: A Little Thrilling.

This sort of choice is always welcome, because it lets you choose a look based upon your personality. However, while the black, copper, and silver variations of the system are cool, the pink and purple ones are just plain awful. To make matters worse, Nintendo has chosen to use the purple as the colour for all it’s promotional pics. This makes the system look like a toy, more suited to a child’s playroom instead of a living room.

The Games

Nintendo showed off demos of several games in action. These included Luigi’s Mansion, Zelda, Wave Race, and Star Wars.

Thrill-o-meter: Thrill Level Too High to Report Accurately.

If you haven’t seen the movies of these games running, go to either, or right now and check it out. That is all.

The Controller

The controller has to be seen to be believed (to see it, go to and click on the SpaceWorld 2000 lonk). It looks like a variation of the Playstation Dual Shock pad in terms of shape, and a Dreamcast controller in terms of functionality. The main control method is an analog stick, which is positioned on the far left of the controller. just below that and to the right lies a digital D-pad. The right side of the controller is dominated by a large ‘A’ button. Surrounding this button are smaller ‘B’, ‘X’, and ‘Y’ buttons, and the four make up the system’s action buttons. Down and to the left of these buttons is another analog stick. Finally, the top has two analog triggers, and a single ‘Z’ button.

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