Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Game B1 : The Legend of Zelda - Not exempt of Video Game Logic

Link journal entry 3 : Boy, was this sixth dungeon hard! The wizzrobes and Like-Likes were everywhere. I battled my way through this room by room, only stopping to go buy (again) another shield when these burger-like monsters had eaten mine. The boss of the dungeon went down with one nicely-aimed arrow through its eye, though. I think it was some kind of reward from Zelda to put such a wuss at the end of this nightmarish place. After that, I found another sword given by a old guy hiding in a grave (I think he liked the place) and went on my way to the seventh dungeon, which looks like a piece of cake after what I've been through.

Granted, I haven't made a lot of progress since my last post, but I wanted to talk about two nice examples of Video Game Logic. First of all, there are two hidden "sages" in Hyrule waiting patiently in their caves, with a sword for the hero. And when the hero shows up, he needs to have a minimum of Triforce pieces with him. If not, they don't give the sword. Nice, fellas! Sorry to try to save the world! It's particularly excruciating when you're battling through dungeon 6, which is a horribly difficult place. The guy with the next sword is two screens away, but nooooo, he won't give you the sword. Zenic suggested that I could go around the problem and finish dungeon 7 before grabbing the sword and getting back to 6, but I stuck to it. Cost me a lot of lives in my "shame counter", but I did it. On to level 7 I go, with my brand new Master Sword!

Well I've got this nice shiny sword and... it's not for you, go away, you look like a wimp.
The other example is, in my opinion, the silliest thing in the game. In the middle of dungeon 7, you encounter a Moblin blocking the way. The Moblin goes "grumble, grumble". When I was a kid, I thought that it was Moblin talk, but now I realize it must be because his stomach is grumbling. So, instead of putting your sword through his head, like you've done with countless moblins before that, you have to exit the place, go to the special secret shop that ripped you off with the Blue Ring, and buy a piece of meat for 60 rupees. Then you go back to the dungeon, offer the guy the meat, give him a nice pat on the back, then let him go. What? You've basically gone genocidal on the Moblin race from the beginning of the game, but this one doesn't deserve to die. I'll do a fetch quest for you, instead of ripping through your guts like I've done with your entire family...

Oh, and by the way, sorry about your father... and mother, sister and all your little cousins. Your brother was a jerk, though, he had it coming.
Another difficult aspect of this game is the economy system. It takes place of grinding for experience points. Money is very sparse, and a lot of mandatory items have to be bought. Granted, there is a few places where guys give you money (and a few where they take it away from you from breaking their doors) but it can really take a while to get what you need to buy an item. Gathering the whooping 250 rupees to get the Blue Ring (the counter is maxed at 255, as usual) made me feel a little like a 6-year old trying to buy an Ipad by saving his lunch money.

I'm playing a bit the devil's advocate here. Of course, Zelda is a great game, probably one of the best among NES games, or all video games for that matter, and these three examples are highly justifiable in a Game Design point of view, but Video Game Logic really kinda feel silly sometimes...


  1. I'm glad you were able to get through it. There's a mistake here though, getting the sword is dependent on the number of heart containers, not the number of triforce pieces.

    Game logic doesn't always follow well. Especially, after saving a village, and then the shop owners turn around and charge you full price. I actually never thought of the hungry moblin as strange, just another puzzle.

  2. My mistake, I always thought it was triforce-dependent. Doesn't change the issue a lot, though, but it makes me wonder if you could get the sword at all should you skip on the optional heart containers...

    The thing that make the hungry moblin stand out is that there is not a lot of actual "puzzles" in Zelda. It's my biggest issue with the game for now : dungeons are not actually forcing you to "think" your way through, like it will do starting in Zelda III. Aside from the occasional hidden wall to bomb or block to push, dungeons are merely a suite of monsters arena, where you have to basically kill everything to pursue your quest. The hungry moblin is a nice change, because it's one of the really rare moments where you have to use lateral thinking to progress in the dungeons (I'm thinking too about the Digdogger monster where you have to use the recorder and... that's about it, correct me if I'm wrong). Of course, I'm talking about the dungeons themselves, the otherworld is another matter.

    However enjoyable the game is, the whole "Zelda" formula we all know and love won't be really complete until A Link to the Past on the SNES. About the shop owners, that's always been an issue in nearly all video games. Guess a guy has to make a living, it's not because you're trying to save the world that you're entitled to a discount...

  3. It wasn't until the age of internet-posted walkthroughs that I was able to discover what the "grumble grumble" was all about. That may have been the reason (or one of them) that I hadn't finished the game until a year or so ago. I forget, is it even possible to advance into the rest of the dungeon without feeding this thing?

    1. The Triforce Hunting segment of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is notorious for Basically every Zelda game has some sort of Fake Longevity.Slight as they are not vital to the plot, but there are a ton of them and there's no way to of "hero points" in between chapters of the second Spider-Man the Movie game.
      Don Blankenship