|Endings in NES games didn't lose time with unnecessary chatter, to say the least...|
Anyway, I'm done with this one. I've got all of the items, but I seem to be missing two heart containers, even after having combed a lot of screens in the Otherworld... Maybe I'll get to it again sometimes and try to figure out what I missed.
Considering a lot of the secret places are well-hidden, with no clues leading to them, it's hard to bomb every wall or burn every generic tree just to find the hidden staircases. A few places stand out by themselves and kinda scream "secret place!" when you see them but a lot of them are quite discreet. After having secured the Red Candle in the seventh dungeon, you're basically encouraged to trek through the whole game again trying to torch every tree you see to find hidden staircases. If Zelda is really reminiscent of Miyamoto's childhood adventures, I think Little Shigeru had a great time burning the forest next door to the ground...
Back to the ninth dungeon, this place is huge! You can get clobbered by the packs of monsters every few screens and it's really easy to get lost if you're not paying attention. The most annoying monsters around are definitely the Like-Likes (funny how someone at Nintendo had the idea of naming such a hateful thing a Like-Like). At worst, all the monsters kill you (which is pretty bad according to the character), but not the Like-Likes, nooo. The things eat your large shield in a few seconds if they can catch you. Granted, you have a few sword hits to take before it happens in order to try to free yourself, but when it does, it's back to money-grinding for you! A new shield cost a minimum of 90 rupees (and 130 or 160 if you haven't found the good shop) and it can really be a pain to kill enough monsters to buy one again.
|And they're ugly. And smell bad.|
As I've said, the 9th dungeon in itself is a real challenge, forcing you to use every resource you've gathered from the game, and finally freeing Zelda is a real satisfaction. The difficulty in the game is strangely going up and down during its course : the 3rd, 6th and 9th dungeons are really hard, while the other ones can be a breeze. Maybe it's paving the way for the fearsome "Water Dungeons" coming later in the franchise...
|Ganon's architect really nailed the atmosphere of the place.|
It was really great to experience the original Zelda again. A lot of the franchise formula is already here, but it's a really different experience than the rest of the games, mainly because the focus on combat will be tempered down in favor of riddles and puzzles. I've lost 33 times during the course of the game! I know, I'm getting old. I've got a theory I'll try to prove if I ever go through my whole list of Zelda games : I think I'll get more "Game over" screens in the first three games than in all the other games together. We'll try to verify that, but one thing is certain once again : they don't make them like they used to!
But the worse is ahead of me now. I'm supposed to put a rating on one of the most revered and beloved pieces of video game history. I'll have to really think this one over if I don't want to find a horde of die-hard fans dressed in green in my street with sticks and bows, trying to get my head on a pike for having the guts to say this game is not perfect... Wish me luck!