Thursday, March 8, 2012

Game B1 : The Legend of Zelda - Won!

Link journal entry 4 : The beast is down! I finally secured the eighth piece of the Triforce, gaining access to Ganon's Lair, which was by far the biggest and most dangerous place around. After a long trip in the labyrinthine corridors of Death Mountain, I was finally able to meet the demon. Thanks to the shiny silver arrows I found earlier in the depth of the place, Ganon only took a few hits to get and stay down. I saved the princess and the world, but I somehow have the feeling everything around here won't stay quiet very long...

Endings in NES games didn't lose time with unnecessary chatter, to say the least...
Yeepee, second game down! The 9th dungeon was a hell of a ride, rooms packed with monsters, mini-bosses everywhere, and a layout quite confusing. Getting to Ganon was an achievement in itself! That's a good thing by the way because the fight with Ganon in itself is a bit anticlimactic... I'm not even sure I used the bow and arrows to be honest, which I thought was mandatory to beat him. I just flung my sword around in the air (yeah, the cheap pig is invisible) a few times, and switched to the bow every three hits or so, so it was a bit of a mess...

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.
Putting these things all around the place was bad enough, but they had the brilliant idea to put them in a lot of rooms alongside Sprites that makes using your sword impossible for three seconds or so. So if you bump into a Sprite, then are caught by a Like-Like, your shield is toast (and so is your controller if it's the second time it happens...) So from now on, I'll discern a "Most annoying monster award" (or MAMA) for every game I play. The Resident Evil one goes to the crows, which are totally impossible to shoot with a gun, and the Like-Likes grab the MAMAward for The Legend of Zelda hands down.

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!


  1. I would have given the MAMA to Wizzrobes, those guys are really annoying, and deadly.

  2. Congratulations on finishing the game!

    My MAMA award would've gone to those giant hands that grab you and drag you back to the beginning of the dungeon. "No! No! Let go of me, you--" No matter how futile I know it is, I always fiddle furiously with the gamepad, trying to get free. That said, I do loathe the Like-Likes (Hate-Hates) and the Wizzrobes as well. Stinkers.

  3. Hey Amy! Glad to have you in my comments! Welcome!

    I'm sorry guys, but the MAMA goes definitely to the Like-likes. The wizzrobes are really deadly, that's a fact, but at worse they kill you and you're back to the beginning of the dungeon, same thing for the stupid giant hands (which are, I admit, really frustrating). But the Like-Like can send you back in a good half-hour of grinding if you're broke the moment it eats your shield. Hate those things.