Friday, February 6, 2015

Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening #3 - The Rooster

Here's the Stalfos Knight, which used to be my favorite boss in all of these Zelda games. I think Dark Link took that crown in Ocarina though.




After no less than four battles with the Stalfos in different parts of the fifth dungeon, I get the Hookshot. Finally, a distance weapon... and a fun one, at that. Of course, this thing is known for letting you pull yourself over gaps. It's a bigger deal in some Zelda games than others.

I take a moment to place the mermaid scale on this nearby statue, and get... wow, somebody heal me

...Sailor Neptune's Vanity Mirror the magnifying glass. This is the culmination of the trading sidequest. Once you have this, you can see the previously-invisible Goriya. Where is he?

"He's living in a cave DOWN BY THE RIVER!"

Said Goriya gives you the Boomerang, but only if you trade away one of your items. The Shovel is the only expendable thing, so I trade it. The Boomerang is an extremely damaging weapon, unlike most Zeldas where it only stuns foes. It's the only distance weapon that can travel diagonally, too.

Beyond that, it lets you one-shot the final boss and skip most of the Eagle's Tower (dungeon seven). Truly a worthwhile thing to get, and it helps that the sidequest to get it is actually fun and simple to keep track of.

This means the Hookshot is immediately obsolete as a weapon, sadly. It also doesn't have many uses outside of Dungeon 5. I'd say Link to the Past wins on Hookshot usage.

Next order of business, since I have maxed rupees, is to finally buy the bow. I just got three of the four distance weapons in the span of five minutes. And the bow is ALSO better than the Hookshot. I think it does less damage than the Boomerang, but it fires faster.

This is like getting no attention whatsoever from women for a long time, then suddenly having two or three of them showing interest in you at once, but you can only seriously go with one unless you want to alienate all of them. And then when you're taken, suddenly even more women are interested, but you can't do anything about it then.

...why does that happen?

I could skip to the sixth dungeon at this point, but instead I opt to go take on the rest of the fifth. Starting with these goombas!

You can hookshot up to the Bowser head statue, and from there it's a simple matter to bounce off of their heads with the Roc Feather.

The Stalfos Knight isn't the only miniboss in the fifth dungeon. Here's Gohma from the first game, only now there's two of it. Good thing I just got the bow, since Gohma dislikes arrows.

Fifth boss is a giant eel that you drag out of the walls with the Hookshot. I love how simplistic these boss fights are compared to later games in the series. You still have to use the special weapon from the dungeon, but you don't need to do any weird stuff.

At this point I head straight for dungeon six. This one actually consists of two overworld locations, a north shrine and a south shrine.

The south shrine is little more than a boss fight with the most tank-like Armos Statue ever. Arrows do a number on him, but it's important to actually have enough arrows to win the fight before you get here. If you don't, you have to warp out and get more, and the boss goes back to full health. I think this is the first point in the game where you NEED to have the bow to proceed.

There's a mural in here depicting the wise owl... and a giant whale. What does it all mean? And why does the owl look like a serial killer? Quick, get the muzzle! IT PUTS THE LOTION IN THE BASKET.

The south shrine is the dungeon proper, and it's an interesting one. Lots of traditional Zelda puzzles in here, and the music is trippy. Yeah, I'm down with this place.

Aside from traditional Zelda puzzles, this is the trippiest and weirdest part of the game. It reminds me of Super Mario Bros 2 with all the masked enemies and mimes.

The treasure here is the L2 bracelet, which lets you lift heavier boulders. Unfortunately, those heavier objects are generally only found in this dungeon. It isn't like LTTP where you'd find dark-green boulders to use Titan's Mitt on everywhere. You do need this in the next dungeon for one particular thing, at least.

One stairwell in the dungeon pops you up in the water rapids area of the map. I liked this part of the overworld a lot as a kid.

The shrine miniboss throws an iron ball at our hero. This is one of the more fun battles in the game, because...

...you can pick it up with the new bracelet and throw it back. THAT'S RIGHT, YOU BETTER RUN!

Dashing past Thwomps as my journey through Miyamotoland continues.

The boss here is the easiest in the game. His only offense consists of making holes appear in the floor. Drop a few bombs and the fight is over. Should have been the first boss, but they likely didn't want to creep new players out right away.

The owl shows up yet again to direct Link to the Eagle's Tower. Two dungeons remain!

But first, Link must brave a flock of ATTACK CHICKENS. They peck with no mercy!

Speaking of Mario 2, here's WART. The hell is Wart doing here? He and his two backup singers proceed to teach Link the third and final ocarina song.

Under the weathervane in town is an actual tomb, something you can find with the L2 bracelet.

Inside is a rooster corpse that can be revived with the song from Wart. Yes, this is a thing that is happening.

After that, the rooster follows you around for a while. A normal rooster would be scary enough, but this one's blue. I wonder... if I got into another brawl with chickens, would this blue rooster join in on their beatdown? WHOSE SIDE IS HE ON?

Picking up the rooster allows you to glide around the screen and over pits.

This is integral for getting the key to dungeon seven, which is on the other side of this previously-impassable pit.

The bird? Wait, they don't mean... ::turns slowly::

::high-pitched scream::

Eagle's Tower is my least favorite dungeon in the game. It's a general pain in the ass, due to being a multi-floor puzzle. I like it when puzzles are kept to one room.

Within a minute of arriving, I get the big treasure of the dungeon. Thanks to the Boomerang, I can hit a switch that I wouldn't be able to hit until much later normally. The Mirror Shield is a big upgrade to the standard shield, blocking most projectiles entirely. It's also a pretty awesome idea. I've liked it in every Zelda game except for Majora's Mask, where they inexplicably put this big, scary face on it. And then it didn't even show up in Twilight Princess. It was a dark time for Mirror Shield fans.

Now I hightail it right out of that dungeon and skip to the final dungeon, Turtle Rock. Still have the blue rooster in tow, too. No Eagle's Tower for me until I have to do it.

On the other end of the dungeon spectrum, Turtle Rock is awesome in LTTP and it's awesome here. Even the entrance is fun, as it comes to life and attacks... with a very Game Boy game esque neck.

After defeating the sentient turtle, it's onward to the dungeon interior. This place is very fire-themed, and makes great use of the color palette of the DX version. I also like that this dungeon is straightforward and battle-oriented as opposed to puzzle-oriented like the last several dungeons.

It also features the returns of the minibosses, one after another. Most of them are simple to take out with all of the tools Link has collected at this point. The Boomerang in particular wrecks them.

Finally the miniboss-rush ends with a new foe. The miniboss for this dungeon is some sort of weird boxer. It blocks sword strikes with punches while hopping around. Victory gets you...

...the big treasure of the dungeon. This is another distance weapon; it shoots fireballs and largely renders the bow obsolete. Has infinite charges, as well. Unlike LTTP, there isn't a magic meter here.

The final boss of Turtle Rock is this fire-elemental. You'd think it'd be immune to the fire rod, but that's the only thing that does damage. I wish this game had an ice rod instead, since there are enough distance weapons already and the ice rod is always a fun weapon to mess around with. This game also lacks a stun weapon, and the ice rod would have filled that void.

Victory gets me the eighth instrument, the Thunder Drum. My inventory is mostly complete, but I still need to go finish Eagle Tower.

The miniboss here is an odd creature that summons bats. I think this might be the earliest genesis of the Skull Kid in later games. Yeah, pretty sure this is either Skull Kid or a proto version of him.

KIRBY makes a cameo appearance as I struggle through the multi-floored puzzle monstrosity that is Dungeon Seven. Beware, though, this Kirby isn't friendly. It's also resilient, shrugging off sword strikes without taking damage. The fire rod cooks him, though.

...all of my heroes are now dead.

After knocking down four pillars, the tower collapses, changing the whole layout of the interior and opening the way to the boss. All things considered, this is a very well-designed dungeon. I just dislike it personally. Still, being my least-favorite part of Link's Awakening is like being the most visually repulsive WWE Diva.

Skull Kid reappears atop the tower and summons The Eagle, of Lord of the Rings fame.

I win this fight in no time flat with the fire rod. It practically one-rounds him, and that's another dungeon out of the way.

This is the point in the game where I'd typically go around finding heart pieces that I missed. I'm only missing four pieces (one heart) but I have no idea where they are since I haven't been keeping track. Onward to the end. But first... there's a new dungeon to check out.

6 comments:

  1. Can you still get into the new color-themed dungeon without a GBC? Even if you could, I can imagine it would be difficult, since all the puzzles in that dungeon revolve around colors...

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    1. You mean on a regular GB? I don't think this game would even work on a regular GB...

      On emulator, there's no issue with the color dungeon. I've heard. Not that I would know this. That would be illegal.

      I'm covering the color dungeon in the next part, along with the last area.

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  2. The boomerang does all that? Whoa.

    8-Bit music can be really creepy.

    ROOSTAM-er, blue bird.

    Is Eagle Tower the one where you have to shatter pillars? That was my least favorite dungeon too.

    I too like the Mirror Shield.

    I enjoyed finally beating the game a few years ago, but I think I'd like it more knowing these tricks. Some of the parts were a hassle.

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    1. Yeah, Eagle Tower is the pillar one. It's very confusing. I pretty much just skipped over it, both in coverage and while playing (since the Boomerang lets you skip like a third of the place).

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  3. Dark Link is indeed unforgettable. So you like the swordfights. The Stalfos Knight is good too.

    The feather helps make the hookshot less necessary. I do remember how key it is in LTTP. And FFMQ has one too. The hookshot is the one thing from Zelda that I wanted to have in real life.

    Congrats on getting the boomerang! You're correct to point out how powerful it is.

    This game taught me the consequences of stealing like no other.

    THESE GLYPHS! This cave that foreshadows the game's spectacular ending was so amazing to me as a kid. I give it 100%. And following that up with the Face Shrine music and its music is primo.

    I reaaally like coming out of the dungeon into the overhead map for just as second. Like, "the overworld life continues while you're down in the underworld." And yeah, the rapids have great music too.

    This iron ball boss is cool indeed.

    The rooster never did a heel turn right? What happened to him in the end, I can't remember! BTW Despicable Me 2 has a rooster like this.

    Ohhh this red, red Turtle Rock is the best use of color yet.

    Seeing Kirby in Dungeon 7 is so trippy.

    The Mirror Shield is the best. But it should look like a mirror.

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    1. It would be super cool if the mirror shield reflected whatever were in front of it, but that'd be hard to program.

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