Previously on AMC's The Adventure of Link... Our hero fought Not-Agahnim and rescued young Damien from the clutches of Maze Island. Now, in the final chapter, Link must face... Link? Featuring a live performance of "Forty Six and Two" by Tool!
Before I get underway on this one, it's worth noting that the official world maps of The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link fit together perfectly and show us the full Hyrule of the first two games. This was Nintendo's way of pioneering interlocking map technology, an idea Sega would later steal when they invented interlocking cartridges.
What are the odds that Nintendo remakes both of these games in the now-standard 3D style... as one big game? That would be really awesome, especially if they added more to the game after Zelda II's final area. Otherwise it'd be a bit anticlimactic. I'd say have Ganon return after all, leading to the entirely-new final area. Probably a sky palace hovering above the center of the world. Yeah, this means you'd be fighting Ganon twice, first at the halfway point and then at the end. Maybe he'd be Ganondorf the first time and Ganon the second.
Man, I'd play the hell out of this modern Zelda 1+2 fusion. More enthused about it already than I am about Zelda Wii U. I'm all for open world playgrounds, but I worry that it'll suffer Metal Gear Solid 5 syndrome of being an awesome core game with waaaaaay too much padding.
Speaking of that series, how about remaking Metal Gear and MG2: Solid Snake in a modern engine and all one game? That'd be incredible. Make it happen, Kona- oh, too late
In the previous posts I talked about Nintendo Power Volume 4, which covered the first half of the game. Now I'm reading Volume 5 for tips on the second half. Volume 5 is the very cool issue with Ninja Gaiden on the cover that I talked about a while back. It has a significantly more useful world map, at last.
It also features a strangely-tactful Master Higgins who looks completely incongruous with his speech bubbles.
"EY, dames! Who said ya could vote?!"
Returning to the game in progress, I'm almost done leveling up. The big end-of-dungeon levelups, if used well, are a huge help. At this point Link crosses the ocean with his water-walking boots, creating an entire future religion in Hyrule.
Hidden in the water is a crucial Heart Container. It's a little north of the Ocean Palace, and not to be missed.
You can usually only walk left to right over the water to reach the Ocean Palace, but there's one square where you can walk north and then east a bit to get to the aformentioned heart.
Nintendo Power #5 comes into play in a big way for this dungeon. There's a room with a wall that you can walk through, and the treasure of the dungeon is right beyond that. It's actually easier to get to the boss than it is to get to the treasure on this one. I would have never found the hidden wall without getting the info here, since it's like the only hidden wall in the game.
The next boss is this big dude with a ball and chain. He's probably the most well-animated boss in the game. Odd thing is he was missing from the NP boss artwork page. Weird. I couldn't get a good shot of him swinging the ball and chain, but know this, it was more epic than the final battle of Return of the King.
Fairy is vital for passing through this room. One of the main problems with this game is that it frequently requires you to use spells to get out of particular rooms, and if you happen to be out of magic at that point... you reset or die on purpose, I guess.
Here's the hidden passage I mentioned. Given how this isn't a standard aspect of the game, it really is out of nowhere at this point. This is more like something out of a Metroid game. When I was a kid and played Metroid 2 for the first time, there was a hidden passage like this early on. Having never played any games in the series, I had no idea you could break through some walls, so I was stuck at that point for a while. Luckily it was the only thing like that in the game.
At the very least, there's probably a townsperson somewhere who tells you about the existence of this wall. Unfortunately I haven't talked to very many townspeople due to the slow text speed and their propensity to attempt murder.
Not only is the Fairy spell great for bypassing enemies, it also lets you pass through locked doors. Too bad I didn't realize this until so late in the game. I couldn't find an extra key for this section, so Fairy saved the day. It's also great for hovering outside windows to spy on women in their nightwear. NONE OF YOU ARE SAFE.
The treasure here (seen on the left) is the Flute, which has very limited usage on the overworld.
Specifically, you use it to make this giant spider go away, allowing Link to go to the last part of the overworld. ......and that's about it. Yep.
The next area is the Zelda version of bullet hell, as the world's lamest Al Wilson cosplayers launch rocks at our hero from behind a fence.
The game severely ramps up in difficulty at this point, so a beaten and bloodied Link needs all the help he can get.
There's a hidden town here somewhere, and it's the final town in the game. Finding it is a matter of digging up forest squares. If it weren't for the annoying random battles, I'd let OCD take over and just mow all the trees.
New Kasuto is a lot like the last town in Final Fantasy in that it's chock full of upgrades. There's a Magic Container, a new spell, and a new relic here, as well as healers for both health and mana.
What happened to Old Kasuto, you ask? The inhabitants fled and started a new town here due to the encroaching hordes of Ganon's minions. Old Kasuto is now in ruins, and Link will have to drop by there soon enough.
The spell in New Kasuto is...Spell. It has weird effects, and I never used it aside from the one time that you have to. Caution: Overuse of Spell can turn your pets into Dire Wolves and summon Toad.
The one time you need to use it is elsewhere in the same town. There's a weird dead-end with a wall of dirt (I think?) where you use Spell to...
...raise this mausoleum. There, that's what you use Spell for. With that, our hero tucks it back into the ancient book whence it belongs.
Inside the mausoleum is the Magic Key, which lets you unlock doors an unlimited number of times. Now that locked doors aren't an issue anymore, it's a good time to go back and grab any bosses/items that you missed up to now in the game.
The sixth palace is in the desert to the south. Reminds me a bit of Link to the Past.
This one is a bit more complicated, with a huge pit and multiple floors to fall down. It's difficult to get to where you want to go without having a map. The most important thing is to bring the Magic Key, because while the dungeon has locked doors, it doesn't supply you with any keys. The Fairy spell only goes so far, given your very limited MP.
The worst part? Donald Trump refused to denounce the Wizzrobes at first.
Fairy continues to be super-useful; here I use it to cross the giant pit sections of the dungeon. Not really a fan of most of the spells in this game, as they range from basic (Shield, Heal) to so situational that they're near-useless (most of the others). Fairy has turned out to be the best out of the lot.
This dungeon has several bosses. Ironknuckle shows up again first for a rematch, and Link again pogo's off his head until his horse disappears.
...that sounded vaguely risque.
When his shield is up, attacking him from above doesn't work. Does this make sense? Nope, but neither do many things about Hyrule. For example, where is their military? Why isn't there a chain of command for when their leaders get incapacitated?
After that, the real boss of the dungeon is Barba the dragon. Jump is crucial here just to reliably land hits on his head.
Even with Shield on and maxed HP, this fight is surprisingly difficult. The dragon breathes fire and you're often faced with a choice of either risking a fall or getting hit by the fire.
Victory here gets me my FINAL LEVEL-UP.
In Old Kasuto, there's one guy who hasn't left the town for some reason. He's really attached to this dingy basement, I guess. Either that or he's crazy, like all the NPCs in the Souls series.
In any case, he gives our hero the final spell...
With that spell in hand, it's off to the final dungeon. The trek there on the overworld is insane, and my new spell is too expensive to help much. I think it attacks all enemies onscreen, but with such a steep cost it can't make the difference it was probably intended for.
I mentioned that this overworld trek was bad, and part of it is because the random enemy encounters now have DEATH PITS.
....and swarms of invisible enemies. That's weird. How the heck can I deal with swarms of invisible enemies when there are pits all over the place? This is impossible in every sense.
After struggling with this a bit, I finally referred to Nintendo Power again and realized that I missed the treasure of the previous dungeon, the Cross. For some reason I thought that dungeon didn't have a treasure, and missed seeing it in the issue. I guess the Cross is just a really forgettable item, much like Spell. Back to the dungeon I go...
One constant in this game is that, regardless of what year I play it, I always attack all the statues I can find just in case one of them drops a magic potion. Most of them don't, but I've got to make sure. Sometimes the statues come to life and attack, in what may be the genesis of the Armos Knights in later games.
The Cross is found at last!
Now Link can win the Republican primary Now Link can see invisible enemies, which makes getting to the final palace a lot easier.
The invisible enemies...were even more numerous than I thought. They attack in swarms. No wonder I was finding it impossible to progress.
These pit-filled battle screens are STILL tricky even now that I can see.
The path to the Grand Palace is eerie and nightmarish. I wonder what this is supposed to be in the Zelda world. Part of Death Mountain? It isn't connected on the world map, so that isn't it. Still reminds me of the pathways up Death Mountain in Ocarina of Time.
I tried to gimp my way through these battle screens with Fairy, only to discover that the developers thought of that. Foiled! Those magnificent bastards.
After a long trek, here's the Grand Palace. The final section of this game. The seventh palace. The fifteenth and penultimate dungeon in the sprawling Zelda 1+2 remake that Nintendo will surprise everyone with on the NX in a few years.
This is the point in the game where it's important to go on a scavenger hunt and find any missing upgrades. The final dungeons in this series are usually intense.
The good news is that I found all of this stuff already, so I can go on ahead. Zelda's a-waiting.
The Grand Palace is protected by a magic barrier that only disappears if you have all six other palaces down at this point. Woe to you if you trekked up here without finishing one of them off.
These bird-men are called Fokkas in the official instruction manual. Between this and all the religious symbols, this was like Nintendo's Attitude Era compared to everything since.
They really are Fokkas, too. They chase Link down and they seem to be able to climb over any obstacles, in addition to being very difficult to kill. It isn't helping that these rooms are full of destructible blocks to slow you down while the Fokkas administer a beatdown.
The King Slime makes a few appearances in this castle. He always spawns out of nowhere and falls right onto Link's head, but it's the perfect time to utilize the up-strike.
Somewhere, Stephanie McMahon's other boob is wondering why his brother just got so much smaller.
The final stretch of the dungeon is a collapsing bridge. Link has crossed plenty of these up to now, but now we have the added danger of a death pit and flying enemies.
Halfway across is an ominous tunnel. This is the route to the final boss, but I could see someone missing it the first time through.
Like the previous dungeon, this one has two bosses. The first is Thunderbird...who is neither bird nor particularly thunderous.
Using Thunder on him once changes him from red to blue and makes him vulnerable to attacks. For every other enemy in the game, blue is more powerful than red; not here though.
Once Thunder is cast, throw up Jump and Shield and go nuts. This is the hardest fight in the game, as the boss launches a constant flurry of Mario Fireballs and can only be damaged with strikes to the face. Also, having to use Thunder and Jump to even hurt the boss means that you don't have much MP left to go around. Shield is a must, but then you're going without heals.
Barely won, even after restarting the fight with full HP. With that, Hyrule is saved, as Link rescues an old dude with the third piece of the Triforce.
Not only did the maps for the two games connect, but so does the story: In The Legend of Zelda, you got the first and second of the three pieces by beating the game and doing the Second Quest.
Come to think of it, that particular aspect of the story wouldn't lend itself to a combined remake very well...
BUT WAIT! Link's shadow leaps out from behind him and attacks! It's an exact replication of our hero, but it hasn't finished forming yet.
"When I'm president, we're deporting our shadows until we figure out what's going on!"
This is the real final boss, and woe to you if you've barely got any health left after Thunderbird. Not sure what Dark Link actually is, either. Is he related to the Shadow Masters from the end of Link's Awakening?
The key is to run like hell...back to the corner. Once there, you...
...turn around and slash away while ducking.
::Dark Link screeches::
Dark Link then proceeds to run into Link's sword repeatedly. The fight is much more difficult than this if done straight-up, because Dark Link is basically a huge cheater who blocks all your attacks.
With Dark Link vanquished, our hero claims the final piece of the Triforce.
...but wait, why is that music still playing?
The princess is awakened, and the kingdom is saved.
DIRECTED BY JOHN CARPENTER