Friday, April 7, 2017

Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (Game Boy Advance, 2004)

This game came out two days after the 2004 presidential election.


I wrote this post a long TIIIIME ago! 

The world map... look at all these awesome pastel colors.

We begin with Zelda visiting a blacksmith. This is clearly a top-view traditional Zelda game; it followed in the portable footsteps of the two Oracle games.

Zelda wants to take Link out on a date. I guess the blacksmith is like the Link's Uncle of this game.

Read: He was making love to her over and over again under that bridge by Lake Hylia.

...wait, that's the blacksmith talking. Nevermind

Link wakes up, and... it looks like it's a super-young version of Link. I thought it was the Wind Waker version but I'm not so sure. Looks just like him but doesn't have the cel shaded thing going on.

In any case...we're off to a festival. Any game that starts just like Chrono Trigger is okay by me.

The blacksmith with ominous words of warning to our heroes. After Zelda leaves the room, he also has a warning for Link: "Don't be silly, protect your willie." 

What's up with Link's hair? Good God, somebody get this man a hat!

Faced with a choice between a gem and a clunky little shield, Zelda buys Link the one that is actually functional. That's awesome. She's my kinda lady, no interest in gems. Cause if I see another diamond commercial on TV I'm going to lose my shit!

Hey Zales! You can surk madurk!

I don't know if the sly Miyamoto-san was going for a double-entendre here. How DARE SHE!

Not only do we have a pair of teenagers running around a fair...there's even a giant bell in an archway! Seriously, is the Chrono Trigger referencing intentional or what?

After doing the fair thing, our heroes arrive at Hyrule Castle. There's some kind of tournament taking place and the strongest fighters in Hyrule have gathered here. ...That twanging sound you hear in the distance is Gokou's boner.

The tournament is already over, and the winner is this Vaati guy.

He's totally the villain. Wait...the villain is introduced by winning a tournament...

First Chrono Trigger, now we're in Dragon Quest IV territory?

Vaati is sinister. With that long blue hair, he's a villain for the hip new Millennial generation. That or Nintendo thought Magus was pretty cool and decided to make their own.

Vaati breaks the Picori Blade, releasing a horde of demons on the land. Now we're doing Secret of Mana!

That or Ghostbusters. This reminds me of the "Magic" scene late in the movie where New York gets overrun by all of the released spirits.

Vaati immediately turns Zelda to stone for some reason. He has a chance to finish off Link, but he doesn't.

Vaati then scampers off, leaving the kingdom of Hyrule a mess. The princess is petrified (petrified!) and there are now monsters. Luckily, Link is here to swing into action! a different Link from the rest, and I believe this is his first rodeo.

It's already broken? What is this, Breath of the Wild?

There, that's better. Except that moments after this picture was taken, the new sword broke too! Come on!

No, I kid. The Broken Picori Blade needs to be reforged at some point (possibly into the Master Sword) and in the meantime I get the Smith's Sword to fight with.

Link is now set loose in the kingdom...and still doesn't have a hat. Looks like there are lots of ways we can go here, in typical Zelda fashion.

Here's Mutoh, of Keiji Mutoh fame. He's wrestling royalty in Japan. This is like if an American game had a character named "Cena".

(Note: In 2000 one of the main characters in Final Fantasy IX was named Steiner, right around the height of Scott Steiner's career. Considering that Final Fantasy X has a confirmed Triple H reference, I suspect the Steiner nod was intentional)

Next thing we know, our hero is attacked by BANDITO MOLES!

My God!

I test my new sword by thwacking away at the moles!

Minish Woods? My God! A prophetic Xavier Woods reference nearly a decade before his time!

The woods in this overworld are southeast rather than the usual northwest.

It's worth noting that this area has astoundingly good music for the hardware.

Man, this is so good. Sounds like a fusion of A Link to the Past, Suikoden, and something by Yasunori Mitsuda.

Starting to find these...and starting to get into this game. Some say it's the best 2D Zelda of all of them, and I could definitely see that argument making sense.

Our hero runs into a talking hat that is under attack by Octoroks. One quick fight later, and... latches onto Link's head with the facehugger sound effect! Jesus Christ!

It then takes up residence on top of Link's head. No, seriously. This must be the titular Minish Cap. He's, well, a bit of a dick.

"Oh!" he says as he rides Link's head. "Oooh!"

Climb onto tree stumps and Link can now shrink down to tiny size with the power of the Minish Cap. I wonder if this idea was supposed to go into the scrapped third Oracle game a couple years before this. The two Oracle games used tree stumps in much the same way, to activate whatever power that particular game revolved around.

Shrinking to tiny size lets you explore new areas, and even the smallest areas can have some secret items to find. This is a really cool idea and I think I actually prefer it over the season-changing or time-warping of the two Oracles.

Link continues to roam around in tiny form, and that'll be it for this episode. So far I really like this one. Miyamoto has brought it yet again, with a bright peppy game to cheer things up in this dark world of ours.


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