Skip

THANKS A MILLION. PRESS START TO REPLAY
December 26, 2012 3:03 PM   Subscribe


 
I bet you thought I forgot.
posted by JHarris at 3:14 PM on December 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Initial reaction: wow, cool! Lots of stuff to read.

Then: Wait, Zelda Day? There's a Zelda Day? When did this happen?
posted by Malor at 3:14 PM on December 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


STILL the only classic Zelda game I haven't beaten.

That jump option was a CRUEL JOKE.
posted by The Whelk at 3:16 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


After looking it up, the only Zelda Day I'm seeing is on February 21?
posted by Malor at 3:16 PM on December 26, 2012


IF ALL ELSE FAILS USE FIRE.

Still my personal motto.
posted by deathpanels at 3:25 PM on December 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


I love Zelda II. It is really tough. We beat it back in the day, but now I can't imagine (even just getting to) the final palace without save-states.
posted by starman at 3:26 PM on December 26, 2012


Two years ago, on December 26th, there were four posts about The Legend of Zelda on the same day due to pure luck. Admiral Haddock christened it, and The Whelk seconded it. Since then I've tried to make one post about the games each year. Just because.
posted by JHarris at 3:30 PM on December 26, 2012 [15 favorites]


Because we must always keep Hyrule in our hearts.
posted by The Whelk at 3:32 PM on December 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Black sheep? Man, Zelda II is one of my favorite zeldas.
posted by kafziel at 3:36 PM on December 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


Last month, I finally sat down and beat Zelda II (on my 3DS, with save states enabled, but WHATEVER). It is a beast of a game, but as I was halfway through it, I realized how incredible it must have been at the time. According to the manual, Link is only sixteen, and charged with assembling gems to save a Zelda he had never met. What a burden! Eventually, on your journey, you realize that the entirety of the original Legend of Zelda's map is contained in the bottom left corner of the incredibly expansive Hyrule map. What an amazing concept for fans of the original game.

Because it's a side-scroller, the dungeons in Zelda II are Metroid-style mazes where you go downward and downward towards the boss, which made it feel claustrophobic. You never receive any weapon items, unlike every other Zelda game, and have to make do with the same sword throughout. Yes, you learn the all important upward and downward thrusts eventually, and you can level up, but every battle feels earned when you're having to deal with the sword fighting in the game. Should I fight, or should I flee?

I love thinking about people playing this when it came out, and filling the game with their imaginations. What a neat thing to live in a time before cutscenes, and endless storytelling, and high-definition graphical processors. I wish that the game required less boring grinding, and there were times when it was quite unfairly stacked against you, enemy-wise, but when I finally defeated Dark Link, I felt great.
posted by RubixsQube at 3:41 PM on December 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


If you've had trouble with Zelda II, maybe I can offer some help. After the original game it's my favorite in the series. I've beaten it "on one credit," without having to continue.

First, how to handle Ironknuckles, those knights in the dungeons with the shields. The trick is to jump at them and stab so the sword passes downward through their helmets. If you do it right it always hits, and it makes what would otherwise be insanely difficult opponents fun to kill.

The walking alligator monsters in the mountain with the unblockable axes are harder. With the orange ones try to get in a rhythm, so that you hit it with your sword as it comes into range, knocking it back a little. Then hit it again when it comes back into range. If you miss, retreat some ways and try again as it follows. The purple ones are harder, but with good timing you can jump over their thrown axes. (Don't try to duck them!)

The lizard men later in the game work a bit like Ironknuckles, but the jumping slash doesn't always work on them. Most of the time it's best just to jump over them, using the downward slash move to bounce off their heads, and run away.

The final dungeon is a tremendous challenge; it took up an entire side of the disk in the game's initial release! There are lots of rooms you just don't have to visit. There isn't an essential powerup item in it like the other dungeons. Fortunately if you die in it you'll restart there, instead of having to work your way through the murderous lava path leading up to it again. The best trick I can offer is, if you descend through an elevator shaft screen that appears to have no passages leading off of it, feel around the left wall, as those screens always have an invisible passage leading off the side there, often leading to a statue you can stab, maybe for a full magic refill. The bird knight enemies are usually best run from if you can.

The experience system is a work of genius. There are three different experience tracks with different point requirements, Life (defense power), Magic (makes spells cheaper) and Attack (sword strength). You can either take each experience level as you earn it, or you can "cancel," putting those points towards the next level. This lets you customize your character towards your skills and is the source of a lot of strategy. Significantly, when you place the crystal at the end of a dungeon, you immediately earn enough points to advance you to the next level, whatever that may be. An advanced tactic is to build up one of your levels high to the exclusion of the others (Attack is a popular choice), so that its point requirements get very high. Then place a crystal, and so long as you have more points at that moment than you need for the two weak levels, you'll get all the points you need to get to the next level of the high level, which can add up to thousands of experience points. You can either claim that level, setting you up for an even greater bonus after the next dungeon, or you can put those points towards the other two levels, immediately gaining several levels in each. Using tricks like that, it is not very difficult to get all 8s before the last dungeon. After you max a level out, you can earn extra lives for 9,000 points.
posted by JHarris at 3:48 PM on December 26, 2012 [32 favorites]


JHarris, those are great tips, thanks! I think that what was really important for my playthrough was realizing the importance of the Attack stat, and then finding a few good places for grinding. Once you get the downward thrust, it's easy to grind on reappearing bubbles, since you can jump straight up when they're below you, and hold the downward thrust until they die. Repeating this over and over is not very time consuming.

Also, there's a great spot outlined here that also helped me out. If I were to play through again, I'd probably work on Attack, then Life, then Magic.
posted by RubixsQube at 3:52 PM on December 26, 2012


Zelda 2 is probably my favorite of the series! Thanks for the post JHarris!
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:02 PM on December 26, 2012


And if you think playthroughs are too faithful to the original game, why not try watching the animated adaptation of Zelda 2 care of everyone's favorite 1990s Nintendo advertisement Saturday morning cartoon, Captain N: The Game Master?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:16 PM on December 26, 2012


If you think The Adventure Of Link is in any way the black sheep of the franchise, then you definitely have never seen the Mario and Zelda titles created for the Phillips CD-I system...
posted by trackofalljades at 4:27 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


trackofalljades : If you think The Adventure Of Link is in any way the black sheep of the franchise, then you definitely have never seen the Mario and Zelda titles created for the Phillips CD-I system

Neither has anyone else. :)
posted by pla at 4:32 PM on December 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ah, the Legend of Zelda was one of the first games I really and truly properly got into as a teenager. The music, the stories, the first time you get the powerful sword! Amazing game and amazing memories.

I see that a Hyrule Historia will be coming out at the end of January. Should be good!
posted by Scottie_Bob at 4:46 PM on December 26, 2012


I love thinking about people playing this when it came out, and filling the game with their imaginations. What a neat thing to live in a time before cutscenes, and endless storytelling, and high-definition graphical processors.

Damn I feel old now. Thanks a lot...

The final dungeon is a tremendous challenge; it took up an entire side of the disk in the game's initial release! There are lots of rooms you just don't have to visit. There isn't an essential powerup item in it like the other dungeons. Fortunately if you die in it you'll restart there

Agreed -- that was the one thing in the game I never finished. Problem with restarting there, you don't start with max health, or something like that, right? Unless I'm misremembering? Every so often I think about firing up an emulator, and giving it another shot, but then I think about bashing my head against a wall instead. It was crazy fun at the time, but that's a lot of leveling up to do again...
posted by inigo2 at 5:07 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


You start with full health like normal, it just won't do you much good if you're not good enough to delve to the end of the dungeon .
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:22 PM on December 26, 2012


If you're grinding levels in Zelda II, in my opinion, you're doing it wrong.

You earn a total of 21 levels through the course of the game, seven in each of three categories. Six of those you get for free, from completing dungeons, leaving 15 you have to earn. What you want to do is get those freebies as late in the game as possible. The six highest levels are worth 26,500 experience points, the rest of the levels are only 6,900 in all. It's very difficult to save all those levels for the end, but if you're sure to earn all the experience points you can at the start, killing all the enemies in the first two dungeons, fighting all the monsters in encounters and set areas when you run into them, you can make a good dent in the level requirements.

But consider an alternative. When you gain a Magic level, your Magic meter gets refilled. When you earn a Life level, your health gets refilled. If you're careful, you can utilize those refreshes.

One more tip. If you find a full magic refill, of course you should use every spell you can beforehand that you could possibly get use out of. If you're not at full health, you should cast Life. Shield, Jump, Reflect and Fire are other possibilities. Even if you don't have enough magic to cast Life, if you collect a full magic refill then cast a spell while the meter is refilling, you'll actually end up with more magic left over than if you got the bottle then cast the spell after it fills.
posted by JHarris at 5:35 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Legend of Zelda was the last game I actually played to the finish. Lots of fun. The music and sound effects are burned into my memory after all these years.
posted by Sailormom at 5:49 PM on December 26, 2012


(It also helps if you focus on Attack at the start, since those levels have the highest experience requirements.)
posted by JHarris at 5:54 PM on December 26, 2012


Someone should do a Kinect version so you can dance through the dungeons.
posted by sammyo at 6:01 PM on December 26, 2012


(It also helps if you focus on Attack at the start, since those levels have the highest experience requirements.)

You'll also notice Attack 3 much more than you'll notice Life 3.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:04 PM on December 26, 2012


Zelda Day today or in February?
posted by Atreides at 6:19 PM on December 26, 2012


Zelda II was my first hint that I would never be a "serious" gamer. That is, someone who feels a need for completion when it comes to video games (perhaps also in many other areas of life).
posted by runcibleshaw at 6:31 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Every day is Zelda day.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:35 PM on December 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I 'member this from kollije. This is one of the games that got me back into gaming after a brief hiatus.
posted by Mister_A at 7:06 PM on December 26, 2012


The difficulty of Zelda II is what I like the most about it. When I completed it the first time it felt like I had defeated something epic. And even when I play it now, finishing it on one credit isn't a foregone conclusion.

By way of contrast, I've completed Ocarina of Time with three hearts, no heart pieces, and leaving the heart container for defeating bosses where it is, and I didn't die.
posted by JHarris at 7:26 PM on December 26, 2012


The Great Palace had epic music. The intro was especially heavy as hell. It washing over you as you were frozen while the game did that scrolling reveal at the entrance let you know you were into something big.
posted by ignignokt at 7:37 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was a two-decade-long road for me to beat Zelda II. In fact, I had no intention or expectation that I would ever beat it when I gave away my original Nintendo system in the early 90's. It was one of those games that was just too...frigging....hard. Along with Blaster Master and Castlevania II, it seemed stupidly impossible. That path to the last palace, with the lava pits and lizard men, weakening and robbing you of lives until you finally reached the last palace, where those goddamned bird knights ran rings around you while you got lost over and over again, until you finally got to the thunderbird (which I maybe did once or twice), but with severely depleted life and magic and then, fuck, shit, fuck that took forever and now it's game over and Gannon is laughing and I hate this stupid game. I don't remember when, but there must have come a time when I punched the power button on the console in frustration and walked away from it for the last time. And then twenty years passed and I don't recall thinking about the game once in that time.

But a few years ago I was traveling and staying with a friend of mine who owned a game cube. There it was on his system, Zelda II. Holy crap, I used to love that game. I fired it up one night after my friend went to bed and, much like the action in the game, the experience of playing it again was like journeying into forgotten dungeons of my own mind. I remembered every single detail about the game, but in a nearly subconscious way. My fingers were acting of their own accord, tracking down every item and power up, dispatching dungeon bosses without me even having to really think about it. At the same time, in the forefront of my brain, I was reliving an enormous number of small memories that I had accumulated in real life while playing the game. The winter morning that I beat the first boss, then went outside to have a snowball fight. How it started to rain that day. The air smelled like thawing pine trees and I realized winter was almost over. My grade-school friend who taught me how to navigate through Death Mountain and how his dad yelled at us when he found us playing the game in the middle of the night. Going to bed in his house and hearing the creaks of the house settling, thinking about ghosts until I fell asleep. The pancakes we ate the next morning. A wealth of small childhood memories that had been locked together with Zelda in the back of my brain. It was an utterly unique experience for me, reliving those memories sequentially as the game progressed. Which happened somewhat rapidly because I was now A BEAST at Zelda II. It was like a chemical reaction where the muscle memory of childhood fused with the patience and perspective that came with two additional decades of life experience. I breezed through the castles that had once made me literally scream with frustration. I cut down the most difficult enemies without the controller getting even a little sweaty. Red alligator men, blue hardknuckles? Pfft... I came to the final castle, a place that I had no conscious memory of at all, and navigated directly to the boss, where shredded him and then dispatched my shadow, in the one fight that gave me even the slightest pause. I beat the game in one sitting....without dying once. It was three in the morning and I was sitting on a couch in the glow of a tv screen, feeling the release of a tension that I didn't even know existed until that moment.

I was groggy the next morning when my friend came and woke me up.
"You stay up late last night?"
"Yeah, I beat Zelda II. On one life."
My friend laughed.
"I'm proud of you."
posted by otolith at 7:43 PM on December 26, 2012 [216 favorites]


Interestingly Zelda Day falls around the traditional time of the feast of St. Lucia, recorder of birds. In the Dark Ages this would allow the peasants to smack the Lord's landbirds about from sunup to midsun. Following midsun the noblemen would set their bird-hounds on the birds, now a concentrated and huddled mass of smacked stupor. Thus would a wave of landbirds fall upon that very same peasant community that had not a half-sun earlier made sport of birdsmacking, destroying the peasants' crops and crude wooden machines. This was in fact the primary mechanism through which feudalism was enforced and it was not until the practice was forbidden by the church in 1992 that peasants as well as free-folk could exchange gifts during the holiday without fear of bird.
posted by passerby at 9:27 PM on December 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Semi-famous mefites who now command my highest respect: Jharris.
posted by Buckt at 10:26 PM on December 26, 2012


You'll also notice Attack 3 much more than you'll notice Life 3.

Well I'm not sure. Life 1 is truly fragile. If you're good at dodging attacks then go with Attack, but Life is a safer bet for beginners. At the beginning of the game Magic can be a kind of middle-ground, since you can use it to make Shield cheaper which halves damage, but Magic only really comes into its own once the Life spell is earned, which you can't do until you reach the town of Saria, most times after Level 1. (Excluding glitches, you need the Candle from level 1 to get the goddess statue/"trophy," which you need for the Jump spell, which you need to get to Saria.)
posted by JHarris at 12:22 AM on December 27, 2012


I was SOOO happy when Link to the Past came out, and it wasn't a side scroller. I never played much Zelda 2 because it was so frustrating, with Gannon laughing at you every time you died...

I love thinking about people playing this when it came out, and filling the game with their imaginations. What a neat thing to live in a time before cutscenes, and endless storytelling, and high-definition graphical processors.

All our parents were convinced we weren't using our imaginations, and that we should go out and play or read a book instead of playing video games.

I am officially old. This is the first time I've ever had someone say "It must have been so amazing back then..." about MY childhood.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 4:04 AM on December 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Zelda 2 (or perhaps the SNES-era Link to the Past) was the last game in the series that I really, really liked. The rest feel like slogs to me; I don't care to keep playing them years later, and they all feel like they're just Zelda 2 in 3D. But man, those early days with the NES in my parents basement, the summer breeze coming through the windows at night, and playing until I was unable to keep my eyes open? That's basically 50% of my childhood in the late 80s.
posted by ellF at 4:26 AM on December 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


The music of Zelda II certainly deserves to be revisited. dam da da da da dum dum dum da da da
posted by ersatz at 8:19 AM on December 27, 2012


otolith: I remembered every single detail about the game, but in a nearly subconscious way. My fingers were acting of their own accord, tracking down every item and power up, dispatching dungeon bosses without me even having to really think about it.

Ooh, yeah, I know that feeling exactly. Just had it happen fairly recently, the last couple years. I fired up Adventure from the 2600 in some format or other, probably a web-based emulator. I remembered the broad outlines of the game, but had lost almost all the details.

But my hands, man, they remembered. They knew exactly what to do. All the paths through the mazes, exactly where the hidden items were, how to deal with the bat and fight the dragons, even how to dump the bat into a castle so it wouldn't bother you anymore. My hands were ninja masters at Adventure, while I just sat there with kind of a dumb smile, and watched them play.

It is so weird to feel that kind of expertise in your fingers, without having any conscious connection to it.
posted by Malor at 8:32 AM on December 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


The sad thing for me is that I still think of Zelda as a dorky game played on that dumb new console everyone is all hyped about...which is now old enough that it's the subject of nostalgia, which would make me—

Oh, for fuck's sake.

I'm going to play Aztec on an emulator now and weep.
posted by sonascope at 9:01 AM on December 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm going to play Aztec on an emulator now and weep.

I know that feel, bro. Here.
posted by radwolf76 at 9:43 AM on December 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I never played much Zelda 2 because it was so frustrating, with Gannon laughing at you every time you died...

Wait a second...Ganon facing forward, laughing when you fail...Duck Hunt dog facing forward, laughing when you fail...Ganon is Duck Hunt dog! Duck Hunt is Zelda prequel first person shooter!
posted by cortex at 9:50 AM on December 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Excluding glitches, you need the Candle from level 1 to get the goddess statue/"trophy," which you need for the Jump spell, which you need to get to Saria.

Would you consider getting the trophy by relying on the few details that are visible without the candle a "glitch"? Because I remember doing that.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 11:42 AM on December 27, 2012


No, but you're going to need to get the candle eventually anyway, and pretty soon. The way to the second area is also a dark cave, and while it doesn't have any death pits it has a lot more enemies. If you can make it through that though it's pretty much a clear shot to Saria and the Life spell, although you've 1. probably died a time or two on the way (there is an extra life on the other side of the cave though), and 2. will either have to make the trip back through in the dark later, or go through Death Mountain in the dark, which is much more difficult.

I'm kind of interested in trying this now. Once you're past the cave, you can go on and complete the second palace before the first one, and with the experience from that and the Life spell you'd be in good standing for going back through to the first palace.

You won't be able to continue with the game without going back and getting the Candle from the first palace however without getting the Hammer, which you have to get through Death Mountain to get. Possible maybe, but very tricky; the way through there there's a couple of problem areas with lava pits, one with tricky placed Octoroks, and one with a single spike blob placed on the edge of a platform.

Irrelevant aside: I'm kind of annoyed with the more recent Zelda games now. First Twilight Princess had a lot more dungeon than I usually enjoy. Then Skyward Sword got rid of the one thing that makes Zelda what it is more than anything else, the overworld. Or rather they replaced it with "the sky," which isn't really as interesting.

Of course The Sky is just the game's analogue for Wind Waker's Great Sea, but the sea seemed a lot more expansive, and had a lot more to find in it, than the sky does. Also a great opportunity was missed in Skyward Sword, which actually has interesting swordfighting mechanics, not to have the player use that to get around an overworld, rather in annoying linear dungeonish ground areas.
posted by JHarris at 12:32 PM on December 27, 2012


Thanks a million for this fantastic post about my favorite Zelda game.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:06 PM on December 27, 2012


Come to think of it, Zelda Day arose not completely due to luck. Two posts were made. I had been considering a Zelda post based on the Cutting Room Floor's discovery of a beta of the game so I made it three, and someone else added a fourth.

Still though, I'm perfectly happy making it a tradition.
posted by JHarris at 2:05 PM on December 27, 2012


I remember having played Zelda 2 a LOT. But my only actual gameplay memory is getting my ass kicked by that stupid lava dragon thing over. and over. and over. and over. and over.

It's possible I wasn't all that good at the game.
posted by flaterik at 6:49 PM on December 27, 2012


The dragon is Volvagia (mistranslated in the US manual as "Barba"), and is fairly tricky. One has to be careful to dodge its fireballs. Probably the safest way to fight it is to bide your time. Hang out on the central platform, and wait until it appears next to you. After it goes all the way into the air it waits a second then shoots some quick fireballs, then sinks back down. Most people can probably get a single hit on it on its way back down. With the Jump spell you can hit it with upthrusts when it's up before and after it shoots its fireballs. You might be able to camp out alongside a lava pit to maybe get in an opportunistic hit on it as it raises up. The best spells to use are Shield and Jump, and of course Life if you need it. I'm not sure if you can damage it with Fire, but if you can you could hang out on the right side of the screen, where its fireballs will just knock you against the edge of the screen, and fire across the room at it.

Volvagia seems difficult, but I don't think I've ever died to it. If you got up to that point you certainly aren't bad at it; it's near the end of the game, the last boss before the Great Palace.
posted by JHarris at 7:17 PM on December 27, 2012


Honestly I think I die to Horsehead more than to Volvagia. Of course, when I fight Horsehead, I'm a lot more fragile.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:26 PM on December 27, 2012


Yeah, it's a thing about Zelda games where usually the first boss racks up a lot more kills than the last one, because you only have three hearts, or heart equivalents, when you fight it.
posted by JHarris at 8:04 PM on December 27, 2012


Indeed, getting to Saria would be pretty hard without a candle, and I don't think I've done it. I mostly got the trophy in the dark to get Jump before going to the first castle so I could use it to beat Horsehead.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 7:42 AM on December 28, 2012


Now you see, I think Jump would make Horsehead (big prize for original name there Nintendo) harder. You spend the most time in a jump at the peak, where vertical motion is slowest, and that happens to be just the right height to hit Horsey. The Jump spell puts that sweet spot high up in the air, meaning you'll have to slice Horsehead on the way up or down.
posted by JHarris at 10:22 AM on December 28, 2012


So, Zelda grew up to be some kind of warrior with swords and fire and whatnot?

I guess this means she got over her crush on Dobie.
posted by she's not there at 4:59 PM on December 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


The main character in the Zelda games is Link. Zelda is who you're trying to rescue. (But don't feel bad, you've only made the same mistake as everyone on the schoolyard who had never played the games, and a few who had.)
posted by JHarris at 12:13 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heh. Relevant?
posted by tkappleton at 12:25 PM on December 30, 2012


Yes. But still, neither Zelda is the warrior with swords and fire. I can't say about whatnot.
posted by JHarris at 9:12 PM on December 30, 2012


It was a two-decade-long road for me to beat Zelda II. In fact, I had no intention or expectation that I would ever beat it when I gave away my original Nintendo system in the early 90's. It was one of those games that was just too...frigging....hard. Along with Blaster Master and Castlevania II, it seemed stupidly impossible.

I've found this with several games that I played in childhood and then revisited in adulthood. Some combination of adult cognition and coordination makes a lot of these games easier than I remember. Sometimes I saw immediately a strategy I'd never thought of when I was 10. Or, something which I simply couldn't get my fingers to do fast enough now comes easily.

And I think that says something important. Games are largely viewed as "kids stuff." This is starting to change, but it's still out there. Thing is, as stories like this one demonstrate, not only is some of the content not necessarily appropriate,* but a lot of times kids aren't ready, developmentally, for the actual game mechanics. This shouldn't be as surprising as it probably is, because games aren't made by kids, they're made by adults.

*Zelda is fine, but there are a lot of RPGs that involve ethical dilemmas that I wouldn't want my kids thinking about until they've hit puberty.
posted by valkyryn at 4:11 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


In fact, I think the move towards "more mature" games has been largely a bad thing, since a lot of the stuff that gets put into them supposedly for mature audiences is of primary interest to teenage males.

I've heard people saying that games aren't just for kids anymore since the early 80s. People never seem to actually believe it, because the social stigma from playing games comes not from playing an elf out to save a magic land by killing land octopuses, but because if you're playing a lot of games you obviously have free time that you're not using to earn more money to make a better life for yourself and your family -- or gasp! maybe you don't even have a family.
posted by JHarris at 7:58 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


For anyone looking to relive December 26, 2010, here are the four Zelda posts, and comments which marked the day as Zelda Day:

1. Ganondorf has a simple request for Christmas (posted by loquacious at 1:48 AM, PST/Server time)
2. This is a full recreation of Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past using Minecraft. (posted by Avenger50 at 3:16 AM)
-- "I fully support today as Zelda day in the mighty mighty empire of Metafilter." - The Whelk, at 7:26 AM
3. Lost Levels covers an unreleased beta of The Legend of Zelda (posted by JHarris at 7:29 PM)
-- "LONG LIVE ZELDA DAY" - The Whelk, 7:31 PM
4. Zelda Rag, performed (with no prior practice) by Tom Brier (posted by kaibutsu at 8:55 PM)
-- "Am I missing something--is this Zelda day? This is the fourth post, at least. And no, I can't Tri-Force." - Admiral Haddock, 9:15 PM
--- "This is Zelda day." - The Whelk, 9:18 PM
--- "Now and forevermore." - The Whelk, 9:19 PM
posted by filthy light thief at 9:11 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ah, my sighting of the christening comments came from the Zelda Rag post.
posted by JHarris at 11:06 AM on January 2, 2013


To follow up on some of my strategy discussion above --

I've played some more Zelda II since writing it. It is definitely possible to make it through the west cave to the second area without the Candle, although you'll have to be careful with magic use since you'll need three bars' worth to cast Jump to get out the other side, leaving just enough, at Magic level 1 and the Magic Container south of Zelda's Palace, to use Shield once. To get through you'll have to defeat two boomerang-throwing Goriyas and be familiar enough with the rest of the cave to defeat several octoroks and beetles. (The bats you can probably just run by.)

The thing is, the reason for going through without the Candle is to do Level 2 before Level 1. But then you'll have to go back and get the Candle before going further, since getting through Death Mountain without the Candle is a much more difficult proposition, especially if you're going all-out for Attack.

So: you can do Level 2 before Level 1, but you pretty much have to go back and do it before you can finish Level 3. In any case, you must get the Glove out of Level 2 before doing Level 3, and if you're going into 2 you might as well finish it while you're there.

That pretty much puts an end to your sequence breaking unfortunately. To get to Levels 4-7 you must have the Raft from 3. To get to level 5 you need the Boots from 4, and to both get to and make 6 appear you have to have the Flute from 5. And the Grand Palace only opens up if you've completed all the earlier palaces, not just gotten their items.
posted by JHarris at 10:46 PM on January 9, 2013


I've done some more experimenting with getting through Death Mountain without the Candle --

The difficulty comes mostly from purple (or "red") Dairas, the alligator people with the unblockable axes. The orange ones, while tricky, are not actually made harder from the darkness because of a curious bug in the game: orange enemies are visible in the dark! This also applies to the boomerang-throwing Goriyas; it's like their orange coloring makes them luminous in the blackness. It's kind of a cool effect.

But the purple Dairas are a real challenge. Not only can you not see them, but they throw axes at you, which you can't block with your shield. They always throw high, but you can't duck under them; you can just jump over them with good timing. You can barely see the axes, they glint during one of the frames of their animation like Goriya boomerangs and Octorok rocks do, but it's difficult to tell where the Daira itself is: it likes to hang out just out of range and throw a stream of axes at you that are *just* broken up enough that you can't get a good pattern down.

The whole purpose of doing a no-Candle Death Mountain run is to get experience, and ultimately the Hammer and the Underthrust move, before finishing level 1. This means the player has probably put his levels all into Attack in order to get the most use out of them, making Link very vulnerable; the first major enemy in the Hammer cave is a purple Daira fought in an area with a low ceiling. In my attempts, it's usually the cave on the way to the Hammer that I die, right at the edge of success. (If you get the Hammer, you can backtrack through Death Mountain to get back to Hyrule proper; the major enemies you've killed will still be dead so you'll have a much easier time going back through.) Even with the Shield spell, that Daira can kill a Link with Life-1 in three or four axe hits, and at Magic-1 he won't have enough magic power even to cast Life to get his health back. (I figure Shield is slightly more advantageous to cast than Life from a full Magic meter at this point.) After that Daira there are two more in the cave, one of them purple. I'm still trying, but am not confident in my ability to finish it.
posted by JHarris at 3:49 PM on January 20, 2013


Ah! I did it, I had only one life left, but I got the hammer before I entered level 1 and got the candle, and I made it back out of Death Mountain successfully. I was able to kill Horsehead with the underthrust move, just bouncing off his head several times, and then I did the same thing with the helmut guy at the end of the second palace.

I wasn't able to do it with all Attack levels though; I relied pretty heavily in fact in health and magic refills from gaining those levels.

Not that anyone cares. But it was fun to do!
posted by JHarris at 5:12 PM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older The Materialistics: Making material art in a...   |   Generosity and Political Preferences Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post