Tag Archives: Link

I poor, you poor, we all poor when picking up rupoor

All my life, I’ve been led to believe that rupees hid in bushes, and that slashing at shrubbery was beneficial to both my bank account and ego. We can blame The Legend of Zelda for this, as rupees are the consistent currency throughout the franchise. You want a new shield? Better have some rupees. Interested in a bigger bag for your bomb collection? Pay up. Want someone to warm your bed at night while Zelda is all off getting kidnapped? Um…well, uh…

So there I was, playing The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures for free on my Nintendo 3DS, clearing out some bushes and tall grass in hopes of earning some kaching-kaching when a black-tinted rupee popped out and I picked it up on total basic instinct. Suddenly, four to five of my very own rupees jumped off Link’s body, screaming in pain, and these were red rupees, the ones worth a decent amount. Maybe 20 each, I think, and so we’re looking at losing 100 rupees upon contact. Now, as enemies began swarming, I was scrambling to recollect money I had already picked up before it disappeared. Everyone, meet the rupoor.

Evidently, rupoor showed up in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, a game which I played all the way up to the final dungeon and even took the time to unlock the fishing minigame, but I do not ever recall picking any of those black beasts up. If I did, I surely would’ve cried out in dismay. But in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, your rupee count is pretty important. Well, mostly if you’re playing co-op/against other players. Me? I’m doing the adventure solo, with a second controllable Link, but whether the first Link earns 578 rupees or the second Link earns 47 rupees, it ultimately doesn’t matter. We are one in the same, making the count-off at the end of each level rather silly. If was playing competitively against other Linkers, picking up a rupoor would be devastating.

What I find so fascinating is that, despite now knowing what rupoor does to my moneybag, four out of five times, I still end up picking it up. It’s just a reflex. Slash a bush, grab the item. Usually it’s something good: a health fairy, a green or blue rupee, a power-up. Sometimes I like to charge up the sword and spin in front of a bunch of bushes, collecting items like woah. It’s only now and then something pure evil pops out, but everything is already in motion.

At this point, I’ve completed the first three main levels (and a bit of the lengthy tutorial hub), and now I’m off to Death Mountaintop (?) to fight Vaati. I bet he just loves rupoor. After that, if rumor holds water, there’ll be some other levels to play based on fantastic themes such as 1993’s Link’s Awakening, 1992’s A Link to the Past and the 1987 original Legend of Zelda from the NES. That’s pretty exciting. Hopefully by then I’ll have learned to avoid rupoor, but somehow I doubt that. Feel free to ride my coattails in hopes of picking up some free cash.

Link’s first outing in The Legend of Zelda is full of hard times

My first experience with The Legend of Zelda series was on the SNES in 1993 with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. In that one, Link, a young boy, awakes from sleep, contacted telepathically by a kidnapped princess named Zelda. He then to journeys through a rainstorm and into secret pits next to the castle’s walls to rescue her, eventually trying to track down the Master Sword. It’s a fantastic journey, full of surprises and a killer soundtrack. I’m fine with this being my first taste, genuinely pleased to have such a perfect game start it all. It’s like if the first piece of bacon you ever had was wrapped around succulent lobster and personally served to you by Gordon Ramsay while high as a kite. No bacon could ever beat that bacon.

And so, with the 3DS Ambassador program that gave us early adopters 10 free NES games, I was looking forward to experiencing where it all truly began, back with The Legend of Zelda, no freaking subtitle needed. Little did I expect it to be so…difficult. It’s a challenging game. It’s hard because you only have three hearts to start out with, and each screen you encounter is filled with enemies, the worst being those sandbugs that burrow beneath Link’s feet, surfacing the moment he walks over them. It’s hard because it is unclear where Link should go first, often wasting time exploring the overworld and losing precious hearts. It’s hard because you only have a sword starting out, and to kill enemies you have to get right next to them (unless at full health when you can fire a projectile from the sword), a risk in that if you miss and they move a fraction closer, Link loses some health. And then there’s the dungeons. Fear Wizzrobes (blue and red) and Wall Masters.

Heck, even series producer Eiji Aonuma has never completed it. Yeah, that’s kind of crazy.

At least dying doesn’t truly restart you from square one. Instead, you revive back at that initial overworld screen, that one we’ve all seen time after time after time, with all of your items still in your inventory. Well, I think you lose your dungeon keys though. Can’t confirm that. And so back into the wild Link and I go, nervous yet aware, trying to find some kind of clue as to what’s really going on, and hoping we can at least make it into a dungeon with full health and a couple of bombs…

Watch me flout the Spirit Flute

I’ve progressed further with The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, now ready to tackle the Sand Temple, but man oh man…it’s been a struggle. A struggle to not throw my Nintendo DS across the room out of frustration, that is. See, a lot of reviews have complained about how boring riding the train is versus the shippy freedom of The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass and that traveling between towns and temples is such a chore. It is. But here’s the biggest problem with Link’s latest outing:

Yup, music.

Actually, the music in Spirit Tracks is pretty good. It’s bouncy and bubbly when it needs to be, dark and alarming when enemies show up, and soft and ethereal during Zelda’s many musing moments. The trouble is with the Spirit Flute. This device is used in two ways. The first is to play tiny little riffs that will do a variety of things in-game: awaken statues, call birds, heal yourself, shine a beam of light, and find treasure. The other use is to open up hidden tracks by playing a duet with a Lokomo, which are minions of Satan. Er, not really. They are on our side, I think, but sure make Link work hard for their help.

Anyways, each time you meet a Lokomo, the songs get harder and more complex. You can practice all you want, but there’s no thumbs up/thumbs down to let you know you’re even close to playing it correctly. Do I hold this note longer than the previous one? Is it okay to accidentally hit another colored note? When should I start playing, when the notes light up or after the Lokomo stops? It’s a guessing game in the end.

So, after the eighteenth time of unsuccessfully jamming along with Rael, I had to put Spirit Tracks down and look up a video on YouTube, something I hate to do. Evidently, based on this vid, I was playing the song too well. You need to mess up a bit to get it right, not hold every note, just sputter a bit here, miss a beat there. Ugh.

I really pray that this was the last duet song of the game. My mind and lungs just can’t take any more…

Feel the Wrath of Chickens, or The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

It may sound funny, but one of my all-time favorite gaming memories involves chickens.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a classic. I don’t mean that in a way to say it’s old (it was released for the Super Nintento Entertainment System in North America in 1992; still a teenager, truthfully), but rather that it’s eternal. There’s moments and scenes in this game that can never be duplicated or truly re-experienced. From the rain-laden search of the castle grounds for a secret entrance to the first time you ever switched from Light World to Dark World and saw just how twisted the map screen became, it’s no surprise this game is on my gamers’ top fives, top tens, top fifties, top one hundreds, and top whatevers. It is simply great, with mindful pacing, brilliant action, tons of secrets, and…retaliatory chickens.

Yup, you read that right.

Shortly after you sneak Zelda out of Hyrule Castle and safely deliver her to the sanctuary, you’re given freedom as Link to explore the nearby lands on your quest to destroy Agahnim. One of your first stops will be in Kakariko Village, a colorful spot with lots of interesting characters and secrets to unearth, and there you’ll also find a few chickens hopping about. I immediately went over to one, scooped it up high over my head, and tossed it at the boy to no effect. Well, the chicken was pretty flustered and tried its best to stay as far away from me as possible. Then I remembered something I overheard at school, something about hitting them with your sword. A lot. And so I did. Slash, slash, slash, back that chicken into a corner, slash some more. Those kids at school were right; this is fun and funny.

But then it all changed. Out of nowhere, a swarm of chickens come flying at you to protect their fallen cousin from any more danger. They swoop down in a thrum of feathers and bah-clawk clucks, angry as chickens can be, and they actually damage Link. Only one way out, and that was to run. Once you’re a little ways away, the chickens relent, and you’re safe to wander back over…to do it all again.

There’s lot of other great moments in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, but this is the one that makes me smile the most. The fact is, these chickens exist in this world just to be abused. I know PETA won’t like that. I’m sorry, but there’s no other reason for their existence, and even though the gameworld could ultimately go on without them, I think it’s better that they are there, now and forever, those classic little chickens that take a beating and keep on clucking.