Last time, I'd stomped through dungeon 2 quite without breaking a sweat, but once again I had a gnawing doubt in my head: had I gotten everything from it?
... and after a lengthy second investigation, yes, I had. I got the compass, I got the upgraded boomerang - the only thing I'd missed was the map. As if to get it through my skull, the map shows the dungeon is even shaped like a boomerang! Doy.
I've got the first four dungeons under my belt and stumbled across the fifth one, so I could go there...
... or I could explore the north-west portion of the overworld. Now that I've got the ladder, I can cross this stream and see places I haven't been to before!
There's a suspicious number of knight statues hanging around here. Surely there's gotta be something hidden underneath at least one of them.
OH CRAP THEY'RE SLAUGHTERING ME
QUICK HIDE UNDER THIS ROCK
Huh. This is new.
... is this bad?
Oh, taking one of those doors led me to the opposite side of the overworld! That's quite helpful!
At least, it would be nifty if I weren't cripplingly low on health. It's a good thing I got the arrows, otherwise fending off these octoroks for health pickups would be a lot more dangerous!
I shouldn't have jinxed it.
While making my way back to where I was before, I took the lower path and found boulders falling on my head, I know it's dramatic and all, but it would suck to die to boulders on a quest like this. An evil monster sorceror has conquered the land and populated it with an army of ferocious beasts, and what slays the hero is a mountain having a grumbly tummy. Unless the mountains are also under Ganon's control, in which case somebody oughta call the Ents.
AND NOW I GOT CENTAURS LOBBING KNIVES AT MY HEAD
TOO MANY CENTAURS!!!
Alright, if I want to scale this staircase, I'm gonna have to wipe those guys out. I can snipe them from afar with my bow, and if they're in a crowd I can use a bomb to--
-- get too close for comfort, apparently. Urk.
Okay, let's do this. Making my way past the boulders--
Okey dokey, I've got a much fuller life bar that I have no explanation for, and I'm taking the top path again. Hey, is this a dungeon?
Oh, it's dungeon 9 again! Good to see you! Nice to know you're a landmark!
... pity I can't do anything inside here just yet. Oh well. All in due time.
But I bet I'll accomplish something worthwhile by battling this army of centaurs! That can't possibly go wrong!
Y'know, maybe I'm a trifle unprepared. Let's get ourselves a potion... and, why not, let's explore the bottom-left of the map. That'll be a nice change of pace. Maybe I can finally heed that lady's advice and find the old man at the grave. Have I even seen any graves yet?
Ha, I remember these fellows. I've trounced tougher stuff than you by now - begone!
What do you know, here's a whole yard full of graves! And--holy moly, it's populated by spooky ghosts!
A never-ending supply of spooky ghosts - every brush of human flesh against a tombstone awakens another spectre to terrorise me!
It's a good thing you can just stab them to death, though.
The graveyard is quite a small area, only encompassing a 2x3 portion of the map. And to its right...
Why, we're back on the mountain range again! And up those steps...
... is another dungeon!
Dungeon 6, to be precise! Score one more for sequence breaking.
Aha, I know these guys - these are Wizrobes! I earnestly can't remember what other Zelda games they appear in, but they have such distinct names and dopey appearances, there's no way I'd ever forget them. I've stacks of health, these guys will be a cakewalk.
... excuse me?
Hm. Y'know what? I should probably ignore that room for now.
AW JEEZ THIS IS WORSE
Wizrobes will teleport around and shoot a projectile once they finish flickering,, but are otherwise totally static. They linger for a couple of seconds after firing and before teleporting, giving you a chance to sword them a lesson. Nothing too strenuous, but they can take (and have taken!) me off-guard.
After foes like that, though, bug-eyed blob-mans are hardly a concern. Get lost.
Bats too. With my boomerang's increased range, they're easy targets.
And spikes? PLEASE. I can traipsy through without so much as--
okay ow how did i manage that
Now this... might be trouble.
Those indistinguishable stacks of... orange are Likelikes, and they take a liking to Link's flesh, ensnaring him should they make contact. It's the blue Wizrobes I'm worried about - these guys are mobile, and actively amble around as well as phasing to a new location on the fly!
also i'm dead. welp.
Knowing I've got tougher versions to contend with, maybe the first room on the right would be a better place to start.
Alright, you wizardy wankers! I'm b--!
A sprinkle of sidestepping and a dose of blade-to-the-face and those Wizrobes are goners. I've only this last one to--!
... did I seriously just walk into a Wizrobe.
okay buddy don't teleport to where i'm standing it's just plain rude mate
YOU COULD HAVE THE COURTESY TO LET ME IN THE DOOR PAL
I'm taking no chances. I'll see how they like getting a bomb in the kisser.
Blammo! Those punks are history, and all I get is a key for my troubles.
Aaaand a message that tells me to use the bow on the boss. Cheers, mate.
... is that it? Is that all that's round this corner? I died how many times for a single key? Great. Fantastic. Haven't got enough of them already.
Back through the bats again. You can ignore the blobs without issue, but the door won't budge 'til the bats vacate, which really slows things down.
I can run through the spikes without fault now, though.
And we're back to these brutes. The bombs do a good job of clearing out the slowpokes: the orange Wizrobes and Likelikes.
... but I've only so many bombs, and that's the last of them! The boomerang does nothing to faze them, and the arrows--
The arrows go right through them!!!
What chance have I got...?
Here we go again. Through this hurdle. Every time.
A disco ball pushed me into a Wizrobe. If the collision damage didn't kill me, that could've been the start of a beautiful relationship.
Shot before I could even make a start.
THIS IS TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
Y'know what? Lump this.
I'm outta here. See you later, alligator.
Let's see where else these crossroads can take me.
Ha, back here. That's handy.
Y'know, I keep revisiting the shops in hope of something, anything that can give me a quick solution. I'm not sure what I'm hoping for, but overpriced bombs ain't it.
... okay, back to the dungeon again. I'm... I'm not sure what I ventured out for. Just a reminder that things aren't much better on the outside? Sure, I'll take that for an answer.
Okay, here we go--
ALRIGHT FUCK YOU GUYS.
Here we go again~
Okay, let's break it down.
The orange Wizrobes are static - they can hurt me even when teleporting in, but so long as I have distance I can evade them and get within range.
The Likelikes are slow but get pushed by my every attack, so forcing them into a corner isn't hard.
The disco ball is harmless, but can push me into unhappy positions, particularly enemy collisions.
And the blue Wizrobes...
... well, fuck the blue Wizrobes.
The fireball-spitting statues in the bat room really chewed me up, but maybe with a bit of stealth and cunning--
why do I humour such a thought
Look at this, this is why the blue Wizrobes are risky business.
That one magic shot ate up 2 of my hearts! You do not want to get in front of these guys, but there's no telling when they'll fire a shot, unlike the orange ones. And you don't want to get close either - not only are they always moving, but even colliding with these sneaky spellcasters hurts a wallop.
Fuck the blue Wizrobes.
Phew! Despite that, a few well-timed bombs took them out, and the Likelikes were easy to dispatch with some arrows. I can finally move on to the next room.
... there's more of them...?
The bats are still there every single time I retry, but the room I just beat remains cleared. I am very thankful for that.
And I'd dare say this is actually a neat idea for a challenging room - I mentioned stealth prior, but this encourages it! The door is wide open, so all I need to do is sneak past the patrolling--
DON'T PHASE INTO ME LIKE THAT
AND DON'T SANDWICH ME EITHER
Blue Wizrobes don't disappear and reappear like the orange ones, their idea of teleporting is "phasing" to a new location - which means they just slide through all obstacles along the way, but can still hurt you on contact. On the bright side, they can't phase into solid matter, so the two-tiled blocks here give me time to run past while they're still finding the floor.
OH CRAP NOT GLEEOK AGAIN
As far as I can tell... I still have to slash this guy. The arrows and bombs STILL aren't doing anything. and he's got THREE heads this time! Can this day get any worse?!
Well, not just yet - I still have that potion on me, and the projectiles I fire while at full health are a godsend. That's one head down! Two heads down...!
Kablamzo! Fall down a ditch, Gleeok!
... unfortunately, there's still more dungeon to wade through. No Wizrobes in sight, so that's not so bad.
Speak of the devil.
A secret passage revealed this rather obtuse hint from the old man. Have I encountered fairy fountains yet? So... does that mean there's secrets on every screen BUT fairy fountains? It's too late in the day for this, man.
FOR FUCK'S SAKE CAN I GO ONE ROOM WITHOUT GETTING SHOT IN THE FACE
IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK
I don't even know what's killing me anymore.
I just want to finish the dungeon.
I just want to save the world.
I just want to finish The Legend of Zelda.
Finally, phew! Had a bit of a crisis there, but I think we're through it! It's just a room with those guys with bats in their tummies, nothing to worry about!
And can I just say, I am really thankful for this bow. I haven't used it much so far (probably because it took me four years to buy arrows for it), but it's mighty helpful and the fact it uses Rupees is a blessing, too. I don't have to worry about collecting arrow pickups, just fire that currency I never find time to spend. There's a hard cap at 255, so all the more reason to blast it into people's eye sockets!
Oh come on.
It took me four tries before I could even reach that room again. From the entrance, you have to walk to the top of the dungeon and then back down again just to reach this chamber, and there's several dozen Wizrobes, statue traps and malicious discoballs standing in your way. It is a perilous and treacherous path to tread through after every failed attempt.
And to die like a schmuck after ANOTHER unexpected wizrobe shot...!
I still have half a potion on me. How will I fare even with full health in this chamber?
I killed one enemy.
Okay, that's enough. This is going nowhere. There's gotta be something I can get to aid me somehow. Even if it's just restocking on potion.
Well, that's a lead. What dead ends do I know of? Besides my progress, that is!
(look at this point acknowledging my futility is the most hilarious I can get. bear with me.)
ARROW'D! Y'know, it's nice to be killed by something that I actually saw coming.
While re-exploring the mountains, I blasted a hole in the wall beneath the dungeon...
And found a woman selling potions! That was incredibly fortuous, and very handily-located! Knowing I'm mere steps away from helpful supplies is a big boost of confidence - I think I've got what it takes to best this dungeon!
(what did you think would happen)
On the bright side, I found this destructible wall that cuts out a portion of the slog to the murder chamber. It doesn't bypass the worst bits, but it's an appreciated gesture.
Phew! It took all my bombs, a heap of arrows and more evasive manoeuvres than Top Gun, but I've whittled the forces down to just one Wizrobe. If it can just refrain from firing...
... then I wouldn't have to sigh audibly just now.
There's still this room at the top that I've yet to conquer, also filled with more Wizrobes than I care for. I'll probably just get a key for clearing it, but it'd be nice to get it off my chest.
... that can't be...?
HOLLA HOLLA GIMME A DOLLA
It's a freakin'-ass magic wand! With it I can shoot big stinkin' magic projectiles, the very kind those Wizrobes have been slaughtering me with! I am THRILLED, let me tell ya.
... now hold on.
You're telling me... it has no effect on Wizrobes?
The projectile, heck, the wand itself - they have no reaction to it?
Well, shit on my parade, why don't ya!
At the very least, I can test my new toy on those harmless blobs. Not quite the satisfaction I was hoping for, but it takes the edge off.
Woof! It took half my bombs and another potion, but I finally wiped out all the blue Wizrobes - I still have the Likelikes and an orange one to contend with, but eliminating the worst of the enemies first makes my life so much easier.
Finally! defeating them all opens a staircase to another part of the dungeon - and one with less Wizrobes, believe it or not!
Doesn't stop them from murdering me though!!!!!
Well, I'm not going in that room again. Let's just go up.
Gosh, it's a boss! I'd honestly forgotten there was one by this point!
This crab-like nightmare is Gohma, and he rambles around blasting projectiles from his maw(?). The wise man told us had a particularly vulnerable eye. Let's see what he thinks of having an arrow stuck in it.
Not highly, it seems! Just like Dodongo, a single arrow is all it takes for this guy to disappear in a puff of smoke. And honestly, who's arguing? Timing the shot is the real challenge, and after this... ordeal, I was in no mood for a drawn-out slugfest. Kudos, developers.
I now have 11 hearts, and my fifth triforce fragment.
Well, boy gosh-darned howdy. That was one fucking dungeon.
It took me nearly a year to simmer down and power through it, and only through gritted teeth. I guess I should be chuffed that I've gotten this far with only the base equipment, but if this and last brouhaha are any indication, I need to find a means of of upgrading my armour. Killing things faster would be appreciated, but before I even start puzzling over where the next dungeon is, I need some protective measures so I'm not dreading every unexpected attack.
The only question is... where the heck can I find armour?!