Thanks to some farting about between sessions, I believe I have an idea where I can find a few secrets.
For instance, going north from this shortcut takes me right to a fairy fountain for quick health replenishing. Howzat!
I'm also sure I'd found some nifty stuff by burning bushes before...
Aha, here's something!
... or not. BABBS, you dutiful son of a bitch.
Gosh, there's a dungeon beneath this innocuous-looking bush! I wasn't expecting that!
... I hadn't thought about it before, but how the enemies actually populate the dungeons? Are the dungeons their homes for life, or do they exchange shifts? The idea of several dozen moblins filing in with punchclock tickets and trying to squeeze Gohma through the doorway makes me titter.
This time it's... dungeon 8?!
I continue to make half-baked wisecracks about sequence breaking, but the locations of the dungeons hardly suggest "do them in this order". You simply take the advice of the wise men and the properties of your new acquirements into account and find whatever comes your way. And, really, I think that's an invigorating way of doing it. The game doesn't waste an inch of that overworld, and the player has reason to trawl it thoroughly!
I will say, I'm mad thankful for picking up that wand. It's faster then the bow, doesn't cost a thing, and there's something very satisfying about the sound effect it makes. byooo~
Manhandla's back, and look at those clippers go - he's just chewin' at the bit to handle some mans!
My first bomb only blasted two of his claws off, but with a few extra blasts of my magic wand...
He's toast! And... is that it? A heart and a rupee for my troubles? Gimme something more than that, buddy! Even a destructible wall would've been nice! Oh well, let's just go back and through that left passage...
... which houses-- another Manhandla!? How many mans could this guy possibly handle!?!?
THIS many mans!!
not enough mans
Manhandla is much the same as last time, except there are two fireball-spewing statues in the centre of the arena (that the beast has no trouble gliding over), and I just wasted my last remaining bombs.
I managed to scrape by with only one heart left, and it left another stupid rupee as a reward. Well, it's better than a kick in the--
(i'm not sure what i was expecting. the statues were still firing at me!)
Hang on, Manhandla's come back to life!? That's not fair!
Well, time to leave and stock up on health again. Joy.
Just outside a nearby shop was a secret passage beneath a bush, leading to a totally exclusive store! And it's got MEAT for sale! Don't mind if I do!
I keep finding myself exploring and re-exploring the east coast of the map, evidently thinking I've never been there before. I'm not sure what I think I'm going to find - it's only five screens tall, for goodness sake.
Aha, another secret passage to the warp crossroads! I've no need for it for now, but that's a good thing to keep in mind.
And, y'know what? Let's give dungeon 5 a spin. I might be better equipped to take on its challenges.
Indeed I am - those Pol's Voices burst like pinatas when I pierce them with the point of an arrow!
And those bothersome mummies are pretty vulnerable to being obliterated with the magic wand. Which is a good thing, because touching one of them cost me 3 hearts!
3 Dodongos! I assumed with a full stock of bombs this would be a joke, but they now take two bombs each before erupting. I missed once, so it was a close call.
(i know, missing feeding a bomb into a sluggish lizard's mouth. how inept can i get?)
So far this dungeon isn't all that bad. Having the right equipment really does pay off.
Holy moly, what is this thing - is this Digdogger? Is it--... what IS it?! Some kind of malevolent spiked disc? A giant thorny tortoise shell? It's creeping me out is what it is.
Aside from shifting about very slowly, it doesn't pose much of a threat, though the four fireball statues are giving me a rough ride. None of my weapons do anything - the bow, the boomerang, not even my wand or sword are fazing it! Bombs? Nothin'!
... don't tell me this is another dungeon I'm going to have to ditch? That really stinks. This one was going so well, too.
On the bright side, I collected the compass and the map on the way out, revealing this to be another dungeon that looks a bit like E.T. Or maybe a slack-jawed Gonzo whose nose fell off.
I did find a secret passage full of mummies who clobbered me something fierce, but the door wouldn't open even after they'd expired. And those blocks aren't shifting either. Oh well. There's another destructible wall to the left--
Aw man. I am in no mood for these guys.
Armed with my map, I thought it'd be a great idea to fight my way all the way back through the dungeon in the hopes of findings something I'd missed.
It's never satisfying when this is all it turns out to be. I'd sooner appreciate a recipe for a good breakfast salad.
So I walked allllll the way back to that room with the knights, and those guys are lethal! A single gash from their sword cost me 4 hearts! And since bombs are the only sub-weapon that can hurt them, I've got little room for error.
Let's bail. Surely there's something I'm missing, right?
Well, this hidden moblin, for a start. Cheers for the rupees.
I've a feeling I've seen this tree before. and that very dead-end! In fact, I might very well have commented on it, like, three years ago or something!
THE BLUE TREES!! And they're at a dead-end! I'm sure they've got to hold some kind of secret, I bet!
...n-nothing? Really? Jeez, buddy, thanks for the false lead!
At least this moblin in a totally different part of the map will give me something. (honestly, I'm tripping over these guys by now!)
A fairy fountain with no fairy. That's nothing exci--
Hang about. "SECRET LIES WHERE FAIRIES DON'T LIVE", wasn't I told? Well, this is a fairy fountain with no fairy! That means there's gotta be something there!
(there was nothing there)
There's something very satifying about unearthing something with the candle, though it can be repetitive work - dropping one fire, leaving the screen, dropping another fire, and repeating. I wonder if there'd be the same thrill of discovery if I didn't have to waste time like that, though. Half the thrill is the anticipation.
Whoa, a doorway beneath a knight - and it leads to a shop! What is this, though? For 250 rupees, it oughta be something magical.
Well, I know where I'm off to!
Ah. It's good to be rich.
Now to spend every last dime on this object I can't even identify.
So... what is it? It's not a useable item, it's up there with my automatic tools like the raft and ladder. Huh. Well, that was anticlimatic.
Whoa! WHOA! I'm lilac now! And I appear to be taking half-damage from enemies - those burrowing beasts in the desert are only subtracting half a heart from me now! Now this was a much-needed upgrade!
Of course, life ain't complete without a little extra dosh in my pocket.
While I'm at it, let's check out some of the other shops I've passed by. Maybe I've missed some real gems.
Wahey! That wasn't just a replacement shield - this is a jumbo shield, capable of blocking shots I couldn't before! I could've done with this a couple of dungeons ago, that's for sure.
The knights in dungeon 5 are still a threat, but are a lot less stressful now that I'm only taking 1 heart of damage from their attacks.
... still died, though!
So I thought I'd explore the mountains again, now that I won't get massacred by a single mistake. and, wouldn't you know it, I find myself at a dead end with five blue trees in the middle and arrows formed from rocks pointing to them on either side.
... and wouldn't you know it, I couldn't find any secrets within them. Not with bombs, not with flames - I've gotta be missing something, seriously. Either that or the old man's having a laugh at my expense.
While I'm continuing to disappoint myself, let's take another peek through the graveyards. I'm bound to not find anything. Again.
... or I'll find a secret chamber where the old man has another sword awaiting a capable swordsman. I'm... I'm not sure how I feel? I should be disappointed I can't use it right now, but it's great to find something and know where to find it again in future.
While I'm in the area, let's check out dungeon 6.
Ah. It is so satisfying to see those wizrobes shots just bounce off my shield. Nothing could feel better than that--
OI THAT LIKELIKE JUST GOBBLED MY SHIELD. Now I'm back to the totey li'l shitty one! I'm a bit angry now!
I went back to the room just beneath the boss room, as I'd never actually cleared it out. Turns out there's nothing in there. No reward, no destructible walls... though what was I expecting? I already found the map, the compass and the wand. There's nothing else to be found here.
Now what do I do...?
Okay, let's take stock. What items have I got, and where did I get them from?
|DUNGEON 2||Blue Boomerang|
Well, taking another look around might be in order. With my fancy new duds I should have an easier time exploring.
First things first: let's get that shield back again. It was a real safety net.
And let's take another goosey around dungeon 8.
Ugh, Manhandla's back. It took all my bombs, but I got past him with more health intact...
... now to fend off these guys. Groan. The mummies are easy with the wand, but it's a bummer knowing I've only the sword to pick away at the knights.
With the knights away, I can access the centre staircase and uncover... a book? Huh.
It's another item in my passive inventory, so I've no idea what purpose it has... yet.
Well, that's the dungeon explored. There's four rooms and I've been through all the doorways. I think this calls for a restock on bombs.
That or I stopped to make dinner.
Bingo! The top room has a destructible wall...
That - surprise! - leads to another room full of knights. Time for another slow-ass slog!
Oh, I've just noticed something - previously my magic wand merely zapped guys, but now it produces a lick of fire wherever it strikes, effectively acting as a candle. Is this because of the book I got? If so, hey, that's a sweet upgrade. Pity I keep walking into my fires like a doofus, though.
Wah, time for round 2 with Gohma! He's rather fireball-happy, but evading it is no issue - it's like a poor man's Punch-Out!!, actually. His blue colouration means he needs two arrows in his peeper, but that's no challenge.
This might mean something if I knew the names of the game's locations.
Ai ai ai, more knights!
To the developers' credit, they're really making the most of the game's assets. We've fought knights in different rooms, each with a different challenge, be it mixing up the enemy types, throwing walls around the place or, in this case, adding fireball-spewing statues into the mix. The knights are still a bore to fight, but it's nice that their unpredictable shuffling isn't the only challenge I have to be concerned about.
It took all my bombs to defeat them, and what do I find? More rooms with more knights! It's knight mania!
The wise man courteously reminds me that every tenth enemy you defeat will drop a bomb... which is very fortuous, as that's just what I need to blast the wall to his right!
Gosh, Gleeok, good to see you again! I love what you've done with the place - the white gloss really brings out your eyes. And your fourth head? What a livewire! It's great the lot of you get along so well. Choosing a good neckmate can be so stressful, y'know? I'm glad you're finding happiness. That said, though, gimme the Triforce piece.
Well, I'm sorry I asked.
Had to nip out to restock on potion. And exiting the dungeon means I gotta go through all those knights again!
So, Gleeok redux. Just when I was discussing reused assets, huh? His tactics are the same as ever, only now once you chop off a head (sorry, buddy!), you've yet another floating nuisance to deal with. Having all three buzzing around you can be frustrating, and my swanky new shield STILL doesn't block their shots, but with my snazzy new armour, this much health and a spare potion in my pocket, there's little to worry about.
And before you know it, I've another Triforce shard under my belt!
I'm inching towards completion at this rate. Only two more shards to get, and then I'm on to Ganon! I've explored a huge chunk of the map, though I'll confess I'm still clueless as to what I've seen and what I haven't, never mind how I interact with everything. I still need to discover Digdogger's weakness, and the seventh dungeon? I haven't a donkey's as to where it's located! But that can wait for my next foray.