Well, I didn't think this day would come, but I'm stuck in a Zelda game... I think I overlooked something and proceeded to explore every nook and cranny I could find, going back through the towns and talking to everybody hoping that I would find something I missed, but to no avail.
But first of all, let me relate you my last adventures, because I made quite a bit of progress before being stuck. At the end of last post, I had found the second continent of Hyrule. The arrival here can be a bit humiliating, because the first monsters you encounter are totally invincible to your attacks. After having gained quite a bit of confidence in your monster-defeating skillz on the first continent, the second continent tells you straight : "You're going to suffer". So you flee, shameful, and arrive in a new town, Nabooru (Sage of Spirit in... ok you know the drill). There, you encounter the most difficult and terrifying subquest yet : a woman tells you she's thirsty and there is a fountain about four steps from her door. Go press B near the fountain and... hey you got water! Then the woman lets you in to meet the wise man of the town.
|Come on, Nintendo, you weren't even trying there...|
There, you gain the power of Fire, which allows you to throw fireballs out of your sword and finally kill the monsters you were fleeing from previously. I then proceeded to explore the second continent. South of Nabooru, a huge spider monster blocks a path leading to a mountainous area, and the path eastward just leads to water. I went north through a cave to discover the northern part of the continent. I then got through a treacherous path leading west to another town, the town of Darunia (Sage of Fire... ok ok I stop). You have here another swordman hiding in a house you have to enter by a chimney. It would be pretty difficult to find if Darunia wasn't the only town in the game to feature chimneys, making them scream "secret!" when you see them. The guy teaches you how to stab up, which completes your attack options.
|Hundreds of secrets in Super Mario Bros pipes lead to this moment.|
The subquest of Darunia is much more interesting than the last one considering it's about a kidnapped child that has been taken in "the eastern islands". As Hyrule's hero, it's always better to go look for a child than just bring water back to the laziest woman ever. So I went eastward, entering a big labyrinthine area holding quite a few random places where battles took place. I managed to find the kid pretty fast and took the time to go back to Darunia before attacking the palace I found there. Darunia's sage taught me Reflect, which is a required skill to complete next palace, so I'm glad I didn't overlook that one.
It was time to go through the fourth palace. I found this one surprisingly easy. The new enemies here are Wizzrobes, who were a nightmare in the first game, and there can be dispatched really easily just by casting Reflect and sending their magic waves back to the sender. My guess is that the guy who designed this enemy really had a hard time with wizzrobes in The Legend of Zelda and wanted to give the player the opportunity to get his revenge. I found the treasure of the place, the boots (which, according to a guy in a town, should give me the ability to walk on water), and proceeded to the Boss of the place. He's called Carock according to Zelda Wiki, but we'll call him Wizzrobe King. He's definitely the easiest boss so far, considering you just have to cast Reflect and turn in the right direction a few times in order to send his magic back to him and kill him.
|You'll pay for all the lives your friends have taken from me in the last game!|
With Carock dead, that another palace down. Gaining experience levels has been pretty hard recently, because the amount of XP needed are becoming huge, so beating a boss is always a good thing, considering it takes you to the next XP level. With the boots in my hands / on my feet, it's time to explore the area east of Nabooru where the path leads to water in a strange way. The boots allow me to walk on water and get to a really small island with another palace on it. Before going in this one, I explored a bit around and found a heart container really well hidden (to tell you the truth, I'm not even sure I ever found this one before).
|Here, actually. Not what I call obvious...|
I'm starting to be out of ideas concerning what to say about the palaces (which sadly, doesn't bode well for variety grades), because it's a bit more of the same really. Granted, you occasionally have to jump in a hole or go through a secret passage in a wall, but the majority of the time in these places is done battling hordes of foes. So, I went through the fifth palace, which is a bit confusing but is easily beaten using paper to keep track of the map, grabbed a flute (which, once again according to a hint from one of the town people, should allow me to do something about the spider monster south of Nabooru), and have beaten another boss. This one is kinda difficult (especially compared to that Carock wuss). He has a big flail and you're supposed to hit him in the body instead of in the head! Woo, change of strategy!
I'm sorry if I tend to overlook this palace, but I have the feeling that my previous updates were a bit on the loong side, and I don't want to ramble on for hours on this one. I'm eager to go back to it and find a way out of the situation I'm stuck in. To come back to that, as I've mentioned at the beginning of the post, I'm now stuck in a Zelda game! I've used the flute to destroy the Giant Spider monster, gaining access to a deadly path south of Nabooru. There I found another town, Kasuto (Sage of... what? No Kasuto in Ocarina of Time? Weird... Thankfully, an army of geeks have already elaborated a lot of theories about that, so I'll just consider it not really important). Kasuto is a dead town and is full of invisible monsters, pretty deadly for now. The first house hides an old man, who doesn't give you magic, but rather tells you to look in the forest east of here. I spent quite a lot of time to figure this one out too : I went back and forth, combing the two forests that can be found east of Kasuto, encountering dozens of monsters, but with no luck. I found the answer out of luck because I accidentally pressed the A button while wandering in the forest, discovering you could break trees with the hammer. What? Really? I've used the hammer to destroy rocks because they were pretty obviously blocking paths and that it made sense to use said hammer to destroy them. But a tree? In a forest? What do you mean, that I should go back in the whole world of Hyrule trying to break the hundreds of forest tiles I passed through in order to check if I didn't forget a secret? And surely enough, breaking all the trees in the eastern forest uncovered the Hidden Town of Kasuto... I'm always glad to have to figure out things for myself instead of receiving too much guidance, but I can't help but feel that luck was a prerequisite to progress in this game lately...
|Leveling entire forests seem to become a pattern in Zelda games.|
And then I was stuck. The town seem to hold quite a few secrets. There is an old lady asking me if I had found the seven magic containers (which I haven't), an old guy telling me to come back when I'm ready (which I guess I'm not), another one telling me that the old man who had stayed in the first town of Kasuto has magic (but when I came back to him, he would just keep on telling me to go look in the eastern forest). I'm guessing I have to find another magic container before being able to do anything in this town, but I certainly hope it's not hidden into another random forest tile... A guy told me something useful though, that I was supposed to "call for help in the middle of the three Eye Rocks". Three rocks arranged in a strange pattern caught my attention earlier near the first town of Kasuto so I went back there and used the flute, which revealed the last of the six palaces! Then again, I wasn't able to make any progress in this one because you almost immediately are stuck by a closed door. Considering the manual tells you about a magic key to be found somewhere in the game, I guess I need it to progress.
And there I am : I'm stuck between a palace with closed doors, a village with obtuse old people telling me to come back when I'm more powerful, and old guy in an abandoned town with an obvious case of Alzheimer forbidding him to give me his magic, and another path to the west full of invisible monsters that are kicking my butt (and, once again according to the manual, I need a cross to see them, which I can only assume is the sixth palace treasure).
|Depressed Link is starting to wonder if it really is worth it.|
But I won't give up! Oh no! I know I already passed this part of the game a few years back, and that I should easily find the way through (or so I hope). So I'll go back to playing and try to figure out how to continue my quest. If any of you has an idea, though, you're free to leave me hints in ROT13, but I'll try a bit more before looking at any of them... I don't want to live the rest of my gamer days with the knowledge I couldn't beat Zelda II by myself!