8th September 2016


Legend of Zelda: Whatever-direction-the-dowsing-says-ward Delivery Boy


Egoraptor warned me, but I didn't agree with him on Ocarina of Time, so I didn't listen.

Skyward Sword Link gets reincarnated as the postman and is completely unrelated to all of the other Links, I'm sure.

I'd like it if in the last room of the last dungeon, I wouldn't be told where in the room I should go (for the third time) and be told what object in the room I need to use in order to get there (even though I literally could not have made it this far, if I did not understand how that object worked or how progressing through dungeons works).

I've seen those symbols numerous times throughout the game and so I understand that they might have some importance. They stand out in the room, and walking over them would show on the screen that I could press "A" to interact, which is enough really.

An NPC asked me to show him a plant he'd never seen before. Given that he's explored only a tiny fraction of the world that I have, this should be a fairly simple and open ended task.

"Surely he's not seen a desert cactus," I think. "He lives in the sky".

However Fi decides to add "the plant he's talking about" to the dowsing so I can turn off my thinking and switch on my ability to follow flashing circles. This takes me into the forest and leads me towards a Kiwiki, which is an animal with a plant attached to it. Fi says it's probably not a plant, but we should take it anyway. The animal seems to be totally ok with this because it wants to be safe, even though 1: the forest is totally safe at this point in the game, and 2: one of the first things the game made me do was find these Kiwiki in order to tell the elder who cares about them that they are unharmed. And now here I am as much as kidnapping the mindless thing and taking it away to a guy who likes plants not animals.

So there's this friendly demon who just wants to make friends with humans, but he thinks he'll be too scary and won't be accepted, which is making him really miserable.

Rather than solving the problem like you would expect with building up trust between him and the inhabitants of Skyloft, messages about acceptance and tolerance, and building up his self-confidence, instead the only solution is to transform Batreaux's into a human using happiness gathered from the inhabitants of Skyloft. It's not like he was otherkin or had species disphoria, which one could accept in a fictional world. Instead he reminded me of the kind of people who feel so ashamed of their appearance that they choose to go through painful and irreversible cosmetic surgery in an attempt to feel loved.

I haven't and won't finish this quest, but I almost didn't expect it to happen. I thought maybe you'd give him the final Gratitude Crystals and he'd have a revelation that this just did not feel right, and he would be there in the end credits laughing and smiling with the inhabitants of Skyloft in his demon form. But no, I looked at a video of it on YouTube. This actually happens; he actually become a human. He still looks freaky, like those women with their oversized lips. He's so pleased with himself, having not yet even looked in the mirror, interpreting Link's silence as an indication that there is no word good enough to describe his appearance.

The shield bashing delay is too long for it to feel more like a tactical move than a random pot luck action that could get you struck in the face.

Too bad it was essential to beating Girahim, which you needed to do 3 times.

You also needed to beat The Imprisoned 3 times, each time pretty much the same thing.

Basically there was a lot of padding, and stuffing of levels and fetch quests because quantity === quality.

There were 7 dungeons. The first 6 comprise the first 2/3 of the game.

"I only know one part of the song that will unlock the next part of the game; you'll have to go back to the places you've already been again in order to find the other pieces."

I've already met the water dragon. This is all part of the goddess's plan, so the water dragon will have known that I would need the part of the song she knew. She could have just told me it the first time we met.

Whatever, I'll go back to her anyway.

"Oh yes, I do know the part of the song. Yes, I could tell it... but first you need to prove that you are worthy---"

"---the world is in danger---"

"---and you shall prove that you are worthy, by collecting loads of fucking musical notes that are randomly all over the place."

I turned the game off at this point, not sure if I'd return. Eventually I did just to see if it got better and I suppose it did a bit. This was the worst of the song piece collection tasks. But yes part way through the mission (it's actually astounding it did not happen earlier) Fi pops up to say that she's added the musical notes to my dowsing menu.

I deliberately avoided dowsing from the start of the game because I've watched Game Maker's Toolkit on YouTube. I was able to find a fair number of things without it, either by exploring freely or by having already worked out where the item was. But a lot of the time you were finding things that had newly appeared in places you'd already fully explored, so there was no way you could find it yourself.

It's like they expected you to use the dowsing all the time though because when something new gets added to the menu, the button flashes at you on the screen and a bell rings continuously until you open the menu.

Even at the beginning when you're looking for Zelda, there are only two directions you can move in. 1: Backwards, where you've already been or 2: Forwards, the only other direction. The paths do fork, but at any given time there is only one route is available. Usually on the way back you can open the other routes as short cuts and that's it.

The game is a 12. And I think it would be insulting to twelve year olds.

There's enough unrelentant hand holding that if the game were a person, you'd get a restraining order.

P.S. I learnt while writing this that "unrelentant" isn't a word and "unrelenting" is. But I'm using it anyway because it would sound wrong if it were correct. I bet you didn't even realise that was wrong. I will continue to use "unrelentant", until it becomes commonly used enough for it to be added to the dictionary. "Manspreading" and "awesomesauce", however, have been given that honour.

Another option would be "relentless", but that doesn't feel right. Whenever I hear "relentless", I feel "regretless" (which is another word that should be a word). "Relentless" invokes the feeling that the act is deliberate and even malicious, whereas "unrelentant" feels a lot more agnostic about why the unrelentant one is acting that way.

Reply, if you agree/disagree with those last two paragraphs.

Why does Fi need to continuously ring at me during any situation, including during boss fights where the atmosphere should be tense and as uninterrupted as possible.

Then when I finally bend to her whim, she just says either my health, shield health, or Wii Remote batteries are nearly depleted, despite the fact that all of this information is visible on the screen.

There are things to praise in the game. I've got more to criticise but I can't remember it right now.

One thing is the trials that unlock new abilities.

Yes this is another time where you collect things, but whereas the other times it's long and tedious, here it's fast paced and requires you to think on your feet.

There's no dowsing expected of you. You are able to see beacons for each of the tears that need collecting, but these beacons last for short periods of time, and in that time you have to decide which order you should run after them in next because if you leave too long a gap between collecting tears, these guardians will come after you and cause you to lose the level if they hit you. So you're hunting masterfully in an area whose layout you have learned. It's tense. There are no interruptions. It's all your own success.

The visuals are also really great. I think they look better than Breath of the Wild even though I like that too.

The desert area is the most enjoyable and has the most interesting game mechanic, which I would honestly consider making a whole game around. They transform the local area back in time, which affects what switches work, what doors are open, what platforms exist. And they allow for great puzzles.

Good items include:

Spending your rupees on item upgrades felt rewarding.

There was one good boss: the six-armed gold guy. It broke free from the formula of just hitting the weak point. I almost ran out of health against him, but I worked out I could get him to hit the pillars to get more hearts.

The fact that one game mechanic was a robot that would carry things from point 'a' to 'b' shows that there was something fundamentally wrong with the way the game was thought out. I hated that damn robot. I brought it back to life, and it was always rude every time it saw me. Someone had to decide it was a great idea to use the robot over and over, and then decide to make the robot just a miserable thing to interact with.

On top of that, all of those quests were so slow. You just had to wait for dialogue, wait for it to arrive, more dialogue, fly somewhere in a straight line, animation, more dialogue.

Ideally you wouldn't need a robot to pick things up. Most of the things were small enough for you to reasonably carry, given the size of some other things you're able to carry. You'd just pick it up like any item, hold on to it whether you've been asked to find it yet or not, hold it in your inventory like any item. 1 second animation to pick it up, 1 second animation to hand it over, 1 quick thank you dialogue, 1 second animation to get the reward.

These wouldn't have been so bad, if it weren't for expecting you to dowse, the robot, the amount of time a simple fetch takes. I remember hearing that people had lost things, and remembering seeing something out of place that is probably what they're looking for, but it's far more satisfying to work out the location yourself because you've gone into some out of the way area and remembered the things you've independently found.

There's going to be people thinking this looks really pathetic, especially as the game came out ages ago. I'm not unhappy about money, and I'm not too bothered about time spent because there were rewarding elements that I got and I was hoping to get more by slugging through the bad times. My problem is just with the amount of disappointment and unnecessary frustration caused.

The sheer horror when one of the three sword upgrades doubles the number of dowsing slots, as if there could really be anything more that needed looking for.