Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Link to the Past: 6 Hours 50 Minutes

I didn't get much play time in last night for the third of this marvelous series, but I got a lot accomplished. The third and fourth dungeons have been cleared and their bosses defeated. Now, it's on to the fifth dungeon to rescue another princess.

The storyline is interesting as each princess tells her own tale. Knowing that this was the prequel makes the story that much more exciting. I probably won't be able to do too much tonight (a project that I am working on... that you'll hopefully see in a week or so) but I plan to take out dungeons 5, 6, and possibly 7 before Friday.

Also, Advanced Media Network Wii has a groovy article on the "evolution" of Zelda. Worth a look-see. It's exciting to see that I'm playing Zelda at a time that it is getting a resurgence in popularity.

Also, you can now get the Game & Watch Legend of Zelda game for your keychain!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Link to the Past: 5 Hours 45 Minutes

I love this game. It's so well done.

For those of you that have played the game I have gotten to the Dark World, I have 13 life hearts, I am at the third dungeon (a bugger of a dungeon) and I am LOVING the game! I did have to use one wish though, as I couldn't figure out where to get the Hammer... (the genie being played by Paul Drager again)

: "What can I do you for, my friend?"

: "Link to the Past... I believe there's a 'hammer' that I need to proceed. Where is it?"

: "AH! That's in the first dungeon in the Dark World."

: "But that's where I am!"

: "Then start looking harder."

: "(Sigh)"

So I found it and moved on... but wow... this game is quite challenging. I guess it's a reoccurring theme for the Zelda titles for you to look EVERYWHERE to find something.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Link to the Past: 30 minutes

So I didn't get to play much last night, but what I did play was actually pretty impressive. I really got excited seeing what I interpret to be the Legend of Zelda on SNES. I mean literally the Legend of Zelda. There are so many similarities that I completely forgot about Zelda II. THIS is how Zelda II should have been.

I'm excited to play some more this weekend. Until then... enjoy this ukulele song... which is different than the one on the Emerald Hierophant Page.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Game Over

No continue, no nothing. I can't make it to the 7th palace. There are too many enemies in between the River Demon and the 7th palace. Also, the bit where if you die then you re-start all the way back at the Princess Zelda is asinine.

So, here's my review.

I have to say that the RPG portion of this game was really good. I enjoyed looking for the hints, clues, and hidden things in the villages and I think that this is really one of the strong points of the game especially considering that this game was pre-Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Like its predecessor, you could find almost everything in the game by the clues that the villagers gave to you. Sometimes you had to search for hidden villagers and had to probe unwilling people for information by bugging them, but the entirety of the quest rested on their information.

The graphics are well done and look better than you would expect. One can definitely see how the Nintendo graphics people were trying to stretch the boundaries and make a game that looked better than 1984-85 games.

It is in "combat balance" that the game fails miserably. To begin with, the character is much too weak and the enemies much too powerful to start out. As you gain experience your skills improve, but not at a fast enough rate. If one were to make their attack skill an '8' (the maximum) then the game becomes more even in that the bosses become a more viable challenge (tough but not broken) and the palace and overworld enemies become more like they were in the first Zelda.

The end of the game is where that ends. Enemies on the way to the palace become numerous and plentiful. The arrangement of the floating eyes and the lava pitfalls are just so that treading over them becomes the hardest task in the game. This is where I died and gave up. Killing the floating eyes in this area was a mute task in that they re-generated each new platform jump. Their unpredictable up and down swagger prevented me from anticipating when they would change directions and hit me. Often I would just turn into a faerie to try to avoid them, but one can only do that so many times before running out of magic points (even with a full 8 containers).

Had this game stuck with a continue where you just re-started at the last screen/palace/town you visited, then this would be a much different review. A 'save point' area would even be nice... for even then would the combat problems would not be so bad. But re-starting from the sleeping Zelda (as lovely as she is) is just not a good penalty for dying 3 times.

If you were given the game for free, accept it kindly and enjoy it. It's a struggle, but it really does have some fun points in it. If it is ever offered on the Wii virtual console, save your $5 and purchase the first game instead.

I hate to have this game on my "Game Over" list, but there you have it. Perhaps I can come back to it after a while and try to gain an appreciation for it, but until then I have better games to play.

For giving me some good RPG play, but failing in combat I give Zelda II: Adventure of Link 2 fat Warios.

But now I can focus on the next game in the series: Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for the Super Nintendo. This game came out in 1991 and has been lauded as one of the best games not only in the Zelda series, but for the Super Nintendo.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Legend of Zelda Review

I realized that I didn't review this game after I beat it last week... so here you go.

I really enjoyed this NES classic game. It really has earned my respect in that not only has it withstood the test of time, but is an 8-bit title that I would more than be willing to re-play again.

The strategy involved is just enough to make a novice and children think and to make seasoned gamers smirk in it's subtle complexity. It is neither tough nor easy. It is not condescending nor overpowering. It's just right.

Almost all of the hidden parts of the game are hinted at somewhere either in the game manual or in the game its self. Each dungeon has at least one old man who gives good advice and tips on either how to proceed or how to approach an upcoming battle.

The graphics did slow down occasionally on my Nintendo Entertainment System, but simply because it was pushing the limits of the NES processor. It didn't affect game play in a bad way for too long and even gave me time to pause to take a breather and think about the situation.

Thinking. That's this game's strong point. It really paved the way for future story-telling adventure games in that thinking about maps, situations, and enemies was always going on. At no time did I feel like I could coast through a dungeon without having a plan of attack.

Where the game became a bit frustrating was when some dungeons were hidden without having definitive clues on how to reach them. The instruction manual suggests some tactics to searching for these things, but having to tear up area after area just to find a door is a bit time consuming... and I can see where a child may become bored quickly. Also, there was no (that I could find) trick to fighting Ganon. No area in the game (that I could find) spoke of it. Later on while perusing FAQs I found that no area spoke of the kind-of randomness needed to defeating this last boss. This is upsetting as the game gave so many wonderful clues, but forgot this one.

For a wonderful game that I will not soon forget, I give the Legend of Zelda four Strong Warios.

Zelda II: 17 Hours 15 Minutes

Ok. I take it back. This game is just too tough to enjoy normally. You have to be a Zelda Fan-Boi to appreciate it.

Yeah, you guessed right, it got tougher on me all of a sudden... and it is really starting to get annoying... and that's a shame.

This game has so much to offer, and yet the three-life rule is really getting in the way of me enjoying this until the end. But this is just me griping... but i'm getting near my wit's end. So there. Rubbing lamp...

: "Yeees?"

: "(Sigh) I'm really getting frustrated with this game... I'd like a map of the seventh palace so I just get this game over with."

: "Is that an official wish?"

: "Don't piss me off, Genie! Just give me the F@*$&% MAP!"

: "Woah! Woah! Woah! Easy there Jew-dude... just crankin' yer chain. Wow. This game has really aged you."

: "What? Really? You... you think so?"

: "Yeah, dude. You've looked better..."

: "..."

: "Look... here's the map. Wait a bit before your next wish... k? Wish Granted."

It's hard enough to just GET to the 7th palace... let alone get THROUGH it. And with only 3 lives... it's just way too tough for a casual gamer.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Just look at it! So wonderful!

Many uber-thanks to Collin for making a cool header for my site. And if he can do THIS in just a few minutes... you know he's a groovy artist! Many thanks.

Zelda II: 15 Hours

"Almost there..."
"Stay on target..."

So I have gotten to the sixth palace after the majority of my time was just finding the damn thing! Two hours of searching for the Hidden town of Kasuto and the 6th palace... and 20 minutes of palace mapping.

Also, my copy of the SNES classic "A Link To The Past" arrived in the mail last night... just as it was released on the Wii virtual console. So far, in both Japan and the USA, the first three Zelda games have made it to the Wii. I would strongly recommend picking up the first for it if you don't have an NES. And when Zelda II comes out... yeah... I might suggest it.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Zelda II: 12 Hours 40 Minutes

Ok. I must say that this game is not that bad. Now, let me justify that claim.

The bugger of this game is the fighting and leveling up system. I felt like I had to get to a 6 attack just to have a chance at killing anything. Later on, I found a great leveling up place in the East continent and got to all '8' stats... and I feel like NOW i'm able to enjoy the game... like it's a challenge now and not a nightmare.

It's a shame that a game should feel too tough for so long. Even 7 hours into it I felt like I needed to crush the game in my hands. Bleh.

But now, I'm starting to get into the groove of things and that I can appreciate the game for how it was intended to be. And even at the maximum of an 8 attack doesn't overpower you over the bosses. They're still quite the challenge, and it's still frustrating... but a good frustrating now, and not the ARGH frustrating it was.

I'm making notes like mad, drew a map of the maze-island, and have been logging paths through the palaces. So far, I have mapped the fifth palace and am set to fight its boss tonight. After that, there's one palace left and the final foe (I think).

So far, the first two games have been really enjoyable but kinda' lax on storyline. But, then again, they were NES games before Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy made their marks. Yes, a good frustrating indeed.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Zelda Challenge Rules 2007

Ok, this has been pretty much made up as I went along... so let's get the ground rules straight here just in case anyone else wants to try this challenge.

1) Play the Zelda games in order shown below in the time limits given:
• The Legend of Zelda (NES) (24 hours)
• The Adventure of Link (NES) (24 hours)
• A Link to the Past (SNES) (36 hours)
• Link's Awakening (GB) (24 hours)
• (optional) The Ancient Stone Tablets (PC) (4 hours)
• Ocarina of Time (N64) (36 hours)
• Majora's Mask (N64) (24 hours)
• Oracle of Ages & Seasons (GBC/GBA) (24 hours each)
• The Wind Waker (GCN) (36 hours)
• Four Swords Adventures (GCN) (24 hours)
• The Minish Cap (GBA) (24 hours)
• Twilight Princess (Wii) (48 hours)
Addendum 1: There is no need to 100% the games, just to complete them.

2) Once finished with a game, on your blog, post a picture of the end screen and you and record the time from beginning to end.

3) If possible, you must play them on the original system they came out on. Barring that, they must be played on the second system. Emulators are last-ditch.

4) You get one 'Continue' for the entire challenge. If a game is not completed in the time required, the player may use their 'Continue' and gain an additional 12 hours and one 'wish' for that game only. Any un-used time from the 'Continue' is lost.

5) You get the option to use three 'Wishes' per game. A single 'Wish' consists of a point in the right direction, the area of an item/entrance, or the map of a single dungeon. It is suggested that your 'Wish' answers be given to you by a non-challenge participant.
Addendum 1: Finishing a game with little to no used 'Wishes' is ideal.
Addendum 2: Using two 'Wishes' at the same time would give someone the equivalent of half an over-world map with item locations.
Addendum 3: Three 'Wishes' at the same time would be the equivalent of an itinerary for completing the game or a full over-world map with hints.
Addendum 4: Unused 'Wishes' do not 'transfer' to other games.
Addendum 5: Once all three 'Wishes' for a game are used up, no more hints can be requested from any source.

Put Words in Link's Mouth

What can you come up with?

Zelda II: 6 Hours 30 Minutes

6 hours in and I still haven't gotten to the second castle. I can't get anywhere because I can't go toe-to-toe with the monsters in the area. So one hour was spent figuring out that I'm still too inexperienced at 3 Attack/3 Magic/4 Life. So, I spent the next two and a half hours boosting myself to 5/5/6.

Before I go any further, I want to see how far I can boost my attack... so I rub the lamp and ask for my first wish for the game.

(producer's note: The role of "the Genie" in this game will be played by Paul Drager who has played the game who will look up requests so I don't look at anything I shouldn't -JW)

: I wish to know the experience levels to boost my attack experience!

: Heck, I think it would be O.K. to give you it for all three... It's not an overpowering request.

Wish granted.

Perhaps this will help me out.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Zelda Retrospective.

I have forced myself to only watch the first Zelda part... but you might like to see it all... so here it is.

Zelda II: 3 hours

So, plugging in Zelda II The Adventure of Link I was trying to be optimistic. I have played many wonderful RPGs before, and this was supposed to be a challenging one.

A few minutes into it I thought to myself "This ain't so bad"

Two hours later it became "Well, this is kind'a tedious... and pretty tough..."

Three hours later it became "YOU'RE F@#*-ING KIDDING ME!"

Yes, my friends, Zelda II is a tough game. I didn't say BAD, I said TOUGH. Really tough. Like deciding between getting your eye sliced open in a Salvador Dali movie or having to watch someone getting their eye sliced open in a Salvador Dali movie. Tough decision... tough game.

One of the many tasks that makes Zelda II so very difficult, in my opinion, is the leveling system. You can only level up one attribute at a time. Which, in and of its self is not TOO bad, but then it becomes tougher to raise anything else. Compounded upon this is the fact that you cannot choose which stat to level at a time.

Because of this, I had to reach a "3 attack/3 magic/3 life" myself before I could even stand a chance in the first dungeon. I was ready to throw my DS through the wall last night I got so frustrated.

Well, 3 hours down... what can I expect next from the "Hardest Zelda Game"? Well, it takes me looking around for help in all the areas that I can.

So my first stop is Zelda Legends to download the Japanese Manual hoping that there might be something I can figure out from the original game.

Nope... no help. Drat.


My apologies for making this blog into a gaming blog all of a sudden... but this is my blog and I'll blog if I want to, blog if I want to, blog if I want to... you would blog too if you played Zelda too... doot do doot do. Spoilers abound ahead.

So I finally mapped the paths through and through of level 9, took a deep breath and approached Gannon. And then went shrieking into my hidy-hole to lick my wounds. It's hard to fight something that is invisible and shooting at you all the time.

Time to re-look at the rulebook for clues. It speaks of another object to help you on the way. Hmm... the magic shield? Let me try that (PUMMELED) Nope... didn't work. How about bombs? 10th enemy has the bomb... (POUND POUND POUND) nope... not that either. After going through everything and about ready to go to bed I make one last fight. How about the magic wand? (LITIGATED) Nope... doesn't seem like tha... wha? That was Gannon. He appeared. (Whacks with sword). Hey! Maybe the wand is the right thing! Ah! There he is again!

Long story short (too late) after hitting Gannon (eventually) with a silver arrow I saw him fall to dust. YES! I have completed it! 19 hours and 35 minutes. Jeez... didn't seem that long! And a majority of that was making a map.

Now, since the quest is to finish the games and not 100% all the games, I will save the master quest for the first Zelda for later.

Here's the map I made for this adventure. GAWD you really need a map to help you get around and find things. It was actually one of the more enjoyable parts of this game. As Derek would say, Clicky on it to get a full-size version.

To celebrate, I got breakfast at work and got a LINK sausage. Get it? Eh? Eh?

Interesting Note: The Super Nintendo in Japan (the Super Famicom) has an accessory called the Satellaview which was a satellite adapter to download games from a satellite. They re-vamped the original game with SNES quality graphics. View some pictures here.

So with the first adventure over (and me definitely wanting more), today I begin on the black sheep of the Zelda family (not counting the CD-i games... those are just dis-owned) Zelda II: The Adventure of Link for the NES.

This side scrolling adventure was let loose on the public January 14th 1987. Hey! Just 20 years a few days ago! Now, I bought this game this past weekend on Game Boy Advance as I cannot seem to find a good deal on the gold NES cart anywhere. Well, here we go.

Zelda 1: 15 Hours 35 minutes

So, I have been playing the first Zelda now over the weekend, and I must say that I am duly impressed. What a great game to have withstood the test of time and still be a decent challenge now more than ever.

When I played Legend of Zelda for the first time, it was in 1987 and it was when my good friend Cory Cooper owned it. He let me play whenever I was over and, if I got stuck, he gave me the option of getting 'three wishes' where he would help me out. I never finished it.

Later, I was jaded about early NES games and the secrets to winning them. In Castlevania, to get to an area you need to throw holy water at a staircase. Why in the wold would you throw holy water at a staircase? (Cue Angry Video Game Nerd Rant). Zelda, I was convinced correctly, had the same hidden things. So, I never played it. So this week, with the introduction of my playing every Zelda game I can, I was surprised to find that the game gave you clues! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I started on Friday by popping the game into my NES and picking up my old controller. Ah. I miss the feeling of this hard plastic rectangle and the pain it causes my hand. Retro. On comes the familiar tune and I begin my quest. About a half-hour into game-play I realize that I am lost. So, I pull out a piece of paper and start logging a kind of make-shift map. Then, when I find my way back to the start, I get out my pens... a nice sheet of paper, a ruler, and I start making a pretty groovy map. I also start writing down information that I find in the game. Remember that I said that they gave me clues? I ended Friday night's play by finishing the third level and going to bed proud of myself. I had just beaten my previous Zelda gaming progress of when I was 16!

The next day I spend with Jennifer and am able to log in a few hours more. Levels four and five don't stand a chance... but level six becomes a chore and I am stuck in a rut for two hours on one damn level... and I still can't beat it.

So I think back to Cory's offer of three wishes, and I remember a TV show in Japan called GameCenter CX (see my Wikipedia post). If I'm going to play all the Zelda games in a short amount of time... I don't see any harm in asking for a 'wish'.

: "How do I beat the Wizards in level 6"?

: "You fight them. Dummy. Wish granted."

: "Wait! Wait! You didn't give me any help!"

: "I told you what you wanted to know. There's nothing special for you to know. You fight them. Wish Granted!"


So I started looking in the over-world for items to help me along the way. I started prodding, pulling, touching stone soldiers and getting my butt handed to me... and then I found a secret area that sold me a ring that halved the damage I would take.

Level 6 defeated... and all because I looked around.

One more wish later...
: How do I get the 3rd sword?
: Get 12 heart containers. Wish Granted.
... and I am finishing up the very difficult level 9. I should be done with this game soon... but I must admit that I will be sad to see it end. I have grown so fond of this game that it really has many of the PS2 and Wii games beaten for a place in my favorites category. And so I think that, for me, my favorite console will always be the NES because it had great games that are still great so many years later.


* Zelda Cupcakes
* Actor Robin Williams named his daughter Zelda Ray after the game, which is a favorite of his sons.
* Zelda 2 released this week in 1987

Zelda Challenge 2007

So I have been reading the F@NBOY$ online comic this week (starting with this one) as they have been re-visiting Zelda and introducing it to the female character. And then I realized a horrible truth about my own gaming-geekness...

..I had realized that I have only played the very first Zelda.

Yes, it's true. Only the first.

So, what can I do but to blog about my going through them all! YES! A Zelda challenge! GLEE! I'll work on the first and then try (cartridge permitting) to go through the others.

But rules... there must be rules. Hmmm.

1) "You do not talk about Zelda chall"...no... that won't work. Lemme see... AH! Got it.

1) You must play the Zelda games in order. No Exceptions.

2) If possible, you must play them in their original format and game system.

3) You may use all the items available to someone who played the game originally (sans help-guides) either by purchasing them or downloading them.

4) Pictures. We must have pictures.

5) Don't blow-off your wifey or friends. Dummy.

And I'll try to keep the blog entries entertaining as well.