Tag Archives: majora

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Review

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No matter how things change, some things always stay the same. The Zelda series, for all its continued innovations and original ideas in moving forward has always retained a comforting air of familiarity. The first new Zelda since Skyward Sword, A Link Between Worlds is actually a sequel to the revered SNES classic A Link to the Past. Does this new title manage to push the series forward in exciting new directions, or is it bogged down by dewy eyed nostalgia?

Thankfully, the game achieves the former with just a healthy dose of the latter. This game oozes innovation and a sense of freedom I’ve not felt since the first Zelda. Longtime fans will have a blast seeing what’s changed and what’s remained in this loving recreation of the SNES Hyrule while we also get to explore the entirely new world of Lorule. Both worlds are filled with fiendishly clever puzzles, moody dungeons and all manner of secrets and collectibles to keep the completists happy.

The story leaves a little to be desired, with your standard Zelda collect X amount of this then X amount of that quest. However, the game does have a truly surprising twist up its sleeve and is peppered with likeable and charming characters throughout. The most prominent of these is Ravio, the salesman who sets up shop in your gaff and is responsible for the games biggest shake up: The item rental system.

The rental system is designed to allow players the aforementioned freedom to move around as they wish. Technically, you could run off with all the items within the first few hours and buy them to keep soon after that-at a price. For the most part, this system works and being able to go anywhere and do anything after previous game’s increasingly restricting hand holding is truly liberating.

Sadly, stumping up the rupees to get all the items is far too easy and the idea that if you die, you lose any rented items just doesn’t work. This is because the game is really, very easy and with a few fairies you can blitz through without ever dying. The only incentive to buy the items and not just rent is so you can upgrade them later on.

What the game lacks in actual challenge from death by enemies, it makes up for with some of the series’ most ingenious puzzles. A lot of this is down to Link’s new ability to merge into a wall and become a painting, Paper Mario style. This system actually turns everything you know about Zelda on its head and more than a few times, I was staring at a chasm or conundrum for minutes, only to realize all I needed to do was jump into the wall.

Each dungeon has it’s own unique feel and atmospheric music. In fact, all the music in this game is outstanding, be it a remix of an old classic or a completely new score, your ears are always in for a treat.

Graphically, the game looks just OK. When you slide up the 3D, it really pops but if you’re playing on a 2DS don’t expect anything too special.

My biggest problem with A Link Between Worlds is that it just doesn’t go far enough with the changes it’s begun to implement. It’s as if Nintendo didn’t want to go any further in case it started to feel too different to what’s come before. Despite this, it’s a short, sharp, charming adventure that easily sits among the best of Zelda and is undisputably the finest of the handheld titles. If Nintendo take what they’ve started here and keep pushing, Zelda should be in very safe hands.

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The Five Creepiest Moments in The Legend of Zelda

It’s that time of year again. The leaves turn brown and fall from the trees, the days grow shorter and parents believe that it’s somehow acceptable to allow their offspring to roam the streets begging while they set off explosions in the sky at night. It’s the most wonderful time.

But it got me thinking about what actually used to scare me as a kid. I was never exposed to 18 rated horror films because my parents actually gave a shit. As a kid I was scared by the kind of stuff that was meant to send a chill down a kids’ spine. Not graphic images of a knife wielding madman stabbing some horny teenagers by a lake, but stuff that sent my imagination into overdrive and allowed my brain to do most of the scaring.

Nothing did this job better than The Legend of Zelda series. While usually charming and swashbuckling, every Zelda game is peppered with darker, chilling moments that can still to this day freak me out. Here are five moments that made me want to put my controller down and sit in a corner, and no, Tingle will not be in this list. Because that’s such an obvious choice.

Dead Hand (Ocarina of Time)

You only need to look at this ungodly bastard to see why it might terrify a ten year old encountering it for the first time. It’s not as if exploring under the well in Kakariko village was a traumatizing enough experience, with INVISIBLE SPIDERS, random patches of floor you could fall through into a pit of zombies and INVISIBLE SPIDERS.

No, they had to top the whole experience off with a boss fight with fucking satan himself, scabby hands shoot from the ground, holding you still while a hell beast with a giant, rictus grin that would make The Joker shudder edges over to you to eat your brains. Ten years on and I still dread meeting Dead Hand. The Lens of Truth wasn’t even that good.

Wall Masters (Zelda I, Oracle Series)

You might find it strange that I find these scarier than Ocarina’s ceiling dropping breed or the Wind Waker variety that basically pull you into hell, but Oracle of Seasons Wall Masters are the first I encountered and where I expected to simply take damage from them, they took me back to the start of the bloody dungeon.

I was scared, confused, and it took me more tries than I can remember to get past them. For that reason, and the fact they came out of the shitting walls made me terrified of them.

ReDeads (Various)

It’s at its worst when you aren’t aware of their presence. You’re edging your way through a dungeon. You hear that hellish shrill scream and your heart leaps into your throat as the camera swings around to reveal a zombie plodding towards you. You mash the controller, screaming, doing anything you can to just move but it’s all to no avail. The ReDead is upon your paralyzed form. It closes on you and… dry humps you.

The ex Hyrulean sex offenders are a scary bunch, if only because they literally stop you in your tracks and sexually assault you. Of course, as with all things scary, they’re at their worst when you don’t expect them. For example, in Ocarina when you’re in a hurry to get out of Ganon’s crumbling castle and you’re accosted by one right next to the bloody exit. Dick move, Nintendo.

Ikana Tower (Majora’s Mask)

It’s not that the final dungeon in Majora’s mask is even trying to be overtly scary, it’s just that everything about it is deeply, deeply unsettling.

The subtly creepy music, the strange statues of demons holding upside down triforces, that fucking freaky statue that’s meant to look like Link when you play that song… The entire place feels wrong, and more than a little off. I suppose that sums up Majora’s Mask as a whole really.

Dodongo (Ocarina of Time)

This one is based purely on personal experience as Dodongo is not in the least bit scary as the second boss of the game. These days I off the guy with barely a second thought. Muscle memory kicks in and it’s bomb, sword, boom. But it wasn’t always like that.

I must have been about eight when I first played Ocarina (it came with the Wind Waker special edition if you must know). All was well as I breezed through the second dungeon and I plunged down the hole and into Dodongo’s pit. There I was faced with this giant, fire breathing lizard and I just froze up.

It’s not that I was ever even scared of dinosaurs or anything (I loved them) it was the combination of the fact there was literally no way out, and I can only run in a small circle because of the lava pit at the center. I just freaked out and could never do it. Of course, the day I finally did, I felt like I could overcome anything…

Then I got to the shadow temple. Thank you Zelda, for absolutely destroying my childhood. Good job.