Friday, September 30, 2011

Bottles worth their weight in gold

It is rare that you meet someone who has all four bottles in Ocarina of Time. The first three are easy to get, everyone has those. The fourth one on the other hand is a bit more tricky. I never managed to get it as a kid, so this time I made a point of getting it as soon as I had all the necessary equipment

It is a bit silly how much more powerful Link becomes after getting his hands on an everyday item like a simple glass bottle. By filling it with a fairy he literary double his life. Equipped with four of those babies he becomes near invincible.

The tricky part of obtaining the fourth bottle is that you have to track down all ten of the Big Poes haunting Hyrule Field. The impressive size of which blew my mind as a kid, but also makes this ghost busting exorcise more of a challenge. Their locations are not completely random however, except for one they all appear near different landmarks. Hyrule field is a pretty empty place so if you see any thing that stands out like a big rock or a collection of trees, chances are there is a Ghost hanging around.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The magic of Kakariko Village

Back when Ocarina of Time came out in the late 90's I had a friend who used to pretend like he lived in Kakariko Village. He would run around with the construction workers by day, maybe help the lady with her chickens for a while. Then play the Sun Song to switch to night time, have supper with the workers, relax around the beds for a while. Then again change night in to day and get back to work. With the help of a child's imagination he turned Zelda in to Animal Crossing.

It is easy to see where he got the inspiration from. Nintendo did a fantastic job at making Kakariko Village feel like a living place. A lot probably has to do with all the workers aimlessly running around, but also the way all the inhabitants talked about each other, making you feel like you got to know them a little. In that aspect it really was a lot like Animal Crossing.

Nintendo later tried to recreate this feeling when designing Majoras Mask. All the people of Clock Town were giving their individual routines they followed in the days before the moon crashed in to earth. At specific times they would leave their house to visit the milk bar or drop by a friend. Yet Clock Town never felt as alive and active as Kakariko Village. Maybe it was the lack of construction workers constantly running around the place or by partitioning the huge city in to parts they lost something Kakariko Village had be being one single open area.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sneaking in to Castle Town at night

There are several ways to enter Castle Town at night in Ocarina of Time. You can hang out around the castle and wait for nightfall. Later in the game you learn a melody that can turn day to night, so you can of course use that. But the absolutely coolest way to get in to town at night, and the way I originally did it as a kid, is by standing on the drawbridge leading in to town and wait for the sun to set. When nightfall comes the brig is pulled up and you will simply slide off it in to town.

Castle Town is definitely worth a night time visit. There is a lot going on in town at night. So it is a really rewarding secret little secret. There is even a special store that is only open at night where you can play a treasure chest mini-game. Here is another secret, and more of a real one this time. Later in the game when you get the Lens of Truth, you can use that to look through the treasure chests and find out their content beforehand, that way you are guaranteed to always win the treasure chest game, pretty cool.

As you might hear from the tone of this post I'm really enjoying playing through this game again. It's such a good game and I have such fond memories of playing it as a kid.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Playing Zelda on the cheap

After some serious consideration I decided that my 3DS purchase would have to wait. Even after the price-drop Nintendo's handheld still costs a little over $250 here and with a dual stick redesign looking like a real possibility I just couldn't justify it to myself.

That said the rerelease of Ocarina of Time got me really excited to play that game again. Luckily for the more financially challenged gamers there is still the Virtual Console version. So I decided to go with that one instead. Of course there are no new textures like in the 3DS port but the emulation is really good, making the game look a lot sharper then I remember it looking on N64. The Gamecube controller also works very well for the game, it's such a comfy controller. Playing the Ocarina with the C-stick feels a little awkward but pulling back on the stick to ready the slingshot and then releasing it to fire feels great, I like it a lot better then how it worked on the N64 controller.

I have just spent two hours with it so far but overall it feels great to be back in Hyrule. For those readers who are interested in my rediscovery of a decade old game, I will keep writing about my experience as I fight my way to Ganon.