All the other Zelda title screens so far have featured a sword placed before an epic view of mountains, waterfalls, lakes etc. but they decided to mix things up this time by replacing them with a giant... Yoshi egg?
It's probably a new one, but hey it's possible it could one of the earlier Links making a return appearance. It's definitely not the guy from Link to the Past though, not unless he's dyed his pink hair blonde, and considering he refused to disguise himself even slightly during his time as a wanted fugitive, I somehow doubt it. He wouldn't even take his bloody hat off.
The pair of Good Samaritans (who definitely aren't Mario and Zelda) reveal that there's no big crisis going on, no Triforce to gather, and definitely no princess to rescue. In fact they've never even heard of Zelda, which is a bit weird considering this was supposed to be her legend, but whatever. Instead they just hand me my shield, and tell me that the wreckage of my boat is to the south.
But I'm sure if I keep heading south I'll find my weapon washed up on the beach. I doubt anyone will have seen the expensive looking shiny object and taken it for themselves in the hours I've been asleep. Crap, I'm going to have to work to get this sword back aren't I?
ACTUAL SIZE SCREENSHOT COMPARISON!
|Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past (SNES)||Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (GBC)|
Oh shit, I just noticed how weird those trees look. Now I'm worried they'll come alive and try to eat me.
Oh, plus they just killed Link.
Anyway, the problem I've got here is there's no way to get to the sword while those plants and spiky enemies are in the way. One of them has to go. Fortunately the game restarted me back at the last house I entered, so I was able to continue from close to where I left off.
I like how the villagers keep trying to give advice on the game's controls, before admitting they have no idea what things like 'press the A button' or 'save the game' means (usually because they're "just a kid!"). It's a weird concept, the idea that neither the NPCs or Link have any idea what's these conversations are about, but they're compelled by the game developer gods to deliver messages to the being remote-controlling him as their avatar.
I'm not sure what I think about this map. On the one hand 'YAY MAP!' etc, always glad to have one available, and do I like how it's split into separate screens that are filled in as I travel around. On the other hand, it's just not as detailed as the Link to the Past map. Ten squares each containing a single picture of a rock doesn't help me much.
Yes I managed to get to the sword in the end. It took me forever, but I finally figured out that all I had to do was push the spiky balls out of the way with my shield. In my defence there was no shield button in the other games!
Then a talking owl came down to tell me that I need to go north and find a way to awaken the sleeping Wind Fish before I can leave the island. I've been given a goal and directions! How awesome is that?
A FEW MINUTES LATER.
These things keep cycling through the four playing card suits, and I presumably have to get all three to stop on the same suit by stunning them with a sword slash at the right time, but it's not easy. Though you can see how they're trying to keep things fresh for this sequel, throwing in some new ideas for enemies and puzzles.
I guess I'm definitely not playing as the Link from Zelda 2, as that guy would have been jumping all over the place here. Unless being knocked out gave him selective amnesia and he forgot how.
I also found a compass that tells me which rooms have still have a secret treasure hidden inside, though not how to get it. Suits me, I just want to know if I've missed anything.
Oh, plus a portal leading back to the entrance, meaning I won't have to walk all the way back here over and over again after the dungeon boss repeatedly kicks my ass! Which he will.
Hey, I was told by a witch on the way here to try using this powder on everything I find, so I am. So far it's only had two uses though: lighting fires and turning mischievous raccoons into
Most people are happy with one heart, Time Lords get by with two, Link started off with three, and he's still greedy for more. Nothing gets the blood pumping like a chest full of hearts.
But hey, at least we've got one of the eight instruments required for awakening the Wind Fish. Plus a pocket full of cash to spend. Not quite enough for a spade though.
SOON, BACK IN TOWN.
You know, I was just joking about that egg on the title screen looking like a giant Yoshi egg earlier, but now I'm not so sure. It would have been cool if they'd actually committed to this fully and had a proper Mario and Zelda team up game.
Sadly I can't print out my photo without a Game Boy printer, so I guess I'll go off and get on with some adventuring. My new jumping ability has opened up paths previously blocked by holes, and the owl's given me a new destination: the Goponga Swamp in the north.
This dungeon didn't get me an instrument, but I didn't come out of it entirely empty handed...
In fact the whole game has been pretty decent so far. My only real complaint is that it keeps bringing up the same damn message the first time I even brush against a heavy object on a new screen.
"Wow! This looks pretty heavy! You won't be able to lift it with just your bare hands..."It wouldn't be so bad if it just flashed up "Can't lift yet!" or something similar, and let me carry on playing, but nope I have to stop and skip through three messages. And it gets a little more irritating each time.
I really hope the game gives me the gloves I need to pick up objects soon, because this is eroding my good mood.
"First, defeat the imprisoned Pols Voice, Last, Stalfos..."I haven't a clue what that means. Hope it's not important.
Two laps of the dungeon later I gave in and asked a friend for advice. He told me that the rabbity thing is known as a 'Pols Voice', and was mentioned on that sign earlier. I was meant to figure out that I need to kill it first, then take out a bat, then finally a skeleton monster to unlock the secret. I guess this is one of those 'should have read the manual' moments, as I don't get how I could have known the name of it otherwise.
The actual fight isn't much of a struggle though, fortunately. I had to wait until he hid in his bottle, give it a smack, then throw it against a wall. Three times. Then when his bottle finally broke, a few stabs was enough to finish him off. And instrument #2 was mine!
I have to say that I liked this. It's a lot like Link to the Past so far, only with less messing around. LTTP liked to send me off hunting for things, like when I had to go door to door asking everyone in town if they knew where the elder was. In this an owl flies down, gives me my next job, and off I go. I really wish they'd made a few of the skills automatically activate though. It got annoying having to switch from Rock's Feather to Power Bracelet and back all the damn time.
Though I guess the game has definitely earned itself a shiny gold star for not being crap:
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