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Eff It, I'm Going Through The Whole Zelda Series (And Then Some) Until I Get Bored (Now Playing: Zelda's Adventure)

The music is amazing, even if it's not really Zelda-ish, and the hand-painted backgrounds are pretty great in that "90s PC game" sense.
Damn, that slaps. Do we know who the composer is?

Insta-edit: according to YT comments it's Tony Trippi, who's website hasn't been updated since 2007 and is mostly broken now. Looks like he did some other CDi games and then miscellaneous PC games in the early 00's, plus sound design for Frequency on PS2, but I'm not seeing anything he's been up to recently.
Yeah, the Bazaar one is especially cool!
 
I didn't know this existed! For all my complaining about BotW, it sure does have a lot of stuff hidden away in it.
It's in Hateno Village, near the entrance but a bit off the beaten path. A kid in the village may walk you to it.
 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
I think my main goal to improve my enjoyment of BotW when I revisit it for this thread is going to be spending more time in and around towns, so hopefully I'll end up seeing that then.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Going back to the LA chess pieces, I believe it's determined on whether or not you bounce the pieces off a wall to get them to stand up?
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
I think my main goal to improve my enjoyment of BotW when I revisit it for this thread is going to be spending more time in and around towns, so hopefully I'll end up seeing that then.
Pursuant to this, follow roads a lot too. Ride horses. Maybe even deprioritize stamina upgrades so you can't just climb everything without even thinking about it.
 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
Those are all exactly what I planned, yeah. Wilderness exploration in BotW was deeply unsatisfying for me, so when I replay it I want to try and avoid it as a main focus.
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him)
I was about to counter that with "What about the fortune tellers from A Link to the Past?", but I have never used them so I'm not even sure if they give hints or whatever.

fake edit: I guess you can buy hints from them. No idea how useful they are though.
 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
yeah i visited the fortune teller exactly one time and got no useful info from him. never went back. i did note that the sign over his door looks like goatse tho

 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I used the fortune teller once ever, and it was for a health refill.

Needing a health refill was the only part of the experience I remember
 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
Don't forget the whole mini-sidequest involving the lead character from "The Frog For Whom The Bell Tolls", a game which never left Japan.
i played that for the thread! its a fully justified cameo since kaeru no tame ni kane wa naru was made by the same team and went on to have its engine used for link's awakening. technically richard is the rival character; also the quest has absolutely nothing to do with that game which was a bit of a disappointment coming right off of it
 

4-So

Spicy
Those are all exactly what I planned, yeah. Wilderness exploration in BotW was deeply unsatisfying for me, so when I replay it I want to try and avoid it as a main focus.

I'm interested for your perspectives here because BOTW seems to get universal praise and that doesn't align with my own feelings toward it. It's a fun game, worth a visit or two, but I have some qualms, to say the least, and the empty vastness of Hyrule was something I've remained ambivalent about.
 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
ZELDA: THE WAND OF GAMELON (1993)

I already said most of my peace about the Zelda CD-i duology in the Faces of Evil post, but I'll reiterate here: these games are genuinely not bad. I feel like most of their reputation comes from the infinitely meme-able cutscenes and the fact that the CD-i was just not a system built to play video games, but especially in remastered form they're just a good time. Wand of Gamelon is by far the better of the two, due to the lack of snowball grinding. Also, an underrated element of this game: they actually wrote the story around Zelda as the protagonist! While Faces of Evil is a fairly standard adventure story, Wand of Gamelon is actually about political intrigue - the main villain of the game other than Ganon is a corrupt duke who led the King into a trap. It's still a fairly generic plot, but I appreciate that they made a story that plays off Zelda's royalty status. To keep this post from being pure gushing about games that are, despite how much I like them, still solidly worse than any official Zelda title, here are the big criticisms with both games: First, they really like unpredictably spawning enemies. Though every enemy spawns from a specific predetermined place on the screen, they show up out of nowhere and can immediately do damage. This also includes most damaging hazards - there's a particularly mean part at the end of Reesong Palace, WoG's final area, where you have to climb up a ladder and it's entirely possible to just have a bunch of falling rocks spawn at the top while you're climbing and kill you through no fault of your own. The progression in the game is also very strange and makes it easy to get stuck - you start with three areas available, and each area you complete unlocks another one in a predetermined sequence, but each of these "paths" will have places where you can't proceed without an item from another path. On top of this, many items are obtained through fetch quests, where you go through an area and find an NPC who wants an item, then need to go back to that area later. Both of these things are definitely annoying, but the game is short enough and the basic action is enjoyable enough for it not to be a huge issue.

Back to the real stars here: the cutscenes. Everybody already knows the opening and ending cutscenes, and Morshu has been memed to death, but here's a few of the lesser-known cutscenes from these two games I think deserve a spotlight either for being very funny or, in a few cases, unironically good:
So, that's the main CD-i duology done. Next up: Zoda's Revenge, the sequel to StarTropics! I'm going to be honest here: I am not looking forward to the possibility of another game that's going to require me to savestate on every screen transition and keep a guide open the whole time, so I reserve the right to leave this one unfinished since it's not technically a Zelda game anyway. I'll give it my best, though.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
If I remember correctly Zoda's Revenge is much more of a single path sort of thing than the original. Some definite streamlining happened. I do not recall whether the dungeons got any easier or better designed.
 

ASandoval

Old Man Gamer
(he/him)
If I remember correctly Zoda's Revenge is much more of a single path sort of thing than the original. Some definite streamlining happened. I do not recall whether the dungeons got any easier or better designed.

I don't wanna say too much until Kzinssie starts playing but they made some changes to how the game controls in dungeons that are... contentious among fans of the original, as I'm sure we'll get into here in due time.
 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
ZODA'S REVENGE: STARTROPICS II (1994): CHAPTER 1 & 2

Woof, first impressions are not great here. Chapter 1 is just pure exposition, so Chapter 2 is where the game proper starts. Let's get the obvious out of the way: this game controls like hot ass. The original game already didn't have great gamefeel, but that's easy to excuse in an early NES game, and it was partially due to the grid-based movement. The big issue, for instance, is that when turning you have to hold down a direction for a bit before Mike actually started moving in that direction, but that was so you could tap it and turn without moving, which was crucial in places. The sequel ditches the grid-based movement, which was a good sign, but then it still has the delay on turning, and that makes basic movement really awkward and unsatisfying. The lack of a grid makes aiming harder, and jumping also feels worse in this game in a way that's hard to pin down. The first boss was pretty awful, and already required me to make a savestate at the entrance to the room, which isn't a great sign. Your starting weapon, an axe, has terrible range, and the boss uses fan-spread bullet patterns that encourage you to stand at the opposite end of the room to maneuver around them - putting you out of range to hit him. He's a damage sponge, too. The other issue I have is that the plot is just inherently kind of uninteresting to me. Time travel plots that actually explore time travel as a concept can be really fun, but given that the first level is Mike Goes To Prehistoric Times And Talks To Cavemen, it seems like this is going to be the much more boring time-travel-as-excuse-for-generic-public-domain-settings. It's not all bad, though - the writing is still as goofy and memorable as ever, the music is great, and I can see myself enjoying this more once I have a handle on the awful controls - the dungeon design is less mean than in the first game, but that may just be because it's the first one.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
It's definitely quite the change from the first game control-wise, but I eventually adjusted. I still like the game a lot, and several tunes are legit top-tier NES music.
 

WildcatJF

Red After Image
(he / his / him)
I don't personally enjoy Zoda's Revenge in terms of playing it, but I love a lot of other things about it, like the amazing soundtrack.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
The thing about the 4-way grid based movement is that while it was a bit odd, you knew exactly how far Mike was able to jump and the platforming was not a problem. The move to 8-way free movement makes the platforming a lot trickier 'cuz the game expects you to jump on small platforms but the lack of a fixed grid makes it a lot easier to screw up the landing.

Also not helping the sequel is that the first (non-exposition) chapter of the game has a starting area with a lot of pitfalls and a maze it expects you to write down the instructions to get through. The game's already expecting ST1 Chapter 3-grade puzzle solving skills from you in the first playable chapter of the game.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
That first bit with the pitfalls is definitely obnoxious. Not the best way to start your game out!
 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
ZODA'S REVENGE: STARTROPICS II (1994): CHAPTER 3

So first up: this game is a load of absolute bullshit and I can't imagine it's anything approaching playable without savestates/rewind. Thankfully, I have those, so I'm rewinding every time I get hit by unfair enemy patterns due to bad movement controls. Okay? Okay. Moving on: they really ramp the goofiness up to eleven here, and it's hard not to smile along with the writers. On paper, this game seems like it's trying way too hard to be funny, and in a way it kind of is. But there's a sense of fun to it that you can't help but smile along with the author(s?) when they have a questline where you help Cleopatra with her slow pizza delivery from Rome (according to the box, Caesar's Hut), or have a snake appear as an NPC entirely to make a dumb joke about "don't asp me", or have a guy talk about cooling Cleopatra off with a giant fan makes him her biggest fan, followed by an entire text box of him laughing at his own joke. It's infectiously silly, just like the first game, and I don't know any other game that captures that energy. This is also the chapter where Mike gets psychic powers, and I... don't entirely know why. The mind blast and the upgradable weapon you get (first a stone axe, then a bronze dagger) are functionally nearly identical, being mid-range projectile attacks. I guess the mind blast is a bit weaker but is the only thing that can damage certain enemies like undead? I don't know why they didn't just make the axe/dagger a melee weapon and then have the mind blast be your ranged attack.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Counterpoint: I beat this game many times on actual hardware with no cheating. ;) (I'd be lying if I said it didn't get tough, though.)

Yeah, the sense of humor is something else. The Caesar's Hut bit always made me chuckle.

As you can guess, the mind blast will upgrade a few more times.
 
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