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3 hours ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

Plactus (Re+)Plays The Legend of Zelda

Last week.

Skyward Sword: Not a whole lot happening this week, I apparently got long-winded as a side effect of the cold I'm still fighting off and what I thought would be two posts turned into four (last Friday + this week; last Friday is also blamed on me losing patience with something). By the end of the week V'yy or guebhtu jvgu gur Fxl orsber yrnivat sbe Ryqva Ibypnab.

Majora's Mask 3D: V ybir Znwben'f Znfx. Vg'f bar bs zl snibevgr tnzrf va gur frevrf. Gur 3QF erznxr vf zbfgyl fbyvq. Ohg, bu, qb V jvfu V rawblrq gur svfuvat zvavtnzr ng nyy be pbhyq qvfzvff vg nf veeryrinag yvxr gur fyvqvat-gvyr chmmyrf va Jvaq Jnxre. V guvax V'z tbvat gb svavfu gur tnzr guvf jrrx fb V pna fgneg jevgvat nobhg vg naq jenc hc svfuvat ng zl yrvfher.

Unmarked spoilers for Skyward Sword and previous games.

TW: Various creepy-crawlies, including spiders, insects, snakes, bats; fire; heights; death.

2 days ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +2 points

It's a problem they've had for some time now – Ezlo and Ciela had bad moments. (This generally wasn't Navi's problem; she was more a combination of reminding the player what they're supposed to be doing too often (even when that's actually what they're doing and the game doesn't recognize it) and her voice clips being annoying (says the guy who still has "Hey! Listen!" as his phone's text alert).) But it seems this game they've turned it way up. It's not just Fi – how many people told Link to get a shield and potions before going to the surface? – but she's definitely the personification of it.

2 days ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

"Skyview Temple"

[youtube 2fV17aNKHXw youtube]

3 days ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 2 replies · +2 points

Two more things about motion controls:
1. There are some motions my wrist just does not like. Bomb-bowling, for instance.
2. When I sit cross-legged to play, my cat loves to come curl up in the space between my shins. I like it, too (until my legs start cramping and I have to decide do I stretch out or let her stay – and it generally goes “let her stay until I can’t take it anymore”), but while it’s fine with a real controller, with the Wiimote… yeah. And she doesn’t understand, “Kitty, I’m swinging this thing around and would rather not hit you in the head.”

And Fi:
1. Fi tells the player when the Wiimote batteries are getting low. Only… I decided I’d wait till they died completely before replacing them. It was two and a half weeks real time and at least 12 hours of game time until they died. Until they died, she still had the indicator every time I started the game; by the tenth time I couldn't not think of the sword spirit who cried dead batteries. And when they finally died, the game paused so I could swap them out. I guess there’s something to be said for “make sure you have replacements on hand,” but… ay.
2. For some reason, Fi’s speech subtitles appear much slower than everyone else’s, and can’t be sped up. This does not help my opinion of her popping up to tell me what I already know (because I just read it two seconds ago). (And the battery warning pops up at a crawl, even by her standards.)

3 days ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 4 replies · +2 points

Skyview Temple is a first dungeon, forest dungeon, and water level dungeon. There are two major changes to the key dungeoneering components. First, as mentioned, the compass is gone, and its features have been folded into the dungeon map. Second, instead of a Big/Boss Key, Link finds a golden sculpture thing, and the boss door has a niche for it, and because this game wants to use motion controls every way possible, you have to rotate the sculpture to fit in the niche by waving the Wiimote.

This dungeon solidified my opinion of the motion controls. For swordfights, as long as it interprets my swings properly, they’re… okay. I can see why they’d have wanted to put the time into developing this. The miniboss is a Stalfos who defends from two directions at once, so Link has to come at him from one of the other directions, and I had little trouble beating it, and it was actually a bit of fun. On the other hand, some of the doors are protected by eye guardians, and the solution is Link needs to wave his sword in a circle so they get dizzy and fall out to die. This was amusing once. The second and third time, the challenge is meant to be standing in the right place to get the attention of two or three at once. Instead, I had no trouble with that, but then getting the eyes to follow the sword and going in a big enough circle that they die hurt my shoulder. At least this still uses the sword, so I can see why they’d want to use motion controls instead of the thumbstick…

Unlike the dungeon item, the Beetle. The Beetle is a remote-control bug that can scout, retrieve objects, cut threads, and hit switches. It can affect enemies, but it’s too slow and cumbersome to really use in battle. It’s like the natural evolution of the boomerangs’ intricate flight paths, but it had to sacrifice the combat utility to get there. And of course, despite piloting with the thumbstick seeming natural, it’s controlled by the Wiimote’s motion controls. So there’s my opinion of motion controls: okay for swordplay (when it accurately interprets what I’m trying to do), but shoehorned into situations where there are better options [1].

New and returning enemies include green Bokoblins (hey, someone tell the Kikwis they do exist), Skulltulas (who sometimes break free of their ceiling webs, need to be flipped on their backs with a vertical slice, and finished off with an ending blow) and Walltulas, and a Staldra, a three-headed skeletal thing which lines its heads up and Link needs to cut the right way to kill them all at once. (That’s the other thing that bugs me about motion controls in combat: every enemy more advanced than a ChuChu has some sort of defense Link’s got to cut the right way to get around. It works for things like the Stalfos, but for common enemies it breaks immersion, which is probably the opposite effect from what they intended.)

There’s a heart piece in the dungeon, giving Link his first full heart container.

Next: I got so annoyed about Fi’s writing that I ran out of time for the boss.

[1] I didn’t mention this, but they’re also used for aiming the Slingshot.

3 days ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 5 replies · +2 points

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Skyview Temple

When returning to the surface, Link is able to go to any of the bird statues he’s activated. Opening the dungeon requires hitting a crystal switch; once the door is open, a cutscene plays as Link walks in. Fi pops up to say that there are too many creatures in the dungeon for dowsing to work. As an alternative, she suggests Link look around to determine what to do next.

Why? Why did Nintendo assume players would need an NPC to reiterate what they just read and give obvious advice? “Look around to see where we should move next.” And here I was, planning to sit on my thumbs and hope the boss came to me and brought the dungeon item [1]. And later when Link gets the map, it’s “You got a map. You can use it to find your way around the dungeon.” Well, I’m glad you’re here to tell me these things! And, sure, the compass is no longer a separate item – the map comes pre-marked with all the relevant information – and that’s important to convey to the player. But the text popup window, as well as all the icons appearing on the map, would have worked just fine without having Fi explain it.

Let’s imagine Fi in some of the other games…
“Master, the man has said your journey will be dangerous and offered you a sword to use. You should take it and use it to fight Ganon’s forces.”
“Master, Agahnim has accused you of kidnapping Princess Zelda in an effort to turn the people against you. You should be careful with whom you speak.”
“Master, the mural says that Koholint Island is a projection of the Wind Fish’s dream. This means if you wake the Wind Fish, Koholint and its inhabitants will disappear.”
“Master, your fairy companion has shouted to gain your attention. She likely has something to tell you.”
“Master, the moon is about to crash into the earth. You will almost certainly not survive this.”
“Master, this is not Peach. It appears to be one of her retainers. You may find Peach in a different castle.”
I’m not exaggerating – in fact, the opposite, because I refuse to arbitrarily assign percentages. Link’s had companions who have pointed out things that shouldn’t need pointing out before. I didn’t think anyone would be able to pass Ezlo, but now… I am going to do my best to let Fi’s more useless statements pass unacknowledged from here on, but sometimes they may slip through.


[1] Actually, given who the boss is, if I sit long enough, this may not be out of the question.

4 days ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

"The Sky"

[youtube nRbROTdOgj0 youtube]

4 days ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 1 reply · +2 points

While on Skyloft, Link has some shopping to do. First, he gets a potion to replace the one he had to drink. (Actually, he drank a Revitalizing Potion and got a Heart Potion. I wonder if the bartender will let him count that expense toward paying for the chandelier. Probably not.) While he’s there, he’s got the materials to upgrade his shield so it’s a little sturdier, and the item shop has a seed bag upgrade – that takes a spot in the Adventure Pouch. Are you fscking serious? Hoo boy, this is going to suck worse than I thought. Beedle flies an airship over Skyloft, and if Link gets his attention by shooting the bell on the ship, he’ll lower a rope so Link can come up to shop. Link can buy an Extra Wallet and Bug Net now; there’s an Adventure Pouch upgrade he could afford by farming a lot, but still has no need for, so he lets it go for now.

There are two more things to do in the sky before going back to the surface. First, the second Goddess Chest has another heart piece that doesn’t require destruction of property. Second, north of Skyloft, there’s a minigame where Link tries to cut a piece of bamboo as many times as he can before it falls to the ground. I had trouble with this at first because I was too deliberate, and I could get eight or so cuts before the Wiimote decided I was doing something other than what I was trying for, and once this game goes wrong, there’s no saving it. Then I closed my eyes, held the Wiimote flat, and waved it wildly, and got 31 cuts for a rare treasure item.

Next: Exactly how thick does this game think Link (and/or the player) is?

4 days ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 2 replies · +2 points

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Goddess Cubes

Fi pops up and introduces the area Link has entered as the Deep Woods. Then she reminds him of his quest to find the temple and Zelda. A little way in, Gorko peeks his head over a cliff to invite Link to come take a look at something with him. Getting to Gorko requires fighting a new variant of Deku Baba, the Quadro Baba, which can change if the mouth/split is horizontal or vertical. The object of Gorko’s interest is a cube marked with the Loftwing crest that’s said to be left behind by the Goddess for her chosen Hero. There’s an instruction attached to the Goddess Cubes: “Summon forth the light from a heavenly blade, and may that sword’s master receive aid.” Gorko asks Link to see if they can figure out what it means, and points out the key phrase in the instruction, so it’s not just Fi who over-explains things. Link whacks the Cube with a Skyward Strike, and it glows before disappearing, sending a ball of light to the sky. There are more of these things, so they’re… treasure maps from Wind Waker? As if proving the concept, there’s a second Goddess Cube to whack between the first one and the dungeon.

At the dungeon, Fi says she senses Zelda’s aura inside, along with a bunch of monsters. She advises against overconfidence, suggesting Link could use a bird statue to return to the sky… to get a shield and potions. *headdesk* But there’s the Goddess Cubes’ output to investigate, so why not? As Link mounts his Loftwing again, Fi brings up the map to highlight the points where the Goddess Cubes’ energy landed. This confirms my guess about what the Goddess Cubes are meant to resemble: the sky is sort of like the Great Sea, only with… skislands, if you will. And no Fishmen to talk to.

The first Goddess Cube’s chest expands Link’s Adventure Pouch by one slot. He still only has three items to fit in the five slots, so there’s no need to go back to the Item Check. There’s a bar on the island, and as Link walks in, the camera tantalizingly hovers on the chandelier, which has rupees and a heart piece. The bartender warns Link not to break the chandelier. The waitress calls attention to the rupees inside, which I don’t care about because my wallet’s full. Among the patrons, there’s an old man who saw a monster in the cemetery one night and Groose’s non-egg throwing lackey.

Link goes up to the upper level of the bar and rolls into the guardrail, causing the chandelier to sway. Doing it again knocks it down onto the large table in the center of the bar, leaving Link free to take the heart piece. The bartender’s pissed, and demands Link come talk to him. He wants Link to work for him until the chandelier’s paid off; the first errand is to deliver pumpkin soup to Eagus, the man in the Sparring Hall, the Knight Commander of Skyloft. Sadly, he’s not inclined to give Link a bottle – maybe if someone hadn’t broken his chandelier, he might be more generous – so Link’s got to drink one of his potions so he can carry the pumpkin soup. Then he drinks it, just to see the bartender’s reaction. Then he gets another bottle to deliver. Eagus is grateful for the soup once it’s delivered. The bartender’s satisfied with Link’s postal service and tells him to check back later for another job.


6 days ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

"Kikwi Theme"

[youtube N0kup0obl5E youtube]

Bucha, Kikwi Elder