YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT.
I DID THAT.
I. BEAT. ZELDA II: THE ADVENTURE OF LINK.
And I'm very, very, very happy. :D My Hyrule Historia posts are going to have to wait. This is more important! I must record this historic event before I forget it!
I know this might come as a surprise, Considering the last time you heard about TAoL was Halloween... but I've actually been working on it very hard this past month, and just didn't tell anyone, haha. I was in the third dungeon last time you heard from me, and now I've completed everything.
I'd love to skip right to the boss, but let me talk about the rest of the game for a moment first. Naturally, I died a LOT. This game is NOT easy, believe me. I had more trouble GETTING to the palaces than completing them in some cases. After the second and third dungeons, it was off to the Maze Palace, and you have no idea how many times I died just trying to GET there. About halfway through that palace, I decided to develop a system for grinding, which is basically getting as much EXP as possible and leveling up.
I should NOT have to grind in a Zelda game. But I did.
Outside of Maze Island and near the town there (I forgot which – I want to say Nabooru, but don't quote me on that) there's a little desert area. For those of you who haven't played the game, when you step off of the path in AoL, three black blobs appear to represent monsters. There are two types: the tiny ones and the big ones. And fairies appear sometimes, too, but they never help me...
Anyway, the tiny blobs are, as you can expect, easier monsters than the big ones. When you run into one of these blobs, you go into a side-scrolling battle screen. I discovered that the tiny blobs in the desert consisted of a battle with a few Leevers and two Octoroks on either side of the screen. It was a VERY easy battle, and the Leevers gave you 10 EXP each and the Octoroks 5, so I was gaining about 80 EXP every time I went through that. ...So I kept going through that. I wandered around in the desert (found a hidden area with a magic potion, too, that I never took), attacked the tiny blobs, ran from the large ones, and gained experience. For a long, long, long time, until I'd leveled up to what I deemed sufficient enough to STOP DYING in that STUPID Maze Palace.
Then I beat the boss. Yay!
The fifth dungeon was the one out in the water, which you had to use your magical walk-on-water boots to reach, and I don't remember it much. Hmm... Oh, wait, was that the one with the hidden wall? It was, wasn't it? It had a hidden room in it behind a wall that wasn't ACTUALLY a wall. I knew this thanks to the villagers. However... I couldn't find it ANYWHERE.
I'd gotten to the boss of the dungeon, and I still hadn't found an item for the place. So, curious, I went on Zelda Dungeon to see if there was an item for this palace. I found it -- it was a Flute or something -- and then, as I was scrolling up...
I saw a picture – JUST A PICTURE – of Link standing inside a wall.
And then I knew where the fake wall was. :(
So, I used a walkthrough. In that one moment I ruined all of my hard work. Turns out, though, that fortunately, I don't fail completely – I actually hadn't been in the room that the invisible wall is. I somehow skipped over it in my previous runs through the palace.
But I still used a walkthrough.
Which I'm not allowed to do.
The next dungeon was behind that "River Devil" thingy that you had to play the Flute to get rid of. Then you go through this long pathway with a ton of Lizalfos throwing fireballs at you until you FINALLY reach this forest bordering a desert, where the Town of Kasuto is. However, the original Town of Kasuto was destroyed, and the old man, the only guy left, tells you that they all moved to the forest. Soooo I looked in the forest.
And I couldn't find it.
No, you don't understand. I looked EVERYWHERE.
There was this lovely secluded forest area that was through a cave, and I was very certain the town was there, or at least SOME kind of secret. But I walked over every single tile in that area, and there was nothing. Then, wondering if I had to play the Flute to find it like the dungeon of this stage, I played the Flute in every tile.
Therefore, I decided instead to go to the main forest area. I refused to enter the dungeon without the spell from the Town of Kasuto, so I kept looking. After about a half hour of skimming the forest, I started using the same strategy as in that secluded area: I literally walked over every. single. tile. in that stupid. freaking. forest.
And then, I started walking over every one AGAIN so I could play the Flute on each of them.
The only good part about this is that I leveled up so much that I was level 8 -- the highest level -- in both Magic and Life when I went into the dungeon, and only one away in Attack. I kept running into monsters during my search, which in this area were Lizalfos and Deelers (which I thought were Skulltulas until I checked the wiki).
Halfway through my Flute escapade in the main forest, I was furious. I'd been looking for HOURS. I really desperately wanted to use a walkthrough or friend or something or ANYTHING.
And then, suddenly, a ray of hope shined down upon me.
I had just finished ranting to my sister about how annoying this game was and how stupid it was that I couldn't find the town when I retreated into my room. Then, for some strange reason, I suddenly wondered what would happen if I pressed A in the overworld.
So I did.
And the trees in front of me, in the area that used to be forest...
So, apparently, for WHO KNOWS how long (since these trees have been there since the BEGINNING OF THE GAME) I've been able to completely DEMOLISH the trees in front of me, and I HAD NO IDEA UNTIL NOW.
Thus, with a renewed sense of responsibility, I hurried back to the behind-the-cave forest area that I'd thought the Town was in. It took a while, because destroying the trees makes you move slower, and every time you get into a battle with some enemies, the trees come back, but FINALLY, I FOUND THE STUPID TOWN AND GOT MY FREAKING SPELL.
Also, I used another bit of Zelda trivia. I remembered that the OTHER line Link actually speaks in the series was something along the line of "I can get up from here," or whatever, so in Kasuto, I found a random chimney that I was able to jump up and got the spell. And Link said that, so... yay?
And then it was on the Hidden Palace, which wasn't terribly exciting. It was so easy for me to find -- like I said, I found it before the town, actually -- and it wasn't TOO difficult to beat. I was pretty annoyed that the boss had lava in his room though. Not cool. Lava is my mortal enemy in this game.
Finally, after that, it was on to... THE VALLEY OF DEATH!
Which, um, killed me. A lot.
Moas are very frustrating enemies. They really are. And there were plenty in this wonderful death trap. Not to mention LAVA. Lava one-hit kills you. It's completely unfair! Water is the same way -- and WHY? You have magical boots that can walk on water, BUT YOU STILL DROWN IN ONE SECOND? HOW?
Fortunately, I finally, finally, FINALLY got to the Great Palace. And I'm going to tell you now: THIS PLACE IS A MAZE. Why is THIS not the Maze Palace?
Well, probably because Great Palace sounds way cooler for a final dungeon.
The only good part about this was that instead of going back to the North Palace like in every other dungeon as I was expecting (thus making me HORRIFIED when I died for the first time – I DID NOT WANT TO DO VALLEY OF DEATH AGAIN) you just went back to the start of the dungeon. Woo-hoo!
However, while I died a good five or six times trying to locate the correct path through the dungeon, it wasn't too bad, and eventually, much to my surprise, I randomly stumbled upon Thunderbird one day. With great joy I fought him–
Annnnd of course, I died right away.
...Well, that's okay. I just go back to the start of the dungeon. I mean, it sucks, because I have to go through the whooooole stupid place again, but at least I knew where I was going now, right?
Um, no. It's not good. Because I died soooooooo many times getting through that particular path, and it's a miracle I reached Thunderbird at all. There are two types of unique enemies in the Great Palace: Fokkas and Fokkeru. Additionally, there are more powerful versions of several familiar enemies, like Bits and Ras and Ropes and stuff. I can deal with Ras and Bits and Ropes and even freaking annoying Fokkeru, but the Fokkas...
Ohhhh, the Fokkas...
I cannot even begin to describe my hatred for these impossible enemies. I just CAN'T. It was... They were... Oh, my, gosh.
See, this is probably why no one likes The Adventure of Link. In an RPG game with levels and stuff, what do you do when you can't defeat an enemy? Why, you go and level up! So what do you do when you're the HIGHEST LEVEL and STILL can't kill your enemies?
You just die. Soooo many times.
I also developed some strategies. For instance: I learned which Fokkas I could run away from without taking TOO much damage, and which ones I HAD to fight. The Red Fokkas weren't TOO hard. Sure, they still made me want to rage quit a number of times, but at least they only took three hits to beat and only had melee attacks. Thus I ran away from most of those. It was the Blue Fokkas that gave me murderous thoughts. They can shoot from far away, so they can hit you in the back as you're fleeing. Not cool. Plus they take such a ridiculous amount of times to hit that it's not even funny.
There was this one Blue Fokka in particular that I'm thinking of right now. He was in a room with several blocks surrounding him on either side that you had to hit through, as well as two Bots within those. Of course, Bots only take two hits to kill, so they weren't a problem... But if you tried going through those blocks at ground level, the stupid Fokka would start shooting you THROUGH THE WALL as you're trying to kill the Bots and break the blocks. Thus, I developed MANY strategies for this room. First off, you needed the Shield Spell. I swear there was no way to survive that room without a Shield Spell or a plethora of lives. Next, you had to make a staircase up the blocks so that you were too high in the air for the Fokka to jump and shoot you with. Then, time your jump and reach the ground to face that Fokka (which wasn't terribly easy to do, mind you). Next, continue blocking his ranged attacks with your shield, and then, once he jumps over you, quickly do and Upthrust to try and hit him from below. If you're lucky, he'll be pushed back to the other side where you can repeat this until he's dead. If you're not lucky, which happens more often then not, you'll instead get hit by him while doing your Upthrust, somehow.
That room was soooo terrible. The good news is that after dying in it about ten times, I realized that I could kill the Bots to heal myself and regain magic. They reappear every time you wander out of their sight and then head back again, so I just kept walking back and forth and killing the two Bots until they gave me magic, and then I used the Life spell to heal myself after that dreadful battle with the Fokka. After about three times of this, I also realized that every six Bots gives you either a Magic restoring thingy or a Points Bag, so I knew when to expect it, too.
Can you tell that I spent a LOT of time in that room?
I mean, seriously. Wandering back and forth between Bots over and over and over again. Did it take forever? Yes. Was it boring? You have no idea. Was it worth it? Totally. For the first time ever, I was making it to Thunderbird with three whole lives and fully healed. Not that it helped me much.
Notice that with all these horrors I've described, I still haven't even gotten to Thunderbird yet. The reason?
I died. Sooo. Many. Times. On. That. Stupid. Boss. That. It's. Not. Even. Funny. Anymore.
Before it was because I'd generally only make it to him with one life and then die right away. But I started getting better and better at navigating the palace as time went on, it became clear that that wasn't the reason. I just really, really sucked at this. The closest I got was down to two bars of hearts for him. But I kept dyyyyyiiiinnnnnngggggg.
Oh, by the way, about twenty deaths in, I accidentally pressed save on the death screen and had to go back to the North Palace and finish the Valley of Death again? The only good news is that it let me get my missing Heart Container (which I might kind of used a picture to find...)
Wait a second. Does that mean I 100%ed this game? I think it does! I got all the Life and Magic Containers! Anything else I'm missing? I don't think so! :D I never 100% games! Usually it's because something goes tragically wrong (one missing Heart Piece in ALttP, one missing Heart Piece in SS, one missing Ocean Bunny in ST, one missing Heart Container in LoZ) but still. Woo!
Well, whatever. The rest of my time was spent dying another forty times against Thunderbird – and that's only SLIGHTLY an exaggeration. It was at least thirty times. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. And keep in mind that in this particular instance, dying doesn't mean losing a life – it means losing ALL my lives and getting a Game Over. Therefore, multiply that number by an average of two (since the amount of lives I had varied between one, two, and three) and you can tell that there were a LOT of potential rage quitting moments there. But I trooped on.
WHY. NO ONE ELSE SAYS HE'S HARD. THEY ALL COMPLAIN ABOUT DARK LINK. WHY ME. WHHHHY.
Well, anyway, it was a normal day. I'd been trying to beat this for a week, and begged the people in my Skype group (Atticus, Fused Shadows, Little Gumball, and Odd300) to tell me how to beat him. Of course, the only one who had even beaten the game before was Fused, and he said he'd forgotten, so yay. I was sitting there, trying to get through the dungeon again. Now with my newfound strategies, I was usually making it to Thunderbird with three lives and full health... so I did. I was sitting on my bed, the 3DS plugged into the wall to conserve battery power and headphones in my ears so that I wouldn't miss a second of music when I at long, long last finally beat the game. My first two lives went by quickly this time, as usual. But suddenly, he got down to two bars. I was hopeful. Then one. Then, finally, I struck the final blow–
AND OH MY GOSH THUNDERBIRD DIED.
I sat there in shock for a few seconds before abruptly pausing the game and rushing to tell my sister the great news. Of course, in the process, I forgot a few things – namely the charger and headphones – which of course played roles in my subsequently trip. Basically the charger pulled me back when I tried to run forward, and so I dropped the 3DS behind the laundry and the headphones tore out of it, too. But here's a fun "primary source" as you might call it. After tripping, I decided it probably wasn't too important for my sister to find out anyway (she wouldn't care) so I instead rushed back to my bed and grabbed my iPad and basically barfed out my excitement into our Skype group:
As mentioned in the picture above, I still had one life left for Dark Link! But you know what was really annoying? Thunderbird, despite being the most difficult boss in the game, does NOT give you much experience. They should have at least given you enough for an extra life! Seriously! Unfortunately, this meant that I was going into Dark Link, the real final boss, with only one life and health that was beeping at me for being drained.
And, expectedly, I died.
I was really praying that I wouldn't have to fight Thunderbird again – and fortunately, I didn't. So I made it to Dark Link again with three lives and full health. Naturally I died the first few times. And by few I mean two. Because on my third life,
I killed him.
No, no, no. Just think about this for a second. Thunderbird, the boss that no one ever talks about, killed me thirty times. Dark Link technically only killed me once, and everyone said he's torturously difficult.
...Am I missing something here?
I didn't even use the "crouch in the corner and stab" method that everyone says makes Dark Link so easy. I tried it. I did. I must have been doing it wrong, though, because I kept getting hit and he wasn't taking any damage. I developed a different strategy that obviously worked rather well: keep walking forward into him and stabbing. Yeah, I got hit a few times, but he got hit way more than me, and I was the one who triumphed in the end.
I honestly don't get it. I'm so confused.
Oh, whatever. I BEAT THE ADVENTURE OF LINK WOOOOOOO!
And I took a bunch of horrible screenshots with my iPad! Yay!
...Well, yeah. So TAoL has taken its place as the hardest Zelda game for me, unless I died more on Majora's Mask. A Link to the Past was previously my most-died game at 99 deaths, but The Adventure of Link is now in the lead with...
Well, dang. I went to check and discovered that after beating the game it erased all my deaths. I'm really, really sad now. :(
It was past 132. I know that. When I accidentally saved, it was at 132. So I'm going to go ahead and guess around 145 or something. Ugggh. I'm reeeally sad about my death count removal.
Oh, whatever. Sorry for that extra long post, but it was fun to write. I really have to get going now – it's our last day of Spring Break, and I haven't done any homework. I'm in so much trouble. I have a lot to do.
Have a nice Easter, everyone! (As I just learned it was, like, an hour ago!) Enjoy April!