Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ricky, Moosh and Dimitri



The Oracle games are celebrating their 10th Anniversary this year, so let's talk a little bit more about them. One interesting fact is, that Link gets to ride three different animals in this game instead of Epona. They are Ricky, the boxing Kangaroo, Moosh, the flying bear, and Dimitri, the swimming Dodongo. Sounds great, but the problem is, you can ultimately only get one of them during a playthrough. You will meet them and get to try them all early in the game, but then you have to chose one. This little article is supposed to be a guide for you to make your choice easier.

"Wait, how can I actually choose between the three animals?" - That's a great question and it may appear random to you, what animal you've gotten during your first playthrough. It depends on the way how you aquire the flute before you first set foot on the landscape, where your buddy is required (the Natzu area in Oracle of Seasons and the Nuun Highlands in Oracle of Ages). You can either buy the flute in the shop, win it in a minigame or don't get the flute beforehand. Depending on this choice, you'll get a specific one of the three animals. Here's an overview:

Oracle of Ages
- buy flute in Lynna Village shop (present): Dimitri
- win flute in Lynna Village Shooting Gallery (past): Ricky
- else: Moosh

Oracle of Seasons
- buy shop in Horon Village shop: Moosh
- win flute in Subrosian Dance Hall: Dimitri
- else: Ricky

I clearly remember that I started with Ages on my first playthrough and I didn't do anything, so I got Moosh. I was pretty pissed about this, because Moosh is my least favorite of the three. Remember that this choice only works in a new game or in a freshly started Hero's Quest. In a linked game (or a linked Hero's Quest) you will always get the animal, which you already had in the first game.

"What are their differences?" - Each animal got their own set of abilities. Ricky can strike enemies with powerful boxing moves, additionally you can charge a punch and throw a tornado, which even destroys bushes (behind gaps). It's also the only animal with distance attacks. So, he's very powerful in fighting enemies, but on the other side his abilities to cross environments aren't too impressive. He can only jump over small gaps (like Link using the Roc's Feather) and he can jump up ledges.

Moosh on the other hand can fly for a while and that way you can cross even larger gaps. However, he can't attack enemies directly, instead he will just smash enemies with a ground pound by letting himself fall and leaving himself vulnerable to other attacks afterwards.

Dimitri is the only animal buddy, who can swim, which makes him a good choice in Oracle of Ages, where a large parts of the overworld is ocean. And he even can swim up waterfalls, which is quite crazy. He eats his enemies and you can also carry him around with the Power Bracelet. That way you can throw him over gaps, which might be necessary, since he is the only animal buddy, who can't jump or fly. He's also quite slow on land, slower than walking, so you wouldn't want to use him on land all that much.

However, it's not only about which animal you would prefer. Your choice directly alters one area in the game, which will be designed specifically for your pet's abilities. If you select Ricky, you will get a prairie. If you select Moosh, you will get a wasteland full of holes. And if you select Dimitri, the area will turn into a river. The following images show how the areas will look like.

Oracle of Ages:



Oracle of Seasons:




So, this is all the information you'll need, what's left is just my personal opinion. I overall prefer Ricky, he is fast and fun, but he's also the only one, who has good attacks. The attacks of Dimitri and Moosh always get you too close to your enemies and you might get hurt if you miss. That's especially a problem with Moosh, because the wastelands are usually full of Leevers, his natural enemy. You smash on the ground killing some Leevers, but then other ones appear right beneath you hurting you quite a bit. Also, getting over the gaps isn't always as easy as you think. I lost a lot of health trying to get to the Sunken City with Moosh. While I lost no health at all by riding Ricky through the nice Natzu Prairie. Dimitri might be my second choice, especially in Oracle of Ages, where a good part of the overworld is made of seas. But Moosh is the worst, hands down.

This ranking is the same for the environments. The prairie just looks nice, it reminds me of the wonderful Ukuku Prairie in Link's Awakening, I like it. The river world is okay, though we didn't exactly need any more water areas and it also looks a little bit empty (at least on the above pictures, which are lacking all the enemies). But the wasteland just looks aweful. So, if I get to choose how one part of the overworld will look like, I vote for the grassy fields!

However, in order to experience all dungeons and scenes and to get all 64 rings, you have to play through both games at least twice. So, it's naturally a good idea to try out a different animal on your second playthrough. I even played through the games a third and final time to have one savegame for each animal.

(As a sidenote, this it not the only choice made in the games besides the obvious choice of what game to play first. But you can also influence the development of Bipin and Blossom's son, who can turn into four different personalities from Hero to Slacker. There's a FAQ at GameFAQs, which covers it all up, if you're interested in this as well.)

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With the 25th Anniversary of the Zelda franchise going on and the Oracle games celebrating their 10th birthday this year, there is a fair chance, that they will follow Link's Awakening onto the 3DS Virtual Console later this year. And if you pick them up again, I hope this post will be helpful for you.

All information taken from: Zelda Wiki

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