Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Getting all 64 Rings (Again)

As I told you earlier, I was replaying both the Oracle of Ages & Seasons at the same time. I used the same Hero's Secret to start a new game in both games. This allowed sharing the rings, even though both games weren't really linked, storywise. I regularly switched between the games to transfer rings and basically played both games side by side, dungeon for dungeon (see this post for more details on how to do that).

It was a very cool experience, because you get to see how differently the games evolve and how they compare directly to each other. I would basically see how many items and hearts I got while being at the same point in the two games. For example in Ages you can get the L-2 sword right after Level 4, but the L-2 shield not until after Level 6. In Seasons you get both after Level 5. Or how the dungeons compare next to each other. The Sword & Shield Maze is a way more awesome eight dungeon than the Ancient Tomb, which felt somewhat bland compared to the later dungeons in both games.

Well, but comparing the games was not the point. This was done many times already and I love them equally. My big goal here was to get all 64 rings again from scratch. Something I haven't done in ten years. I had a complete ring collection on the GBC and after my original playthroughs I never bothered with collecting them again. Whenever I decided to replay the Oracle games, I simply used a pre-existing Hero's Secret together with a Ring Secret that gave me all 64 rings right from the start. It was lazy, but it felt great to start with all the useful rings like the Blue Ring.

But I was missing out. It's definitely one of the most interesting and challenging collectible sidequests in the Zelda series. I had a lot of fun doing this a second time. Because I didn't have all the good rings (like the Blue Ring) right from the start, I paid more attention to the rings, which I normally wouldn't use at all. And some can give you big advantages. Especially the Joy Rings, which give you double amounts of Rupees and items, pretty powerful. Normally I would just use the Blue Ring all the time and not bother with the other ones. But some effects are really interesting.

I haven't completed my collection yet. I'm at the end of both normal games and I'm down to the seven rings, that are exclusive to the Linked Games: Power Ring L-3, Armor Ring L-3, Heart Ring L-1, Aqua Ring, Ice Shoe Ring, Spin Ring and the Blue Joy Ring. Those you can only get in Linked games, with half of them being exlusive to a specific order. Right now I have finished both the unlinked games in Ages and Seasons and got all the 57 rings that you can get without linking the games. So, I'm past the worst.

And it was a fruitful experience. I finally got to study the true nature of how the random rings work in thins game (see my latest post). I could also update my Ring Guide on ZeldaEurope with some spots, which I had missed before.

If you know how the random system works, you can easily figure out the best spot(s) for getting a specific ring. So, collecting all random rings went sursprisingly well. I got all 31 random rings when I reached the end of the games without any extra farming, just by planting and harvesting Gasha trees between the dungeons. Compared to collecting all 64 Ship Parts in Phantom Hourglass, which can be a very tedious and repetitive task, this was rather enjoyable.

The only problem are the rings exclusive to minigames. Actually that's only two rings: the Light Ring L-2 from the Target Shooting game in Lynna Village and the Bomber's Ring for getting a perfect score in the Platinum level of the Goron Dance minigame. The latter used to be a pure nightmare on the GameBoy Color. It's THE definite main reason, why I never wanted to collect all 64 rings again. If you've ever played the Goron Dance minigame, you know what I'm talking about. Lots of people struggle with this game for getting the Mermaid Keys alone. The Platinum level is ten times worse. You have to beat eight rounds without making a single mistake and some of the "songs" are just ridiculous. I personally struggle with getting the long pauses right. And if you happen to beat it, it's not guaranteed that you receive the Bomber's Ring. You can also win a Protection Ring (which is plunder and basically just saying "screw you"). And the chance for the Protection Ring is slightly higher.


Surprisingly it went really, really smooth for me. On the 3DS (or any emulator) you can use Restore Points between the rounds. So, if you mess up, you would just reload. And I got the Bomber's Ring on my first try! I can't tell you how happy I was, I jumped in joy. It's probably the hardest to get ring and it went really smooth. The Light Ring L-2 was a different story, though. It's not hard to score 350 points in the Shooting Gallery, but you can win three other rings (Blue Holy Ring, Red Luck Ring & Octo-Ring - all plunder basically) and the probability for getting the Light Ring L-2 (which you can only get in this game) is really low. Below 5% definitely. I had to beat the game 30 times to finally get it. And I'm not the only one with this problem. Imagine collecting Wither Skeleton Skulls in Minecraft, but with a minigame instead of killing a skeleton. It's ridiculous, but I got it eventually.

The Restore Points also helps with the Piece of Heart from Maple. Just save before meeting her and in case, she drops it and you miss it, you can reload and try from a different angle. Restore Points definitely make the games a lot easier (and enjoyable). On the GameBoy Color/Advance you didn't have this luxury and some parts, especially the Goron Dance, could be really frustrating (I remember that I broke a table when I was furious about a part in Oracle of Ages :D).

The next step would be playing the Linked Games and collecting the seven missing rings there. But I'll save that for later, maybe next year, because replaying the games right after replaying them wouldn't be much fun. But I'm looking forward to both Hero's Caves, where you get the L-3 Power and Armor rings, especially the one in Ages - I haven't beaten that one in ages (pun intented). And the Aqua Ring might be a good challenge, because the minigame here was really hard and I haven't beaten it since my first time in 2001 or 2002. I can hardly remember it, besides the fact that it was really annoying. The other rings are basically free gifts though, nothing to miss.

So, yeah, did you ever try to get all 64 rings? How did it go? Tell me about it in the comments.

4 comments:

K2L said...

Unfortunately, I don't have a 3DS yet. =(

TourianTourist said...

That's your excuse? You don't need a 3DS to play these games.

wintercoast said...

Never found the Green Ring. This one always always bugged me, because it was completely random within a Gasha Tree or Maple, and I wanted it so badly but I could never find it.

TourianTourist said...

@wintercoast:

Check out my ring guides:
http://touriantourist.blogspot.de/2013/07/oracle-of-ages-seasons-ring-guide.html

There's only very few locations, where you can get the Green Ring. But if you use them, there's a good chance.