Saturday, September 19, 2009

BS Zelda Tour: Map Two

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the second part of my BS Zelda special. Four months after the broadcast of the first BS Zelda game, Nintendo broadcasted a second map in the same style for everyone, who missed the first event. You can compare this to the 2nd Quest of The Legend of Zelda, but there are two major differences. The difficulty level is still the same, it's not as insanely hard as the original 2nd Quest and you can still manage to beat the game in four hours. And more importantly, they altered the overworld. The first area looks very different and is much wider and all the other areas are changed accordingly. The following image shows both maps in comparison.

While they changed the map, the overall course through the game and the time of the special events stayed the same. Progressing through the world works exactly like in the first map, you can't leave the first area without the Blue Candle, you can't make the trip to Death Mountain in the second episode and so on. While the dungeons are different, they offer the same items and bosses. The shapes of the dungeons form letters again and spell the word "Nintendo":

Episode 1
  • Broadcasted on December 30th, 1995
  • New Items: Wooden Sword, Bombs, Bow, Wooden Boomerang, Wooden Arrow, Magic Shield, Letter, Blue & Red Potion, Extra Heart Container x 1
  • Level 1: Aquamentus, Level 2: Dodongo
This time I decided to play with the girl. She makes different noises, when she gets hit, but the gameplay is the same. The first dungeon is still located on the eastern island of the lake, but instead of a wooden bridge from the east you reach the dungeon from a stone bridge in the south. The first dungeon is shaped like an N, actually there are three dungeons shaped that way, since Nintendo is spelled with three Ns. However, you have to make quite a detour in this dungeon just to get the Bow. But after beating the two dungeons you will have about half an hour left, which is enough time to collect lots of rupees for the Blue Candle and the Blue Ring at the start of the second episode. There's a special event, where all enemies drop either Fairies or blue Rupees (which are worth five rupees), which helps a lot to collect a big amount.

Episode 2
  • Broadcasted on January 1st, 1996
  • New Items: Blue Candle, Blue Ring, Food, Magic Boomerang, Raft, Ocarina, White Sword, Extra Heart Container x 1, Bomb Holder Bag Upgrade
  • Level 3: Manhandla, Level 4: Digdogger
Level 3 is another N shaped dungeon and you have to make a little detour, if you want to get the Magic Boomerang. I had some problems with my ROM at the end of the second episode, it froze or glitched every time, when I wanted to proceed to the next episode. Which is why I had to use cheats manipulating the clock in order to proceed through the game from now on.

Episode 3
  • Broadcasted on January 3rd, 1996
  • New Items: Stepladder, Magic Wand, Extra Heart Container x 3, Bomb Holder Bag Upgrade
  • Level 5: Patra, Level 6: Gohma
In Level 5 at the latest you will notice, that they recycled the dungeons from the first map quite a lot. The global shape of the dungeons might be different, but they reused the exact same sets of rooms and just put them in a different order. Especially Level 5 felt like a rip-off, because it shared very similar structures with Level 5 from the first map. However, considering that only a few people were going to play these games, it's surprising that they didn't just use the old dungeons or re-use Map 1 alltogether.

Episode 4
  • Broadcasted on January 5th, 1996
  • New Items: Power Bracelet, Red Candle, Magic Book, Silver Arrow, Magic Sword, Red Ring
  • Level 7: Aquamentus, Level 8: Blue Gohmas
Level 8 offers pretty much the most awesome dungeon start in the entire Zelda series. Like in Map 1 the Silver Arrow is hidden in the entrance room and the Magic Book is just one room away. At the end of dungeon you have the same boss chain like in the Map 1 version, three Dodongos, a stronger Aquamentus, a blue Manhandla and two blue Gohmas. But this time I already had the Magic Sword, because I played Level 8 at the end, which made this tour much more relaxing.

A nice detail is, that the BS Zelda games offer an objective screen. Pushing Select opens a screen similar to the menu, but it shows all the items, that you can get during the new episode. This is quite helpful. Talking about helpful, by pressing L and R you can cycle through the secondary items for the B button without calling the Start menu. Another interesting fact is, that while you have Patra as a dungeon boss, you don't meet Gleeock in both maps. Also, there's no Magic Key in the games, but you can buy keys in shops and use keys from one dungeon in another, though both of this isn't necessary.

As for a possible Virtual Console port it would make sense to bundle this map together with the first map as one game. Both should come together as a First and Second Quest. That way the game would offer enough content for about eight hours, which isn't bad.


The next and final part will deal with Ancient Stone Tablets. I'm really looking forward to this, because I'm in the mood for some A Link to the Past style action.

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