Monday, June 20, 2011

Master Questing

So, I was playing Master Quest the other day... you know, the "original" version for Gamecube, the one which isn't mirrored and doesn't deal double damage. I don't have a Nintendo 3DS yet to play the new version, so that's fine. And I didn't finish the game, nor did I start it. I just picked up some older savegame to re-experience some of the Master Quest dungeons and to get a final impression of how Ocarina of Time used to look like, before I get my hands on the fancy new 3DS version. That way I will appreciate the graphics even more, after all the updated graphics seem to be the most important feature of the remake.

So, why am I telling you all this? Well, I was experimenting with the game's flow al little bit to see what level of freedom you have in the Master Quest version, which is different from Ocarina of Time, but still offers some interesting choices. Non-linearity and freedom make replaying a game always much more interesting. You try beating dungeons out of order, which is fun. And only a few people notice this, but Ocarina of Time is actually the most non-linear Zelda game right after Zelda I. The child part is pretty straight forward and after that most players tend to follow Navi's guidance, so they never noticed, that the adult part of the game is very non-linear. Okay, most people notice, that you can switch between Shadow and Spirit Temple. There's no Zelda board out there, which doesn't feature a "which comes first? - Spirit or Shadow Temple?"-thread, because Nintendo decided to put the Shadow Medaillon next to the Light Medaillon, probably just because it looks more meaningful. But this led to much discussion, whether the Spirit Temple comes before the Shadow Temple or not, even though the Shadow Temple comes first in all official and ingame guides...

But this is not the end of the flagpole. In both version you can play the Ice Cavern at the beginning, so you get the Iron Boots and Zora Armor early. In both version you can play the Bottom of the Well at any point after the Forst Temple until you really need the Lens of Truth. In the original game you can play the Fire Temple before the Forest Temple or the Water Temple before the Fire Temple (but I believe you need the Bow in the Water Temple). This is not the case in Master Quest, because you need the Bow in the Fire Temple. But you don't need it in the Water Temple, so this time you can play this one at the beginning.

And this is what I did. I played Ice Cavern, then I've beaten the Water Temple, then I played the Forest Temple, so I could return to the past and enter the Bottom of the Well, because I wanted to go to the Spirit Temple next. Okay, very experienced players are able to cross the desert without the Lens of Truth, but I'm not good at that. Then I've got both the Silver Gauntlets and the Mirror Shield from the Spirit Temple, but I couldn't finish it, because you need the Megaton Hammer for two rusty switches. Luckily you the the Hammer right at the beginning of the Fire Temple and entering the Fire Temple with the Mirror Shield equipped looks really cool.

Experimenting with the order of the dungeons and items like that is not only fun, but it also might be a huge help in the new version of Master Quest on the 3DS, where you have to face double damage. Especially receiving eight hearts damage from the Iron Knuckles must be a pain. So, try to get certain items earlier to receive an advantage. For example the Longshot makes playing the Forest Temple much more comfortable. You don't have to go far into the Water Temple, because you get the Longshot right at the start. So, you don't have to face Dark Link without the Hammer, which can be a little bit more difficult (or wastes tons of magic), if you don't want to. And if you go to the Desert Colossus early, you get Nayru's Love early, which might be a huge help for fighting Iron Knuckles, if you're not good at fighting them. You can get Nayru's Love even before facing the first Iron Knuckle in the Fire Temple. So, if you're stuck in Master Quest 3D, try going to different places and get useful stuff in advance.

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