Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Four Swords Anniversary Edition, Final Round

100%. Like in the original game you get a nice golden Four Sword icon on your save file if you've beaten Vaati's Palace using the Hero Keys. I don't know if you also have to beat the Hero's Trial to get the icon, but I guess not.

First of all, I want to say that the new total Rupee counter is a nice thing. Not only is this a good alternative way of unlocking the Hero's Trial (normally you would have to collect 5 Medals of Courage to unlock it, which isn't possible in singleplayer), it also ensures that beating a stage is never for nothing. For example if you try to get a Hero Key, but weren't able to collect 5000 Rupees, the Rupees at least get added to your highscore. Or simply replaying a level also adds to the score, which adds a little bit to the replay value. I already got over 130,000 Rupees by now and this score will be growing. But it's a shame that the Hero's Trial is the only thing that gets unlocked by the Rupee highscore. They could have added some other extras.

Now let's talk about the interesting part: how to farm Rupees. Without Rupee Fever it is impossible to get 5000 Rupees in a normal stage, so all you can do in singleplayer is farming Rupees by slaying the respawning monsters. Preferably monster that drop those large Rupees worth 50, 100 and sometimes even 200 Rupees. Those are Bow Moblins, Spear Moblins, all types of Wizzrobes, Gibdos and Darknuts. Not the nicest selection, I know. The easiest to kill are Gibdos and Bow Moblins, so aim for those. Spear Moblins have better defense and offense than their bow brothers and can hurt you quite badly. Wizzrobes can be annoying and cast fire or ice on you, both aweful stuff. Well and Darknuts usually disappear before you can defeat them. And they are super rare. So, the best options are Bow Moblins and Gibdos.

The first stage, where I got a Hero's Key, was surprisingly Death Mountain. That was the stage that always came last when we played the GameBoy Advance version. First I tried farming with Fire Wizzrobes, which was a terrible idea. So, I headed on and the next floor turned out to be the ideal farming spot. It started with a minecart and Boomerang pedestals. Take those Boomerangs and head on. There will be an area, where only Gibdo spawn. Stun them with the Boomerang and kill them for lots of easy money. I also got two Razor Seeds, which fastened the process.

At the Sea of Trees search for Bow Moblins, because they are easy to defeat. I used the area, where the entire floor is surrounded by a ledge with lots of grass and treasure chests on it. You start in the Northwest, right near the goal, next to some Pegasus Shoes. In the northern lower area the Bow Moblins would spawn. This place was ideal, because there were plenty of grass to heal yourself. Not that the Bow Moblins made any real damage...

I guess you could look for Gibos in Talus Cave, but I found a nice spot, where farming with Wizzrobes actually works great. It's a small room north of the goal with normal Wizzrobes (red ones that shoot beams instead of fire) and these weird floor tiles that only one Link can see. There are four pathways made of these tiles leading to treasure chests and one is nearly completely surrounded by blocks. Stay there, the blocks will keep you safe from the Wizzrobe fire. As soon as one Wizzrobe spawns on the pathway I attacked him with the Hurricane Spin Attack. This is probably the safest way of using Wizzrobes to farm Rupees. Worked fine for me and I hate Wizzrobes. UPDATE: I found another nice spot to farm Rupees in Talus Cave using Bow Moblins. It's a spot, where the goal is on higher grounds surrounded by bushes. At the west side Bow Moblins will spawn.

There are some other details, which I have noticed. Rupee Wraiths were dumbed bown big time. They only steal three Rupees from you and then vanish, you can entirely ingore them. They might take more, if you happen to run into more than one Rupee Wraith on the same floor, but overall they are not as annoying as in the multiplayer. This is understandable, because they are a pure multiplayer element. It's about passing the Rupee Wraith to another player, so that he is busy losing Rupees instead of you. There's no point in having Rupee Wraiths in singleplayer, but at least they got a small appearance. In multiplayer I would use them to double the amount of Rupees I lose by recollecting them during Rupee Fever. That way a Ruppe Wraith actually turned out to be useful. However, there is no Rupee Fever in singleplayer and you can't use this technique. So, it's good that they didn't make the Rupee Wraiths stop you.

And Rupee Shards are definitely too rare. In most cases I couldn't get a full set. They should have made sure, that you get a number that is divisible by four in a stage setup. Or at least four shards per stage. It's stupid that you can only find three Rupee Shards during one stage, even if you turn every stone and cut every single straw of grass. I sometimes have the feeling that they replaced the Rupee Shards with fairies. There are so many fairies hidden in singleplayer (at least in the normal stages, in the Hero's Trial you're lucky if you find a single heart), it's excessive and absolutely unneeded. There were never so many faires, when we played the multiplayer on the GBA. But there were lots of Rupee Shards hidden under grass and rocks.

There's also a nice easter egg. When you replay one of the three key stages, the Great Fairy at the end will be replaced with a Great Fairy from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask in all her glory. I don't think this was the case in the GBA version and although I actually prefer the Great Fairy design of Four Swords and The Minish Cap, it's nice to see that something from the N64 Zeldas made it into the Anniversary game.

So, that's about it. Another Zelda game completed 100%. Only Ocarina of Time 3D missing. And Skyward Sword. I had a lot of fun and trouble with this game and I will definitely return to it regularily to replay some levels. It's perfect to satisfy a small Zelda hunger. Expect a detailed review of the Four Swords Anniversary Edition soon here on Hyrule Blog! Unlike other sites I only review a game after fully beating it. Some sites didn't even know about the Hero's Trial...

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