Sunday, October 2, 2011

Four Swords Anniversary Edition, Round 3: Hero's Rising

Zelda II is officially not the toughest challenge anymore, which the Zelda series has to offer. The Hero's Trial in Four Swords AE is the new king of the hill. But it shouldn't be proud, because all it does is abusing the game's mechanics to create cheap death traps. It's cheap, it's cruel, it's relentless and it's never ending (or at least feels like it at the moment). And it's our own fault. Zelda fans kept whining over the years how easy the new games were. And this is Nintendo's answer. "You want some challenge? How about this?"

All I played today for hours was the Hero's Trial. I've finally beaten the second door only to get my ass kicked again behind the third door. Well, you have to see what's coming and prepare yourself, if you get surprised all the time it doesn't help. Though the level of surprise gets lower. You know it won't stop until they at least spawned some Ball & Chain soldiers. It's actually surprising if not all hell breaks lose after stepping on a big switch.

I was really looking forward to the Hero's Trial, because I expected something like the Hero's Cave in the Oracle games. Some really good puzzles that can keep you trying and thinking for hours, some stuff where you have to show your skills and some badass fights. It should challenge you, but it also should be fun. The Hero's Trial, however, is just torture. I'm torturing myself with every second I spent in this dungeon. It's very repetitive, all you basically do is step on switches and expect to get swarmed by countless tough enemies. There's some platforming between the fights, but nothing exciting. The puzzles are no-brainers, if there are any. It's all about the aweful enemy combinations in the worst possible places.

Well, my second attempt on the second door went quite well until floor 3, the sky palace one. I died a couple of times during the first two floors, but I also collected 3000 Rupees. Door 3 then really tested my patience, I had to repeat it like five or six times until I finally got to beat it. Luckily there's the new Retry function that let's you reset a floor. Otherwise I probably would have gone crazy already. What gave me huge trouble were dozens of skeletons throwing bones at you while you navigate platforms and try not to get thrown into the pits by air currents and to dodge Spiny Beetles. At the end of the stage naturally they had to spawn two Ball & Chain Troopers and several Fire Wizzrobes on a small platform over the air. Everything else would have been ridiculous. Interestingly there seems to be a swarm of fairies like in the credits at the end of each door. Imagine that you get killed at the end, because one of the these faires pushed you into the abyss. I would have gone so mad...

Door 3 takes place at ... surprise, surprise... Death Mountain. The first floor focuses more on platforming, which was a nice diversity. And the second floor is actually the first non-linear dungeon design that Grezzo offered so far. There's a large room with a lot of fumaroles and locked doors. There spawns a key in the center each time after completing a section. It's not the most innovative non-linear design, but it's better than everything the new stages offered so far. Well, I was careless, died a lot and Ball & Chain soldiers killed me at the end. I will try again tomorrow and hopefully close this insane chapter of Zelda.

But I've heard that the Hurricane Spin Attack makes the Hero's Trial very easy. Just keep spamming the Hurricane Attack. Well, it was basically the same in The Minish Cap. Nothing could stop you after you got the Great Spin Attack. The Dungeon Simulator minigame also played with insane enemy combinations, but the Great Spin Attack made everything easy. So, I'm looking forward to abuse the Hurricane while replaying parts of the Hero's Trial. All those Darknuts, Ball & Chain Soldiers, Gibdos and Wizzrobes are going to get their asses kicked! Look forward to my revenge, game.

I also replayed the A Link to the Past level in the Realm of Memories. It's not as fun as the Link's Awakening stage though. If I had to rank them, I would say Link's Awakening is the best, A Link to the Past second and the NES Zelda stage third. This one I haven't even replayed yet.


Anonymous said...

how do i get the hero's quest???

Anonymous said...

and how in da world do i get da spin attack

linkin' zeldaman said...

well excuuuuuusse me,princess