Friday, June 28, 2013

The Myth of the L-3 Power and Armor Rings

The Power Ring L-3 and the Armor Ring L-3 were always perceived as the most powerful rings in Oracle of Ages & Seasons. You have to go through great hardships to find these rings. They can only be obtained in a Linked Game, where you have to beat the Hero's Caves, which are probably the most difficult dungeons in the games. And both of these rings come with a terrible price.

They must be great, right?

No, no, it's all lies. You've been deceived by all those little up and down arrows. Both of these rings rarely even scratch the effects of the Red and Blue Rings, which are easier to get and don't have any disadvantages.

WHATZITUYA from GameFAQs and I did some testing to figure out, how those rings actually work. For reference you need to know the power levels of your weapons:

  • Fists: 1 damage
  • Wooden Sword: 2 damage
  • Noble Sword: 3 damage
  • Master Sword: 5 damage
  • Biggoron's Sword: 5 damage

Now, let's take a look at what the Power Rings and Armor Rings actually do:

  • Power Ring L-1: +1 Sword Damage,
    but it adds 1/4 heart of damage to every received hit
  • Power Ring L-1: +2 Sword Damage,
    but it adds 1/2 heart of damage to every received hit
  • Power Ring L-3: +3 Sword Damage,
    but it adds one heart of damage to every received hit

  • Armor Ring L-1: -1 Sword Damage,
    but it subtracts 1/4 heart of damage from every second received hit
  • Armor Ring L-2: -1 Sword Damage,
    but it subtracts 1/4 heart of damage from every received hit
  • Armor Ring L-3: -1 Sword Damage,
    but it alternately subtracts 1/2 heart or 1/4 of damage from received hits

No, it's not a mistake, that all the Armor Rings only reduce the Sword damage by 1 in contrary to the ingame description. But that doesn't prevent them from being useless though. Now compare this to the Red and Blue Rings:

  • Red Ring: Sword Damage x2
  • Blue Ring: Damage taken 1/2

The math is very simple. With the Red Ring and the Master Sword you cause 10 damage. With the Power Ring L-3 it's only 8 damage. Only when you use the Wooden Sword, there's some actual advantage. But this doesn't even take the one heart of extra damage that you get from every tiny scratch into account.

With the Blue Ring all received damage gets halved. If an enemy deals four hearts of damage, you will only lose two hearts. With the Armor Ring L-3 you will lose 3.5 or 3.75 hearts. Only when you receive 1/2 heart of damage it actually makes a difference from the Blue Ring. And again this doesn't take into account that it weakens your sword.

So, yeah, do not use the Power Ring L-3 or the Armor Ring L-3. They are deceptions and nothing else.

The Double Edged Ring is very interesting by the way. It increases your sword damage by 8, so the Master Sword deals 13 damage. You will take one heart damage with every strike, which renders this ring useless on small enemies, but on bosses it can be absolutely devastating.

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