Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hyrule Warriors Legends: Termina Map Impressions

Just in time. Before tomorrow's release of the Link's Awakening DLC Pack, I'm almost done with the current Adventure Mode. I've just finished the Termina Map and got all Heart Containers, Heart Pieces, Level 4 Weapons, costumes and fairy clothing, which can be found there. Like with the Twilight Map there are still some of the 2nd Skulltulas missing, but I will hunt these now, while breaking the 2nd seal on the Master Sword, which now is possible after collecting all rank 4 weapons. However, it's probably best to wait for tomorrow's update for this, so Link can also gain more Experience after the raised the level cap. Killing three birds with one stone so to say.

I didn't play the Termina Map right after the Twilight Map, instead I focused on cleaning up some of the remaining things and powering my characters up. So, this was my checklist before approaching the Termina Map:

  • Got all hearts on the Adventure Map.
  • Got all hearts on the Master Quest Map.
  • Got all Hard Skulltulas in Legend Mode.
  • Got Medli's Level 4 weapon.
  • Got every character at least to Level 66.

As soon as I collect all the Skulltulas and clear the Rewards Map, I will have replayed all of the Wii U's content in Legends, so from this point on I can focus on character grinding, the DLC and maybe some other games for a change.

Replaying the Termina Map wasn't that much fun, though. Generally I like, how the map has a clear course that follows the path through the original Majora's Mask. You basically go for the masks and temples in order (the only weird exception would be Woodfall, where you need the Goron Mask) and you have to plan strategically on what to do next. But it's not stressful, because the 72 missions are more than enough to get to the Moon and defeat the Dark Ruler, while also grinding some item cards at the side.

But the item cards on the Termina Map are very annoying, constantly blocking you with everything. The three transformation masks and the Deku Stick are often required to continue. And nearly all the rewards are locked behind either Bombs or Ice Arrows. Half of the item cards have some other effects, where I'm personally not a fan of the Mask or Truth and Majora's Mask cards, because their effects should have been potion mixtures, or My Fairy Rental Skills or both. Especially the Mask of Truth, which boosts your defense for three minutes, doesn't make any sense at all, because the mask should have been used on Gossip Stones to unlock rewards. Only having Bombs and Ice Arrows for unlocking rewards gets stale very quickly, because you keep playing the same missions over and over again just to get more Item Cards.

And the selection of quick missions is quite bad. Many battles are "competitions", which was the cool new feature of the Majora's Mask Pack in its day. I always thought that this would have been better against actual players in a multiplayer mode, because fighting the AI isn't much fun. You have to fight over K.O.s or Rupees and there's often a fixed time limit for that, so you can't just replay them quickly, you have to wait out the 6 to 10 minutes. While the Twilight Map also kept asking for Item Cards, at least there you have some more variety and most of the challenge battles could be done quickly. And the double drops made it all feel more rewarding.

The Termina Map gives you double weapons instead, so you get up to six weapons per battle. Usually that's all just junk, but selling lots and lots of weapons all the time does raise your Rupee counter quite fast.

But overall the Termina Map is certainly the most rewarding one. It alone offers the biggest selection of individual costumes in the game. You can find all five Ocarina of Time costumes (Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, Impa and Sheik), Link's Fierce Deity costume, Lana's Skull Kid costume and all the different mask costumes (15 in total). But still it would have been awesome, if they had added some more mask costumes for the new characters as well, for example a Skull Mask / Ocarina of Time version of Skull Kid would have been amazing.

And for a potential Hyrule Warriors 2 something like masks should be implemented as "hats" instead of just placing one accessory on the default skin. I want to use the Bunny Ears on Cia and Lana as well, for example. Of course some of the masks are really tailored towards the specific characters, e.g. Kamaro's Mask for Ghirahim, but it does make sense that each character should have his individual list of headgear. Take Cia for example, nearly all her costumes come in three variants changing the head - the Majora's Mask mask would then simply be a fourth variant that could be used in combination with all her color costumes. Just a thought.

To get all the stuff I had to use Double Bombos all of the time. I usually prefer Shade, but everything on the Termina Map felt quite tanky, even if you had the elemental advantage. I remember that on the Wii U it was only the giant bosses that had lots and lots health in Termina Map missions. Taking one down could take a significant amount of time. On the 3DS it never gets that bad, but everything can take quite some punches. It may be that the whole map is scaled towards Level 99 already and that my characters on Level 66 were still too weak, but Bombos always did the trick. It's just annoying that you really feel reliant on it and sometimes it gets frustrating, because you can't find any magic. It depends on luck really, you can cut all the grass and find nothing or get three small Magic Vials right away.

And inside the competitions you have to be very careful, because there are lots of (dark) enemies in Super Saiyajin God Mode around, who not only can take it, but also can dish it out fiercely. It never gets as bad as on the Wii U, where a single hit can cost you the A rank and where I constantly had to abuse the Item Power-Up Mixture to stay safe, but that's mostly because you can use fairies. It's fun to replay these missions, when you don't really have to care about the damage and can just go all out on multiple overpowered characters at once, but as long as the A rank is still on the table, you might want to prepare some curse words.

Also, there's some irony in the fact that this Adventure Map has actual Owl Statues on it, but rarely ever on its stages. And often you only get to use a single character this time, so there's some running around involved, which gets especially annoying with Skulltulas popping up or your base falling in danger... on the other end of the map! I seriously hope that all the upcoming DLC makes good use of Owl Statues. Why did they even bother with adding the Ocarina item, if they rarely ever let you make use of it?

The fairy items were a nice surprise, though. The Bunny Heads are lovely, where I wish you had them for all elements. And there's this amazing Happiness Dress, though it's an issue that full body costumes take away one cost reduction. You really want the Fairy Magic to only cost 3/5 of the Magic Bar, so all dresses are essentially useless for now. I hope that they might fix this in an update, because the Happiness Dress would look great on my Hylia.

The Fire Fairy on the Termina Map also looks cool, which I added to my collection of fairy companions:

  • Navi - Light Adventure
  • Taya - Darkness Twilight
  • Tael - Darkness Great Sea
  • Leaf - Fire Termina
  • Neri - Water Termina

I will add a "Ciela" Lightning fairy, as soon as one more fairy slot gets available. I don't have any intentions on building these additional fairies yet, because I mostly resort to my five established "goddess fairies" with double magic effects and useful Rental Skills, such as Water Wall or Repair Technician.

The most interesting part about the fairy stuff on the Termina Map was the food, however, where they used the five Magic Seeds from Oracle of Ages & Seasons, one for each element. So far that's the only reference to the Oracle games inside Hyrule Warriors and they completely renewed the designs, but it still shows that Koei Tecmo might be willing to consider content from the Capcom Zelda games in the future. We'll see.

Anyway, that's it for the Termina Map. Six Adventures Maps completed in total, three more to come. I've invested 260 hours into the game so far, which isn't half of the time that sunk into the Wii U version, which has less content. Less grinding and Fairy Magic make it possible.

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