Many SPOILERS are contained throughout these posts. You have been warned!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ganon plays Phantom Hourglass - Part 2

Well I guess I'd better go along with Linebeck on his ship before he becomes the main character or something...

Seems that he's going to be Link's travel companion this time around. A worthy successor to the great talking dragon boat!

Linebeck: Well, look who's gracing our presence! It's old man Oshus!

Oshus: The bridge has been fixed, so I thought I'd check up on the youngsters here... You're an amazing lad to emerge alive from the temple, Link! Very courageous for one so early in his years...

Linebeck: You sent me into that treacherous temple too, you old barnacle!

Oshus: Any who enter the temple unprepared will find it a terrifying ordeal... And most would lose heart and flee for their lives upon hearing me say it. But evidently, there are true heroes among us...

Linebeck: Preen my feathers a little more, old man! Yep, I'm famous, all right!

Oshus: Not you, fool! You're a wreck! You'd be sunk by now if our young friend here hadn't shown up!

Linebeck: I was injured! On a typical day, I blaze through one or two such temples...before breakfast!

Oshus: Calm yourself, Linebeck, and tell me what you've made of the temple's map.

Linebeck: I've inspected it fully. My trained eye finds that it holds no secrets at all! But wait, old man! What do you know of this map?

Oshus: Hohoho... Has the map's puzzle eluded you, Linebeck? If I may see the map...
A standard map would simply show you where to go, would it not?

It's a scratch and win map! Touch the right spot and win the ability to move on to the next level!

Oshus: A fortune-teller named Astrid lives there, and she sees far, Link. So you should ask Astrid if she can see where the Ghost Ship might be!

Linebeck: Isle of Ember, eh? I always suspected there might be something there. So it's as simple as sailing there and finding Astrid? So we're off to the Isle of Ember, then!

Oshus: Ciela, I'd like you to go with Link. You'll be essential to his efforts, I'm sure! And by seeing the outside world, you might just find your lost memories!

Ciela: Will do! Happy to help! Sorry that we have to pal around with Linebeck, though. Still, I'm glad to sail the seas and see the world!

Linebeck: What?! Don't tell me that I have to haul around that twinkly bit of fluff too?! Bah, fine then.

Ah, back to adventure! That little island was so cramped, finally we get to head back out to the open seas! Oh look, another Beedle shop ship. It looks like there's tons of ship parts you can collect, but the main things that are worth getting are the these Power Gems, Wisdom Gems, and Courage Gems. Of course, look out for heart containers in shops too.

The gameplay here just consists of drawing a path to the next destination, and then... waiting. That's it. I suppose later on we'll get a cannon to shoot stuff with. How exciting.

There's very little freedom with Linebeck's steamboat, it's basically just a long loading screen. It's nothing compared WW's sailing.

At least the music is nice...

Okay so I got Isle of Ember, into the fortune teller's house. There's a bunch of octoroks inside. They actually take two hits to kill, wow they might almost be a threat if I hadn't bought that shield earlier... Astrid seems to be behind this locked door, I have to yell out into the microphone to get her attention.

Astrid: Who... Who's there? Are the monsters gone? Get me out of here!!

Ciela: It's safe out here! Who are you...the fortune-teller, Astrid?

Astrid: Yes, that's right... My name is Astrid...

I was sealed in here to hide from the monsters... I didn't foresee one thing...

I can't open the door from the inside!!

She tells me "somehow that map hanging beside the door is the key to opening the door. Only my assistant Kayo knows the secret of it." I have to go and find this Kayo to free Astrid... Okay, makes no sense at all but it gives me an excuse to explore.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot
Wow... is that supposed to be a volcano? Talk about bland graphics.

An empty house has this message written:
If you're reading my words, it means that I have fallen to fate... So look east to pick up the torch and take up my duty. -Kayo

So I head to the east and find this guy's skeleton. A ghost comes out and talks to me...

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot
Ciela: Aaah! It's a ghost! Get him, Link!

Kayo: Aaah?! Wait! Give me some warning before you come at me! I must look really bad! But, I swear! I'm not a bad ghost...

Ciela: Well, to be honest, he doesn't really look like an EVIL ghost...

Kayo: My name is Kayo... I used to work for Astrid, the fortune-teller...

Ciela: What happened to you... you poor thing...

Kayo: If you believe in fate... then it's not so bad. I do feel much lighter! Of graver concern, though, is what's happened to Astrid... It haunts me!

Ciela: We just saw Astrid! She asked us to open the door that locks her in!

Kayo: Astrid? We came to this island to find her! Do you know where she is?

Wh-what? So Miss Astrid is all right?

Well then, please open the door for me! I'll tell you the secret... The three torches on this island are the key to understanding... Keep that in mind, and you may be able to open the door...

I found the 3 torches, let Astrid out and asked her about the Ghost Ship.

Astrid: Is that so... The Ghost Ship came to our island a few days ago. That's why I was hidden away, to escape its ruinous reach. Speaking of which... I haven't seen Kayo since then...

Ciela: Astrid, about that... Well, Kayo, he's...

Astrid: ...I see. I sensed it... Just as I foresaw... But... It was destiny...

Shall I tell your fortune? If any others are with you, please bring them along with you to my chambers. Assemble yourselves, and I will join you after I make preparations...

Linebeck: Confound it! You'd think that someone who sees the future would be on time! Where is Astrid?! Let's get our fortunes told and be done with it!

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot
Astrid: Greetings. Now, if everyone is here...we can begin.

Open my eyes to the future. A sinister darkness ... the mighty sea ... and
the voice of sacred light ... I see it! I shall speak! Listen with your
hearts! If you really want to find the Ghost Ship, you must be ready to clash
with the very darkness itself!

Gosh, what an eerie fortune!

Ha! Whatever this sinister darkness is has nothing on me.

I'm the goddamn king of darkness!

Astrid: Knowing that, do you still want to rescue Tetra?

Oh, very nice. The honesty in your eyes is crystal clear. Now make haste to the Temple of Fire on the summit of this island. There you must defeat the power of darkness that haunts that place. You will then find what you need to open the path that lies ahead of you...

You have it within you to alter our doomed course of events, Link. But the light that seeks your help is growing faint. Please hurry.

Linebeck: Power of darkness, eh... Hey, kid! I, uhh...just remembered I have to go polish the, uh... ship's rudder. Later, kid!

I see that courage is not this man's forte... Link will get to the bottom of this mysterious darkness!

Am I the only one who's lost here? What does the darkness in this temple have to do with finding the ghost ship? I'm okay with leaving this place and going off somewhere else to look for it. Seriously the story is being incredibly vague.

Whatever, let's just beat this Temple of Fire.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot
The first real dungeon of the game.

Yeah. It's inside a badly designed volcano. The inside doesn't look any better.

And look, you get a complete detailed map of the dungeon as soon as you enter! It even goes so far as to point out all of the obstacles and locked doors. You practically have no reason at all to even look at the bottom screen.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

Unless some enemies appear...

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

After that you get the key to move onto a room with trap doors. A sign tells you the safe path you can take, and tells you to write it directly on the map. No memorization required.

It's like this game was made for people who have never played a Zelda game before.

Using the sword spin on 4 switches opens the path to the 2nd floor.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

Gah! a bunch of electrified chuchus keep popping up everywhere, and I can't fight them! Down to half a heart... and now I'm at a monster room but luckily it's just little green blobs that don't even hurt you...

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

Yes! Fuahahaha take that you stupid electric things!

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

OMG I have to hit these 2 switches with the boomerang while being shot at by torches! Intense!

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

This boomerang is freaking awesome!


Uh... I mean... booo this game is so bad, I hate it!

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

Okay I have to admit for a first dungeon this is pretty good. Now I'm fighting these flying skulls... dodging more fire obstacles, and now flame keese are getting in my way... with only 3 hearts I'm constantly looking for health...

Now, what the hell is up with these statues that are all over the place? I guess instead of giving you a compass that shows the locations of treasures on the map, you have to talk to these things and pay them 20 rupees to mark the location of a treasure on the map... well whatever, it's not like any of these treasures are easy to miss...

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

The key for this door isn't in a treasure, but a rat has it. Now that I have the boomerang I can take the key from it easily.

Now I'm on the... 3rd floor? How tall is this place? From the outside it just looked like a raised piece of land.

There's some more trivial non-memorization puzzles on this floor... I have to hit the 4 crystal switches in a specific order.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot
Here's the ominous boss door... wonder what we'll see behind it.

First there's another trivial puzzle of lighting the torches, the boss key is in plain sight... oh and I have to carry the big key back. For some reason I can't just put it away in my invisible inventory like every other Zelda item.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

Hmm, apparently this temple is meant to protect the Spirit of Power. Could this spirit help in our objective to find the ghost ship? Perhaps that's why Astrid sent us here.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

Blaaz: Master of Fire... Typical first boss. Just gotta whack him with your sword when he's whole, and boomerang all 3 of him when he's split apart. What a pansy. If I were there I'd provide Link with a way cooler first boss! Something like... a giant armored centipede!

There, defeated. Now blow up and drop a heart container!

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

What's this...? He's dissolving into sand?

The symbol for power? Of course... Ganon, how did you not recognize that?

Obviously I recognized from the start that was the symbol for power. What do you take me for? I had the triforce of power for hundreds of years you know.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

Leaf: I am Leaf, Spirit of Power! I serve the Ocean King. I owe you thanks for defeating that evil wizard. You broke the seal, so now I'm free!

Ciela: Look, Link! It's the Spirit of Power, Leaf! This must all be what Astrid was talking about.

Gee thanks for pointing that out for me Ciela I never would have known.

Leaf: Please! Help us! We need your strength. I was locked away with the Ocean King years ago. But now I can't feel the Ocean King's presence... I wonder what happened to him?

If I come with you, maybe I can find out. If you need it, I will gladly lend a hand!

The Spirit of Power, Leaf, has joined your group! You should go tell Astrid.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass screenshot

Instead of the boss dropping a heart, a treasure chest appears with a heart container in it... that works I guess...

Ciela: The volcano has stopped erupting, Link! I'll bet it's because you defeated all the monsters.

Linebeck: Hey, kid! So you were able to defeat all the monsters? Well, Astrid is waiting!

Astrid: Well done! You defeated the power of darkness, Link. Thus you've broken the seal that imprisoned the spirit you need to move ahead. Ultimately, you will need three spirits: Power, Wisdom, and Courage. When you have all three, you will possess the power to find the Ghost Ship.

Now two spirits remain... but their locations are veiled to me at present! I see...another clue for you to find in the Temple of the Ocean King on Mercay. And to further your efforts, I give you this. May it help you in battle.

You got a Power Gem! It radiates power, but you can't use it like this.

Astrid: That's a Spirit Gem. There are many for each spirit. Find as many as you can... I see that, somewhere on the seas, you can raise a spirit's power for 10 gems. The light that seeks your aid grows weaker still... There's no time to lose.

Linebeck: You actually did it! Now we're even closer to getting rich, Link! Hoo haw, I'm excited!

Ciela: Ugh, he is so self-centered.

Astrid: Well, I sense that man will prove to be an asset and not an anchor, in time.

Ciela: I hope you're right.

Well now, the story is getting a bit more clear. Link must rescue the 3 ocean spirits from the powers of darkness so they can help him find the Ghost Ship. Is the Ghost Ship related to these powers of darkness?

Probably. Anyway it sure did take her long enough to tell us why we needed to defeat the darkness in the temple. I mean she could've told us before we went in and defeated it, so that we'd have some kind of sense of purpose going in there. But nah, just do what the magical known-it-all genie tells you! You'll find out the reason for it later! Is that what this game is going to come down to? We won't know anything about ultimate objective of the game until the very end when we've defeated the last boss? That's just not good story telling.

I have to agree with you there. Hopefully there will be a big climactic scene near the middle where a character of my caliber comes in and explains everything...

Part 1 - Part 3 (coming soon never)

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