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

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Zelda 1 high playthrough log part 2/2

Resumed the game off a battery save instead of a save state, to make this playthrough feel more legit.

Starting from the beginning square, did some more exploration of the brown woods area to the west. Found some more "Secrets to everybody", bought another potion refill, went to the southwest most square and found a dead end with an old man in a cave that says:
Go north, west, south, west to the forest of maze.
There it is, that's how you get through the lost woods without using a guide, and get to the graveyard. Touching the graves makes a ghost appear... but if the armos statues have taught you anything, you know that one of these graves probably moves to reveal a staircase... yep.
Master using it and you can have this.
Magical sword get!

Found the 6th dungeon after that, very easily.

Level 6 - Dragon Dungeon
Aim at the eyes of Gohma.
This dungeon introduces wizzrobes... both the red and blue variety. The blue kind moves around the room while shooting at you, the red kind only teleports around and is way easier to avoid. They get really annoying when they're combined with other enemies in the room.

The first part of this dungeon is very linear... but its difficulty is mostly from the enemies. I think the game meant for you to have the magical sword by this point because otherwise this dungeon would be a huge difficulty spike...

Got the compass, defeated Gleeok again, got the map... and then in the room with the map it suddenly branches off, but it's still pretty simple.

Found the Magic Wand, and found an old man behind a bombable wall that says:
There are secrets where fairies don't live.
It seems like there's nowhere else to go, and until you find the hidden staircase that leads to the next part of the dungeon, where you fight past some more enemies to get to Gohma, the easiest boss in the game that dies in one hit.

Got the 11th heart and a triforce piece.

Went to explore the rest of the mountain that I haven't been to yet... bought another potion refill, found the Power Bracelet beneath an armos statue...

Went to the north side of Eyeglass Lake and realized you could very quickly get to the 6th dungeon from the 5th by walking over the thin part of the river with the stepladder. I guess that'd be the speedrun route, but I think it's way cooler if you find the Lost Woods hint, and then take the Lost Woods to the graveyard and find the Magical Sword on the way to the 6th dungeon instead.

There's nothing much else to do on this mountain except farm rupees... all the hidden caves I'm finding are just door repair charges or shops I don't need... I then went to that bolder formation I saw near the 6th dungeon earlier... the power bracelet allows you to go in there and it leads a staircase warp zone with 3 staircases to choose from... it just puts you out near one of the other warp zone entrances.

I know where level 7 is, and I'm pretty sure I've gotten everything from the overworld at this point... Went back to the brown woods, to the spring without a fairy... used the recorder...

Level 7 - Demon Dungeon

The enemies here aren't as hard as in level 6... The only new enemies introduced are the Moldorm and the blue Goriya, both are easy... but navigation wise this level is the most non-linear and confusing one yet... It's sorta shaped like a demon's head I think.
There's a secret in the tip of the nose.
Defeated Digdogger again, only to find a dead-end with a key... Defeated 3 Dodongos again, just for some rupees, damn I could've used those bombs for something else lol... Oh sweet, found the 2nd bomb capacity upgrade..

Digdogger again, I guess he's just a normal enemy now... Found the hungry moblin that needed the meat that I bought way back at the start... sure have some rotten meat. Got the map right after that.

The red candle is very well hidden... in a room that's not technically on the map... where the eye of the "Demon" would be... you can get there through a bombable wall, and in there is the diamond block puzzle (the first instance of it in this game... it's repeated in later levels as well), that reveals a staircase when you solve it, and that leads to the red candle. It'd be very easy to miss this on a first playthrough. Fortunately the red candle isn't required at all.

Oh yeah and there's one other enemy this dungeon introduces. The Wall Master. These things are very easy to dodge, but if they grab you they take you back to the beginning so it's always kinda stressful when they're around.

Good thing this dungeon is generous with the bomb drops... Even getting to the boss in this dungeon requires going through a bombable wall. Defeated Aquamentus again, got the 12th heart and a triforce piece.

The 8th dungeon, I don't think is hinted at very well. I guess the "tip of the nose" hint must be referring to it? But it's really helpful... When you're wandering around in the east woods, you might come across a single bush blocking your path... burning it reveals a staircase that leads to the 8th dungeon. I guess that bush is more suspicious than all the other bushes on that screen, so you're likely to find it on your own without a guide if you just burn all the suspicious looking bushes around here...

Level 8 - Lion Dungeon

Manhandla and Gohma is another multi recurring boss fight in this dungeon. There's another diamond block puzzle in a room filled with darknuts, gibdos, and bubbles, I found the Book of Magic... this makes your magic wand leave a flame behind when it hits something.

Found an old man that gives you the hint for the final dungeon's location.
Spectacle Rock is an entrance to Death.
There's also the magic key, which eliminates the need for normal keys and unlocks every door, but you need to go through a few more challenging rooms to get to it. Near the boss there's 

Found another old man near the end of the dungeon.
10th enemy has the bomb.
This is referring to the secret where if you kill 10 enemies and the 10th enemy dies to a bomb, you'll get a guaranteed bomb drop. This hint might be useful if you are out of bombs by this point, because you need to go through 1 of 2 bombable walls to get to the boss... Defeated Gleeok again, got the 13 and final heart container, and the 8th and final piece of the Triforce of Wisdom.

Spectacle Rock... up in the northernmost mountain region that I explored after the 6th dungeon, there's an arrow rock formation pointing towards it... there's nothing else up on this highest point of the mountain besides those two conspicuous rocks...

Filled up on potion again, and went straight to the last dungeon.

Level 9 - Death Mountain
 Ones who does not have triforce can't go in.
 The first part of this dungeon is easy... if you explore you'll mostly only find useless enemy-filled rooms. The only way to go is through the one room with the diamond block staircase puzzle.

After that, that's when this dungeon gets super confusing... so many paths... so many bombable walls... so many 1-way doors... If you aren't using a guide, you really have to keep notes on where everything is, or otherwise just have an impeccable memory and sense of direction.

The only new enemy introduced here is Patra, a little eyeball thing with flies flying around it very quickly. It's not hard. What's hard is the rooms with wizzrobes, like-likes, bubbles, etc... at least this dungeon doesn't have any rooms with those statues that constantly shoot fireballs at you while you're fighting other enemies...

Some bombable walls don't even lead anywhere useful... especially if you have the magic key and don't need any other keys. This one bombable wall I went through lead to a Patra room, and then went up from there and the door closed behind me, and from there I found an old man that says:
Eyes of the skull has a secret.
Yeah, that'd help if I had the map. Backtracked the way I came, found another couple bombable walls that lead to a compass... I guess this is probably the right eye of the skull, since it's in a black room, that usually indicates you're outside of the map.

This took me a while to beat... later I found out from studying the map, that the best way to navigate this dungeon and collect everything, is to avoid the locked doors as much as possible until you have nowhere else to go. That whole section where you find the guy that says "Eyes of the skull has a secret" is entirely pointless looparound section, and only exists to waste your keys (if you don't have the magic key)... After the next correct locked door you go through, trying every available non-locked door from there gets you to the compass, the map, several more keys, and the Red Ring, which is extremely useful...

After that, the next correct locked door leads to an old man that says
Go to the next room.
Easy enough, as long as you have bombs... After that is a hidden staircase, and that leads you to a 3-way choice between locked doors... if you go north and then north again through a bombable wall, you find another old man that says
Patra has the map.
This is hinting that you missed the map if you haven't found it by this point, and you should go back where you came if you haven't found it yet.

If you take the south or west locked doors, you'll get to more diamond block staircases, one of which leads to the upper left portion of the map where the Silver Arrow hides, past a bombable wall and beneath a hidden staircase in a block puzzle room full of difficult enemies...

But it's entirely possible you could miss getting that, and instead go north, up the left side of the skull's left eye, and end up going through a 1-way door back to an earlier part of the dungeon... or even worse you could find the bombable wall that goes to the room two squares left of the skull's left eye, and then find the the hidden staircase that leads to another room where you can bomb left to find another hidden staircase that leads to the path that goes straight north to Ganon and the skull's left eye... Getting to Ganon before getting the Silver arrows won't help you at all, and will likely just get you killed.

Basically, beating this level without a guide requires you to keep track of where you've been and where you haven't been, either that or just run around randomly and hope for the best...

Once you know where to go, getting to Ganon with most of your hearts is easy... but trying to find the map, red ring, and silver arrows before that made me die a few times and I had to go back out and fill up on hearts and restock on red potion again and again... it was fun though. Finally defeated Ganon and picked up the Triforce of Power, and saved Zelda.

The 2nd quest is a whole different beast... just finding the dungeons alone is a nightmare because they're all in different locations than what I'm used to. And then the dungeons themselves are way harder too...

This game is amazingly fun when you remember some things about it and know how to interpret the cryptic hints... I'm really glad I replayed the first quest while high.

Screenshots of the 2nd part of this high playthrough journey:

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