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

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Zelda II high playthrough log part 1/2

This is my first time playing through Zelda 2 AoL in over 10 years... I barely remember anything about it, except that it's way better than I was expecting... Now I'm replaying it while high on edibles... attempting to beat it without a guide.

The backstory of this game is really good... Princess Zelda has been asleep on an altar at the North Palace for a long, long time, and her story has become "The Legend of Zelda"... Link needs to reunite the 3 pieces of the Triforce in order to awaken Zelda from her slumber... Impa gave Link 6 crystals and a scroll, which says that Link needs to defeat the guardians of each of the 6 palaces and place the crystals in the palace statues in order to gain access to the Great Palace, where the Triforce of Courage is hidden.

Right from the start, as you exit the North Palace you can immediately access the town Rauru to the east, and the town of Ruto to the northwest, without putting yourself in any danger at all. In Rauru, an old wise man in someone's basement teaches Link the Shield spell.

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When you go off the main road, that's when enemies attack you constantly. There's some easy EXP to get just from exploring around... but most of the caves are off limits for now because they are pitch black and you can't see anything. As that woman in Ruto said you need a candle to go further... The one cave that is lit up is the one to the northeast, that leads to Parapa Desert. South of this desert I found the first heart container.

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And then at the north end by the shore is the first palace.

Level 1 - Parapa Palace
This is the first instance of infinite respawning enemies that don't reward EXP. There are stalfos enemies that do reward decent EXP, but they don't respawn until you leave and re-enter the palace... oh well I'm not going to do that. I'm just going to do as much as I can without grinding.

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Exploring these palaces is very easy... compared to the top-down Zelda dungeons this is much simpler, just a matter of going up and down elevators and exploring left and right on each floor. I spent my first level up on an attack upgrade... found a fairy at just the right moment when I was low on health.

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That axe throwing enemy got me to the 2nd level up... used it on a health upgrade. Also found a hidden magic potion in a statue... heh, this shield magic is coming in very handy. Even though health and magic pickups are rare, they always seem to show up right when you need them... it helps that leveling up also restores your health and magic.

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Found the candle after defeating the first darknut enemy... got to the Horsehead boss with the the 2nd level upgrade on everything... time to finish this dungeon!

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er... I had to test out what the game over screen looked like first, of course.

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There, first palace done.

Next, now that I have the candle I'm able to go in that one cave north of the Great Palace, and in there I found a trophy. Took that back to Ruto, where someone was asking for Link to get their trophy back... and that person lets me into their house, where I find another wise man in the basement who teaches Link the Jump spell.

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Then in the cave south of the Great Palace I found the first Magic Container... it's like a heart container for your magic meter. I guess these do the same sort of thing as health and magic upgrades from level ups, but the collectable version phsyically extends your meter while the level up version makes your meter drain less quickly.

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And now the only way to go is the cave south of Ruto... this cave not only requires the candle but also the Jump spell to get through it... It takes you out into the Midoro Swamp area. Found a hidden area with a much needed fairy, and another hidden area with a 1-up Link doll... One thing I remember about this game is that the 1up dolls are a limited collectible, and once you lose those extra lives you can't get them back again... so instead I'll just make note of where they are so I can save them all for the final palace.

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The enemies in this area are significantly harder than the previous area, especially when you're in the swamp section. Found the next safety road where you can't get attacked by enemies... going south down that road leads to the water town of Saria.

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"Eyes of Ganon are everywhere. Be careful."
oh wow that's such a powerful quote... stuff like this really helps to give a sense of dread over what's happening in the story...

hmm, need to find some way to convince this guy to let me cross the river...

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I found out what the mirror is for, at least... the Life spell uses up nearly all of my magic currently, but it's very good to have... still have no idea what that sleeping slime is about...

Explored the Midoro Swamp area some more... Found Bagu in the middle of a forest... further up the path leads back to the Rauru town area from the beginning, but it's blocked off by a rock.. there's also a cave blocked by a rock, and the path leading further east blocked by a rock... you can also go deep into the swamp to get to Midoro Palace... but first I'll head back to town to heal up...

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So that note Bagu gave me actually lets me cross the river at Saria. The cave south of this river leads into Death Mountain. This is the notorious difficulty spike in the game where a lot of people have trouble with... I guess at this point you technically have a choice of paths. You can either go through Death Mountain now and get the rewards at the end of it, or you can go do the 2nd palace now... I'm pretty sure doing Death Mountain first is the most beneficial.

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Upgraded my magic and life a couple more times while going through Death Mountain... those axe throwing enemies (Goriya) aren't that hard when you realize the trick is to stay close and melee them so most of their attacks go overtop of you... This section would be so much easier if I had the downstab...

Finally made it to the end... Spectacle Rock... lol damn I died on my last life right after getting the hammer... I'm pretty sure there was another thing I had to get at spectacle rock. I still have the hammer, but I start out at the North Palace again... Fortunately, the hammer opens up a shortcut so I can go straight back to Saria very quickly without going through any action segments...

I decided to explore around with the hammer first before going back through Death Mountain to get the thing I missed... There was that other blocked off cave at the west part of the swamp, in there I found a medicine bottle... I also went into that blocked off cave on the east part of the swamp and got my 2nd heart container... I then checked out that east path that was blocked off... It leads to the port town of Mido, and there's also a graveyard to the south, and a path that goes back west across a bridge, and to another Death Mountain cave... This is actually a shortcut taking you straight to the Spectacle Rock area, so you don't even need to go through the Death Mountain maze again... and like I thought, there was a Magic Container I still needed to get in Spectacle Rock... wow, lol it's like the game designers anticipated that you'd miss that magic container after getting the hammer, and made this shortcut just for that purpose.

Next I went to check out Mido...

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I guess these hints are probably for the 3rd palace...

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Hell yeah... Coming here was totally worth it. The Jump spell lets you get into the top floor of some church, and inside is a knight in that teaches Link the downward stab move... this move is such a game changer.

Also that medicine I found in a cave earlier was needed to save someone's daughter... she gives me access into her house with a wise man in the basement that teaches Link the Fairy spell..

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This spell literally turns you into a fairy, and you can fly over everything and get through any difficult action segment with it easily. It's also required later on to access some areas that you can't reach with the Jump spell.

Next, I went deep into the swamp to finally start the 2nd palace.

Level 2 - Midoro Palace

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This palace only seems to have Iron Knuckle enemies... they're way easy compared to what I went through on Death Mountain... although the red Iron Knuckles are a bit tougher, they take more than a few hits with my level 4 attack. Also the downstab doesn't work against them.

Found the Handy Glove, it lets you break certain blocks with your sword. The 2nd boss Helmethead isn't a problem at all...

Went to get advice from Error in Ruto town, like that one guy in Mido told me... he says there's a tunnel in the King's Tomb... that's easy, it's the one tomb in the graveyard that stands out...

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Level 3 - Island Palace

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Blue Iron Knuckles... they're even tougher than the red ones... This palace is a bit more confusing than the last one... Found the raft... Those floating dog head enemies are very annoying when combined with platforming challenges...

The boss is an Iron Knuckle riding a horse... it took me a few tries to beat him... the downstab attack is practically required for this.

I feel like I'm probably overleveled, despite the fact that I'm not even trying to grind... already at the 6th defense upgrade.

Now that I have the raft, I can sail across the water to the eastern continent. There I found Nabooru town.

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Brought fountain water to some woman, and she let me in her house where a wise man in the basement teaches Link the Fire spell that lets you shoot fireballs.

That one house has this enemy NPC that doesn't say anything, very strange... just another mystery like that sleeping slime from earlier.

Other NPC hints in this town:
The river devil eats those who are weak.
See a man in Darunia before the islands.

Gotta keep these in mind... Explored around the area, nothing much to find except EXP bags... there's some enemy sprite blocking the way on the southern path... I guess that's the "river devil" they were referring to? I went up into a cave north of Nabooru... and came out to another overworld section. To the east is a bridge leading to an island (and also a hidden 1-up doll), and to the west is the Mountain Town of Darunia... I guess I'll follow the NPC advice and go to Darunia first.

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That "Powerful knight" was very easy to find lol... Upward stab should be useful against flying enemies.

More NPC hints:
The Devil does not like noise.
Magic key reads... Treasure of Kasuto.
It is said the east of Nabooru has...
Rescue the kidnapped child on the island.

Next I went to the maze island, across the bridge to the east... There are several forced action segments along the various maze paths... I found the 3rd magic container as well as a "child" item, I'm guessing that's the kidnapped child I heard about just now in Darunia.

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Before continuing further in the maze island, I went back to Darunia and...

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Yep, in exchange for rescuing the child I got access to another basement dwelling magician who teaches Link the Reflect spell...

Now back to the maze island... and at the deepest part of the maze I found the 4th palace.

Level 4 - Labyrinth Palace

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This level introduces wizzrobes (they look like KKK members in this game)...

I'm keeping 2 things in mind while exploring this palace...
Jump in a hole in the palace if you go.
The palace has a false wall.
I'm not sure what palace these are referring to exactly, but okay...

The "Jump in a hole" hint was relevant at least... that's how I found the Boots item. From an earlier NPC back in Nabooru, I know these boots are needed to walk across the water.

This dungeon is quite challenging... I died right near the end because I was out of magic and couldn't find anymore and was still a little bit away from leveling up and healing... on the 2nd try I got to the boss easily... Reflected Carock's spells back at it just like you can do against the wizzrobe enemies...

Also, the maze island is way less tedious to go through when you have the boots and can walk over the little rivers of water.

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