|[Zelda Re:] Zelda Re: Issue Two!
August 04, 2008 — by
Remember the sand? The exotic landscape? The exploration through the sandstorm with the magical, truth-telling eye? For those of us who’ve played and beaten Ocarina of Time, we all remember this. Today, even, the feeling is rather nostalgic. Just thinking of all the variety of things to do to complete this part of your quest can make you sigh dreamily, wishing that you could do it all again with the same freshness that was blessed to us ten years ago.
Well, why don’t we take a peek at what awaits for us in none other than the Spirit Temple, a well-known favorite dungeon in the Zelda series?
Field Trip, Anyone?
For many fans of the series, especially for me, the Spirit Temple is one of the most enjoyable dungeons in Ocarina of Time. The requirements of using everything you have to get to the temple, including completing the temple, really put you up to an exciting challenge. Plus, it has that mystical feel that you’re out in the desert and exploring the ruins of an Ancient Egyptian civilization. Really makes you feel like Indiana Jones, doesn’t it?
…Come on, I can’t be the only person to have thought of Link as Nintendo’s version of Indiana Jones.
But enough with that. Obviously, ol’ Shiggy wanted something in Ocarina of Time to feel like you’re going on the adventure of a lifetime while in the safety of your living room, bedroom, or what have you. Surely, the addition of an Egyptian-like temple in the middle of a foreign landscape is something to go gaga over, especially if it leaves an implant of nostalgia that stays with you for years and years like it has for me.
Okay, so you’ve beaten the ever-creepy Shadow Temple, and you’re wondering what’s next on your platter of Zelda goodness. Much to your likely disdain, Navi takes the initiative to tell you that Ganondorf was born in the desert and that you may be able to find out something if you go there.
“Well, why not?” you ask. “If it gets you to shut up and stay inside my hat, I’m all for it!”
Well before your seven-year slumber, you might’ve made your way to the desert to make go on a little sight-seeing trip. Sounds good; there’s a giant canyon, complete with a beautiful river and waterfall connected to Lake Hylia. It’s perfect for cliffdiving, or whatever the heck it’s called. But what’s this? Looks like it’s guarded by a Gerudo guard. Not even a Gerudo Mask will get you past here. (Believe me—I’ve tried…)
Anyway, besides the waterfall and a few ledges along the canyon, there’s not much to get done. You might as well just continue your journey…
Okay, so you go forward in time and then you check on the valley again. You take a look at the bridge and…wait, where’s the bridge? Looks like it’s out. Ah, well; no big deal. Go all Spider-Man on the post on the other side with your Longshot and you’ll be there in a finger-snap. Or, for even more epic thrills, use your trusty steed to make a leap of faith. Aw, yeah! Sure, Malon would probably protest to that, but hey, what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her, eh?
You’ll also notice a large, burly man standing on the side as you scamper along, and he’ll tell you that all his apprentices have gone missing. Looks like another job for the Hero of Time…
After a bunch of sneaking around like Solid Snake later, you can finally be able to face the trials of the Haunted Wasteland and step inside the Spirit Temple. What challenges could await you in there?
The perfect disguise?
When you first enter the temple, you find that you can’t go ahead anymore because…well, unless you had a way of compressing your body so you’d be able to fit through the hole of if you had a way of dramatically increasing your strength (both of which are, quite strangely, possible), you won’t be going much further. Unless, of course, you could cheat somehow and magically go through walls.
Later, Sheik teaches you the Requiem of Spirit, where you can now warp back to the Desert Colossus whenever you need to, so you can then go back to the Temple of Time and violate the laws of quantum physics to go back in time. Hah! You’re now small enough to go through the hole, get the Silver Gauntlets, and go back to an adult, and beat the rest of the dungeon.
This has always been a unique part of Ocarina of Time, having to use the unique element of time or “switching worlds” to solve puzzles. That needs to be done more often, I say! More often!
Cue the Epic John Williams Music!
Man, I can never get over the similarities between Link and Indiana Jones, can I? NOPE! But as I said before, this dungeon really catches the proper atmosphere of going into an Ancient Egyptian temple and looking for treasure. The music, in particular, polishes this vision, with exotic wind instruments and slow-paced percussion. Granted, the music isn’t like an epic battle theme, but who cares? The dramatic tone of this piece of Koji Kondo’s music can really keep you glued to this place, and it can even possibly want you to come back to visit after you’ve already beaten it! Surely, in the world of Zelda, things like this can never be part of an unheard-of concept.
Those Who Lurk in the Dark
We even see some unique enemies to the Zelda universe with the introduction of this dungeon. One enemy, in particular, is the enemy Anubis, obviously named after an Egyptian god. True, before I said this dungeon really is Egyptian-like, and it seems Nintendo really wanted to up this thought by adding this puzzle-based enemy.
In case some of you don’t remember, Anubis was an enemy that, to me, looked very much like a floating mummy. This enemy would focus on you and move through the air relative to how much and in what direction Link himself moves. In one room in particular, you’d have to make your way over to a switch that would activate a contraption that would belch fire. Here, you would have to move Anubis through the room and make it so it would be in the path of the flames as you activate the switch.
Another unique enemy to the series, I say. Of course, what I see, its behavior somehow resembles the behavior of enemies in A Link to the Past and Link’s Awakening, in which they would move around as you move around. In this case, however, the enemy could float through the air and not be hindered by obstacles on the ground…except maybe for the flamethrower that you’d activate. From what I also may or may not remember, you could probably save yourself some trouble by shooting a Fire Arrow or by casting Din’s Fire to destroy Anubis. It’s been a while since I’ve tried it, but why not see for yourself? ;)
Mirror, Mirror on the Shield…
Another item to make its way into the Zelda series again is the Mirror Shield, which has the unique property to reflect certain types of energy back at opponents. This item was essential to defeating Twinrova, as they would cast magical spells at you, and you’d have to retaliate by reflecting the spells back at the correct witch.
Sometimes, not only would it reflect spells, it would also absorb them. If you gathered enough spell energy, you’d be able to unleash it all out again and hurt Twinrova’s combined form. This is, by far, the definition of COOLIO when it comes to basic equipment.
Puzzles in the Spirit Temple included using stationary mirrors to reflect light at switches and allow further access into the temple. Another quite unique feature in Zelda puzzles, and I hope that it can be implemented again in the future.
Best. Shield. Ever.
Well, whaddaya know? You have two elderly ladies, both of which just happen to be Ganondorf’s surrogate mothers (makes you wonder who his father is…), and you…fight them. Yeah…nothing suggestive about that at all… However, they have a few tricks up their sleeves, which include the requirement of using a unique way of attacking them, namely Z-Targeting the other witch while the first one fired magic at you at the right angle.
This doesn’t make them happy, obviously. After a few hits, they get ticked to the point of them combining their power—and their bodies—for an entirely new phase of the battle. If their technique of becoming Siamese twins doesn’t scare you, then their new form of attack surely will…provided you don’t know what you’re doing. If you do know what you’re doing, then you’ll know that Twinrova will fling magic spells at you, and you then use your shield to absorb them, charging it up. After enough charges, all of your shield will unleash all of them in the direction you’re looking, which had better be toward the boss.
The Spirit Temple has always been a personal favorite of mine, and it likely could very well be one of yours, too. Nintendo pulled off the mood for this dungeon perfectly—the music, the style, and the unique Mirror Shield. Personally, I don’t think this formula has been used enough in the Zelda series, and heaven would shine down on me if it ever were to be implemented again. Good memories lie with this dungeon. Hopefully many more will come as the Zelda series continues its crusade in the video game industry!
Exp.: Yep, perfect ten! The boss was unique and really fun (once you get the hang of it), light puzzles were included, and the dungeon really made you feel like you were in the pyramids raiding a tomb.
Exp.: Another perfect score! Not many dungeons in the Zelda series have you go through what seems to be…well, I already said it many times before. It’s a unique experience that’s sure to keep things fresh.
Exp.: One thing in particular that catches my eye is the darkness associated with a tomb-like dungeon. It only adds to the mysteriousness and mystique of the area that has the tendency to up your urge to stay and enjoy the scenery. Plus, a centerpiece of the dungeon is the giant statue that leads to the boss room. It looks like it was a means of worship or splendor, at least.
Well, there’s Issue Two of Zelda Re: for you. I hope that I helped you to remember, or at least realize, the awesomeness that is the Spirit Temple of Ocarina of Time. Anyway, join us next month for another view of what the Zelda series has for us! Remember, if you have any questions at all, send me an e-mail at , or send me a PM at the forums. Either will do.
Until next time, guys!
by @ 09 Aug 2008 04:25 pm