|[Zelda Re:] Zelda Re: Issue Four!
October 08, 2008 — by
After what seems to be a few hours of sailing the high seas, you finally come across the three islands where you must place your well-deserved pearls on three Goddess-like pedestals. You’ve toiled through much to try to rescue your sister, Aryll, and by the looks of it, after this, you’ll finally receive the strength you need to press forth to the Forsaken Fortress once again and release her from the clutches of evil…or will you?
Either way, setting down the pearls one-by-one appeared to have worked, and with a large rumble, a giant tower rises up from underneath the waves, nearly shocking you from the immense size and awesome, ancient splendor. You might be thinking, Wow! Look at the size of that thing!, while others of you may be thinking, What the crap? Is Nintendo trying to pull an Atlantis on us?
After cruising inside (and after picking up a bamboozled Link after the humorous explosion of one of the statues), the King of Red Lions assures you that there is nothing to fear: “This tower, which the pearls of the gods have caused to appear, is a place that the gods of the ancient world prepared so that they might test the courage of men. Only one who is able to overcome the trials that await here will be acknowledged by the gods to be a true hero. Only then will that hero be permitted to wield power to destroy the great evil. Link, that which you must obtain now lies before you! You must believe in your own courage, which has led you to triumph over the many hardships you have faced…and you must triumph once again! You must rise above the trial of the gods!”
Wait…that’s not a very assuring statement at all! Well, if you’ve done it once, you can do it again, I guess. Get ready, readers! We’re about to set foot in one of the most kick-butt dungeons in The Wind Waker, the Tower of the Gods!
Wait…This isn’t Baradûr!
Not exactly, at least. I mean, did Baradûr have water and enemies everywhere? Okay, that was Orthanc, wasn’t it…?
Ah, yes, back to the issue, yo… Anyway, the dungeon starts off with your entering, whilst cruising on the King of Red Lions, into a vast, ancient, ocean-filled room decorated with pillars and shadowed from the lack of sun. At first glance, it does seem to have an Atlantis-ey feel to it, assuming you’ve seen any stereotypical artistic renditions of Atlantean structures, maybe even watching Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Point is, it’s really old, large, and wet.
Every so often, there will be a change in the water level, periodically raising and lowering itself. To get to the higher rooms, you need to make use of the water level to get up to higher-level doors, jump across floating boxes that you need to set in the right places, and to even race to a door before the water rises up and submerges it. Just think and move your feet quickly, and you’ll be fine.
Switches make a glorious return to the Zelda series, and while a lot of them have a similar format to previous ones, they’re presented in a different way. Back in Lord Jabu-Jabu’s Belly, for instance, you’d have to step on these “bumps” that would function as switches, giving you more access to the giant fish’s (?) innards. Some of these you’d have to put boxes on since they’d only stay activated if there were always something on it.
These switches in particular make a return. Like before, you’d generally have to put boxes (and other times, you’d have to use small statues) on them to keep them turned on, but the periodic rise of the water level is the catch here: these boxes can float. If the water rises, the boxes will, too, and the switches will deactivate (you’d probably expect that the weight of the water would keep them on, but I guess that’s an experiment for another time). Thus, you have to be quick.
The second main type of switch is the one you can pick up and carry around—yes, you heard me. Special tower-like things sticking out of the floor are able to be picked up and carried to their proper place, where they fit like pieces in a puzzle. Here, it’s just a matter of carrying something to the right place and reaping the benefits. You guys can handle that, right? ;)
After making enough progress, you’ll eventually reach strange statues that will follow you on their own accord after you call them (which is also one of the few times where we actually hear Link speak). When you get the first one to its spot near the octagonal shrine in the dungeon, a slab with four arrow symbols appears in a flash of light in the center, where you can then step up to it and learn the Command Melody. This nifty song will allow you to remotely control these statues and a few other things in the game. As you can well imagine, it’s great puzzle fodder. It would’ve been kind of nice if it had more uses, though, but whatever. It’s nice to see something unique in there, right?
A Huge, Stupid Guy and a Large Sword are Two Things You Do NOT Want to Mix
No kidding. Whenever you see one of these combos, just start running. Immediately.
And when you run into a wall, realizing that you’re trapped in the room, stay on your guard. He (I’m not sure if he’s a Dark Nut or an Iron Knuckle… I’ll just call him Stanley) is rather slow on attacks due to the large sword’s weight, making him quite predictable. If you get hit with it, however…well, go and see for yourself. When it comes to these guys, it can’t be a mere scratch.
If by some miraculous fluke that you survive, you can pick up the giant sword Stanley left behind and pulverize the pillars in the room for some Rupees and maybe other items. It’s a small reward, but I personally think it’s just awesome that you can just destroy stuff with it before you have to move on.
You’ve done it once again, Link! Didn’t I say that you can do it again if you’ve done it once before? So I was right! HA!
You’re now right outside the door to the lair of Gohdan, the boss of the Tower of the Gods. Since this is a tower of the gods…does that mean you’ll be fighting a god? Or an avatar of one? Or just a guardian of the tower that you have to fight just because? The only way to answer the question is…to open the door and prepare yourself for the final challenge of the dungeon.
After a small cutscene, two large, stone/metal hands pop out of the vast wall, closely followed by a large stone/metal head shaped eerily like a pig/skull. Well…this isn’t much of a god, is it? Should be a piece of cake! Or cheese. Or milk…
He plays quite a lot like Bongo Bongo, in case you haven’t noticed. Giant hands and eyes to shoot…it just reeks of boss recycling. However, there’s a twist this time. After shooting the living daylights out of the eyes, his head will fall to the floor and render himself vulnerable. That’s then your opportunity to pop out a bomb and throw it in his open mouth. Rinse and repeat the process a few times, and you’ll be good to go! Wait…that was like Bongo Bongo, too, wasn’t it? What gives here!?
Just don’t fall onto the electric floor located along the wall of the room. One shock is relatively weak, but you only have a couple seconds before you’re shocked again; it can bring down some life that you’d rather keep.
It had to happen eventually, right? You have a story that revolves around Hyrule being submerged into cosmic amounts of water; and when we come across the mysterious, ancient stuff that we often encounter in many Zelda games, we see a really awesome rendition of undersea/Atlantean ruins. Nintendo just seems to love putting a lot of foreign environments in the games, doesn’t it? But by all means, that’s not a bad thing—on the contrary, it’s one of the things I love about it. Screw cars and planes! We have GameCubes!
Exp.: For me, the Command Melody brings up the playing value here; it’s not often when you can control stuff other than Link. Playing the song over and over again could be a problem later on in the game, but here, it doesn’t seem to be too overused in this case.
Exp.: While there are some borrowed elements in this dungeon, they’re presented in a way that makes them somewhat different. The changing water level, while a bit annoying, gave puzzles an interesting puzzle twist, and it also created a unique way of traveling through the tower. And destroying the pillars in the miniboss’s room was a nice touch, too. ^_^
Exp.: You have to admit that the dungeon looks freaking awesome. You have an ancient tower that was lying under the Great Sea for centuries, most likely, and the sunless shadow and color scheme isn’t too hard to look at for hours. It may be slightly bland, but that doesn’t bring it down too much; plus, every time the water goes down, you see veins of it crawling down the walls like a web, drying itself off until the water rises again. I’m both surprised and impressed at the attention to the physics of water.
Thus concludes another issue of Zelda Re:! I hope you enjoyed it despite its relative brevity; but I guess that only means that it was less likely for it to be a long, boring read, eh? Anyway, I also apologize for the slight tardiness of writing it, but then again, I did make the warning that it may be a bimonthly column at times. Should I ever miss a deadline by a couple weeks, it’s possible that I’m postponing the issue until the next month. Again, I apologize if this has been inconvenient for any of you.
Anyway, I hope this was worth the wait! See you guys later! And remember that if all else fails, use fire!