Temple 2. Fire Temple
A brief description:
I’m completing all seven temples in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Masterquest in seven days. These are the Forest, Fire, Water, Shadow, Spirit, Light, and Time Temples, which serve as different levels to complete within the game, the final goal being to save Hyrule. The game uses the number seven with themes of growing up, and The Hero’s Journey, just like the Harry Potter books.
It’s impossible to go inside this place without wearing a heat resistant red tunic. This is because it’s built in a volcano. Where else would a fire temple be? Exploring the sprawling lava pits and ruins strewn throughout the temple make this place worth hacking through, even if it feels like the vast majority of the fire temple is a stiffing drudge through a never ending series of brown rooms.
There is a labyrinth room where the player is able to climb up on top of the walls, and see the entire maze layout beneath them as they jump from wall to wall. It was good fun to have this moment of parkour platforming.
So we learn a bit more about the antagonist Ganon here: not only is he cruel and narcissistic (making a phantom copy of himself as mentioned yesterday) but it seems he really wanted a pet dragon, to the extent that he resurrected a legendary one named Volvagia, which died generations ago. Ganon’s a little bit like Viserys Targaryen from the Game of Thrones books and HBO series: he wants the power of a dragon to cement his command of the kingdom.
Ganon’s plan this time is to feed a race of relatively peaceful but rough characters called the Gorons to the dragon as a deterrent to anyone else who might think about rebelling against him. Since Volvagia has a legendary reputation, it’s a shame that the battle is not that challenging. When defeated, he crumbles into bones that fall to the cavern floor. I thought for a second if Ganon had spent hours or days collecting up all the dragon bones when he first went looking for Volvagia: did he want a pet dragon that much?
In one room, a knight was sitting on a throne made of bricks, waiting for challengers. Its name is the Iron Knuckle, and fighting it was the most intense Mid Level Sub-Boss so far. After several blows with the Master Sword, he drops a piece of armor, and then stars moving faster. I really enjoyed this mechanic: it forces the player to change tactics in the middle of the battle.
Link’s job is to rescue the Gorons, and he has some help from the Goron leader, Darunia, who named Link his sworn brother after Link saved the Goron’s from starvation in an adventure early in the game. Other characters have called Link a hero many times now, but this is where the gameplay and the narrative actually made the player feel like a hero. It was a great feeling saving the Gorons from prison. But it’s not just a rescue of some cute side characters in distress: the Gorons are Link’s family now, and this temple is about saving your brothers from Ganon’s pet dragon.