Temple 5. Spirit 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.
In spite of all the exotic themes piled up throughout, including Ancient Egypt, Buddhism, and Indian Mythology, I felt the Spirit Temple didn’t have impact. It had brown room problem, which plagued the Fire Temple as mentioned earlier. I enjoyed the construction and design of the central room in the temple, which housed a giant statue of a Naga – a twin to the “Desert Collosus” standing outside the Spirit Temple, which is very much like the colossal Buddha statue of Leshan.
The remaining rooms and corridors felt stuffy and cluttered: fighting off three (or more) foes at once is a challenge in an enclosed space, but becomes bland if overused. Statues of giant cobras are well animated, however, and a particular monster called an Anubis is interesting and menacing: a mummy that can float around rooms.
Nabooru is the sixth sage, and an excellent character. The other sages Link has met so far (Rauru, Saria, Darunia, Ruto, and Impa) have represented qualities such as dignity, intelligence, and bravery and show quirkiness and maturity in their personalities. Nabooru, a prominent member of the amazon-like Gerudo tribe, makes an impact despite having little time on screen. She is sassy, and makes light of serious situations: a contrast to her authoritarian sisters. She literally has spirit, and is the clear choice to be sage of spirit.
Twin witches called Koume and Kotake, who can fuse together into a witch called Twinrova, apparently raised Gannon as surrogate mothers. It’s clear where Ganon gained his cruel streak: the villains capture Nabooru, trap her in a suit of armor, and turn her into a fighting slave. Kotake wields ice attacks, which she launches from her broom, and Koume wields fire magic. The solution to defeating the sisters is to reflect the magic attacks from one sister to the other, melt the ice with fire, or extinguish the fire with ice. They eventually change their form, but this does not change their odds of winning: Link can absorb their magic and reflect a blast of fire or ice back at the witch.
Link uses time travel to complete this temple. He visits the temple first as a child, meeting Nabooru, and then returns seven years later to completed it via the Temple of Time. Nabooru is captured just before Link leaves the temple as a child. As a result, she was held in captivity for seven years, being “brainwashed” by the Twinrova to fight for them and obey Ganon. There is an excellent moment of animation when the Iron Knuckle armor she was forced to wear finally collapses.
Link plays out another myth: now he is Perseus, who received the Aegis, Athena’s mirrored shield, and Hermes’ winged sandals to defeated Medusa. Link fights the Twinrova instead, but the Spirit Temple is filled with snake references. Link already has the winged sandals in the form of the Hover Boots, which have wings on the heels. He receives the Mirror Shield here, and I enjoyed the mechanics where the player can bounce sunlight off the shield and onto the walls around the temple to complete different puzzles.