Nendoroid Link from Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

With the Nintendo Switch release, the uptick in Nintendo and Legend of Zelda discussion on social media might be close to saturation point. That being said, there is 12 days remaining to pre-order a Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Nendoroid Link. Having now played the game, I think collectors or Legend of Zelda fans might benefit from knowing that the Nendoroid is still available to pre-order til March 16, 2017.

The artwork behind the Nendoroid toys is high detail, and there are two versions of the Breath of the Wild Nendoroid Link:

The standard Nendoroid Link.979497f3fddcbd31106b389dcade57d8

And the Deluxe Nendoroid Link.2daeafa4b87ee0e6ad9c38bf2b344164

The key differences are:

The Deluxe version contains “an axe, club, chicken leg as well as his hood and even a horse for Link to ride on” (GoodSmile.info).

The Deluxe versions Recommended Retail Price is 1203 more Yen compared to the standard version before tax, and not including shipping.

Pre-orders for both versions of the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the wild Nendoroid Link are still open until March 16, 2017.

Exclusive Breath of the Wild artwork and art book from Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Art and Artifacts gathers and displays artwork from 31 years of Legend of Zelda games. This includes entries in the art book from Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which was released today, March 3, 2017 alongside the Nintendo Switch.

Just nine days ago on February 21, 2017 the new art book celebrating the 31st anniversary of Legend of Zelda games was released, alongside a special edition of the art book. The special edition featured a master sword acetate cover. The art book is published by Dark Horse.

This isn’t the only exclusive artwork Nintendo has released for the Legend of Zelda anniversary, and for the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild release. Some of the earlier ideas, the initial thoughts and brainstorming that Nintendo worked through, behind Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild were available to view at Game Developers Conference 2017:

I like Link’s flying V guitar, even though it works against the fantasy genre standards.

This gives an insight into the steps Nintendo’s development team went through to reach the Breath of the Wild idea. Not all ideas are of no use. Mostly, they are stepping stones to stronger ideas. This is why brainstorming and developing an idea is so useful to learning to write stories.

You can find more information on the Art and Artifacts art book on the Dark Horse website.

Seven Temples in Seven Days – 7

Temple 7. Light 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.

I started my post yesterday night, July 11 2012, with a few lines that I’ve replaced with a complete post about the final Level in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I’m left with a question after the end though: Where is the Temple of Light?

Impressions

Ganon’s Castle itself is typically filled with a deathtrap in each room. The castle also looks typically evil: it’s gloomy inside and Ganon even plays a giant pipe organ while a thunderstorm rages outside (I think he’s faking the sound with magic).

The ground floor has six force fields the Link needs to switch off before he can proceed up the flights of stairs (and there are a lot of stairs) to face Ganon and rescue the Princess Zelda. The room based on the Fire Temple is the only challenge that really stood out: platforming in a game without a jump button. Despite the claim that Ocarina of Time falls outside the platforming genre, this room is a frustrating but satisfying jumping puzzle:

  • Link had to jump between platforms over lava
  • some of these would sink, others would raise Link up to the roof
  • The goal is to collect Seven Silver Rupees (gem used as currency) to open a door
  • If you fall in the lava, you have to start over.

Considering the Camera angles are not suited for platforming, building this level into master quest was probably not the best idea: completing the stage was the most time consuming and really felt like a bad fit for the final level. The last stage is supposed to be about, in it’s most simple form, taking down the villain of the story.

The Boss

Link faces off against Ganon, and Ganon’s opening strategy is the same as his phantom copy from the Forest Temple. The Legend of Zelda games that have followed after Ocarina of Time have used the mechanic of bouncing magic back at a boss with precising timing of Links sword swings with the attack button or Wiimote for the Nintendo Wii. This is a difficult fight, as the process of taking Ganon down involved:

  1. Bouncing back magic til the spell breaks
  2. Firing an arrow of light at him while he is stunned by the magic backfire
  3. Jump across to Ganon’s centre platform and attack with Link’s sword

After this, Zelda and Link are reunited and escape the falling castle. But it is not over yet. Ganon changes his form, as final bosses are apt to do. This battle is less challenging as the previous one: fire light arrows into the beast’s face, and then attach the tail. The catch: Link loses the master sword at the beginning of the battle. Link has other weapons though: the Megaton Hammer he received way back in the Fire Temple for instance, which can be used as a substitute until Zelda helps Link get his blade back.

Standout Moments

Link crosses a bridge that looks a bit like the rainbow Bifrost bridge from Thor. I didn’t notice this til now, but Link could be compared to Thor, the God of Thunder, when wielding the Megaton Hammer. The connection with Norse myth calls for a more in depth look at the myths and legends referenced in games.

The Bifrost, or a version of it, appears.

The Mighty Thor crosses the Bifrost, oh wait…

After watching through the end credits, it’s still not clear exactly where the Temple of Light is located. What I know from playing through the game is:

  • It is tied to the Temple of Time, as the ocarina melody The Prelude of Light warps Link to the Temple of Time
  • It has its own sage called Rauru, who made only a few appearances
  • It has at least one room: The Chamber of Sages
  • Characters in the game pass through it on the way to the Sacred Realm where The Triforce is kept
  • Link visits the temple once after each other temple is finished
  • The six sages leave the temple to seal Ganon away in the Sacred Realm after his defeat

There are more theories and speculation about the temple, and it’s also possible that Link and Zelda’s final meeting place in the sky, as shown below, is another part of the Temple of Light.

The Sages prepare to help Link

Inside the Chamber of Sages, a portal to the Sacred Realm opens to seal Ganon away.

As the game ends, it’s clarified that Zelda is the seventh sage – the sage of time. She sends Link back to the past so he can live out his childhood. Two timelines exists now, and the version of Zelda that Link rescued is staying in the future to rebuild Hyrule. The last scene after the credits has child Link meeting child Zelda. Technically, it’s their first meeting: Link has arrived back before he started the quest. It’s implied the two will get to know each other with Ganon sealed inside The Sacred Realm, and without a quest driving them apart.

Zelda tells Link she will return him to the past…

..and that they won’t be able to see each other again in this timeline.

Link returns to the past, and replaces the Master Sword, closing the portal to the future and sealing the sacred realm.

Link and Zelda meet again at the end.

I have a weekly comic post starting tomorrow along with more gaming projects like Seven Temples in Seven days.

Seven Temples in Seven Days – 6

Temple 6. The Temple of Time.

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.

Impressions

Ocarina of time has almost reached the end of its story. The Temple of Time has been a part of the narrative since the beginning. Link returned to this location and finally met up with a character he has been looking everywhere for: princess Zelda appears, and explains a great deal of the story. In particular, Ganon’s plan, and his current machinations.

The temple is a cathedral, and every effort has been made to capture the reverence of stepping inside a cavernous, sacred structure. While the temple has only two rooms, and isn’t a dungeon with different floors like the six temples Link has already completed, the room where the master sword is kept locked inside a stone plinth is probably the most important room in the entire game. This is the place where time travel is possible. The Master Sword takes Link back and forth through time as he draws it, and returns it to the stone. The animation sequence cemented Link’s status as a hero from the beginning: it is a clear reference to the legend of King Arthur, drawing the sword from a stone, and becoming a King thereon. As mentioned, it’s similar to Harry Potter, drawing a sword from a hat in place of a stone.

The Boss

After a series of stunning revelations involving princess Zelda, the time has come to fulfill a long running theme in video games: it’s time for Link to save the princess from Ganon. The final quest, the rescue mission, begins here in the temple of time. I’ll include more about the final level, Hyrule Castle here later, and in tomorrow’s final entry on the Temple of Light.

Standout Moments

The images below show the standout moments that happened in the temple. Earlier in the game another key instance was Link opening the doors to the room housing the Master Sword, and drawing it. Zelda reveals later this was all part of Ganon’s plan: Link opening the doors, which are named the “Doors of Time”, unlocked a passage to a place called The Sacred Realm. There, Ganon stole an artifact called the Triforce, and has been using a third of its power to keep Hyrule under his control. Ganon is after the rest of the artifact – he walked into The Sacred Realm, unaware that he could not claim the whole Triforce. He needs princess Zelda and Link to finish the ritual. The final battle determines who wins the Triforce, and whether Hyrule will be saved or dominated.

Princess Zelda Appears.

Princess Zelda Appears.

Zelda talks to Link after seven years.

Zelda believes Link can save Hyrule

Before Link can act, Zelda is captured by Ganon.

Seven Temples in Seven Days – 5

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.

Impressions

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.

The Boss

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.

Standout Moments

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.

Seven Temples in Seven Days – 4

Temple 4. Shadow 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.

Impressions

Ocarina of Time started with a set of themes: The Hero’s Journey, Good vs. Evil, Saving the princess, and many other tropes and devices that could be said to come from the fantasy genre. When it comes to the abyss of the Shadow Temple, however, a number of dark and mature themes that work against the child-like image of the game emerge. Simply put, it takes a very dark turn from its light beginning.

Like the earlier temples, the shadow temple is in a location that matches it’s element. In this case, the shadow temple was built in a graveyard. It’s an underground necropolis, filled with zombies, mummies, and skeletons. Guillotines and giant scythes weilded by statues of the grim reaper strike out of the shadows. It’s nowhere near the gore of resident evil, but the temple does surprise in how dark and bloody it gets at times. Apparently, the Land of Hyrule has a history of greed and violence. This is the place where it was unleashed, and locked away.

The Temple has a number of puzzles that involve the Lens of Truth. A little eye glass that allows Link to see hidden passages and invisible enemies. It’s a fun mechanic, and is a little bit like the reveal ability from the Golden Sun Series for Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS.

The Boss

On July 8, 2012 at 9:35pm, I wrote the following on the Shadow Temple Boss:

At the time of writing this (July 8, 2012), I have yet to defeat the final boss. All of the dungeon is complete except for Bongo Bongo – a “phantom beast” who fights Link on a giant drum. A ridiculous sounding name and an odd arena belies how frustrating the battle against is. I plan to update this entry within the next day, and before the next temple, to report on how I defeated the boss.

The same day at 11:30pm, I defeated the boss by using one key strategy: using the space available in the drum shaped arena to watch the phantom beast’s movements. I found it frustrating earlier because I was standing too close to the boss, and not watching his attacks. With any boss fight, there is always a pattern to watch out for. With this creature, watching his hands reveals what attack is coming next: a punch, slap, or hand clap, all trying to crush Link. With enough space, his movements are not difficult to dodge. When defeated, the boss smacked down one last rhythm and then dissolved into shadows.

Standout Moments

The Mid Level Sub Boss was not difficult to defeat, but was horrible to look at. It’s called a Dead Hand, and it seems out of place in Ocarina of Time. Dead Hand puts The Shadow Temple and the sub-level before it (the infamous “Bottom of the Well”) into a far darker territory.

A ship carries Link through a part of the temple called the “Valley of the Dead”. I was reminded of the story of Orpheus, who venture into the underworld to rescue his partner Eurydice. Including this boat in the Shadow Temple adds another layer to myths and legends referenced throughout this game. Orpheus had significant musical talent, according to the myth. It makes sense then, that Link acts out part of the myth since he plays the ocarina the game is named after.