I dunno, I’m pretty fond of Control Scheme Skeleton. The unmitigated gall of calling everyone who doesn’t like the stylus controls foolish is impressive, if nothing else. And in the middle of the dungeon few people like, no less.
Oh no I love control scheme skeleton, he’s just so audacious!
Reminds me of the guy in Ultramoon/Ultrasun who lets you switch to controlling the warp ride in a reasonable way.
Okay, time for a Zelda with a bit more substance to it!
Video Length: 21:47
In this exciting episode, the first thing on our menu is to go power up Ciela! With enough braver spheres, we can power her up with the sword beam! Unlike other Zelda’s, this isn’t limited to when we have full health, so now as long as we have Ciela equipped we can throw out a narrow laser blast with each sword swing. Unfortunately, given the size of the screen and how crowded everything is, this isn’t the most useful ability in the world. Most foes are easily within slicing or jump attacking range, so having a laser blast sword isn’t really needed. But, it helps out, so it’s not that bad. With that, we now have all the tier 1 upgrades for the spirits, and I can say definitively that even though we don’t…really have a use for much of them, and they aren’t the best things in the world, they’re a welcome addition to the game. In another world I’d perhaps prefer it to be that we just get these abilities when we get the spirits themselves, with the ten orbs being needed for the upgrade, but at the end of the day this is fine, even if collecting the remaining orbs is gonna feel a bit like busy work.
Continuing on, we experience the absolute worst salvage in the game, full of terrible invisible currents that end up making it impossible to get the chest, destroying my arm entirely. I really, REALLY dislike this salvage minigame, and this kinda puts me on edge for the entire rest of the recording and I think it shows. Regardless, we do push our way forward into the North-East quadrant of the map, where new stuff awaits! Mostly, at least initially, more gyorgs. Our first destination is the traveller’s ship on this map, which…turns out to be a kinda creepily decorated boat full of monsters! After killing the monsters, we meet the boats owner, the likewise mysterious Man Of Smiles who really makes me nervous but does at least reward us for the monsters we beat up. He gives us not only a treasure map, but also the Hero’s Clothing, invisible clothes that definitely exist that we’ll be using to start the great trading side quest. Quickly re-doing his little monster challenge also gets us the prize card, which we can send in the mail to get random ship parts as prizes. Neat! I believe you also get the prize postcard back with the ship part, meaning you can do it repeatedly.
Finally, we make our way to the next island…only to be blocked by a tornado. So instead we head towards the NEXT next island, the Isle of the Dead. A spooky place, shaped like a skull wearing a crown. It is here, I feel, the game starts to really show a sign of being a bit rushed. Consider the first clue we read for how to make our way to the Isle of Ruins, our destination. On most maps, north is up and right is east and so on. On this island however…north is up and right is east and so on. It feels like it’s meant to be a build up to something…but there’s no actual difference at all between this map and another, beyond the vague looking like a head-ness, which is really only used for a few puzzles that are super obvious about it. Go to the chin, the island looks like a skull so the chin is easy to find, etc etc. I don’t find this bad in any stretch, I actually like the Isle of the Dead, it’s just…it feels very unfinished, if that makes sense. Puzzles where you’re given the literal answer in the clues, hints that imply differences when there really aren’t, and Stalfos who just kinda leap around not actually doing much to fight back against you. At the very least the Rupee Likes are out in full force, and are kinda dangerous…for as much as a money eater can be dangerous, at least.
But yeah, that’s the Isle of the Dead for you. We learn that our destination is the Cobble Kingdom, but we’ve still got a quasi Lost Woods to get through. But we’ll be doing that next time. Hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you then!
Onwards, for more Zelda!
Video Length: 21:10
In this exciting episode, we learn the path the six sages need you to walk to get to the grave we’re looking for! It’s…one of the least involved versions of this sort of puzzle in the entire world, to a degree that makes me think they truly just shoved this in at the last minute. The fact that McNay couldn’t figure this one out is astounding, though I suppose the idea is that he never shot an arrow at the switch, meaning he tried to brute force it…though I feel like given what the pattern is, brute forcing it would actually be fairly easy! At any rate, we make our way through the mysterious maze, and find ourselves face to face with the great knight that was buried here. He recognizes our fairy friends as a sign of our power and importance, and so grants us the regal necklace that will let us into the Isle of Ruins proper, so we can find his buddy and continue our search for the final magic rock.
With necklace in hand, we sail off, though the path we take involves a couple detours like fishing and, to my surprise, being boarded by enemy pirates! I never realized that was a thing that could happen, and I’ll need to have it happen a couple times to make sure there’s no other rewards beyond the one we just got. Additionally, we discover a new island…an island that Ciela has a bit of a hard time realizing is there. This is honestly really funny to me, even if it is incredibly silly. Sadly, the island in question is a hellish minigame where you must go into a huge maze without any allowed foreknowledge, and must navigate your way through hitting gossip stones along the way until the treasure chest appears. This maze has three difficulty settings, and will probably be one of if not the last thing I actually do in this game before beating it. It’s way too hard, and the fact that you can’t even scout ahead is honestly atrocious, design wise. Especially because there’s other treasure chests here beyond the one we get for clearing the maze! I’ve no idea what is in them but it sure looks important. So yeah, we’ll be doing THIS particular nonsense later.
Finally, we reach the Isle of Ruins. It’s a surprisingly large island, full of stuff to do in our quest to reach the next dungeon…but for some reason I’m just not very into it. Past Zodi feels like she was running on fumes for this part, and I can’t blame her. The island is a huge maze in and of itself, a big chunk of it being a bunch of narrow platforms you need to jump across riddled with Rupee Likes, who sometimes can just grab you regardless of how well you cut em up. And since the path is quite narrow, they usually get a second hit in due to throwing you up into the water. So yeah, I’m not a big fan of this island, at least the lead up portion anyway. We eventually make our way through, and meet the second royal knight of the Cobble Kingdom, who tells us that their King’s ghost is having his eternal rest bothered by some monster. Kill it, and he’ll surely give us the pure metal we’re looking for. And with that knowledge firmly planted in our head, I leave you for today. Hope you all enjoyed, next time we’ll probably finish up the Isle of Ruins and make landfall in the next dungeon…which is probably one of my favorites in the game! Until then.
Good morning, time for Zelda.
Video Length: 24:41
In this exciting episode, we participate in the continued puzzling that is the Isle of Ruins. By which I mean we get some rupees, and then continue down the single path laid out for us as we head towards our destination. We meet Stalfos that throw bones at us, that’s neat, but otherwise it’s the same ole same ole. It is then we meet the…unfortunate part of this area. We find the next of our four legendary warriors, and he instructs us to return to the first one we found on this island to use the Kingdom Key on the obelisk in his temple. So this is a bunch of fairly needless backtracking, with nothing actually unique to it. That being said, once we DO get back to him, unlocking the obelisk removes all the water from the island, at least giving us a new path for us to traverse as we walk all the way back to find our fourth warrior. Who then tells us the solution is to write the sacred symbol on the gate that’s blocking the path to Mutoh’s Temple, so we go to that gate to see it’s hint…which is to return to the now drained of water maze.
This island is…very full of backtracking, and none of it is very good. I don’t know why but it all feels really bad to me. It doesn’t help that the shape we end up finding is basically random. Not in the sense that the game decides it randomly, but that the developers basically decided on a random shape for the solution to the puzzle. That’s a little sad, you’d think they could manage some sort of abstract representation of something. So yeah, if I come off as a little surly, it’s because at the time of playing this I was feeling a bit drained. This is…not the most stellar part of the game by a long shot, and while it’s not as banal as the backtracking we did on Goron island, it’s also far more involved and thus takes more time, so that evens out. But thankfully, once we hit Mutoh’s Temple itself, our next and final dungeon, everything changes.
Because I quite love Mutoh’s Temple. It’s a fun series of challenges, the first of course being time based switch runs which normally I’d dislike, but the intent here is to use bombchu’s (or regular bombs/boomerang) to hit the switch after delaying for awhile, so you can just step across the bridges they summon without much effort. Bombs save time! Unfortunately this first floor has nothing to do with the rest of the dungeon theme wise, but it’s still fairly enjoyable as a challenge, even if the problem of precision persists throughout this game. At least in this area, it’s a funny problem instead of a frustrating problem.
But yeah, that’ll be it for today. Hope you all enjoyed! Join us next time for…the best item in the game, and probably the coolest boss.
Good morning! It’s time to do a dungeon!
Video Length: 26:48
The way I name the videos is gonna burying the lede here. Ah well, let’s continue. Today we begin in earnest Mutoh’s Temple, one of my favorite dungeons in the game! Forget everything we did here last time, because we’re now in the dungeon proper, which has it’s own style! First off, we meet a new enemy; the Stalfos Warrior! They’re scimitar wielding skeletons that swing rapidly at you as they advance, and as such are quite aggressive. They’re also capable of jumping to avoid your attacks like regular Stalfos, to the point that the Zelda wiki claims they’re only defeatable by bombs! This is patently ridiculous for a number of reasons, but I don’t blame them for having faulty information on a game no one likes. Continuing our way through the water logged tomb of the Cobble King, we find another enemy as well. The horrifying TERRORPIN. The TERRORPIN is an invincible turtle monster, which shuffles around in a vague attempt to run into you. They are entirely indestructible…for the most part. There’s nothing we can do to them at the moment.
But that’ll soon change. After making our way through the fairly linear path of the dungeon, only taking a minor step off it to obtain another 2400 rupees, we find a room full of Stalfos and a Rupee-Like. Slaying them all reveals a chest and within the chest…is the best item in the game. THE HAMMER! The hammer is without a doubt the best actual item in the game. It’s decently powerful, with the capability of destroying Stalfos in a single strike. It can knock the TERRORPINS up on their back, leaving them vulnerable to all forms of attack. Since Ciela is the one who actually SWINGS the hammer, Link just directing her, it’s got really good range to it. It can smash pots and pick up items, too! It’s got a fair number of interactables as well, from the rusty switchs we’ve seen seeing, to regular switches which it can hit from a distance! We’ve got catapults that we can send Link flying with, too, and I imagine we’re probably going to encounter some pegs to hammer in as well. And later in the dungeon, we have one of those tile flipping puzzles that are really hard, but it’s designed around the fact that you can hammer ANYWHERE, so it’s not actually as bad as it appears. Over all, they give a lot of stuff to the hammer, and in terms of just sheer combat versatility it’s fantastic as well. Praise HAMMER! The only real flaw with it I can say is that the charge attack it has seems overly redundant, I don’t believe it actually does anything different.
Regardless, with hammer in hand, we continue our way through the dungeon. We solve variants of the tile switching puzzle, as mentioned, which all have some interesting details to them involving how the game basically expects you to exploit the physics of the hammer and the tiles to precisely flip tiles. We also get some fun smashing of switches as we ride on blocks, a simple but cool puzzle that utilizes it’s speed and range. Finally, once we get far enough, we learn that surprise, Mutoh’s Temple is the closest we’re actually getting to a real water dungeon in this one! You can raise and lower the water, and while it’s not entirely mindless what level you want the water at, it’s still pretty basic. Still, it’s a unique addition to the temple that fits the island it’s on, so that’s cool. We also, much to my surprise, have the very first (and only) instance of the Boss Key run-back actually having any modicum of danger to it! It’s a bunch of Stalfos peasants throwing bones at you, but still!
With Big Key in hand, we can finally find the monster that’s tormenting King Mutoh so! As it turns out, said monster is EOX, the Ancient Stone Soldier! Eox is a pretty fun fight, with FANTASTIC presentation, but then every boss in this game has had pretty good presentation. The goal here is to avoid ballista shots and fist smashes as you catapult Link into the air, smashing the weakpoints until Eox’s armoured body breaks apart, revealing the wooden frame underneath. Once they’re all torn off, four swift hits to his skeletal frame in a single jump will send Eox to pieces! Unfortunately, that is not the finish of the fight, as his head still remains, and this part of the fight is just kinda annoying in comparison, stealing Eox’s spot of “best boss in this game” by a slim margin. Timing the catapult so you land on Eox’s head is a little frustrating, though I figure it out eventually, and it’s a little sad to see such a unique boss reduced to “and then just wail on it a bit”. All in all, a good fight, just tarnished a little.
Eox slain, we make our way down to Mutoh’s coffin, where he thanks us for being so cool. He gives us the pure metal, though we still have to pick it up ourselves. However, it’s not just laying around waiting for us, his ghostly presence and the fact that it appears with his word gives this one just a little more circumstance than the other two. But yeah, all three Pure Metals are ours, so let’s return to Zauz to get our sword made! Which we do so with surprisingly little resistance! Of course now we’re at an impasse, we’ve gotta wait for him to forge the dang thing. Luckily, Jolene has mailed us challenge! A dramatic, climactic duel! But that’s what we’re going to be doing next time. Hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you guys then.
It’s a shame that this game doesn’t have a way to refight bosses. Eox is neat just from the concept of fighting a person-shaped siege weapon, and other than some finicky aspects, it’s a fun fight.
Honestly, I think the only reason this game doesn’t have boss refights like Wind Waker is because they just couldn’t fit it in.
I definitely didn’t nearly miss making this due to Smash Ultimate.
Video Length: 21:56
In this exciting episode, we burn some time unless our sword has finished baking. We go off into the surprisingly quiet oceans to find and fight Jolene, one last final time. While she’s hardly different at all (she has one more hit compared to normal) she does cut straight to her feelings pretty well. She finds Link doing what he’s doing, trying to save the world from Bellum, to be foolish…but also endearing. She leaves us with some harsh but, in effect, kind works, and tells Linebeck that maybe he could learn a thing or two from this tiny sword tot. Linebeck gives us their backstory, wherein Linebeck…well, Linebeck’s at her repeatedly until she falls in love but he leaves because he’s terrified of her. What a foolish cad.
With that done, we return to a successfully cooked sword…only to find that uh, Zauz wasn’t…given anything to make a hilt with. So he just made the actual blade part. Now, on the one hand, I don’t like this. It’s a waste of time, it’s further backtracking and running around the ocean for no real reason, since all we have to do is return to Oshus, who has been established as being able to teleport in the first place by the way! So there is really no reason we should have to be going about this sort of thing, at all. That being said it’s absolutely hilarious that we went to the blade smith and asked him to make a blade and well, he done made us a blade. Never said anything about actually making the hilt though. And for what it’s worth, turning the phantom hourglass into the sword hilt is kinda clever, having a magical hourglass in the hilt is a cool design choice and it helps make the Phantom Sword look unique from other magical legendary super swords we’ve gotten and will get over the years. Rounding out this part of the game, we then get a rather touching conversation with Linebeck where he shows that, for as much as he is a layabout wastrel dashing rogue, wherein dashing means ‘is fast when running away’, he is at least aware of his problems, and is trying to fix them thanks to us. It’s pretty good, and firmly puts Linebeck in my top five Zelda partners (firmly at fourth, though, behind Ghostie, the imp, and sword wife. But we’ll get to those later). We also uh…get a tutorial on what the spirit orbs are, right at the end of the game, which I find to be absolutely hilarious.
With that done, we can now safely go off to beat the game…but we’ve still got stuff to collect! Starting us off on what will…end up being likely as stressful as the Wind Waker 100% round up, because the end of the game just dang ole snuck up on me, we’ve got some minigames to clear! The Goron Game is up first, and this is a genuinely good minigame where the touch controls make sense and are well executed. I know, shocking right? But yeah no seriously, the Goron Game is actually good. The course is simple but challenging, the time limit is strict but entirely reasonable, the actual challenge it asks you to perform is fun. All in all, it’s a good minigame…and our reward is more bombchu’s! And as much as I do love our little mouse explosive friends, this is not actually that big a reward. But still, it’s appreciated!
And rounding out this video, minigame wise…it’s time to tackle the Maze Island. Now, I’ll be perfectly clear on this point; aside from the beginner level, I used a guide. There’s a real good route for all three available on Gamefaqs, I forget who made them at the moment, but they’re REAL good, and honestly given how absolutely ABSURD this challenge is, I feel no compunctions whatsoever for doing this. The first challenge is, to a degree, reasonable. Four gossip stones to hit, then the final one. Easy enough, though still brutally challenging enough to take me three tries. The next tier is eight, which I can tell you right now I’d have never been able to accomplish on my own. That’s ACTUALLY asking too much for me, I have no idea how to route things and this, this is too much. And then the expert tier gives us…FOURTEEN gossip stones. That’s A HELL OF A LOT, if you haven’t noticed, and looking at the drawn on guide I put on the map so I could focus on the game but still have the map in front of me…it’s SUPER elaborate. Honestly, none of the rewards are even worth it. If you did this entirely by yourself, go get yourself a tub of ice cream and eat that all, because you absolutely deserve it. Who hurt you to make you do this?
At any rate, with that done…looks like next time is gonna be more side questing stuff. Looks like I fricked it and left all the salvage to the end again folks! W…why am I so bad at this sort of thing. Why god. I hope you all enjoyed, next time enjoy pain. I kid we’re probably just gonna finish up all the outstanding adventures on the islands and maybe finish the trading quest and such. But also definitely absolutely going to do the salvage sooner rather than later and I can feel my soul leaving my body as a result.
I’d never given much thought to how bad Maze Island is. The Shooting Gallery has always been my least favorite since playing it is Terrible. Buuuuuut I don’t think I’ve ever even bothered trying to do Maze Island without an online map. It’s definitely the kind of minigame you just look at and think, “nah.”
That’s fair. The Shooting Gallery is pretty miserable as well, but it feels doable. It’s a goal that you can accomplish.
The expert level maze…I have no idea how the person who made that guide made it. That’s some wizard bullshit.
I definitely didn’t almost miss an update because of a work christmas party. Here’s a Zelda video to prove it.
Zodi Plays: The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass  Ye Olde Paper Clip
Video Length: 20:45
In this exciting episode, we check out the multiplayer mode! It’s a…very poor showing given I have no friends and only one copy of the game, effectively meaning I can’t actually play it and gain nothing from my attempts to, but I still feel it’s worth showing off because it honestly looks really interesting. If I had a friend with the game, we’d almost certainly have played this, because it’s actually a pretty fun feeling mode. It’s just, unfortunately, useless for the purposes and scope of this LP.
After that we return to the game, wherein we salvage up a bunch of trash we already have, go shopping and find an actual golden ship part showing that things aren’t TOTALLY hopeless for the case of finding the full golden ship, and we begin the trade sidequest. The trading sidequest is a standing tradition of Zelda, wherein you ferry random objects around the world to get rewards, a reference to the famous story of the guy who traded a paper clip for stuff, then traded that stuff for more stuff, and eventually ended up with a house. We end up with something about as cool, the Great Spin Attack! It lets us, after three regular spin attacks, flail around wildly as a whirling dervish of destruction, slicing everything in our way as long as it’s not something that can stop our sword in which case we just kinda ping off it, cutting the move short. It’s pretty wild, and I love it as a reward, it’s one of the only actual cool things you get in this game that isn’t related to a dungeon item.
We also finish up or progress on some other side quests, doing the 100 hit challenge against the false hero guardsman (which is utterly miserable) and showing off our rusty swordfish to the awful dad so the ocean will start spawning the final fish, the Neptoona. We’ll have to find it eventually, but for now it eludes me. I’ve only seen it’s shadow once, and it didn’t even give me the neptoona when I hit it!
But yeah. Bit of a short one this time, but mostly because I was honestly strapped for time and did not have nearly as much prepared as expected. But yeah, with all this said and done…it looks like next time we’re gonna be doing one last lap of the ocean, collecting every last bit of treasure we missed. It’s gonna be a bit rough since I, stupidly, did not write down the orbs I got as I got them, and likewise with the treasure charts, but I think I’ll be able to remember them.
And if not I’ll die, probably. Hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you next time!
Strap yourselves in folks, it’s a long one.
Video Length: 41:23
Welp, it’s that time again. Time to rampage through the land, collecting every last trinket and bauble left remaining. Thankfully, and much to my shock, we didn’t have many orbs to acquire. One power orb, threeish wisdom orbs, and like six courage orbs. As well related to my shock, and everlasting relief, when it came down to brass tacks and I was out of ideas on which ones I missed and thus had to scope out the entire game again…I immediately went in the direction I needed to find the ones I was unsure about! Talk about lucky, eh?
Less lucky, however, is the rest of the collectables. The main sticking point on this one is the Treasure Maps. A friend of mine told me there was “not a lot” of maps in this game. There are 31. I had, at the start of this video, 16. So that’s a lot of collecting I had to do…but the biggest part of it is Harrow Island. Harrow Island is an island where you pay 50 rupees for ten treasures worth of digging…but it’s all entirely randomized. It is impossible to determine what you dig up, and given there’s one, five, ten, twenty, one hundred, two hundred, three hundred, minus 5, minus 10, minus 50, and the Lucky Lee gambling minigame that you can find in addition to all the treasure maps…and the above values never VANISH, it becomes increasingly difficult to actually find all four maps this minigame has in store. Now, it could be in my rabid storm of collecting I did get the three remaining maps in Harrow Island, since I did get one on our first visit…but I’m PRETTY sure that’s not the case.
Regardless, I have, in a sense…failed. I do not have the will right now to get that final treasure map, that one last final salvage, and I am sure as hell not getting the ship parts given the game has randomly given me like four Battle Wheels. I got real close though! And depending on how things go I may at least give it the old collage try at another, later date. But yeah, we won’t be getting all of that done. Calling it a point percentile that remains, hanging over my head. Anyway, I do get all the heart containers, even though it takes me about an hour and thirty minutes to find the damn Neptoona. The way the Neptoona works is that, randomly, a swordfish image will appear on the map alongside the regular fish image. That’s your chance to get the Neptoona, though be careful as it’s quite fast! Additionally…there is like a 50% chance you’ll actually be catching a Rusty Swordfish, even if you do catch the image. I started with single digit fish caught, or thereabouts…and ended wth 37 or 36, I can’t quite remember. Additionally, and this is just really funny to me…there is a bonus mechanic we haven’t talked about for fishing. Every fish but a skipjack can have a Stowfish on board, a little sucker fish that makes the Wayfarer give you a random ship part. They’re not supposed to be rare. In 36 fish we saw exactly one. So that’s cool.
All that said and done…we’ve done it. The game is, effectively, 100% cleared. We have every orb, we have every heart piece, we’ve got every upgrade and even have the Great Spin Attack. So with that in mind, I hope you all enjoyed this far too long video. I shifted the events around (such as moving all the violence to one section) to make it flow better, and I think it works. There’s a good chance in the future this’ll be how I handle things like this. But yes, I bid you farewell. Next time…we may in fact beat the game. It’s lookin’ pretty likely.
For those curious, this was four, nearly five hours of recording…and basically nine hours of editing. Woo!
Let’s put an end to this, shall we?
Video Length: 47:39
It’s time! We have everything (except all the ship parts and one treasure map I have no idea where is). Every spirit orb, every heart container, and statistically the best possible ship we can get with the parts we were deemed worthy of having by the game. There is little else to do but head to the Ocean King’s Temple and put an end to this, once and for all. First of course we do…have to get the spirit power ups, but that’s a minor thing all things considered. The fully powered up courage spirit makes our sword beams wider…which doesn’t really solve the problem this power up has, but is still decent. The wisdom spirit gets us quadrupled defense, which effectively means all damage is now 1/4th of a heart. It also makes it so we only lose 5 seconds when getting hit by Phantoms. Finally, we have the Power orb, which quadruples our damage. This may seem bad, given very few foes are left that can even TAKE more than one hit, let alone foes that are that durable you’re gonna be fighting, but…we DO have a final boss to deal with!
With all that said and done, it’s time to do a thing someone suggested early on enough in the thread for me to forget who did it. We’re gonna show the entire Ocean King’s Temple, from beginning to end. In doing this you will realize that the OK Temple has exactly one actual checkpoint in it’s entire length, and literally only one new floor to deal with that is just a super annoying and not at all actually cool combat challenge against three phantoms of each type. It really is a shame, since that could have been really cool! And instead it wasn’t! But yeah, if you’ve managed to get this far without noticing, I do not like the OK Temple, and this is one of the biggest reasons as to why. At the end of the day what this game done consistently well is the dungeons and the boss fights…and there’s no final dungeon. The first dungeon is the final dungeon and because of the structure of the game you end up clearing the final dungeon and then leaving to do one more actual dungeon and THEN returning to go beat the final boss. It’s really just…not good? Yeah I’m gonna go ahead and say that, when all is said and done, the Ocean King Temple sucks and they really shouldn’t have tried to do it again.
But, ultimately, that’s not why we’re here. What we’re looking for is Bellum, the demonic parasite that’s been feeding on the Ocean King’s power and the life force of everyone in this world! And we find him and he’s…suitably demonic looking. I’ll be honest as a smaller Zodi this guy actually kinda freaked me out? Not in any real specific way, but he was just unsettling. Bellum, thankfully, follows the tradition this game has established from the get go; this is a really fun boss fight. There’s not much in the way of gimmicks…at first anyway, but it’s pretty solid. You grappling hook the malice off of the guy, while fighting against the Malice Eyes he sends your way. Once all the goop is ripped off you can hook Bellum to you to start stabbing him in his eye core! If he runs away you can just hook him again, which stuns him again. It rules! The second and third phase of this fight involves him rising higher up the tower you’re fighting him in, latching onto the pillars with his eye tendrils. You’ll have to shoot arrows across the room at them while evading his rather weak looking arm slaps. Once you’ve done that, all you’ve gotta do is slice up his eye again. Of course, at the end of phase 3, things become a bit trickier. Bellum freaks out and starts rampaging through the bottom floor. But thankfully, we knocked the rest of Ciela’s power out of him, giving her…dun dun duuun, the ability to STOP TIME! This leads to one of the…better examples of how utterly dense Past Zodi can be some times. In my mind a figure eight is an infinity symbol, and the fact that the space that shows up to draw it looks WAY more appropriate for an infinity symbol than an actual 8 helped me along on these lines. I figure it out eventually it’s just…absolutely shameful. Bad Past Zodi!
With the ultimate power of The World, we’re able to put a stop to Bellum’s rampage, but literally and…metaphorically while still being literally. Bellum dies, we almost get crushed as Oshus takes his sweet time teleporting us out of his house, and Tetra awakens! It’s a really wonderful scene of Tetra showing her softer side now that she’s been saved, which would be nice if Tetra got to do anything badass and pirate-y in this game. Their little strange pipecleaner hands go to touch and…blappo, second form time. Bellum isn’t one to die easy, and I mean…we still haven’t dealt with the ghost ship! As cool as Bellum possessing his own ship to fight us in an automated scroller boat fight is CONCEPTUALLY…it is unfortunately not very compelling to play. It’s certainly cool, but it goes on way too long, not least of which because Linebeck has never been the best driver of this dang boat. It’s a real shame that this is so…mediocre, especially given every other boss beyond the ghost sisters has been stellar!
Finally, after far too long of an engagement, the Ghost Ship crumbles, and we board it to save Tetra once more! But Bellum isn’t ready to give up. After a really good series of events that highlights how despite the flaws this game has, the writing is not one of those, Bellum gets taken by the demonic parasite…and is warped into the horrible Phantom known as BELLUMBECK. It’s time for the final, FINAL boss. Bellumbeck is…a pretty interesting fight, all things considered. The way it utilizes the top screen is interesting, and even though the controls are still bad it’s really cool that they’re actually trying to evoke the Ganondorf fight in Wind Waker. Hit him until he lashes back, evade and find an opening to really put the stab in him. It even has the feature of your ally helping you out, with Ciela letting you see his back so you can time the Time Stops she throws your way. It’s a cool fight, and while not as mechanically satisfying as some of the others, it still feels good. Of note, if you have 20 power orbs, have Leaf equipped, and perform the Great Spin Attack, you will kill Bellumbeck in two rounds instead of three. That is the ultimate power of the…the power. The power of the Power. Thanks for making me write these words game. A final note I’ll make here that I didn’t in video is that the sound effect when you stab the Beck part of Bellumbeck has a different ear feel to it. They actually factor in that this is the first time Link is stabbing an actual real ass person, so the sound is different. It’s neat.
With Bellum stripped from Linebeck and returned to sand, we can finally rest easy. We absorb the Life Force into our Phantom Hourglass, and return it to the Ocean King…who turns out to be a whale. This is a fun mix of surprising and not even remotely surprising, especially because…then Oshus starts talking. He thanks us for our help, and even rewards Linebeck his one wish (which he uses to revive his ship, naturally. He’s learned!). But then he says…we must return to our world now. And so we do, as a mist rolls in…and after the credits, we get the reveal.
IT WAS A DREAM ALL ALONG?!! This uh…this is why I haven’t actually been talking about world lore or anything during the entire game. Haven’t been anaylizing the Cobbles or thinking about Stuff. It’s because it’s all a dream. Now, what parts of it are real and what parts aren’t? Who knows, the game doesn’t have any desire to tell you beyond “Linebeck is real”. Given that Jolene knows, suddenly, about all the Bellum stuff I think it’s reasonable to say she’s NOT real, but that still begs the question. Since Bellum is a demonic brain parasite that’s been trapping people inside of him as he feasts on the Ocean King’s mind…how do we know who is or isn’t real? My personal theory on this has always been that anyone who is Currently Alive…is real and just trapped inside. Everyone who is dead once existed and has now died because of Bellum. The only things that aren’t really real are the monsters and the fairy spirits (and even then, they are REAL, they’re just aspects of Oshus that he could absolutely bring into the real world since he’s an ocean god).
But yeah. That’s the big reveal. It’s all a big lie! It’s effectively this timeline’s version of Link’s Awakening! As a kid it was…weird, to see this happen, but also kinda fun at the same time. But yeah, game over. Tetra is super pissed at her pirate crew, Link see’s Linebeck in the distance showing that even if the adventure was a dream, his friend is still out there, roll credits (except the credits already rolled).
And that’s the game. As I say in video, it’s…unfortunate, really. Ignoring the collection aspect, since I don’t believe any Zelda really comes off well after that, Phantom Hourglass is…unfortunately still kinda mediocre to bad? Like, the dungeons are fun and interesting, the boss fights are really cool and clever and most utilize the duel screen tech very well. The music is…outstanding, to be quite honest, especially here at the end where we get three remixes of Bellum’s theme, crossed over with the various things he’s jammed himself into. But ultimately, the actual act of playing the video game with your own two hands just isn’t all that fun. The controls are…truthfully, even if you do get used to them, abysmal. It was a mistake to make the entire game controlled via touch. I don’t mind motion controls, I don’t mind touch controls! But this? This was a mistake. Now, the dungeon items where utilized really well with regards to the touch screen, and if you could just move normally that’d be pretty cool! But you can’t. So it’s not.
The only other aspect this game really nails is, surprisingly, the writing. Ignoring the ending for a moment because there are many ways you can take how that twist actually comes off, but the writing leading up to it is good. Linebeck is a cool character, a dashing rogue in the sense of a cowardly thief who learns to actually embody, to a degree, the act he tries to play off as true. Ciela, who is super nice and good but also abrasive as hell to Linebeck…because she is the spirit of courage and he’s a craven moron! And don’t even get me started on the comedic writing, this game does GOOD WORK with regards to that. Barely no Zelda game has ever played around with the more iconic things in the series than this one. Skyward Sword had you get in trouble for breaking a chandelier to get a heart piece, sure, but this game repeatedly teases and plays with the item get pose, has characters be goofy as hell, and ultimately is just having a good time with scenes. The dramatic scene in this episode where Oshus appears with a massive wave of water, pushing Link back onto the shattered remains of the ghost ship, and for like half a second you see Linebeck rolling past him like a buffoon. Oshus having absolutely no respect for the item get pose, swiping the item from your hands to make use of it. Linebeck throttling Link until he’s so dizzy he can barely DO the item get pose, and the music is all warped. This game, when it allows itself to, has a lot of fun. A lot of fun that is honestly missing from Zelda. When you get to be the age this series is, start poking fun at yourself! Everyone else is, after all.
But yeah, that’s it. I’d love to give my special thanks to all you who watched, all my cool ass patrons who support me with money, and specifically Wombat of Doom and DataNinja for just generally being consistent and cool peeps who do a lot of footwork for the threads. You guys rule. So, what’s next for the Zodi? Well…next I’m going to do my best to fix my bloody microphone. And after a week break…regardless of how, we’re gonna go into voice commentary time. We’re also going to be going into the game you all voted for at the beginning of this LP.
Join us next time, in a week (or so depending on how hard this stupid mic is to make work) for a time when strength ruled. It’s time for Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodos. The Ogre Battle Saga’s most compelling narrative, and in my opinion best game.
As ever, remember I speak in comparatives, always. See you guys then. @moderators you can move this to the saved section now, it’s done. Keep it open for posting though, just in case.