Monday, December 5, 2011

Zelda: King of Limbo Synopsis, Part 3 - The Master Sword, Without Link?

Jump back to Part 2.

At camp, Zelda confers with Navi and the captain of her guard. They believe the Master Sword can harm even the King of Limbo. It’s the simplest reason for why he’d pursue it. Since he mentioned it’s somewhere in Link’s home woods, we’re off.

It's been so long since anyone's seen the Master Sword
that Navi can't remember what it looks like.
Now there’s only one major army on the map, which is conveniently in that same woods. Zelda is now strong enough to travel deeper in than before. But as she gets deeper, things get a little greener and brighter. The sword’s magic is repelling the darkness, and preventing Zanath from finding it. The forest becomes a nightmarish version of itself, a sort of mini-dungeon maze you have to fight your way through until you reach the classic grove. Zelda tries to take the sword from the stone but can’t lift it. Navi wonders if only the Chosen One can. God, it’d be annoying if we had to go on a quest to find that singular special person.

Of course, Zanath was following them and now he strikes. He tries to retrieve the sword, and fails. He isn’t too upset; he believes only one person can wield this thing, and his master has already killed that boy. Zelda knocks him away from the block and brushes against the handle. It glows. You guessed it: this time she’s able to release the Master Sword, based on the courage she’s displayed. Zanath serves as a mini-bossfight that shows off the power of the sword, and will hopefully make a suitably awesome debut for Zelda wielding the famous weapon.
"Zant," from Twilight Princess. Zanath's got the same fashion sense.
After falling to Zelda, Zanath begins to fade away into Limbo. He says it doesn’t matter: the Legend-cycle is already broken with the Chosen One’s death, and soon Ganon will control Hyrule, Limbo and the Golden Realm. A whole lot of names we don’t have context for yet, but recognize as bad. Zanath believes his master will simply set him free from Limbo at the end of the war.

Navi doubts Link is really dead, just trapped in Limbo. We don’t get Zelda’s side because, since she’s the protagonist, she can’t talk in this game. The burdens of a Nintendo hero.

In addition to allowing Zelda to kick ass, the Master Sword has a hefty warding range against the Limbo-darkness. If she visits the appropriate key points and uses the sword, she can permanently remove some of the blight in Hyrule, ala Okami. This becomes necessary to find the next set of temples, since the Army of Limbo’s blight has rendered them inaccessible. These armies are only able to locate the relative regions of the temples, not the entrances to their Temples. Zelda has to scour the landscape, like archaeologists messing around Egypt for buried tombs. The Master Sword “healing” specific areas permits you entry into multiple Temples. I’d let the game designers come up with these Temple themes (and/or change the earlier Temple themes) as they pleased, since they clearly know what they’re doing. Nintendo’s shop does fantastic dungeon design.

After passing through a couple of Temples, enough of the land is safe enough that you can access the special Graveyard Temple. This one’s in reference to the original game’s Graveyard that couldn’t be reached by a logical spatial approach. No map can guide you through the mire and fog. Navi is positively baffled. She knows the fairies came to Hyrule from this place, but nothing more.

Jump to Part 4!

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