Thursday, 6 January 2011

Rescuing Hyrule and the Twilight Princess

As I’ve been playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on the Wii lately, I just want to share how awesome the Lakebed/Water Temple is. OK, the previous temple in the Goron Mines had some brilliant sections as you worked out how to magnetise parts of the wall to get to different areas. But the Water Temple I loved because the whole area was one big puzzle. There must be some Japanese riddle-maker behind this entire area, to keep you from the darkly powerful “fused shadow” which the boss guards inside. Perhaps the idea is that, even as you unlock the rooms, you are proving your worthiness of the prize, as a persistent and wise hero.

If I drew a diagram of the Temple and marked how you get to the boss it would involve lots of circles around a central point. The central island contains the exit to the boss, but to reach it you need to release water from the lake above you out of the right surrounding rooms to raise the water level in the centre. But even within this puzzle there’s more – as you need to release some of it so it is funnelled in the right directions to access particular doors in the central room in order to release more water. And you need the right keys along the way.

I guess the layout is similar to the ugly but ingenius Goron temple in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, a game I sadly never finished.

Rarely am I inspired enough by a computer game to want to write about it, but this was one of those moments. I also like the anime-inspired story of the game, which is fuller than in previous instalments of Zelda. Weirdly though, the game is almost too similar to previous games. It makes a change when you get to swordfight a band of goblins on horseback through Hyrule, scare the townspeople in your cursed wolf form, or find a new item to exploit. The music should be better too. I hope Nintendo can continue to keep the series true to its epic and heroic roots while taking into some more unexpected directions as well.

When I move next week I’m going to miss having the family Wii around, to play this, Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition, Super Mario Galaxy, Wii Sports Resort, and Super Smash Bros Brawl – all great games.

1 comment:

sheepdan said...

I really liked Twilight Princess, but I was a bit disappointed by the 2nd half - The first dungeon or two were really good, but it seemed the later dungeons were somewhat lacking in bad guys, and were pretty much just ghost-towns.
The overall plot was good though, and each section provided a different style of puzzle. The underwater temple was probably the most puzzley bit - I got rather frustrated at times, running round in circles trying to find where to go next.