Thursday, October 6, 2011

Twilight Princess Chapter 21: Ghoulies and Ghosties and Twilighty Beasties (Oh My!)

Greetings, readers! The 21st installment of Twilight Princess is at hand. I'm getting close to the end of the game, and the only thing I really have left to decide is if I'm going to do Hyrule Castle as one post and the final battle as another, or just put them both in one post. We'll see how many pictures I end up taking in the course of the battle, as it were. Okay, well, let's keep moving.

So, Midna and I hurriedly warped to the Mirror Chamber to get things rolling. And by "hurriedly" I mean "got on Epona and took a leisurely gallop all around Hyrule Field looking for one more Heart Piece so I could finish another Heart Container, then got distracted killing Poes in various places and eventually found a total of 150 rupees hidden in chests that I couldn't loot because my purse was full, then got frustrated and warped to the Mirror Chamber." I'm so good at getting things done in a timely manner.

Well...eventually Midna and I ended up in the Mirror Chamber, and the four Mirror Shards reassembled themselves as only evil, magical mirrors can.

This led to the giant piece of rock that was suspended from chains in front of the mirror being dropped on the ground with a rumble of the Wii remote thunder.

As the cosmic beams of light shot out of the mirror and into the big piece of rock, I couldn't help but wonder if I'd stumbled into a sci-fi flick for a second.

Then things got all geometric and Magic Eyes puzzle-y. Sorry, I can't think of a better way to describe it than that.

Uh, I've got news for you, Midna. It is unpleasant. I mean, I hate to break it to you, but that's pretty much the truth.

It also holds scary birds, a lot of weirdos, and bright green and red color schemes. I think I'll pass.

After Midna was done talking, the sages (or their ghosts? I'm not really sure...) showed up and babbled about how they all thought they were such badasses they could just lock Ganondorf away and nothing bad would come of it. This, predictably, backfired. And then they dropped a bombshell!

WHAT? Link is totally pissed. We thought Zelda was the Twilight Princess! Okay, maybe I didn't, but what with Zelda being all cloaky and moody whenever we see her, Link totally thought...okay, whatever. Midna is the Twilight Princess. Of course, she's displeased with the reveal.

We're then treated to a mysterious cutscene where Midna's mysterious true form is finally revealed! But only at a distance. But I can tell you right now: Midna's the only hot Twili who ever existed. For reals.

So Zant took away Midna's powers and turned her into an imp. Then, apparently, he didn't care what happened to her, so she had to crawl her way out of the Twili palace...

...where she found her goofy helmet and then got a really, really naughty idea (I guess).

I mean, that's seriously naughty. Like, "I'm going to slaughter a whole country full of innocent people for no apparent reason and then dance on a giant pile of bodies" naughty. You, gotta watch out for those people, or they'll get ya.

See? She's just a user. She's going to do what she wants with him and then dump him by the side of the road to...wait. I've already said all this before. Why am I saying it again? Everyone knows Midna's a jerk. Okay, moving on...

Hey, look at that. She had a last-minute change of heart. I didn't see that coming at all. You know, because the quasi-bad-person-having-a-sudden-change-of-heart-and-turning-out-to-be-a-good-guy thing hasn't been done approximately one million times before. Well, whatever. We ascended the geometric stairs to meet our fates in the world of twilight.

On the other side of the portal, we were greeted by the Twilight Realm, which has basically the same color scheme as the other world when it was covered in shadow. I guess that makes sense. Even the music is the same. Weirdly enough, there were a bunch of scary-looking Twilight Minions standing around, but Midna was quick to point out that they were just Twili who'd been transformed by Zant. None of them made any attempt to attack us, which was nice. We couldn't talk to them either, which struck me as kind of lazy. They couldn't beg me to help them like everyone else in this game? I'm kind of surprised. Oh well.

Of course, before we can move on, Midna has one last favor to ask. She wants to keep on hiding in my shadow so the other Twili won't see her as an imp. Fine, Midna, you just keep on hiding your ugly imp self. I won't judge you.

There wasn't really much of anything telling me where to go or what to do for this, so I just went in the first door I came to. Eventually I made my way to a room containing a glowy white sphere being clutched by a weird hand...

I'm guessing that's something I'm going to want. But first I have to fight Holographic Zant. Seriously, he looks like a hologram.

I almost expect Darth Vader to appear out of nowhere and Force Choke him for being incompetent. Well, whatever. Let's get this over with.

This fight was mostly just running around waiting for the hologram to stop flitting around the room long enough for me to hit him with my sword. Eventually I stabbed him enough times to break the holographic emitter make him go away, and I was able to turn my attention to the glowy white ball.

This is a joke, right? You have to be joking. It illuminates a world of darkness. Well, whatever. At least it's pretty!

Sure! I'm sure that sinister-looking hand will just sit there and let me take the Sol! It's not up to no good at all! Wait...that sentence structure seems a little weird. Here's a better way to put it: THAT SCARY HAND DOESN'T LOOK SCARY AT ALL. There we go. I sliced the hand's fingers open, picked up the Sol, and skipped merrily away, whistling a carefree tune...



As you can tell, I really enjoyed this part of the game. I remember doing this the first time I played through the game, merely because the whole unsettling experience was permanently burned into my brain.

I didn't attempt to take any pictures of the scary hand chasing me because, well, I just wanted it to be over. So here's a picture of me holding the Sol once I got away from the scary hand!

Yay! And look! The Sol can turn the Twili back into their real forms.

Uh...sorry, guy, but I don't think that's much of an improvement. Hurry for, uh...having an actual head? Yeah. Cool.

I don't remember what "it" was, but you can actually see some of the detail on the Sol in this picture, so that's why it's on here. Woo!

That was a fun room. I had to lower myself onto the first platform with the Clawshot, then jump across the other four platforms (they were all moving from side to side) across the black mist that would turn me into Wolf Link if I fell in it. This was one of the obstacles I later had to get back across with the other Sol. Fun stuff, I tell you what.

So it was basically a rinse-and-repeat operation. Fight my way to the other Sol room, defeat Holographic Zant again, steal the Sol from the scary hand, run away from the scary hand, blunder my way into the above room, drop the Sol, accidentally let the scary hand get the Sol, fail to get it back before the hand takes it through the door and back to the start, shut the game off in disgust and let it sit for two days before I try it again, start over and rescue the Sol in about five minutes of work, kick self for being such a scaredy cat, and...SUCCESS!

Cool, a sword upgrade that will be totally useless outside of the Twilight Realm! Just what I always wanted! Okay, let's go.

And as the music swelled and the screen faded to black, the game ended, for truly I was the Hero of Winds, and...wait, I've already used this joke. Midna, when did you start paying me compliments? I thought "smug superiority" was your shtick, not this crap. Let's go.

Here's a random Twili who got turned back into his real form after I rescued the second Sol. He kept making an "OooooOOOOOoooo" noise whenever I got close to him. Is he a zombie? Is he going to try to eat my brains if I stand there much longer? Or is he just a creeper? I guess we'll never find out.

Well, now that I'd rescued both of the Sols, I could get past the giant shadow crystal waterfall (figure that one out) behind the creeper guy above. Inside I found more puzzles to solve! Fun, indeed. They mostly involved using my Light Sword to sweep aside more shadow crystals while activating lifts and riding them around. Eventually I made my way to the final room (but not before missing the Boss Key again and doubling back to find it). Time to confront Zant!

Zant gazed down at us from his stolen throne, thankfully not-holographic this time (Where's Darth Vader when you need him?).

Because our presence wasn't alarming enough to him, Midna had to taunt him. You know, just a little bit. Gets the heart pumping.

So Zant started in on a progressively-weirder monologue about how his people were locked up, and it was so unfair, and they all turned into emotionless robots, and it was all the royal family's fault. Apparently we weren't supposed to notice he was slowly losing his sanity as he made his little speech, but that kind of...failed.

Oh, it got worse.

The following picture sums things up pretty well.

...Yeah. So that happened. And then Zant went on to babble more about how he failed at his ambition (to achieve more power) and then was flailing around on the ground when Ganondorf's face suddenly showed up and bound himself to himself, or...something.

Weird. Let's fight!

Thus commenced one of the better boss fights in the game. Zant did a cool teleporty thing and sent us to the boss room from the Forest Temple, where he did nothing except hang in the air shooting bolts of energy at me. It took me a shameful amount of time to figure out I had to use the Gale Boomerang on him.

After I defeated him the first time, it was teleportation time again!

This time we ended up in the miniboss room from the Goron Mines. Cool, I guess. Zant kept jumping up and down on the metal plate like a moron, and all I had to do was stay on it and wait for him to get tired out from jumping up and down like the spastic freak he is, then hit him with my sword a few times. Piece of cake.

Let's see. I think the next place we went was the boss room from Lakebed Temple. We were underwater and Zant showed up in a giant statue shaped like his helmet. Periodically the helmet would open, revealing Zant inside shooting more energy balls at me, and I had to use the Clawshot to pull him out of the giant helmet so I could hit him with my sword. Fun stuff.

After I hit Zant a few more times with my sword, we teleported yet again - to the boss room from the yeti house. This time Giant Zant ran around on the ice trying to stomp me, and I had to hit him in the ankle with the ball and chain to make him shrink down to teeny size so I could slash him with my sword.

Finally we teleported for the last time, to a walled-in area near Castle Town. At this point Zant must have gotten desperate, because he whipped out a couple of swords and started going all-out desperate crazy on me, and the music changed to match.

By this point he was so desperate to kill me that all I had to do was pretty much just stay out of his way and then jump in and hit him with my sword whenever he got tired. He had some kind of whirling dervish attack that was sorta painful, but it left him tired after he did it, so I just had to wait for that and then hit him a few times with my sword, and then it was pretty much cake!

So we warped back to the Twilight Realm for the finale of the fight (or maybe it was all an elaborate illusion) and Midna thought the curse that made her ugly would be broken for some reason...

But, alas, it wasn't. Midna was pissed, and yelled at Zant about how he couldn't get what he wanted because of his crazy eyes, and nobody wanted to mess with that, etc. Zant retorted by saying the curse on Midna could never be broken, and she would never get her powers back. Pshhh, this is a Zelda game. She'll be fine.

Yeah, I don't see that happening, buddy. You're free to hold out hope, but...I wouldn't.

So then Zant went all crazyface, and Midna killed him with her hair. Or made him disappear with her hair, or something. Yeah, I don't know. She got the Fused Shadows back from Zant, so all bets are off. She's a BAMF now too, apparently. And for some reason she's surprised.

Yeah, you did. I saw you.

Zelda? So we can save her after all? Link perked up immediately at that comment. He's been a little depressed ever since Zelda sacrificed herself, or whatever it was she did to save Midna. Yay!

Well, no need to get snippy about it. Fine, let's head to Castle Town. I've got nothing better to do.

And that's where I end for tonight. This post ended up being a lot longer than I thought it would be. But it makes up for my lack of posting lately, so I'm happy with it.

Until next time, heroes!


Styve said...

Huzzah for the post! And to follow suit, I will enter a lengthy comment in response after an agonizing delay since I have to go to bed now. G'night, hero.

Styve said...

"... and the four Mirror Shards reassembled themselves as only evil, magical mirrors can." So true.

"It also holds scary birds, a lot of weirdos, and bright green and red color schemes." Don't forget nasty black smoke with sparks of what I assume is fire. Oh, and the hands... creepy, creepy hands.

"...the sages (or their ghosts? I'm not really sure...) showed up and babbled about how they all thought they were such badasses they could just lock Ganondorf away and nothing bad would come of it. This, predictably, backfired." They never learn. Why do they always lock or seal or hide the bad guy rather than just killing him?? Even in Wind Waker when Link stabbed Ganon in the skull with the Master Sword, he just petrified into a stone statue that will no doubt resurrect itself and wreak havoc. I l love having a whole series of Zelda games, but is it really necessary to leave these sorts of plot lines hanging in order to make the next game? They've come up with enough weirdo villains/sub-villains without too much trouble. And how do they get the Triforce of power back from Ganon?? That would be a high priority for me if I were a moany Sage ghost.

Speaking of weirdos, what the heck was wrong with Midna? I think calling her "naughty" is putting it lightly. She looked downright poisonous and malevolent. I know she's kind of a jerk and all, but she was screaming "evil" in that cut scene.

So it only takes two little balls of light to "illuminate" their world... and they just leave them sitting out in the open?? I'm wondering if we should just let natural selection run its course. They are pretty light balls, though.

Not only are the creepy hands ominous in their floating, but I'm pretty sure when there about the steal the Sol ball back they wiggle the their fingers with glee and malice. Like I've said, jerks.

I will admit. I, too, missed the boss key and only noticed after hacking at the boss lair padlock with my light sword to no avail. Always with the keys. He has a sword!! Use it!

Alright, I'm wondering if you noticed, too, that as Zant got progressively more weird, he started to sound more and more like Tingle. I was expecting a "kooloolimpah!" somewhere in his monologue. Maybe he gave up on being a fairy man and turned all dark side. And apparently stopped brushing his teeth to preven all those saliva strands. Blegh.

Why is it after each weapon upgrade the previous weapons become irrelevant until the end of the game? I mean, Link could probably just muddle through every area with the double clawshot and the hero's bow. Oh! But it the final (or almost final boss) and he's going to test you on how well you remember killling the other ones with those weapons that should be rusty and decayed by now.

Umm... has Midna known this whole time how to save Zelda? Is she trying to thwart their love? Or maybe she is just lying to use Link for yet another selfish purpose. At this point, I would consider saying "Screw it." and moving back to Ordon to herd goats and waste away into romantic despair. But then Ilia would probably be there... He just can't win.