Monday, February 20, 2012

Skyward Sword Chapter 12: Indiana Link and the Rollercoaster of Terror

Hello and welcome to yet another installment of Operation Replay. My apologies for my lack of posting last week, with Valentine's Day going on and all. I will attempt to post twice this week (but I'm not making any promises). So, on with the show!

I'd been advised to go to the Isle of Songs again, so I left the dungeon, only to be stopped by the Kimono Dragon. I mean, Water Dragon.

Uh, yeah, I guess. What's it to you?

You know, every time people like you insult me like that, I get less and less inclined to save your world for you. You know, because I'm The Hero (tm) and if you piss me off, maybe I won't save the world. Because I'm the only one that can do it. Capisce?

I get that a lot. Thanks for being so helpful! Well, I'm going to go to the Isle of Songs now.

Cool. Let's hear it.

Hey, look, Fi's doing her quasi-ballet thing again. This time with video! Dance, Fi, dance!

Oh, it's harp time again. Yay!

Yay, I'm learning another song without really doing anything! Cool!


Yay, I watched myself play another song and now I learned it!

And I don't even have to bother to remember it. Thanks, Fi!

Well, no need to waste time. I went to the desert and found the entrance to the next Silent Realm.

Cool. Now get out of here.

Woo! Time to go collect some more tears. I didn't take any pictures of this part, with the time limits and all. I thought it would be more difficult than the last one, but I managed to complete the whole thing in one try. I did aggravate the guards a little more often, though (mostly from getting too close to the ones with the little lights). But I only had one run-in with the magic guard-awakening water, which was nice. And the way I got the last tear was nifty - it was up a tree, so I had to roll into the tree to knock it down so I could grab it. I don't know why I thought it was cool - probably because it was something that was somewhat complicated, but not too complicated. Cool. Well, this paragraph is getting long. Let's break it up with something happy!

And not only did I finish the trial successfully, but I got another item! Yay!

Whoo! And look at that - it's not one Clawshot, but two! Cool.

Cool. Let's go!

Oh, so that's what those things are. I mean, I had a hunch, but still. I guess Fi said something kind of useful for once. Well, I suppose a broken clock is still right twice a day.

So, I set off to find the desert's unexplored area. Along the way, I encountered another Sheikah Stone.

Another dragon? Well, as long as he's not also wearing a kimono, I'll be okay.

So, by following the Clawshot targets, I was able to find a mysterious cave I hadn't been to before, where there was another Goron inside, pounding away at some rocks.

Heh. His hair looks kinda like a top hat. But anyway. I'm looking for a dragon, apparently? Hmm.

"Sweet goro?" That's a new one. Sand sea, you say? Cool. And then he gave me the key to the locked door a few feet away, which I proceeded to go through. But not before I lobbed a few bombs at the Goron from the handy Bomb Flowers located nearby. Heh heh heh. When I got through the door, I was treated to a lot of sweeping views of the Sand Sea.

Time for the title card!

What a fun-looking place. Deserts are fun!

How interesting. I wonder what happened to make the whole place turn into a desert.

So I started making my way down to said port. This involved using the Clawshots to get across an abyss. I guess they wanted to make us practice some more.

Fun stuff. Let's move on.

When I reached the port, I found a broken-down old boat and robot. The cool part? There was a Time Stone on the boat. So I hit it.

Aww, he's wearing a pirate hat! Or whatever it is you call those things. He's so cute!

Aww, he's a cute little skipper. Okay, let's go look for the sandship!

Oh, wait, he wants to tell me his story. Anything you want, skipper.

And what? Something cataclysmic happened, I'm guessing. You know, other than the storm.

A pirate attack, you say? Not just any pirates, but robot pirates? Too bad you let their awesomeness dastardly piracy overwhelm you.

How sad.

Aww. So then you stayed at the port, gradually crumbling into your nonfunctional state while everything around you turned to dust and the sea filled with sand. That's...actually pretty depressing, if you think about it.

Your hat? I'll take that bet. Wait. The ship can turn invisible? Well, how are we going to find it then?

So...why didn't you just stay invisible 24/7? Because I'm pretty sure that would be pretty dang effective.

Well, whatever. Let's go look for the ship on our boat that shifts a small area of sand back to sea while it moves.

See? It's bizarre.

Anything you say, skipper dude. Let's go have some fun!

I was totally not expecting them to bring back boat travel in Zelda. It was a delightful flashback to Wind Waker, except without a sail. I even had a cannon!

The first place we decided to look for the ship was at the skipper's shack. Okay, let's go.

That looks like a fun place. So...where's the shack, then?

Of course it is. And the skipper, cute as he may be, has to stay with the boat or he'll collapse back into a pile of broken circuits. Fine, I'll do all the heavy lifting around here. So I made my tedious way up to the shack at the very top...and this is what I found.

Looks like there's cleaning to be done! I guess I should be thankful for the opportunity to use my vacuum.

Look, a chest! And an old picture of the skipper's doomed crew. Aww.

Inside the chest, I found...

Other than the chart, we didn't find any clues about the ship. So, I went back to the Skipper.

Okay, cool.

Looks like a shipyard...

And that looks like a rollercoaster. What is a rollercoaster doing in my Zelda game? Grumble grumble...

Inside the first building, I found a random Goron. I don't think he even told me his name. Okay then.

I bet they do. How old is this place, again? Has it had any preventative maintenance done on it at all in the last thousand years? Because if it falls apart and drops me into quicksand halfway through, heads will roll.

So here I am, riding the rollercoaster. As usual, the controls were annoying and tedious. You speed up every time you go around a curve, and there are really frustrating jumps involved that tend to dump you into the sand right as you think you're getting to the end. I finally had to have my mysterious observer finish the rollercoaster for me (and take pictures while I was riding said rollercoaster) because I didn't want to be at it for a week straight.

The music was fun, though (as usual). It was amusing making Link lean back and forth to the beat. You know, until I got too distracted, leaned the wrong way, and made the mine car fall into the sand. Speaking of mine cars...

...this is at least the third time they've used something that could have come straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. Seriously, when am I getting a fedora? It had better be soon.

Of course, the payoff for all the rollercoaster frustration was...zilch. I had to fight the boss from the Temple of Time again. Lame.

That's a cool picture of one of the boss's claws getting blowed up by my sword.

And then...there was nothing else in the dry dock.

I can imagine how this scene should have gone down if I was in charge of this game. Link is panting, covered in slime from the monster he just killed, and Fi says something inane like that. His response: "NO SHIT, SHERLOCK. I THOUGHT I JUST KILLED THAT MONSTER FOR FUN!" And then Fi would stop being annoying and go away and only come out when I called for her. Oh well. So I went back outside, where the skipper suggested we go to the pirate stronghold. Considering that the last time you saw your ship, it had been attacked by pirates, shouldn't common sense have dictated that we go there first? You know, since they took the crew prisoner and threw you overboard? Sigh.

I think if I can keep from going into an insane rage and strangling Fi with my bare hands, I can handle one robot pirate. Let's go!

Title cards are fun.

How intimidating. It looks like some kind of creature with teeth and a really pointy snout. But I'm not intimidated by architecture, so I went in through that door you can kind of see next to the big pile of boxes on the lower right of the picture. Inside, I found...

...a Sol Time Stone! This time, one that I can carry around, with an ever-shifting area of time phasing things back to how they were a million years ago, or however long this stuff has all been sitting here! How cool. Here it is in action.

This is going to be fun, I can tell. Here it is making a weird platform shoot up out of the sand.

Fun stuff. Well, let's move on. I had to move the Time Stone from where I found it to the starting room of the stronghold, but I couldn't just go back through the door I came from because shifting things backward in time made electricity go across the door. So I had to take the long way around and bring the Time Stone to its proper place in a somewhat slower fashion that involved fighting two of those annoying enemies from the mining facility. But at last, I put the Time Stone where it needed to be, and it made this happen!

Well, it's not immediately obvious from the picture, but the "mouth" you could see from the exterior of the building opened, revealing a walkway with those masts and stuff buried in the sand underneath. I hope the ship isn't stuck under there, because that would end our search for Nayru's flame really quickly. So I went out to the walkway to check it out.

Okay, cool. I guess...we'll just have to go look for it?

Well, time to dowse our way to the ship, I guess. There was a lot of confusion at this stage, mostly because I wasn't sure if the ship was actually moving or if I was just stupid. But as I was dowsing for the ship and speedboating my way around, I kept running into something I couldn't see. Finally I figured it out and shot a bomb in front of me whenever I hit the invisible something - which made it show up briefly. It was the ship! So I hit it with a couple more bombs every time I hit it, and finally it appeared for good.

That is a very large, very boxy ship. Actually, it looks more like a cargo ship than anything else. Well, whatever. The flame is inside! I magically teleported my way onto the ship's ladder.

That's kind of an unflattering shot, but whatever. Onto the ship!

Yay! We made it onto the ship. And that brings me to my stopping place for the day. Next time: Sandship! Woo! Until then, heroes!

1 comment:

Styve said...

Hello, again, Hero (tm)! I know at this point in time you have technically finished the game (as have I), but I still enjoy your entries and finally have some time to peruse them. On to the commentary...

Why do so many people mock the hero?? So he's young, so he's human, so he's puny, so he's wearing a goofy green outfit... What's it to them? As you said, all this mocking and doubt makes a hero feel less and less inclined to do any heroing.

I feel like it was almost too easy to get the clawshots this time, especially two at once! Granted, it's been a while since I ran through one of the Trials, so I'm guessing it was a lot harder at the time than I recall. I wonder what would happen if we could just have the clawshots at the very beginning rather than the silly slingshots.

As you you already know, all the dragons have kimonos. Why... maybe they are cold? Maybe the Eurocentric Westerner appearance of the human characters needed to be directly contrasted with somewhat stereotypical creatures... Maybe the dragons are just snappy dressers!

The robot captain crumbling away is rather sad, but then again I don't understand why he didn't just use the little boat and cannon himself to find his ship again. He did crumble immediately, ya know??

I'm going to guess before I read on that you skipped the piece of heart from the rollercoaster game, yes? Sweet Goro!

I don't recall there being so many dead ends before. I guess I appreciate the realism and all, but I don't think they realized that Fi will still try to be painfully helpful during pointless ventures as well as productive ones. Maybe in the Hero Mode you can mute her.

If Fi can "dowse" for things, implying that she knows where they are, why doesn't she just lead you directly to them? She can hop out to do a triple toe loop easily enough, but she can't figure skate her way over to the invisible ship so we know where to aim the cannon?

i believe the "teeth" and pointy "nose" are actually the rear section of what appears to be a sphinx-like face... which apparently has its teeth and nose at its rear! Ah Sandship, it was the ship of dreams... *queue dramatic music from Titanic*