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Angela Jan 25, 2011

Due to recent discussions, there's been a renewed interest in folks wanting to play through this entry of the Zelda series again.  I've had nothing but fond things to say about The Minish Cap over the years, and as Capcom's/Flagship's/Nintendo's last collaboration, I believe they had created one of the best titles in the franchise.  Six years later, it'll be interesting to see if the game still holds up.  So, I welcome everyone to don on their "Mysterious Hats", pocket a few Kinstones, and grab their Picori Blades -- it's off to Hyrule!

To start, I'm playing the game on the Game Boy Advance SP2.  (The '2' being the second, brighter backlit model.)  The big screen estate and lush color contrast really makes the graphics burst with eye-popping clarity; best of all, there's an in-game option that allows you to set the game's inherent lighting scheme to a darker or brighter tint.  It looks perfect on "Dark" and on the SP's highest backlit setting.

Graphically, the game still looks terrific.  The Wind Waker art style translated beautifully to this and The Four Swords' 2D palette.  Link is wonderfully animated; seeing him plop in and get stuck in a Lon Lon Ranch hole, or flopping helplessly around in deeper water never gets old. wink  Settings like the Picori Festival at the very start of the game, and shortly after in the Minish Woods are nicely detailed.

At the risk of sounding narrow-minded, I don't believe a Zelda game is officially really great unless it features the original Overworld Theme in prominent capacity -- faithfully recreated and front and center, this is one of the reasons that makes The Minish Cap so excellent.

Will be tackling the Deepwood Shrine in the next couple of days.

Tim JC Jan 26, 2011

Played for a little while and saved at the Minish village. I forgot how much I like all the sound effects and voices, and how well the graphics work on a small screen. It's vibrant and charming, and feels like an extension of Link to the Past. I'm playing on my oldskool DS, by the way, which works fine if I play in the evening.

Ever since seeing Honey, I Shrunk the Kids I've had an interest in anything that puts you in the shoes of a thimble sized person, so that's another thing this game has going for it.

Angela Jan 29, 2011

Just got through the Deepwood Shrine, and snagged the Earth Element.  Really fun and variety-filled dungeon; between the ...... interchangeable rooms accessed from the spinning barrel, the mushroom slingshots, and the myriad of uses of the Gust Jar, this is Zelda dungeon faring at its most enjoyable.

Other observations:

If I recall, the Pegasus Boots don't come until well after the ...... second elemental dungeon.  I want to start dashing, as rolling has become a touch tedious.

Slashing away at those long rows of moles is still immensely satisfying.

I like the nod to the Zelda II boss battle theme in the Mid-boss Theme, and I totally dig the main Boss Theme.  Badass.

Crystal's current avatar!  Boss! wink

Tim JC Jan 30, 2011

I think the Legend of Zelda games have the most fun, engaging dungeons in all of gaming. I blazed through the Deepwood Shrine and am ready to tackle the next one. But first a little exploring of Hyrule Town. I visited the trainer for a sword skill, purchased a couple notables from the shop, and now I'm stuck on that danged cuckoo game. I'm at the point where I have to catch 3 golden cuckoos (in something like 55 seconds) but I'm having trouble locating the third one. I'm giving it a rest for now, but I think I'll look for some help in the meantime.

I'm also a little tired of spamming the roll action. All I hear is Link's "hah!" "hah!" "hah!" as I travel.

Angela Jan 30, 2011 (edited Feb 6, 2011)

Tim JC wrote:

I blazed through the Deepwood Shrine and am ready to tackle the next one. But first a little exploring of Hyrule Town.

I'd definitely recommend buying the wallet immediately at the shop in Hyrule.  You'll be surprised at how quickly you amass rupees, and you're even likely to exceed its 300 set limit in no time flat.

Also, there's a free Empty Bottle that you can snag in the Trilby Highlands, located in an underground passage to the south.  It's a tremendous asset in this early part of the game; capture a widely available fairy, and you're good to go for a free full health refill.

EDIT - Actually, it's not free.  You need to pay up 20 rupees. tongue

Tim JC Jan 31, 2011

Angela wrote:
Tim JC wrote:

I blazed through the Deepwood Shrine and am ready to tackle the next one. But first a little exploring of Hyrule Town.

I'd definitely recommend buying the wallet immediately at the shop in Hyrule.  You'll be surprised at how quickly you amass rupees, and you're even likely to exceed its 300 set limit in no time flat.

Also, there's a free Empty Bottle that you can snag in the Trilby Highlands, located in an underground passage to the south.  It's a tremendous asset in this early part of the game; capture a widely available fairy, and you're good to go for a free full health refill.

Got the wallet after I noticed I was wasting rupees I made catching cuckoos. Then I found out the boomerang was 300 so I had to do some more catching. I'll need to grab that Empty Bottle yet though.

Also, correction on my previous post: apparently the third cuckoo I'm looking for is a white one, and it's best to save that till later in the game when you can jump and there aren't any people in your way.

Crystal Feb 1, 2011

Angela wrote:

Haha Thanks Angela. I like yours a lot too. That hair is just awesomeness.
I also liked the 2 birds you were about to eat in the GT post.
From Costco?  big_smile

Right now, I've been playing Zelda Oracle series, this series also has a heavy dose of the overworld theme.
The only thing I have to play it is an old gameboy color....with no backlight. :S 
But the Minish Cap is an awesome game. Very Worth playing.

SonicPanda Feb 6, 2011

A stupidly late start*, but I'm off.

After trying both the actual GBA cart and emulating it on PSP, I decided to stick with the latter. There's a surprisingly heavy amount of R-Button activity here, and I'd just as soon map it to a more comfortable position. Now I'm content to just roll everywhere, because his walking speed doesn't cut it.

It's a nice touch that Zelda and Link seem to be good friends at the outset, rather than the usual who-is-this-boy-oh-well-he-must-be-a-good-person nonsense most LoZ games throw out there. This will be my first Zelda game with Vaati in it, so I'm looking forward to how he develops (assuming he doesn't just sit and wait for me at game's end, like a certain other King of Thieves). Ezlo is kind of a pain, though. WILL YOU PLEASE BE QUIET?

It's been long enough since my last Zelda experience that I'm making what feel like rookie mistakes. At the base of Mt. Crenel, for instance, it took me forever to figure out that I had to water the vine using a nearby bottle, which even as I write it out, I have to tilt my head and think, 'really? That's Zelda 101.' The first dungeon wasn't much of a hassle, though.

I'm stuck just as I've transitioned to Mt. Crenel proper, which seems to consist entirely of a dead end. I'll work on it more tomorrow, after work and presumably the Super Bowl (rooting Packers, as I find Roethlisberger personally irritating).

*Long story short, most of my free time to this point was spent trying, and ultimately failing, to finish a suitable entry for the Megaman Tribute book. I can't keep up with these kids and their digital art programs and my scanner wasn't up to the task of uploading my pencil art well enough. Damn it. I hope to have something for the minor activity thing at the MML3 blog, though.

Tim JC Feb 6, 2011

SonicPanda wrote:

A stupidly late start*, but I'm off.

I haven't played in a while, so you've almost caught up to where I am (Melari's Mines). I was stuck briefly on Mt. Crenel as well.

Angela Feb 6, 2011

Tim JC wrote:

I haven't played in a while, so you've almost caught up to where I am (Melari's Mines). I was stuck briefly on Mt. Crenel as well.

Just reached the Cave of Flames myself.  Not only did I forget about the Empty Bottle playing a necessary part in getting through Mt. Crenel, I had forgotten what an involving task it was to get through it, period.  Pro-tip for those getting stuck: bombs are your friend.  And on that note, there's a nice secret hidden in the mountains that will thankfully increase your bomb bag's limit to 30.

Love the Mt. Crenel Theme itself.  Youtube user EVA01X described it best: "It's like the Overworld theme and the [Zelda III] Darkworld theme had some kind of AWESOME bastardly love child."  Nice throwback to Time of Fallen Rain for that rainy section, too.

TerraEpon Feb 6, 2011

Man this so makes me wanna play this again, but alas, so busy....plus it'd require either turning off DQIX or emulating. Hmmm, decisions decisions....

Angela Feb 6, 2011

TerraEpon wrote:

Man this so makes me wanna play this again, but alas, so busy....plus it'd require either turning off DQIX or emulating. Hmmm, decisions decisions....

Do it, man.  Octoroks beat Slimes any day of the week. wink

Let's hope Pellasos and Amazingu eventually join the party.  (Hey Amazingu, would you be picking up the Japanese, U.S., or European version?)

Amazingu Feb 6, 2011

Angela wrote:
TerraEpon wrote:

Man this so makes me wanna play this again, but alas, so busy....plus it'd require either turning off DQIX or emulating. Hmmm, decisions decisions....

Do it, man.  Octoroks beat Slimes any day of the week. wink

Let's hope Pellasos and Amazingu eventually join the party.  (Hey Amazingu, would you be picking up the Japanese, U.S., or European version?)

Believe me, I want to join in SO MUCH, but I'm in exactly the same situation as TerraEpon.

I never owned the game myself, so if I'm going to buy it, it'll be the JP version, but it's a lot harder to find than I'd thought, and even if I do find it, it's kind of on the expensive side.

I've tried an emulator, but I've never been able to run this game, because the save file is ALWAYS messed up for some reason...

Tim JC Feb 7, 2011

That's too bad, peeps. The more the merrier.

I played a bit more and finished the Cave of Flames. Fun with mine carts, balled-up bugs, and lava platforms. This boss gave me some trouble, taking my life down to alert status even after I used a fairy. It wasn't the boss so much as all the fire on the ground that I couldn't keep cleared fast enough. I ended up just rolling recklessly through it to save time. (You get free hearts every once in a while anyway.)

Angela wrote:

[Pro-tip for those getting stuck: bombs are your friend.  And on that note, there's a nice secret hidden in the mountains that will thankfully increase your bomb bag's limit to 30.

Ack, I never found that. And I thought I canvassed the whole area pretty well. Guess I was too frugal with my bombs. After the flame cave I just wanted to vacate the mountain ASAP, so I'll pass on that upgrade for now.

SonicPanda Feb 9, 2011

Tim JC wrote:

I played a bit more and finished the Cave of Flames. Fun with mine carts, balled-up bugs, and lava platforms.

With you on the first two (Sweet jumping jellyfish!), but those lava platforms are made of a highly concentrated form of anti-fun, with one part Hurry-up-HURRY-UP-MOVE and two parts WHAT-I-WASN'T-ANYHERE-NEAR-THE-EDGE. If anyone near the eastern US seaboard heard a caveman yell come out of nowhere on Monday afternoon, now you know why. Thankfully the boss didn't give me trouble once I hashed out what needed to be done, although the sudden lava flood startled me.
I also got hung up for a time on where to find Hot Spring Water for the green plant, even though in retrospect I'm sure someone mentioned it and where to go after the set of five lava platforms in a row (#@$*%), because I didn't see the platform I could drift to south of the spikes near the Kinstone for quite some time. I was also stuck on a pushblock maze until I realized that (for whatever reason) blocks can only be pushed one way in this game, even if the other side is open. I don't mean to come off as a complainer; I am enjoying the game, but I'm killing myself (though I've not died...yet) with these rookie mistakes. I'm certain they're almost doubling my playtime, and I feel foolish.
I do like how the treasure from the first dungeon still has a fair amount of use, and I hope it doesn't eventually lapse into Twilight Princess' one-dungeon-and-done item-usefulness rut. I'm also enjoying the new sound effects, in particular for the Cane and the Melari, and the nostalgic musical nod when the rain started on the mountain was a very nice touch. But regarding what to do next...am I supposed to head to the Elemental place now, even though I'm missing two elements, or is that a distant, Master-Sword's-sitting-in-the-Lost-Woods kind of goal?

Angela Feb 9, 2011

SonicPanda wrote:

But regarding what to do next...am I supposed to head to the Elemental place now, even though I'm missing two elements, or is that a distant, Master-Sword's-sitting-in-the-Lost-Woods kind of goal?

I've yet to even start on The Cave of Flames, but if I'm remembering correctly, yes, you do need to head on over there.  You acquire a new skill that's necessary to proceed.

Tim JC Feb 13, 2011

I made it up to Castor Wilds after doing various...uh...things...in and around Hyrule Town. (I'm not so good at recounting all the details.) I kept playing, expecting the battery in my DS to run out, but I still haven't had to recharge it yet. Coming off the Ys games on the PSP I'm reminded just how competent the DS's battery life is.

Angela Feb 13, 2011

Tim JC wrote:

Coming off the Ys games on the PSP I'm reminded just how competent the DS's battery life is.

While there's no hard proof, many people have reported that their UMD copies of Ys Seven and Oath in Felghana (and Peace Walker, for that matter) seemed to drain their PSP's battery life faster than any other game has before them.  Yet another reason why I prefer my PSP games digital nowadays, in addition to the exponentially quicker load times.

Amazingu Feb 13, 2011

Angela wrote:

many people have reported that their UMD copies of Ys Seven and Oath in Felghana seemed to drain their PSP's battery life faster than any other game has before them.

Must be because of all that awesome music contained within.

Nekobo Feb 14, 2011

Funny timing...I was actually thinking of replaying this. I think left off at the Wind Palace dungeon. It's been like 6 years, so it'd probably be better to restart than to jump back into it.

SonicPanda Feb 14, 2011

Regarding the fast-draining games, Birth by Sleep gives you the option to boost the in-game color palette with the tradeoff that you run out of juice faster. Maybe these games run with higher palettes and don't give the same warning?

I'll offer better fleshed-out thoughts tomorrow but let me give everyone entering the Fortress of Winds a tip that'll save a few hours' time - when you come across a set of three isolated tiles lined up against a wall, drop a bomb. The dungeon's key treasure is there, and you aren't finishing without it.

Angela Feb 20, 2011

Bedridden with a red-hot fever, I figured this was an apt enough time as any to tackle The Cave of Flames.  Maybe it's because I'm under the influence of antihistamines, but it took me an absurdly long time to get out of this one.  The mine cart routes tripped me up most, and I had my own "rookie moment" when you needed to.... drag that first pedestal into the hole to open the treasure chest that laid on top.  I had very little problems with the lava platforms, though I admit to taking some accidental dips when riding the whirlwinds.  Thoroughly exploring this section has its benefits, especially when it comes to that cool 100 rupees you can grab in the southeast-most corner.

Know that giddy feeling when you realize you now have a new item to open up a bunch of new venues?  How can one not feel it after acquiring..... The Cane of Pacci, and knowing there's a whole lotta.... holes scattered around the overworld map?  big_smile

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