Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 28, 2017

Email: Zelda final battle different opinion


I just finished Zelda myself recently so I was finally able to read up what others thought about it. I played through the whole game without ever looking or talking to anyone about it so my experience may have been quite different from others who played alongside their internet communities. I haven’t yet seen any talk of the game aside from your page (yours is the most mobile friendly to read on the bus) so I may get things wrong.

From some of your posts, I played very very differently from you and in my opinion some of your worse experiences did have other ways that you didn’t consider. For example, the Ganon fight: To me,the Ganon fight is the manifestation of an “advanced enemy” that requires you to know the advanced combat techniques of the game. I consider it a good fight.

In the middle of the fight, Ganon is surrounded by a red armor that blocks all attacks. There are a couple of ways I noticed to break it – one is to do a last-minute dodge while it uses a small attack against you. The red armor actually goes away for a split half a second right after it attacks, where you can use your “slow motion” to attack it while it is vulnerable. The last-minute dodge is an advanced timing technique that lesser players cannot use effectively, because they’ll get hit when they dodge too late.

The second way to hit him is to shield-parry the laser beam Ganon fires from his Samus arm cannon. Parrying the beam returns it back at Ganon which knocks the red armor out of him for a good couple of seconds. Parrying is an advanced technique that most players will probably not use. And parrying beams isn’t something unique to this fight – experts at fighting Guardians (without the cheat-mode arrows!) are well acquainted at beam parrying, because it’s the most effective way of dealing damage, and it looks and feels amazing. If you miss your shield parry, your shield is destroyed in one hit! Even if it’s at full durability with enhanced durability!

And additionally, when it uses its flame axe against you, it leaves a lot of fire on the floor which creates an updraft. This may be what you substituted with the gale power, but I didn’t know how to use it so I ignored it – I’d love if you could mention how you used the air time to hit Ganon exactly.

Anyways… Imagine my complete surprise when I saw you describe the fight as a grind fest of waiting for your abilities to come back so you could use them. That’s a miserable fight if I ever imagined one. Thank god I didn’t have to go through that. I didn’t even notice that the abilities can help in that fight, as I almost never used them in the whole game… I’m absolutely certain that you’ll have more fun with the game if you forgo special abilities and elemental weapons and try to “force yourself” to use the combat system.

Anyway, I noticed similar differences between my experience and yours in other places you didn’t like. I suggest you try other solutions if you find yourself annoyed, you may be surprised positively. For example I saw you mention that the game is forcing the dungeons on you, but that’s not true… you can actually go to fight Ganon without completing any of them. Since you don’t like the dungeons, you can forgo them in future playthroughs.

I actually want to try beating the game without doing any of the dungeons. Trying to defeat Ganon from full health with shield parrying will be great. By the time I was done, I only had 3 shields left from all my failures! Haha. I also want to play the game without eating food mid-combat, I feel like it made the game too easy using “brute force” combat.

By the way, there are some shrines I absolutely loved and was saddened I didn’t see you mention them (maybe you didn’t do them? I recommend it). In particular, Eventide Island (the south-easternmost island), the three overworld mazes, and the entire Hebra mountain range flooded with shrines in tough locations were all a lot of fun. I will admit that I got all 120 shrines and liked them, so I may have different tastes from you, but I think you’ll like those specific areas.

Sorry for the long email, thanks for reading.


My problem with the final battle isn’t that it forces use of the ‘special abilities’ from the dungeons. Yes, there are alternative ways to do the same thing. My problem with the final battle is that its experience is entirely independent of your journey through Hyrule outside of the Divine Beasts.

Let us say you got every shrine, tons of korok seeds so you had tons of weapons and shields, tons of food prepared, you upgraded your armor at the fairies, etc. etc. etc.

So what?

None of it truly matters in the final battle.

This is also a key reason why the dungeons (and many of the shrines) fail. The dungeons have literally no enemies (aside from a few eyeballs or little guardian robot). There is absolutely nothing to prepare for with the dungeons. In RPGs, a dungeon is a death march of distance. How long can you survive? If you go too far, can you return to the surface without dying? Hence the word ‘dungeon crawl’.

The ‘dungeons’ are a different game. I am not saying they are ‘bad’ dungeons. I am saying they are not dungeons at all. It is like LucasArts threw in one of their puzzles into the game. It destroys the game’s momentum and is universally despised. If anyone liked this method, there would be different market reaction to the last TWO DECADES of Zelda games.

Hyrule Castle is how a proper ‘dungeon’ should be. Hyrule Castle was also the only ‘dungeon’ in the game that actually fit the game. Link could climb and use all his abilities. Link could NOT climb in the shrines or the Divine Beasts. How fucked up is that? “This is an Open Air game.” “Not uh uh uh! Everywhere except shrines and divine beasts. We insist you do the puzzles our way. Tee hee hee.” To those that say you can do some of the things multiple ways, that may be true, but the developers are literally changing the gameplay rules on you in a way of ‘developer cheating’. This ‘developer cheating’ is ‘bad developer’. It would be like a level in Super Mario Brothers said, “You cannot have Fire Mario because that would break our level design.” Wrong. You’re just a shitty developer. You don’t change the gameplay rules on the player.

I maintain Nintendo has some shitty producers behind the Zelda franchise. I believe this person is Aonuma who does not understand Zelda and has never understood it. Breath of the Wild’s success shows that my interpretation of Classic Zelda’s historical market success was the correct interpretation. Zelda has the DNA of the PC RPG, not the PC Adventure game. More like Ultima, less like Monkey Island. And by saying that, a reader would probably squeal, “I love Monkey Island!” which is why the adventure game genre is so robust and best selling and not a died out ashpile of a bygone era, right?

The ending of Zelda BOW “Wow!” betrays the RPG. The RPG is about your character progressing. But little of that matters at the Final Battle. Sure, you may have some extra hearts and all, but so what? The very last battle when you are on a horse is comically bad. Why not just put Link on a moose instead? Why put Link on anything? No, Nintendo randomly broke all game logic so they could create a picturesque ending of Link riding around on a horse shooting light arrows at ‘beast ganon’. I object to the breaking of the game logic, the breaking of the immersion. If I was in the basement, why am I on a horse in Hyrule Field with no explanation?

Breath of the Wild’s strength is in its logic. You cut down a tree, it falls down logically. You throw a bomb in the river, the bomb rides the current logically. The entire Hyrule Castle was logically done. But the final battle betrayed that logic.

Imagine a Mega Man game’s final battle gave you a ‘super weapon’. It betrays the logic of that game since the entire point of Mega Man is to gain new weapons and use them through your long ordeal journey through Wiley Castle. For the game to just hand you a weapon, indicating to you that it is the right one to use on Wily, takes away player interaction. What is left for the player to do? Just figure out the pattern.

RPGs are not about ‘figuring out the pattern’.

I think parts of BoW “Wow!” were made separately and then slapped together. The final battle looks like it was made separately. The shrines and dungeons seemed like they were from another team altogether.

The ‘final battle’ of a RPG is how your character that you have progressed deals against the last adversary. But aside from a few things, it doesn’t matter as your character progression has no change on the battle. Everyone’s battle with Ganon is essentially the same. Period.

I have zero interest in ever defeating Ganon again. It’s the same damn thing again. Very disappointing.

In fact, I didn’t like any of the boss fights in the game. They are nothing but timing and positioning. Why can’t I poison the boss? Or set the boss on fire? Or freeze it and shatter it? Why make a game with many possibilities but disallow possibilities with the boss? Inconsistent game design.

I would just go to youtube, find out the pattern, then I would just do that and beat the boss on first try saving me a ton of time. Why shouldn’t I do that? It’s not like I have any other choice to respond to the boss. I either play it the developers’ way or I die. That simple.



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