Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 25, 2017

Email: Virtual Console on Carts

Hello Master Malstrom,
What’s your opinion on this?

​Do you think this can be trend?
More “old” and “forgotten” games should arrive on Switch in cart format?

It is like the collection discs of Generation Five and Six. (Final Fantasy Anthology, Mega Man Collection, Mega Man X Collection, Sonic Collection, etc.)

I like these collection packages and prefer their physical releases over buying digital games one by one. They make great collector’s items too!

However, I haven’t seen them do anything to push console momentum. I would like to see Square put out new stuff on Switch. Collection packages, especially during the launch period, aren’t that good.

I have those Mana games on original hardware, so I don’t have much demand for just those three games. But those games are getting pricey on original hardware so it may not be bad to have more supply.

What I badly want to see on Switch is a Shmup Collection Package like PSP and Vita had.

Oh, be still my heart! Gradius Collection! Yum!

Check this one out for the Saturn: Salamander Deluxe Collection. Ooohhhh.

Shmup games are just so ridiculously expensive these days. We need more supply!

How about a Treasure Collection? Radiant Silver Gun, Ikaruga, Guardian Heroes, Gunstar Heroes, + More.

I would like collection packages of games that are physically hard to get.

Konami should do a Castlevania Package:

Castlevania NES box art.jpg

Vampire Killer MSX.jpg

Castlevania II Simon's Quest.jpg

Castlevania III Dracula's Curse.jpg

Castlevania: Bloodlines

Super Castlevania IV

Dracula x (j) front.jpg

Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance.jpg


Castlevania - Dawn of Sorrow Coverart.png

Portrait of Ruin.jpg

Castlevania ooe front cover.jpg

Castlevania SOTN PAL.jpg

That is all the 2d Casltevania games I can think of. Would you buy a collection that included the above games, reader? With that Castlevania show coming on, you’d think Konami would put out a Castlevania collection. Such a game on the Switch would sell gangbusters.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 25, 2017

Game Software sells Game Hardware

I can’t find the quote at the moment, but I think it was part of Iwata Asks. I knew Wii U was doomed when Iwata and Miyamoto laugh at Yamauchi when he said: (paraphrasing) “NES is just a box people buy to get to Mario.” Iwata and Miyamoto thought the Wii U had so many cool features that people would want to buy the hardware itself. (or did this quote apply to the 3DS?).

It is clear that Yamauchi’s Rule of Software Sells Hardware (not the other way around) is still in effect. Take a look at this story: Gamestop says Switch sales extremely strong, selling almost 1:1 with Zelda BoW “Wow!”.

“But Malstrom,” says the Reader. “Everyone buys a new console and gets the best game they can. It is Switch selling Zelda, not the other way around.”

Oh, you are wrong, Reader! Take a look at this story: Zelda Breath of the Wild Wii U sales jump following Nintendo Switch stock trouble

You can’t make this up, Reader. This is what is going on…

Zelda BoW “Wow!” is awesome.

Gamers want to get to Zelda.

Gamers buy Switch so they can play Zelda.

But Switch is out of stock.

So gamers buy second-hand Wii Us in order to get to Zelda.

This is a clear illustration of Yamauchi’s Golden Console Rule: Software Sells Hardware.

Wii sold because of Wii Sports. If Wii sold because of Twilight Princess, than second-hand Gamecubes would sell because people wanted to get to Twilight Princess. Since Wii Sports wasn’t on Gamecube, people did not buy second-hand Gamecubes.

It is really that simple.

Minions from the bowels of the Game Industry sneer and say, “People do not want the Switch. They are just there to get Zelda.” Nooooo. Really? The truth is that no one wants the hardware. Everyone hates paying for the hardware. It is the games we want, not the hardware.

In the history of all game consoles, software is what moves the hardware and give it life. NES would have been a different story without Super Mario Brothers. Sega Genesis would have been a different story without Sonic the Hedgehog. Wii would have been different without Wii Sports. And so on, and so forth.

I remember decades ago that discussion on game consoles revolved around the Killer App.

“Which of these games is the potential Killer App?”

“Where is the next Killer App coming from?”

“This console needs to get a Killer App.”

What is strange is that the console companies and third parties all know and understand this. So why is there so much nonsense and propaganda trying to say the opposite? What is the purpose? Is it viral marketers, puffed with the smoke and mirrors of Oz, saying, “Nooo. Do not look at the Zelda. Look at the hardware. Look at how crappy it is compared to Glorious PlayStation 4 hardware. Do not look at the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Do not look at the software at all. Look only at the specs of the hardware…”

If that is their marketing response to the Switch, it is the losing one. Every losing console makes that argument. Every losing console, aside from Generation 8, is ‘better hardware’ losing to ‘inferior hardware with better game library’. Gameboy always laughed at its color rivals, and observers couldn’t believe such inferior hardware was winning.

It is not the quality of the hardware that is relevant. It is the quality of the software that matters. Consoles become great because they have great software.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 25, 2017

Email: Idea to fix BoW “Wow!”‘s dungeons

Unfortunately that’s all of those dungeons. I felt the same anger, but according to others you can beat the game without doing them. At least they’re optional like the stupid shrines. I still think BotW is miles ahead of the last few Zeldas, but damn did they drop the ball in dungeons. I’ve been thinking about how to improve the shrines and dungeons and I think I have a solution. You’re right about no teleporting. Second change would be to turn all shrines into treasure chests like every other hidden item in the overworld. The puzzles are pure filler and add nothing but tedium.

Take all the assets from those shrines and make a series of boxed rooms that combine the game’s hazards with various matchups of enemies. One shrine that would’ve worked well for this was a pinball-like slope with water and boulders falling down it and catwalks going above it. Instead of the lame puzzle, have a mishmash of enemies on the catwalks and you having to dodge attacks and boulders while ascending. You could try knocking the enemies into the path of boulder s like you, climb up to the narrow catwalk and have perilous sword-fighting on a razor edge, or other ways I can’t think of. How about a room with the forest haze and different elements of Wizzrobes bouncing around? The haze would hide the footsteps when they “teleport” and multiple types make it far harder to spam one elemental attack. Different parts of the floor could be leaves, water, or metal to make their attacks scarier. Use the physics engine and drop us on a teetering platform like the first castle of Super Mario World and have us fight enemies above lava. How about a bunch of Bokoblin treehouses during a thunderstorm, with tons of metal and wooden weapons lying around? You could go all wood to fight in the rain, or steal enough so the enemies are forced to use metal in the rain. You could hide under platforms and throw metal weapons into groups so the lightning would hit them. ANYTHING is better than the dungeons we have now.

That’s what really kills this game for me. Those dungeons could’ve been easily better than what we have. All of the tech and assets are in the game, you just need some rearrangement. If the dungeon is too hard, players can go collect hearts and cook up food to prepare. Just reset the dungeon if someone leaves and make it a straight line for the people whining about Zelda needing puzzles to make them even madder. Just drop a key when everyone is dead to move on. You could even make the dungeon an underground spiral to the dumb robot and keep that asset too. Just don’t make us go in it. I’m not sure how to fix the boss fights with what’s currently in the game, since I think those were rushed due to what each one ends up as (plot-wise). I would’ve just ported 3D versions of the old 2D bosses like the multi-headed dragons of Zelda 1.

I still think this is the best Zelda we’ve had in a long time, yet it was so close to being better if Nintendo would completely drop the puzzles. It’s like Aonuma had to sabotage the game from making him look even worse. They really need to either fire him or put him on the Professor Layton team where he belongs, otherwise he’s going to keep dragging down Zelda until he dies (which will take a century because he’s Japanese).

P.S. Can you do a review of the Switch hardware sometime? Thank you for over a decade of writing master Malstrom.


I don’t mind the shrines since they are bite sized. I do hate the motion puzzle shrines with intensity. The problem with the shrines is that they are not integrated with the world. They are ‘puzzle bunkers’. When I get stuck, I just go online to see the answer just so I can move on. The ‘strength of test’ dungeons are curious since they require some build up on Link to complete.

The shrines I am not concerned about. It is these terrible dungeons. A dungeon should be a labyrinth going underground where you must backtrack to get out! The further you go in, the further you go to get out. It is dangerous! A proper dungeon should be the player pushing his or her limits descending into the dungeon until it becomes too hard, then the player gets out. When stronger, player can go deeper into the dungeon. Dungeons are nasty places, and should be filled with demons and other nasty things.

BoW “Wow!” seems to have been developed in two parts. First part is the amazing overworld. Second part is a team doing nothing but puzzles with the shrines and dungeons. Then they just inserted those shrines and dungeons in ‘instances’ from the overworld.

A dungeon should be like a ‘mini-underworld’ correlating to the vast overworld above. A dungeon doesn’t have to be linear either.

Aonuma and Zelda team are patting themselves on back because ‘we can do dungeons in any order’. But they are gigantic puzzles. It doesn’t matter. What is more impressive is how we can go anywhere in the overworld in any order. If dungeons were more traditional, they’d be far more interesting. They would also take the theme of their environment perhaps.

The DLC is worrisome as the DLC seems designed in a Aonuma Mentality. A fifth dungeon is going to be another shitty Divine Beast dungeon. A Cave of Trials could be running into one room after another as all the game’s monsters come in. The ‘new story’ seems interesting, but what we want is a Second Quest. A Second Quest should be possible by keeping the landscape but just changing some of the enemies and NPCs. What is Hard Mode? Not allowing you to eat in battle?

Proper DLC would be Another Continent or a Second Quest or Real Dungeons. I can’t risk the DLC because I know those on the Zelda team responsible for doing nothing but making puzzles have nothing else to do, so all their shit is going to be the ‘DLC’. The guys who made the overworld probably got moved somewhere else to help make other games. The puzzle guys? Worthless. Probably just stuck in a room making Zelda DLC which is shitty Aonuma Water Temples-That-You-Rotate.

Image result for aonuma

Above: “My puzzles are so amazing! DLC will be nothing but more puzzles! That is what Zelda is about! Oh yeah!”

I’ll talk about Switch hardware later. I can’t say anything about it now that no one else has said.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 25, 2017

Beat Second Dungeon of Zelda BoW “Wow!”

What is interesting is that the order of the dungeons will differ depending on where people go after leaving the plateau. I’m probably the norm, and I am going where story cues take me. First dungeon was Zora with the Big Fat Elephant. Since I wanted access to Second Tech Lab, I went NE after that which goes to Death Mountain and to the Second Dungeon with the Big Fat Lizard.

I am 55 hours in the game.

Let’s divide Big Fat Lizard into these parts…

-Finding Stupid Goron NPC

-Quest With Stupid Goron NPC to disable Big Fat Lizard

-Big Fat Lizard puzzle fest

-Big Fat Lizard boss.

So for Finding Stupid Goron NPC I enjoyed significantly. It is very fire archer heavy. There are many ways to get to Stupid Goron NPC. I just rushed in and killed the archers with my Ice Sword (found in a shrine somewhere. This is the place to make use of Ice Swords!).

The LONG ASS quest to go up Death Mountain and to disable Divine Fat Lizard is boring, annoying, and is an ESCORT QUEST. Yes. It is an escort quest. However, it is nowhere as annoying and terrible as disabling the Elephant which takes a gazillion arrows. “Just use water columns, Malstrom.” Shut up, you. This part is Aonuma Zelda that is VERY LINEAR. All of a sudden, you are playing Wind Waker here. It is terrible. Terrible, terrible!

Once you get into Big Fat Lizard, the stress is gone since you can now quick travel (it won’t let you do it once you have Stupid Goron NPC around). There is only one part of this puzzle fest I liked which was at the very beginning when it was all pitch black. You must carry around a torch to see where you are going. I was surprised that I’d be in a dark place since I was inside a volcano with bright lava. Once you get the map, the ceiling opens up flooding the place with light. Then it becomes the typical shitty puzzle fest. “Rotate Lizard 90 degrees to get to terminal.” Geez, Aonuma, this is SO MUCH FUN. Bah. This is not adventure! Rotating Lizard 90 degrees to get to terminals is not fun! Who designed this shit? Can I pay money to remove it? If Nintendo wants to make more money, have Removable Content where we can pay to remove Aonuma’s shit.

The boss of the dungeon is nowhere as difficult as the Elephant boss. I broke my Ice Sword on him and then switched to Ice Arrows. One cool trick to do with him is to hold up a bomb when he goes sucking in during second phase. He will suck in bomb, you detonate it, and he will fall to the ground stunned where you can whack him. Ice arrows helped end this boss fast. MUCH easier than Elephant boss. [The story is terrible. To hell with the Gorons. I want genocide against them. They all look like Mr. Potato Heads.]

Image result for mr. potato head

Above: Looks like a Goron.

I think my travel this time is following Nintendo’s ‘official’ way. Game is hinting for me to go to forest next, so I will go ahead and do that. I guess Big Fat Bird will be my third dungeon. Since I am 55 hours in now, maybe I might beat Big Fat Bird at 80 hours?

I hope to finish Breath of Wild before Mario Kart releases a month from now. Sounds absurd, but this game is long as hell.

Got 2 fairies. Hyrule’s fairies seem to be the spirit of terrible women. The fairies are all fat, wear too much make-up, and demand money to restore their life force. The money is not enough. They keep demanding more and more money! The fourth fairy will demand 10,000 gold! Poor Link…

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 23, 2017

Email: Mass Effect 2 and Zelda

I’ll tell you something Malstrom, Mass Effect 2 was the shit, one of my absolute favorite games of all time but with ME3 Bioware officially revoked their man card and went full SJW which proved Jack Wall (the man responsible for the ME series soundtrack) made the right decision to leave the sinking ship rather than go down with it.

From the video you posted ME Andromeda looks like yet another SJW turd that would make Aonuma proud with how low quality it is.

Forced grrrrlpower, forced ethnic characters with ZERO charisma…SNORE!

No thanks.

Anyway back to the superior pre-full SJW onslaught game Mass Effect 2 and why I’m really writing you this email…

One of the greatest ideas in it which I suppose kind of applies to many other great RPG’s that I think would work incredibly well for Zelda in an organic sense is Mass Effect 2’s RPG party system.

How it worked is Commander Shepard due to his many travels throughout the galaxy meets interesting people that you the player as him (male Shepard alone is canon to me) naturally builds an RPG party (Shepard’s crew) from and I’d argue this RPG need for a party/band of brothers what have you works better in ME2 than it does in almost any other RPG because of how natural/organic the process is ie you’d naturally already think that a ship’s captain/commander would need a crew without needing much extra explanation for why that is since again the need for such is already inbuilt with the revelation that Shepard is the leader of the ship.

Its not like in someother RPG where you’re just some random guy who has to save some land and you need to run into multiple NPC characters who literally have to tell you to go build up a party for yourself.

With Shepard you just kinda know thats what you need to do and you expect it.

Malstrom I’ve often thought that pro wrestling and great videogames have a lot in common and what I mean by that is when pro wrestling is done right.

“Done right” defined as when its at its most hot/popular/ratings through the roof wise ie the WCW/NWO Vs. WWF/WWF Attitude Era Monday Night Wars or the Golden Age of Pro Wrestling back in the 80’s with it’s Rock N’ Wrestling and the age and rise of Hulkamania.

Pro wrestling as they say is: “theater at it’s most base”.

You strip away all the bullshit and what you have is an easily understandable narrative ie good guys Vs. bad guys (80’s Hulkamania era) or the anti heroes Vs. the new bad guys who are wrestlers that simply aren’t over with the crowd or who play against the crowd for boos (in the Attitude era) and all the resulting drama that pitting these certain personalities against other personalities entails.

Pro wrestling legend Jake “The Snake” Roberts said that what pro wrestlers do is they “masturbate your emotions”.

Crude? Sure. Accurate? Very much so.

Well Mass Effect 2 did that VERY well with it’s organic party system. You ran into cool and interesting people/aliens, learned their stories and actually came to care about what happened to these characters that stood by your side.

Throughout the entire Zelda series we’ve only ever had our emotions properly masturbated to put it bluntly via the Midna character which is why said character out of all the Aonuma turds that are out there is still loved and cherished to this day by Zelda fans everywhere who want desperately for her to make a return.

“I” even like the character and you know how much I despise Aonuma Zelda as a longtime fan/reader of yours so thats saying something.

What Nintendo doesn’t realize (or does and ignores) is Zelda fans are starved for reasons to care about any of the characters other than Link.

So I say why not create a Zelda game that gives both the Malstromy gamers out there what they want ie immediate arcade combatty actiony goodness at first booting up of the game combined with an organic non intrusive story/story elements of finding on your journey compelling characters you can add to your party (Zelda with a party system? Oh whoa what an idea!) who will be written so well that you will actually come to care about what happens to them and put them and you as Link ALL on a (suicide) mission together to take down Ganon/Ganon’s castle (Mordor) + moblins/other grim and genuinely scary monsters (and not the clownish Aonuma version of moblins/monsters) and make things have a REAL IMPACT on the player’s psyche/emotions/everything?

Zelda had two original creators Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka.

Tezuka’s inspiration for Zelda was Lord Of The Rings.

I’d like to see Zelda evolve as a game series more towards Lord Of The Rings style grittiness and darkness with a realistic graphical presentation/edge to it with many characters other than just Link that you actually care about (which will compell you to want to play the game even more) and away from the cartoony colorful Carebears nonsense of the disasterous Aonuma reign over the series.

I’d like to see Ganon evolve more towards being a Sauron like Dark Lord and his Castle become more like a foreboding Mordor while Death Mountain becomes more like a true Mountain of Doom and have all of these locales in future Zelda games fitted with powerful and ferocious and genuinely disturbing to see scary enemies who spill real red blood and don’t puff and dissapear into cartoony lame smoke as again Aonuma games have long dis-graced us with.

In closing here is what a youtube commenter named David Johnson said on youtube about Mass Effect 2. I agree with every word of what he said save for the beginning part about Mass Effect 3 which I consider in the same realm as ALL Aonuma Zelda games (and nearly all Yukes pro wrestling games for that matter) which means I consider ME3 absolute trash.

“I still loved Mass Effect 3. But Mass Effect 2 was far superior, simply because it was a game based on the characters. The suicide mission was a thing of beauty, the fact that I cared about every single one of my squad members, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Terrified about what would could happen.

Easily the greatest hour of any video game I’ve ever played.”-David Johnson

Anyway Malstrom I’m not one of those fruity closet case millenial gamers or Chris Matthews “thrill down his leg” types that “gets chills” over each and every little mildly stimulating piece of entertainment that comes along, but I DID get legitimate chills and was wildly “marking out” as they say in pro wrestling fandom, when I played Mass Effect 2 and got to the suicide mission part and that awesome music by Jack Wall started playing indicating shit was about to go down and you as Commander Shepard stood up and gave your rousing speech to your assembled troops/party/group.

What a truly awesome moment that was in gaming!

I’d like to experience a similar feeling playing Link some day and quite honestly I think ME2’s natural/organic system of party building could quite easily be applied to the Zelda series.

During Link’s adventure he could find various people, wounded knights to recruit to his cause of taking down Ganon and saving Hyrule, hell you could even have him take or find some of his future party members in dungeons as the “prize” for beating them, etc.


I’m not sure party members would work in Zelda. Nintendo still can’t even do NPCs right. They all make constipation sounds when you talk to them. “Urrgghhhh.” “Arrrghhhh.”

One thing is for sure is that Zelda will never ever be ‘gritty’. It is going to be anime. ALWAYS. It is something about the Japanese. They turn everything into anime. I’m doing some research, and it is amusing how ancient Ultima games would get converted to anime as they enter Japan.

I’m curious to see what Nintendo’s reaction is to BoW “Wow!” is. They obviously knew they had something or they wouldn’t have devoted E3 2016 to that single game. They wouldn’t have made all these videos, celebrations, and pictures if they didn’t know. They knew.

I’ve realized also that Nintendo knows our frustrations. They knew we wanted more 2d Mario before NSMB. They know what we think Metroid is (Sakamoto just doesn’t like that Metroid). And in Zelda BoW “Wow!”, it shows that Nintendo knew all along what we were wanting yet we kept getting Aonuma’s Insane Puzzle Dramas.

Also, is this going to be the peak of the Switch with this Zelda? Is all Nintendo software from here on out going to be downhill? It’d be a huge disappointment if so!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 22, 2017

Email: Ball Zelda

Yea, I’ve only run into one shrine with ball rolling maze. I eventually got pissed off, ran into the maze then tried to blow up the ball. Somehow, the ball flew out of the maze directly into the goal. A friend of mine just turned her Switch upside down so that the ball would be on the flat side. She had an easy time rolling it out and made me feel incredibly stupid for missing that solution. At least I got lucky (in the game).


There are more!

Image result

“I love puzzles, Malstrom! I just love them!!!!”

We know… we know… *sigh*

The shrines don’t bother me aside from the motion controlled ones. What really bugs me is the stupid Goron shrine. Fat goron blocking the shrine. WTF is this shit? Game wouldn’t let me access shrine in any other way. No, you MUST play the minigame. Fuck you, Aonuma!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 22, 2017

Email: The Real Value of the Wii U

Master Malstrom,


At least that’s what Amazon is offering to take it off of your hands, best number I could find. Really not that bad for me at least considering I got it refurbed for $200 from Nintendo. If any readers are looking to pick one up cheap, I’m warning you now- all the games worth having are on the 3DS or the Switch. I guess in hindsight Nintendo has been ready to merge their console and handheld libraries for much longer than just recently because any half decent Wii U game ended up on the 3DS within the year it came out. If you’re a reader who’s feeling like a fool for having already picked one up, I would look into this online trade-in thing sooner than later because I’m already seeing trade in offers for $100 and less. If you’ve got some time to spare it might be worth looking into selling it directly to a buyer on your own, but I know at least for me there are better ways to make another $20 for less time and effort. It says a lot about the console that the only real value it has is what money you can get in exchange for it. Even my 3DS I still play and know I’ll be playing for a long time, if only to also play DS games and emulators once the OS updates stop rolling out. At the very least the Wii U taught me to watch and wait before you pull the trigger on a console, even late in it’s lifespan.

I don’t want a Wii U but I can see how they might become collector’s items one day. I just want ports of NSMB Wii U and Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 22, 2017

Email: The enemies missing in BotW

ReDeads, Like Likes, Iron Knuckles, and Darknuts. All of these would add compelling experiences and help maintain tension late game.

ReDeads were SCARY when playing OoT for the first time. They made the case for the dark atmosphere of OoT. When I was a wee little child, I remember staying up past my bed time to play the cemetery area. I pulled the tombstone, and found a cave. Inside, I saw what I thought were NPCs, due to lighting and the fact that other enemies didn’t have human proportions. So when it paralyzed me with its scream and strangled me to death, I was mortified and had to shut off the game.

In BotW, ReDeads could be the chief populators of ruins. They aren’t threatening when you see them coming, but are the last thing you want to see when you come around a corner. Imagine some of the Lomei Ruins being filled with these guys! (Have you been to those? They’re some of my favorite areas. Just saying the name isn’t a spoiler). They could be compelling even late game if you couldn’t eat or change equipment​ while paralyzed. They could punish the reckless player and reward one who studies their environment.

In a game with weapon degradation as a core mechanic, how in the hell did like likes not make it through into the game? These are another enemy that would be great for ambushes, or for random spawns (instead of the Chus, which are harmless in their base form and merely annoying in elemental form). One technical thing that could make them interesting would be some soft body physics — let them squeeze through tight spaces, and behave like a viscuous liquid; when you cut them, have them part where your weapon passes through. This game is already good at making the layout of terrain matter and this would amplify it.

Iron Knuckles and Darknuts would be the test of swordsmanship. While I couldn’t really get into the original LoZ, I was awed at how you could go 5 minutes into AoL and find the most compelling example of elegant sword play in a video game. To recreate them adequately within the confines of 3D controls, they’d need to bring back the directional attacks introduced in OoT. Depending on how they attack, you have to respond with the appropriate attack type (or, if your weapon has a bad matchup, like a spear only being good for stabbing, you could rely on parries and flurry attacks). These guys would be good candidates for minions of Ganon that use the corrupted guardian technology! Maybe they have a floating guardian horse, or their helmet comes off when you headshot them and flies around, firing guardian lasers. I can see, however, that these guys might have been hard to reconcile with the nature theme of the game. They would only fit in at skull camps, Hyrule Castle, and the dungeons (btw, they get better than the elephant, but not by much. The one in the northwest portion of the map has the best reward for exploring.)

The lack of enemy diversity, and the path of least resistance (easy to run and get away, you’ll almost never be ambushed​ by difficult battles in the overworld) does a lot to prevent the game from feeling truly dangerous when you’re not exploring an area for the first time or going to Hyrule Castle. This is still definitely my favorite game this side of Y2K least, though.


I think we should focus on the enemy AI. Lyrels who stare at you and do their thing. You have moblins and other creatures who go around hunting, grabbing the nearest weapon, throwing other enemies, etc. Some monsters like to stalk you.

The most important enemy I’ve encountered (from an entertaining standpoint) was the NPC enemy that attempts to assassinate you early on in the game. THAT was cool.

Why is there an assumption that the enemy has to be the enemy and the good guy has to be the good guy? What if not all the monsters were ‘bad’ and not all the humans/zora/rito/whatever were good?

Bah, I just need to play more. All I can do is get a shrine or two and then call it a day.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 21, 2017

Email: Oracle Zeldas

Greetings, Mr. Malstrom.

I saw your post about only the first 5 Zeldas being the real ones, and I realized something intriguing: you usually criticize Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker and everything that came afterwards, but you never mention the Oracle zeldas, made in 2001 for the Game Boy Color.

I think you might enjoy at least one of them. Specifically, Oracle of Seasons. The reason is that, back when those games were released, Miyamoto and Aonuma said this about them: Oracle of Ages was made to reflect the style of new zeldas, while Oracle of Seasons, old zeldas.

I’ve beaten both games and I agree with them. Ages is a celebration of Aonuma Zelda. It has long stretches between dungeons where you have to talk to NPCs, play mini-games and solve puzzles to move to the next dungeon, and the dungeons themselves have very convoluted puzzles (though I do like zelda puzzles, so I loved that game). Seasons, on the other hand, is all about combat. It tends to launch higher numbers of enemies against you, requires better dodging and fighting skills, and the bosses involve more sword fighting skills than using the dungeon item to solve a puzzle (like in Ages).

It’s not difficult compared to the NES Zeldas, but I’d say Seasons is about as hard as LttP. Also, both games use the same engine and controls as Link’s Awakening, which you seem to like.

And I find it interesting that, back in 2001, Nintendo had such a clear view that there were two kinds of Zeldas, to the point that they made two different games to reflect each one, like they were presenting two styles for the player to choose from. Though we know what style they ended up choosing eventually.

I am not married! No ‘mister’ for me. Single guys are called ‘masters’. I am MASTER Malstrom. (When a guy gets married, he is no longer the master!) It is like Ms. and Mrs. for women.

It has been a long while for those Ages games. Didn’t Capcom make them? It is clear that Nintendo is doing what they do intentionally. The problem is that it doesn’t sell. They were so pissed off that NSMB Wii would sell so much and Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 didn’t.

I am curious if they are going to be pissed off at Zelda Breath of the Wild.

You might assume the next Zelda game would be building on Breath of the Wild’s success, but I know Nintendo. They will declare themselves geniuses which means ‘we get to do whatever we want’. They will make a stupidly absurd or return to Aonuma Zelda. Forgetting Majora’s Mask which was Aonuma’s baby, Wind Waker came out after Ocarina of Time.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 21, 2017

Email: “Rules” of Literary Magic

Greetings Master Malstrom,
Reading your new articles for the day and wanted to share something with you relating to your paragraph below:
Good stories create a world of rules within itself, and the story is just an adventure through those rules. Much of the time, those rules are character emotions and personalities. If I were reading a fantasy book, you’d better explain to me the rules for how magic works. If you do not, nothing makes sense because the author is just throwing shit out there. It becomes a bad story.
I noted you’re point on establishing the rules of magic within literary fiction because I also felt that way for some time. I like rules, because if there are rules then they can be manipulated and “play” can happen. However, a couple years ago I watched a video that argued counter to that point in a very compelling way, so I wished to share said video with you as well.
The video is by the YouTuber MrBtongue, and I can’t recommend his other videos enough. (A shame he’s gone dormant.)
The following link is time-stamped to the part he specifically advocates for keeping magic an unknown quantity, but if you care to watch it in full, and again, can’t recommend it enough, you can use the second link below:
Of course that works well for a novel or movie, but in a game, where one “plays”, rules are far more helpful, so figuring out how to let a player manipulate a system without defined rules is a whole other problem.
A Reader
The guy is a moron. Tolkien had a lifetime invested in researching these ancient myths and systems. A book doesn’t have to explain to you the consistency, but it is there in some way unrevealed to the reader. Tolkien would be a terrible example for that argument due to how studious his research was on ancient myths.
One could try Alice in Wonderland but that was made by a mathematician. There are many logical puzzles going on in that story.
If I showed off a smartphone to someone a hundred years ago, they would perceive it as magic as they would not understand how something like that could occur. Just because the reader perceives the magic to be ‘breaking reality’ doesn’t mean it is ‘breaking reality’ in the writer’s mind. Once you figure out the ancient myths, Lord of the Rings loses its charm and becomes seen as little more than cogs and wheels.
Ask a game developer how different it is playing games than when he was a child. He cannot experience games as magical as he sees all the systems and cogs going on beneath the surface. In that same way, a writer doesn’t see the same novel a regular reader would or an artist doesn’t view the same painting as a non-artist would. The most fascinating is to listen to classical music with the ears of someone who writes music. Thrilling.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »