The Rubber Room (SPOILER ALERT ON EVERYTHING)

 I would like to invite you all to the Rubber Room where I can talk about anything I want. Its called the Rubber Room because sometimes things just make me go a little ape-shit angry or happy and I feel like I should be getting all of this down.

February 03 2011

 
 
 

Agrais, Olivia, Ramza, Alma

 

You wanna know what the best Final Fantasy game to me is? Final Fantasy Tactics. A lot of people look at me and say “Really? Tactics?”. Hell yes Tactics. Its like a cross between chess and the classic released on the Nintendo Entertainment System years ago. The story (although very confusing at times) is freaking awesome and suprisingly dark.   The difficulty is also very decent and in some places just down right frustrating. I would highly recomend never saving after a fight when it asks you if you want to proceed, unless you have a backup file saved away. Let me just start by saying that I love the relations to the European church in this game and how through the main character we get to see the truth behind the start of the religon and how they gained so much power over the land.

This particular game is really confusing but I think I’ve worked most of the important details out correctly.

Story

There is no one living in Ivalice who doesn’t know of the hero Delita Hyral. The true hero of Ivalice is a man by the name of Ramza Belouve who was branded a heritic by the church and sought after for his knowlege. The game is narrated from the future by a historian named Arazlam Durai who is attempting to set the records straight. Delitia and his sister Teta’s parents died and Ramza’s father took them in and even pulled strings to have Deltia join the Northern Sky as well even though he is a commoner. While chasing some bandits who were pillaging and come across a man surrounded by theives. This man is Algus who like Ramza is a noble however his family lost status when his father was captured in the Fifty Year War and gave up information to escape. He was shot in the back while leaving but one of the prisoners got out and told the story to the Ivalice forces. The family was stripped of its honour and their role has been significantly reduced. It is his goal to restore his families name and power. After his rescue he reveals that Elmdore has been kidnapped and he wants to rescue him. Ramza goes home to talk it over with his older brothers Dycedarg and Zalbag who just tells him to watch the castle. Ramza decides “screw it” and goes after the Marquies anyway. They head to the dessert to fight the Death Corps and succeed in the rescue however they learn why he was kidnapped so Deltia and Ramza start to doubt their kingdoms actions. They return to their castle to find that Teta has been kidnapped by the Death Corpse mistaken as Ramza’s younger sister Alma to be used as blackmail. Larg and Zalbag ready their troops but tell Ramza to stay out of it. Deltia refuses to stand by and wants to sneak into the fortress from behind so Ramza says that he is like his brother and will follow him into combat. Algus is disgusted at Deltia for being a commoner and insults him to his face. Ramza hits him and kicks him out of his brigade for his ignorance. They move in and attack the fortress where Wiegrafs sister Milleuda was stationed. She gets killed and Wiegraf becomes enraged however he is defeated by Ramza. He escapes though. Figures.They move on to the fortress where Teta is being held and arrive to find the second in command of the Death Corpse with a knife to Teta’s throat. Algus has a cross bow and on orders from Ramza’s brothers kills Teta to get to the second in command. Deltia see’s this and launches himself at Algus and he is killed in the battle. The second in command retreats into the fort and blows the dynamite stores taking Deltia and Teta’s body with him. End of Chapter One.

Ramza cuts his hair and adopts his mothers last name and joines a mercenary group led by Fell Knight Gaffgarion. They are hired to by Agrais Oaks to protect Princess Olivia from both sides of the tension building up over the political battle for the throne. They are attacked by Northern Sky soldiers wearing Southern Sky uniforms in an obvious attempt to start trouble by framing the other side. Durring the fight Olivia is kidnapped by Deltia who is now a Templar Knight for the Church. They chase him to a waterfall only to have Gaffgarion turn on them revealing that he was hired by Dycedarg  to get rid of the Princess to make room for himself as the next ruler of Ivalice until the Prince became old enough. Ramza and Deltia team up to take out Gaffgarion who retreats and Deltia leaves Olivia in Ramza’s care for the time being.

Agrais suggests taking Olivia to Cardinal Delacroix who is nuetral to the feud for safety. Along the way they meet Mustidio, a machinist from Goug who weilds a gun. He is being chased for a stone that he carries(unkown to Ramza) by mercinaries hired by a trading company. Ramza teams up with him and they take down the mercs without much trouble (unless you suck at this game). They arrive at the Lionel and meet the Cardinal who reveals that the  legend of the Holy Stones. They leave Olivia at the castle to take Mustadio back to his father. There they learn that the Cardinal was the one who hired the mercenaries and they must get Olivia back. They are tricked into believing that Olivia is to be executed and walk right into a trap set by Gaffgarion. They force him to retreat and then attack the castle in which she is being held. Ramza fights Gaffgarion and kills him and lets his brigade enter the fortress. Ramza meets with the Cardinal reveals that people have lost faith in the crown due to the massive in-fighting and the time is arriving where people will transfer power to the church once they use the Holy Stones to become the Zodiac Braves. The Cardinal is being possesed by the Holy Stone and transforms into a demon in order to kill Ramza. He is defeated, Ramza collects the stone. This brands Ramza as a Heratic and will now be hunted by the church probably because he knows too much. He later goes to the monestary that Alma was staying at because there is a Holy Stone in the basement.This does not go well and Alma is kidnapped and the Holy Stone is taken by Wiegraff who is now a Templar Knight for the church. Along the way Ramza would find proof of the Church’s deception about St. Ajora. Ajora was born and came to be known as a saviour of sorts when he walked up to a well and revealed it to be poisoned. He started preaching and when he was twenty told that paradise was coming. He had gathered twelve deciples over time and collected the Zodiac Stones by traversing the lands. He defeated the demon summoned by the King of Mullonde. Withhim having growing influence the religon at the time branded him a heritic and bribed his thirteenth deciple into revealing St.Ajora’s location with coin (see a similarity here?). Ajora was executed but because he was a child of God Mullonde was flooded destroying the nation. However the scriptures of Germonique (the thirteeth deciple) tell that Ajora was a mortal and there was no demon that was slain. A cataclysm happened in truth but Ajora claimed to have fought the demon. After his death the Church seized his name and used it for their own power making sure that everyone believed the story. Damn.

Gameplay

One of the greatest and one of the most annoying aspects of the game is that your troops can die permenatly. When a troop gets hit they fall to the groung and a speach bubble appears above them with a number from three to one. When that counter reaches zero they either leave behind a piece of equitment that they have equiped or a crystal. The crystals are more desirable because you can learn a felled enemies ability and then not have to spend points on it later. I find this extreamly appropriate in this game because in real life your character would get hit, then bleed out for a bit with a chance of revival before they bleed to death. One time Mustadio was killed in battle and I didn’t realize it until I went to use him much much much later in the game, so you gotta watch out.I love the three dimensional world and all of the castles, forts and levels. Although the graphics are blocky, you don’t mind because the story is great and the gameplay is better. You start off by picking up to five guys from your roster. They will fight the enemies on the screen using their individual techniques to assist your main character. I find that Ramza makes an excellent Dragoon/Monk or Dragoon/Squire. The extra reach of the spear (one square) can be quite handy for avoiding reflex attacts and you can climb up to twelve tiles effortlessly. The game is turn based and this can be fun or frustrating. You have a charge meter that fills up with time and when its full you get  a turn. Some characters (like summoners) can be fucking slow with their spells and you have to wait until its ready. If you time it right, you can hit the target(s) without them moving out of the blast radius. I always play the Black Mage/Summoner or Black Mage/Oracle so this is my area of expertise. Your characters can get better armour and weapons as the game goes on and you can even mix abilities from other classes to make your characters more unique and more effective to use. Some classes are special and cannot be learned but used through other main characters like Holy Sword and Limit. Cloud from Final Fantasy Seven is also a playable character and his Limit attack Final Touch can kill five people with one hundred percent accuracy (in theory). The Month has everything to do with gameplay. I don’t even pay attention to it half the time but it is important. Based on what Zodiac sign you are and the sign your opponent is it changes the accuracy, effectivness and damage by wherever they are on the spectrum. It can be a pain in the ass but also work out in your favour. My favourite part is job building, often trying to make bizzare combinations to see what works. The PSP also has a multiplayer mode which I want to play really freaking bad. Some levels have alternate conditions for victory like killing a specific person or protecting another. In those cases the computer will use the character even though they are on your team.

Archers

Levels

The level design in this game is fantastic. There are desserts, waterfalls, castles, dungons, even a parallel dimensions. The Geomancer can be an effective character because of their abilities that use the ground that their opponent is stepping on. I especially enjoy the three dimensional aspect of the game having to move your characters around the levels instead of just stanging in a line and attacking your opponent. You will find that some job classes are better suited to some levels and will completly effect the effectiveness of your team. Levels with a lot of water impeed your movement and proves difficult when your opponent can attack you from far away. In one particular level you must face off alone against an opponent who does crazy amounts of damage from a distance to you and the only way I have found to win is by equiping auto-potion so that you gain your health back as you go. Who can forget the deep dungon that is several levels of pitch black (unless there is a crystal on the feild) where some of the best items can be found and some of the hardest enemies to be fought. At the bottom of the dungon is another summon that can only be learned by surviving the blast, and a thirteenth Zodiac Stone that doesn’t technically exist, but was created for the game. There are even some secret sidequests if you still have the characters you started off with when you were with Gaffgarion on specific days much later in the game. Tons of bonus stuff. Here is a tip, always have a character with a low brave level and item find on at all times. 

 Characters

Ramza Belouve

The main character of the game. Although he is only a half relative to his brothers he shared the same father. His brothers do not see him as a true Belouve and often talk down to him throughout most of the game. He has his fathers sense of honour and probably changes the most over the entire game. At first he fought for his families name and the honour of his brigade but after fighting Wiegrife and the Death Corpse he actually experiences the poors side of the war and why they fight the crown so hard. He grows even further by the end of the game by living by his late fathers words saying that the Belouve name means nothing if they don’t use their power to help those less fortunate then themselves. While he is the main character, history does not mention him at the time of the naration it follows Deltia however WE get to follow Ramza as he is the true hero of Ivalice even though he is never mentioned. Ramza defeats all of the Zodiac Braves and then goes to slay Ultima in a parallel rift thingy. Wether he or his sister survives is unknown at the end of the story is is implied that he is in fact alive though is possibly a hallucination. I vote the prior. I love this character because he does all the hard work and gets none of the fame nor the power contrast to Deltia. I also enjoy seeing him grow as a person throughout the game.

Deltia

Man this guy is a prick. I’ll explain. He is pissed because he is a commoner and will never have any respect from the nobles nor will any of the other commoners. Ramza is his best friend, but after his brothers murdered his sister and he felt like he was just being used like a puppet. When his sisters body sheilds him from the explosion early in the game he changes a lot. Now he manipulates those that would use him and attain the power that everyone is fightning over and bring the commoners their voice. To him the ends justify the means and he would even kill his best friend who risked his life to save him and his sister. Deltia switches to the Southern Sky Brigade (traitor) then the church in order to carry out his own agenda by double-crossing both of them. He even uses Princess Oliva by wedding her and accending to the throne after using Ramza to kill all of the Zodiac Braves and Ultima plus most of the people who were at the top from both the church and the crown. Deltia is recorded to have become king and brought peace to the kingdom but in reality his reign was short lived. On Olivia’s birthday Deltia goes to give his wife flowers. She flips out on him because he used her just like everyone else did for the throne. She pulls out a knife and stabs him and he takes out his sword and stabs her. Deltia is a good example of someone with good intentions but ruthless methoods and the good that he does is cheepened because of it. He did bring peace to Ivalice after decades of continues war but used everyone in his path to do so even his friends and wife. Hell he didn’t even do a lot of the hard work. That being said it is no wonder his wife became enraged when she came to the conclusion that she was just another pawn in his plan. I thought his ending was well written and very shakespearian.

Orlandu (Cid)

Cid is a master swordsman. He can use all of the Holy Sword techniques that Agrais can use and even the two attacks that Gaffgarion can do and still has a few of his own that break stuff on his opponents. Cid fought in the Fifty Year War and earned himself the nickname Thundergod due to his skill with the sword. He is the only one to openly oppose the war effort for Ivalice and is labled a traitor and hunted down. He later teams up with Ramza and then all of his problems are over. Cid is probably the most powerful swordsman in the game. All of his attacks are ranged and do massive amounts of area damage. He can heal himself with this technique as well. If you need to win no matter the cost, its Cid to the rescue baby.

Agrais

Until you get Cid, Agrais is your resident knight on crack. She has devoted her life to the church and therefore can use the Holy Sword techniques like Cid and later Deltia. She hires Gaffgarion to protect Oliva and meets Ramza through him. She asks Ramza to take her to the Cardinal for protection but we all remember how that worked out. Olivia is captured again and she travels with Ramza to get her back.After her second rescue she decides to leave Olivia with Deltia because he vows to throw down his life to protect her. When Agrais discovers that someone is manipulating the war, she decides it is her duty to follow Ramza further to save the world.

ME

I am the black mage. I cast the spells that make the people fall down. Really though, my guy rarely misses fights and is available after the first fight when you recruit him. If you need something to stop moving, one flare spell is usually enough. With

The Last Word

Again I love this game. The

Febuary 01 2011

RED DWARF

 
 

The Big Red

 

Red Dwarf is fucking awesome. For people who like science fiction, comedy, drama and action Red Dwarf has it all. The story involves a man by the name of David Lister who works as a chicken soup machine repairman on the Jupiter mining vessle Red Dwarf. His superior officer (second lowest on the ship) Arnold Rimmer share a bunk and get on each others nerves due to their clashing personalities. Depending on which season you are watching the continuity changes, but the show is just so well written that it somehow works all the same. Today I will talk about the book Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers. The book takes all of the best eliments of the show and takes out a lot of the camp for a more dramatic story.

We start with Lister who has been living on Mimas ever since his birthday when he got slam drunk and woke up on the moon with a traffic cone on his head and a passport made out to a transvestite named Emily Berkinstine. He is trying to earn money by stealing taxies and taking the money directly, but due to the high price of alchohol on the planet he never seems to have any money. One day he meets a man with a false mustache who is in secret Arnold Rimmer. Rimmer unintentionally gives Lister the idea to sign up for the space corps and hitch a ride back to Earth and jump ship. To his misfortune he ends up getting Rimmer as a bunk mate and he is his superior as stated above. Where as Lister is basically a space bum living in a half locker at a space port and has no ambition but a big heart where Rimmer is possibly mad with desire for command but has failed his exam thirteen times to gain officership. He has no time for people, no social skills and pulls his rank where ever and when ever he can. Durring their trip Lister falls in love with a navigation officer Kristine Kochanski and has a relationship for three months until she dumps him for her ex boyfriend who came back. With four years to get to Earth and his heart totally smashed he goes on leave and pickes up a cat, then sneaks it past quarintine. When the Captain finds out she sends him into suspended animation for nine months. Durring this time a drive plate malfunctions and a leathal dose of radiation kills the entire crew. The ships computer (Holly) seals the cargo hold (where Lister hid the cat) and ploted a course out of the solar system to prevent rescuers from trying to enter a death trap. Three million years later the radiation dies down to safe levels and Holly lets Lister out. Holly has gone senile in the time he has spent alone and wants some company. Lister aknowleges that everyone on board is dead but when Holly tells him the human race is extinct he realizes he is doomed on a ship in deep space with no company. He starts to fall apart, drinking heavily and walking around naked passing out around the ship. Holly makes a decision to revive Rimmer to keep him sane, or distraced enough to realize his situation. As luck would have it Lister calms down but is still heavily depressed. Holly releases the seal on the cargo hold and then detects a life form that is non human. They venture down into the ships hold to find many decks of food missing and a village of small houses completly empty. A man with dark skin and fangs attacks them but backs off suddenly saying ” I’m sorry, I thought you were food”. This is the creature we will come to know as Cat. When Lister put his cat in the cargo hold she was pregnent and had a litter of kittens. Those kittens had many more and then multiplied over years until they evolved into a race of people. They believed in Listers dream of having a farm on Earth with a hotdog stand with funny little hats with arrows in them. However a holy war broke out over what colour the hats should be and many were killed. Eventually they took most of the ships shuttles in two different directions to find Earth on their own. They left behind the lame and crippled, including the cat and his parents. His father was a jelly brain and eats his own feet. Now only the cat is left. The ship has been accelerating for three million years and breaches the light barrier some twenty four hours earlier than Holly calculated. This lets the crew see future echos of themselves all over the ship. One of them is Lister aged many years who lets Lister know he is going to be a father of twin boys even though there is no woman on board. After they turn around and return to normal speeds they rescue a robot named Kryten from the crashed ship Nova 5. The Nova 5 was alligning stars to spell Drink Coke in the stars from Earth as the worlds biggest advertisment but Kryten decided to give the computer core a good scrubbing with soapy water and the ship goes off course and crashes. The andriod does not know how to cope without masters and just decides to pretend they are still alive to the point where he believes it. The boys from the Dwarf recieve a distress call to rescue three ladies from a wreck on a moon but arrive to find skeletons with nice hair do’s. Truely British comedy at its finest. The Red Dwarfers decide to take the crashed ship and weld it back together in order to use its more advanced engines (it was made several hundred years AFTER the Red Dwarf, so its much superior in the way of travel) to return to Earth. Lister uses his brain and uses the mining ships facilities to set up shop on a nearby moon to collect the fuel to make the ship run with Kryten and the Cat while Rimmer and his copy (yes he made a copy of himself from a backup before the accident) repair the Nova 5. Once they get back they find the Nova 5 in one piece but the two Rimmers are fighting back and forth. It gets to the point where one of them has to go and Rimmer One gets selected. Lister gets Rimmer wasted and askes him what gazpacho soup day meant. This rendition of the gazpacho soup tale is by far the best because Rimmer doesn’t just eat hot soup meant to be served cold in front of the Captain. He got an esscort to attend with him but she turned out to be a trickster having taken his money and the dress he bought her and buggered off leaving him alone, then he told everyone at the table she had just died but he was okay about it and that they should just eat. He notices tention and tries to releive it with a joke but gets stage fright halfway through and forgets the punchline and everyone thinks he’s crazy and not right after his “girlfriend” just died in a horrible manner. Then he makes the soup blunder. Much better rendition. Lister deletes Rimmer Two and they have more drinks before they leave Red Dwarf the next morning.

In the last chapter Lister the Cat has his own island on Earth with giant Valkires and dog hunts, Rimmer has fortune, fame and a multi-billion dollar corperation and a new body and Lister lives in a small town called Bedford Falls taken from Its A Wonderful Life with his wife and two sons. Lister starts getting pains in his arms and gets cream for them. While applying the cream to the hurt areas he notices it spells out a message. It seems they are playing the total immersion video game Better Than Life, a game that lets you have your ideal life without you knowing its a game because it hides itself from your mind. The game was made illegal because in the real world your body would get weak and die or you would hurl yourself off a cliff because you thought you were sky diving. The cat had found one of the headbands while drunk and put it on allowing the electrodes to insert into his brain. Lister who was also drunk thought that he could resist the game and get the cat so he followed him in but got stuck and Holly patched Rimmer in as well even dispite her reluctance. Only Kryten was sober and knew better to stay out of the game and tried to feed them and care for them as best he could. The book ends with Lister meeting up with Rimmer saying that they had to get back to reality. I’ll save part two until later because there is so much I would like to mention in this blog.

Starbug

Story

Rob Grant and Doug Naylor re-write their show to expand more on Lister and Rimmer’s  characters than we get to see in the show. It follows much of the first season of the show including the episodes Me2, Better Than Life, The End, Future Echos and Kryten but with more detail and edited continuety from the show to be a bit more “realistic”. I love the show with all my heart but the books take the cake in a lot of ways. Its like Rob and Doug  just took all the best of Red Dwarfs jokes, stories and scripts and just put them in a book with minor tweaks here and there. With most of the cheese gone they could even re-do this book as a movie and finally finsih the damn show. Neither the book series nor the show have ever been completed and that annoys me to no end. Whats the point of reading a kick ass story with no ending? One day my friends… one day.

Setting

There are two reasons why I love this show and book. The well written jokes that are built on characters relationships with one another and the setting for the story. I have always had this weird enjoyment of end of the world senarios. Not that I want the world to end but it is always kind of interesting to hear the story of the survivors (if any). In Red Dwarf Lister has to deal with the fact that he is the last human alive and is more or less alone in the universe. He has nothing to do except try and return to Earth and tolerate the people he happens to be stucks with. In the show he would lounge around watching movies, get drunk and eat curry and just talk with his bunk mate. The bunk scenes are in the book as well to my delight. Seriously though. Picture the person that you like least in the world. Then picture being stuck with them on a ship out on the ocean that has been flooded. Thinking eveyone to be dead, you would take said person and tell them things you don’t even tell your best of friends. You’re at the end of your world and your only companion is one of your enemies. I just love their interactions and watching them change over time.

Dave Lister

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Last Human

 

 

Lister was abandoned as a child under a pool table in a cardboard box and he never met his true parents. He lived on Earth until his twenty fifth birthday when he did a monopoly board pub crawl and you know the story.This bum ends up alone in deep space with a crew of the people he would like least to be around in the whole of creation. I like the character interaction between Rimmer and Lister because they are such complete opposites but over time they start to rub off on each other. Lister would gain the work ethic and enthusiasm to research into the Nova 5 and how to dig up the ore and refine it into fuel, not an easy task, but he managed with only the Cat and Kryten to help (who both turned out to be pretty useless). He has a huge heart but also has a bit of a gut and curry addiction. The story is written so well that you can sort of feel what he feels alone in deep space looking at nothing but old age and death alone in a metal cage.

 

 

 

Rimmer

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Waiting for your head to explode

 

Rimmer One

Rimmer in my opinion is the other main character of Red Dwarf. When he was alive he was uptight, totally dedicated to his laughable carear and looking down on people who wasted their time being social and would choose to spend his time alone in a stasis chamber to slowly pinch back time. He is technically a year older than he actually is. He had three other brothers who treated him like crap and they all got learning implants to get into the space corps but he never got one and wound up trying to become an officer on a minning ship. After he gets a nuclear explosion in the face and is revived years later he becomes a computer simulation of Rimmer. So he is not Rimmer just a simulated Rimmer. “I think I am thinking therfore I possibly am”. Realizing the worst has already happened he sort of mellows out a bit. He’s still an asshole but at he doesn’t realize just how insufferable he is until he turns off half the power on the ship so it can support two hoograms instead of one. This allows him to see what time alone with Lister telling him of his pride, shame, triumph and failures have done to him.  

Rimmer Two

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I can't see past your stupid fat head

 

 

The reason I include Rimmer Two as a characer is because he is around for so much of the book. In the show he was around for one episode but he is around much longer in the book. Rimmer Two was made from pre-accident discs of the crew and therefore retains none of Rimmer One’s experiences or memories of recent events. This character is a tool used to show Rimmer realizing what a douche he has been and forces him to admit many of his failures, but usually because they are arguing. When Rimmer Two calls Rimmer One “Mr. Gazpacho” that sent Rimmer One back to his old room with Lister. He is eventually deleted because the Nova 5 could only support one hologram period.

Cat

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This was actually in style?

 

 

Most of what I have to say about the Cat and his origons have already been stated. He is vain, shallow and selfesh and those are just his best qualities. I love how they made him just like a household cat that can walk and talk. He is incredibly stupid and can’t grasp the concept of what is going on around him half of the time unless you explain in very simple words. Although the Cat isn’t religious his race believe that Lister is their God and they should follow the path of slobbyness or else they are rejected from society and pelted with stale donuts. Harsh.

 

 

Kryten

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I peed in your oatmeal master!

 

 

Kryten was found to have killed his masters through incompetence so he removes his head and shuts himself off. Lister fixes Kryten to becomes his role model and works hard to break his programing to lie, cheat and steal. Kryten’s only one want in the world is to clean and take care of human masters and believes he will be rewarded in silicone heaven.

 

 

Holly

April Fools

 

Holly is the ships computer with an I.Q. of six thousand, although three million years of solitude has led him to develop computer senality. He really has slowed down and spends time with his singing potatoes. I loved holly for all of his dead pan humor. The one liners he delivered in the show with perfect timing and a straight face must have been difficult to do.

January 27 2011

NINTENDO’S MAJORA’S MASK 

Today we take a look at the Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask. After the release of OOT I highly anticipated future quests through Hyrule with an older experienced Link on a quest to save Zelda. What we got was a bizzare new land, no connection to Hyrule OR theTriforce, and you are a Deku Scrub in a world where you have to reset time after a set amount of time losing all your hard work if its not complete. The opening roles and we see young Link riding young Epona through the lost woods searching for Navi (though it says a friend so who knows, it could be Saria, though I always had this notion that the Sages had to die before they were awakened as sages. This came to me while playing OOT and I watched Naboru get blown up by Twin Rova and then I thought further and realized not one ofages left their respective Temples with or without Link). Link is ambushed by a skull kid who steals your musical instrument and horse and buggers off down a hole in a tree. He follows down the hole and you become cornered and the Skull Kid turns you into a Deku Scrub. Now as a Scrub you follow the Skull Kid through the caverns and into a clock tower through the basement and meet the traveling mask salesman from the first game. He reveals that the Skull Kid stole the powerful Majora’s mask and is abusing the powers like that of a child with a the powers of a god. He tells you that in return he can turn you back into a human but he needs the ochirana that was stolen from you. The Skull Kid is calling the moon down to the planet to destroy all life on the planet and the salesman gives you three days to get the mask back. No pressure right? On the third day the clock tower lowers onto its side allowing you to climb to the roof, fight the skull kid and reclaim your ochirana. Once in your hand you remember Zelda saying if you play the song of time you can travel back in time three days. On the morning of the first day Link takes is returned to human by the mask salesman but because Skull Kid is too powerful and is calling the moon down to destroy the planet you must go to the four temples of the four races in Terminia and release the gods from their slumber by waking them up.

This game annoyed the hell out of me for years until one day I picked it up off the floor (it belonged to my brother ) and I got to playing it. Maybe it was because I was playing it at three in the morning in a dimly lit basement with coffee and such (the way I always like to be before watching something scarey or play something trippy because your state of mind is half paranoid with exhaustion) but I noticed something. This game is creepy as hell. Even now playing it I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before.

STORY

As I mentioned above you are in a whole new world, but its like a parallel world where all the people from Hyrule are present but they are different people. That alone makes it confusing because its never been established that you are in a parallel world. Kind of like the dream world from Links Awakening the world might not even exist, or it could be a pocket of space between relms. Wherever you are the world is going to end in three days. At first this bothered me but it shows the game designers really trying to branch out and do something origonal. The story of the Legend of Zelda games have always been very similer in their story. You must save the princess, find the master sword, your always looking for the triforce and its usually in Hyrule. This was a step far beyond anything written besides the previously mentioned Links Awakening and it really shows later in the game. Over the span of three days you interact with the people of Termania and watch their perspective on the end of the world. Some people want to wrap up unfinished buisness, some people have been wronged and want revenge, others are just in a tight spot and need a little help. Usually you get a mask after completing a quest which will no doubt help you in another quest or give you a skill that can be used later in the game. Some of my favourites are the bunny hood which gives you turbo like speed and the Garo’s mask that allows you to fight invisible ninja-like beings that would otherwise be invisible. Everything about this new world has a halloween or cursed feel to it, and a lot of the textures are dark and shaded adding to the theme of the game. Whenever Link puts a mask on he screams in obvious pain and the eyes of the mask light up as it wraps around your face. The mirror sheild got a new face as well and went from boarderline religious symbol to a screaming face that reflects onto walls. One quarter of the land (the Ikana Valley which you will hear about quite often) was once a beautiful kingdom that had its own monarchy that fell years ago in an ongoing war with the Garo (ninja’s). The when the kingdom fell the land became cursed and now only spirits live there. Its like the graveyard from a classic Zelda mixed with the part of tatooine that R2D2 took where the Jawa jumps out and shoots him.  Even the name of the land Termina might even be a play on words as its future is Terminal and doomed to be destroyed. Also, look at the moon. Look at that face, combined with the fact that the moon cries Moon Tears which either implies the moon is sentiant and knows its about to destroy a world or its just the spell the Skull Kid put on it with the masks power.

Characters

It might be redundant in an RPG but damnit I am going to be relentless.

Link: The Hero of Time returns as a child this time, only a little bit older and appears to retain everything he learned in OOT as his skills are improved (he has a back flip jump) and even his Kokiri Sword. He has a new sheild called a Hero’s Sheild that looks like the Hylan Sheild but smaller and less effective. I’ve never liked Link much as a kid (save OOT because you become an adult) mostly because I always felt he was older. Back in my day he was at least sixteen in The Adventure of Link  so WTF? However it did in fact grow on me because you could access the powers of the transformation masks to help out. There are also child sized weapons for him to use like the Fairy Bow and Hookshot.

Tatl: One of the Skull Kids two fairy friends. She was seperated from her brother when she fell behind to prevent Link from following the Skull Kid through a closing stone door. She decides to tag along and help after she reunites with Skull Kid who slaps her brother around making her realize that the mask had taken over the Skull Kid. She is just as annoying only much less useful. At least Navi would tell you how to defeat your enemies, where Tatl just asks “what did you do last time”? Really, useless. 

Darmani: This was the hero of the Goron Tribe who was deemed their best warrior. When Snowhead mountain started blowing deadly cold winds that threatened to kill his people he left to put a stop to it. He was blown off the path and onto the jaggad rocks below, killing him. Link meets his spirit in the Goron Village with the Lens of Truth and follows him to the graveyard. After healing his soul with the Song of Healing he gives you his mask to use his power to stop the evil that threatens his people.

Mikau: The Zora Guitar Hero and respected warrior plays in a catchy Zora band called the Indigo-go’s (terrible I know). When Gauroudo pirates steal Lulu’s eggs (the lead singer) she loses her voice and Mikau is charged with the task of getting them back. He is unable to beat the beaver brothers in a race and therefore could not recieve their bottle for a fairy or potion and entered the fortress without. He is discovered and sevearly injured and floats out to the Great Bay for Link to find and rescue. Also having failed his quest Link plays the Song of Healing and puts his soul to rest. He leaves behind the Zora mask so that Link can save the Eggs, and so that Link can perform with the band.

Skull Kid: The Skull Kid and Link had met previously in OOT presumably the one who you sold the Skull Mask to in the happy mask sidequest. He is known to have been friends with the four giants before they left Termina leaving him alone with no friends. He starts playing pranks on people for fun but is scorned and rejected. He later meets Tatl and Tael, two fairies who befriend him. He uses them to steal the mask from the traveling mask salesman and begeins to use its power. Later the mask starts to take control bit by bit until eventually on the moon it throws him aside saying it is done with that puppet. I really thought that a Skull Kid as the main antagonist was a pittiful match up to Ganon from other Zelda games until the mask just takes over and starts going ape-shit.

The NPC’s: These guys have a lot more to them than the previous games with detailed sidequests that need to be completed before the end of the world. They are the key to gaining the masks to beat other sidequests later on in the game. They are responsible for Link having to take a break out of his already jam packed schedule to fix their life before saving them all as a whole. Favourites include Malon, the Dead Dancing Guru, the Music Box guy and the old lady at the stockpot inn that keeps calling you tortose due to her poor eyesight (if that carries over from OOT) and the hand in the toilet.

Game Play

The game handles EXACTLY the same as OOT so the transition is pretty smooth from the one to the next. As a twist  you may take on the form of a Deku Scrub, a Goron, a Zora and a bizzare twist of Adult Link if you can collect every mask in the game. Each form has a special ability that is unique to their speicies. The Gorons roll. To Goron roll transform into the Goron and then curl up into a ball. Once you get rolling you use magic to grow spikes that give you greater speeds and contol. I could bomb around the feild for at least fifteen to twenty minutes if I had the time to kill. The only annoying thing is that you have to race to get the gold powder to transform your sword into a more powerful blade. The Zorda can swim like a dolphan on speed. This too is a great deal of fun especially when you have to break into the Gauroudo fortress. (Interesting fact, in OOT there are four masks that are bonus after selling four of the origonals. A Zora, Goron, Gauroudo warrior and the mask of truth. I was half expecting to be able to transform into a Gauroudo for a while there).At one point you must play all four transformation instruments to put on a show for a room full of milk sipping drunks to complete a sidequest that was pretty cool.

GREATEST PARTS OF THE GAME

The Sidequests. There is so much to do in this game, though the better of the sidequests will span over a three day period. Some of them even cross over and you have to play it different ways to get different results. Keep track through your notebook and try to help out everyone you see.

The Music Box House. Ikana valley is cursed. Spirits and the undead wander and many fear to even walk there. On top of the valley there is the music box house that plays a song that the undead cannot stand and drives them away. The house is surrounded by mummies and there is a person in the house to scared to come out. Once you learn the song of storms you can get the house to play again allowing you to slip by the little white girl checking the well. Inside her closet however a mummy jumps out and you have to play the song of healing to reveal her father who was cursed. This girl had been taking care of her father in a zombie wasteland alone. Gods thats awesome!!!

Romani Ranch. With three days to the Carnival of Time the Skull Kid using Majora’s powers blocks the road to Clock Town. Why? Who knows. Here you can reclaim your horse as well as the Bunny Hood, one of my favourite masks. Also I guess the ranch is on top of a paranormal hot spot becaus every year around the Carnival of Time “They” come to the farm and abduct all of the cattle. It is your job to defend the cows with your bow. If you succeed, you can then prevent the neighbouring milk farmers from destroying the romani milk on your way to town. It is tons of fun and also… CREEPY!

The Moon. On the third day you can transport yourself to the moon to fight Majora once you have all four Temples completed. The moon surface consists of lush green grass and a single tree in which four kids wearing the gods masks on their faces and one by the tree sitting wearing Majora’s mask. There are four mini-dungons that allow you to trade in your non-transformation masks to get the Fierce Diety mask that makes you into a kick ass adult Link form with a huge ass sword that shoots magic. Damn.

The Stone Tower. Atop the Ikana Valley there is the Stone Temple that you must climb to the top to enter. This is done by using the hookshot, playing a song to make a shell of yourself to hold down switched to activate bridges and a whole lot of climbing. The Temple at the top is also shit tons of fun. If you shoot the red gem with the light arrow, gravity shifts and allows you to explore other parts of the temple. You must find the Giant Mask  to grow like in Power Rangers and defeat Twinmold, the boss of that Temple.

Zombie Wasteland

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