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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:11 pm 
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Maybe it's the nostalgia talking, but I thought the original Zelda was a great game. It did an excellent job of nudging you in the right direction without grabbing you by the by the hair and yelling in your face like the newer games do (I'm looking at you Fi) - it's all about scratching that completionist itch. Screenful of enemies? Beat them all and see what you find. Too tough? You're going the wrong way. Suspicious empty space on the dungeon map? Bomb time! Personally I think it's aged brilliantly, and SMB is an old fossil, but I'm probably alone in that viewpoint.

Breath of the Wild also lets you go where you like and get pounded if you want. You get all the lock-and-key items (that I know of) in the tutorial, and there's no companion constantly nagging you to go this way or that. Instead the enemies in areas you're not supposed to be in yet beat you six ways to Sunday and you have an RPG-style quest log that you can look at or ignore at your convenience. I think it works pretty well.


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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:41 am 
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I see, in Ocarina the Zelda 3 way still worked great, you had to do the first few dungeons in order, and the later dungeons had a suggested order by Navi, that could partly be broken if you really wanted to. And then there where the mandatory side-quest dungeons (Gerudo Fortress, Ice Cave etc.) that could be done at about any time without consequences, as long as they are done before whatever you get from them are needed. I think this, and all the side-quests, made it have a good balance of linearity, and Navi only acted as a reminder of what's happening in the main story rather than a flying guide book.

Mayora has a pretty set (and short) main-quest, but it has so many side-quests that must be figured out by the player, and that can be done at almost any time without consequences, that it never feels like you are guided through the game.

Maybe the annoying handholding started in Wind Waker or Twilight Princess? I just didn't enjoy these games as much as earlier games, Skyward Sword was a better game IMO (and had the best graphics), but it also has a lot of handholding fetch-quests as part of the main-quest.
Wind Waker was very unlinear near the end, and maybe had the least amount of handholding of these later games.

Midna was the worst fairy companion, only complaining and she didn't even do her job as a fairy and tell the names and weak points of the enemies when asked. Fi was much better, but her robotic personality was a bit boring and she gave way too much guidance. Navi is easily the best fairy IMO and she set the standard of fairy companions.


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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:41 pm 
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Oh boy, and don't get me started on Castlevania. It's so hard that I can't even get past level 2. However, I will give it one point because unlike Zelda, the emenys actually have patterns. One thing that always bugged me though is that on the cartridge art, it shows Simon with a sword, even though in the actual game, he never uses a sword! One of the reasons I find this game rather difficult is because the game revolves a bit too much around the enemy patterns. You have to know exactly where the medusa heads will fly and when, or else you're dead. Another thing that annoyed me is that you can't control which direction you jump. Once you've jumped that direction, you can't turn around. I've always hated that the game pushes you back whenever you get hit. It's a major pain especially when you're trying to jump on small platforms with enemies on them. Especially in level two when you're trying to jump on two block platforms with flying medusa heads coming your direction, when you get hit they send you back and you fall to your death. There's this one guy from Nintendo Power who managed to beat the game without using any continues. We should be worshipping this guy!


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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:30 am 
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Castlevania is one of the greatest games on the NES. You're seriously overrating its difficulty. I've completed the game without even dying many times, and I'd say there are many way harder games on the NES. It's really just a matter of knowing the stages and the enemies, it's a very static and predictable game despite some randomness in the birds, etc. It takes thorough training, but not a horrible lot.

A lot of the things you address as frustation (and you're not the only one, to be honest) are elements that make the game good. Knock ideas of Mario control out of your head - this is a completely different approach to platform gaming, and any jump you make puts you at a risk because you lose control, so you always need to plan ahead. It's a slow and methodic game. Almost a puzzle game.

As for your current source of frustration, the Medusa Heads, they are actually extremely predictable. You don't need to know when and where they appear, because they always just spawn at a steady rate.
What you need to know however, is that their pattern is always such that if you stand completely still (from before they spawn) they will never hit you. Likewise if you keep moving forward without stopping or jumping, they will never hit you. The first time you see them, the game gives you a nice plain hallway with no risks around, so you can learn this.
It's pretty ingenious in fact. Because that means Medusa Heads are never a threat by themselves, but when combined with pits or other enemies that means you have to alter your own approach and keep that in mind when facing them. This is especially important in an area like last part of Stage 3, where you will be forced to stop to fight bone pillars. If you time your movement so that you stop BEFORE a Medusa Head shows up, you don't have to worry about it.

Another thing you should keep in mind, especially for your first completion of the game, is keeping Holy Water around. It will help you immensely at the bosses, as it stunlocks them. Especially Frankenstein's Monster is extremely difficult without it, and Death is almost impossible. In general, don't be stingy with your subweapons - you lose your ammunition at the end of each stage anyway, so fire away. Whenever you've hit 10 or so enemies or candles with the same weapon, the next one will drop a "II" or "III" item, allowing you to rapidfire, which is, again, extremely helpful against bosses.


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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:16 am 
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DementedPurple wrote:
Oh boy, and don't get me started on Castlevania. It's so hard that I can't even get past level 2.

Level 2 is dead easy. The corridor before Death however, is HELL. I think pretty much everyone agrees with that - this corridor is impossible without savestates and even with them it's extremely though. Death himself is another nightmare, if you don't have holy water it's impossible, but holy water is only available very early in Death's stage so you have to keep it in your inventory without dying nor getting another subweapon accidentally.


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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:44 am 
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I'm not trying to be contrary, but I honestly never understood why people consider that corridor such a big problem. If you have experience with both Medusa Heads and Axe Armors (which you should have at this point, and then some), everything is extremely predictable and manageable. But I'm guessing a lot of people just don't get the Medusa Head patterns? (read my post above) Don't try to fight them, just dodge them!
I think most other parts of this stage is harder, and if you have the holy water the axe armors are completely trivialized. It's more fun to not use it, but you're gonna need to have it at this point anyway for Death. He is absurdly difficult without holy water.

I consider all of the final stage, especially the bridge in the beginning and the last room before the final staircase, way harder than "death's corridor". I'd also say the final section of stage 3 is harder, especially if you're playing the "Vs" version.


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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:13 am 
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I consider all of the final stage, [...] and the last room before the final staircase, way harder than "death's corridor"

Perhaps, but most people never got past the Death's corridor without using save states anyway.
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especially the bridge in the beginning

You can just dodge the big bats (using the clock helps in doing so), no need to fighting them.
Quote:
I'm not trying to be contrary, but I honestly never understood why people consider that corridor such a big problem. If you have experience with both Medusa Heads and Axe Armors (which you should have at this point, and then some), everything is extremely predictable and manageable. But I'm guessing a lot of people just don't get the Medusa Head patterns? (read my post above) Don't try to fight them, just dodge them!

The problem is that you have to run against the armours and the medusa heads simultaneously. Either one or the other would not be a problem. But here, you have to dodge the axes which makes you run into medusa heads, or dodge medusa heads which makes you run into an axe. There's no way around that. Also, you can only take a great total of 3 hits before dying which is ridiculously low.
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and if you have the holy water the axe armors are completely trivialized.

But you're extremely unlikely to have holy water here, as it is only available at the very begining of Death's stage. Having holy water here means you shouldn't die in the middle of Death's stage, so you should take 3 hits at maximum, period. This is hard.


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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:56 am 
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It's been a while since I've played the game, but I'm pretty sure there's a holy water after the checkpoint. Otherwise I would never have been able to beat the game consistently. I have never beaten death without holy water, period.
On the other hand, stage 4 has been a blocker for me on several occasions, as you can never get the holy water back on that stage if you lose it after the checkpoint. That spot is probably my number 1 reason for failing a game of Castlevania.

Bregalad wrote:
Also, you can only take a great total of 3 hits before dying which is ridiculously low.

Being able to take three hits actually means the game is really lenient on you failing there. You can affording failing twice and still make it through. Keep in mind that it's a really short section, and you get healing meat right before it. You should try the Vs version. ;)

The hallway before Death just has a bad reputation due to AVGN who has a long history of spreading this kind of misinformation that spreads to people as "second hand opinions". I never heard anyone complain about the dam in TMNT until he did.
I'm not saying it's not difficult, it's just really nothing special for this game.


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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:00 am 
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Maybe the corridor before death got more notoriety when AVGN made an illustration of it (which is a bit exaggerated). It is hard, but it's also just a matter of timing. For me, defeating dracula is the hardest part, and it should be.
EDIT: oops, didn't read the last paragraph above. +1, then.

In CV3, time running out used to be my worst enemy because i play it overly carefully. I especially remember losing while waiting for the orb to appear after a boss battle :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:48 am 
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Sumez wrote:
It's been a while since I've played the game, but I'm pretty sure there's a holy water after the checkpoint.

You're misremembering then. The only holy water available in Death state is near the beginning of the stage.

And I already though the Death corridor to be hell before viewing AVGN videos.

Quote:
Keep in mind that it's a really short section, and you get healing meat right before it.

Sure it helps a lot but it doesn't even restore to full health.

Quote:
On the other hand, stage 4 has been a blocker for me on several occasions, as you can never get the holy water back on that stage if you lose it after the checkpoint. That spot is probably my number 1 reason for failing a game of Castlevania.

Indeed, the Frankenstein-monster corridor is hard. It's still doable without holy water, but it requires luck, especially the boss fight itself. It's also the 1st part of the game where you can only take 3 hits before dying, because you get 4 damage per hit. My strategy is to usually try to kill him before he kills me.


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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:52 am 
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The trick is being able to anticipate Igor's pattern. It's a difficult fight, but it's 100% deterministic, and doesn't require any luck. :)
However, due to the holy water exploit I'm sure most of us never had a lot of practical experience with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:22 am 
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Sumez wrote:
Castlevania is one of the greatest games on the NES. You're seriously overrating its difficulty. I've completed the game without even dying many times, and I'd say there are many way harder games on the NES. It's really just a matter of knowing the stages and the enemies, it's a very static and predictable game despite some randomness in the birds, etc. It takes thorough training, but not a horrible lot.


Oh man, I've got to disagree with you. It ISa great game, but it's also really hard. Not impossible, (and yes there are harder games) but it is on the short list of great games that are crazy hard (Castlevania, Battletoads, Snake Rattle n Roll, etc). (There are plenty of other really hard games, but many of them are hard and terrible. Like Ghosts and Goblins, for example)

But like others said, that hallway before death wasn't so bad. Death himself, and moreso the final battle with Dracula were much harder. (I remember as a kid leaving my NES turned on for days at the final level of Castlevania, pausing to eat, go to school, etc, just trying over and over again to defeat Dracula)

Back to the original subject: I always thought the random-bomb-everything aspect of the original zelda was really interesting in the social setting of the time. We'd sit around at school recess, pull out a map of the game, and ask everyone what things they discovered, and mark them on our shared map. There was an interesting shared exploration feeling to it, which increased the mystery and feeling of adventure. You wouldn't be able to re-create that today, with spoilers and guides being all over the internet.

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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:41 am 
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I'm never said Castlevania is an easy game, it's far from it, but "crazy hard" is an overstatement, too. I'm not trying to patronize anyone for finding the game difficult, but rather I want to encourage the idea that anyone can overcome these games if they set their mind to it! "Nintendo hard" is a term that's been polluting the retro game community for years now, making people afraid to take up fun challenges.

It literally took me less than a day of practice to 1CC Castlevania for the NES. It was at most a couple of days later I made my first 1 life clear without even aiming for it.
And it's not like I'm some sort of video game prodigy, in fact I was never particularly good at video games, but CV is one of those games anyone can learn if they just sit down and practice. Also, one thing people need to do is being open to picking up strategies by watching videos, or simply analyzing the game and what they should do differently instead of continuing to run their head against the wall.
Beating Dracula or especially Death without holy water is very difficult, but using the holy water is an option you have, so make use of it. Realizing how the double and triple shot powerups worked was a huge game changer for me, that made the game much more manageable.

OP's statement about worshipping a guy for being able to beat the game without continues is absurdly hyperbolic. If you want to worship someone for their Castlevania skills, worship Funkdoc, he's a genuine god at the entire series, and mad enough to speedrun Holy Diver of all things. Now THERE'S a crazy hard game.


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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:21 am 
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Sumez wrote:
Also, one thing people need to do is being open to picking up strategies by watching videos

This option isn't available to everyone for three reasons.

  1. First, reputation of relative difficulty of games for a particular platform began to build during the original commercial era of pre-Wii consoles, which was before the era of widespread broadband Internet access and video hosting services.
  2. Second, many people can't watch a lot of videos without exceeding a fairly strict monthly Internet data transfer quota imposed by the ISP. Some people live outside the service area of wired broadband and therefore must rely on satellite with its cap, or they can't afford both wired and mobile broadband and have consider mobile broadband more important than higher-volume wired broadband.
  3. Third, even nowadays for people who subscribe to wired broadband, Castlevania is published by Konami, one of the more litigious video game publishers (source). If Konami wanted, every video of Castlevania could be taken down tomorrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Zelda was hard...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:58 am 
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Quote:
OP's statement about worshipping a guy for being able to beat the game without continues is absurdly hyperbolic

I was only joking.

I'm confident that pretty much any game can be beaten if you practice enough. I see what the point was when you mentioned that I could just find strategy videos on YouTube, but keep in mind that this game was released in 1987, when the most advanced computer was the 128k Mac. Try watching YouTube an that monochrome CRT with dial-up internet. But I don't know, but I'm pretty sure they had strategy books and VHS tapes, so you could use those.


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