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"The camera pans over the entire area as a whole bunch of buildings light up. It's Zanarkand! Wait, so Tightass's Zanarkand is inside Sin? Then how did Sin show up in the fake Zanarkand? Or is this another hologram? Do the game designers even know the answer to this? No? Well, let's move on then."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy X Part 22




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Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time : Part 2
By Sam
Posted 07.03.06
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 : 6 : 7 : 8
We've got a whole lot of ground to cover, so let's get this show on the road. In part one, our hero Twink learned that Ganondorf can magically infect his enemies with spider-related venereal diseases, that rocks are sexy, and that girl fairies are just like human girls in that they can't stop talking. When we left off, the Dicku Tree had just bitten the big one, petrified but crab spider-free, and Saria had just given Twink the flesh-colored Fairy Cockarina, to remind him of her while he's out and about in the land of Hyrule. Obviously the girl is deluded beyond words, but Twink wasn't about to tell her so, out of fear that she might take back her gift. Little does he know the heterosexual trouble this extremely gay instrument is going to get him into over the next few hours.

Anyway. We will unfortunately be getting back to Saria later, but for now, there's a whole new world to explore and proclaim full of phallic objects! It takes me a good twenty minutes to dig up the Nintendo 64, the necessary cables, the game cartridge, my favorite red controller, and the Rumble Pack, all of which were, for some reason, in separate locations around the apartment. Yeah, in the time I spent looking for my console of yore and its ancient accessories, I could have just started playing the Gamecube version, but as we'll see, I'm shitty enough at this game after two years away from it, without the added crutch of learning to play it with a different controller.

Like Jeanne said, Twink is now standing in a tunnel-like area between the open Hyrule Field and the entrance to the Lost Woods. He's all ready to get out there and see the sights, but he's stopped in his tracks almost immediately by a gigantic fucking owl on a high tree branch. Seriously, this thing's the size of a Lincoln Towncar. The music takes a turn for the whimsical to introduce our oversized feathery friend, who hoots at Twink, "Hoo hoot! Twink... Look up here!" Like Twink is going to miss a mutant talking bird leering at him like his creepy beaked uncle.

The owl tells Twink, cocking his head quizzically, "It appears that the time has finally come for you to start your adventure!" No way. I thought he would start at the end of the game. The owl goes on that Twink should be strong and not let the weight of his adventures discourage him. Unfortunately, Twink is already discouraged, if his adventures are going to include lengthy conversations with this frightening creature. The owl, however, does not pick up on Twink's desire to be as far away from him as possible, so he keeps talking. "Go straight this way and you will see Hyrule Castle. You will meet a princess there..." Oh, hooray, Twink can hardly wait. You know, five minutes ago, he probably didn't think life could go downhill much further, between Saria stalking him and having a fucking girl fairy as his new life partner, but he's quickly learning that The Powers That Be are cruel assholes and will keep readjusting the definition of "rock bottom" so he can keep hitting it.

And the owl is still fucking yammering on, now about the staggering concept of Twink checking his Map if he gets lost. For the record, since I don't remember if this is ever mentioned in-game, this owl has a name, and a rather pretentious one at that: Kaepora Gaebora. Yes, I could rename him Kaepora Gaybona or Kaepora Gaeboring or something along those lines and be done with it, but that wouldn't be taking into account my continuing obsession with Animal Crossing. So the owl's new name is Blathers. Trust me, he'll earn it in spades. Also, it requires less typing than any variants on this freak's real name.

 
'No.'

Blathers segues from the map "tip" to an explanation of how to access the game's main menu in order to get to said map, as if Twink could have gotten all the way through an entire dungeon without figuring these things out. Really, now, this is just unnecessary. At least he hasn't pointed Twink toward a flashing neon sign reading, "GO HERE, NUMBNUTS." But then he goes on, "On the Map Subscreen, you will also see a flashing dot showing you which way you should go next." Well, fuck me.

Finished with his pointless meta-game browbeating of our hero, Blathers finally asks, "Did you get all of that?" I am tempted to answer "No," willing every ounce of sarcasm in my body into the word, but I know that answering such would only make Blathers repeat everything he just said, and then I would have to go throw myself off a building. After receiving the desired "Yes" from Twink, Blathers promises to see Twink again soon (sigh) and flies off into the afternoon sky.

An encounter with a bird five times his size with three times Naggy's penchant for diarrhea of the mouth was probably enough of a traumatic welcome to Hyrule, but the game designers obviously don't think so. As Twink runs on his stumpy child legs toward Hyrule Castle, he has hot on his heels some kind of giant flying plant pod with razor-sharp tentacles. It whizzes toward Twink like a deadly leafy helicopter, complete with terrifying spinning rotor sounds. But Twink manages to get away, just as the sun sets. Which causes three dog-skulled skeletons to emerge from the ground at Twink's feet. Wow, Hyrule is awesome. Maybe the Dicku Tree wasn't bullshitting the Kokiri when he told them they'd die if they left the forest.

It's still nighttime when Twink, panting and huffing and scared out of his wits, reaches the gates of Hyrule Castle. But the place apparently shuts down at five o' clock, because the drawbridge is up and Twink can't get in. Aside from cramming down our throats how amazing this game is because things are different at night, this also serves to remind me of how much I suck at even simple tasks like targeting a skeleton and sticking it with the sword, as four or five of the buggers take this opportunity to get acquainted with Twink. This reminder is depressing me and I'd rather like to stop playing now, but it wouldn't be much of a recap if I quit here. Though I suppose I could fill up a few pages writing gothic ABAB poetry about my desire to down a bottle of sleeping pills because of how bad I am at videogames.

Well, despite my incompetence, Twink survives the night, and watches with satisfaction as the skeletons dissolve back into the ground at dawn. Fuckers. Free of monster anxiety, he crosses the drawbridge into Hyrule Castle Town.

Between the drawbridge and the town proper is a guardhouse, inhabited by a very bored castle guard and about forty clay pots. Twink worries for a moment about smashing these tempting pots right in front of the guard, but it turns out there's no need for concern: "Man, I am SO bored..." the guard tells Twink. "Things would sure be more interesting if there were more...troubles in the world... Hey, that's just between you and me, okay?" That's what we in the business call "irony." See what the writers did there? The guard eventually suggests that he and Twink "let off some steam" (hot!) by smashing up all the pots in the room. Well, Twink sure isn't going to say no to that. He collects about fifty Rupees from all the pots, and finds a Gold-Assed Spider in a crate next to the guard. Keep in mind these things are easily the size of Twink's head. It's been skittering around in that crate all this time and the guard didn't even notice? Gross.

Twink gets the hell out of there before any other spiders drop in to say hello, and proceeds into the actual town. It is a rambunctious scene: women clamoring for the newest items at each booth in the open-air market, rowdy men clapping each other on the back, dogs frolicking in the morning sunshine. It's all a bit of sensory overload for Twink, who hasn't been around more than six people at a time in his entire life. Naggy, who clearly thinks she's "helping," floats around to inspect every single thing within twenty yards of Twink, and following her with his eyes is adding to his feeling that he's about to vomit all over the cobblestoned courtyard. But he takes some deep breaths to make the nausea pass.

Under a tree in the middle of the courtyard, Twink meets two skinny men who, upon first inspection, look to be engaged in an epic tickle fight. Both of them are convulsing with laughter for some reason, anyway. They could be having a laugh at how ridiculous they both look: the two men are identical down to their bowl cuts, porno mustaches and hideous white pants, and only the colors of their blouses (magenta and teal, how manly!) distinguish one from the other. Twink speaks to the magenta one, who says, "Wha-ha-ha! What a crazy guy! Can you believe this guy was crazy enough to try to sneak into the castle to see Princess Zelda?" Well, no, Twink can't believe that Mr. Teal (or Mr. Magenta, for that matter) would go to any sort of trouble to see a girl, royalty or otherwise. Anyway. "All because of this idiot," Mr. Magenta continues, still wheezing with laughter, "they've tightened security at the castle! Wha-ha-hah!" And the two of them laugh and laugh. I'm not trying to say that their discussion is Serious Business or anything, but it's hardly riotously funny. Clearly these guys think it's never too early in the morning to spark up.

Mr. Teal, meanwhile, uses this hilarious story to pass a few thinly-veiled game tips Twink's way. "I wanted to see Princess Zelda!" he repeats to Twink, making me think he's overdoing it with this obvious lie, and he was really sneaking into the castle, in drag, to hit on some castle guards. And now I've ruined the plot of someone's fanfiction. "I avoided the guards... Swam through the moat... I was almost there when they caught me!" he laments. I'm sure he wasn't that sad about getting caught. Wink. "I found a small drain hole on the right side of the castle that I thought I could sneak into," he finishes, "but I got stuck there." So the guards caught the guy with his ass sticking out of a hole in the wall? What can I even add to that?

A lady in a lavender dress takes some time out of her shoe-shopping spree to tell Twink about the Temple of Ti--er, Temple of Time. This temple--the cathedral in the corner of town--is supposedly the entrance to a place called the Sacred Realm, which amazingly is not presented to us using colored text. You can't tell me a place called the Sacred Realm isn't special enough to merit a little red or green. What gives? An old crone a few yards away busts out a special shade of blue text just to tell Twink about the ancient Sheikah, "the shadows of the Hylians." Apparently these shadow people (foreshadowing!) swore allegiance to the King of Hyrule and are the protectors of the Royal Family. "But with the long peace," she says, "no one has seen a Sheikah around here for a long time. However...I heard there is one Sheikah woman living in the castle..." It'd be funny if this one Sheikah were the castle gardener or something and Twink never met her.

Sadly, this is the best proposition Twink's gotten since he left the forest.
 

Behind the old humpbacked lady, a young man is kneeling on a rug underneath a staircase. He is frantically pounding his fists into his lap, and at this distance, it doesn't look like he should be doing that in public unless he wants to be arrested. He demands, repeatedly, as he pumps away at the air between him and Twink, that Twink sell him something using his C buttons. I've got a pretty good idea of what sort of good (or service!) he'd like to buy, but unfortunately Twink has nothing in his inventory but his Cockarina and Schlongshot, and damned if he's getting rid of either of those, no matter how desperate this guy is.

While everyone in the market area has their fair share of that creepy Hyrulian je ne sais quoi, nobody else is really all that interesting. Well, there's the lady who feels the need to tell Twink that her back itches, implying that she'd rather like him to help her scratch it, but the less said about her, the better. Twink flees from her like she's Saria in a thong, running into the nearest safe house...the shooting gallery.

Shit.

Well, now I'm here, so I may as well make the best of it. Okay. I have unwittingly steered Twink into the Hyrule Castle Town shooting gallery, somehow missing the humongous white banner outside with the arrow and target on it. Inside, an obese man with a hairy chest and Mick Jagger lips asks Twink if he'd like to play a game for twenty Rupees. When Twink hesitantly hands over the money, Mick bellows at him, "OKAY!! This is a game for grownups!" Twink's eyes widen as he wonders if he missed some kind of clue as to the true nature of this establishment, but Mick clarifies, "Hyrule's famous Shooting Gallery!" So...no orgies? This place now sucks extra for leading Twink on like that.

Of course, what Twink is actually here to do is shoot seeds at things with his Schlongshot. So it's not completely clean family fun, I guess. Mick explains that Twink has fifteen shots to destroy ten targets. So...I could be only sixty-six percent proficient at shooting with the Schlongshot and I'd still win? Talk about easy! I'd have to be, like, a D-minus in shooting to screw this up.

 
*cries*

As it turns out, my long hiatus from Cockarina of Time has eroded my shooting skills from the B-minus/C-plus range to straight-up F territory. Twink's first attempt at shooting the targets--giant novelty Rupees, both stationary and moving--nets an absolutely pitiful score of four out of ten. So you understand how sad this was: for recapping ease, I record a digital copy of my game footage, which is done by running my tape on a VCR hooked up to the computer. While I was thankfully alone when I actually played through this stuff, I was not alone when I was going through this transfer process, and I had to turn the monitor off because of the cruel laughter my poor aim was generating. I seriously missed the ginormous, unmoving green Rupee that is supposed to be the first, easy layup shot of the exercise. And, you know, I like making people laugh, but my self-esteem can only take so much pummeling.

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