Serious About Horses

Hey Gamers,

I think, no matter what, I’m done talking about Zelda and horses for awhile after this post. While I’ve had a lot of fun discussing both(?), I desperately need a break from both Hyrule and equines in a serious way.

How serious of a way you may ask?

This Serious.

This Serious

And before I move on, I know what you’re thinking: “Pashford, how could you!? Using the memories of Artax casually again to play with my emotions just for a cheap laugh? How could you!” I understand where you’re coming from dear readers, but it’s hard to convey how serious about horses I’ve been, and that picture sums up horses in a serious way. I mean, I tried to go a different route, and include a picture of Elton John on a horse for the joke to work, but a Google search provided me with only this picture involving Elton John and horses:

Elton John Horses

And I’m way more serious about horses than what’s shown in that picture. Though, considering that picture says “Live Like Horses”, I would suggest if you were a horse (of course), not to live in the Swamp of Sadness. You know…for obvious reasons.

You Know, For Obvious Reasons

Because You Can’t

To the denizens of Fantasia: to avoid further depression involving dead animals we love, let’s just assume horses can’t go into the Swamps of Sadness, just to be safe. I mean, we can experiment all day with this shit, but if all we get is a couple hundred dead horses and therapy sessions for the rest of our lives, I’d say let’s just agree upon the “Horses Don’t Do Swamps” theory and be done with it. That sounded like a Goosebumps book waiting to happen. Also, did they explain how Atreyu didn’t just submerge entirely after losing his best friend? I mean, you sink into the swamp if you’re sad, right? What, was Atreyu popping Prozac’s like they were skittles or something?

Thinking About It, Yeah He Probably Was

Thinking About It, Yeah He Probably Was

Eh, whatever helps get you through the day…err swamp I suppose.

Weeeeeell, It's Mostly An Accurate Sentiment.

Weeeeeell, It’s Mostly Accurate

I mean seriously, what kind of person goes around committing genocide as a life choice? Honestly, don’t be going around hurting people for fun! While I’m at it…

And Don't Be Going Around Breaking Things, Yah Tit.

Don’t Be Smashing Stuff That Doesn’t Belong To You, Yah Tit.

I mean thinking about it (not to derail or anything here, Zelda), if we really take a look at the social and moral implications of the Triforce and the philosophy behind the series as a whole, I believe you’ll find…

Zelda Not Amused
Okay, okay! I’m sorry! I’ll rein in my thoughts about horses and continue on.

*Ahem*

I refocus my attempts at wrapping up my thoughts involving Ocarina of Time, Epona, and everything that has followed suit. I really didn’t mean to go on for so long about the event, looking back now realizing Back in the Saddle was a fine enough stand alone piece as it was. Not to say the rest has been bad, but there are just so many other great games and awesome sites I need to tend to at this very moment. This exercise in examining the merits of replaying Master Quest was suppose to be a quick effort, not a multi-part series over a period of a month. No matter what happens by the end of this post, I will take my leave of both Hyrule and horses for a time, as two things have happened since I’ve begun my extensive conversation about both:

1. I don’t stop hearing fairies I can’t see
2. I can’t stop seeing horses that don’t exist

As you can imagine, I’m deeply concerned for my own sanity, and must make way to more reasonable pastures post haste. BUT, not before bringing to light a few thoughts I hadn’t properly molded into a write up while I was explaining why Epona in Ocarina of Time represents some of the best horse action in gaming, and everything that entails.

Two posts ago, I was a little enamored by the idea of Epona’s nostalgic value, in relation to the gaming populace as a whole. I cited the regular difficulty gamers had in completing their games, even observing statistics that 90% of players couldn’t even beat the first level of Super Mario Bros. This relates to getting Epona (as I had mentioned), due in part to her not only being much later into the game, but rather difficult to eventually obtain. This speaks to the levels of dedication Ocaina instilled in it’s user base, and holds value in realizing people loved them some Zelda on the 64. The number of times I’ve personally talked to gamers about their fondest memories of Ocarina, involving riding around Hyrule Field on Epona mind you as an extremely high number, which shows you she may very well have been many gamers first horse.

Well, Let's Not Get Filthy About Zelda...

Well, Let’s Not Get Filthy About This…

 

Err...Again Anyways...

Err…Again Anyways…

 

Okay, That's Enough Of That

Okay, That’s Enough Of That!

Epona being many gamers first horse is fitting, as at this point I think Ocarina may have been many people’s first Zelda, so they are just impossibly interconnected for all of time in many gaming minds, resulting in kind of an “ideal experience”.

The potent value of nostalgia often lends itself to strengthening not only the quality of the experience, but the quality of person, too. I’m sure that’s why it will be a long while before a game comes along to top the perceived value of Ocarina of Time, and the horse it rode in on. I’d like to take this moment to contextualize “Best Horse Action”, as I know riding on Epona (at this point in time anyways) is limited in many ways, and that there are plenty of other games I’ve played and many more that other gamers have enjoyed with arguably better horse action:

Just

Just

 

To

To

 

Mention

Mention

 

A

A

 

Few

Few

 

Examples

Examples

Those aren’t all of them, of course, but some of the first that popped into my mind. I had a handful of other ones I didn’t even mention I thought of almost as immediately (Assassins Creed, Darksiders, Minecraft, about a billion MMO mount experiences), but thought my point was justifiably reinforced. The point I was making was in comprehension, in having a mutual understanding that while there may be great horse action out there, even mechanics that help to make or define the game entirely, Epona may yet stand as the most pivotal or valued equine when looking back on our glorious gaming history. Not just any Epona either, Ocarina’s Epona. Much like I interjected the idea of other games being able to claim “better horse action” in general that is more intertwined with the quality of the game, I take one more moment to remind everyone that another Zelda game (Twilight Princess) even had better horse mechanics (with Epona no less), that helped to differentiate and heighten Twilight Princess, by taking a page out of Ocarina’s book.

Or As Many Would Admit, Merely Took All The Pages From Ocarina's Book And Simply Revised Them

Or As Many Would Acknowledge, Taking All The Pages Out Of Ocarina’s Book And Simply Revising Them

But that’s the point here, and one that shouldn’t be mistaken as contradiction or flip-flopping. My current point is not one of derailment (there’s been plenty of that going on already), I am trying to stay on point by observing….

AW, COME ON BATMAN! BAT BOMBED AGAIN!

AW, COME ON BATMAN! BAT BOMBED AGAIN!

Man, I hate when you do that, Bruce! You just Bat Bomb me when I’m in the middle of a good point! Now what am I going to do?

Hey, Look! It's Another One Of My Running Jokes! Sonic Must Be Here To Save Me From Being Bat Bombed!

Hey, Look! It’s Another One Of My Running Jokes! Sonic Must Be Here To Save Me From Being Bat Bombed!

Yeah, go Sonic! Help me get back on point! Uh oh, looks like The Batman is activating something in response to Sonic’s attempted Anti-Bat Bombing Plan!

Oh No! The Batman Is Using His Gadget To Initiate The "Cucu for Cuccos" Stategy!

Oh No! The Batman Is Using His Patented Cucco Transponder Device!

What kind of gloom and doom could this spell for Sonic, I wonder?

That's A Shame

That’s A Shame

Well, things don’t look very good for our little blue running joke here, however fast he may be.

While those two are distracted fighting, I’ll take this moment to sneak away and finish up my point involving best horse action. Even with all of the given standards of games using horses (and when Ocarina launched, there really weren’t many at all), and even within the Zelda universe having another game with an arguably better experience involving a horse, the power of nostalgia transcends perhaps even higher quality, which in turn makes the memory of Epona almost impossible good. Obviously, the memories of the quality involved are genuine, and do come from a place of excellence Ocarina can indeed brag about, but it’s this sense of personal indomitable truth from our past that makes so many look back on Epona so fondly.

Putting aside the legacy of influence Epona has had, like making mounts absolute staples in the Zelda series or the impact she has on other developers who have tried to match and or beat her inclusion in Ocarina of Time, the standards for which many games are judged by gamers, is in turn from how much people enjoyed this game, Epona included, and the fun they had as a result.

Much like, say for example, Final Fantasy 7’s effects on gaming history having more to do with time and place then it’s observable quality.

Speaking Of Another Memorable Mount

Speaking Of Another Memorable Mount

While the hype for FF7 comes from a real place of quality, the game’s ultimate relevancy stems from when it came out and what it did at that time, thusly reaching a huge audience and influencing those who were not previously influenced by RPG’s in general. While the debate is seriously subjective, myself and many others could argue better RPG experiences before and after FF7 that “did it better” so to speak, even looking at games within the pedigree (like FF6 and FF9) as example. All of these games, however, did not come out when FF7 did, and in turn did not effect, influence and set the standard for new comers to the RPG scene like FF7 did, effectively memory locking the game as the “ideal experience” for millions.

I know the mention of FF7 may seem like a random aside, but I believe the related thought ties in nicely with Epona, as I could have easily replaced just about every noun in my description of FF7 with OoT, which relates to the best horse action I’ve been going on about all this time. It’s not as if Ocarina really is the end all be all Zelda or the absolute best of it’s kind in terms of video games, but it did greet gaming audiences at a certain time and place in a major way, which is something no other Zelda experience can ever completely duplicate. One of the big reasons the game is remembered, is for it’s refinement in regards to both fun and solutions, Epona a prime example of both. Everything about Ocarina came out when it did, at that specific time and place that it did, and as a result, cemented the experience in a lot of minds as “the ideal experience”.

An ideal experience exists somewhere between fantasy and reality, and one that can’t be quantified or measured, only marveled at and discussed. A preference spawned from our best or earliest moments, and one that will live on invincibly, shared between minds and preserved in culture for generations to come. This is what Epona represents, I believe, the “ideal experience”, and is the reason why I’ve been so serious about horses these past few weeks.

How serious you may ask?

This Serious

This Serious

~Pashford

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Horsing Around

Hey Gamers,

I know at the end of my last post, I gave you a sneak preview involving the sentiment that I was going to be “getting serious about horses”.

How serious is he going to get about horses, you may be asking yourself?

No, Not This Serious

Well, Not This Serious

And for those of you who were just like “Pash, how could you?! Inflicting such feels with that photo!” Yeah well, Atreyu got a magical flying luck dragon like three seconds after Artax died so I don’t feel too bad. I’ve suffered the melancholy effects of impermanence a million times over and didn’t get anything near as awesome out of the deal.

I mean seriously.

He'll Be Fine

He’ll Be Fine

In any case, while I was serious about discussing a few more points of interest in regards to Zelda, stemming from my discussion about Epona’s value, finishing up this line of thought will have to wait just a little longer to bring out of the stable. You may be thinking I’m beating a dead horse with all of these puns, and you’d be right, but I refuse apology. My excitement in writing and gaming more have yielded to quite a bit of horsing around, and aside from all of the bad play on words, it’s been a win win for everyone involved. Besides, there is still more to discuss in the way of Zelda and the awesome gaming it has represented. To be honest, I’m not sure I could play a great game and not espouse about the experience at this point, Zelda not with standing and oddness fully intact.

If I’ve learned anything in all my years, it’s that when I start spending more time in Hyrule

Things Get Weird

Things Get Weird

I know it seems I’ve already talked a great length about my recent engagement with Ocarina 3D, including the event surrounding my play through of Master Quest, what I think of the design, and even what elements of the game means to gamers, but there is yet more to ponder and discuss. I have a bad fun habit of always going a step further with every thought in terms of my games, or at least admiring them. Starting from why am I playing this, to why is this game fun to play, to what does the game mean to gaming and eventually how much of an effect this game had to the culture at large. More or less anyways, I’ve found parallel with my gaming discussions pop up again and again over the years, and this recent foray of Zelda admiration reminds me of similar analysis that occurred at the beginning of this year, under similar circumstances to boot.

tl dr; I think a lot about my games, which gives way to fun, and anyone reading this benefits as a result.

Also, Zelda: because everything always makes more sense after playing it.

~Pashford

(Next time, on Active Time Event: Pash is serious about getting serious about horses.)

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Best Horse Action

Hey Gamers,

For anyone just entering my time stream, I’m at the moment where I’m discussing my fondness for the Legend of Zelda series.

Let Me Be More Specific

Let Me Be More Specific

The conversation I’m referring to is the one where I reclaim a new 3DS after a theft, following my return from E3. That should narrow it down a bit. The post immediately proceeding this one involved a bit of an irresponsibility on my part, though only due to a lack of time.  I got a small article out there with the time I did have, in all of it’s rushed glory. I remain a hypocrite after the fact, however, as I had the past two days off and did absolutely nothing with them  in terms of writing.

As history has shown, more time does not equal better results.

For Example

For Example

Though, I like to remind everyone right now that some moments are not fixed points in time, leaving me wanting to believe that this historical rule isn’t always the case.

Please Be Wrong, Please Be Wrong

Please Be Wrong, Please Be Wrong

Vaporware and development time debates won’t stop me from being excited about Zelda, however…another rule history has revealed to be true time and time again. Currently, my excitement (regarding Zelda) deals with my recent play through of Ocarina of Time 3D, in an effort to get me back in the saddle, riding the high horse of efficiency once again. Efficiency in this instance pertaining to video games and writing (I have my priorities in check, hush you). Since I’ve beaten OoT3D thus far and have effectively written about the act several times, I’m reassured I’m on point with what matters to me.

Video Games

Okay, this post has become far too sentimental for it’s own good, so here are some completely gratuitous pictures of penises involving Zelda to annoy the censors and hopefully spark some sort of controversy.

Zelda Penis 1

Zelda Penis 3

Zelda Penis 2

Zelda Penis 5

Zelda Penis 6

Zelda Penis 4

Zelda Penis 7

That second to last picture is funny on several levels. Some of you may be wondering why I included a picture of the Water Temple at the end there…but I’m gonna guess you forgot how much of a dick experience that was on Zelda’s part.

Okay, Okay, I'm Done With The Dick Jokes

Okay, Okay, Calm Down! I’m Done With The Zelda Dick Jokes.

I’ve noticed my last couple posts have become far more visually oriented, and I’m not sure if that equates to me being a lazy writer or an excited visual story teller. No matter, as we have Zelda to discuss, and that’s conversation enough for any reasonably minded fun loving person. Continuing on after some review, I think I espoused as much as anyone would enjoy about Master Quest in my Wild Horse Adventure, which means I have only the core experience of Ocarina left to discuss. I’m going to try and focus on the less than obvious points of amazing here, as the transformation from kid to adult Link, the transition to 3D, and the Z-Targeting have all been extensively celebrated to hell and back. They all represent the refined reasons the game was so critically praised, but that doesn’t mean the other fine details don’t help to create the vibrant experience that is Ocarina of Time.

As an aside, I have half a mind to junk this whole god damned post and re-write it from scratch, as it’s taken me at least a week to get around to writing the whole thing, and I no longer have faith it’s providing the value I want. I mean, I got some dick jokes relating to Zelda on the screen, so I guess it all shakes out. Whatever, I’m just going to continue on and talk about some of the best horse action of the 90’s.

Aw Yeah, Ride It.

Aw Yeah, Ride It.

I  mentioned in my first couple of posts I would finally explain why I’ve had an equestrian themed post names. While I suppose Back in the Saddle was properly detailed in relation to what I was writing about, my other post Wild Horse Adventure probably made less sense to everyone, especially considering I didn’t mention a single horse in the post. Well, while I’ve been relating these posts to getting on the “high horse of efficiency” through the act of gaming and writing, I had far more elaborate creative plans to make the whole thing more metaphoric, and have a heavy focus on Link’s steed Epona from OoT. I’ve obviously failed to do that, but I think discussing our favorite thoroughbred now would still be worth both our times.

And if it doesn’t turn out that way then oh fucking well. You should feel so lucky you have some spare time to laugh at a couple of dick jokes anyways.

Things Could Be Way Worse

Things Could Be Way Worse

In any case, I’ve found that a lot of people remember riding Epona around Hyrule field very fondly, which is very interesting to me. Not because it isn’t a defining moment for both the game and the series, but because it means Ocarina of Time is a good enough experience for people to have enjoyed most if not all of it, which is impressive. This is due to a large quantity of hard numbers and stats that have exposed gamers as fickle in terms of game completion. While I should provide physical evidence of this happening, I really won’t (promise), so I’m hoping you just trust me on this. The numbers and stats I’m referring to involve data harvested from achievements and online related data, which has revealed a lot of gamers don’t beat most games they get their hands on, few do in fact. Regularly, I’ve seen the number of about only 5% of players even beating games one time through on default difficulty, which is crazy when you consider how much content they’re missing out on.

Alternatively, this may be a dictation on how complicated or involved video games can be on a regular basis, and why it’s so difficult for outsiders to just jump in, hence why games like Angry Birds are so popular (while still acknowledging price and ease of access, of course). Regressing in my point just slightly, I know I said I wouldn’t bother with hard evidence in terms of gamers never really finishing their games, but I will deposit a fascinating quote from the President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata which directly relates to my current talking point.

Not This One

Not This One

For anyone who can’t be arsed to click that hyperlink, the article mentioned relates to a real conversation Iwata had involving internal tests Nintendo has conducted in the past several years. They’re purpose was to help the developers at Nintendo understand general gaming skill to help them cultivate more accessible games in today’s rapidly expanding market. The test in question involved the first Super Mario Bros, and how adept modern day gamers were in completing the first level of Super Mario Bros.

The results, at least to my gaming mind, were extraordinary:

“It may come as a shock to some of you that most gamers today can not finish the original Super Mario Brothers game on the Famicom. We have conducted this test over the past few years to see how difficult we should make our games and have found that the number of people unable to finish the first level is steadily increasing.

This year, around 90 percent of the test participants were unable to complete the first level of Super Mario Brothers.”

While this quote is enough to act as the physical evidence I promised I wouldn’t provide, I want to also include this one, just to drive home this painfully humorous point:

“We watched the replay videos of how the gamers performed and saw that many did not understand simple concepts like bottomless pits. Around 70 percent died to the first Goomba. Another 50 percent died twice. Many thought the coins were enemies and tried to avoid them. Also, most of them did not use the run button. There were many other depressing things we noted but I can not remember them at the moment.”

So there you have it, some eye opening facts relating to the whole of gaming reality, and specifically to why I’m impressed so many I talk to look back on Epona fondly, as acquiring your equine comrade is not only deep into the game, but not needed in finishing the game, and in my opinion even hard to discover, let alone accomplish. I will briefly comment here on the Iwata quote, by saying that quote in and by itself may be enough to prompt me to write an article about gaming difficulty and concepts, as discussing design and it’s relation to the human mind thrills me. The article may end up as a continuation of my thoughts on Theory vs Execution in the gaming world, but we’ll see.

With all of this under consideration, and god dammed if I don’t suck at being succinct and keeping my promises, if we are to accept that gamers often start but don’t finish their games, the general commitment and skill level of gamers in general, or how hard it is to obtain Epona to begin with, we can really begin admire the power of nostalgia that comes harnessed with our galloping god send, with all of her warm glory. Which, leads me to the point of this post, which I absolutely have just barely touched upon (and surprise surprise have run out of time to discuss again), why Ocarina of Time can brag about just one more thing that absolutely no one takes for granted.

And that’s having some of the best horse action in video games.

Dat Horse

Dat Horse

~Pashford

(Next time, on Active Time Event: Pash gets serious about horses.)

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Post of Stalling

Hey Gamers,

Hope you’ve been enjoying my recent banter involving Zelda, and all of the wackiness that has followed.

Picture Slightly Related

Picture Slightly Related

Today was going to continue the trend of both my fixation on my Hylian adventures and all equestrian nonsense involved,  but in predictable fashion, I am in desperate need of more time to do so.

I know what you're thinking and I so wish it were possible

I know what you’re thinking and I so wish it were possible

Well, I suppose it is possible, in one sense. This posts name is fitting, as it represents my only alternative in “slowing time down”, and that’s by stalling my next worthwhile  experience about Zelda, without depriving you of some well deserved entertainment in the mean time.

Which, you know, some of us are worse at than others.

Which, you know, some of us are worse at than others.

I do apologize for the rush job this post represents, but I feel as if it’s value (in all of it’s sloppy glory)is worth the haste it requires. This isn’t the first time I’ve compared Zelda to Halo(insert hyperlink here), but in the essence of releasing this post before it’s ready, one thing springs to my mind when getting it out the door on time.

The Mess is Worth The Fun

The Mess is Worth The Fun

I really wanted to say ” This post has the same number of problems Halo 2 did: Bug #:Ship It, but knew that didn’t entirely makes sense, which I guess, would have been a fun bug in this post? Boy this is messy. What Fun!

(Include picture about messy fun for visual punchline)

In any case, since I can’t possibly conjure any more time, I can still provide one quick thought about Zelda, to try to maintain a sense of consistent cogency (shh) in my posting. So, I leave you with this:

The Sun’s Song in Ocarina of Time…would that not just totally fuck up Hyrule’s ecosystem in a massive way?

I'm Gonna Go Ahead And Say Yes

I’m Gonna Go Ahead And Speculate Yes

I had more random crazy awesomeness I *wanted* to discuss, but you’ll have to wait for the special edition for me to include all of the fixes and content for this post.

See What I Did There?

See What I Did There?


(Too Bad)

~Pashford

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Wild Horse Adventure

Hey Gamers,

Yesterday, I finally remarked about some of my time at E3, personal states of turmoil, how I overcome them, and eventually how I enjoy myself there after.

Zelda, namely.

Yeah, I Get Real Weird With It

Yeah, I Get Real Weird With It

Though, I suppose if normalcy involves not thoroughly enjoying Zelda games, I would wish to remain odd indefinitely. As already noted, when despair or lethargy strike, Zelda is there to save the day. My post yesterday about getting back in the saddle, referred to me mounting the high horse of efficiency once again, in much the same way I have before: by playing Zelda. The wasn’t a random play through, per say, as the sit down acted as a celebration, as the occassion marked not only the three year anniversary of getting my 3DS, but replacing the one that was stolen from me weeks prior. Plus, this one was savvy special shiny stellar super sexy Zelda edition #1, so needless to say.

It was awesome.

So Awesome

So Awesome

Even though writing about the mishaps involving the lost 3DS ended up being fun to write about, my main focus was initially, in discussing Ocarina of Time itself. In good fashion, however, I was too verbose to get it all into one post and got totally off topic there after. I know Ocarina may be one of the most discussed games of all time, which leaves me wondering what I could say that hasn’t already been said, but I’ve been way too excited about my last play through not to remark. Besides, I’ve built a cruel self defense mechanism into my being at this point, where if I play a game for too long without writing about it, I start to seize with guilt in regards to my failings as the gaming ambassador I try to be.

However Dubious A Role That May Be At Times

However Dubious A Role That May Be At Times

Irregardless, here we are, saddled up and ready to go. Ocarina of Time is the topic of discussion this day, and what a robust topic we have at hand here. While I would love to remark about OoT in it’s entirety, I’ll more or less focus on a couple of prime design aspects, and more importantly, discuss some of the merits and oddities involving Master Quest mode. Since I still had a completed filed of the first quest on my copy of OoT3D, I thought it fitting to finally go through with playing through Master Quest, just to shake it up a bit. I remember  having fun with the added difficulty when I gave it a go on the Gamecube all those years ago, and thought it was about time to revisit the past…

And Go Back To Finishing This Game Again

And Go Back To Finishing This Game Again

What? What did you think I was going to say? Make some kind of stupid non-sequitor time travel reference? I do more than just talk about Zelda and reference Back to the Future on a regular basis, you know. I do other things too.

Like Save Clock Towers

Like Saving Clock Towers

 

For Example

For Example

See? I told you I…

Dammit…well, that’s what I get for dealing with time travel. It can be feel so very cyclical.

Anyway…refocusing my point for obvious fucking reasons…

GOD DAMMIT BATMAN, STOP BAT BOMBING MY POSTS!

AW, Come on Batman! Stop derailing my posts half way through!

Sheesh, you mention the guy once and he never leaves. (Though, wouldn’t it be super bad ass if The Batman did fight Ganondorf until he turned into Ganon, and then rode him right back into the Sacred Realm like some kind of amazing dimensional rodeo? DimensionBat!).

SERIOUSLY THOUGH, refocusing my point, Ocarina of Time 3D beckoned, and I knew Master Quest would help me answer the call. I’ve played OoT so many times at this point, Master Quest is really the only way to slow me down sans some absurd self-limitation, which I believe I’ve run out of at this point. I suppose I could do the game blind folded, but even then it would just be a matter of time. For the record, I’ve 100%ed the game on every platform, done it without dying, with only three hearts, speed ran it, and even did a “minimalist run through”, where I tried completing the game with the least number of resources possible. Hell, i’m surprised I haven’t done the game upside down yet.

Wouldn't Be Unexpected, All I'm Saying

Yeah, I Get Real Weird With It

My point, Master Quest still holds a spark that OoT just doesn’t possess anymore, which is unavoidable after this long. You can only experience a game for the first time once, and only do something as satisfying as winning Epona from the clutches of Ingo or pulling the Master Sword out of it’s pedestal before you only remember why something was great, without feeling the same as you once did. This is just the essence of time, but experiences rich enough, like OoT, are memorable enough to never forget why they were worthwhile in the first place. Of course, like a number of gamers will tell you, while the experience and the story are savory treats, us gamers have a hearty appetite for gameplay, insatiable almost. Long after we’ve enjoy the main course, we have an endless hunger for left overs that we constantly seek to foolishly satiate.

Which is why Master Quest is so damn tasty: all content, no filler. (Following my last metaphor of course, in no way do I feel the story elements in OoT are unneeded).

More accurately, all gameplay, and remixed gameplay too. The whole world is mirrored, so as to immediately and continually fuck with longer time players relying on muscle memory. The double damage reminds you of just how estranged from your shield you’ve really become, which is odd as it’s one of Link’s first pieces of equipment. The Master Quest remixing ranges from well done to lack luster to cool story, bro. The child dungeons feel like more of an engagement this time, with other temples like the infamous Water Temple gaining considerable favor by being fine tuned to fucking tolerable. Other temples like the Fire Temple are exposed in their remixed flaws, as you can tell the level was built so thoroughly around it’s own architecture, the remix kinda just confuses you in it’s attempt to “mix things up a bit”.

Speaking Of Confusing Remixes

Speaking Of Confusing Remixes

Jabu Jabu is indeed the remixed dungeon I cite as the “Cool Story, Bro” attempt, as I feel the slight twists are lame and the inclusion of the cows is silly. I understand the possible intent in adding them (Jabu Jabu is a fat bastard), but if you explained the level to someone, you’d likely get the infamous meme response I’ve cited the dungeon as representing. Ironically, when EGM first mentioned Master Quest so many years ago, my interest was peaked, as was theirs, when they used the cows as the example to try to explain how delightfully backwards Master Quest really is. Never the less, I remain steadfast in my assessment if you really think about how to explain Jabu Jabu in Master Quest to someone:

“Yeah, and instead of shooting yellow lumps on the ceiling with your slingshot, you have to shoot cows in the wall instead and also spiderwebs.”

Cool Story, Bro Link 2

I kid more or less, as I was serious when I said I enjoyed all of the quirkiness Master Quest brings with it, even if some of it now seems slightly silly in retrospect. Speaking to some of the better remixes, The Spirit Temple is a proper cluster fuck, in the best possible way, as some of the solutions involve madness spanning 7 years time and a single key. Even on this play through, I had to ponder solutions in the Spirit Temple a few times and was halted from proceeding, due to the Master Quest remix. The Gerudo Training Ground is also pleasantly punishing, as it really is a figure it the fuck out rapid fire room after room of what-the-hell-now-a-fest….but you know, the good kind.

And You Know, Not The Bad Kind

And Like, Not The Bad Kind

And regardless of whether the terrain is mirrored or not, The Running Man is still a cheating bastard.

What An Asshole

What An Asshole

What’s even more irritating, I “quit the race” if I travel using my Ocarina against this guy. Oh yeah, sure dude, I quit because I used an Ocarina to get the job done. I’ve got some bad news for you, bucko.

A Few People Definitely Disagree With You

A Few People Definitely Disagree

I have more to say about OoT3D, and totally didn’t even discuss what I had initially planned too (curse your derailments via Bat Bombs, Batman *shakes fist*), but this post is starting to run a little long. Rest assured, this Wild Horse Adventure will continue, and perhaps next time you’ll find out what the fuck I was even talking about when I named the post that in the first place.

(To be continued)

~Pashford

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Back In The Saddle

Hey Gamers,

The world did not in fact end when E3 finally arrived, though it’s impact on my life felt just as I suspected it would.

Fucking Holy Shit

Fucking Holy Shit

Yeah, it was a god damn unstoppable celestial body bearing down on me with all of it’s tremendous might. I know some of you may be dumb founded I haven’t written about E3 since the event, considering it represents the pinnacle of both my writing and gaming career, but some of the most amazing stories are left largely untold.

It's complicated

It’s complicated

Rest assured, my E3 tales will be told at some point, as they represent a turning point for me that I won’t soon forget. I’m not being entirely honest about why I haven’t written more about my journey to L.A, but the reasons for that are as complicated as The Time War itself. As I’ve gone into before, I can tend to lose myself in some heavy bouts of isolated thinking, which can produce varied results.

This Guy Knows What I'm Talking About

This Guy Knows What I’m Talking About

Also, Her.

Her Too…We Really, Really Can’t Forget Her

The last visual punchline I use as a point of relevancy. The last major hiatus I went on involved far grimmer circumstances, but produced the result of a multiple part piece I did involving A Link Between Worlds and Zelda as a whole. I bring it up now, as I showcase some predictable habits in my own life. Even if we’re just going by this body of work I call Active Time Event, Zelda seems to be a historically effective way to will me out of emotional entropy, which is always very closely tied to my ability to game with full force.

Though I’m a fan of all kinds of gaming, Zelda has maintained a status most other games will never match (in my bias), let alone maintain for as long as the series has. I say this now, as some of you may be groaning I’m about to discuss Zelda for the umpteenth time on ATE, but it’s merits as a relevant force in my life never ceases to be true. I know I should really talk about other games more than I do, lest people believe I’m just a one trick pony.

Keeping In Mind, That One Trick Can Be Really Fucking Cool

Keeping In Mind, That One Trick Can Be Really Cool

Also, here’s the Gerudo Valley theme:

Also: Link fighting The Batman

WHERE IS SHE?!

Sweet

Refocusing my point for obvious fucking reasons, (though I mean, wouldn’t it be really cool if Link rode The Batman through time like some kind of seriously pissed of stallion? Dude, TimeBat!).

SERIOUSLY THOUGH, refocusing my point, while I love to talk extensively about a lot of games, Zelda always inspires me to write when no writing is happening, the Zelda series acting as a muse in my darker hours. Not that E3 represented a darker hour, but my life is not a rock & roll game fest 24/7. Real things happen too, and not every day can be as mesmerizing as those spent on the show floor at E3. Though there were several factors in my recent lull of work, one prime example involves a loss of spirit. Right before I went to E3, a bag containing a number of very important items went missing, two of which being my 3DS and my Vita. While physically replaceable, the data, memories, individuality and charm of those machines is lost forever to the march of time, all due to both cruelty on the part of the thief’s, and my own stupid irresponsibility. I knew I couldn’t let the passing of my electronic friends effect my mood too much, as I was fast approaching the most important event in my life.

Seriously, it’s E3.

Not Seen Here: Me, Just Out Of Frame To The Left

Not Seen Here: Me, Just Out Of Frame To The Left

That joke is funnier if you are me, because I was there, right before I briefly met Miyamoto. I have a picture of the man himself from the angle mentioned in the picture (just to really drive home how funny that is), which will make this little anecdote even better when I can locate the photo and edit it into this post at a later date.

I'll Fix It In Post

To Quote Someone Great: We’ll Fix It In Post

All of this is very interconnected (The Home Movies with standing), as knowing you have a problem is the first step to fixing it. I avoided being devastated by my loss of equipment so I could fully enjoy my trip to E3, but knew well and good I need to fix my portable gaming problems upon my return home. Help came faster than expected, due to a last minute problem with my airline ticket. Due to some bizarre mishap, I needed to re-buy my ticket to get home from L.A, or else go Lord of The Flies at LAX until next years E3. The second plan sounded like it was going to be a plausibly difficult to pull off, and I was able to get a brief credit limit increase on the very credit card that got me out to E3 in the first place. Good thing too, as it left me with a bit of change left over. Not much, but enough to fix the problem of a lack of the 3DS in my left pocket.

A criminal injustice corrected.

Luckily, due to some good timing and some lucky breaks, I was able to score a mint condition second hand Link Between Worlds edition of the 3DS. An object that’s not only rare at this point in time, but one I’ve seen go for upwards of $250 these days. The fact that I got mine for $100 is mind blowing. I don’t normally bother to mention dollar value in my own workings, as it’s besides the point of the real quality at hand, but considering the quick turn around on value regained helped to wash away my own sad weariness. Needless to say, I was very surprised.

Like This Surprised. No, Not Toon Link, Donkey Kong Three Seconds After This Photo Was Taken

Like This Surprised. No, Not Toon Link….Donkey Kong, Two Seconds After This Photo Was Taken

As another odd aside, I ended up getting my new 3DS three years to the day I picked up my old one, which carried with it some soft charm for me. I thought of no better way to celebrate my regained fortunes by playing the same game I did on the very first day I received my first 3DS, and that was Ocarina of Time. A game that needs little introduction, but one that has effectively been prefaced with 1129 words up to this point. Never the less, a fantastic piece of gaming culture, with an excellence rarely matched, and one that reminds me why I continue to never lose hope in the realm of gaming.

A proper way to get back in the saddle, as it were.

Back In The Saddle

(To Be Continued)

~Pashford

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E3 Arriveth: 0 Hour

If it’s something that can be stopped, then just try to stop it!

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