Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Zelda Oracle of Ages: Goron Dance!

Nintendo recently released two great games - The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, and Oracle of Seasons, for the Gameboy Color, on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console. When I was a kid, I absolutely adored Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. These duel titles, though, never came to my attention. So these games, releasing on the virtual console, seemed like a great deal - I bought them both (they link together, if you play them end to end, revealing a hidden finale for both titles)

This seemed like a great purchase! It even cost only $5 each - instead of the higher price each title will sell for after the 20th of June. (Only a few dollars more, I think) I was weirded out by the strange setting they place Link in - but I quickly acclimated, and discovered that this was, by and large, the same Gameboy adventure "Links Awakening" provided.

Then, it hit. I was sailing through the various dungeons, coming up to Dungen #6, which requires not 1, but 2 Mermaid Keys (used in different time periods). Looking for items, spells, what-have-you, is par for the course in Zelda titles. Yet these items are obtained though a mandatory rhythm game - which you have to pass twice, to be able to progress through the game. I was nearly about to give up, because the rhythm game of the Goron Dance, is so punishingly precise, and so sparingly instructive, that it felt like a miracle I managed to make it through as all. (By the Grace of God, really.)

Turns out, I'm not alone in my distaste for this required mini-game; sending millions of gamers playtime to screeching halt - if you sadly come up short in having "rhythm".

Here's a motivational meme I found about it.

So I wanted to both warn, and also help anyone who bought these games - and give you my tactic for winning those Goron Dance games.

What I basically did, was use the 3DS's Save Function, to repeatedly save my progress, though each dance move, to hold my progress - and also practice more quickly, and see what errors I was making in button presses, by loading and reloading each time I failed to complete the dance correctly.

This doesn't erase the challenge - but it darn well helps. I went from dreading I'd ever be able to finish either of these two games, to in a single session being able to overcome this obstacle.

As for the details, in how to procure the Two Mermaid Keys correctly (there are a lot of steps, trading, ect, involved), you can read here for information about it.

I'm only half way through Oracle of Ages, and while I dread the rhythm game, noted to also be in the sister title, I've heard its much easier to beat. It makes me wonder why they let these Game-Ending sequences go into the finished product. I'm not talking about bad game design, or having high difficulty -- its a sequence that, I assume, they must have seen people have difficulty with during play-testing. Oh well -- it's over. I hope this might help anyone who's thinking about downloading the titles, or anyone who already has and are stuck at this very same problem.


  1. A decade later and I still sorta want to punch the guy who came up with this torture. Ages is my favorite 2D Zelda (maybe tied with ALTTP) and certainly the most innovative... but to have a mandatory minigame that's completely out of proportion to the rest of the game difficulty wise? To force you to do it perfectly? Twice? Its like they thought the game was too good and intentionally set out to piss players off.

  2. Also, if you haven't got there yet, the dance in Seasons (along with the L-1 boomerang) can be skipped. Just use a bomb to gain entrance to the Temple of Seasons.

  3. Kandou, thanks for that link! I was lost on how to start the Goron Trading sequence. Also, I despise the dancing too. Thankfully I had an emulator and just saved every time I get a dance step right.