Monday, 25 June 2012


So, I've been poking my way through the fire mountain temple dungeon whatever. The puzzles in this one are pretty straightforward. It's the controls that are driving me batty. I don't *normally* find the stylus controls this awkward, but the imprecision of stylus-based movement has led to things like Link deciding to walk straight forward into lava instead of making the short hop to the safe ledge I am indicating, or Link's speed changing randomly when trying to dodge moving fire barriers / blade thingies.

But that's just general stylus movement. The real pickle and place where I died multiple times is something I think is downright annoying design.

There's a locked room you enter where you end up on a narrow platform with lava on both sides. On the other side of the lava are four skeletons. The skeletons throw things at you.

A skeleton can be 'easily' defeated by first shooting it with the bow, then grabbing and throwing its skull with the whip.

Problem: This requires selecting the bow weapon, clicking on the 'activation' circle in the corner of the map, holding down the stylus at the skeleton to aim, releasing the stylus in the right place to shoot the skeleton and make its skull fall, clicking on the activation circle to switch out of bow mode, clicking on the menu button to bring up weapon-switching, clicking on the whip icon to change weapons, clicking on the activation circle to switch into active whip mode, clicking the whip on the skeleton, then clicking the whip somewhere else to throw the skull. That's a lot of fiddly selections.

While you are doing this, the skeletons are THROWING THINGS at you. If any of these missiles hit you, the game is likely to suddenly change the 'mode' you were in, so that if you were following the above sequence of clicks, the next click you make will suddenly do something completely different than you had intended. Like, say, making you walk into the lava for damage. Or leap across the lava to 'attack' the skeleton with your sword, which does nothing except drop you into the lava for damage.

Did I mention that while you are in active whip or bow mode, you can't move? So you can't DODGE the missiles that are about to completely screw up your action.

Did I mention that after shooting the skeleton, there's only a brief time limit before the skull reforms into a full skeleton and you have to start over?

Did I mention there are multiple locations where you can hit a skeleton with a bow but not with a whip, meaning that after you switch into whip mode you'll flail uselessly for a while before realising that you can't hit anything and have to start over?

Did I mention that large 'activation' circle in the corner of the screen, which conveniently happens to position itself right OVER one of the four skeletons, so that when you try to whip it, if you're unlucky, you just keep switching in and out of whip mode?

There may well be an easier way to do this... everywhere else in the castle I used ONLY the whip against skeletons like that and it did fine. It didn't seem to work here, because there were too many of them and they kept throwing bones at me so I couldn't manage to get enough progress using just the whip. I may simply be dumb. But MAN that was annoying.

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