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Zelda without a guide?


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#1 donssword

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 10:31 PM

Can a Zelda game be played without referring to an FAQ every 10 minutes?

I missed the NES/SNES/Genesis era--I jumped right from the 2600 to the PS1 with girls and beer in between. My 10 yr old is now playing the GC and Wii Zelda games, incl GC reissues of N64 games.

It seems that he has to refer to the damn guide every 10 min in order to play. He has dyslexia, so that means I really have to help him with the guide.

So, does getting thru a Zelda game really mean having the guide glued to your eyes? Can a Zelda game be reasonably figured out without a guide?

Honest answers here please.

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#2 yayece

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 10:46 PM

I'm a firm believer in not using guides. You can finish just about any game without a guide. It may take a little longer, because you don't have a guide spoon feeding you everything, but I think that adds to the enjoyment. Definitely true for the Zelda games too.

#3 moothemagiccow

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 01:20 AM

I only look something up if I'm stuck. Otherwise you're not really playing the game. Maybe a more linear game is in order.

#4 soonersfan60

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 01:47 AM

We only looked at the guide once during Zelda:TP. In that game or Wind Waker (I can't recall which right now), you could just go and pay a fortune teller to tell you where to go next if you got stuck... and I don't think it was "reading" involved as much as it was a picture of where you had to go next.

#5 spmahn

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 02:19 AM

I can't even fathom beating the first NES Zelda without at least some assistance, who would ever be able to find the last dungeon that only opens when you place a bomb on an arbitrary place on the map? Final Fantasy 7 is another one that without a guide, you would miss out on important items and probably get very lost very quick.

#6 UncleBob

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 04:15 AM

For modern Zelda games, I generally play through once without the guide, then play through again using the guide to pick up some of the stuff I missed on the first play through.

One exception to this was OoT: Master Quest.
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#7 Altanis

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 04:34 AM

I have the Zelda Collector's Disc, and while I haven't played it in years, I can remember needing the guide a few times in the original Zelda, but never really needing it in Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask.

#8 uncle5555

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 10:32 AM

In all honesty if you're not after to get everything 100% in every single game then no.

But with that said, you'll need (or he'll need to be more precise) a lot of patience to find things that aren't easily known/found, etc.

Zelda 1 is brutal in its lack of guidance, bomb walls you don't know about, keys being in short and limited supply (and sometimes very well hidden) stopping advancement, finding the way through the tree mazes, well to be to the point, yeah a lot of crap to find in that game that isn't easily found. And having your shield being eaten and having to buy a new one if you don't watch out, can be a source of frustration to a new player in the later levels, when you have no way to block magic.

Zelda 2, as long as he has patience for leveling up, it isn't overly difficult, until you get to later palaces with the hidden walls, and he'd miss out on the red jars being available from certain statues without knowing about it (sometimes they are literally life savers) and the caves toward the end can be brutal if you don't know which way to go (it isn't trial and error, but isn't the easiest if you don't know where to go or have luck on your side)

Zelda 3, this one is more forgiving, but still there are things that can be missed without a guide, albeit not to make the game impossible to beat, but easier to play. The map markers help out greatly here.

Zelda OoT, mostly just how to get things, there are a lot of conditions to doing things, time of day, how many of certain items collected, etc.

Zelda MM, Can be frustrating following the towns people chart and getting everything done, and also running out of time in certain dungeons if they are taking longer than expected.

Zelda TP, not too much here, mostly hidden heart containers and the like, otherwise fairly straight forward.

Basically hidden items, rupees, keys (Zelda 1), are going to be what he is gonna miss out on. I know it's not an exhaustive list (but that'd take hours) I play until I get stuck or want to collect things I can't find then break open the guide, I know for a fact I wouldn't be able to find most things (heart containers and the like) without it.
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#9 laaj

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 07:17 PM

Why are you even trying to play a game that you need to turn to a guide every 10 minutes. Fuck everyone else and play what you like.




#10 tbassett

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 07:33 PM

I have a rule to only use a gamefaqs/guide if I'm stuck for over an hour. The latest Zelda games have been pretty easy/straight forward. I remember playing through OOT and I refuse to believe anyone could figure out what to do with out a guide. I don't remember the puzzle/area but after finding out what you needed to do I just thought how the f*** am I supposed to know that?

#11 batman1939

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 07:58 PM

The first Zelda I played was Ocarina of Time at 17 and there was a couple of things that made me think (that damn water temple) but didn't have to use a guide. I think your son might be a bit too young and with dyslexia a Zelda game can be hard since Nintendo does not have a lot of voice acting in their games.

#12 icedrake523

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 09:38 PM

I buy the guide for Zelda games. I use it to keep track of hearts or other collectibles. I'll use the dungeon maps to figure out what room to go to if I'm stuck but I don't read the details about it unless I'm really stuck.

#13 jbuck138

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 02:30 AM

I try to play without guides, but generally have to use them 2-5 times per most games I play. I don't care and it enhances the precious time I have to play games. I do have to use guides quite often on Zelda games. I need to go back and finish Twilight Princess, I think I was near the end by collecting some statue things.

#14 Donburiboy

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 03:03 AM

I used to play games once on my own, then a second time with a guide for completion, etc. Nowadays, I have way less time to play games, so like most others here, I give it a shot, and if I get stuck or if I start to get angry, I'll check a guide, because I play games to feel good and not to frustrate myself.

I find I use the guides for RPGs, since I only play them the once, I try to make the most of it. Guides for games like Zelda, Metroid Prime, or Arkham Asylum are only for a few trouble spots. And if I use the guide, the next time I get stuck, I force myself to try a little harder before running back to the cheats. :p

#15 kainzero

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 04:01 AM

Zelda 1 is brutal in its lack of guidance, bomb walls you don't know about, keys being in short and limited supply (and sometimes very well hidden) stopping advancement, finding the way through the tree mazes, well to be to the point, yeah a lot of crap to find in that game that isn't easily found. And having your shield being eaten and having to buy a new one if you don't watch out, can be a source of frustration to a new player in the later levels, when you have no way to block magic.

IIRC there are enough keys in each dungeon to get through them, even in Second Quest. If you pick up a key in one dungeon and then use it in another, you might need to buy a key, but if you started in one dungeon with no keys, you could complete it.

Yeah, there is a lack of guidance, but that's because back in the days people would talk about how they'd find things, and we'd see one or two things in Nintendo Power or something.
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#16 uncle5555

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 05:22 AM

IIRC there are enough keys in each dungeon to get through them, even in Second Quest. If you pick up a key in one dungeon and then use it in another, you might need to buy a key, but if you started in one dungeon with no keys, you could complete it.

Yeah, there is a lack of guidance, but that's because back in the days people would talk about how they'd find things, and we'd see one or two things in Nintendo Power or something.


IF you can FIND them, and for a young kid with a reading issue, it might get a little frustrating trying to find the key behind the hidden wall where you have to BOMB to find it with no way to tell that said wall is able to be blown up.

That's where I was going with my comment. And I agree, you either had NP or access to the Zelda help guide and or knew someone or had the Nintendo Players guide. ;)
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#17 kainzero

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 04:49 PM

IF you can FIND them, and for a young kid with a reading issue, it might get a little frustrating trying to find the key behind the hidden wall where you have to BOMB to find it with no way to tell that said wall is able to be blown up.

That's where I was going with my comment. And I agree, you either had NP or access to the Zelda help guide and or knew someone or had the Nintendo Players guide. ;)

Not sure about Second Quest, but for the original dungeons, you had pictures of each one in the manual (like the infamous Manji for dungeon 3)... so you kinda knew what the dungeon was supposed to look like, and you could bomb accordingly.
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#18 uncle5555

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 06:20 PM

Not sure about Second Quest, but for the original dungeons, you had pictures of each one in the manual (like the infamous Manji for dungeon 3)... so you kinda knew what the dungeon was supposed to look like, and you could bomb accordingly.


Yeah, but if you borrowed it from a friend or rented it (like many of us probably did back in the day, unless it was the spoiled kid who was an only child who owned them all) you usually didn't have access to the manual. I've played many a NES game without instructions, you got good with tinkering on how to figure stuff out, but usually missed a bit too because of no reference to check things out.

Yeah about dungeon 3, I couldn't believe my eyes either when I was mapping that out, curious as to what Miyamoto/Nintendo was thinking when they were doing map designs for that. :shock:
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#19 kainzero

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 06:45 AM

As if to prove a point, I played through both quests of Zelda today and yesterday.

I know the original quest like the back of my hand, so it was kinda easy for me.
Second Quest is a different story, I don't know it that well.

I forgot where the blue ring was, and unless you're godlike, Level 5+ is extremely difficult without it.
I wandered around the map for an hour trying to find out where it was before I gave up and asked my brother. Other than that, I didn't need a guide. During my chase for the blue ring, I bombed every wall and burned a ton of trees. When it comes to the burning, you kinda get a feel for what could probably be burned and what can't, so you don't spend too much time burning random stuff.

I spent another hour wandering through Level 2 trying to find the item, before I remembered that you could walk through certain walls. Other than that and the blue ring, I didn't really struggle.

I also noticed that usually, when you get bombs as a reward for clearing a room, that's an invitation to start bombing around.

It's not completely illogical...
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#20 SuperPhillip

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 06:51 AM

I use one when I'm impatient with something seriously confusing.

#21 Wolfpup

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 03:17 PM

Very interesting question OP. I'd say I probably have to refer to a guide at some point on any game like this. I have a low tolerance for getting stuck in games anymore compared to when I was young.

Of course there wasn't gamefaqs.com back in the day, but I bet I got tips from friends and Nintendo Power and stuff on some of these games. I remember I called Nintendo and got help finishing Bionic Commando :lol:

Oh man, what a weird time that was (as opposed to now, which is also weird come to think of it).

I bet there are some people who can finish these without help...I'd LIKE to be able to, and kind of feel that it's the game's fault if I get stuck too badly, but I probably always check something (doing that too much defeats the purpose of the game though...kind of turns it into just an action game, but...)
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