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A Randomized Link to the Past - Episode V: Egad!, PhD: Little Fez Hat on a Skeleton

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It's an alternate Tuesday! That means you all get a double-dose of Garflink and his quest to eat all the lasagna in Hyrule, or something equally on-brand. We're playing a special randomized seed of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and you can read more about what that means by visiting the first episode of this series over yonder.

Arbuckle-up, kiddos, because I'm going to take on Agahnim and hope that I get something out of it besides a warm, fuzzy feeling. Beyond that, I have a few ideas but nothing too concrete if I can't find the following progress-enabling upgrades: the Bow, the Book of Mudora, the Titan's Mitt, the Zora Flippers, or any of the weird medallions that open the way to certain Dark World dungeons. The one thing I really want after completing this episode, though? My damn lantern.

(NB: Last episode's captions were a bit too matter-of-fact and functional, so I'm going to spruce up this episode with some "jokes". Everyone loves "jokes".)

While making my way to Hyrule Castle, I charged into one of those piles of rocks and found a secret tunnel! That's going to motivate me to run into all sorts of walls from now on. In real life too.
While making my way to Hyrule Castle, I charged into one of those piles of rocks and found a secret tunnel! That's going to motivate me to run into all sorts of walls from now on. In real life too.
Naturally, it just led to more rupees, but at least it had the benefit of making me paranoid about missing more stacks of rocks.
Naturally, it just led to more rupees, but at least it had the benefit of making me paranoid about missing more stacks of rocks.
All right, it's time to take on Agahnim. The Master Sword makes quick work of Agahnim's ye olde Tesla Coil defense system.
All right, it's time to take on Agahnim. The Master Sword makes quick work of Agahnim's ye olde Tesla Coil defense system.
So, let me tell you something about how this game is designed: despite the fact you pick up the lantern in the very first chest of the game (normally, at least), there's darkness rooms throughout the whole game. Agahnim's tower has two whole floors dedicated to the figurative darkness in his soul, one of which was a literal maze. This game SUCKS if you don't have a light source.
So, let me tell you something about how this game is designed: despite the fact you pick up the lantern in the very first chest of the game (normally, at least), there's darkness rooms throughout the whole game. Agahnim's tower has two whole floors dedicated to the figurative darkness in his soul, one of which was a literal maze. This game SUCKS if you don't have a light source.
I think this is supposed to be Zelda normally, right? Except Zelda's still safely at the Sanctuary because I haven't *technically* pulled the Master Sword from its pedestal in the Lost Forest yet. Or maybe I'm misremembering when she gets captured. Either way, it's time to feed someone his own fireballs.
I think this is supposed to be Zelda normally, right? Except Zelda's still safely at the Sanctuary because I haven't *technically* pulled the Master Sword from its pedestal in the Lost Forest yet. Or maybe I'm misremembering when she gets captured. Either way, it's time to feed someone his own fireballs.
...Yeah, you don't get anything for defeating Agahnim. Not even a heart container. Could've saved myself a lot of probing in the dark.
...Yeah, you don't get anything for defeating Agahnim. Not even a heart container. Could've saved myself a lot of probing in the dark.
However, there's a few welcome changes. The first is that I now have a respawn point in the Dark World, which will be convenient given how often I croak over there, and the other is that the woodcutters have moved on from their original tree. Dropping inside the old one nets me this quiver upgrade, which means carrying around even more arrows I can't use.
However, there's a few welcome changes. The first is that I now have a respawn point in the Dark World, which will be convenient given how often I croak over there, and the other is that the woodcutters have moved on from their original tree. Dropping inside the old one nets me this quiver upgrade, which means carrying around even more arrows I can't use.
Just checking in with the Eastern Palace and, yup, another red jerk I can't hurt in any way.
Just checking in with the Eastern Palace and, yup, another red jerk I can't hurt in any way.
ALL I HAD TO DO WAS PULL IT? (Phrasing!). I was seriously pushing this giant bird statue every which way, dropping bombs, charging it, but I had all to was pull at the trident to free the entrance. It's like that Far Side cartoon with the School for the Gifted.
ALL I HAD TO DO WAS PULL IT? (Phrasing!). I was seriously pushing this giant bird statue every which way, dropping bombs, charging it, but I had all to was pull at the trident to free the entrance. It's like that Far Side cartoon with the School for the Gifted.
The fourth Dark World dungeon, the Thieves' Town, is underneath the Dark version of Kakariko Village. Its dungeon item is the Titan's Mitt, but I'm not holding my breath that I get it. I'm still hoping to pull off a miracle and pull a useful item out of a hat in here, otherwise I'll be left pulling my hair out and might need to pull this run up short. (I think my brain broke?)
The fourth Dark World dungeon, the Thieves' Town, is underneath the Dark version of Kakariko Village. Its dungeon item is the Titan's Mitt, but I'm not holding my breath that I get it. I'm still hoping to pull off a miracle and pull a useful item out of a hat in here, otherwise I'll be left pulling my hair out and might need to pull this run up short. (I think my brain broke?)
Oh great, the curly stick from Solomon's Key. Go join your brother in the pocket of the backpack I never visit.
Oh great, the curly stick from Solomon's Key. Go join your brother in the pocket of the backpack I never visit.

Side-Note: The Cane of Somaria, normally found in the sixth Dark World dungeon Misery Mire, is a staff capable of producing little red blocks. It's one of those items with a few minor applications, but is only necessary exactly once in Turtle Rock (the seventh Dark World dungeon). The blocks it creates can be used to form barriers against enemies, push down buttons, and used to detect pitfalls in the dark, so I'll find some use for it despite what the caption above says.

Damn, this would've been perfect if Odie's costume was blue.
Damn, this would've been perfect if Odie's costume was blue.
Not ten minutes later, I find the Tempered Sword in a box. Who knew a thief's hideout would have so much loot?
Not ten minutes later, I find the Tempered Sword in a box. Who knew a thief's hideout would have so much loot?

Side-Note: The Tempered Sword, or the L-3 Sword, is a stronger version of the Master Sword that results after the Dwarven Blacksmiths (or maybe they're just really small people) have at it with their hammers. Getting the Blacksmiths back together is an arduous task that I'll probably still end up doing later, but I'm happy to reap the benefit now with a far stronger weapon. It offers no special bonuses beyond killing things faster, and honestly that's enough for me.

Oh Sweet Christmas, finally. Feels like I've been waiting half the game for this thing.
Oh Sweet Christmas, finally. Feels like I've been waiting half the game for this thing.

Side-Note: The Bow, or Fairy Bow, is the treasure found in the Eastern Palace and allows Garflink to fire arrows. As well as an effective ranged weapon, it's also used to defeat specific monsters and activate certain switches. The Silver Arrows, normally a late-game acquisition but something I found like 30 minutes after starting, makes the bow the most deadly weapon in the game.

There's a number of these
There's a number of these "plunger arrows" strips, but hardly any where he hunts live prey with real arrows. Aren't cats supposed to be nature's greatest hunters?
Blind's a fun boss, about as bullet hell as A Link to the Past ever gets, but he's no match for the Tempered Sword. It's just a shame the bow doesn't seem to affect him. I know it's an age-old trope that Zelda bosses stick weapons capable of destroying them in their own dungeon, but why'd you have to give me so many options, dog?
Blind's a fun boss, about as bullet hell as A Link to the Past ever gets, but he's no match for the Tempered Sword. It's just a shame the bow doesn't seem to affect him. I know it's an age-old trope that Zelda bosses stick weapons capable of destroying them in their own dungeon, but why'd you have to give me so many options, dog?
Hilariously, the master thief Blind's greatest treasure is five rupees. Whose piggy bank did you steal this one from?
Hilariously, the master thief Blind's greatest treasure is five rupees. Whose piggy bank did you steal this one from?
We also have the fourth Dark World crystal, which was the first one to be earned from the boss that normally drops it. Still five more to go. And there's three pendants too, if you wanted to be pendantic.
We also have the fourth Dark World crystal, which was the first one to be earned from the boss that normally drops it. Still five more to go. And there's three pendants too, if you wanted to be pendantic.
The Armos Knights boss in the Eastern Palace, which I can now complete with the bow, are a pack of six burly rocks that just bounce around the room until you destroy them one by one. They normally take somewhere in the region of sixteen sword slashes or four arrows each. The silver arrows kill them in one hit, however. Like bringing a rocket launcher to a knife fight.
The Armos Knights boss in the Eastern Palace, which I can now complete with the bow, are a pack of six burly rocks that just bounce around the room until you destroy them one by one. They normally take somewhere in the region of sixteen sword slashes or four arrows each. The silver arrows kill them in one hit, however. Like bringing a rocket launcher to a knife fight.
My prize for this boss fight was a single arrow, which is perhaps the biggest piss-take the game has thrown my way yet. Maybe it's meant to be symbolic?
My prize for this boss fight was a single arrow, which is perhaps the biggest piss-take the game has thrown my way yet. Maybe it's meant to be symbolic?
We also have the fifth Dark World crystal, usually found in the Ice Palace. I'm not sure if anything's changed in the Dark World due to all these crystals: I know some stuff gets moved around after certain dungeons are complete. It's a nightmare to keep everything straight.
We also have the fifth Dark World crystal, usually found in the Ice Palace. I'm not sure if anything's changed in the Dark World due to all these crystals: I know some stuff gets moved around after certain dungeons are complete. It's a nightmare to keep everything straight.
Talking of nightmares, I just remembered why the Palace of Darkness is so aptly named. There's some of the worst dark rooms in the game in here, including a dark room filled with enemies that you have to defeat to move on. At least it was worth coming all this way for this 20 rupees (I also got a piece of heart in the dark maze next door, but forgot to screencap it).
Talking of nightmares, I just remembered why the Palace of Darkness is so aptly named. There's some of the worst dark rooms in the game in here, including a dark room filled with enemies that you have to defeat to move on. At least it was worth coming all this way for this 20 rupees (I also got a piece of heart in the dark maze next door, but forgot to screencap it).
The Helmaroc King isn't anywhere near as challenging as the path to reach it. After destroying its mask with my bombs (easier than the hammer), I just needed a single silver arrow to finish it off. It's great that I don't need boss strategies any more.
The Helmaroc King isn't anywhere near as challenging as the path to reach it. After destroying its mask with my bombs (easier than the hammer), I just needed a single silver arrow to finish it off. It's great that I don't need boss strategies any more.
I'm defeating all these bosses with one arrow, what possibly made you think I needed five more?
I'm defeating all these bosses with one arrow, what possibly made you think I needed five more?
Oh hey, the Pendant of Wisdom. This is the third one, usually received in the Tower of Hera. Unfortunately, I need the green one (the Pendant of Courage) before Sahasrahla gives me a free item. That's still in the Desert Palace, stuck behind a door that won't open without the Book of Mudora. Can't I just sign up online for Rosetta Stone?
Oh hey, the Pendant of Wisdom. This is the third one, usually received in the Tower of Hera. Unfortunately, I need the green one (the Pendant of Courage) before Sahasrahla gives me a free item. That's still in the Desert Palace, stuck behind a door that won't open without the Book of Mudora. Can't I just sign up online for Rosetta Stone?
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All right, before we finish this week's second episode of A Garflink to the Pasta, let's have another round-up:

  • The bow was a great find for many reasons, not least of which because it netted us another two bosses. Alas, unless I've forgotten something about how the rest of the game works, I don't think I need it again. At least not for progress; I'll be using those silver arrows on pretty much everything from now on.
  • Ditto the Tempered Sword. There's a few enemies that arrows won't work on, like Blind, so I'm grateful to have the second-strongest sword in the game to fall back on.
  • The Cane of Somaria will have its uses too. It was fairly useful in those dark rooms, especially the ones with enemies in them as they charge the block and kill themselves. However, I won't have a progression-related use for it until Turtle Rock, and I'm still missing the Titan's Mitt I need to access that dungeon.
  • Should we do the dungeon access thing again? I've learned a few things since last time:
  1. The Desert Palace: Inaccessible without the Book of Mudora.
  2. The Swamp Palace: Inaccessible without the Zora Flippers.
  3. Skull Woods: Inaccessible without the Fire Rod. It wasn't medallion-related, turns out. We already know where the Fire Rod is too - I just need to get into the Desert Palace to reach it.
  4. Ice Palace: Inaccessible without the Zora Flippers.
  5. Misery Mire: Inaccessible without the Ocarina. (I'd completely forgotten about this. Turns out that the fast travel bird takes you to a spot in the desert that allows you to cross over to the self-contained Dark World Swamp. No idea where the Ocarina or the Shovel are, though.)
  6. Turtle Rock: Inaccessible without the Titan's Mitt.

Next Time, on A Randomized Link to the Past: Well, we're back to square one. There's nowhere new that the Cane of Somaria, Bow, or Tempered Sword can get us. I'm going to have to explore the two overworlds again to see if I missed anything, maybe pop back into some of the completed dungeons for an overlooked chest. I'll be sparing you most of that, though, don't worry. We badly need any of the above to make some big strides going forward. I'll also settle for that damn Lantern - I'm starting to suspect it'll be the last item we ever pick up.

Episode I: Lasagna Kitten: The Fell Depth Oozed
Episode II: Pasta Fiend Tale: Hell-Zonked Ghetto
Episode III: Lazed Feline Goal: Pet the Dank Thots!
Episode IV: Odie the Dog: Last Theft? Kennel Plaza!
Episode V: Egad!, PhD: Little Fez Hat on a Skeleton <- You Are Here
Episode VI: To Fat Knight Zone: Help Delete Salad
Episode VII: Please, God, No: The Zealand Kilt Theft
Episode VIII: TalkFleet: An Elephant-Sized Hotdog
Episode IX: The Fattened Ilk: A Gonzo Death Spell
Episode X: Old Hazing Poll: Taste the Naked Feet
Episode Ys: Fleshpot Glitz: Needed a Tenth Koala
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