Breath of a Wild Helped Me Beat The Legend of Zelda’s Second Quest

My childhood friends suspicion a strange The Legend of Zelda for a NES was easy: customarily accumulate a 8 triforces and better Ganon. we had a tough time customarily anticipating a second labyrinth. we eventually schooled that my trek by Hyrule during a age of 7 was indeed a Second Quest, a remixed tour with rearranged labyrinths and a most harder problem level. Because I’d typed in my user name as “Zelda,” a tip that unlocks a Second Quest, we never indeed kick Zelda—until, 30 years later, we played Breath of a Wild.

The Second Quest

The Legend of Zelda was distinct any of a gaming contemporaries. Titles like Kung-Fu, Castlevania, Gyromite, Popeye, Donkey Kong, as good as Super Mario Bros were easier in range and compulsory settlement memorization some-more than apparatus strategy. There was zero to ready me for a hurdles we encountered in a Second Quest, generally though a advantage of a easier First Quest to learn me a ropes.

The Second Quest throws a toughest foes in a diversion during we from a beginning. The extreme Knights AKA Darknuts are everywhere. Gibdos and Pols Voices come during we while sword-debilitating red Bubbles make we unqualified of attack. In a initial intricacy alone, we have a Dodongo as a mini-boss (who is indeed a trainer of a second cave in a strange quest), a room filled with a powered-up Stalfos, and a worse blue Goriyas rather than a weaker red ones.


I died a lot.

Darknuts, anyone?

Usually, there’s an magnificence to elucidate puzzles in a Zelda games. The designers inspire investigation with a nonplus requiring a focus of a given tool, gradually heading to an “a-ha” impulse that unlocks that section. In a subsequent area, there is a buildup in complexity, regulating a progressing blocks to qualification together something some-more intricate. The tool, either it’s a bomb, sorcery wand, ladder, or crawl and arrow, is a answer, and a player’s pursuit is to brand a suitable response to a designer’s question.

While that same truth drives a core of a Second Quest, this harder playthrough assumes players know a pivotal mechanics from a First Quest and creates them most some-more complex. The Second Quest implemented dual gameplay changes that done it so convoluted, aside from a ubiquity of worse foes.

The initial was that, distinct in a strange quest, nothing of a bombable walls in a labyrinths had a burst textures visually cuing that they could be blown up. The second was a Second Quest-specific ability to travel by certain walls by dire into them. we detected this by collision in a impulse of frustration, not meaningful where else to go. we remember feeling doubtful service when we detected a secret. Walking into any wall of any intricacy became a masochistic obsession. Maps were indispensable in running players, though even with their aid, we could never figure out how to finish all a labyrinths.

The Second Quest became in many ways emblematic of my childhood. we changed around a lot, and since of that, any time we arrived somewhere new, we had to find out how to fit in. we schooled fast that one of a fastest ways to make friends (the puzzle) was articulate about video games (my tools). Have we played this? Remember this boss? How did we kick this level? Even when we changed to South Korea for dual years during a age of 8 and couldn’t pronounce a language, discussions about a NES had a approach of overcoming a denunciation barrier. we still remember damaged conversations with friends about games like Bionic Commando, Metal Gear, Kid Icarus, and Life Force (although they had a Famicom versions).

Bragging rights came with conquering a harder games. But whenever it got to The Legend of Zelda, we was embarrassed to acknowledge that we could not kick it. Every one of my friends had triumphed over Ganon. As many friends forked out, a “true gamer” would have finished Zelda long ago.

I customarily wish to go down a stairs…

I felt a clever clarity of inadequacy, reflected in my amicable circles. Because we changed so most (back to a States during a age of 10 and afterwards any few years after that), any time I’d start to get tighten to someone, we moved. Like a Second Quest, that we was never means to finish, friendships were fleeting. we can giggle about it now, though it unequivocally stung behind then. Many people have childhood friends they’re still tighten to and can accommodate to reminisce and polish nostalgically about a past. we have a fibre of retro NES games as a labyrinthine map of my childhood.



Eventually, when we was in high school, a classmate forked out that we was indeed personification a harder Second Quest (indicated by my Link avatar holding a sword in a save file) and told me that a strange query was most easier. we installed it up, and he was right. we rushed by it and felt ecstatic when we finally done my approach by Death Mountain and reached Princess Zelda. But we never went behind to a Second Quest, even going so distant as to restrain a memory of personification it since it’d been so frustrating.

Golden Connection

The developers during Nintendo combined a Second Quest since of a mistake by programmer Takashi Tezuka. He’d customarily used half a space that was allocated for all a cave map data, so Shigeru Miyamoto came adult with a thought of adding a new query to give players additional content. As a late President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, asked a game’s designers during an interview, “Just wait a second. If Tezuka-san hadn’t messed up, there’d have been no Second Quest?”


It’s mostly these quirky mistakes that make a large impact on a experiences. For me, it was a approach we primarily approached Breath of a Wild that brought behind memories of a Second Quest.

we mislaid many hours of my childhood since we did not know a endurable wall in a tip partial of this Triforce room is a customarily approach to get to a raft.

Most Zelda games start we off slow, afterwards palliate we into a difficulty. In Breath, the enemies killed me roughly immediately. My weapons pennyless after a few uses. we froze to genocide mixed times on tip of Mount Hylia. And we hadn’t even left a Great Plateau. Rather than strategizing and pausing to “catch a breath,” we plunged right in and got killed. It reminded me of how frequently we saw a genocide “Continue-Retry-Save” shade in The Legend of Zelda’s Second Quest.

On tip of that, anticipating many of Breath of a Wild’s shrines was as formidable as anticipating a labyrinths in a Second Quest. Breath requires Link to finish some formidable Shrine Quests such as flourishing Eventide Island or creation your approach by one of 3 Lomei Labyrinths. In a Second Quest, a entrances to 8 of a 9 labyrinths are dark within Hyrule’s 128 overworld screens, branch any shade into a intensity riddle. we never knew either a certain brush could be burnt divided or a partial of a wall could be bloody to expose a new area. Link has to pull aside an Armos to learn a second level, play a alarm in a tomb for a sixth labyrinth, and explosve a clearly pointless plcae opposite a stream to expose a eighth partial of a underworld.


The dual also share a suggestion of investigation that bucks Zelda tradition. In Breath of a Wild, several of a shrines, like a Mirro Shaz Shrine, make receiving a Spirit Orb (which is customarily a categorical goal) a easy partial of a puzzle. Players can afterwards solve a some-more formidable take on a initial nonplus to benefit an additional object or items. It indeed reminded me of a fourth intricacy in a Second Quest, where a primary tool, a raft, can customarily be accessed after a Triforce (there’s a endurable wall in a tip partial of a Triforce Altar). Similarly, in a eighth labyrinth, anticipating a Triforce is indeed a easy part, distinct roughly any other Zelda level. It’s most harder to get a dual treasures, a Magical Key and a Magical Rod, as there’s a tricky, twisted trail to take in sequence to entrance them.

we still hatred this guy.

Breath also has a Horned Statue that can barter stamina for hearts. It was same to those vicious aged group in a Second Quest labyrinths who done we select between rupees and hearts in sequence to proceed. we wondered if there was a tie between them.


The serve we got into Breath, a some-more we began to comprehend that this was a diversion we illusory we was personification when we installed adult that strange NES cartridge. When we finished it a hundred hours later, we felt unhappy to leave a universe of Hyrule behind. There wasn’t a Second Quest for Breath, though it left me with a penetrating enterprise to go behind to a strange and finish a query we never could.

I installed adult a NES game, typed in “Zelda” and began anew.


As we did, we saw a Second Quest in a uninformed light. we felt a discourse determined between a engineer and me, a player, running me by a formidable mazes. If we ever came opposite an untouched object like a pivotal or rupee, we wondered: Is there some other trail there? What did we skip earlier? The “a-ha” moments were plentiful, assisted by a lessons I’d schooled in Breath. Don’t customarily beast force it. Carefully devise your subsequent steps. we also was means to see some-more clearly how a designers experimented with a determined archetypes to challenge expectations and give players a uninformed experience.

I appreciated both quests, and we saw clearly how a NES diversion was connected to Breath, all a some-more for meaningful a original prototype was set adult identical to a NES one. we felt like a immature Link going by a Temple of Time as in Ocarina, aging a few years (okay, decades) and gaining knowledge from a after Breath of a Wild to know a progressing quest.

It became a possibility for me to anticipate a dual really opposite phases of my life. In childhood, there wasn’t a fast substructure and all felt so pointless and difficult, most like a Second Quest. The comparison me had played by Breath with my mother and accepted that there was indeed definition to a ostensible chaos.


It took a while and compulsory a lot of willpower not to deliberate a FAQ, though we finally kick a Second Quest. The undone child inside of me felt relieved as we dismissed my china arrow during Ganon for a second and final time on a NES. we couldn’t have cowed a strange Second Quest though carrying done my approach by Breath. The tour was long, though we felt like a dual practice became interconnected. Time and gameplay blended seamlessly into any other. Two clearly opposite games from vastly opposite eras were indeed partial of a same melody.



I enjoyed any exhale of it.

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