Chris mentioned in his Corner of Randomness that we’ve been sucked into a Link to the Past Randomizer Speedrun Tournament. I haven’t been able to watch the whole thing, but I came in at a good time. The Bronze Medal matches took place over the weekend, and the Finals have been going on since Friday. The Finals had three games back-to-back on Sunday, which was both insane and exciting. The matches ended with the racers 2-2, so they have to go to a fifth game. Said fifth game is this afternoon. Excitement level is over 9000.
After watching so much ALTTP, I thought maybe I should give the game yet another try. I’m a bit of a better gamer than I was the last time I tried it. Maybe this time will be it. Also, I picked up a ton of new strategies from watching the players. This should be a snap.
I ran into one tiny problem, though. I’m not as good as they are. Not by a long shot.
They make it look so easy to avoid enemies. To save time, they dash through as much as possible, and they don’t fight any enemies unless they have to (to get a key or open a door or a boss). I was all, “THAT’S GENIUS!” In a Zelda game, fighting enemies does really nothing other than risk loss of hearts. It’s not like Link levels up from skirmishes. I do dash through everything and avoid fights as much as possible. But I don’t know the maps half as well as they do, probably not even a quarter. I don’t know the RNG a tenth as well as any of them. It’s easy for them to avoid enemies with ease because they know exactly how and where they will appear.
That said, I’ve learned a lot from their strats running through dungeons and fighting bosses. I always had a hard time with Armos, that first boss in the Eastern Palace. After watching that fight several times on Twitch, I tried one of their strategies, and lo and behold, it worked! It worked the first time, at that. I didn’t even lose any hearts. I pulled out my old strategy guide, which was released for the GBA port of A Link to the Past/Four Swords. It’s not as much of a strategy guide as it is guidelines for what to expect. No wonder I never got far each time I tried it. I’ve learned more from this weekend of watching a randomizer tournament than I have in a guide.
It’s an Official Nintendo Player’s Guide, as well. So much for those. Guess I know which guide I won’t be using whenever I decide to bite the bullet and give Ocarina of Time an honest go. (For the record, I have six different OoT guides. It’s…a long story.)