Moving on from the successes of my last play session, I ventured to the 5th dungeon, located where the 4th dungeon was in the first quest. The raft was necessary to access this dungeon, from the dock just a few screens from the starting screen. This dungeon marked the first appearance of the dreaded Wizrobes to the second quest, always my nemesis during dungeon exploration. Their appearance at this point in the adventure created even more problems because I didn't have the requisite number of hearts (12) to procure the Master Sword. This meant that the Wizrobes took twice as many hits to defeat as when I encountered them during the first quest. Alas, there was nothing I could do except mutter under my breath and soldier on.
During the exploration of this dungeon, I found a screen that had a key inaccessible without the ladder, so my first expectation was that the ladder would be the major treasure. However, before discovering the answer to this question, I stumbled upon Gleeock (the dungeon's boss) and recovered the Triforce prior to discovering the treasure. The downside to this was that I had to crawl back through the dungeon to find the treasure, but the upside was that, after defeating Gleeock, I had enough hearts to go and recover the Master Sword, which I did. This made the further exploration a bit easier, and I eventually stumbled upon the treasure for this dungeon, the Bow, one screen south of a blue Gohma. Since I hadn't yet purchased the Arrows to use with the Bow, I made a note to return to this dungeon later, after retrieving the ladder and acquired arrows, to get the key I couldn't reach the first time through, as well as defeat this Gohma.
After leaving this dungeon, I spent some time wandering around the overworld, earning enough money to buy the arrows and a new red medicine. After doing this, I then ventured to the 6th dungeon. As a note of full disclosure, the only reason why I knew where to find the 6th dungeon (and the 7th as well) is due to a discussion I'd had the evening before with a friend who, like myself, had grown up with the game and had much more experience on the second quest than I did. He couldn't pinpoint exactly which dungeon was where, but he did make reference to going to the graveyard and using the whistle to reveal the entrance. Armed with this information, I traveled to the graveyard, and blew the whistle on nearly every screen, until a stairway revealed itself on the left-middle screen. Fortunately, this turned out to be the 6th dungeon, so in I went.
It became quickly apparent that the treasure for this dungeon would in fact be the ladder, because it seemed my progress at every turn was hindered by the fact that I couldn't cross small rivers and breaks in the dungeon floor. I finally found the room that contained the ladder and retrieved it, but at this time I felt the need to leave the dungeon (whether necessary or not is debatable) to return to the 5th dungeon to gather the key I couldn't reach as well as beating Gohma (which produced another key). The reason I felt the need to leave the 6th dungeon was due to a memory of playing years ago and running out of keys while on the second quest, as they were much more precious the second time around than the first. By backtracking to retrieve keys, I felt I had a better shot of having enough keys to get through.
Before returning to the 6th dungeon (which also contains Wizrobes, it should be noted) I made a trip to the eastern shore to grab the last heart container on the overworld, the heart that could only be reached with the ladder. With all of these extraneous tasks accomplished, I traveled back to the 6th dungeon and continued my assault. Upon my return, I found the rest of the dungeon flew by rather quickly. I beat another blue Gohma with the arrows and claimed another heart container. The triforce lay waiting for me in the next room. Six down, two to go!
The 7th dungeon in the second quest is found one screen left of the location of the 8th dungeon in the first quest, at the top of a unique vertical row of trees (you know what I mean when you see it). As with the 6th dungeon, the knowledge of this location came from my friend (Craig of Maine Tech Geeks, the other blog I contribute to) and the conversation we had the evening before. After his advice, it took no time to find the entrance, and I was off once more. Working through this dungeon was not terribly difficult, although it did feature two 'Leave your money or your life' rooms, where an old man demands either 50 rupees or 1 heart container to continue. Of course I left rupees in both rooms and moved on. Gleeock proved to be the master of this dungeon, and was quickly dispatched. After picking up the heart container and Triforce, I had to return to the dungeon to search the rest of the rooms and find the treasure, which proved to be the Red Candle.
To find the 8th dungeon, I spent around 20 minutes or so, scouting around the overworld, hoping that something would jog my memory as to where it could be found. I finally broke down (again) and consulted an online walkthrough to find its location. In this case I'm glad I did, because the location was nowhere I would have ever thought to look (one screen left from the waterfall that originates from the pool on the screen where you get the White Sword). The fact that I used the ladder to cross a river and bomb a hole in a wall that has no land in front of it, just the river, totally boggles my mind. Clearly there must have been clues that I missed along the way to point me to this location, but for the life of me I can't remember what they were, or where I would go to find them.
This dungeon was characterized by lots of secret passages (there's usually one on every screen you enter) and trying to keep where they all went straight, while trying to find all of the treasures, the boss and the Triforce proved to be a bit daunting. The dungeon itself wasn't terribly difficult (the main enemy turned out to be boomerang-wielding Goriya, both the red and blue variety), but the difficulty came from trying to work your way through all of the secret passages. The dungeon did provide the Magic Wand, the Magic Key and the final bomb capacity upgrade (for 100 rupees). I did have to leave the dungeon once to procure meat, as another grumbling Goriya stood in the path at once point. The boss of the dungeon (3 Dodongo) were quickly eliminated, and I once again had all 16 hearts and a completed Triforce, ready to square off with Ganon at Death Mountain!
My last post in the Zelda game will chronicle the conquest of Death Mountain and the final showdown with Ganon, but for the time being I'm off to a family birthday party. I clearly need to get my priorities in order and stop wasting time with family and focus on what's important in life, which is of course video games! I kid, obviously, but you'll see me back soon to wrap up the first game and lay the groundwork for the second one. Take care and talk to you soon!