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Let's screw up the seasons and rescue an oracle!
Nyarly

[table of contents]
Gee, it sure is warm around here...
Unsure where I should go now, I'm on my way back to the village. But soon, I meet a witch, who flies around the screen, and eventually collides with me and I lose lots of my items.

Witch: Ow! Ow! Ow!!! Watch where you're goin'! You just hit Maple, the Great Witch Syrup's apprentice! Thanks to you, all the stuff fell out of my bag! The Great Witch will be mad! I can't find any Lon Lon Eggs, and now this... I'll just take the stuff you dropped, too! Finders keeper!

What? Fuck no! Quickly, I try to get as many of my items as I can, but...

Maple: Hah, ha, ha! Now you're sorry! I have more stuff than before! See ya!

With that, the thief, who calls herself a witch, flies away. It's noteworthy that she didn't drop anything at all herself. Yeah, "witch" is not really wrong, but the first letter should be switched.

Syrup is a witch, who appeared first in A Link to the Past and also in Link's Awakening. I'm not sure when Maple appeared first (for all that I know, it could be this one), but I hope she never appears in a game again.

So, with some items and rupees less, but a new entry on my "to-brutally-murder" list richer, I continue my way.

The girl on the village entrance is gone, instead get-lost-in-mountains-guy stands her now.

Get-lost-in-mountains-guy: I saw an odd girl in strange garb carrying a Ribbon. She was east of town... I think.

A bit further down, I see a girl (who looks like the one who stood on the entrance) and a boy, who weren't here before.

Girl: Lands outside the village are filled with monsters! I'm too scared to go out alone!

Boy: Do you know of the Owl Stones? [I choose "No"] Ahem! Then I'll teach you. Owl Stones are mystic statues that give advice when a certain seed is placed on them!

So they are like the owl statues in Link's Awakening DX, only that there is no reason for them to be owl statues anymore, except for reusing sprites, so no new have to be drawn.

Artist near a fountain: The area to the east is awash in green! I'd go paint it if I were younger...

I actually remember that I planted one of these Gasha Seeds here and going back to it, it has grown into a tree with a nut. Inside it is a ring. So, now I have two rings that I can get appraised. After I get the nut, the tree reverts and vanishes with the fertile soil. I let the rings appraised right away and get a Discovery Ring (let's me sense fertile soil) and Blue Holy Ring (makes me resistant against Zora's fire). Well, I guess the second one can be useful...

Now that I have ember seeds, I can light the fire of the guy, who looks like Mr. Right (who, as I read, is creatively named Mr. Left).

Mr. Left: Splendid! I can finally focus! Here take this Cuccodex!

The Cuccodex is the "result of many years of cuccoo research". Yeah, it's pretty obviously a reference to the PokÚdex No, I have absolutely no use for it, but it's used for the trading sequence. Just like in Link's Awakening. But this time, it probably won't involve a mermaid's bikini top *sigh*...

Since I also have bombs, I can blow up the brittle wall now.

Mr. Left: My books tell me of a branch of Deku Scrubs that engages in trade. They're called Business Scrubs.

Link: Um, I just blew up a part of your wall with a bomb. Aren't you angry or something?

Mr. Left: My books tell me there is a beast called a Whisp that jinxes you when you touch it. You won't be able to draw your sword!

I guess not. That old man sure loves his books. The, now open, passage leads outside to a chest. Only that deep water is blocking the way and I have nothing to pass it. Crud.

The shop is open now and offers bombs, hearts and a shield. The shield is 30 rupees and since I have 39 left, after I let the rings appraised, I buy it. Like my trusty sword, it is made of wood. I'm actually pretty glad, I feared it would be made out of cardboard or something like that.

Near the eastern exit (which is blocked by plants), I find a boy, who tells me that saplings can be burned. Well, isn't it great that I have ember seeds? Except, I don't because of that thief, who poses as witch. Jesus, if I'll ever get her...

There is also a guy with sunglasses, who wields a guitar, sleeping here. As I go away, he wakes up and talks to me.

Guy with sunglasses: Wait, young traveler. I'm a wandering prophet, Sokra.

Link: -tes?

Guy with sunglasses: Ah... I can feel it! Spring, summer, autumn, winter! The four spirits are calling you! Make no mistake! The Temple of Seasons is still hidden in this world! If you can find the temple, then pay a visit to the spirits who live there. Surely they can help Farewell!

Clearing some leaves on the ground with my sword, I find some ember seeds and can finally go east. But first, I go and collect a heart piece.

Going east, I land in the Eastern Suburbs. Doesn't look like suburbs. Actually, it doesn't look like any civilization. Going further south, I come to a beach and and entrance to Samasa Desert. However, it's blocked by... some kind of gate with skulls on it. A skeleton pirate stands in front of it.

Skeleton pirate: I want to get back to all me mates and dig the ship free, but Cap'n said, "Don't come back 'til ya fin me bell!" Can't someone take me place..?

Yeah, I guess I'll need to help this guy too. Going back, I enter a nearby cave. Only it doesn't look like a cave on the inside and the windmill music in Ocarina of Time plays. Going up, I reach the surface and a guy, who looks like the one in the windmill in OoT and an actual windmill above him.

Windmill guy: Go around, go around! If I could just oil it, it would go around more quickly...

Going further, I encounter some guy in a cloak, who wears a ribbon (so it's probably a girl, most likely the one get-lost-in-mountains guy talked about). She seems to be pretty agitated and runs quickly around.

Girl in cloak: It's horrible! A "temple," like, fell into Subrosia! Umm, what's a "temple"? Subrosia is a secret place. I must return in secret, without being seen!!!

I guess the word "subtlety" is just as alien to her as the word "temple". Subrosia is a land, that lies just below Holodrum in the underground. Since General Darky let the temple sink into the ground, it's in Subrosia now. So, I have to go there. To do that, I have to follow the girl and even though her attempts at being secretive are pretty much a total failure, she does remember to check if someone follows her, so I have to be careful. And she isn't too shabby at it. At one point, she leaves the screen, only to come back for a moment. However, her sight isn't too good, so it's not difficult. Finally, I see her vanish near a bush. Removing that bush reveals some kind of whirlwind below, which I enter.

And land in Subrosia. It really looks pretty underground-y, since everything's rocky, there is no green and instead of water, there is lava here. Lots and lots of lava. Needless to say, seasons have no effect here. I start off on some mountain. Climbing down a bit, I meet two Subrosians, clothed in green cloaks, only their eyes visible. Yeah, Subrosians all look like that.

Subrosian 1: Whoa! A "temple" fell into the East Plaza.

Subrosian 2: My! What strange clothes! Where did you find them?

Moving on, I find some more Subrosians, of course. Before I go to the temple, I talk to them.

Blue Subrosian: The volcanoes have been acting up because of the "temple."

On my way, I come across hot springs, where some Subrosian are relaxing. Of course, these springs don't have water but lava in them. Subrosians are unaffected by this (it really seems like water to them), but not Hylians.

Subrosian, who relaxes in hot spring: Ahhh... What great lava! A lava bath is the best thing after practicing the Subrosian Dance!

There are two other guys here, but those are more inside, instead of on the edge, so I can't go to them. Just below the hot springs is the dancehall.

Red Subrosian: This is Subrosia Dance Hall. Good dancers get a prize. We're about to practice. Would you like to dance with us?

I pass for now. The dancers only talk about the dance, nothing too interesting, but there are some hints. I leave and go further east, down the mountains and on the ground, where I meet some other guys.

Red Subrosian: If you can do the Subrosian Dance well, you can get a Boomerang.

Now, that's interesting. Talking about boomerang...

Blue Subrosian, who throws boomerang: Grab items, hit switches and stun beasts from far away... Boomerangs are so useful!

Green Subrosian, who carries buckets: I'm quite busy! There're lots of good Ore Chunks at the "temple" in the east.

Blue Subrosian: having Rupees doesn't do you any good. You need Ore Chunks!

That's right. This game doesn't have Global Currency. I need ore chunks, to pay something in Subrosia. I think, one can get them mostly through digging, but for that I need a shovel. Which I don't have at the moment.

Blue Subrosian, who carries buckets: You can get a lot of good Ore Chunks around here.

Green Subrosian, who carries buckets: (sings) Diggin' around for Ore Chunks Diggin' down for more Ore Chunks

So materialistic, the people here. It really feels like home. Only a lot hotter. And redder. And with more people in cloaks around. Not to mention all the lava and lack of water.

Hacking some grass away, I find some ore chunks. It seems that finding them is just as easy as finding rupees. The money counter in the status bar actually switches to ore chunks while you are in Subrosia, which is pretty helpful.

There is also a smithy here, which only accepts jobs that interest them. But I don't have anything to do them for the moment, so I make my way to the Temple of Seasons. When I step in, voices, whose text is written in colored letters, suddenly talk to me.

Green voice: You've finally come. When the temple was buried, I thought perhaps you wouldn't come to see me.

Link: What? Who...

Red voice: This Temple of Seasons is where we four spirits reside.

Link: Oh, that's good, I...

Yellow or brown voice: I've waited a long time for you. Do you like spring? Or summer? Fall, perhaps?

Link: Actually...

Blue voice: But no! You must love winter! Get the Rod of Seasons and visit us who wait in each of the four corner towers!

Going further, I receive said rod. There is even a special "Item Get" jingle, so you know that it's a very special item.

Blue voice: Now bring the Rod of Seasons to us Season Spirits in the four towers!

Yeah, that's easier said than done. Of course, I can't get to all of them right away. I need certain items to do that. In fact, to get to the first (winter apparently), I need a boomerang, since the way is blocked by the ever-present lava and a switch is on the other side. So, I go back to the dance hall.

To dance, I have to copy the actions of the red Subrosian. After several failures and the usage of a save state, I finally win. It's not that hard actually, but I get confused by such things quickly, especially when it gets faster, and mistakes aren't allowed. Screw up once and "you are a terrible dancer".

Having done that crap, I get the boomerang and go back to the temple. After hitting the switch with the boomerang, a small bridge appears and I can get across the lava. Going up, I find a statue of something that looks like an angel. As I approach it, the Spirit of Winter, who looks like a fairy from Ocarina of Time appears.

Spirit of Winter: Thank you for coming, child of the crested hand. The Spirit of Winter has been waiting for you. Din is our dear friend... Now, let me bestow the power of the Spirit of Winter on the rod you hold! When you swing the rod from atop a stump, the seasons will change. In winter the waters freeze and the snow piles up... Visit the other three spirits, too. Please hurry to Din's aid.

With that, she gives her power to the rod, so I can change the season to winter. Since she's the only spirit, I have at the moment, that's everything I can do at the moment. And yes, that only works when I stand on a tree stump. No, I don't know how that makes sense either, but I guess they are some kind of magical tree stumps, that act as some kind of battery to the rod. Or something. As I leave the tower, the Maku Tree calls me.

Maku Tree: So the item was actually the Rod of Seasons! New roads will surely open with its power! I dreamt of woods in the east... There may be an essence there! Link, can you go for me?

Link: Well, it's not like you can walk yourself, being a tree and all.

With the rod and the boomerang in my hands (or rather, my non-existent backpack) and a hint of the tree, I leave Subrosia. And go to the Woods of Winter. Ironically, when I enter the season switches to fall. On a nearby stump, Sokrates is sleeping, as if he wants to prevent me from jumping up there. As I approach to give him a good beating with my "sword", he wakes up.

Sokra: That's it! You have the Rod of Seasons!

Link: What the... Why do you know that?

Sokra: If that Rod of Seasons held the powers of the Season Spirits, you can change the seasons!

Link: Wow. Thanks for telling me something that the spirits themselves already said. AND YOU DIDN'T ANSWER MY QUESTION!

Sokra: But I see it has only the power of winter.

Link: And how did you know that? Who the hell are you?

Sokra: Hm... Swing the rod from atop that stump. Its power will be unleashed! Do you understand?

Link: Considering that I already knew that shit, yes.

Sokra: If the Temple of Seasons has sunk into some land named Subrosia, there must be other entrances to the Subrosian Land! You must find them! Perhaps you will even go to the Temple of Seasons again.

Link: Since I still need the other spirits, that's very likely.

Sokra: So we part!

Link: Thanks god...

He leaves and I can finally try out my rod. I jump on the stump and swing the rod. As predicted, the season changes to winter, freezing a nearby lake. And some enemies appeared. With the water turned to ice, I can go into the forest. As I wander through it, I pass a lonely house, and enter a new area apparently, since the season changes to summer. A sign in front of the house says "Hearth fires are best on chilly days! Chimney seep wanted." That's apparently a hint, since a door prevents me from going inside, but there is chimney, where I can fall through. But for that, I have to go up and the ledge, from which I could jump, is quite a distance away from the chimney. I think, I have to switch to winter, so that very high snow appears. But for that, I have to find a stump first. Conveniently enough, I find one in the next screen. I was right, switching to winter lets snow appears, on which I can cross the distance to the chimney. Falling into the house, I find a girl, who has a similar (but not identical) sprite to Marin from Link's Awakening. Sadly, it's not her.

Girl, who looks like Marin: AHH! ! ! You've startled me! Winter sets in all of a sudden, then down my chimney comes... You're no chimney sweep! You don't scare me! Now take this shovel and clear the snow from my walkway! Keep the shovel when you're done.

So, now I have a shovel. Yippie. To be honest, it's strangely fun to just dig around (and find some rupees). After stumbling around the woods and clearing some snow with my new shovel, I come across a tree with mystery seeds. They are like ember seeds, but they don't burn things but do... mysterious things, I guess. Yeah, I have no real idea. But there is an owls statue nearby, so I probably need the seeds for it. And I was right.

Owl statue: Do not forget to give me Mystery Seeds.

Such hints are normally more helpful before you do, what it says. As it is, the info is pretty useless. But whatever...

Going a bit further, I finally reach the second dungeon, which I will cover in the next installment.
12th Jul '11 12:04:26 PM flag for mods
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