Headscratchers: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

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    Moon Pearl 

  • Why did Link grab the Moon Pearl? He had no way of knowing he would need it: at that point in the game, he thought his quest was (1) get the pendants, (2) get the Master Sword, (3) kill Agahnim. There was no expectation that he would spend 2/3rds of the game in the Dark World — that's just metagaming. Heck, the stupid thing doesn't even serve a purpose in the dungeon we're given it (and the only other example of THAT I can think of is the Raft in the first two games)!
    • Because Link is a Kleptomaniac Hero, and has a tendency to nick anything that isn't nailed down, looks shiny and/or enchanted, or might be of value to someone at some point.
    • Because I'm fairly sure there is at least one point you can access the Dark World at by that point and the people there tell you you need it to not be a defenseless pink bunny?
    • As the above troper states, one of the two people you can talk to the first time you access the Dark World as a way to access the Tower of Hera, mention the Moon Pearl as a way to protect yourself from the effects of The Golden Power. Then in the first room of the Tower, Sahasrahla tells you to retrieve the Moon Pearl so that The Golden Power won't turn you into a bunny.
    • This. The purpose of the Moon Pearl is to protect the bearer from the Golden Power. Link's ultimate goal at that time is to kill Agahnim, a wizard who is seemingly infused with the Golden Power. Bear in mind that Agahnim is supposedly some great wizard, but his sole powers seem to be firing an energy ball, firing another type of energy ball, going Palpatine on yo' ass, teleportation, and sending people into the Dark World. At the very least, that last point would have been a consideration to anyone confronting him; and at the most it could be that the Moon Pearl's power protected Link from Agahnim's deadly "Cause Subject To Sneeze Out Every Internal Organ Through Their Left Nostril" spell. It's not coded into the game (And hey, it's actually possible to skip the Moon Pearl), but it's a possibility. Actually, going back to the possibility to skip the Moon Pearl, I'm not joking when I say you can do it. The game seems to carry on whether or not you pick it up, and it's possible that a player not particularly savvy to how the game operates would think "eh, I've just been through the Dark World, and I doubt I'm going back there again, I don't need the Pearl" only to find that they're stuck as a bunny after the first battle with Agahnim. You can skip most of the treasures in every dungeon, and a few of them aren't actually required to complete the game (Both Mails for instance). In the Light World, you can skip the Bow and it's never actually required until the Dark Palace. The only dungeon item you require before Agahnim is the Power Glove. Collecting the Moon Pearl may appear as metagaming, but so is collecting the Bow and the Ice Rod (Which is useless up until Trinexx, where it becomes a goddamn requirement without anything as much as hinting to it.)
    • It's in the largest, hardest to reach chest in the tower. It's obviously valuable in some way, so why not grab it just in case?
    • I'm sorry, but...all of the above information is true, I know, but...isn't the reason Link takes the Moon Pearl because you, the player, tell him to? It's not like he forcibly goes beyond your control, opens the chest in a cutscene, and takes it. Why is this even a question, might I ask?
    • I actually beat Agahnim without getting the Moon Pearl. The text at the beginning at the Pyramid of Power advices you to go back and get the Pearl. As a bunny, you can't actually access the first dungeon, cut down bushes, lift stones, or fight the relentless storm of baddies after you.

    Blind the Thief 

  • What was the point of Blind the Thief posing as the fourth maiden? He refuses to go outside, despite asking you to take him outside, doesn't lead you into ambushes, trick you in any real way, or even directly attack you before you force him out of his disguise.
    • This. He asks you to take him outside, but then won't follow you out the front door. What to do with him is even more confusing if you didn't manage to bomb the ceiling beforehand.
    • He's trying to keep you inside his dungeon longer so his horde of monsters has a better chance of killing Link. Outside of gameplay, if Link thinks he's got the fourth maiden he won't be looking for the real one. This troper's father speant almost two hours running around the dungeon trying to find an alternate exit before he realized he could blow a hole in the floor and then got curious and walked through the light patch.

    Flute location 

  • Did anyone else think the location of the Flute (Ocarina) was a Guide Dang It moment? Because I didn't think it was very clear where it was, and I searched all over Hyrule for months before I caved in, bought a guide, and found it.
    • We did get a single hint as to where the flute was, since Flute Boy told us that he had buried it "with some flower seeds". If you focus on only digging up areas around the stump that have flowers, it's pretty simple to find. But if you didn't catch that hint the first time, you're pretty much screwed.
    • If you play the game before you learn how to read, this point of the game is by far the hardest part to figure out. This troper had to look through all the accessible areas at that point of the game several times, restart the game twice (thinking somehow he was stuck in an Unwinnable situation), and spend several months to find it.

    Aganihm's peace 

  • Was Aganihm really responsible for bringing peace to the lands by dealing with those problems using his own special magic? I was under the impression that he was merely dispelling the spells he had cast in the first place.
    • I don't think it's ever specified if Agahnim cursed Hyrule and then later undid his own magic to look like a hero or if he legitimately saved them, but it's pretty unlikely that a random stranger just happened to pass through and dispell all the bad magic no one else could handle and then decided on a whim to turn against Hyrule.

    Agahnim's color 

  • Why is Agahnim's official art red when his in-game sprite is green?
    • Just a coloring error in-game, maybe? The sprites also have Link's hair looking kind of pinkish, after all.

    Escaping the Dark Realm 

  • Did it ever occur to Ganon to ask the Triforce, that was in his possession the whole time, to escape the Dark Realm? Or am I missing the point? And Please don't answer, then there wouldn't have been a game. I know that already.
    • Because he had presumably used his wish to rule Hyrule, and the Triforce granted him the magical power to do it. The Triforce doesn't seem to directly grant wishes.
    • The Triforce grants what your heart truly desires. In Ganon's case, this was conquest.
    • But what he truly desired was conquest of the light world. I also don't recall anything stating that the Triforce only allows one wish per person. It didn't disappear like it did in The Wind Waker, he clearly still had it. Why didn't he use it again?

    Pink hair 

  • ... Has no one noticed that Link's sprite has pink hair on it... Does anybody know why?
    • The real reason is that Bunny Link's sprite is pink, and thus regular Link's sprite had to have some pink because of pallete limitations. In-universe, I like to imagine he was just born that way.

    Leaving Link in Hyrule 

  • I know he didn't know Link had the Moon Pearl that might've thought turning him into a helpless bunny in the Dark World would've worked, but is there any reason beyond that why Agahnim didn't just leave Link in Hyrule? He finishes transporting Zelda there and then seems to disappear himself, but it turns out he's just warped himself one room further and hidden it behind some curtains, and he waits patiently there for Link to find the entrance instead of just teleporting to the Dark World himself straightaway.
    • Alright, you're gonna have to follow me for a bit: Agahnim wants to bring Ganon to Hyrule so Ganon can rule Hyrule. He knows that the one holding the Master Sword is the biggest threat to his plans, so he dumps Link in the Dark World, thinking Link won't be able to make it to Ganon by the time Ganon is able to return to the Light World. Also, he doesn't know Link is packing both the Moon Pearl AND the Magic Mirror that allows him to travel back and forth. Throwing Link into the Dark World as an effort to buy time makes total sense. Link is just too damn awesome to handle.

    Sword beams 

  • This was one of the earliest games in the series, and the first one to establish the Master Sword as being capable of shooting beams when Link was at full health. So why can't it ever do that in other games?
    • Perhaps the Master Sword only gives out the real cool powers in dire emergencies?
    • The full health sword beams were common in the sprite based overhead view games and non-existent in the games with 3D graphics. The reason for this should be obvious: in the sprite games the sword attack was a thrust and having a beam shoot out in a straight line looked cool, while in the 3D based games the sword attack was a swing so the beam effect would have looked strange and been impossible to aim. The sword beams actually originated with the original NES Legend of Zelda game, Link to the Past was merely the first game to put a limitation on the first sword you acquire.

    Misery Mire 

  • One wonders how there are people in Misery Mire, considering the only way to get in is via a portal that is only accessible by using the magic flute (and you're apparently the first person to have used the flute in some time, considering that the bird in Kakariko town square actually pops out of a sculpture when you play it). The story rules out the possibility that they were there before Ganon transformed the Golden Land into the Dark World, as he was apparently the first person to enter the region for an unspecified amount of time. Most likely there are other methods of entering that aren't represented by game mechanics and the MST3K Mantra should apply, but one wonders why Link would have had to go through all the trouble then.
    • It's feasible to believe that since people had been getting trapped in the Dark World for centuries, someone may have at some point blocked off the Mire between Ganon's imprisonment and when Agahnim weakened the barriers. It's also believable that the Sacred Realm had SOME kind of native life in it to a degree, since Ganondorf was the first being from Hyrule to enter since the Sacred Realm's creation.

    Sages as Hylians 

  • Given that the Sages represent multiple races in Hyrule (Goron, Kokiri, Zora, Hylian, Gerudo), why are the maidens all Hylian? Yeah, retcon, but I wonder what the in-story reason is, especially since the other races no longer exist.
    • Actually, when you consider the fact that Link is descendant to the blood-line of the Hylian Knights, logic follows that these maidens must also have blood-lines of their respective races, making them Hylian part-Goron, Kokiri, Zora and Gerudo respectively.
    • Indeed, appearance-wise, there is little difference between Hylians, Gerudo, and Kokiri, aside from one group being perpetual children - which does make the idea of descendants kind of gross and weird - and the other has distinguishing red hair and dark skin, and Ruto's interest in Link in Ocarina of Time implies that crossbreeding isn't out of the question for Zoras. All this would leave is the ambiguous nature in which Gorons reproduce to be able to explain the bloodline of the sages in A Link to the Past.
    • Simple: A Link to the Past takes place in a timeline in which Ganon wins. It's not made explicitly clear when he defeats the Hero of Time, just that he does. Regardless of the actual timing, it means that the sages of Ocarina of Time are either never awakened by Link, or are slaughtered after Link himself is slain. This leads to the Imprisoning War, and seven completely different sages, who are the ancestors of the maidens Link rescues in this game.
    • A Link Between Worlds seems to imply the Interspecies Romance route, with Rosso looking somewhat Goron-like.

    Triforce mechanics are inconsistent with Ocarina of Time 
  • Ocarina of Time states that if the wrong person tries to use the Triforce, it splits into its components as a defense mechanism. Yet here, Ganon was apparently able to use the full Triforce without that happening. I know the obvious answer is that the writers didn't come up with the defense mechanism idea until OoT, but maybe we can try to find an in-universe explanation just for fun?
    • We don't need to, as Hyrule Historia already took care of it: A Link to the Past occurs on a timeline where Ganondorf was victorious against the Hero of Time. He has the full combined Triforce because he was successfully able recover the Triforce of Courage and Triforce of Wisdom from Link and Zelda, respectively.
    • That's a retcon, though; in the backstory for this game, it says that Ganondorf got the whole Triforce when he entered the Sacred Realm. No mention of the split and tracking down the other bearers. The best explanation I can come up with is Literary Agent Hypothesis; the details about the splitting were lost over time. That seems like it would be a pretty important detail, though.
    • Doesn't matter. Even if it's a retcon, that still makes it canon. Also, keep in mind the A Link to the Past came first, and that the entire "The Triforce splits if you're not in balance" spiel was itself a retcon. Hyrule Historia was merely plugging the plothole OoT introduced.
    • Hm. True enough, though disappointing. I suppose that does answer my question.
    • Come to think of it, there's another inconsistency too: Ocarina of Time says that the defense mechanism is to protect the Triforce from someone with an impure heart, but in the backstory for ALttP, it says that the Triforce doesn't judge between good and evil and just does whatever its bearer wishes.
    • The Triforce judges whether one's heart is imbalanced, not impure - that has nothing to do with being good or evil. Ganondorf received only the Triforce of Power in Ocarina of Time because that was the virtue his heart most reflected, while the other two went to Zelda, the wisest, and Link, the bravest. If it splits due to an imbalanced heart, the only way to reunite it and gain your wish is to seek out the other two pieces and reclaim them.
    • True, that was bad wording on my part. Even still, judging someone based on whether they have the three virtues seems like it contradicts the backstory in the manual, which seems to imply pretty strongly that the Triforce isn't supposed to judge people period. (Though apparently a closer translation reveals that it's something like "only the gods can judge people" and there is an emphasis on good vs. evil rather than the specific virtues so eh.)
    • If the manual does indeed say that, then that would be where the "Ocarina of Time-induced retcon" would come into play which, as the person above has mentioned, still makes it canon.