Video Game: Hidden Duality
"You can find the next temple in a massive desert in another world."
— Wise Old Man
Hidden Duality is the fifth Zelda Classic
quest by Dark Flame Wolf
. It was a milestone quest for her: it was her first quest that included a Magic meter, included a much better tileset than her previous quests, had a much bigger Master Dome than the one in Fragments of Power, and was by far her longest quest yet (still second longest ever, superseded only by Lost Isle
). It was also a milestone in the Zelda Classic community as a whole: two of the level bosses weren't at the end of the level, directly guarding the Triforce, there are new puzzles, e.g. finding out there's a bombable wall by visiting another part of the room on the far side and dropping to the floor below, and the real final
battle is outside. That aside, it also took place over two world maps, a Light World and a Dark World
, as well as a third, final map, Ganon's World
. There are, as usual, eight dungeons across both worlds containing the Triforce pieces, as well as five bonus dungeons, each containing a major item. Much of the Light World is inaccessible until quite late in the game, another major accomplishment by Darkflamewolf.
You live in a peaceful village on the eastern border of Galea, known as Dali. You are best friends with a very popular girl, and that has drawn the envy of many of your fellow villagers. Apparently it has drawn the envy of the monsters of the wilds as well, as they recently kidnapped her out to the west. You tracked the monsters' trail, and it led to what seemed to have been a portal. You decide to train yourself before attempting to reopen the portal, and decide to seek out the pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom in hopes of increasing your powers. Little do you know, yet, that that portal led to an alternate dimension ruled by evil which contained some of the pieces of the Triforce, as well as the fortress of the evil in whose name your friend was captured...
Speculation ends here.
Whatever. If you use that sword well enough, it'll all work out, right?
Hidden Duality contains examples of the following tropes:
- Battle in the Rain: The final gauntlet.
Darkflamewolf: This type of final battle, which takes place outside was unheard of at the time for Zelda Classic.
- Bonus Dungeon: There are five of them, each guarding a major item, each with their own distinctive gimmick.
- The rooms in the House of Mirrors don't connect straightforwardly.
- Manchuria Bluffs is full of enemies that try to disable your sword or eat your Magical Shield.
- Brickwall Depths is a great-big side view dungeon.
- The Ice Palace requires you to notice subtle things on one side of the dungeon, then mimick them on the other side.
- And Death Mountain Fortress straight up tries to kill you.
- There's also the Savage Labyrinth, a long gauntlet of enemies that you must fight through.
- And, of course, Darkflamewolf's trademark Master Dome is back, bigger and badder than ever, establishing its size for DFW's future quests.
- Boss Bonanza: The final battles against Blue Lanmolas, Manhandla 2's, a Gohma 3, a Patra 2, and a Gleeok with lots of heads.
Darkflamewolf: This is the ultimate gauntlet of sorts. Something I've carried over in a lot of my quests. [...] The challenge is to see if you can hold up to all the bosses and Ganon himself on two Potions alone!
- Dark World: Dark Galea. Any warp to or from Light Galea takes you to the same position in the other world. You can tell it's Dark Galea by the palette being a lot browner and darker.
- Dual-World Gameplay: Not as involved as, say, A Link to the Past, in that you can only switch between worlds at designated points, but still involved in a lot of content.
- Fake Difficulty: More like unbalanced difficulty. Some of the imbalance was rectified in the Director's Cut, but several of the things in which it was inherent (e.g. the Savage Labyrinth) were never used by Darkflamewolf again.
- Infinity+1 Sword: The Golden Arrows.
- Long Song, Short Scene: Ganon has a unique battle theme, but you barely ever get to hear any of it, as he's by no means the hardest boss in a game with already Hard Levels, Easy Bosses (the hardest bosses are the 40-headed Gleeok right before Ganon and the Patra 2's before him and especially at the end of Death Mountain Fortress and the Savage Labyrinth).
- No Pronunciation Guide: How the heck do you pronounce Zj(j)arrinmar? The same might be said of M'kavlar and maybe Kravaar too.
- Punctuation Shaker: M'kavlar is a rare example from Dark Flame Wolf.
- Serial Escalation: This quest is the biggest expansion in Dark Flame Wolf's quest making scope. She was expanding ever since Wolfstyle, and with the exceptions of Ganon's Claim and Wolfstyle DX, would continue ramping it up right up through Lost Isle, but this was her biggest leap.
- Shout-Out: Darkflamewolf says that the town of Dali is a shout-out to the one by the same name in Final Fantasy IX, and even explains the graveyard as an extension of that shout-out because the original Dali had a dark secret too, but there's no further resemblance, and why that town and not another?
- Deathevn Catacombs may be another (unintentional) shout-out, here to Breath of Fire 2.
- Darkflamewolf seems to love that guy: when telling Peteo what she wanted for Lost Isle's final boss, she showed him Deathevn.
- Spell My Name with an S: The D-Map for one level is called Zjarrinmar Cove, the map intro calls it the same, and that's how Darkflamewolf refers to it in her own walkthrough, but the old man at the entrance welcomes you to "Zjjarrinmar Cove."
- Spell My Name with a "The": A rare instance that overlaps with the above. Darkflamewolf calls it Hidden Duality in her walkthrough, but the Zelda Classic quest database labels it "The Hidden Duality".
- The Underworld: The cave systems in both worlds are quite large and interconnected; they even almost mesh right with The Overworlds.
- Video Game Settings:
Darkflamewolf: I regret the fact that my snowbound area is so small in this game. Something I rectified heavily in future games.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Darkflamewolf's explanation for the name of Zjarrinmar Cove.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Two, perhaps three times in the game.
- Tungsten Excavation Site was ransacked before you began your quest. Most of the doors are opened, the bombable walls destroyed, and the treasures taken... including the Triforce piece. But there are bombable walls still intact, and behind them lurk an old man who somehow knows the thieves who ransacked the dungeon ran off into the desert, the boss key, and the boss... which doesn't drop a heart container and guards the Magic Book. You need to use the Magic Book to access the thieves' hideout in the desert, then use the Bait to reach the Triforce piece.
- You fight the dungeon boss about halfway through Zjarrinmar Cove, and again you don't get a Heart Container. But you do get the Flippers, which you must use to get the Boss Key and reach the Triforce piece.
- Finally, once you reach the top of Ganon's Tower, It's Quiet... Too Quiet... then you fight an Aquamentus, then you come across a Moblin who informs you that if you proceed beyond, you will be lost in another world, as well as demanding Bait for some reason. Sure enough, step through the portal and you'll be in Ganon's World, where you can get the Golden Arrow and stop at one last shop and lonely fairy fountain before the final battle. But if you didn't bring a Bait, sucks to be you!
Darkflamewolf: You have been tricked! Ganon is not here! You must go to his world to beat him!