The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past’s dungeon design | Boss Keys


Hi. My name’s Mark and this is Boss Keys. So, I make a YouTube show called Game Maker’s
Toolkit and an episode I’ve wanted to make for a long time is a breakdown of the dungeon
design in The Legend of Zelda games. I think these things are fascinating. They’re
these twisting, contorting, non-linear maze-like puzzles boxes filled with enemies and traps.
They have terrific boss fights and unique architecture and the best ones are these gigantic
mechanical riddles for you to solve. But if I want to do this episode properly,
I’m going to need to revisit every major Zelda game, and that’s going to take hundreds of
hours. Which is a lot of research for just one video. So I thought it might be fun to release a
bunch of spin-off episodes as I go. One video on each Zelda game I play, with my thoughts
and findings on the dungeon design in that game. If you want to follow along, that’s cool.
If you prefer the more thoroughly researched and bite sized episodes I usually make, just
wait a few months and I’ll do a proper episode of Game Maker’s Toolkit featuring everything
I’ve learnt on this subject. I’m kicking off with The Legend of Zelda:
A Link to the Past. It’s the third Zelda game but it’s where Nintendo really established
the formula, and introduced iconic elements like the master sword, heart pieces, and the
hook shot. Let’s start by talking about linearity. Do
the dungeons usher you from room to room, or let you explore their layouts in any way
you desire? The answer is that some dungeons do the former, others do the latter, and some
lie in the middle. Those in the middle include the Eastern Palace:
the first proper dungeon in the game. What you’ll notice is that there is only one
path you can take through the dungeon. You have to go up here past these boulders, then
around in a big loop to get to this room, then across to this area to get the big key,
then it’s off to the item chest to get to the bow, and upstairs to fight the boss. But the dungeon feels less linear than that,
for a number of reasons. One is the number of optional rooms – this one contains the
dungeon map, which isn’t essential. And this one just contains a bunch of rupees. Those rooms – plus the ability to visit rooms
that you’ll come into later such as this area where a pair of blocks make a one-way
path – give the dungeon a large explorable space. There are lots of rooms and doors to
choose from. Also, keys force you off the critical path.
You can’t get through this door until you make a detour off into this room to find a
key. Nintendo can modulate difficulty by moving the key further away from the door. And finally, the path crisscrosses over the
entire dungeon. The bridge is over the boulders you dodged earlier, the excursion to get the
big key sends you in a huge loop around the dungeon, and the big key makes you backtrack
to this room with the giant chest. All of this obscures the critical path, forcing
you to explore to find it. So while the dungeon essentially guides you along one path, you
get the sense that you’re making your own route. Clever stuff. Other dungeons are less prescribed in the
way you solve them. The Palace of Darkness – the fifth dungeon – will see you holding
more than one key in your pocket for the first time in the game. And you can use those keys
on multiple locked doors. What this means is that you can proceed through
the dungeon in a truly non-linear way. For this door, you could use this key, or this
key. And then you could open this door or this door, and use this key, this key, or
either of those first two keys. There’s still a predetermined set of rooms
you have to visit but having some agency over your route gives you the real sense that
you’re making decisions, and you find yourself hitting fewer dead ends. What’s surprising is the number of optional
rooms in dungeons of this design. Take this main floor of Ganon’s Keep: you don’t need
to go in any of these rooms to finish the dungeon. And in Misery Mire, there are five keys to
find but you can actually solve the entire dungeon with just two if you know what you’re
doing. Of course, you rarely know what you’re doing
so these unnecessary rooms must be there to make the dungeon feel bigger and tougher than
it truly is, giving you so many keys and locks and rooms to explore that you feel like a
champion puzzle solver when you finish. Turtle Rock is another dungeon that feels
harder than it is. This room has a crazy spaghetti junction of pipes but in reality you only
need to keep track of two of them to succeed. Some dungeons are completely linear. Especially
in your return to Hyrule Castle. You move from room to room, and all the locked doors
are unlocked with keys found in the exact same room. But that fits the tone of the story. At this point, Zelda
has been kidnapped (again) and you’re charging up Hyrule castle’s tower – slashing everything
in your way. This is the time for a gauntlet of enemies as you chase after Zelda. Not pensive
puzzle solving and getting lost. This is the only dungeon like that but you’ll
find that some dungeons are halfway between two styles. Desert Palace, the second dungeon,
starts relatively non-linear with this massive opening chamber that has a whopping seven
doors to explore, and one more to unlock. But after that it turns into a straightforward
path to the boss. This gives a sort of ramping tension. You
rarely just stumble upon the boss door while exploring: you get there after a section where
you have to move quickly from room to room, fighting baddies, and amping up the stakes before you
go head-to-head with the final monster. There’s a nice moment in The Tower of Hera
which reminds us that while Zelda wouldn’t go 3D for seven more years, dungeons in A Link
to the Past were already making us think about the space as a building with verticality. Because to get to the Moon Pearl, which is in
this big chest on floor four, you have to drop down from the exact right spot on floor
five. This puzzle won’t bust your noggin, but it will get you to think about these dungeons
as actual 3D spaces. It’s a shame that there aren’t more dungeons
that really make you think about how they’re put together, in order to navigate them. But here’s a nice set-up that does just that.
In the Palace of Darkness you need the orange blocks to be lowered to get up this staircase.
But if you drop them by hitting either this switch or this switch, it will also raise
the blue blocks and stop you getting to the staircase. So you have to go in a loop around the
dungeon and come up from the room to the south. It’s simple but it’s an elegant piece of design
that encourages you to understand the layout of the level and it promotes some forward
thinking. A more complicated version of this puzzle
comes in the long and winding Ice Palace. It’s perhaps the hardest dungeon in the game
and then when you finally get to the end you realise that you need to push this block down
the hole and – this time – you need to lower the blue blocks but that will lift the orange
ones and block you. And this time the route back around is a lot harder to find. Another dungeon worth mentioning is Skull
Woods, which takes place both underground and overground. It’s interesting to see Nintendo
toying with the dungeon formula so early in the game. Likewise, Thieve’s Town has you
leading this girl to a room bathed in light, where she’ll transform into the dungeon’s
boss, Blind. So there we have it. 12 dungeons – some straightforward,
some twisting, some non-linear. They ask you to understand the way the dungeon is put together,
and they surprise you by breaking with convention. Overall, it’s a strong start for this series. And the question is – where to next? On to
Link’s Awakening, or do we jump to Ocarina of Time? Let me know your thought in the comments
below. Thanks for watching. Boss Keys is made possible
thanks to the fine folks at Patreon who are somehow happy to fund a several month long
project to make a 10 minute video about Zelda games. What a bunch of cool weirdos.

100 comments

  • MonkeyShinesu

    lol I beat aghanim in this game as a kid and thought I was right at the end

    Reply
  • Margarita Mendoza

    6:35 I throw a bomb to turn the switch, then I have not to make a big walk around haha

    Reply
  • Reizo

    Link´s Awakening!! Because sooner or later you´ll make it with Ocarina of Time. 🙂

    Reply
  • John Redcorn

    at 6:42 you don't have to go in a loop to make it past the blocks. this is easy to solve without doing that actually. simply throw a bomb over there and you will have time to make it before it explodes. you did take the route intended by the developers, but i imagine that when they noticed a bomb would work they left it in there. it's easy to think the devs didn't notice it, but if you pay attention the developers of this game pay far closer attention to detail than that, so i think they knew for sure.

    Reply
  • djpookie2000

    I just discovered your channel. I love it. I am a long time Zelda fan. I got the first game on the NES when I was at a Doctor Who Convention in Dallas TX back in 1987. I was 12 years old at the time. My Aunt bought it for me. It was the first game that really let you explore a fantastic world. I think it is one of the best gaming series made today. Breath of the Wild gives me that same sense of adventure.

    Reply
  • Ksolopolo

    6:30 Wow really? I just used a bomb to blow up the switch so I can run over the red blocks before the switch is hit

    Reply
  • Martin Elizalde Lecuona

    6:34 I've never done that haha, I always use bombs to activate the switch

    Reply
  • eishikibahamut

    "rarely just stumble into a boss while exploring" Until BOTW

    Reply
  • Benjo

    Will you do a Boss Keys episode for botw?

    Reply
  • lopirulete

    Make a video: "top ten zelda games" and "top ten zelda dungeon" !!! PLEASE!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Devonbolster

    6:30 thats how you solve that puzzle? i used a bomb so i could get over there just in time

    Reply
  • Butternut

    Mark please do an episode for the original Legend of Zelda, I've recently started to play and I think the dungeon design is amazing, no other Zelda game does it like the OG

    Reply
  • Stash Allemagne

    6:45 unless you are a smart ass and use bombs to traverse over the blocks before the switch is activated

    Reply
  • Amgwes Martin

    sup vinesauce

    Reply
  • M R

    "Overall it's a strong start to the series"
    I'd say so. This game is pretty much perfection. 😉

    Reply
  • AG64

    Where's Skyward Sword?

    Reply
  • Samuel Lamoureux

    6:38 actually, you could use bombs to activate the switch

    Reply
  • Scott Karrasch

    In the 1st dark temple, I remember using all of the keys I had and the last remaining key was behind a locked door… so I was stuck. Idk how I did this or if I could do it again but it ticked me off… not too much because it was just the 1st dark temple

    Reply
  • residentgrey

    for the block switch 6:45 in, throw a bomb to it n run between the blues

    Reply
  • residentgrey

    there arevgreat zelda classic quests worth exploring. anything by petoe or darkflamewolf are sure bets on a good game

    Reply
  • residentgrey

    i have been through some ballbusters of dungeons in zcq's

    Reply
  • Ivan

    a year has passed, exactly

    Reply
  • powerpc127

    I'm currently playing A Link Between Worlds, and this video makes me realize just how many things that game blatantly rips off of Link to the Past. They have the same enemies, (most of) the same items, the same music, the same giant chests in dungeons (not to mention the similar art design of the small chests, doors, and switches), the three macguffins you need to collect in order to fight a wizard who sends you to a dark world, the eight unlockable dungeons available after that fight… Christ, even the place names are the same – Eastern Palace, Misery Mire, Turtle Rock, Desert Palace, etc…

    I kinda feel like Nintendo is just giving up and saying "They liked Link to the Past. I dunno, maybe we should just make that again." It's a shame because the game innovates on the mechanics of Link to the Past pretty well, and I think that it has some of the best dungeons, but I can't help but feel that it's influenced a little too heavily by nostalgia. I'm really looking forward to the next episode to hear Mark's thoughts.

    Reply
  • chocolatepain

    These are really well made and you deserve more views!

    Reply
  • Sheorajek

    You said "terrific boss fights".

    Then you showed Scaldera.

    Reply
  • J B

    What about Zelda 2?

    Reply
  • David de la Peña Frigolet

    When is the episode on Zelda A Link Between Worlds comming out I cant wait.

    Reply
  • elin Saldivar

    Do Zelda 2

    Reply
  • PiercingSight

    >Wait a few months and I'll do an episode on what I've learned.
    Heh… hehehehe 😛

    I can't wait for your look at Breath of the Wild! It's going to be awesome!

    Reply
  • The Chosen One

    Thanks for maiking me actually try to finish this game.

    Reply
  • Scorpion's Apprentice

    my biggest problem with this game is the physics engine. for some reason it feels veery clunky, hit detection is very misleading, and getting several cheap shots from projectiles.

    Reply
  • BitBear

    6:12 The most annoying boss in Zelda history.

    Reply
  • Voxl Valyx

    God, I love this game. It may have come out five whole years before I was born, but luckily I was still able to grow up with it. (who says being too middle-class to afford the newest console is bad?)

    Reply
  • Mt_Xing

    "Just wait a few months" he said.

    Reply
  • Prince Persona

    For the puzzle at 6:30 I just throw a bomb over to the switch.

    Reply
  • Chidsuey

    You can also save a key in Palace of Darkness and use it to skip a good bit of Skull Woods.

    Reply
  • Nathan Bisbo

    few months -11/2017

    Reply
  • Draco Mundo

    I feel really really bad because the only Zelda games I like arent ones people like

    Reply
  • BEN FIELDHOUSE

    I think Skull Woods may well be the most interesting dungeon in its layout, though many others follow closely. I hated the dungeon as a kid, partly because the Wallmaster terrified me. But also I dropped down a hole as my first way into the dungeon – and with the map revealing only B1 and B2 I assumed the whole dungeon was inaccessible in any way other than holes.

    And yeah, I had real trouble avoiding the Wallmaster. So I was essentially trapped. With the Compass, I could see the boss was situated all the way in the top-left corner. Without the Map, I had no idea how the dungeon was laid out; seeing how far away the boss was made me think the dungeon was much bigger than it is. You can imagine that was a nightmare for me. It wouldn't have occurred to me at this point that the dungeon was in multiple parts; the overworld map hints it with the crystal's location but doesn't explicitly state it.

    Reply
  • Tim B

    At 6:29 the switch that is mentioned can be hit with a bomb. The time delay before the explosion will give you a moment to run past the blue blocks. They played around with this methodology in the Oracle games and more recently in the direct sequel to A Link to the Past, A Link Between Worlds.

    Reply
  • Clara Bain

    6:17 ??? I always just threw a bomb at the switch to the south and then sprinted for the orange blocks before the blue blocks dropped. It's so cool there's multiple ways to solve that like in BotW

    Reply
  • Chris Trenary

    "Just wait a few months until the real episode is released"

    cut to a year and a half later

    😂 Love this series, I'll be sad to see it go

    Reply
  • TheBrazilRules

    "Overall it(A Link to the Past) is a strong start for the series" facepalm.

    Reply
  • U1timate1nferno

    A Few Months

    HAH! 18 months is what I would consider a few.

    Reply
  • Apollo9898LPs

    "just wait a few months, and i'll put out a full video on this"

    1 and a half years later

    Reply
  • Alex Turner

    The girl transforming into the boss in Twilight Princess is likely based off the instance in this game and maybe others!

    Reply
  • Jack Gruber

    The Palace of DAHKness

    Reply
  • Gabriel S

    I am watching many of the videos in the Boss Key series right now, and I have watched him non-linear (heh), so I have seen a lot of the criticism you bring up against the 3D Zelda's before seeing this video and I have to say I honestly feel like a lot of the praise you sing to A Link To The Past seems a bit phony when stuff like paths looping over a main chamber are heavily criticized in for instance Windwaker but you praise it as interconnectedness and the illusion of a complex dungeon (which I believe looping back done by the game would also fall under, which again you criticized). Also the return to Hyrule castle is completly linear which you praise since it fits the tone(there isn't a very comparable dungeon I can think of, but because of your general tone I can't help but feel that it would have been criticisim in a 3D Zelda game), finally the mixture Dessert Palace is – again – mostly getting praise from you, but it feels very similar to many dungeons in Windwaker and Twilight Princess, which have some branching in the beginning that lead out from the main room and once you get the keyitem becomes pretty linear to the boss.

    I am not sure if I am imagining it to a degree, because I loved Twilight Princess and Windwaker (although it has been years since I played them and plenty of your criticism is definitely spot on in retrospective), if it is because both your opinion on Zelda games as well as the precise ways to distinguish between them (such as your varying names for the types of dungeons:follow and find the path and latter key and lock, puzzle box, gauntlet). Or more likely a mixture.

    I kindda wish you had first played all of the games, written a script for all of them, revised it by crossreferencing it and then made all the videos, but it already is a pretty gargantuan project so doing it this way is probably the only feasible way to do it, and I suppose in a way this let's us see the development of the dungeons even more: the name for the puzzlebox dungeon wouldn't have been necessary for quite a while (until OoT?), so seeing the binary dungeon system getting revised into a tertiary system makes that even clearer.

    I don't know if I sound way to negative, because overall I did find the series (or what I have seen of it) quite enjoyable and also educational. I just felt the need to voice my opinion/observation somewhere half because I was offended for how you treated some of my favourite games (at least you praised Majora's Mask) and half because the way to think about the way your terminology changes is interconnected with the way the series changes might actually be interesting and new.

    Reply
  • Jeremiah

    "Twisting, contorting, non linear, maze-like"
    He says as he shows footage of a Wind Waker dungeon.

    Reply
  • Taber McFarlin

    1:00 Wait a few months Here nearly two years later lol

    Reply
  • Sean LaMontagne

    Holy shit I can't believe you did this. That is so much Zelda in one span of time.

    Reply
  • TheStarTrekApologist Channel

    6:19 you can just throw a bomb at the switch and make it between the blue blocks before it goes off. I always did it that way and never knew till now how it was designed to be done. You should have mentioned that it is a cleaver part of the design.

    Reply
  • Simon Alvin and the chipmunks

    just wait a few months…

    Reply
  • Zoltán Cser

    I am watching this playlist the 3rd time now. xD 😀 Gives so much motivation and so many ideas to make my dungeons. 🙂

    Reply
  • Nintendo Kid

    Everything you talk about in this video is why this is my favorite Zelda game. As soon as Zelda went to 3D things started going downhill. Ocarina of Time wasn't the worst one, but it was the beginning of the decline. And it's kinda funny because now playing breath of the wild after so many years of linearity and hand-holding, some of the shrines in breath of the wild leave me almost completely dumbfounded about what to do next. After wasting 20 minutes or more trying to figure out what the hell to do, I go look up a youtube video, and then I feel like an idiot for not figuring it out because it's so obvious… or it should have been, but my brain's been trained to expect simplicity. I love that it's not as simple anymore, but I'm disappointed that it took Nintendo so long to get back toward their roots.

    I will say though, the one that was kinda bullshit… There's a shrine where you have to put a laser on a moving platform to hit a switch that makes different sections of the shrine go up and down, and it's the only way to get out of the shrine because once you get to a certain point, you can no longer reach the switch by throwing a bomb or shooting an arrow. The only reason it was kinda bs is because there was never any indication or clue that you could pick up the laser, but then I guess that's just another example of me thinking too much in terms of linearity and zelda "tradition(which, as someone who's been playing this series since the beginning, seems backwards. Zelda 1 thru Link's Awakening is really Traditional Zelda)."

    Reply
  • YuriNoirProductions

    Hey Mark, what do you use to create your awesome Graphs? Are you using a tool or are you creating them in photoshop?

    If anyone else knows feel free to answer aswell 🙂

    Reply
  • Redthir Jerdisheim

    By the way, you've mentioned in later games that paths are more-or-less cut out for you – it's interesting that Misery Mire heavily subverts that: the path to floor B2 can be spotted quite early on while exploring the dungeon (only the door requires the Big Key). When you get the Big Key, a path more-or-less shortcuts you to that place, only without the Cane of Somaria, which is required to get past the first room on floor B2.

    Reply
  • daman4567

    "and the best ones…" OOT water temple on screen

    oh, my friend. You have just brought the full force of the internet's hate upon yourself. How dare a dungeon have an easy to understand mechanic that might require a bit of repetition and actually paying attention to which rooms you've visited on the map.

    Reply
  • Felipe Tartas

    You talk too much about the puzzles, and less about the combat and the challenge, so, you just igonored what made Link to the Past so special. Lttp is more about enter in a dungeon and feel the aesthetic of a great challenge, the level of difficult is high, and the combination of puzzles and combat mechanically speaking transform in players dinamics struggles to solve the dungeon to turn in a challenge aesthetic. It is the MDA framework here, it is not to make the hardest puzzles ever, the 3d Zeldas are better on this, but, Nintendo forget the challenges aspects on newer Zeldas. There is no fear on a Breath of the Wild shrine on divine beast, the player can solve any of them without dying. I heard a commentary somewhere that Lttp had some simple puzzles, sometimes, things like lock the player in a room and try to find the key, similar case with Ocarina of Time. But, what really matters here is that these simple mechanics is enough to create rich dinamics, the player have to think fast, use the right item, figure out what to do and combat with enemies. Also, which is better on 2d Zeldas is the level design elements and the interaction with itens. It is similar to a platform game sometimes, the player have to do some precises movements, the game is more about mastering the controlls than any other Zelda. You dont have to master the controlls to solve the puzzles on BOTW, you have all the time of the world to solve the puzzles, worse than that, there is not challenge when you already know the solution, seems like busywork, use magnesis here, put the big metal block here and there, it is not challenge, you dont have to be precise with your controlls, there is not challenge with precise timing and space. Ice Palace is not difficult only because is a hard puzzle to solve, but all the traversing on the dungeon with the slipering ground is so hard to do. There are spikes, there are holes, there are enemies that fight you, there are combinations of different enemies, there are enemies and skipes and holes, there moveable grounds, there are big balls falling skies, there are so many challenges on this game. Mechanicaly speaking is different compared with Dark Souls, but aesthetic, the feeling of acomplishment when you beat a boss and finish a dungeon is similar here. Nintendo lost this on newer Zeldas. The first Zelda was more about a challenge and less about just discovery things in a slow pace and not sense of fear.

    Reply
  • anthares96

    i did not remember how brilliant alttp's dungeons are. i really should play that game again

    Reply
  • Joey Bloyed

    The path to aghanim is commonly called "The Gauntlet" for good reason.

    Reply
  • Caleb Cotten

    I always just threw a bomb ram past the blue switches before the bomb blew up and raised them.

    Reply
  • marscaleb

    I'm a bit disappointed that you didn't talk about how the different styles of dungeons plays into the order you have to play them. The palace of darkness comes at a point in the game where the game itself has unexpectedly increased wildly in size, and is a key part of selling the player on this idea that the dark world is going to be harder. It is important to note that this is also the first dungeon that is largely non-linear. This helps establish to the player that the stakes have been raised. As a child I felt that increased challenge. I didn't understand it at the time, but I certainly experienced it.

    Reply
  • Emmett Ybuiau

    he spoiled the game for me D;

    Reply
  • slink7

    6:30 I just launched a bomb on the switch so it’s activation is delayed xD

    Reply
  • *Jazz Music Stops*

    Hi! My name's Mark and this is Brown.

    Reply
  • chromeshellking

    Ill go a step further and say that LttP as a whole game gives you both options of linear progression and a more chaotic but rewarding experience if you take some risks and explore out of order. Take ice palace as the example sure having to reroute and backtrack to that same area again just for a single but needed block to enter the boss room is completely removed with the red cane. Sure it was the item from misery mire but that is easily entered and then obtained.

    Reply
  • TheBoshman95

    Link to the Past is my favorite for sure.

    Reply
  • Squonk

    this was my first Zelda game – I simply love it.

    Reply
  • Peachy Queen

    And this explains perfectly that why a link to the past is my favorite zelda game.

    Reply
  • link2001040

    at 7:38 he played himself

    Reply
  • Pollo

    Am i the only person who absolutely despises the ice temple and turtle rock? I hate it when there parts that you have to have magic to get through but there is no way to conveniently replenish it.

    Reply
  • Louis Wouters

    Found this gem of a game at a friends place and borrowed it. Played through it 100% within a week and then I could finally watch this video without seeing spoilers. Awesome series

    Reply
  • Wax Meatley

    These are the good old days of Boss Keys when Mark has to explain the dungeons with maps and not graphs.

    Reply
  • DrewPicklesTheDark

    Also ALttP was sort of in between on dungeon order. For example the light world + 1st dark world dungeon had to be in order (not counting glitches obviously), while after that the next 5 can be done out of order until Turtle Rock and Ganon's tower. I mean look at the items and what can be completed without them. The only essential item (not counting ones you get in the dungeon itself) is the Titan's Mitt (Thieves Town) to get to Misery Mire. You can do the Ice Palace before Skull Woods if you use Bombos, you can do Misery Mire before Swamp if you dash jump (intended game mechanic as Ganon's tower shows), nothing in Thieves Town requires items from the other four. The "correct order" is just the easiest way to do them (though I argue Misery Mire and Ice Palace should be swapped). Heck you could technically do the Ice Palace after Turtle Rock, though there is not much point since you need it to get in Ganon's Tower, and it would be quite a hassle to travel back, but it can be done.

    Reply
  • ghostfacekhila

    Links Awakening!

    Reply
  • IrishStyley

    Bosskeez!!

    Reply
  • Luke Costello

    I triple dog dare you to do an episode on recursed!

    Reply
  • OlDirtySam

    Introduced master sword and heart pieces? They where essentials since Zelda part one … not a very good start mister brown …

    Reply
  • Eduardo Moya

    6:40 or… you can throw a bomb

    Reply
  • thebanours

    am i the only to find the ganon's tower just unpleasant to do?? Not specialy hard, just unpleasant…

    Reply
  • Chaoskiller IRAQ

    Or you can bomb jump to the pearl and skip the hole.

    Reply
  • Aaron Jolliffe

    “Just wait a few months and I’ll do a proper episode of Game Maker’s Toolkit featuring everything I learned from this subject.”

    Ah, memories.

    Reply
  • oooodaxteroooo

    a hint: at 6:30 you simply throw a bomb at the switch which seems the intended design here since if im not mistaken, the boss requires you to use bombs, too. and this timer-tool-misuse-puzzle sticks out.

    btw meanders (room-chains in the widest sense) as eco called them are in almost every zelda title. love them 😀 windwaker, going up the stairs with increasingly difficult enemies towards the ganon fight, the tower in spirit tracks…

    basically the idea of dungeon design is a) miyamotoesque sense of discovery, b) leaving room for different playstyles while c) not pushing the hardware to its limits. clever. simply nintendo.

    Reply
  • Nick Porter

    399,000th view!

    Reply
  • Nova Starflight

    I can't remember what episode of Boss Keys it is, (I've watched,,, quite a few in a short period of time), BUT I remember you saying you liked the puzzle box dungeons the best. And I realized, at least in terms of BOTW, I'm very similar. The Test of Strength shrines are my least favorite ones in the whole game >_<. The puzzle ones, I love! It may be because I enjoy barreling around, so I upgrade stanima before hearts >.>

    Reply
  • GlintTheStrong

    @6:75 That block is why I do dungeon 6 before and get the orange cane. I felt like a damn game master when I figured out you could go out of order like this when I was younger.

    Reply
  • Bud Leiser

    6:35 what the heck! I never once solved it that way. I thought you always had to throw bombs at it, run past the blue blocks, then have the bomb go off and trigger the Orb.

    Reply
  • CaliforniaHP

    I love this game! My 2nd favorite game of all time and definitely the best Zelda. Now I get to think about those dungeons differently

    Reply
  • Zoltán Cser

    Time to watch the whole playlist the 3rd time for motivation and ideas! ^_^ Best series on YouTube!

    Reply
  • ciao_fiv

    “wait a few months and i’ll do a proper gamemaker’s toolkit episode”

    it’s been three years lmao (take ur time tho if that’s something ur still working on! i hope ur still planning on making that anyway) 💙

    Reply
  • rashkavar

    As a Link to the Past Randomizer runner, you mentioned picking up Bow in Eastern Palace, and my immediate thought is "Bow was in Eastern? Lucky dip!"

    ( A dip in LTTPR is when you go into a dungeon without the items needed to clear it (or choose not to for time reasons, in the case of non-required dungeons). It's always a bit of a gamble because dungeons tend to require a lot of time compared to the number of items locations they offer, and you often need to come back to the dungeon anyway to clear the boss; and the odds of actually having the dungeon item in its relevant dungeon (like Bow in Eastern Palace, which requires Bow to get into the boss room) are actually quite low.)

    Reply
  • rashkavar

    It's worth noting, though you barely mentioned it, that Thieves' Town has a really neat one-off puzzle in terms of understanding the layout. You enter by going down a flight of stairs in the middle of a town, just north of which is an odd little hut that is a sizable square, a narrow path, and another sizable square. The one on the right has a barred window. Once you go down into the dungeon, and find the stairs to the top floor inside, you find yourself in a sizable square room, followed by a narrow hallway, and another sizable square room. The one on the right has a beam of light on an inaccessible square of cracked floor, and is right over the boss room. Don't bomb the floor and if you lead the girl to that room, she turns into the boss, Blind, only she's invisible and invulnerable. Also the door locks behind you, so you need to use the magic mirror or a death warp to get out.

    I thoroughly bought into this as a kid. The girl is the same design sprite as the girls trapped in the crystals in the 3 previous dungeons, so I assumed that they'd just decided maybe trapping them in crystals doesn't work. Led her to the entrance, she said the sun hurt her eyes…so I started looking for a way to turn it to night. Wandered into the boss room, and she turned into an invincible boss and murdered me. Looked around, found this weirdly long path upstairs that led to a chest with bombs and a light on a cracked floor. Didn't clue in at that point, so I headed outside. I've got the dungeon treasure, maybe I need to look for something fancy out of dungeon. Went off to Kings' Tomb and found the cape that turns you invisible and invincible…heyy, maybe these cancel eachother out. Headed back to the dungeon and passed the outside of that weird doorless structure on the way to it…wait, that shape looks familiar. She didn't like light for some reason, and had to go to the darkest room in the dungeon to become an invincible murder boss. Headed up there, bombed the inaccessible crack, let light into the boss room, then went and fought the boss properly.

    Reply
  • Evan Menak

    Did the big episode ever come out?

    Reply
  • Tim Rowe

    7:22 – lol, he's gonna fight Blind with 2 hearts, gg 😀

    Reply
  • BubblewrapHighway

    6:18 Link to the Past "veteran" here, totally thought the only way to solve this puzzle was to throw a bomb at the crystal ball and rush over to the staircase. That's astounding.

    Reply
  • 蒙蒙

    How do you practice analyzing a design of the game?

    Reply
  • Chris Anthony

    A Link to the Past is my favorite Zelda game and might even be my favorite video game of all time. Every aspect about it is perfect.

    Reply
  • Bufosmixes

    6:30 I just used a bomb. The time delay allows you to get in position before the switch activates.

    Reply
  • AniGa

    But what did the game makers take?

    Reply

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