Tuesday, January 23, 2007

General RPGs' Minigames 4: Treasure Field

The Legend of Zelda series always has quite a few minigames in each installment since the SNES. And it's been following a disturbing trend of having the number and frequency of these irritations increase in recent games. But few of these typically mandatory annoyances are quite so infuriating to me as A Link to the Past's Treasure Field.

For the most part, it's your usual fairly stupid little bonus minigame. I'll give it credit for not being mandatory to complete in order to finish the game, but that's it. You're given a shovel, and a time limit, and what you do is press left and right and up and down ever so slightly, press the Dig button, and then move to the next spot. Somebody at Nintendo apparently mistook this for fun, I guess. It might as well be called Direction Pad + Y Button Field. As you dig, sometimes money or magic refills come up out of the ground, and you can collect them, and maybe, if you're really fast and really lucky, get enough cash to break even on the entrance fee you paid. So, since monetary gain for spending your time playing this is barely anything (and that's assuming the best; you could pretty easily end up with less money than before you started), I guess the main motivation to play this would be to refill your Magic Meter if you were running on empty for it. But even that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, since you can get a green potion in a shop to fully refill it for 20 Rupees less than it takes to play the game in the first place. So this game is really quite pointless, even for a minigame.

Of course, the main reason to play it originally (and really, the only reason I can think of to do so at all) is because there's a Piece of Heart hidden randomly in the field. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Zelda series (which is probably none of you), collecting 4 Pieces of Heart will boost your HP by 1 permanently--and in the Zelda games I've played, the max HP is never over 20, so that's a pretty big deal. This main reason for playing the game, however, is also the main reason I HATE THE EVER-LOVING CRAP out of it.

See, because of the time limit, you only have about enough time to dig up a fourth of the field, a third if you're really good. I defy anyone who says they can do better than that. They are a blatant and evil liar. So, since the goddamn Piece of Heart is randomly placed around the field each time you play the game, the odds are that it won't be wherever you decide to dig each time you start. This can lead to you playing the goddamned minigame time after time after time, just having to stubbornly hope that THIS time, unlike the past 8 times, the godforsaken Piece of Heart will be where you dig. And of course, you may be steadily losing Rupees playing the damn game, since how much money you dig up in the field also relies pretty heavily on chance, so you may be forced to leave, kill monsters for a while to get more cash, and then come back again, just further wasting your time. I think it was after the 14th time that random chance fucked me over in this game that I developed a deep, personal hatred for this minigame. I can understand when luck plays a part in some minigames, but for the love of Mog, there needs to be a reasonable limit to it.

1 comment:

  1. I love you. You didn't give me the answer but, at least, you are as pissed off with this shit as I am.