Game of the Month Club – The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap Final Report

The month of August is winding down, so it’s time to talk about The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap one last time!

Very few, if any, of you may have guessed that I actually stopped playing the game partway through the month. Oh alright, I quit. I can’t say I’m exactly proud of that, but I do have my reasons. Here are some excerpts from an entry I wrote in my journal the day after I, uh, quit:

You usually obtain a key item in every dungeon, and acquiring it typically involves a fight with a mini boss. It’s an important turning point in any dungeon!

Not in the wind fortress, though, no siree! I found myself utterly stuck and wandering aimlessly for quite some time. I finally decided to resort to using a walkthrough online, but not before my temper was already starting to run high.

I learned that there was a wall that could be destroyed by a bomb, marked by the two skulls on either side of it. Yes, I had passed by it a few times. Somehow, the bomb thing just never clicked.

Before I go on, let me just say: this bomb wall? Most Zelda fans would agree it should have led to something along the lines of rupees or, in the case of The Minish Cap, a kinstone piece. It’s an obscure puzzle that should have rewarded the player’s keen perception, yes, but not with what I will reveal shortly.

I had a bad feeling the blown-up wall would lead to the dungeon’s key item. I mean, what kind of a turning point would that make for?! You’re exploring the dungeon and having a grand old time, but oh! Hey! Don’t forget to stop by this tiny, out-of-the-way little room on your way to bigger and better things in order to obtain one of the game’s most important items! I had to fight monsters and solve a sequence of five or six puzzles just to get the compass in this dungeon! Now this obscure little bomb puzzle is all it takes to get (drum roll please) the mole mitts! Cool item. And I’m not even being sarcastic when I say that. The crappy puzzle leading to the mitts, however, seems to devalue them.

And that’s what I’m mad about. I’ve gotten stuck in Zelda games before, so it’s not like it’s a new experience. Heck, I’ve even used walkthroughs while playing Zelda games before, so that’s not the problem either.

I foreshadowed this a little already, but the best Zelda dungeons have these ingenious sequences of puzzles that keep the pacing up and lead to treasures integral to progression. The occasional obscure puzzle may lead to a smaller room with supplemental treasures, like rupees or heart pieces. The sequence and pacing of the wind fortress was interrupted when it left me wondering if I had missed a beat somehow, and the resulting need to backtrack and further question whether I was actually doing right by backtracking ruined the entire thing for me. And the need to check a walkthrough was just salt in the wound. Salt with no wound doesn’t hurt, by the way!

If a game gives me even one reason to feel that way, it’s not worth the time of day anymore. The Minish Cap had its great moments, to be sure. I’m certain there were many more to come beyond the point I reached. However, it might have also contained more problems, and I have plenty of other games that deserve my attention.

So there you have it! I’m pretty happy with how I justified quitting the game, but what do you think? Did you play The Minish Cap too this month? What are your thoughts on the game?

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Author: Holly Fellmeth View all posts by
Site Manager/Editor - Holly's favorite hobby is playing new or different games. She believes there is no other medium that can offer such weird and wacky things as the gaming industry can. Her Nintendo Network ID is Aeroweth.