Welcome back to the Zelda Game Club for The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past. This is a community driven series where we play through classic Legend of Zelda games together as a Triforce Times community, and this is part 3, and the finale of A Link To The Past, arguably one of the best games in the Zelda series. Today we’re going to go through the Ice Palace, Misery Mire, Turtle Rock and finally Ganon’s Tower, save Princess Zelda and beat Ganon. I’m also going to be highlighting community comments, as we’ve had Triforce Times community members playing along.
Before we go back to the game, I wanted to thank everyone for playing along. Whether you have been playing along in the background, or sending in your community comments, a huge thank you from me. The Zelda Game Club is a community driven series here on Triforce Times, and without you playing and your comments, it wouldn’t be half as fun as it is. It’s great to go back and play through these classic games, and it’s even better when we can do it as a community and play through together, and share our experiences.
I’ve completed it and for the first time, this game is probably the best 2d Zelda game though I haven’t play minnish cap yet. The hardest boss is Kholdstare and Mothula, and the easiest boss is Helmasaur king and Vitreous, my favourite boss was the first one but its now Trinexx, it such a cool looking boss and I like how you have to use the fire rod and ice rod to defeat it.
Thanks for writing in BomZeCoffee, and it’s great to hear you completed the game. Trinexx is a very cool boss, I love that Ice and Fire Rod mechanic too, although that was a super tough boss fight!
Master Knight DH
When I first played the game on the copy owned by a brother-in-law of mine who I should mention has been macho enough, I got scared off by the initial guards and their “pointy things” that they obviously had in my direction. It wouldn’t be until a few years later when I would try out LTTP again and then it wouldn’t be long before I was happy to go for getting the Triple Zero, as well as do things like go through dark rooms without lighting up torches, or take on the Armos Knights with just the Boomerang, obviously well before the days of YouTube. Nowadays, I have been going for covering a No Damage/Effective Minimalist playthrough, although at this point I have yet to fully record the final part (Ganon’s Tower) because of real life politics getting in the way but I have been doing practice on the important parts. It’s funny that I fashion myself a Squishy Wizard and not without reason as would be displayed if you ever saw how I handle the shooting minigame just south of the Village of Outcasts even to this day, when here I am feeling like Season 5 Samurai Jack, obviously no knocks on LTTP after some of my other Self Imposed Challenge ventures, just the RL politics getting in the blasted way. I think this should help punctuate the importance of individuality in a healthy community, helped by both myself and Link being naturally left-handed.
Thanks Master Knight DH, I appreciate your comments. Sounds like your a pro at this game if you’re going through dark rooms without a light and defeating bosses with just the boomberang! The No Damage/Effective Minimalist playthroughs sound interesting, I’ll have to do some research on youtube myself for that. More from Master Knight DH later on in the episodes, but for now let’s dive back into The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past.
The Ice Palace
We left things off last time having just beat Gargoyle’s Domain and now it’s time to make our way to the Ice Palace. Before we do that though, given we recently got the Titan’s Mitt, that means we can grab a few things in the overworld, which is going to make our adventure much easier. This includes rescuing one of the Blacksmiths from the Dark World, taking him back to the Light World and reuniting him with his brother. As a reward they will temper your sword, meaning you’ll be able to do more damage than before. Given the Dungeons and enemies are going to get tougher, this is going to be invaluable.
The Ice Palace is located near Lake Hylia, so you have to make your way over there in the Light World, lift up the rock, and teleport to the Dark World to begin the next Dungeon.
The Ice Palace is another step up in difficulty, the floors are often covered with ice, making it hard to get around. The puzzles become much more intricate too, with combinations of mechanics we’ve seen in other palaces like switch blocks and cracks in the floor to get around. The unique item here in this Dungeon is the Blue armour, which is going to help Link take less damage, and this is a valuable item as we progress through the game. We’re going to need every tool in our arsenal to take on Ganon at the end of the game, so make sure you pick up the armour upgrades when you can. It’s not long before you take on the boss, Kholdstare, who is initially encased in ice. Naturally, the Fire Rod is going to become very useful here, so melt the ice casing from the boss, finish him off and save the Maiden.
Master Knight DH
At any rate, our journey comes to an end. The final 3 of the Dark World’s 7 regular dungeons are more focused on gimmicks but do maintain a decent sense of difficulty. The bosses also do what they can to discourage overreliance on the Magic Cape, with Kholdstare and Trinexx outright requiring magic item usage to even damage, and Vitreous having his supporting eyeballs be durable enough. I end up liking Kholdstare in terms of gameplay, slightly less than Helmasaur King because of the magic item requirement, but the second phase is surprisingly a fair challenge even if it comes at the end of the Ice Palace in its issues with the game’s stiff ice physics. Vitreous, however, has his lightning be randomly capable of reaching too high up on the sides and generally has underwhelming design, and Trinexx, although he does at least fit his theme by being a Stone Wall, does still have the bulk of his difficulty be in the first phase where the magic item requirement is a persisting problem, not helped by the Ice Rod potentially being missed all the way to this point, even if the Magic Mirror being available for retreat is still an option. Trinexx’s side heads do at least die quickly enough against the Golden Sword hitting them in stun time, but if you have just the Master Sword, be prepared to wade through shocking durability for each of them.
Thanks Master Knight. That’s a good assessment of the bosses in this final part. Trinexx at times is very difficult, I can’t imagine going through this boss with your minimalist runs. I had trouble with him and I had the upgraded sword at this point. I didn’t mind the Fire and Ice Heads, it’s the unbelivable damage you can get from the middle head, I think it took 99% of my energy down at one point.
Next up, we have to make our way to Misery Mire. We’re going to need to head to the Light World, warp over to the desert and then teleport back to the Dark World. Once we do this then it’s a matter of using the Ether Medallion in the right place to open the entrance to the Dungeon.
Misery Mire is a fantastic dungeon, one of the best in the game. Unfortunately, I lost my footage of Misery Mire, as I had an error during the recording and couldn’t recover the footage. Therefore I’m not going to linger too much on Misery Mire, other than it has one of the most important items in the game, and that’s the Cane of Somaria. This is a magical cane that allows us to create blocks, and in the future dungeons, platforms that will allow us to get around, so it’s a cruicial item. The Dungeon itself is very intricate with interconnecting warp points, places where you have to fall through the floor in particular places and hook shot based puzzles. The boss here is Vitreous, a collection of big eyes, who can fire lightning at you. Beating this boss requires a deadshot aim with the bow and arrow, but before long, you’ll beat the boss and it’s onto the next dungeon.
The dungeons in this game are really incredible they can take me about an 1 hour to do and the puzzle within every dungeon don’t all feel the same and they are all challenging like the one in the ice palace where you have to push a block down the hole, then go down it to then push it onto the switch and if it the wrong block you have to go through the dungeon to get to the point where you push the block and then push the right one, and my favourite dungeon is gargoyle’s domain, the part I like about it is when you save the girl from jail and then she turns out to be the boss.
I agree, these are some of the best dungeons in early 2D Zelda games and the step up from the first two games is there for all to see. Graphics, gameplay, dungeon design, all very good, and one of the reasons why it’s up there with the best games ever made. Gargoyle’s Domain has to go down as one of the best dungeons for sure, I love the fact they switched up the mechanics in the boss fight. The Ice Palace is a good dungeon, and pushing that block down the hole, so you can interact with it is very clever. The dungeons in this game simply get better and better.
Next up we have Turtle Rock, which is where Princess Zelda is being kept. Before we head into Turtle Rock, we can pick up another important item in the game, the golden sword. For this, we’re going to need to travel to the bomb shop in the Dark World and pick up the Super Bomb, before escorting it to the crack in the wall on the Pyramid of Power. Blow a hole open in the wall here with the Super Bomb and we’ll reveal another fairy fountain, which we can throw items into. If we throw in the sword, it will be returned, but even better than before, now the tempered blade becomes the Golden Blade, meaning more damage for enemies – again, a very valuable tool in the battle against Ganon. You can also throw in your bow and arrow and you’ll get the Silver arrows, another key item needed to beat Ganon.
The penultimate dungeon is located up Death Mountain, and it’s called Turtle Rock. We have to clim Death Mountain in the Light World, and then warp to the Dark World, and use the Quake Mediallion to reveal the entrance. Once you have done that, head inside for one of our toughest challenges yet. Turtle Rock is a platform-focused Dunegon. Here we need the Cane of Somaria to create platforms to ride around, and navigate using the direction points. These puzzles can be perplexing at times, and also dangerous given the amount of fire Link is going to encounter, so a few fairy’s in bottles or potions will come in handy.
The main item in this Dungeon is the mirror shield, an iconic item in the Legend of Zelda, allowing Link to reflect certain attacks and laser beams that get sent his way. The dungeon itself is challenging, mainly due to the strength of the enemies and the platforming. There’s also a section of interconnecting pipes, which can be confusing, but with trial and error you’ll make your way through in good time.
The boss in this dungeon is one of the most powerful and deadly we’ve seen in the game so far. They are called Trinexx, and is a three headed turtle-dragon creature. One head spits ice, one head spits fire and then there is the central head. We’re going to need the fire rod to defeat the ice head, the ice rod to defeat the fire head and then we can take out the bosses final phase with just the sword. At this point, if you have the golden sword, its going to make your job much easier.
Once you defeat the boss, you save Princess Zelda and she’s ready to open up Ganon’s Tower with the 6 other Maidens.
Master Knight DH
I do note that the Ether Medallion can be obtained as soon as the Master Sword is obtained, though it’s out of way. However, the Cane of Somaria is, of course, in Misery Mire, and the Silver Arrows requires clearing Misery Mire first, as well as helping the blacksmiths from what I heard, because until then, the Super Bomb for opening up the Mysterious Pond is not available. As for unnecessary items, the Bombos Medallion isn’t too far from the Swamp Palace as mentioned, and it can be used for 1HKOing Kholdstare’s first phase as opposed to using the Fire Rod, which requires all 8 shots without halved magic costs for that. Speaking of halved magic costs from the ever so funny Mad Batter, that is required to reach the Cane of Byrna without taking damage. I can cite that the Cane of Byrna has a higher cost per cast than the Magic Cape but its over time cost is lower, so it is favorable with fewer casts. Also, after getting the Titan’s Mitt, the Master Sword can be upgraded to the Tempered Sword, and then the Tempered Sword can be upgraded to the Golden Sword in the same place with the Silver Arrows, with both cases involving a jump in damage output because damage balancing wasn’t the most active point in the 90s, though the Golden Sword does still set off Yomo Medusas. What we have is that the equipment balance is still overall decent to the end.
Once you have saved Zelda we have couple of things to do; get through Ganon’s Tower, defeat Aghanim and then take on Ganon himself. It’s time to head to Ganon’s Tower, and with the power of the seven maidens, we can open it up by force.
Ganon’s Tower is a large, complicated Dungeon with many twists and turns. The main item here in the Dungeon is the Red Armor upgrade, which is going to be useful when taking on Ganon, as this allows to to soak up more damage. Ganon’s Tower is the culmination of all Dungeons in the game with many puzzles, switches, revealing chests, and finding keys. It’s everything you would expect from a final dungeon in terms of difficulty and complexity. There’s a great section here with invisible floors, where you have to use lanterns to reveal the floor tiles, and then quickly run across before they disappear again.
Ganon’s Tower is also a boss rush, facing off against many bosses we’ve seen in previous dungeons. Armos Knights are back, plus we get to face off against Lanmolas once again. Moldorm is back too, making this a nostalgic run through some of the best bosses.
Before long Aghanim shows up, and this time there are three of him. The key to defeating Aghanim is looking out for the shadows, the darkest shadow indicates the REAL Aghanim, and the fight is similar to the fight we had before, we have to reflect back his magic attacks. After a few hits, he’s down for the count, and Ganon rises from the defeated body of the evil wizard Aghanim. He flies away and then crashes into the Pyramid of Power, creating a huge hole. Now, it’s time for the final showdown against Ganon.
Master Knight DH
Ganon’s Tower itself, basically the Great Palace done right, is a solid climactic final level. It more or less puts the player’s skills to the test to see if they have learned well how to use the tools at their disposal, with plenty of threats being familiar, but in newer scenarios as defenses designed to deter Link from reaching Ganon at the top of the tower to the best of their ability. Most of it is fair, although the last 2 Beamos rooms on 4F cross into being inane due to the game’s stiff ice physics being particularly problematic in both of them, so they deserve to be cheaped out. Rematches against the Light World bosses with added changes are a nice touch as well; even if the Armos Knights refight suffers from the game’s ice physics, the refights in general actually involve the player having added options themselves (most notable in the Lanmola fight if you have full health for the Sword Beam attack) to show them having come a long way. Agahnim himself goes for practicality in hitting Link via the shadow clones creating claustrophobic situations and abandoning the all flash, no substance lightning attack, although whether he accounts for outlasting him is a different story altogether from the shadow clones’ own fireballs being reflectable without fail.
The Final Boss – Ganon
It’s all been leading to this, and the Ganon fight is no joke. For this you are going to need fairies in bottles, or potions to restore heath and magic, and it’s going to take ever ounce of strength to defeat Ganon here. There are a few distinct phases of the battle. First up, Ganon is going to throw his trident at you, so you have to be wary of that, sneak in there for a few attacks before you move onto the next phase. Next, Ganon is going to teleport and surround himself in firery bats, who then attack you, so you have to be careful of the projectiles, and make sure to get close enough to Ganon to hit him, without taking too much damage.
After a few hits Ganon then starts to stomp, smashing the floor tiles away, leaving you with room to fall. Ganon compliments you on your fighting skill, but then ramps things up a notch by blowing out the light. When it’s dark you can’t see Ganon, in a call back to the first Legend of Zelda final boss fight, so you have to make sure the lanterns are lit, hit him with the sword and then fire a silver arrow into his stunned body. Repeat this process 4 times and that’s it! Ganon is defeated and the Triforce is yours.
What follows is a great closing scene with the Triforce questing Link hold it above his head, with a wish in his heart. We are then treated to a great final cutscene, with the people of hyrule living in peace.
Master Knight DH
The final battle with Ganon himself involves Ganon, southpaw that he is as a shadow to Link, doing what he can to confound Link, to wear him down with his 4 phases in total, the second of which is the hotspot for a Minimalist/No Damage run thanks to the Blazing Bats that continually lunge at him with the starting one being random enough to create compromising situations, putting mastery of the Spin attack in high demand to end the phase sooner. The last phase is simply about using available tools to finally bring down Ganon the way the legends expect, a reminder of how the game saw fit to make Ganon intangible against the Magic Hammer or else the Magic Hammer would be able to apply the same damage/stun as the Master Sword’s spin attack, when the latter is more versatile against Ganon’s protections anyway, but the adventuring spirit is still fitting, helped by Ganon actually being fought near where the Mysterious Pond with the Silver Arrows is, as well as the torch ports being reachable by the Lamp to make movement routes still useful (via MP salvation compared to the Fire Rod, granted) while holding to a Book Ends scenario: beginning the whole adventure with wading through a dark and stormy night with a lamp to see our way in darkness, and allowing for chasing down the prince of darkness with a lamp to see our way in darkness.
What would be cool for this game would be if it had weather in the overworld like in start of the game with the storm, it could last about two minutes and in the dark world it could have something like acid rain that could deal a bit of damage and to avoid you have take shelter and wait it out, though it might make the game more harder especially with the enemies hurting you. If I had to rate this game it would about 8/10
I like the idea of rain and different weather conditions, especially the acid rain, that’s a great idea. I imagine Nintendo were constrained with the hardware, although that opening scene where Link wakes up and has to go to Hyrule Castle has to be one of the best openings to a game, love it. I’d lean more towards a 9 out of 10 rather than 8, but I think that’s fair. Thanks for playing BombZeCoffee, really appreciate you playing along and sending in your comments.
Master Knight DH
Our reward is obtaining the Triforce and using it to undo damage done in the conflict, reviving the causalties–Link’s uncle, the king, the soldiers, the loyal sage, and Ocarina Boy–as a result. I’d almost say that it’s a sort of prototype to what is involved in a certain show some 26 years down the line where that show was answering, in its own welcome way, against Death Note’s pessimism about what people would actually do with power, but LTTP does display actively what the people are doing afterwards where the show in question barely displays the revived people being happy about their continued existence, so point in LTTP’s favor. At any rate, we have a case of Earn Your Happy Ending after what Link had to go through. The credits music is a reminder that the whole experience is over, but as long as things have ended well enough, that’s what’s important.
When all is said and done, LTTP, while still having moments of showing its design to be experimental, is still polished all around, and between itself and Secret of Evermore is a show of the Super NES, despite still being early into the evolution process of game design, being proof of how much TLC supports game design. So it has been a pleasure to have been a part of this. Until next time, may Courage, Power, and Wisdom lead to the Triforce.
Well, that concludes the Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past, and part 3 of this Zelda Game Club. It’s been an absolute pleasure going back to play this game. I haven’t played it all the way through from start to completion since I first played it when it came out, and my friend and I spent a summer playing through the original on the SNES.
Once again, I want to thank everyone for taking part in the Zelda Game Club. It’s been a pleasure reading your comments and playing through this game with you.
Let me know in the comments what you think of A Link To The Past, and also what do you like about the Zelda Game Club. What do you want to see more of, what do you want to see less of? I’m committed to playing through the Legend of Zelda back catalogue with you, the Triforce Times community, and together I am looking forward to making this series better over time.
Next up, we have Link’s Awakening. I’ll be playing through the modern remake of Link’s Awakening on Nintendo Switch. I don’t have an exact date for when we’ll be playing through this as a commmunity, but it’s likely to be early 2023 as I get back to making weekly videos in the build up to Tears of the Kingdom, plus delving deep into the stories of Hyrule and sharing them with you all.
Thank you once again for playing, it’s been great fun. For more Legend of Zelda content like this check out Triforce Times on YouTube and subcribe today.