Suddenly, the game is getting difficult.
While I breezed through the first few dungeons thanks to the spoils of “The Gathering”, I’m now encountering enemies and situations that are testing my, admittedly meagre, skills.
The first signs of trouble hit in the dungeon called The Lizard. I wasted a whole bunch of time gathering bombs to defeat a room full of Dondongos that I didn’t need to kill; I struggled a little bit against the Darknuts (knight fellas with reactive movements who only take damage from the front or the side); and I couldn’t for the life of me find the dungeon’s unique item: the whistle.
I got there in the end. To reach the whistle you need to discover not one but two push-the-block-to-reveal-a-staircase puzzles and navigate a couple of side perspective rooms. Secrets within secrets, as Donlan (and David Foster Wallace) would say.
With that done, I was finally able to reach the boss, blow the Whistle, and turn him from a big, bulbous scary thing with infinite health into a tiny little thing that only took a couple of slashes. Done.
I’m currently in the dungeon known as The Dragon. It’s the sixth dungeon of the game’s nine. Even with a guide, it’s proving to be a challenge.
The Dragon features these things called orange Wizzrobes, who teleport around the place, charge up, and then cast an energy projectile. In numbers, they’re capable of reducing safe space to just a block or two.
There’s a room later on in the dungeon containing two orange Wizzrobes, two blue Wizzrobes (same thing, but they move around as well as teleport), three Like Likes (weird looking things that can grab you and steal your Magical Shield), and a Bubble (which will damage you and restrict your ability to use your sword).
It’s brutal. I was able to survive the room and kill its inhabitants, but I emerged with my health massively depleted. Throw in the fact that the dungeon is by far the biggest in the game so far, the presence of three or four rooms like the Wizzrobe-filled hellhole, my slightly haphazard approach to discovering bomb-able walls and… well, it’s quite hard.
I died in The Dragon on my first run, despite having a red potion capable of completely re-filling my generous health hearts twice. I’m just getting ready for my second run now. No more breezing, this time I’m serious.