2315: Legend of Zelda: The True Force – Chapter Eighteen, Part Two

Title: Legend of Zelda: The True Force
Author:  Hikari no Vikki
Media: Video Game / Movie
Topic: Legend of Zelda / Star Wars
Genre: Adventure / Fantasy
URL: Legend of Zelda: The True Force
Critiqued by TacoMagic and Retired Darth Lord Crunchy

Howdy doodly-do, patrons!  Welcome back to Legend of Force High!  With me once again is Crunchy who will be furnishing us with an extremely unhelpful recap of last week.

“King Melty informs the party of local shopping opportunities but the fashion district is nearly sold out and they leave with an outdated hand-me-down.  In other news: sharing is impossible.”

Thank you, that was wonderfully obtuse.  Let’s see if there’s any more Water Temple in this part of the Water Temple chapter.

As they stood beyond the crashing wave of the waterfall, Link fingered the Ocarina in his hands.

*Taco sigh, rubs his forehead, and waves Swenia into the room*

“I’m next in line after the potato flute!”

He studied it for some time while his companions discussed how they were going to handle fighting in an underwater temple, the instrument proving to be fairly light against the fabric of his new gauntlets.

“That is certainly not how sentences work.”

True, but it works very well as this weeks ‘Can you phrase this more awkwardly?’ entry.

“Rather early to be nominating that already, is it not?”

I stand by my choice.

Ashei noticed Link’s scrutiny of the Ocarina, a small sound of curiosity escaping her lips.

“You were saying?”

This is a different kind of awkward.

“Rupee for your thoughts, Link?” she asked as his gaze shifted towards her.

No!  Bad author!  We don’t borrow modern Earth sayings and smush them into places where they don’t belong!

He shrugged, his eyes turning back to the Ocarina.

“One must have thoughts in order to share them.”

“You know, Sheik has taught me all those songs for the Temples we’ve been to, but so far we really never had to use them.” He paused, frowning.

Yeah, it’s almost like there’s all these pointless things that keep happening in order to draw things out.  Weird, huh?

“It makes me wonder if there’s actually any truth to the matter.”

“Truth to the matter of Sheik providing you with music?  I think the evidence is substantially on Sheik’s side in that matter.”

Ashei had the strange desire to tell him that there was, but she reminded herself that she should probably provide what little proof she could to convince him, since she hardly knew how the mechanics of travel by song worked other than what the theory said it did.

Wait, there’s a whole branch of theory based around music-based-conveyance?

“I find it amusing that it does not occur to any of them that Link could simply play the song as a proof of concept.”

Whoa now, let’s not get crazy.  If he did that the scene couldn’t be padded out with everyone wondering if it will work.

“There was a study on it sometime before I was born,” she offered slowly, “before the castle composers died and were buried in Kakariko Graveyard, they found evidence that the castle composers from many ages ago had discovered a way to manipulate the elements through music.

Vikki, somehow you came up with an explanation stupider and less plausible than just saying: ‘it works because shut up.’

Two of those known elements in our universe are time and space, which given the right conditions, could be manipulated to achieve something similar to teleportation.”

The element of… space?  Is that like pure voidium or something?

“I wonder how one distinguishes the ability to instantaneously transfer yourself between two locations from teleportation.”

You see, one uses music and the other does not.

“Ah yes, how silly of me.”

“The theory sounds correct,” Obi-Wan muttered

No it fucking doesn’t!

“Though through the Force such things are not conducive to Jedi practices.”

“I take it that Obi-Wan would not be a fan of my Force banjo, then.”

Dude, I’m not a fan of your Force banjo and I just learned about it.

Ashei shook her head. “Of course they wouldn’t be. The Force is the energy that flows through all things naturally. To use it for manmade notions of teleportation or instant transportation would be… wrong.”

“Whereas levitating objects, causing false memories, sensing danger, turning into a ghost, and throwing lightning from your hand are all sensibly natural.”

I get the feeling our little Force-gardener is a militant advocate of organic foods.

Beside Obi-Wan, Anakin nodded his head slightly.

And if anyone here would know about unnatural uses of the Force, it would be ol’ sith-bait here.

“But if you used an energy that was similar to the Force?” he asked, seeing where she was going with her argument

For fuck’s sake, Vikki, just have him play the damn song!

“Would that be able to do things such as what we’re currently discussing?” Obi-Wan glanced at Anakin, who was obviously never quite so eloquent with his words.

“Which is quite the low hurdle to have just ducked under.”

Ashei nodded, not really noticing the difference.

“The difference between what?  Making sense and talking nonsense?  My dear, you need not worry about the former.”

“That’s what the castle composers were studying. You can’t deny that music has its own sort of energy about it, or at least it stirs up and even creates its own energy when played.

They might not be able to, but I certainly can deny it because I know the basic physics of how sound works, and it’s definitely not like that.

Surely you felt it when Link played that one song in the forest to… what was it?”

“To wake it up I believe is what the Guardians said,” Link answered her.

Oh no you don’t, you’re going to get Sakai in here with one of his memed angst songs!

Ashei turned back to the Jedi and nodded once more.

“No…” Obi-Wan said slowly, “I suppose I can’t deny that I felt the energy flow change when Link played the song for the Guardians.   I felt it in the volcano too, when Sheik taught you the song for that Temple…”

“Yet that is quite different than what she just said about music creating energy.”

You know what would solve all this discussion?

“Playing the so-”

PLAYING THE FUCKING SONG!

“So while that energy is indeed similar and even stems partially from the Force itself, I think the theory was that by using something that requires something beyond the what you find in nature, you can bend the elements with it.  Of course, the theory by no means proves there is any right in such manipulation, but one could argue the same about the use of other manmade things such as weaponry. I also don’t claim to know exactly how the music is supposed to teleport us, I just know that there is the possibility that it can.”

Vikki, it takes a rare, rare talent to make me wish you had just typed ‘Because magic’ and left it at that.  I find it really astounding.  It’s like you kinda sorta understood that world building was a thing, and that there should be some kind of internal consistency and rules by which the magical system operates, but were utterly clueless on how to go about it.  So instead of spending a lot of time considering how to make it work or researching world building strategies, you just started throwing pronouns and magical buzzwords out there in hopes it would mean something when you finally got tired of typing.

Unfortunately, what you just wasted everyone’s time with does not mean anything.  At all.  How do I know this?  Here, let me condense your five-hundred word mechanical explanation for how the magical songs work into one sentence:

There is a theory that music creates ‘energy’ related to or similar to the Force which causes ‘something’ to utilize ‘something’ outside of nature to bend the ‘elements’ of time and space which could end in teleportation somehow.

And don’t you dare pretend that explanation isn’t nonsense word padding.

“That strikes me as an overly complicated way of blaming magic.”

That’s what I find so frustrating.  If you boil away all the buzz words, pseudo-philosophical meandering, pronouns, and overwrought yet vague discussion about how the music works, it’s basically just Because Magic™ dressed up like its going to a viewing of Rocky Horror Picture Show.

“Personally I am wrestling with whether to be more insulted by my time being wasted with this incoherent explanation, or Vikki thinking the reader would be dim enough to not recognize that she was spouting gibberish.”

Obi-Wan nodded, satisfied with Ashei’s explanation, before he looked pointedly up at Link.

Or more likely hoping she would drop it and shut the hell up before killing more of the reader’s brain cells.

“So, how about we simply try it and find out if there’s any truth to the theory, right Link?”

“Naturally Vikki was going to have them try it anyway.  But heaven forbid she miss any opportunity to pack in more filler.”

This fic really does capture the essence of a box of packing peanuts rather well.

Now it was Anakin’s turn to stare dumbly at his Master, for Obi-Wan rarely did anything without finding out whether it worked or not.

“Anakin is surprised that Obi-Wan would try something out to see if it would work because he normally would try to find out if it worked?”

How dare he do the thing he is known for!?

Link nodded, and he positioned himself between his companions so that they stood around him in a triangle, and gently he pressed the mouthpiece of the Ocarina to his lips, letting out a slow steam of air into the instrument,

His fingers began moving over the holes as he played, and as he played he distanced himself slightly from the music to examine the energy around him, noting that while much of the magic was wrapped around him, tendrils of it reached out without any direction towards his companions in order to take them along for the ride. He still made sure, with a few gentle nudges of his own magic, that the music had securely tied itself to his friends before pulling away to let his own mind become immersed in its curious, alluring power.

“If only one could devote this much of your prose to description, character development, or showing something.”

The world around him lifted away to the strange whiteness he sometimes saw when they left the Sacred Realm, with a few occasional flashes of black as his vision began to blur and shift. He felt solid ground beneath his feet even though he was sure they were floating, which did strange things to his perception of the space around him. It felt strange, almost like a blanket of energy had picked him up and cradled his own energy within it, along with the molecules of their bodies and everything.

Oh for crap’s sake!

For reference, less words were involved in the climactic battle between Link and his childhood friend momentary acquaintance Volvagia.  And you foreshadowed that emotional confrontation for almost a whole chapter!

And then suddenly he blinked as the music began to fade, and light shone across his eyes again.

“Someone should take that flashlight away from Obi-Wan.  He is a menace with it.”

No longer were they standing before the waterfall that led to Zora’s Domain, but in the very center of Lake Hylia itself.

And that’s all the words that should have been dedicated to this teleportation scene.

At least… he was fairly sure it was the place he’d seen when he’d surfaced to find the letter that Princess Ruto had sent as a call for help.

Now, it was little more than a giant hole in the ground, a crater with spots of moisture that the sun hadn’t yet dried up, little rivers made from sporadic rains still lying in the dirt where water had once been… only the water that surrounded part of the island where they had been transported to was what Link was sure seemed to be the remains of the lake.

“He was certain that it seemed to be the lake?”

The only certainty is uncertainty itself, and Link is well aware of this.

“Is this… Lake Hylia?” Ashei asked quietly once she’d regained her composure.

Our guide, ladies and gentlemen.

Link frowned, glancing up at a sparkling dot near the northwestern lakeshore where the shortcut to Zora’s Domain was located. It appeared to be the end of the cancerous sheet of ice that plagued it, and he was sure that was the reason the lake was as they were seeing it now.

“Generally metaphors only work when the two things being compared at similar in some way.  In this case, that still holds true and that metaphor is terrible.”

Maybe the ice is just a little crabby.

“I loathe you.”

Link sighed deeply.

*Pats Link on the shoulder* I know man, only twelve and a half more chapters to go.

“This is… what remains of the lake, anyway,” he told her softly. “I’m fairly certain that the reason that it is like this is because Zora’s Domain is frozen over. Without the water that the Domain provides, this is what it looks like with only rain to contribute to the level of water the lake may contain.”

“So he is implying that without water the Lake does not have any water?  What witchcraft is this?”

Ashei nodded slowly. “And where would the Water Temple be?” she asked in reply. “Down there?” Everyone’s gaze followed her pointed hand back to the remaining water, which Link resumed giving a bland, resigned look.

*Taco accepts the bland, resigned look and promptly dumps it in the trash*  How about instead you try to give off some personality or something?  You’re not the player avatar in this story, so you can’t get away with being a boring, lifeless character.

“Presumably,” he answered, “I’m going to slide down there and see if the door is still open…”

“Still?  When had he opened the door before?”

Oh, you know, at some point.

And with that he slid down the side of the small island and into the water, pulling up a black mask that seemingly filtered the oxygen from the water before turning on his bracelet and sinking below the surface.

Unfortunately the mask only seemingly filtered out the oxygen while in reality it was filtering out chlorine.  Link was dead in seconds, the en-

*BZZZT*

No regrets!

As the water slid over him, the most peculiar sensation flickered across his senses and his eyes glowed a brighter blue for the magic kept the water from touching the membrane of the irises.

“That ‘magic’ being the cornea?”

I have a feeling that biology isn’t one of Vikki’s strong suits.  Nor is research.

His feet touched the stone below the surface, and he looked up to see an iron gate buried in the dirt, unmovable. Link frowned, unsure of what to do, but his eyes spotted a blue shape above the door and he wondered what might happen if it were hit by something… but what?

You could just pick up a rock and chunk it or something.

“Or swim up and hit it with your hand.”

Ah, but neither of those follow the game mechanics.  He’ll need to use an item.

Underwater, nothing worked but his hookshot.

See?

He pulled it from a pocket, staring at it closely, He looked back up again, shrugging, since what would it hurt if he tried?

“So without trying any items, including the hookshot, he simply knows that only the hookshot will work?”

There must be a 4G plot tower somewhere near the lake that he was able to connect to.

So Link held up the object in order to aim it properly at the shape, and then he flipped the switch so that the coiled spring would release and send the sharp metal at the end of it crashing against its target. And… even underwater the thing worked beautifully.   It worked as intended, and the object came loose from its place above the door, somehow releasing whatever had kept the iron gate in place and allowing it to retract back upwards into the rock.

And with that, more words have now been dedicated to opening a door than any of the first four boss fights.

Having successfully made a way in, Link turning his bracelet back off to let his friends know of his accomplishment.

“So?” Ashei asked as she leaned over the edge to catch a glimpse of his eyes beneath the rim of his helmet. “Is it open?” Link shook his head, but his smiling lips said otherwise. “It wasn’t when I went down, but it is now.”

Stop being pedantic, the answer is, ‘yes, it’s open.’

“Being pedantic is our job, after all.”

Damn straight.

Not a moment after he’d said it, a blue carrot shaped object popped up on the surface, which Ashei assumed was what had been keeping the gate in place.

“Understandable; carrots are usually associated with home security.”

She turned to Anakin and Obi-Wan.

And the carrot was never mentioned again.

“Well, let’s get down there and not waste anymore time.”

So with that they all slid down into the water and turned on their Iron Bracelets, enabling them to enter the Water Temple.

“I remember the days before swimming was invented.  Life was significantly more buoyant back then.”

The first thing they immediately noticed upon entering the temple was that in order to actually get to the temple’s hub room, they had to turn off their bracelets so they could climb the ledge that led into the main room of the temple.

So are they actually going to do that?

“Unlikely.  At least not without several paragraphs discussing the mechanics of the bracelets and how they do not truly understand how they work.”

Don’t tempt Vikki.  She’ll do it.

Anakin glanced at the contraption on his wrist with some measure of gratitude and condescension.

“I suppose magical bracelets are decent enough, if you are into that sort of thing.”

If I had known we would need to sink, I’d have brought my own from home.  It has a watch built in and was made by Gucci.

“Man, I’m really glad these are only bracelets,” he muttered, “It would be hell if they were boots instead… all this activating and deactivating…”

Get it!  Because in the game this plot is stolen from, the bracelets were originally boots that were annoying to use because of all the pausing!

For reference, Vikki, referential humor only really works if you aren’t whole-sale plagiarizing the source.  It also needs to actually be clever.  See all the tired references to Garrus and/or Jacob calibrating shit in basically every Mass Effect fic ever written on how not to be clever and compare to what you typed above.

Obi-Wan frowned at Anakin for his language, but for once refrained from pointing it out for all that he had to agree with his Padawan about the issue. Ashei and Link seemed to be in agreement over the comment as well.

“So what is a ‘hell’ anyway?”

I think it’s a planet suitability rating or something.

“From what I know about this temple,” Ashei said as they looked out from the entrance down into the water below the first level of the giant pillar that supported the entirety of the temple structure, “is that it was built as a sort of safe house for any Zoras who managed to escape whatever hardships might befall Zora’s Domain…” She bit her lip.  “Obviously the ice must have come too fast for that, or this place might not be so monster infested…”

“Placing it miles away from the Zora’s city seems like a great place to put an emergency shelter.”

Making it a temple and not a bunker was also a nice touch.  Fooled me completely!  I always thought it was built as a place of worship, since, you know, that’s what the game says it was for.

“A cunning disguise, indeed.”

Link frowned, but said nothing as he looked at the water.

“If you stare into the water, the water will stare back.”

I think you mean the abyss.

Abyss was a movie about water, was it not.”

You got me there.

“Where do we start? There are doors on every level and every side. What do we do, flip a rupee?” Ashei glanced at their companions. “There’s always paper, rock, scissors again,” she suggested, shrugging.

“Once again the party is paralyzed by the need to make a decision.”

Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen.

They ended up doing as she’d suggested, with Anakin winning for once. He scanned the area until he pointed to the door on level with the waterline on their right, shrugging and saying it was as good a place to start as any. And with so many other doors to choose from, how could anyone argue?

That was more painful than watching a group of people decide on what to order out to dinner for.

They ended up swimming over to it and climbing up to find another patch of water where they could sink down and explore. Ashei grumbled quietly as their wet clothing dripped on the luminescent blue tiles. “I expect most of the temple will be like this as well… it’s going to be a long time before any of us are going to feel dry again, I can feel it…”

“Which is particularly odd considering that this is the Water Temple.”

Yeah, I was expecting a lot more of the rooms to be filled with pillows.

Her companions seemed to understand the sentiment.

Ugg say Gunga be much wet.  Wonder if Ugg coming on to Gunga?

But go down into the water they did, finding only a short hallway that eventually branched off into two other hallways that went nowhere. There was, however, a moveable block that once pulled as far as it would go, sat just in the right place to block off the two smaller hallways.

Once asked why he’d chosen that direction, Anakin shrugged. “I just had a feeling we needed to stop there first before we did anything else.”

“The Force, then?” Link asked as he rearranged the strands of his wet hair out of his eyes.

“The author.”

She doesn’t get enough credit for blazing the way ahead of them to remove all the difficulty or conflict they might encounter.

Obi-Wan nodded. “Most likely.” Ashei sighed as she stared at the water. “I propose that we just continue exploring straight down this side until there’s nothing more we can do and make note of anything so we can come back later. I get the feeling that this is one of those places where you have to know where every little thing is in order to solve all the puzzles…”

Get it?  Because the dungeon in the game was basically a giant maze puzzle!  It’s funny because it’s a commentary on the original game design!

So they slipped into the water and dropped down one level, leaving their bracelets on so they weren’t swimming with their heads to the ceiling.

So how was life in the age of high buoyancy?

“A lot of us just floated through life back then.”

The second floor hallway made a sharp left turn, and then a sharp right where a few Stingers ambushed them. Anakin and Obi-Wan had to resort to using knives that were about as long as their forearms, while Link used his Hookshot and Ashei used a long string of wordless spells that allowed her to burst any of the Stingers tiny little brains if they got too close.

*Taco rubs his forehead* So many things wrong here.  First, why do the Jedi suddenly have machetes?  When did Ashei gain the ability to use random silent magic?  And since she’s doubtlessly had this ability the whole time and it wasn’t just suddenly added as a Sue-tuational ability, why did she not use this brain-exploding magic in the Forest or Fire Temples during any of the battles there?

“Why did she not use it on Carl?”

How dare you, sir!

Wait, how can a spell be recited in a long string if it’s wordless?

“I shall add it to the pile.”

Seeing a hole in the ceiling above, they turned off their Iron Bracelets while carefully avoiding the spikes nearby as they ascended and eventually broke into a small, square room covered in more blue tiles and containing little else except for a crystal switch and a treasure chest surrounded by a strange contained waterfall that prevented the chest from being opened.

*Taco walks in and pushes his asphyxiated corpse out of the chair and sits down*

“Maybe if you would learn to breath through your nose?”

Dude, it’s Spring.  Pollen allergies.

Ashei was the first to scramble out of the water, positioning herself by the switch and drawing her thin white sword.

“Is she intending to stab that switch to death?”

To be fair, that’s far from the stupidest thing she’s done in this fic.

Link was next, and Anakin and Obi-Wan opted to remain floating in the water since they’d only be going back in anyway.

I mean, they weren’t going to be useful no matter what happens, so that’s just being realistic on their part.

 So Ashei hit the switch, the water dispersed, and Link flipped the chest’s metal latch to retrieve the object inside.

“A compass?” Ashei queried, “Already?”

riffcon:~$ select comment from snark_table where item_acquired=compass

SQL error, jerk.

“Your query needed quotes around the string.”

Damn!

Link shrugged, staring at the small band around it imprinted with the symbol of the Water Temple. “The map can’t be too far away, then,” he reasoned, “so let’s head for the bottom level of this side and see what we can find.”

If that ‘reasoning’ made any sense, then the map would be in the same chest as the compass.

“It was a giant oversight on Ganon’s part not to loot the temples when he took them over.  Personally I’d have replaced all the chest contents with explosives.”

“That is not what I meant.”

Heading in that direction, all of them filed out into the main hub once more.

As they were descending to the last level, Link began to wonder just where in the Water Temple the Zora Princess had gone off to, since they hadn’t seen any evidence of her presence yet…

That meas we can cue Princess Ruto in 3, 2-

However, speak of the devil, there she appeared before them as she stood, hand on her hips, frowning at a door locked with bars that sat between two torches.

Yet at the sound of their muffled footsteps in the water, the frills attached to her arms sharpened into razors, and she whirled around at them with a snarl on her face.

Whoa there, Princess, chill!

“She is alone deep in enemy territory, I see no issue with her reaction.”

Mmmm, actually that’s true.  Do continue.

Link stopped dead in his tracks. As a child, Ruto’s snarl hadn’t been anything more than harmless, an attempt at terrifying turned cute by her youth and size. There was no such harmless guise about her now. But still, something made her pause as she caught Link’s eyes, and the sharpness of her frills softened slightly as she studied him, turning around more to examine his face.

Fair enough, in Hyrule Warriors she’s a rather capable and dangerous hydromancer.  She can also swim across the land which is a dubiously canon ability at best.

“Oh…” she whispered, realization slowly creeping into her face little by little, “you… if I’m right…?” Her eyes caught Ashei’s confused, edgy expression and she grinned, quickly turning her studious gaze back on Link.

“Confused and edgy?  I am not convinced those can be accomplished at the same time.”

Uncle Google isn’t a lot of help.  All he has for me are pictures of a blindfolded Chinese woman and a few pictures from Life is Strange.

“Link? Yes, you’re Link, aren’t you?”

Link jumped slightly as he felt Ashei’s mind brush his.

I feel you.  I always jump a bit whenever Crunchy pokes me with his brain.

How on Din’s good earth do you know this person?’ Link wisely chose not to comment on that, as it didn’t exactly bring back pleasant memories…

Tell me about it, the Ruto bashing chapter was one of the rougher ones of the first ten.

Ruto giggled, which sounded strange underwater, but it was different than her giggles from before.

“She is underwater?”

Hell if I know, nothing has been described since Link opened the gate.  She may as well be set in Jello for all Vikki’s given us to go on.

Seven years ago, her voice had been shrill and whining. Now her giggles flowed through the water as the peal of wind chimes smoothed together into one sound.

Overwrought or not, at least this probably means we’re past all the Ruto bashing.  It wasn’t up to the typical ire of Ruto bashing I’m used to seeing in the first place, so I’m hoping it was more Vikki going overboard on the game’s snobbish characterization than it was her being all jealous of anyone crushing on her husbando.

“It’s me,” she sang, “your fiancée, Ruto!”

Link all but bent over in half at that, stepping backwards too much and needing Ashei to catch him.

“Bending in half backwards cannot be good for one’s spine.”

Link’s been rocking the Yoga, he can take it.

This time she didn’t let go though, and she clung to his left arm as she glared at Ruto from behind it.

Princess of the Zoras indeed,’ Ashei muttered into Link’s mind.

“Ah, insecure and jealous.  Those are the traits I love to see in an aspiring Jedi.”

Are you sure you want to recruit Ashei?

“Personally no, I like to maintain a certain competency requirement for my apprentices, but I would not put it past certain members of my order.”

Then how do you explain Markus?

*Marcus leans into the room and gives Taco the finger*

“You must admit, he has his moments.”

“I never forgot, you know,” Princess Ruto continued, “about those vows we made seven years ago?” Link frowned, and Ashei saw clearly from his expression that he had no idea what she was talking about. That made her relax slightly. Just a bit.

From Link’s point of view, that would have happened a few days ago.  Even young boys would probably remember being given an engagement st- *Taco thinks about his kids* Okay, never mind.  Young boys can barely remember what happened five minutes ago unless it involves farting or Minecraft.

“You’re a terrible man to have kept me waiting for these seven long years!”

Link sighed into his mask and shook his head, breathing deeply to access the calm center that was his store of power within the Force so that he could speak to everyone simultaneously.

I would hate to see the mental breakdown Link would have if a waitress flirted with him while he was ordering.

Ruto, now is not the time,’ he told her with as firm and expression you could give when all you were able to use of your face to express with was your eyes and nose.

“You underestimate the emotive prowess of a properly trained snout.”

Surprisingly, Ruto seemed to agree. Her amused expression first turned sour, then apprehensive, and finally distantly contemplative.

You can do better than that Vikki!  What about morosely defiant, somberly eager, or amicably condescending?  Think of all the emotions you could have crammed into that sentence!

“So you’ve already seen it then… Zora’s Domain, frozen over?”

“She asks the monkey decked out in the Zora’s heirloom armor.”

She noticed what Link was wearing and seemed surprised to see it.

You were saying?

*Crunchy huffs*  “Well I certainly would have noticed it a lot sooner.”

Of course.

“You found that in order to follow me here? You know how important that is to my people, right?” Link nodded.

We freed your father and Mikau in the Zora’s shop.

‘What was father doing in the shop?  I left him in the throne room!’

Your father let me borrow it so I could come and find you, and Mikau helped me find it.’

She nodded slowly, almost thoughtfully. “You’d have to have gone into the Ice Cavern, then… and you must have met the young man who saved me, Sheik?”

“Otherwise you would have had to purchase synthetic blue fire, and father would not be caught dead being resuscitated with such a common flame.”

Far too many times than I’d like,’ Link said to himself.

She ground her slender hands into fists and growled with another snarl directed at the glowing glue tiles.

“Does grinding one’s hands into fists require removal of the fingers?”

Probably?  I prefer to just ball my hands when making a fist, but I suppose that’s not the only way.

“I want to save them! I want to save them all!”

The tiles?

“Vintage tile can sell for quite a lot, so attempting to save as much as possible when remodeling is understandable.”

‘That’s why we’re here, Princess,’ Link assured her, ‘To help you.’

“Well, first you will need to heat the tiles to soften the adhesive.”

Fortunately Link can produce an endless supply of blue fire with his sketchy math powers.

At that, she looked up and him and her expression softened with just a touch of humor tugging at the edges of her lips.

That’s cute, but she wouldn’t trust you to remove a poster from the wall that was held on with sticky tack.

“So then you’ll accept the request of the woman who is going to be your wife?” She didn’t even make an attempt at a giggle. Link rolled his eyes while Ashei smiled smugly from behind Link’s arm, and Anakin and Obi-Wan remained genuinely clueless.

*While Taco sighed with barely contained boredom*

*And Crunchy wistfully sorted his eye collection*

No,’ he replied softly, ‘but we will help you slay the monster in the temple.’

A gentle, smug grin made its way onto Ruto’s face.

“Why is everyone so smug in this scene?”

Hey, nobody’s smirked yet, so I’m calling it a win.

“Well then, let’s get moving! After all, there are only three places in the temple where you can change the water level, and you’ll need to do that if you’re going to get anywhere in here! Follow me!”

Because it’s not like a combination of Jedi powers, the hook-shot, and wordless brain-exploding magics would help you traverse a difficult building or anything.

In a seemingly fluid motion, Ruto kicked upwards from where she stood before them on the ground and essentially launched herself up into the water, spinning gracefully to propel herself up even further.

MORE MODIFIERS!

“On it.”

In a somewhat seemingly fluid motion, Ruto probably kicked upwards from where she had stood basically upright before them on the surface of the ground and essentially launched her royal self up into the water, spinning and whirling gracefully to propel herself up even further than ever before!

Not good enough!

“Fine.”

In a somewhat dark and seemingly fluid motion of darkness, Ruto probably, darkly kicked upwards from where she had stood basically upright before them in the darkness on the surface of the dark ground and essentially, darkly launched her dark royal self up into the dark water, spinning darkly and whirling blackly  and gracefully to propel herself darkly up even further into the darkness than ever before!

Perfect!

All of them turned off their Iron Bracelets to follow her up to the top of the water, which pooled against the corner wall of a small room with a door and the symbol of the Hylian Royal family etched into the wall.

Once all of them made it up over the ledge, Princess Ruto began explaining how the water adjustment worked.

“This will likely involve music, yes?”

Unfortunately, you are correct.

“All you have to do is stand there and play Zelda’s Lullaby for it,” she told Link, “I’m assuming you have an instrument of some sort?” Link nodded. “But first, I’m going to go check out the room next door. Wait here.”

“Hey, wait! Ugh…” Ruto frowned after him.

Why is Link choking?

“No reason.”

*Taco squints at Crunchy*

“No. Reason.”

Uh-huh.

“Hasn’t changed a bit…” she muttered.

He always used to inexplicably choke when we were younger.  Some things never change.

Ashe cocked her head to one side. “What do you mean? He was like that when you met him?” Ruto nodded, smiling thinly. “Yeah… it’s kind of a shame that he’s so handsome.”

Yup.  It’s always the weirdos who are ruggedly handsome.

She laughed softly under her breath and Anakin cleared his throat off to the side.

“What was all that about earlier? Something about a fiancée?”

“Poor fish, chained to an odd, randomly choking monkey like that.”

I’m sure Nina can cite some kind of obscure law of the deep that would let Ruto out of the arrangement.

“Oh, it was just that I gave him the Zora’s Sapphire seven years ago when he saved me from the parasite that was being a bitch to poor Lord Jabu-Jabu’s insides…  it was wonderfully heroic of him, despite the way I treated him.

We know this already.  Stop yanking Ruto deeply out of character just to re-regurgitate plot you’ve already barfed up.

You see, the Zora’s Sapphire is kind of like the Zora royal family’s engagement ring, but…”

“It is more like an enslavement charm.  Link just happens to be my unwitting puppet to do what with as I please.”

Ashei frowned. “You know that’s impossible. You took advantage of his lack of knowledge and his noble cause.”

Ashie, don’t tell Ruto what is and is not impossible for her own people’s artifact.  It can be, and is, a symbol of engagement for the Zora.

Princess Ruto frowned. “Noble cause? That was all the Princess of Destiny’s doing!

“Who?”

You got me, this is the first I’ve ever heard of it.

She talked him into it! She was the one who used his lack of knowledge to her advantage… I was just teasing.

Um, what?  Is Ruto trying to have it both ways?  She is both engaged due to destiny but also just teasing?  What the hell is going on!?

Interspecies relations between Hylians and Zoras are next to impossible anyway without the proper lab equipment to stabilize the eggs…”

“That is interspecies breeding.  Genetic compatibility has vanishingly little to do with interspecies relations.”

And even if it did, Ruto just admitted that with the proper lab equipment it’s quite possible.

“So Vikki is still trying to have it both ways?”

I have no idea.  She’s peddling in a weird self-contradictory circle right now, so I doubt even Vikki knew what she was trying to imply at this point.

she blinked then, blushing fiercely, but turned her attention back to Ashei with a leering gaze.

And suddenly Ruto is making eyes at Ashei.  This is definitely veering someplace I hadn’t really expected it to, but I gotta say Ruto being in a polyamorous relationship with the protagonist and the author-insert is loads better than the usual treatment she gets.

“That all depends on how odious you view being paired with a Sue as being.”

Fair enough.

“Besides… you’re the one with the crush on our dear sweet forest boy…”

Ashei spluttered, her cheeks burning. “I, what… no! I do not!”

Look, can all three of you just get a room and fuck your brains out so we can move past the teen love triangle?

Ruto waved a softly scolding finger in Ashei’s direction.

“Fingers can be quite judgmental.  This is why I much prefer talons.”

“You do too. Stop denying it. At least you aren’t taking advantage of him either, but… it’s really not healthy to keep such things to yourself for very long, especially when you’re spending so much time with the object of your affections…”

See!?  Even Ruto is telling you to jump his bones.  Get it out of your system so we can all move on!

“But he doesn’t understand!” Ashei growled.

“So make him,” was Ruto’s quick, decisive reply. Silence.

“While that at first glance is a fairly icky reply for Ruto, keep in mind that she has no idea that he time-traveled forward.”

Yeah, Ruto gets a pass on pushing Ashei to get on with bonking Link if only because she doesn’t have full knowledge of the situation.  Still, that’s pretty out of character given how enamored she is of Link.

Obi-Wan cleared his throat.

“I don’t claim to have followed all of that entirely, but from what I understand you,” he pointed to Ruto, “weren’t actually serious about the whole fiancée business?”

“I believe the author’s wishful thinking is showing.”

That it is, that it is.

Ruto shook her head. “No, I was not. And really, that’s all you need to have understood from that conversation. The rest of it was of a more… personal nature.” She flashed him a wicked grin.

The only way Obi-Wan wouldn’t have understood it is if he was in the corner with his fingers in his ears screaming, ‘LA LA LA I CANNOT HEAR THE GROSS TALK!’

Anyway, at this point Link gets back-

“He left?”

Yeah, that earlier line of dialogue where Ruto told them to wait here?  It was apparently Link who said that.

“Huh.”

As I was saying, Link gets back and breaks up the conversation, which is pretty well the best place to break off for the week.  Join us next week as we dive in to Vikki’s headlong rush toward the end of the chapter!  Until then, patrons!


23 Comments on “2315: Legend of Zelda: The True Force – Chapter Eighteen, Part Two”

  1. AdmiralSakai says:

    Two of those known elements in our universe are time and space, which given the right conditions, could be manipulated to achieve something similar to teleportation.”

    The element of… space?

  2. AdmiralSakai says:

    Ashei shook her head. “Of course they wouldn’t be. The Force is the energy that flows through all things naturally. To use it for manmade notions of teleportation or instant transportation would be… wrong.”

    “Whereas levitating objects, causing false memories, sensing danger, turning into a ghost, and throwing lightning from your hand are all sensibly natural.”

    I get the feeling our little Force-gardener is a militant advocate of organic foods.

    Ok, I read that last bit as “Force-genderer” for a little while, and remain disturbingly convinced that that is also a thing somewhere on the Internet.

  3. AdmiralSakai says:

    “To wake it up I believe is what the Guardians said,” Link answered her.

    Oh no you don’t, you’re going to get Agig in here with one of his memed angst songs!

    Ask and you shall receive.

    Wait, “agig”???

  4. AdmiralSakai says:

    As the water slid over him, the most peculiar sensation flickered across his senses and his eyes glowed a brighter blue for the magic kept the water from touching the membrane of the irises.

    That sounds highly counterproductive to sight.

  5. AdmiralSakai says:

    The second floor hallway made a sharp left turn, and then a sharp right where a few Stingers ambushed them

    What are Stingers?

    I mean, I know what Stingers are because I read over the OOT enemy category on Zeldapedia a little while ago, but the characters have never seen them before.

  6. AdmiralSakai says:

    “Confused and edgy? I am not convinced those can be accomplished at the same time.”

    Uncle Google isn’t a lot of help. All he has for me are pictures of a blindfolded Chinese woman and a few pictures from Life is Strange.

    Although ‘confused and edgy’ actually is a pretty good description of Life is Strange.

  7. AdmiralSakai says:

    Ruto giggled, which sounded strange underwater, but it was different than her giggles from before.

    “She is underwater?”

    Hell if I know, nothing has been described since Link opened the gate. She may as well be set in Jello for all Vikki’s given us to go on.

    I’m sure there is fanfiction of it.

  8. BatJamags says:

    “Would that be able to do things such as what we’re currently discussing?” Obi-Wan glanced at Anakin, who was obviously never quite so eloquent with his words.

    oh my god they’re still talking about this

  9. BatJamags says:

    “I suppose I can’t deny that I felt the energy flow change

    Does that mean anything? I don’t think that means anything. Vikki is spending excessive amounts of wordcount giving us (vigorously debated) explanations that don’t mean anything and aren’t necessary for a concept that doesn’t matter.

    I mean, we all know that, but I thought it was worth summing up.

  10. BatJamags says:

    *SLAM!*

    His feet touched the stone below the surface, and he looked up to see an iron gate buried in the dirt, unmovable.

    Whoops! I missed.

  11. BatJamags says:

    And… even underwater the thing worked beautifully.

    Aha! A beautiful thing!

  12. BatJamags says:

    “So?” Ashei asked as she leaned over the edge to catch a glimpse of his eyes beneath the rim of his helmet. “Is it open?” Link shook his head, but his smiling lips said otherwise. “It wasn’t when I went down, but it is now.”

    Stop being pedantic, the answer is, ‘yes, it’s open.’

    “Being pedantic is our job, after all.”

    Damn straight.

    Furthermore, the point of pedantry is to be technically right, even when it doesn’t matter, so he’s not even being pedantic properly. The question was “Is it open?” Present tense. At the time that question was asked, it was open. A shake of the head implies it was not open at that time, which is wrong. So, Link lied and then immediately contradicted himself.

  13. BatJamags says:

    Not a moment after he’d said it, a blue carrot shaped object popped up on the surface, which Ashei assumed was what had been keeping the gate in place.

    Vikki, do you not know the word “conical?”

    And for that matter, I’m having a hard time visualizing what a blue, conical object would be doing that would hold a door in place.

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      The actual gate key resembles a skeletal fish, with the head replaced by a blue dome. I guess it is technically mostly blue and technically conical in that the back end is narrower than front end, but just calling it a fish would be a lot more informative.

  14. BatJamags says:

    Then how do you explain Markus?

    *Marcus leans into the room and gives Taco the finger*

    He has a remarkable (remarcable?) sense of when a rude gesture is called for.

    Huh. I gotta be honest, I expected him to-

    *Markus leans into the room and gives Bats the finger*

    Oh, there you are. You missed your cue, man!

    *Marcus slowly holds up another finger*

  15. GhostCat says:

    “I take it that Obi-Wan would not be a fan of my Force banjo, then.”

    Dude, I’m not a fan of your Force banjo and I just learned about it.

    Much like the Sith, the Force Hootenanny returned with a vengeance.


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