2320: Legend of Zelda: The True Force – Chapter Eighteen, Part ThreePosted: May 1, 2019
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
Welcome back to True Force High, Chapter 18: The Water Temple Part 1, part 3, wherein we finish the chapter that Vikki padded out so much she couldn’t even fit the a whole rushed dungeon crawling session in it. Hit us with that sweet recap action, Crunchy!
“Songs are complicated, but enough of that, let us instead discuss the decline of lake-front property. I personally feel like it has a lot to do with the lack of swimming these days. Fortunately only low-density residents are present, so the accessory market is still booming, which is helpful given the royal engagement. Well, that is until the engagement was broken off. Or did it!?”
Very nice, that was even less coherent than normal.
Let’s get crackin’!
“Told you it wouldn’t be very far away, Ashei!” he came out with a large grin, only to be met with a tentative, skeptical look from his dear friend.
“That still makes little sense.”
Yeah, if you were going to put the map and compass only a few rooms apart, why not just stick them in the same chest? Seems way more efficient use of storage.
He frowned, “What something wrong?”
If you would like the list, I’ve been pretty diligent at categorizing this riff correctly so you can pull up the whole series.
He narrowed his eyes and glanced in Ruto’s direction. “Did you say something you shouldn’t have, Ruto?”
Dude, it’s Ruto in an Ocarina fanfiction. Of course she did.
Ruto shook her head. “Nothing that didn’t need saying, no,” she replied.
“So her opinion is that the fic needed more unnecessary and contradictory dialogue about relationships?”
I suppose that all comes down to how much you consider a beefy word count to be a requirement.
Link studied her for a moment before shrugging it off and glancing through the papers of the map. “Hmm… there’s this one room labeled ‘Longshot Chain’ right before the ‘Room of Illusion’… do you know what those are, Ruto?”
I can see asking about the second one, but if you can’t work out what the first of those two things is, you’re dumber than I’ve given you credit for.
“I remain disgruntled that Ganon would leave a correctly labelled map for the protagonists to pick up.”
She shook her head. “Not really. I’ve only been to this place once, and I was really little at the time. The only reason I know what I know is because Sheik told me some of it.”
“And what does she know?”
How to move water up and down.
“I suppose that would be rather useful if you ever had a sudden need of a pump.”
Link frowned, but let the matter slide. He put the map away in one of his charmed pockets where the compass sat, and he simultaneously pulled off his hat to retrieve the Ocarina that was inside.
Wait, now his pockets are charmed? Charmed to do what?
“They are singing pockets. You have to cram them full to silence their shrill warbling.”
Sure, let’s go with that.
Ruto pouted. “Typical that you’d have the Ocarina of Time… well, whatever.” She waved the topic away. “Just play the song.”
“What is her issue with the potato flute?”
It’s a very ‘new money’ sort of instrument. All the respectable families are playing the melon bass.
Link shot a quick, skeptical glance in her direction, but he disregarded her subtly hostile tone when referencing the Princess, and instead brought the instrument to his lips, his fingers flying across the instrument to bring forth Zelda’s beautiful lullaby. By the end, he noticed Ruto’s dumbstruck gaze.
She’s never seen anyone play that song so poorly before.
“With as fast as his fingers were working that tuber, I find it likely he was adding a lot of extra notes to an otherwise adagio song.”
And he smiled secretly to himself.
Which is apparently something he can just do with people looking directly at him.
Then he heard it: a sort of whooshing sound.
All of their number turned around to face the steadily receding water and the all decided to dive in and go along for the ride since no one was fond of making any kind of jumps through the small space they had available to them.
“Thus avoiding jumping into the water by jumping into the water.”
Once they’d been set gently down on the lowest level, Link again pulled the map to look at what was behind the door Ruto had bee staring at.
I bet it’s a room.
“Foolishly the architect did not believe in aesthetic false doors.”
“Looks like there’s a key in this room,” he mused. “We’ll probably need it later.” Anakin chuckled darkly. “If it’s here, then of course we need it.”
“One of you can pick locks using the Force, so define ‘need’ for me, please.”
Ruto smirked in Anakin’s direction.
*Ruto goes flying up the temple toward the top floor*
Nice loft! Is that your new chipping gong?
“Huh, I like you. You’re nice and snarky.”
That counts as snarky!? The what the hell have we been doing?
“Being degenerate malcontents?”
Well yes, but I meant with the riffing.
Link turned around to stare pointedly at her, slightly put off.
Yeah, dude, Link is supposed to be the unrequited love target, not Anakin!
“Ruto, don’t encourage him.” He sighed, and stuffing the map away, kindly asked if Ashei would light the nearby torches with her arrows. She nodded, pulling her bow and two arrows from her back. “I’m on it.”
“Why not use his fire magic?”
Because then Ashei wouldn’t get to show off her archery.
And just like that, the door was open.
“I am unconvinced that she did get to show it off.”
Okay, you’re right, I have no idea what point that served.
“That does serve as the overarching theme of the fic.”
“One has to wonder, though, why that torch in the middle was lit even though the wood was drenched…” Ashei mused.
Really? With all the other questionable shit going down, you decide to wonder about a damp torch lighting? Just toss up the obligatory ‘because magic!’
Link shrugged. “Can’t say I have ay logical explanations… hey, whoa!”
“You use a flute as a teleportation device and yet you worry about paltry logic?”
I think it all builds into that earlier observation we made of this group being constantly amazed by mundane occurrences.
No more than a second after Link had stepped into the next room he’d been chased after by a large a clam-looking thing with a pink fleshy cord between its stone jaws.
Oh, nothing big, just this week’s entry in, “Can this be phrased more awkwardly?”
“What on Din’s good earth is that?” he asked as soon as he’d found relative safety in one corner far enough away from the thing. Ashei studied them from her own relative safe vantage point.
“Um… shell blades, I think. Am I right, Princess Ruto?”
“I believe that is colloquially referred to as ‘a clam.'”
Ruto walked in and sniffed at the creatures haughtily. “Yeah, that’s what they are. Bit of a nuisance, but fairly easy to get rid of. Here, I’ll show you.” She held up her arm and the fin on it sharpened into a razor.
I suppose I can accept it since ‘razor clam’ is nearly as ridiculous a name as shell blade.
Holding up her razor fin, she inched closer to one of the creatures until it sensed her presence and turned to her, jaws open wide to reveal the fleshy cord within. She flashed the soon-to-be-dead creature a wide, feral grin before performing a spinning slash against the weak point inside, the creature dissolving at once into nothing as it disintegrated.
*Blaring alarms blare*
Quick! Change the water level!
*Crunchy plays Rubinstein’s Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Op. 4 on his rutabaga oboe*
Um, the hell is that?
*A few moments later Markus stomps in wearing hip waders and smacks Taco in the face with a dripping mop*
“I take it all the toilets on sub-level 19 overflowed. That very thing happened in rehearsal. Inexplicable.”
She chuckled a bit as she watched it, and she looked around at her companions as her razor fin softened into its usual gentle waves.
This version of Ruto is a bit more sociopaths than I remember her being.
“Come now, since when is delighting in unnecessary death sociopathic?”
“And that’s how you destroy them. Care to give it a try?” she smiled smugly at Link, who readied his own bow and advanced on the nearest of the remaining shell blades. “Gladly,” he replied, letting loose an arrow as it opened its mouth to gnaw on his flesh, only to die an instant later.
“See? Fun for the whole family!”
I’m always put on edge when you mention family.
“As you should be.”
Once all of the shell blades were eliminated, energy filled the room, summoning a small chest in the center of the shimmering tiled floor.
Filling a room with electricity is probably not the best thing to have happen in a water temple.
“An experience also best shared with one’s family.”
Link kicked at its latch and bent down to retrieve the spoils within. He pocketed the key and nodded to the door, signaling that they exit and return to the main room for further exploration.
Once back into the main hub room, Link pulled out the map and the compass again to determine their position while the others gaped at the lack of water in the temple.
I really wish I’d decided to keep track of every time they were surprised by something they already were aware of.
“Where does it all go?” Anakin asked Ruto, who gave him a bland look.
Knowing Vikki, probably a hat somewhere.
“What, just because I’m a Zora you think I know everything?
“About water and the magics thereof? Which also happens to be one of the foundations of your people in a temple created by them? Yes, I do believe we do expect those things.”
Sorry, I’ve no clue either. Must be some kind of magic or a really complex draining system. I dunno. You figure it out, Jedi.” Ashei and Obi-Wan wisely chose to remain silent until Link clear his throat behind them.
So you narrowed it down to magic or not magic. Good job.
“I am mildly enjoying this sassy version of Ruto, even if she is no more competent than the others.”
“Um, okay. So I’ve figured out that right now we’re standing on the east side of the temple and that nothing on the north side is currently accessible with out current equipment…” He flipped through the pages of the map while holding the compass between the ring and pinkie fingers of his left hand.
Whew, glad we know how he’s holding the compass. I’d have wondered.
“And what does it say we can do about finding the way to raise the water again?” Obi-Wan asked, hoping for an answer.
“It should say nothing as the source of that tidbit of information is standing beside you. Though, despite what ‘should’ be, the map will doubtless provide the way forward.”
“That way,” Link said as he pointed to the center structure, “and the only way we can access it is if we have the water lowered all the way like it is now… hmm. This map is incredibly detailed… oh, and there’s another small key we can get before we do that.” He flipped back to the first page and looked up. “It’s on the west side, so we should get moving. And there’s so details about the room the chest is located in, so I’m going to need to stop you once we’re there.” The others nodded.
You were right!
“Ugh. I cannot help but feel the fic goaded me into it with the stupidity of the setup.”
“We can do that,” Ashei said quietly, still somewhat put out at Ruto’s brash calling out of her secret affections for the blonde.
Just put the club down and back away from that dead horse, Vikki.
Anyway, so they travel to where Link just told them to go, we’re skipping past it because it’s basically just a slightly, slightly more fleshed out version of exactly what Link just said. On they way they kill some bats, do some puzzles, and use a geyser as a bridge.
And then they came to the room.
It was a large square room with a substantial amount of water containing a fast spinning current, and below it were the statues of a dragon’s neck and head, with the head containing another crystal switch.
“It is nice to see Volvagia’s severed head getting some more page time, even if only in a cameo.”
Excluding their entrance, there were two other paths from the room, one being in a high place they couldn’t access, and another down below the water where a hookshot target sat tacked on the wall next to a heavy grating.
“This would be another of those blue door carrots, yes?”
Got it in one.
Link frowned at the water. “How fast is that going?”
Ruto stuck her right big toe in the water and yelped as she jumped back.
“Too fast to swim against. Most can only swim about three and a half miles per hour in stagnant water, never mind against a current like this…”
“Fantastic, we have yet another walking Wikipedia entry in the group.”
Anakin, slightly frustrated at the block in their progress, muttered something along the lines of, “So what do we do to get the key? You’re the only one fast enough in the water and Link’s the only one with a projectile weapon that actually works in the water!”
If only you had some kind of mystical ability to manipulate things from a distance at will!
“Not for long,” Link muttered, scraping off the bits of rust that were forming on the chain. No one seemed to have heard him, though.
Jeeze, dude, oil your fucking equipment! Holy shit, this is basic adventuring stuff!
Obi-Wan’s eyes lit up as Anakin’s words provided him with the proper ideas to lay out a plan to proceed. “Friends, I’ve got an idea!”
“If Obi-Wan’s next words are anything other than, ‘We should use the Force,’ then I will eat his face. In fact, I shall plan on doing such anyway given his complete lack of faith in the Force up to this point.”
Dude, Obi-Wan would destroy you in a fight.
“The canon one, perhaps, but when outmatched I generally prefer far more indirect means of conflict resolution, so I doubt it would ever come to combat. Indeed many Jedi are placated by a kitten, a promise to mend one’s ways, and a sizable donation to whatever orphanage is handy. This farce, on the other hand, would dissolve if I so much as scowled in his direction.”
Ruto turned to him, a skeptical look plastered to her face. “Really? Well, let’s hear it…” She folded her arms under her generous chest and stood with her feet apart.
“I am confused. Does Vikki hate Ruto or is there perhaps a level of attraction there?”
I honestly have no idea. As I mentioned last week, her writing of Ruto has been inconsistent but lacks the ire of most self-inserts fics who square off against her. I sorta think that Vikki is trying to paint Ruto as more well rounded, so to speak, of a character; which is definitely better than I expected. There is also the lingering possibility that there is a polyamorous relationship brewing here; that would certainly be different. It’s almost worth a redemption cookie given Ruto’s typical rough treatment by the fandom, but I’d much rather have a consistent characterization than one that is just not aggressively negative.
“Ruto, you can go down there and wait by the grating while Link should sink into the water onto the dragon’s neck, so he can reach the hookshot target in case you’re detained by water monsters or something.” He turned to Link. “You’ll need to use the hookshot underwater to hit the switch. Can you do that?” Link nodded. “Yeah, sure. No problem.”
So Obi-Wan’s answer to ‘The current is too strong, we can’t go in’ is to go in anyway? Brilliance in motion.
“If you will excuse me, I have a promise to keep.” *Crunchy hops off his chair and makes for the door*
Transporter is back under lockdown. And I changed the codes.
Then I changed them again when you weren’t in the room pretending not to watch.
Ruto did as she was asked, but she could feel a chill run down her spine as though something were watching her… something very, very nearby. And it felt like it was hunting… for something.
*Taco elbows Crunchy.* Stop hunting the characters.
“Very well, but I reserve the right to eat at least one of them after this fiasco is at a close.”
But go into the water she did, and she felt a little safer once she was followed by Link, yet she still felt like there was something watching her… following her every move… until she came under the safety of the passageway and the metal of the nearby gate felt like a reassuring touch that secured her security as she waited, tucked away in the little hall.
Uh, it’s Link *points* he’s following you.
“She did not say the pursuer was difficult to see.”
Link also made his way down into the water, feeling that same chill as he entered, and he did his best to be quick about it as he aimed for the switch with his hookshot and hearing the familiar ringing those switches always made when they were hit.
“Naturally a sound so obvious that it needs no description.”
Ruto entered the gate, and after a moment or so it closed behind her, but he was sure there would be a way for her to come back with the key in hand.
It’s not like you would expect there to be traps or anything. That would just be absurd.
Sure enough, the gate reopened, and he felt safe enough to return back to where the rest of their group waited near the entrance to the room. As he was returning to his companions, however, Ruto saw something slide down into the water from the higher entrance and slink after Link’s left leg, looking for all the world like a little pink sponge encased in… no!
“Sponge encased in no?”
Perhaps she realized it was actually Dr. No.
“Mayhap a misspelling of Noh.”
Or even a mispelling of ‘know’ to denote being steeped in knowledge or being wise.
“Regardless, I believe the Narrator would like his drink refilled.”
“Link, look out!” she cried, and she gathered her magic for an electric spinning charge as she barreled into the creature that had been after Link’s leg. The attack left her weakened, and she lay suspended beneath the water, trapped in the volatile current, her limbs frozen from the use of so much magic at once. She couldn’t move, she couldn’t breathe, and thus she most certainly couldn’t swim at all to get away from the creature as it turned on her, the pink sponge thing growing and shrinking and changing all sorts of interesting shades of pink and red that she assumed signified its anger.
Maybe next time don’t use all your energy in a fruitless mega attack and instead just try to distract it. Just saying.
And then it went for her.
This time, there was no one to save her.
Hey look, dramatic single-line sentences! I know somebody who just loves those.
“Ahh!” she cried again, letting out a piercing squeal of pain.
“I thought she was unable to move or breath.”
Well, you know, within a certain standard deviation of immobility, of course.
The others looked up, and by now Link had reached the edge of the pool, his wide eyes showing the depth of his innocence, making Ruto understand at once what Ashei had been referring to when she’d teased her so.
Is the middle of an attack honestly the best time to be mooning after the lead?
But now all she could feel was pain, except for the coolness of the metal clutched in her right hand as the tendrils of sticky blue liquid squeezed the breath from her lungs and she thought she felt something crack as blood began dribbling from her mouth, dripping into the water below as the creature began to slink back up the wall.
*Taco walks into the room and dumps his asphyxiated corpse out of the chair*
“Have you considered long-term controlled hypoxia as a means of increasing your oxygen capacity?”
Might be worth a shot.
She watched, horrified, as Link tried to come after her, but Ashei (that smart, wonderful girl) held him back, and she couldn’t hear what words he was trying to scream at her for all that whatever blood wasn’t dribbling from her lips was rushing past her ears.
Halt the rescue! (With unsolicited Sue-stroking!): 86
She blinked once as it slid further up the wall, and her vision blurred, black spots beginning to appear at the edge of her sight.
Holy crap, lady, how long is it going to take you to get captured!?
Dimly, her attention shifted to the key in her hand, and as more oppressive stickiness curled around her legs and neck, she managed to use what strength she had left to toss the key as far as she could in the direction of the door before the creature slid over the wall and into the sweet, cloying presence of the deep and the dark.
“There, see, just had to be patient.”
Glad those Jedi took the initiative to do something during this ambling capture.
They stood for a long time after Link had climbed out of the water with the key they’d come to fetch, and all was quiet except for the rushing of the water.
“How dare you sully Hamlet in such a way!?”
Surprisingly, it was Anakin that broke the silence.
“What… was that? And… will she… be okay?”
‘Sorry that I didn’t do anything, kinda forgot I was here for a second.’
No one seemed to have any answers, but at least Link attempted to answer them despite the barrage of feelings that were pounding his brain and his body in waves of sheer, oppressive feeling.
“No on has answers. Aside from Link, who has answers.”
Well, the prose did say ‘seemed.’ Oddly that would make it one of the few accurate uses of ‘seemed’ we’ve seen in the Library. I say “oddly” because I’m pretty sure Vikki unintentionally used it correctly.
“I think… that was the creature that Sheik was talking about. The one that froze Zora’s Domain and filled the temple with monsters and darkness.”
“We can only conclude this because it was the only creature we have encountered that did anything of even temporary consequence.”
He was right about the darkness, surely.
“You are getting quite a bit of use out of that.”
Vikki really likes using the word.
In the Fire Temple, there had been too much light for it to make a difference, but like the Forest Temple, the Water Temple felt like it could crush you if you let your guard down for an instant.
TEMPLE CRUSH YOU LIKE BUG!
“As for whether she’ll be all right… I don’t know.” He looked down at the key in his hand, staring at the blood that still gleamed wet against the symbol of the Water Temple fused to the metal.
“Bleh, she spit on the key?”
Now, now, it’s equally likely she just had it in her mouth.
“That is not better.”
“But Ruto’s a strong person. I have no doubt she’ll survive as long as she can.”
Which is how long again?
“Several dozen seconds.”
See, she’ll be fine.
Ashei nodded. “We just have to get to her before she can’t.”
“Before she cannot survive as long as she can?”
No, before she can’t doubt she’ll survive not as long as she can.
Obi-Wan hummed in agreement. “So what are we waiting for? Let’s go.”
*The Obi-Farce arcs through the air and into the current*
“See, like a wet tissue.”
And with that they exited the room and made their way back to the main hub where they would continue their quest for the creature, and now, a way to save Princess Ruto from its slimy, slippery clutches.
There was definitely not a shorter and less clumsy way to phrase that.
“Perhaps there was, but there was hardly a more melodramatic way.”
True enough. Anyway, the chapter finally ends, much to everyone’s relief. Just the author’s note between us an freedom!
So… yeah. I figured when I was at page 13 and not even at Lake Hylia yet that this would be a two-parter.
“And cutting something out to make the chapter shorter was simply out of the question. It was all so necessary.”
It’s also a freaking long temple even if you know where everything is and how to get it.
It’s really not. Once you know the temple it’s like a half-hour at most. And speed runners can do it in under ten. Water temple is only really obnoxious on your first run through it and you keep screwing up the water levels.
I also chose Bracelets for the simple reason that Anakin points out as they’re entering the temple, and I tried to keep up with little details like their constantly being wet, Ruto’s presence in the temple (because, really, in reality she wouldn’t just disappear like she does in-game), and things like that.
Wow, that’s dense failure right there. Let’s take it one point at a time:
- Having the bracelets or shoes in the first place is stupid because several of them should be able to swim. The only reason the boots were a thing in Ocarina was because the developers couldn’t figure out how to make the underwater swimming controls not suck while still trying to use items and do puzzles. Which is something that 3D games still struggle with twenty years later.
- You failed hard on the ‘little details’ since you couldn’t be bothered to describe any of the scenes, let alone the state of the characters. Maybe you pictured them wet in your mind, but you certainly didn’t write them that way.
- While I agree Ruto’s vanishing in the game was rather odd and could have been handled better, it doesn’t excuse the fact that you’ve kept far less logical things that the game did and have only balked at this one thing. You kept the damn silver rupee minigames and sinking boots, for fuck’s sake!
- Why did you even mention you changed Ruto’s disappearance? Did you think it was a subtle difference? Look, I like the idea of giving her disappearance some kind of plot meaning, yet your version was excessively heavy-handed and involved a lot of pointless romantic padding. Personally I would have preferred you sticking to the game’s version of the events if only because they were significantly shorter.
- If you’re so worried about characters fading to the background and not getting proper treatment from the plot, explain your Jedi. Take all the time you need to explain how they’re not absolutely trivial to your plot.
- What other “things” are you talking about here. Your fifteen-paragraph dissertation on musical teleportation that ended with “Oh, we don’t know how it works anyway, so MAGIC!”?
- If you feel compelled to point out all these things you were trying to do, odds are that at a certain level you realize you failed at doing any of them well. And that’s definitely the case here.
A bit. I’ve got a giant rant saved up for the last chapter, but it’s good to vent a little of it.
I also brought back Mikau and delved a bit into his character, so that was pretty cool.
“Yes, his deep, meaningful character of getting trapped in a shop and being unable to find a way out or sew clothing. Truly he added a lot.”
(And yes, I do know that the entrance up high is just the exit point after you get the dungeon item, but it was there, so I used it.)
Vikki, let me lay this out there for you: you don’t need to explain every inconsequential thing you change from the canon. And if you DO need to make changes that people are going to question, you need to handle that within the story itself! This is suppose to be at least partially your own work (it’s not, but we can hope), so changes are understood to be part of that deal and are perfectly fine if you can support them from within the story.
So, one more chapter and then I’ll probably disappear until I’m done with my Game Grumps comic on tumblr and one or two of my character designs for the fanfic, which will be posted on deviantART. See you then!
“Unfortunately for us, that will pass in but the space of a week. Anything to say about the comic?”
It’s a bit rough, the writing isn’t particularly inspired, and Game Grumps are a dubious thing to be drawing about in the first place, but it’s far and above better than her writing, plus it’s some of her earlier work anyway. I won’t post a link here out of respect for keeping her two fan-projects separate, but just know you’re seeing the far worse part of her attempts at artistry over here in the writing section.
In any event, that’s it for this week! See you all after seven more flips!
*Crunchy holds up his rutabaga oboe* “Care to partake of a jam session?”
If you insist, but Rutabaga jam sounds pretty gross. Can’t we just make something normal this time, like marmalade?
“You would be surprised what you can make with enough sugar.”