2326: Legend of Zelda: The True Force – Chapter Nineteen, Part One

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

Whew, we’re in for it now, Patrons.  We have arrived at chapter nineteen.  Chapter nineteen is the second longest chapter in this fic, and the longest of the chapters in the second block.  It’s a fifteen-thousand-word monster of padding and dungeon regurgitation and we’re going in hard!  And, as a spoiler to everyone, one of the reasons this chapter is so fucking long is because of Dark Link.  Yup, that obnoxious-yet-fun mini-boss fight will be used to pad the living snot out of this thing.  Anyone who’s surprised should go back and read a few of the other Legend of Zelda fanfics we’ve featured here.  Dark Link is basically padding incarnate in any fic he shows up in, and often enough with a giant handlebar mustache to boot.  Anyway, Crunchy, hit us with that recap!

“Dungeon crawling and a tentacle beast.”

That was pithy.

“And no information of value was lost.”

As it’s a new chapter, let’s check out Vikki’s latest cringe-inducing disclaimer and author’s note!

Disclaimer: I… have a shirt. That’s about it. I own nothing else.

*Taco and Crunchy cringe*

Dude, the pathos is too thick.

Okay, so after this chapter I’m gonna disappear for a little bit and then maybe I’ll try to work on getting to and through the Shadow Temple at some point.

“Unfortunately we are far enough into the future to know she makes good on that promise.”

But things also need to start moving in regards to Link and Ashei, and other character development… bleh.

I mean, any character development at all would be nice.  Also, for the record, character development is characters changing and growing due to the circumstances they are exposed to.  Reacting with absolute consistently to all stimulus is not character development.  For example, Link and Ashei’s “OMG WE TOUCHED!” *BLUSH BLUSH* relationship is not one that is being developed so much as it is has been flopped in there because high school anime.

“Having the characters be complex and dynamic seems to be a bit of a tall order for this fic.  I would be satisfied if the characters could simply be relevant to the plot.”

Yeah, baby steps here, Vikki.  Work on actually remembering you have more than two characters first, then try to make them interesting.

Too much to think about right now.

Precisely why your fic sucks so hard:  Can’t be bothered to think about the plot before you actually sit down to write it.

“One of the multitude of reasons, at least.”

Just scroll down and enjoy. Bon appetit!

“I must confess my confusion.  Are we supposed to read this, or gnaw on it?”

In all fairness, it would probably serve better as a chew toy than a fic.

To the chapter!

Link fingered a tiny golden coin as they once again gathered in the main room to decide where to go.

*Taco sighs*

You really need to find a better way of phrasing that, Vikki.

*Taco waves Swenia in*

“Long, slow strokes with a circular motion!  You gotta get it warmed up to start!”

They’d chosen to go south now that it was possible to do so, but all they’d found on the south side of the lowest level was a dead end and a Golden Skulltula.

“And without any kind of meaningful description of the temple, it was irrelevant which way they proceeded regardless.”

He was also the one holding the map so that they could decide where to go.

Why does the Skulltula have the map!?

“Nowhere else looks like it’ll do us much good,” Ashei muttered, “so we might as well head into the middle section now.”

*Waves off toward the center of the vague*  You know, over toward that slightly more important area.

“Sounds like a plan,” agreed Obi-Wan, his usually talkative padawan, Anakin, unusually silent for the time being.

*Crunchy threatens the patrons with the foreshadowing hammer* “This might be important later.”

And by ‘later’ you mean ‘within the same chapter,’ yes?

“Naturally.”

The loss of their previous companion, Princess Ruto, was still leaving the remaining travelers somber and shaken. After all, Princess Ruto had the kind of personality that could fill a room without people, and to be suddenly deprived of that company was prominently devastating.

“What does that even mean?”

I guess that means Ruto’s personality is a gas?  It would have to be of a similar density as air, though, otherwise it would tend to settle into a layer and not fill the room entirely.

“You could force her into the room under pressure and let her personality fully displace the atmosphere.  Or put her into a room that is under a vacuum.”

Metaphors are weird.

Even Ashei had felt affected by their loss, for she’d shuddered when she saw the blood on the key as Link was pocketing it.

Aspiring authors: using ‘for’ like that is pretentious.  Don’t do it unless you have an extremely compelling reason.  Vikki has no such reason.

“With as much rampant killing as this party does, it strikes me as odd that Ashei would suddenly balk at a little blood stain.”

But this is important blood.  The emotional reaction is a side-effect of all the plot radiating off of it.

It was the first key that came to Link’s hands when they arrived at the locked door that led into the middle section of the temple.

“Which is true since they only have that singular key.”

She was partly glad to see it go, as Link was to use it, just so that it wouldn’t bother her as they continued on progressing in the temple.

“It took me a moment to remember that keys are only single-use in that universe.”

Locksmiths make a fucking killing on people who are concerned with home security.

Now, to take note

*Crunchy sighs and pulls out his stenographer pad*

most of the temple had been mostly carved from the underwater rocks or overlaid with shimmering blue tiles.

“Why am I taking such a vague and semi-contradictory note?”

Shut up and just take the note.

The middle tower of the temple was still a part of the very blue theme of the Water Temple, but it was mostly constructed from solid stone on the bottom, and huge columns of steel and hardy metal sheet-walls that stretched a long way up.

*Crunchy scribbles on his pad* “So it was mostly blue except for the grey metal that predominantly made up the structure.  Noted.”

The sheer size of the structure, combined with the knowledge that the column was what essentially held the Water Temple together stunned all of them speechless.

*Crunchy continues to write on his pad*  “Basic architectural design is astounding.”

Those are some important notes.

“Careful,” Ashei warned them as they walked in further, “there’s spikes on either side of us.”

*Taco squints into the surrounding mists*  I’ll just take her word for that.

Anakin, who was surprised by her voice in the nearly silent room, took a wrong step and almost fell straight sideways into the spikes

Hey!  Look at that, Vikki’s finally taking the opportunity to remove some of the more pointless charact-!

but Link was quick enough to grab him so that he didn’t impale himself on their sharp tips.

BOOOOO!

*Taco and Crunchy throw popcorn at the fic*

“Hey,” Anakin breathed sharply as Link let go of his collar once he’d assured himself Anakin was safe on the bridge, “thanks. I owe you one.”

I mean, not really.  If your friends are keeping score of helping you out, they aren’t very good friends.

Link shook his head. “Not really. That’s what you have friends for, right?”

Great, now I’ve agreed with the fic, I feel dirty.

He looked up to his hat, where Navi looked down at him in return from beneath his hat.

“That must have caused quite a bit of eye-strain.”

It only hurts the first time you pull your eyes out to look at the top of your head.

“Say Navi? Can you fly up and look for another one of those places where we can change the water level?” Navi nodded. “Can do!”

Or perhaps use your eyes and look around.  The water controls aren’t that hard to find.

And off she went, wriggling out from beneath, flying upwards.

“That is not how sentences work.”

Moments later she came back to them and informed Link of the next place where the water level could be changed. “It’s up there,” she explained, pointing to where a Hookshot target nearest to their level was placed, “and it looks like this one will raise the water up to the second level.”

Link nodded. “Thanks for the help.”

“How would she know precisely what it does?”

I mean, per game mechanics, it’s rather self-explanatory how the puzzle works, so not having to sit through Vikki try to rationalize the specifics is preferable.  In a reasonable universe everyone would already be questioning why the fuck this temple has an adjustable water level.  After that, they’d just fill the entire temple and swim everywhere.

He unclipped the Hookshot on his belt and instructed his companions to wait on the parts where the floor was solid stone.

Don’t stand on the pumice!

“Because that,” he said, pointing to a platform by the door, “is covering another passageway was leads to another key. We wouldn’t want to miss it and have to backtrack and lower the water again and everything.”

“What does that have to do with standing on solid stone?”

The door judges you based on the permeability of whatever you’re standing on.  If you make a bad impression, you’re denied entry.  It’s like the Sphinx of density.

Anakin groaned, and Ashei and Obi-Wan nodded, dry expressions on their faces.

Get it?  Because they’re soaking wet!

So while Link went to raise the water level, the others switched their Iron Bracelets on and readied their water filtering devices. After the song was played and the water raised, Link jumped into the water to join them, and they all filed down the gap the floating platform had left to progress down a hallway into a larger room with nothing but two ceiling grates and a crystal switch.

“They were judged to be dense enough.”

Turns out that they didn’t even need the solid floor for that.

Deciding it was better to hit the switch at a safer distance, Link aimed for it with his Hookshot and pressed his button to unleash the spring.

Just in case the switch were to come to life and attack or explode or something.  You know, exactly like how none of the other switches have done.

It flew from his hands to hit the switch, instantly bouncing back.

Dude, you’re using a hookshot, not a boomerang!

“Does he not have a boomerang, as well?”

He does, but adults can’t use boomerangs.

“Are you-”

Adults. Can’t. Use. Boomerangs.

“I see.”

And like he’d suspected, once it was hit, several spikes and three shell blades came raining down from the ceiling.

“He suspected because…”

You’d be surprised at how good the 4G plot reception is inside a stone building at the bottom of a lake.

You know what to do, everyone,’ Link told his companions in what had become their primary means of communication underwater.

“That ‘means of communication’ being?”

A secret.  Or maybe it was staring really hard at each other with their mood-eyes.  I can’t remember and it doesn’t actually matter anyway since they could just surface and talk if they wanted.

So everyone got to work on the spikes, while Link attacked the shell blades.

Um, but what are they doing to the spikes?

“Working on them.”

Yes, but what kind of work.

“The underwater kind.”

Meanwhile, Vikki regurgitates some more dungeon.

Once all of the enemies were destroyed, the other grate that hadn’t opened up when the crystal switch had been hit slid back with a quick scrape against stone, allowing them to progress to reach the next small key. After retrieving it, the group backtracked to the room they’d come from and surfaced in order to reach the door that would lead back outside to the main room hub room.

Looking at the map again (after destroying a nearby Tektite that was out for blood), Obi-Wan pointed out that there was still one remaining key on the east side. Link nodded.

*SLAM* 

Meanwhile (After that thing which totally just happened!): 87

“We should get it now before we raise or lower the water level again for the same reason as before,” he said, agreeing with Obi-Wan. “How many more keys are there in this place?” Anakin asked, annoyed but genuinely curious. Link shrugged. “Not sure. We’ve gotten quite a few so far and we’ve already used some of the ones we’ve gotten. But there are a lot of keys and a lot of doors, so I’m just going to go and answer with… well… a lot.”

“That certainly added much needed clarity to the story.”

If nothing else, it added over a hundred words.

He flashed a grin at Anakin, who pouted. Ashei giggled, and Anakin glared in her direction as she quickly stuck her tongue out in settlement.

*Crunchy grimaced while Taco sipped his coffee*

*Eliza showered everything with confetti while Swenia did something generically lecherous*

“HEY!”

*While Swenia did something specifically lecherous*

“That’s more like it.”

“Behave you two,” Obi-Wan murmured, “now let’s get back in the water…”

They groaned softly, as their clothes hadn’t stopped dripping water since they’d entered the freaking temple.

Hey look, there’s that mention of them being wet that Vikki said she was totally writing all the time!

Meanwhile, more hot dungeon crawling action.

But they slipped into the water anyway after Link had checked the compass to figure out which was the east side in order for them to get to the right side faster and reach the small key faster.

After floating back up through the room where they’d first met Ruto, they eventually surfaced on the second level area the structure had provided. On the second level was nothing but a wall to block their path, but one could hardly ignore the giant gash in the stone that was just begging to be blown up, and so Link climbed out of the water, set down the bomb, and trudged through the rubble to get the key from the chest on the other side.

And once again, there was more backtracking through to get to where they’d been before, always coming back to the main room.

“You know,” Anakin muttered as they climbed back up onto the dry ledge, “I get that this is the main room and everything, but all this backtracking is just ridiculous…”

Get it?  Because most players were annoyed with that when playing through the dungeon!  It the refrance!

“I find it odd that they would be shocked that a building designed to protect a priceless treasure would be inconvenient to navigate.”

He sighed, and tried to fold his arms over his chest, and then again stuff his hands in his robe pockets, but either option was just too awkward in his wet, sticky clothing and so he simply stood there looking uncomfortable with a dark expression teasing a frown onto his face. Link shot him a pleading look.

I guess this means Vikki realized she forgot to actually include all the references to them being wet last chapter.  Everyone prepare yourselves for her to hammer away at this point.

“Just be patient, Anakin. I know it’s cold, and it’s wet… but we’ll be out of here sooner than you think.

*Crunchy looks down at the tremendous number of words left in the chapter*  “Uh-huh.  This is that famous Jedi honesty at work, I see.”

Besides, we still have to rescue Princess Ruto, and maybe, if you’re nice, I can convince her to give us a hot meal and some warm beds, yeah?”

Or you could just suck it up and be heroes rather than whining about some dampness.  Just a thought.

That managed to wipe the frown off of Anakin’s face at least.

“Yeah, sure. Sorry, it’s just the presence of the dark side of the Force here is sort of getting to me. I’ll try not to complain as much…”

“The Dark Side is here?  When did that happen?”

Well, presumably Ashei is standing nearby so…

“But that doesn’t mean you’ll stop entirely?” his master asked.

Anakin flashed a wry smile. “Of course not, Master. I have to complain a little bit at least!” Obi-Wan’s expression was reluctant, but he too eventually sported a wry smile of his own. “Yeah, I thought it was too good to be true.”

We get it, obnoxious banter.  Can we fucking move on already?

“Well,” Link said, bringing their attention back to the map,

I never thought I’d be so happy to see more scenes of map reading.

“it looks like the way to raise the water level back to the top is through the west side, but from the notes on the map, it sounds like it’s recommended that only one person go through to do it.” He squinted, trying to read the spindly writing. “Eh… something about needing to stand on a really tiny platform while shooting a bow… huh.” He waved them around to the lower west side, where he pointed out an exit high above them where a triforce symbol was just barely visible.

“That’s where I’ll come out. Will you wait for me here?”

“That is an oddly specific information to find on a map.”

I mean, the keys and item locations are written on the map, so oddly specific map-making seems to be the flavor of the day.  It certainly helps prevent any kind of tension or thrill of the unknown if the map hands them all the information they need about where they are.

His companions nodded. “You’re the only one who can actually raise the water anyway,” said Ashei, “since none of us really play an instrument but you.” She paused, and then added, “Portable instruments, anyway…”

Vikki, you don’t seem to understand this, so I’ll be very clear: you can let your self-insert be bad at things or not know how to do things.  It’s absolutely okay if Ashei doesn’t play an instrument.  Lots of people don’t play instruments.  Well rounded characters will have things they can’t do.  Ashei can be a tone-deaf musician with the rhythm of a shelf of books falling over without invalidating any of the other things she can do well.

“What can she do well?”

Garden.  Probably.

So they waited for him to return and raise the water level, which he did.

Much action, very necessary.

“Are you… okay?” Ashei asked him as he climbed up to the ledge of the third level after the water had risen. He shook his head. “The map’s notes failed to warn me about the stupid Tektite that tried to jump on me and eat my brains as soon as I stepped on the geyser. I think I’ll just say… no.”

See, because that was definitely a thing that happened!

“Forgive me if I am being forgetful, but whose point of view is this fic supposed to be from?”

He sighed, but even as he did so, the smile he’d brought to Ashei’s lips made him smile in return.

“See, this is an endearing moment because he almost died.”

“Now,” he told his friends, “let’s enter that door over there and start using all these keys we’ve been collecting, yeah?”

Thus the four of them ended up filing into a wide but small hallway that led to a sloping waterfall that splashed into a dark oblivion below them, platforms cycling down the waterfall and eventually disappearing into the void. Ashei and Link picked off the nearby Keese with their bows before they got any closer to have a look at the room.

“There are Hookshot targets on those platforms,” Link mused, idly scraping off more rust from his chain. “But they look like they’re moving pretty quickly…” He leaned down over the edge to spot a stationary platform below them on the slope, just above another platform moving below it on a track.

“I could do it, I think,” he said, pointing to the door on the other side, “what about you guys?”

Do they need to?  I mean, the map should tell you what you’re working toward, so if it’s a switch, key, or item, maybe they can just wait here while you do the oddly specific task that requires an item that can’t possibly be shared.

“We’d have to Force jump, right Master?” Anakin guessed. Obi-Wan nodded.

“Yes. Ashei as well, since you’re the only one with a Hookshot, Link.”

“A party-wide skill that conveniently only exists as of this moment.”

Yeah, they’d be sequence breaking like crazy if they could always use the Force.  And this is anything but a speedrun at this point.

Link nodded. “Of course. Trying to carry anyone of you or tossing it back and forth could be potentially deadly.”

I can see the first one being dangerous, but how could using the Force to float the hookshot back and forth be dangerous?

“The Force cannot do that.”

But-

“In this room, the Force can only be used to jump.”

But-

“Do not question it!”

Beside him, Ashei blushed at the thought of having her arms around Link as they shot across the water. Already knowing what the feel of his muscles felt like beneath her fingers, it was difficult to keep her cheeks from burning as her body temperature rose beneath her clothing, the sticky, wet fabric not helping to rid her mind of the images.

Oh for crap’s sake.  Vikki, can you just have these two fuck like bunnies in Spring for just one chapter so you can get it out of your system?

Thus the three of them who could jump began scaling up the steadily descending platforms, while Link shot up after them.

“And verily did they reach the place most high, erstwhile referred to as ‘the top’ but now bearing the name ‘summit.'”

Nice try, but that was not nearly as awkward.

Even going it alone proved dangerous for the young hero, however, since he nearly missed the last target, ending up hanging by a few fingers that were slowly slipping until a thin, strong hand clasped around his left arm to pull him up, a startlingly worried expression easing into the young woman’s face.

I really like how the tense moment happened just previously, so is of no real consequence.  A very solid writing style.  It really captures the, ‘Man, you shoulda been here yesterday!’ feel of missing out on something that was really fun.

“Are you all right?” she asked. “You could have slipped…”

Link flashed her a comforting grin. “I would have only slipped back onto the platform I’d come from. No worries.” She seemed comforted, but the pout still remained, teasing a smile from Link’s lips.

“Hold on.  Is ‘a worried expression’ honestly what Vikki thinks ‘pout’ means?  That certainly explains quite a lot.”

If nothing else, it explains why there are so many misused words in this damn thing.

“But what if you were unconscious?”

“Any number of you could have fallen and been rendered insensate.  There is only one thing to do when that happens-”

You’re going to suggest eating the fallen to absorb their power, aren’t you?

“Well, not now that you have spoiled the surprise.”

“Then you would save me, right?” he replied quickly. Then he blinked. How had he meant to say that? Surely he was only reassuring himself that she would do as her mission commanded? He cleared his throat and, blushing, looked away. “Right…?”

Ashei nodded dumbly as Link passed her to go unlock the next door.

“Right…” she whispered.

Obi-Wan glanced between the two, wondering at the change between them.  If it was as he suspected, a few days ago he would have promptly made an attempt to discourage it. But now, he wasn’t so sure. He knew that despite whatever this was that was developing between Link and Ashei; it wasn’t hindering their ability to fight at all. In fact, it seemed to spur them on. So naturally he stayed quiet, though he was beginning to wonder if he should confront at least one of them about the issue…

We get it, the power of fucking twu-wuv.  Can we move on to literally anything else?  You wanna give me ten paragraphs of Navi bitching about how wet it is?  How about Anakin trying to banter with Obi-Wan?  Hell, wanna do both?  Fine, I say bring it on!

His thoughts trailed off as he saw the complex expanse of the room he’d just walked into. Dragon statues littered the area, and a single crystal switch sat in the middle of the room, which presumably changed both the height of the statues and the level of the water.

“Another oddly accurate presumption.  I am beginning to believe you are right about the plot reception.”

I think the crystals act as hotspots or something.

“I think you mean ‘hotplots.'”

Ugh. Let’s just speed through more dungeon crawling.

“I’d suggest getting rid of those Tektites first,” Ashei suggested. “They’ll give you trouble once you raise the water.” Link nodded, all business again.

“I agree. Let’s pick them off first and then we’ll decide what to do next.”

So one by one the Tektites in the water fell apart and burned in a blaze of fiery white-blue glory.

Ashei stared at the platform on the other side that lay just beneath the hallway they needed to reach in order to progress. “That platform there is higher than the others,” she pointed out. “We’ll need to jump across these gaps to get over there…”

Or, rather, the discussion of dungeon crawling, I guess.

“Meaning Link will have to hit the switch a couple times for us to traverse these platforms?” Anakin asked, managing to put the pieces together. Link nodded. “Ashei could do it too, but arrows are precious and not to be wasted.” Ashei chuckled. “Despite the fact that they somehow appear when you’re smashing pots you expect to be empty?”

This managed to tease a small smile from Link.

“Of course. Besides, most pots are made that way, aren’t they?”

Ashei shrugged. “I think so. I don’t really make pots, so I don’t know. They’re also supposed to have incredible regeneration properties for inanimate objects. It’s very bizarre.”

Seriously, why the fuck are you talking about this, can you just move-

“Can we stop talking about pots and get moving?” Anakin muttered, doing his best not to complain for once.

How dare you make me agree with Anakin!?

“Why would Anakin refrain from complaining?  Especially on the occasion that it is truly warranted?”

Anyway, here comes the stupid!

Thus began the long process of hitting the switch and jumping from platform to platform along the way. Finally, they were able to make it to the large hallway that would allow them to progress, where they were ambushed by two Tektites that were easily dispatched.

The Like Like on the other side of the spikes, however, presented a problem.

Obi-Wan tapped the tan-colored spikes. “Our lightsabers might cut through this, but I can’t be sure… and they’re too high to shoot over, am I correct?”

Link nodded. “But, wait… I want to try something. Step back, please.”

His three companions stared at him with varying emotions, but he ignored them as he drew his sword and arched his arm back in preparation for a spin. But he called upon his magic, and the energy of the Force to help him. Something… inside him shifted, as both energies found a strange balance in his core, and he felt the metal of the sword burn beneath his hands.

His eyes, which had previously been closed, opened instantly, and he swung the sword around as bolts of energy trailed in its wake. Once he’d followed through with the kinetic energy of the spin, he turned around to see his companions staring at him, and not the melting pile of Like Like behind him.

“Um…” he began eloquently, “ah… what?”

Ashei blinked, and Obi-Wan cleared his throat, but Anakin was the first to speak. “We… well, I… I thought I saw your sword become a lightsaber for a second there. As you were spinning.”

No.  Fucking no.  No.  Absolutely not.  No.  That is not how ANY of this works.  At all.  The Master Sword doesn’t just get to become a lightsaber whenever the fuck you want it to, Vikki!  Yes the Master Sword has magical powers, but that doesn’t involve it momentarily becoming a lightsaber!  At all!  Ever!

“It wasn’t just you, Anakin,” Obi-Wan managed to say, “I’m fairly certain I saw it as well, though I can’t say how it was possible…”

“Because it is not.  Not outside the dank halls of contrived writing, anyway.”

“There was a shift in the Force,” Ashei said quietly, “but regardless of what we saw or might have seen, we’ve still got to progress, right? Perhaps we can investigate the phenomenon later, when we’re not quite so pressed for time?”

Obi-Wan nodded. “That seems best. Though I would proceed with caution. There is much foul energy beyond that door…”

“Translation: Let us pretend the stupid thing that just happened never did and let us continue on.”

I gotta say, Vikki, this has taken the cake.  The Master Sword changing into a lightsaber for a spin-slash is by far the stupidest thing you’ve written.  And it’s got a lot of competition so I don’t say that lightly.

This was true, for everyone could feel it flowing through the cracks in invisible, poisonous waves, crawling towards them to latch onto their boots and leech the energy from their life force.

“One might even say that it is crawling toward them.”

I hate you.

Link scowled at it, and it mostly left him alone. He also left the Master Sword hanging limp in his right hand, though his muscles were tensed for a fight as he opened the door to enter the room on the other side…

Little known fact, you can scowl at the Dark Side and it’ll leave you alone.

*Crunchy growls* “That is definitely not how the Dark Side works.”

.oOo.

Aggggghhhhh!  Ghost!

“That appears more like a tiara to me.”

… Damn, I think you’re right.

At first, all he saw was white.

Must be at a Chick-Fil-A or Cracker Barrel.

Then, once his eyes adjusted to the light, he looked around at his surroundings. Or rather, a lack of them…

“Indicating that he has remained in the same place as the last scene.”

Link frowned. Something wasn’t right here.

Dude, there’s way more than a something wrong.  We have a list if you want it.

He took one step into the room and a splashing sound told him that the floor of this room was full of water. Not a lot of it, but enough that when he looked down, he could see him reflection in it. A few more steps forward, and he was rewarded with a familiar scraping sound of iron bars slamming against the stone floor. He looked around as he usually did; only he was disturbed by the fact that he appeared to be genuinely and truly alone in this room.

“Ah yes, the prelude to that mini-boss fight you warned us of.”

Yeah, one of the more enjoyably-obnoxious fights in the game.  Still, not nearly as bad as from Adventures of Link.  Lost a few weeks of my childhood to that fight.

He ran his right hand through his hair, acutely aware that it was shaking.

“Why is his hair shaking?”

Bad hair physics.  Things were kinda rough-around-the-edges in the N64 days.

“Navi?” he asked quietly. A small head popped out from beneath his hat, looking around.

“And now his hat is looking around.”

Odd, pretty sure that didn’t really happen until much more recently…

“Hey, where is everyone else?” Link let out a low breath to keep himself calm. He hadn’t felt this nervous since he’d first fought Gohma on the inside of the Great Deku Tree.

Didn’t you know?  This mini-boss is a huge fanfiction favorite, so naturally Vikki is going to draw it out as much as possible by having everyone do their own version of it, likely complete with the age-old cliché of facing inner demons and such.

“That’s just it… I don’t know. I can… sense their life forces, but…”

“They’re faint. Huh.” Navi thought for a moment as Link examined the door, which just appeared to be a door framed by shimmering blue stone set in the middle of this bizarre watery nowhere. He stretched out his hand to feel at the air that he was certain surrounding the door, but his fingers brushed against something that shouldn’t be there…

“Did he just brush against the fourth wall?”

Don’t worry, there’s no way he could possibly get out of the fic.

Probably.

“It’s an illusion!” Navi whispered. Link stepped back, the touch of the stone beneath his fingers where air should have been felt disconcerting, so he turned away from it to glance warily at the door on the other side beyond the tree.

“A pretty damn good one,” he muttered. “How much do you want to bet that locked door is part of it?”

Well, if you think the locked door is an illusion, there’s only one way to test it!  Charge!

“I shall get the camera.”

Navi shrugged even though he couldn’t see. “You won’t know until you try.”

Well, that was true enough.

And it’s not like there’s magic or the Force or anything to help with illusion problems.

So he took a few slow and steady steps through the water, first approaching the island between the two doors as he tossed ideas about the origin of the illusion with Navi.

“You are in a magical land in an illusory room.  I can make a few guesses what might be at play.”

Magic?

“Holographic projectors.”

Huh.

“Are the others experiencing the same illusion?” he wondered aloud, “Or are they different for each person?” Navi sighed. “We won’t know until we can dispel it. And who cast it anyway? That creature?” Link shrugged. “For all we know, it’s entirely possible. After all, it froze Zora’s Domain.”

That was also true.

Ice and illusions are like right next to each other on the arcane spell domain continuum, after all.

But as they passed the island with the tree, Link felt something inside of him tear, and he paused, stumbling, leaning against the tree with more force than he’d have liked to.

“What the hell was that?” he gasped, pressing a hand against the chain mail on his chest. Navi, unsure of what to do, wriggled out from underneath his hat to flutter close to his face in her tiny humanoid form, a worried expression plastered to her own.

“It felt like my heart was trying to rip itself from my body…”

“The externalized internal struggle cliché is right on schedule, then.”

Yeah, I hate it when fic authors take this specific battle and turn it into ‘facing your demons’ because that’s absolutely not what was happening in the game or even the Manga.  It’s just a dark spirit who utilizes Link’s form to battle against him.  Nothing really more or less than that.  No need to dump in more clichés to make it even less original than it was.  Heck, the only indication in the game that something is amiss before the battle is Link’s reflection disappearing after you pass the island.

“Oh, it is worse than that.  This will be an excuse to have various characters conquer the Dark Side of the Force.  Much like how Marcus managed it in a short dream sequence.”

*Taco and Crunchy both look expectantly at the doorway, through which Markus appears and shrugs non-noncommittally.*

I think you’re right.  I suppose that also means we should expect EXTREMELY SUBTLE FORESHADOWING™ during Anakin’s scene.

Link shuddered, and he quickly sought the calm solace of the Force to steady himself. Within its soothing presence, he was able to regain his balance and sense of self, using it to repair the hole that whatever had been taken from him had left.

“The Force is likewise quite useful for boat repair.  The Force can be used to fill any size hole you might encounter.”

*Swenia le-

“Away, you pesky feline!”

He breathed it in, his senses going into overdrive as the influx of new energy began to settle inside his core.

Vikky, you’re making me wish I’d made a ‘core’ counter.

Once he felt that he was stable enough to keep going, he sensed something beginning to stir, some energy nearby, no matter that he had no idea what nearby was…

“He does not know what ‘nearby’ is?”

Like author, like character.

Something prompted him to look down at the water after he was a few steps away from the locked door. He wasn’t sure, but he was fairly certain that it had been the Force’s warning, like a pressure nudging at his mind.

*Crunchy growls*  “The Force is absolutely not a puppy.”

Then he gasped as what he saw.

“Navi, my reflection is gone!”

“Link, look out!”

Oh no, here comes a dramatic scene break!

.oOo.

“Dramatic scene tiara”

Whatever.

When the door closed behind Anakin, the world was completely dark.

At least, it seemed that way for quite a while, but then a light appeared in the darkness, a light in the form of a lantern that he’d often hung in his home as a child, now hanging on an out reaching limb on the scrawny tree to which it was tacked. He frowned at it, but he was glad for it all the same.

LAAAAAAAAAAMPING IN MY LAAAAAAAAMP, MY LAAAAMP-

“Stop that.”

He also noted the level of water around the small island, which was a little disturbing, particularly since he thought he could hear things moving in the distant shadows where the dark side of the Force lay in deeper concentrations.

“Oh no, not a disturbing water table.”

This whole section is just a mess.  It’s like Vikki is trying to decide which of the fiver or six things going on she wants to focus on and describe, but instead of actually making a choice she’s trying to do them all at once and failing hard.

What trick is this? He thought.

Anakin knew that the Force could be used to send or plant visions in someone’s head. Perhaps the same was true for the dark side?

“I believe the term for this is: duh.”

‘Doy’ would also be acceptable.

If that was so, then the dark side was even more serious than he thought.

Yes, aside from it’s corrupting influence and feeding off death it can also… PLANT THOUGHTS!

He shivered, the small warmth of the lantern above him making him very aware of just how cold and wet he actually was. Regardless, he leaned back against the tree and reached deep inside himself for any connection to the Force he could find.

“It is the Force, featherbrain, it is everywhere and permeates all things.  If you have to reach that deep just to find it, you are a terrible Jedi.”

Luckily, there was one available, and it was more than willing to provide him with comfort against the cold.

“The Force is not a telephone operator!”

Yeah, it’s more like a port sniffer.

“You be quiet.”

But once he was comfortable, his senses began to get the better of him. The sounds he was hearing in the darkness: the dripping water, the scuttling pattering and clicking feet and claws, the large footsteps and swishing… wait.

The swishing was new.

I don’t care how good a deal it is, I would not use an ebay mouthwash.

It turned out that the swishing was coming from a long dark cloak that passed through the water as it dragged, looking for all the world like it had risen from the water to clothe the person who now wore it.

So is it dragging or is it rising up out of the water?  Those two do not work together as imagery.

Though, Anakin wasn’t so certain that it was a person, despite the fact that it stood on two legs and appeared to be breathing… sort of.

Ah yes, he’s gonna come face-to-face with Vader.  Because EXTREMELY SUBTLE FORESHADOWING™ is very subtle.

“Why foreshadow when you can have a vision from the future, yes?  Much simpler and does not require any writing talent.”

The person who wore the cloak that looked like it was a part of the water itself also wore a tight suit of fine cloth and machine parts. Their helmet was connected to the machine, and it appeared to help the person breathe, though the harsh sounds it made while exhaling through its triangular filter were very disconcerting and troubled Anakin greatly.

That is probably the second worst description of Vader I’ve ever read.

“I feel compelled to ask about the worst.”

Per my 4-year-old: ‘The guy with the loud breathing.’

“I am unconvinced that serves as a worse description.”

“W-Who are you?” he managed to ask the person with a voice that trembled in fear. He attempted to grasp for anything to soothe the fear within the Force, but nothing came. It appeared as though he would have to deal with his fear on his own.

From the person before him came a low, robotic chuckling. There was no reply to Anakin’s question.

Instead, the person reached into their cloak with their right hand – a robotic one, no less – and pulled a lightsaber from it.

“How would he know about the robotic hand?  Does this version of Darth Vader not wear gloves?”

I find it interesting that Vikki went so completely accurate with the future sight.  Good job, you just robbed all of Star Wars of free will in order to Calvinism.

“I do not believe you can use that as a verb.”

Screw you, I’ll verb Calvinism if I damn well please.

Anakin pushed away from the tree, a dark feeling sinking in his gut.

“Are his innards typically exposed to light?”

No, but usually it’s less tactile darkness than what’s going down right now.

Force vision or not, he had a feeling that this person could seriously hurt him if he wasn’t careful.

“You want to fight?” His voice was steadier, but since coming to Hyrule and fighting alongside Link, he’d learned to be cautious when fighting others.

Still there was no vocal reply to Anakin’s question, but the person chuckled again and switched on the lightsaber. The blade that appeared glowed a bright, vibrant red, and he knew that color could only mean one thing: a Sith! With that realization, something in the air changed, and the other warrior leapt forward with a wide, cutting slash. Anakin managed to jump back, but the sand he’d been standing on had thrown his balance and forced him to jump sideways around the tree, clinging to a small branch to keep himself from falling backwards into the water.

“That fails to make much sense, but maybe Anakin will get killed by Vader and we’ll be spared his presence for the rest of the fic.”

That’s uncharacteristically optimistic of you.

“I had a good cup of roughage this morning.”

Quickly he drew his own lightsaber, which glowed a bright green.

Anakin proceeded to test the waters and return the original attack, but the other seemed to have been expecting it and parried it.

So, water or sand?

“Pardon?”

Well, you have either the unsure footing of sand, or the drag of water as you try to move.  Which is preferable?

“The sand, I would think.  With the Force aiding your balance and strength, one should be able to overcome the hindrance of unsure footing better than impeded footing.  Though it really would depend on the depth of the water.”

That I can’t answer as the exact nature of the water has escaped all description beyond ‘shallow.’

He managed to make enough advances on the other warrior so that they now fought on the lantern side of the tree, but the warrior remained as cool and unrelenting as the darkness around them.

This is the literary equivalent of the fight happening off screen and the audience just hearing the sounds of them tussling.

It was when Anakin felt the despair welling up in his gut that he made a crucial mistake and he allowed his left side to be open for attack.

The warrior jabbed, and Anakin attempted a guard, but the other fighter disarmed him and sent his lightsaber straight for the sand on the island.

“Boooo!  Go for killing blow you sorry excuse for a Sith!”

But he’d be killing himself in the past.

*Crunchy snorts* “If that sniveling little whelp was my past, I would end him regardless.”

He knew that he desperately wanted to go for his lightsaber, for he didn’t feel like he could really fight without it… but then something made him remember his days as a child on Tatooine, brawling and fighting with the other kids. He hadn’t had a lightsaber then. He didn’t need one. And he didn’t need one now.

“Using your fists against an opponent with a sword, plasma based or not, is profoundly stupid.”

So, he did what any sensible person fighting for their life without a weapon would do:

Use the Force to retrieve his lightsaber?

he tackled his assailant.

Oh.

“Naturally he had some kind of unfulfilled death wish.”

Down they went into the darkness, light falling in comforting waves at Anakin’s back as they slammed against the cool water and hard stone. His assailant’s helmet flew off for all the force the impact provided, and even as they were falling towards the floor, Anakin had shouted, “Who are you?!”

“And he sees his own face.”

C’mon Vikki, you’ve spent all this time ripping off Ocarina of Time, do you really think you’re going to surprise anyone by ripping off Star Wars too?  If you’re going to rip something off, at least be quick about it; you’re drawing this out like you want to filibuster the senate.

However, the face that the helmet revealed was not one he had expected to see. He’d expected something generic, or perhaps someone he’d ticked off, or someone from the Temple or the Senate.

It’s his own face!  Sweet crap, even paramecium know what’s going to happen, stop padding the fucking scene already!

But no… the face the helmet revealed to him was essentially a mirror of his own face, just older and sharper.

“Finally.  Now we can move on and-  Oh who am I kidding, Vikki is about to milk this for cheap drama points, yes?”

Yup, strap in people.

The muscles had filled in and the eyes and jaw were well set into a more mature version of himself. Yet his dark hair was tangled and wild, his face pale and sunken from exertion or excessive abuse of power Anakin knew not. But what disturbed him most about his mirror image were the eyes.

There was no mercy in them, no forgiveness. No life at all within their sharp, yellow, hollowed depths. This image… terrified him. Very much.

And then it laughed.

“The eye laughed?”

Not as outlandish as you might think.

“I am Darth Vader, chosen one!” a poor imitation of his own voice called in lament, “Look upon your future! See what your heart desires! This is the true power of the dark side!”

Is lament on the list?

“Yes, but I shall add it again.”

So the true power of the Dark Side is being easily tackled by an unarmed mook?

“I have mentioned that Vader was not the best example of the Sith.”

And suddenly the terror-stricken Anakin was thrown from where he’d landed, and with a sudden thwack! he felt his head crack against the bottom of the tree and his body landed curled upon the sand. His heart was racing, he didn’t know what was happening and he couldn’t move! Where was Obi-Wan?

“Likely telling some malodorous troglodyte peddling death sticks to rethink his life.”

Obi-Wan! He cried, forcing his voice to reach past the limits of wherever this hell existed. Obi-Wan!

The melodrama is thick in here and I can’t get out!  Help!

Anyway, we get another scene-tiara at this point, which serves as a great place to call it for the week.  Next week we’ll finish up with all the internal darkness, but until then, stay frosty, patrons!


38 Comments on “2326: Legend of Zelda: The True Force – Chapter Nineteen, Part One”

  1. AdmiralSakai says:

    Even Ashei had felt affected by their loss, for she’d shuddered when she saw the blood on the key as Link was pocketing it.

    He should probably have cleaned that off, now he’s going to get his pocket all bloody.

    • TacoMagic says:

      Dude’s got a Cucco living and crapping in his hat. I don’t think cleanliness is high on his list of concerns.

      • Em Kay says:

        I was about to say something about Navi also crapping in his hat, but I suddenly realized that I have no memory of her ingesting anything at all in this fic.

        Do fairies photosynthesize or just live off the Force/Door magic.

  2. AdmiralSakai says:

    The sheer size of the structure, combined with the knowledge that the column was what essentially held the Water Temple together stunned all of them speechless.

    Wait, it is? I thought the bedrock was what held the Water Temple together. The pillar might hold up the ceiling of the central room, but that’s not the same thing.

  3. AdmiralSakai says:

    Link aimed for it with his Hookshot and pressed his button to unleash the spring.

    Bow… chicka… bow wow?

  4. AdmiralSakai says:

    the main room hub room.

    [CONFUSED ALARM IS CONFUSED]

  5. AdmiralSakai says:

    Besides, we still have to rescue Princess Ruto, and maybe, if you’re nice, I can convince her to give us a hot meal and some warm beds, yeah?”

    What makes you all so convinced she’s still alive? I mean, we know she is because she becomes the Water Sage later on, but the last these schmucks ever saw of her she had been seriously injured and was being dragged off to parts unknown by the same giant monster that had seriously injured her.

  6. AdmiralSakai says:

    “I agree. Let’s pick them off first and then we’ll decide what to do next.”

    So one by one the Tektites in the water fell apart and burned in a blaze of fiery white-blue glory.

    Ok, come clean, who called in a napalm strike on an underground temple?

  7. AdmiralSakai says:

    He looked around as he usually did; only he was disturbed by the fact that he appeared to be genuinely and truly alone in this room.

  8. AdmiralSakai says:

    But no… the face the helmet revealed to him was essentially a mirror of his own face, just older and sharper.

    The muscles had filled in and the eyes and jaw were well set into a more mature version of himself. Yet his dark hair was tangled and wild, his face pale and sunken from exertion or excessive abuse of power Anakin knew not. But what disturbed him most about his mirror image were the eyes.

    Wait… why would this be an aged-up, but unhurt version of Anakin? I could see the illusion using his face as it currently is because, well, that’s what Anakin currently looks like, but the future version of Anakin is a scarred mess and not this vampire pretty-boy.

  9. BatJamags says:

    Anyone who’s surprised should go back and read a few of the other Legend of Zelda fanfics we’ve featured here.

    I’m not surprised… but I’m definitely disappointed. There was part of me that kind of hoped that Vikki wouldn’t feel the need to sink to Link’s Queen’s level.

  10. BatJamags says:

    He flashed a grin at Anakin, who pouted. Ashei giggled, and Anakin glared in her direction as she quickly stuck her tongue out in settlement.

    I’ve already registered my depression at Anakin somehow winding up as the lolwacky comic relief, but… I’m registering it again.

  11. BatJamags says:

    “You know,” Anakin muttered as they climbed back up onto the dry ledge, “I get that this is the main room and everything, but all this backtracking is just ridiculous…”

    Your DM sucks and you suck.

    *Rolls d20*

    By the way, random encounter table says Tiamat just appeared and wants to eat you. Roll for initiative.

  12. BatJamags says:

    Thus the four of them ended up filing into a wide but small hallway

    *Silent alarms blare*

  13. BatJamags says:

    He cleared his throat and, blushing, looked away. “Right…?”

    By the way, don’t think I haven’t been seeing these blushes; I’m just too dead inside to care.

  14. BatJamags says:

    “Meaning Link will have to hit the switch a couple times for us to traverse these platforms?” Anakin asked, managing to put the pieces together. Link nodded. “Ashei could do it too, but arrows are precious and not to be wasted.” Ashei chuckled. “Despite the fact that they somehow appear when you’re smashing pots you expect to be empty?”

    This managed to tease a small smile from Link.

    “Of course. Besides, most pots are made that way, aren’t they?”

    Ashei shrugged. “I think so. I don’t really make pots, so I don’t know. They’re also supposed to have incredible regeneration properties for inanimate objects. It’s very bizarre.”

    Excuse me. I need to go scream obscenities at the top of my lungs.

    • BatJamags says:

      Well, that was certainly refreshing. Now I’m ready to get back into-

      Thus began the long process of hitting the switch and jumping from platform to platform along the way. Finally, they were able to make it to the large hallway that would allow them to progress, where they were ambushed by two Tektites that were easily dispatched.

      The Like Like on the other side of the spikes, however, presented a problem.

      Obi-Wan tapped the tan-colored spikes. “Our lightsabers might cut through this, but I can’t be sure… and they’re too high to shoot over, am I correct?”

      Link nodded. “But, wait… I want to try something. Step back, please.”

      His three companions stared at him with varying emotions, but he ignored them as he drew his sword and arched his arm back in preparation for a spin. But he called upon his magic, and the energy of the Force to help him. Something… inside him shifted, as both energies found a strange balance in his core, and he felt the metal of the sword burn beneath his hands.

      His eyes, which had previously been closed, opened instantly, and he swung the sword around as bolts of energy trailed in its wake. Once he’d followed through with the kinetic energy of the spin, he turned around to see his companions staring at him, and not the melting pile of Like Like behind him.

      “Um…” he began eloquently, “ah… what?”

      Ashei blinked, and Obi-Wan cleared his throat, but Anakin was the first to speak. “We… well, I… I thought I saw your sword become a lightsaber for a second there. As you were spinning.”

      Right, back to the obscenities with me.

  15. BatJamags says:

    Then, once his eyes adjusted to the light, he looked around at his surroundings. Or rather, a lack of them…

    And yet that’s still more description than most places have gotten thus far.

  16. BatJamags says:

    Then he gasped as what he saw.

    “Navi, my reflection is gone!”

    “Link, look out!”

    “You’ve become a vampire!”

  17. BatJamags says:

    “I believe the term for this is: duh.”

    ‘Doy’ would also be acceptable.

    It may even warrant a ‘durr.’

  18. BatJamags says:

    From the person before him came a low, robotic chuckling.

    Darth Vader being particularly known for his maniacal laughter.

  19. BatJamags says:

    Anakin managed to jump back, but the sand he’d been standing on had thrown his balance and forced him to jump sideways around the tree, clinging to a small branch to keep himself from falling backwards into the water.

    Yet another reason to hate sand!

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      Or, alternatively, the beach knew he was a sandophobe and was just waiting for the chance to retaliate.

  20. GhostCat says:

    Dark Link is basically padding incarnate in any fic he shows up in, and often enough with a giant handlebar mustache to boot.

    Or, if the fic author is into yaoi and/or shounen ai, Dark Link gets roped into being Link’s romantic partner (Possibly literally depending on the fic.) while still being padding incarnate.

  21. GhostCat says:

    , the sticky, wet fabric

    I don’t think water is supposed to make you sticky. What exactly have they been splashing around in?

  22. GhostCat says:

    .oOo.

    Aggggghhhhh! Ghost!

    :waves:

  23. GhostCat says:

    Ashei blinked, and Obi-Wan cleared his throat, but Anakin was the first to speak. “We… well, I… I thought I saw your sword become a lightsaber for a second there. As you were spinning.”

    …Y’know, I think I almost prefer seeing the Master Sword being used as a very dangerous sex toy than this.


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