Game Center CX Season 3 – Back to Contents
The "Legend of Zelda" Legend
Arino walks in the door and sees three men standing there waiting for him: former ADs Tojima, Sasano and AD Urakawa. Arino wonders why they’re all here, especially Tojima, who hasn’t been seen since last season! Why, it’s a special occasion, of course — the last show of the season! Urakawa hands Arino the special game for this challenge… Zelda! One of Arino’s favorites! And not just any Zelda — A Link to the Past!
Arino begins and names Link "Demodori" (divorcee), in reference to a crack he just made about Tojima. He reads the text out loud, and he and the staff giggle at Link’s new name every time. He follows Link’s uncle to Hyrule Castle and infiltrates its walls, following the voice of Princess Zelda. He quickly gets the boomerang and fights the knight in the dungeon in order to free Zelda from her cell. Hero and heroine escape the castle and enter the underground. Arino makes it through to the other side and enters the church, where the priest tells him of the Master Sword. He heads west to Kakariko Village and tours the town, throwing pots at people and buying bottles before meeting the sick little boy.
After that Arino meets Sahasrahla, who tells him about the three pendants he must retrieve. Fast forward to the East Palace, where he starts the search for the first pendant. He starts off well, but eventually keeps dying. But it’s not long before he kicks the habit and stumbles upon the first boss(es), the Armos knights. The fight is tense, but he pulls through. One pendant down! Before he heads to the Desert Palace, Arino catches a fairy and puts it in a bottle. When he finally does get to the palace, he ends up dying, but the fairy is there to rescue him, much to his pleasant surprise. This helps him move on to the next boss, the Lanmola. Another relatively speedy defeat.
He moves on to Death Mountain and catches a message from Sahasrahla about Spectacle Rock being the only thing that will help him get ahead. Arino runs around the side of the mountain, slightly confused, until he stumbles upon the warp tile to the dark world. He chuckles and wonders what’s going on, but eventually finds the imprint of Spectacle Rock and uses the Magic Mirror he collected earlier to warp back to the light world. From there he grabs a Piece of Heart and goes up into the entrance of the Mountain Tower.
After figuring out the puzzling nature of the level,he reaches the boss, the slithering Moldorm. Unfortunately he keeps getting pushed off by it and has little idea of how to damage it — he wastes all his bombs, hoping they’ll explode at the right time. He finally learns to try and attack it with a spinning slash. From its defeat he gets the last pendant! Now it’s on to retrieve the Master Sword.
Arino grabs the sword, then heads back to the church to discover that Zelda’s been kidnapped! Back into Hyrule Castle for him. He makes his way through and faces Aghanim, the sort-of-miniboss of the game. Aghanim’s beam attacks do nothing but confuse and scare Arino, and before long he dies at Aghanim’s hands. Well, luckily he had a fairy. On the next try he realizes that he has to bat back Aghanim’s attacks with the sword. He nails it, but upon defeating Ahganim, he’s sent to the dark world.
Arino heads straight for the Dark Palace, makes his way through and then faces the Helmasaur boss. He tries using bombs to break its mask off, but the weak timing isn’t getting the job done. Finally he realizes that he can use the hammer to do the same thing quicker, but dies before he can try it, and again, and again. On the sixth try he breaks off the mask. He keeps firing at its weak point, but it’s not doing enough! Helmasaur continues to dart around and shoot fireballs. Arino dodges as best he can, but gets down to one heart. The staff yelps in panic, but he stays straight and eventually gets in the final shot. The first crystal is recovered. Now onto the swamp.
Arino starts slow at the Swamp Palace, but realizes he has to go back to the light world and flood the channels before he can make his way through in the dark world. The boss, Arrghus, is a relative cinch. Next is the Skull Woods. Arino struggles getting through thanks to the Wallmaster hands pulling him back to the entrance. But he soon makes it to the boss, Mothula. Unfortunately the moving floor and randomly-sliding spikes end up kicking Arino’s ass more than once. He uses the newly-acquired Fire Rod and almost destroys Mothula, but he runs out of magic power!
After one more death, the ADs step out and ask Arino if he’s ready to give up. He refuses, but has to leave for the day anyway. Day 2 begins, and he starts off by buying a bottle of potion to help restore his magic power. That’s all he needed, as the Mothula battle goes much quicker this time. Fast forward to the dungeon of Blind the thief. The battle against Blind confuses Arino to no end until he uses a life potion and figures out that Blind can only be hit when you fire the sword beams at full health. Blind splits his heads off, and a couple of close calls later, Arino sneaks in a finishing blow.
Onto the Ice Palace and the boss, Kholdstare. Another cinch. Misery Mire — same story, almost. Arino gets the Rod of Somaria here, which lets him create blocks to trigger stubborn switches, but the boss kills him in one hit, and continues to knock off his health in successive attempts as it sends its tiny eyes at him. Eventually, he lucks out and gets rid of the smaller eyes, and then has to go after the biggun. He tries bombs as a last resort, but ends up dying again. He’s thinking too hard, though, as all he needs is the sword to beat it.
Arino gets ever closer to the end as he enters Turtle Rock, but the palace is pretty challenging for him this time. He dies repeatedly before he even gets to see the boss. When he does finally get to Trinexx, its huge size and elemental heads throw him off — straight into another death. He goes back and does the potion thing, and this time uses the fire and ice rods to defeat the two heads before going for the third. Success! The staff claps and Arino celebrates. …That is until Trinexx goes into a second slithery form and runs him over. He regains his bearings, but not quickly enough and he dies again. The next try is better, and he waits for the final head to completely disappear before celebrating the proper way.
The road to Ganon is now paved. Arino heads up Ganon’s tower and faces each of the first three bosses again. He does well against them, but the second half of the tower is a tough one, and he ends up dying consistently once more. The producer hands him the wall clock — it’s late, really late. Arino has the ADs give a show of hands if he should continue. All three men’s hands go up. Arino decides to press on.
This time he gets up to the boss of the tower. He gets ready for Ganon, but instead has to face Aghanim one more time! Aghanim now splits into three and sends even more deadly beams Arino’s way. He’s almost killed by them, but he eventually gets a hit in and defeats Aghanim Is this it? No, of course not. Arino is flown away, back to the main pyramid in front of the hole Ganon’s crashed into. He jumps down and faces the big blue pig. A bunch of sword slashes and torch-lighting has Arino thinking he must be doing something right, but he’s missing the key ingredient to success, and ends up dying. Just then, he’s handed an inspirational fax from… Kibe-kun?
Arino heads outside the pyramid and bombs a suspicious wall. He drops the bow & arrow in the spring inside, and the fairy gives him the silver arrows. He heads back in. This time he really shows Ganon the what-for with the silver arrow. The ADs look intently at the monitors. Two hits — he’s almost there. A little bit longer, and… yes! Three hits connect, and Ganon is destroyed! After two days and 27 hours total, Arino’s quest is finished. AD Urakawa steps in and hands him a bouquet. And then, a new business card. He’s been "promoted" to Kacho! No better ending to season 3.
The "thrilling" conclusion! Arino reaches a dead end that turns out to be another warp. Wondering where to go from here, he refers to the stack of postcards. His first pick? The 12 year-old Kaayan, of course. He calls him, doesn’t get much info, but picks up a hint from another caller about which directions he should head in. After that, he ends up fighting another boss and defeats it.
Eventually he finds another warp zone, but is hesitant to try it. But he jumps in, and after 20 minutes of wandering around, He finds another shrine-type place. The screen goes blue, a couple of lines of text pass, and then.. "The End." Arino stares blankly at the screen for a moment or two. He calls his old roommate Yoshiyuki, who just confirms his fear. That’s the end of the game, now and forever. But at least Arino was one of the few to get there! Eeeyeah.
Game Collections: 1986: October-December