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Monday, August 25, 2014

Adding to my Bucket List: The Zelda Three Heart Challenge


While reading a recent Kotaku article about making old games feel new again, I was inspired to add one of their recommendations to my Bucket List: The Zelda Three Heart Challenge. If you don't know what it is, there is a brief summary on the Zelda wiki here. It's pretty much what it sounds like: you play through your Zelda game of choice, without grabbing extra heart pieces or containers. It's a fun, creative way to add challenge to any Zelda game, and something every fan (including myself) should try at least once.

I've played Ocarina of Time on multiple occasions, and 100% completed it almost every play-through. I heard about the Three Heart Challenge a few years back, and what fascinates me the most about it is how it offers a different experience than 100% completing a Zelda game. If you collected all the Gold Skulltulla's in Ocarina, chances are someone else did that too almost exactly the same way you did. Finding all the bottles, heart containers, etc. is pretty standard stuff and we've all shared similiar experiences in achieving that goal. But a Three Heart Challenge pretty much guarantees your play-through won't be similar to your friends, or any one else's.

I would imagine you pretty much have to try not taking a hit from enemies or bosses, and that will have you focusing on a play style you feel most comfortable with. What item will you use more: the bow or boomerang? Will you go for the big leaping attacks or will you play it safe with short, quick stabs? Will you go out of your way to collect items that you don't really need to complete the story? Or will you try to get every collectible possible besides the heart pieces, to prove that you are the ultimate Zelda master? The possibilities are endless, and that's what excited me the most about the Three Heart Challenge.

A part of me feels like I should try this first with Ocarina of Time. It's the Zelda game I've played the most, and have a good memory of all the dungeons and bosses. The idea of tackling the Water Temple with three hearts though? That's the stuff of nightmares. But if someone can beat the entire game under 20 minutes, it can't be too hard right? Or maybe I should try it with Wind Waker, the Zelda game I finally beat after 11 years. Even though it took me forever to finally finish that game, I didn't faint once during my journey. A three heart challenge shouldn't be too difficult for me with Wind Waker. I've also been meaning to play A Link Between Worlds again, maybe doing the challenge will finally pull me away from Pokemon X.

Or maybe I should do them all! Who knows, it'll probably be so much fun that I would want to keep doing them across all the different Zelda games I own. I don't really care about how challenging they will be, that's part of the fun. I've never been one to shy away from a difficult game or challenge, so I'm not too worried about it. I'm more interested in the experience, and the Zelda Three Heart Challenge seems like no other. So let's add it to the list! Hopefully one day soon I can proudly cross it off.

My Bucket List
  • Complete the endless set list in Rock Band
  • Visit an EVO tournament
  • Compete at a regional VGC Pokemon tournament
  • Play at an Arcade in Japan
  • Attend a PAX event
  • Host a 24 hour gaming session for charity
  • Enter a video game tournament with my kids
  • Lose to my kids in video games (without trying to)
  • Complete the Zelda Three Heart Challenge

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