MasterQuesting | 2011-10-17

About a month ago, Nick and I were playing Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: MasterQuest 2: Electric Boogaloo. This game billed itself as a more challenging version of the dungeons of OoT. Mildly excited for this possibility we popped it in. Mind you, only the dungeons are changed in this game, so the beginning plays just like OoT. Get the sword, get the sheild, go to the Deku.

Once inside the Deku tree, we saw few changes. There was nothing that made the game more challenging until we came to one certain room. The room was separated into two sides by water. There was a horizontal spinning spike pole in the center, just above the water level. On the other shore, was an unlit torch, and a small platform rested on the water, touching the shore. On the shore we were on, was an unlit torch and a switch. In the water was a blue Tektite.

Normal for a Zelda game. We knew we needed to light the torches; but how? We stepped on the switch. The nearby torch lit up and the platform moved towards us. We quickly lit our torch and jumped onto the platform only to be stabbed by the spike pole in the center. We tried several more obvious things, but none of them seemed to work. Maybe we needed the tektite to stand on the switch? We tried that and it seemed to have no effect.

Then something clicked. This was the harder version of OoT. This was the Master Quest! Maybe this was ONLY for pros at the original game. We came up with the only reasonable answer:

This all seemed totally reasonable to us. We understood that we were invincible for a certain amount of time, but we were never forced to use it to our advantage in a puzzle situation. This was the best possible thing that Master Quest could've been. This was what we were hoping for. We didn't want a game that treated us like a novice.

At times the task seemed impossible. After trying it so many times, switching back and forth angrily, excited for another attempt, Nick finally succeeded. We were astounded that it worked. It shouldn't have worked. It shouldn't be necessary! Using the games minute, nearly imperceptible mechanics to complete a level should be ridiculous. But it was necessary. Or so we thought.

We continued to play the game, searching for those types of answers, but a simpler one always prevailed. We began to wonder if what we did actually was necessary. We checked a faq and discovered that if you held the switch the water level would drop and you could make it simply by jumping onto the platform with a lit stick. At this point we turned the game off.

The point of this article is not how much of a disappointment Master Quest was. It's bringing attention to a new gaming term: MasterQuesting. When you use this type of in-depth knowledge to complete a puzzle or defeat an enemy, you are MasterQuesting.

MasterQuesting (verb) The act of using the game's mechanics in the strictest sense to progress through a level. This can include anything that is inherent to the game (without the addition of hacking software) can be exploited to proceed.