It's that time again! I say that like I keep a regular schedule for this feature; haha, I kill me. I've tried, but then I get lazy. I haven't even written an article on here outside of my two feature series(es?) in weeks. Thank Niero's updating of the community blogs to be more user friendly for pulling me back to writing something after nearly two weeks! I hope you all survived in my absence.
Today's secret is from one of my favorite games ever. I know there are a lot out there who consider this game their favorite member of the franchise it belongs to, which is really saying something. I think it may be my personal favorite, too.
(It isn't Metal Slug, by the way; I just couldn't resist spelling out that "rocket launcher" soundbite in the title.)
Ever since the first Legend Of Zelda, secrets have been a significant aspect of the series, and not just in terms of hidden extra heart containers or other ways to extend the number of x that you can carry/use. Link's Awakening, the fourth entry and the first Zelda for Game Boy, remains one of the most secret-filled, or at least the one with the most cameos. The somewhat mysterious story is wrapped in a shell of light-hearted humor, and this refusal by the game to take itself too seriously was a refreshing change from the dramatics of the previous games. It also provided fertile ground for planting lots of Easter Eggs, and a few of these are actually somewhat useful, including today's secret.
What is it?
A hidden weapon technique.
How do you get it?
First you must acquire two weapons, both of which are necessary for completion of the game: the bow (and arrows) and bombs.
Both of them can be found in the shop in Mabe Village after you buy the shovel there, but take note that one of them is rather pricey...
Once you have both items, equip both of them (fun fact: this game introduced the ability to equip more than one non-sword/shield weapon at a time to the Zelda series, treating your sword and shield like the other earned weapons.)
Finally, press B and A at the same time. You may have to work on the timing; if you can't get it, try to press the A button first, as your thumb (or at least mine) tends to naturally hit the B button first when trying to mash both of them. Anyway, when you do it successfully, this happens:
How awesome is this secret?
Now you can launch bombs across the screen, and they explode on impact. Perfect for the hero on the go who has no time to mess with such foppery as "fuses." Excellent for the green thumb in your life looking for a better way to take care of weeds and maintain their garden. It also makes julienne fries.
Seriously, Link just built an RPG launcher. It'd be easier to describe how not
awesome that is. This turns timed bombs that take a little finesse to use in some situations into ranged death that takes no prisoners. This is an effective way to clear a crowded room of enemies. It's magnificent against those bad guys whose main weakness is bombs (save for the dodongo-esque creatures that need to be fed bombs to be defeated) such as Pols Voice.
One of the favorite room puzzles in A Link To The Past and Link's Awakening is a chasm or wall separating Link from a group of bomb-allergic enemies that must be defeated to open the exit door. The usual method is to lay a bomb down, pick it up, then throw over the wall/chasm with excellent timing so that the wandering enemies walk into the explosion. This little secret provides a much easier answer.
One of the things I liked about this secret when I first found out about it was a certain ambiguity. That is to say, it's difficult to determine from a player's perspective whether this is a glitch in the way the game handles weapons (which would make it the first glitch I've featured here,) or if it is an intended hidden feature put in by the designers. Nothing at all in the game requires you to do this. On the other hand, this trick made it into the Game Boy Color remake of the original game (obviously) while an infamous glitch (the map screen scrolling trick) was removed. One more bit of evidence that it was intentional is that bomb arrows returned in Twilight Princess, not as separate ammunition but by combining the bombs with the bow (this time as a documented technique, however.) It's possible that it started as an unintended glitch that the designers liked, and became a feature.
Whatever the case, take this knowledge I have bestowed upon you, and use it well.
By that, of course, I mean go harass the shit out of chickens.