This is a continuation of our Ocarina notes project. You can see all the parts here.
Part 10: Spirit Temple and Gerudo Valley
Perculia: Gerudo Fortress quickly establishes itself as a fresh area–you’re stuck in prison immediately. The thieves, seemingly without a leader, have thrown terrified carpenters into prison, and if you get too close to them or fail to block their signature attack, you’ll end up back in prison too. While the guards are hostile, they don’t seem wholly evil from the start–it’s more that they’re testing you to become a better fighter, up to their standards. I admit I struggled with this part at first, trying different combat moves against them and getting discouraged when I was sent to prison before I really knew what happened. I ended up being able to defeat the guards in contrasting ways–gaining distance, side-stepping attacks, and slashing right after, as well as staying in close range, cornering the guard, and waiting for the right moment to attack. I also paid attention to the large commonrooms in between the passageways and cells–by jumping onto a floating block via hookshotting the ceiling, I learned I could avoid patrolling guards below. I also dodged the patrolling guards, but I was curious about the presence of the stone platforms and their function. As it turns out, hookshotting the ceiling was the solution to bypassing a hallway blockage leading to a rooftop chest and heart piece.
Hamlet: One stealth sequence in every adventure game or RPG is a trope that’s about as old and pervasive as they come. Ocarina’s isn’t bad. The game is not exactly cut out for that sort of hide-and-seek gameplay, but they keep it short and come up with a few distinct obstacles. The Hookshot is your only heavy-duty non-combat tool (Hover Boots are pretty unexciting), but they definitely get some mileage out of it here.