Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Salvage Arm!

Last night, my Springtime allergies caught-up with me and I couldn't sleep. This happens with me about once a year - in Canada and in Korea. If I lie down, my chest fills with all sorts of bubbly goodness and I can't bloody-well breathe. So, I end-up sitting-up in bed with pillows propped-up against the wall and do my best not to tip-over and smash my face on the window sill or bookshelf.

Anyway, last night, my allergies woke me up at about 3:30 after having gotten to bed at 1:30 and I was up until breakfast time. Sleep just wasn't going to happen, so I picked-up my Nintendo DS and decided to make some progress on a game I bought in Korea 3 and a half years ago.

I never really made it that far the The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass in the first go-round, and then I kind of gave-up. Quest games are like that, if you go away from them for any length of time, you pretty much have to start all-over again so that all of the maps and (in this case) sea charts make some measure of sense.

The portable Zelda is great for the subway life as it's episodic in nature and a lot of the journey can be solved in chapter stages - something easily achievable on the average subway ride. All that, and I've always had a soft spot for Zelda games. The DS versions are especially creative and fun. Who doesn't want to amass collections of various forms of who-ha and take the sword to baddies as one traverses the lands and seas of Hyrule? Great game mechanics and charming animation. Good times for nerds like me.

Well, at about 4:30 AM, I was all jazzed from getting through the third level of the Temple of the Ocean King, when I was told to head back to an island and talk to some clown named "Eddo" who could upgrade my vessel with a "salvage arm" which I could then use to scour the ocean floor for valuable treasures and tools. Problem was, Eddo got all Rod Tidwell and wanted me to tell him with audible gusto just how much I wanted that salvage arm affixed to my watery steed.

The DS makes use of the microphone a lot in this game - requiring some verbal commands, and other times asking the player to blow lightly into the microphone to blow-out a candle, or huff, puff, and then blow in order to get windmills turning, etc. But here I was, with two sleepy and travel-weary lads sleeping in the loft. I had to put it away until the morning. But let me tell you, that salvage arm haunted some Davey dreams.

I spent the next few minutes searching online for suggestions of how to bring the price of the salvage arm down a bit, as one site suggested that the volume would determine the price - the average amount seeming to come to 300 rupees or thereabouts. I guess Nintendo really wanted its customers to act like tools on the subway - screaming for the salvage arm in the middle of a quiet morning commute. One of my house guests, Jacob, who admittedly has a very loud voice even when a conversation's tone calls for the opposite, was just the thing I needed.

So, when we all awoke for a brief breakfast send-off this morning, I handed the DS to Jacob and told him what to do...

"GIVE ME THE f#@%ING SALVAGE ARM!!!" was Jacob's sudden and alarming request - directly into the mic, given at a decible count just below that which would achieve accute hearing damage.

Eddo was less than impressed, and asked for 1000 rupees.

Taken-aback, Jacob tried a more subdued approach - casually low-balling his excitement and almost whispering into the mic.

"200 rupees" was Eddo's offer.

Moral of the story: no matter what Eddo asks of you, speak softly, and walk off with a great deal on a salvage arm. I'm off to buy some antihistamines.


bizandsteve said...

I have found that blowing into the DS is far more effective than talking while playing the Zelda games (both Phantom and Spirit Tracks). Fair warning for completion of this game, you may find some parts to be anti-climactic:)

George Bailey Sees The World! said...

Fair enough. Eddo told me that I could have just snapped my fingers instead - but that was after the fact. I'm finally on the Ghost Ship, but appear to be about half-way through the game. I'm still impressed, although that Temple of the Ocean King is starting to grate on me nerves. Is Spirit Tracks a better overall game, then?