The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

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North American box art.

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap is a top-down action adventure game developed by Flagship and published by Nintendo on the Game Boy Advance in 2004. The Zelda game uses an engine similar to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Once again, you play Link who must save the princess Zelda who, in this game, has been turned to stone by an evil wizard who plays only a passing role in the game. All of the typical 2-D Zelda tropes are here, upgrading sword and shield, boomerang, pegasus boots, bottles, octoroks, rupees, etc. The main gimmick of this game is that Link often must shrink down to the tiny size of the Minish, a race of miniature elves. While tiny, Link can perform tasks that will affect the normal sized world. Ultimately, the game seems to exist as the back-story of Link's hat.

I never owned a Game Boy Advance, so I didn't play this game when it came out. However, as an avid Zelda fan, I made a point to play it, and beat it around 2010.

Status

Beat the game with all major items, but not all miniatures or kinstones.

Review

  • Overall: 7/10
  • Best Version: Game Boy Advance

Good

  • I love A Link to the Past, and The Minish Cap adds more of the same, but it's still different enough to make it a uniquely enjoyable experience.
  • The game has a lot of side-quests to give it more replay value.
  • There are plenty of new monsters, items, and special moves to find.
  • While some games create an item just for a single use, most of the items here have various uses on various enemies or objects. For example, the boomerang not only stuns enemies, and collects items, but also has special effects on sparks, bob-ombs, etc.
  • Shrinking down to Minish size is really interesting and adds a new dynamic to the game.
  • The kinstones add a lot of secrets to the game.
  • Super strong gold monsters are a cool idea.

Bad

  • The game is really easy. Having never played it before, I made it all the way to the final boss before dying for the first time.
  • Kinstones are overplayed. A lot of the time, you use a kinstone just to reveal another kinstone, and all of the secrets are repeated too many times. If the total was cut in half, I wouldn't be missing anything. I also didn't like the idea of having to revisit every NPC in the game numerous times because they aren't willing to trade until later in the game. Also, too many of the game's prizes are kinstones.
  • The collectable miniatures are a cute side-quest that reveal useful hints throughout the game, but they take -way- too much grinding and time to collect. If they could expedite the conversation and decrease the number of shells needed, it would be more tolerable.
  • Few of the NPCs have very much character to them. So they don't feel like real people.
  • Since the villain doesn't really do much, he seems tacked-on and boring.

Ugly

  • The chicken side-quest is especially annoying. It begins cute, but quickly becomes a controller-throwing frustration of the damn mailman getting in the way, and evil gold chickens pissing you off. I spent well over an hour on it, but still never beat it.

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