State of the Game (v1.4 - A detailed breakdown of the DLC additions)

Heyo! I originally intended to write a review and list of balance suggestions for the first DLC pack, but never got around to it until now. At this point, obviously DLC3 is out as well, so I’m going to make a full write-up here covering all the DLC packs. This will contain assorted comments, observations, opinions, balance suggestions, you name it. This will probably be a bit of a long one, so let’s strap in and get going!

I’m going to mostly go in order, but I’m gonna get this out of the way first and foremost because these game-breaking issues have come up in DLC 3 and absolutely need to be addressed ASAP.

1. The Future Hyrule theme and the King Dobongo double-time rush are VERY offsync. These need to be realigned to their respective beatmaps.
2. All bosses have gained the ability to attack the player after the player kills them. Finish off any boss as they’re about to hit the player and you’ll take damage.
3. Freddy’s battle AI in Temple of Brainstorms is broken, and he’s prone to teleporting inside your current tile. While some characters can survive this, most will unavoidably die to this.

Anyway, that’s the important points out of the way. Let’s get on with the write-up!

DLC1: Character Pack
This pack added five new characters - Aria, Frederick, Impa, Shadow Zelda, and Shadow Link, as well as Mystery Mode and All Characters Mode. Let’s break this down piece by piece.

  • Shadow Zelda/Link

Lumping these together because they’re basically the same thing: a slightly rehashed version of the original starting characters. I gotta be honest, these are super underwhelming with their most noteworthy aspects being some kinda cool/creepy-looking animations. The differences to their abilities are barely noticeable, making these characters feel like ultimately fairly pointless fluff. I really feel like these could have used at least a little something to make them stand out from the rest of the cast. Make them start the game in Kakariko Crypt? Make their abilities much stronger, but also cost health in addition to stamina? Unique alternative mini-bosses that replace the Shadow Link/Zelda fights in dungeons? Just a couple of ideas.

  • Impa

Lot of interesting ideas here. A character that starts with Spear gives a good option for people who want to enable Double-Time Mode without being too difficult - thinking of the classic Bolt experience here. I think Impa’s a lot of fun to play, but I do have to express frustrations at the Spearmaster achievement. The fact that the item-pickup animation overrides you holding down the R-button to hold the Spear out is INCREDIBLY frustrating. Certain pickups arbitrarily causing the game to ignore some player actions probably shouldn’t be a thing. I lost so many attempts at this achievement to a wizzrobe spawning near me as I stepped on a Key. The achievement could also use some rephrasing to make it clear that the side-characters in the Ganon fight using weapon attacks is ok. She also maybe should have started single-character runs at Zelda’s Tower, given that’s where she is in Story Mode.

  • Frederick

I really like the concept here! Freddy’s abilities and unique item-selling mechanic are a nice setup and make for a very unique approach. I think my problem here is that, provided you’re at least semi-consistently keeping your multiplier up, tons of enemies drop high-value blue and red rupees. This ultimately makes the “challenge” posed basically a non-threat, allowing you to safely ignore the rupee drain. I feel like this could maybe be addressed by increasing the Rupee bleed rate the higher your current rupee count is. As it is, it was way too easy to hoard hundreds of rupees and get well out of range of ever having to worry about going broke. In addition, perhaps his starting spawn position could have been one of his random overworld shops rather than Link’s house?

  • Aria

I appreciate some of the changes to make her more palatable (most noteworthy, tapping against walls being allowed, and pausing the game allowing the player to skip beats again until they move), but even so, Aria doesn’t really crossover directly into Cadence of Hyrule super well. Part of what makes Aria’s design work well in Crypt of the NecroDancer is the game’s vastly deterministic nature. With a very short list of exceptions (Bats and Sarcophagi), a sufficiently experienced player who thinks fast enough can route their way through tight swarms safely despite her laundry list of limitations because they know exactly how all the enemies will act. Cadence of Hyrule is by design, however, significantly less deterministic. The list of enemies with random aspects to their behavior goes on and on, with a lot of them having hard requirements to react on the fly to an attack within one beat.

Combined with Aria’s massive limitations, this forces players to play extremely slowly and defensively, as trying to play more aggressively usually means depending on a non-deterministic enemy involved behaving favorably. Sometimes, even with super defensive play, I found myself still dying to circumstances outside my control just because of the game’s randomness.

Wizzroboe is a prime example of this - with Aria’s lack of a defensive ability, Wizzroboe can easily trap her with its phase 2 teleporting spell-rush against a leftover Wizzrobe projectile or Ice Elemental from the previous phase. This attack in itself is completely unfair if played on double-time mode without some sort of cheese strat (either pause-buffering or Shrine of Death), as it forces precisely correct 1-beat reactions up to 6 times in a row. In short, Aria (and by extension Coda) worked well in NecroDancer because of how fairly and consistently the game treated the player, but that treatment is not to be found here and, as such, she’s not a great fit in Hyrule. I don’t really have a lot of suggestions on making her feel better that don’t involve completely reworking a lot of enemy functionality - perhaps reducing enemy count across the board (as was done to her and several other characters in NecroDancer) could help.

In addition, DLC1 made it so that if all your characters are frozen or stunned, you cannot maintain your multiplier, whether you continue to act or not. The only way around this is to pause the game and unpause, regaining the grace period where you can’t miss a beat until you start to move again. This change should absolutely be reverted, as it turns otherwise harmless effects into devastating blows for Aria, not to mention makes life worse for other characters using Obsidian equipment.

  • Mystery Mode and All Characters Mode

Not really much to say on these. Mystery Mode is the same as in NecroDancer and is an interesting alternative, though not one I’m personally likely to play much. All Characters Mode more strongly highlights some of the concerns about Dungeon Mode’s repetitiveness that I’ve voiced in the past. Keys being utterly non-essential and every floor’s layout algorithm being essentially the same makes Dungeon Mode feel a bit monotonous, let alone when you’re playing a sub-mode where you play it 8+ times in a row.

Another point of concern with this update was the readability of the UI. As the menus got further filled with a massive amount of options in both modes and character selection, it feels like some tweaks to the menu to make it friendlier to navigate would have been welcome. Character portraits to go along with the text names, and greyed/partial previews of what options are to the left/right of your current option are a few things that come to mind. It seems like a small point, but I think it could go a long way.

DLC2: Melody Pack
Not much to say here. The remixes are all fantastic and, as far as I know, don’t have any syncing issues. I’m a little sad there aren’t remixed versions of any of the boss themes, though.

DLC3: Symphony of the Mask
I’ve already covered the major gamebreaking issues at the beginning of this post so here we’ll go into all the individual components of the DLC, what I liked and didn’t like, and what I think will improve the add-on from a gameplay balance perspective.

  • Skull Kid/Symphony of the Mask

Skull Kid’s concept is fantastic. I love the idea of a character that swaps abilities and fighting styles on the fly. The story’s decent and I generally like the new Overworld, though I find myself wishing it was maybe just a tiny bit bigger (8x8?), or maybe even just made into a direct translation of the Light World map. As touched on in the DLC1 Aria review, however, I’m not the biggest fan of the non-deterministic random elements to Skull Kid’s abilities (Skull Mask’s random 1HKO attacks, and Zora Mask’s random ice projectiles). I think I would have liked these much better if the Skull Mask’s kills occurred at set intervals (e.g. instant kill every 10 attacks) and if Zora Mask’s projectiles shot with some sort of pattern that’s difficult to utilize effectively, but still predictable to some degree (e.g. shoot projectiles perpindicular to your facing direction, or have them shoot up+down on the first use and rotate 45 degrees clockwise every subsequent use).

  • Puzzle Mode/Temple of Brainstorms

A procedurally generated item-based puzzle dungeon is a very unique direction. I imagine it must have been a pretty daunting thing to put together, and I’m very impressed with the results. All that said, I do find myself questioning if it’s consistently the ideal fit for a game with NecroDancer style gameplay. CoH/CotND’s beat-timer was primarily meant as a means to force the player to make on-the-fly decisions in tight situations, but in this mode/dungeon it all too often only serves to slow the player to a crawl crossing the room to push an ice block into a non-threatening lizalfos, or to make a player stand still for uncomfortable amounts of time while a slow-moving enemy shambles over to a panel on a wire puzzle. The only places where the beat-timer really felt like an appropriate fit were the small flawless victory puzzles and the Synthrova fight. I feel like this dungeon would vastly feel better if it were always on fixed-beat mode outside of these two instances. As it is, the ice-block and wire-panel puzzles feel like a chore to sit through.

My initial impressions on the Synthrova fight is that it feels a little disappointingly heavy on the RNG-side, with whether or not you’re able to make cycles essentially being down to luck on which wires activated and what pops out of the enemy spawners. That said, it’s at the very least a chaotic boss fight that’s quite a bit of fun to go through casually, and is absolutely wild on double-time. I’ll hold back on making any final judgments on this until I have more chances to practice the fight.

  • Arena Mode/Gerudo Arena

At its core, this is one of my favorite additions to the game. It’s kind of like deathless mode from NecroDancer that addresses both of its main drawbacks by adding a steadily increasing difficulty, as well as the ability to save and continue later.

One item completely breaks this mode wide open - Ring of Stealth. With Stealth, what’s seemingly supposed to be a finite run where you are inevitably overwhelmed by a giant swarm of enemies well before you hit the 9999 rupee cap can go infinite, as you can simply camp a corner and peel enemies off of the massive enemy hoard bit by bit. I strongly recommend removing the Ring of Stealth entirely specifically from Arena Mode.

The Purple chests could also use some sort of adjustment, as the vast majority of the items obtained from it are almost entirely useless. As it currently is, it’s almost always better to go to the blue chest for more glass weapons, or to just take the heart piece for a full heal.

Enemies hiding in diggable walls here are extremely prone to hitting the player on the same turn they’re uncovered, leading to unfair hits. This could use adjustment.

I like King Dobongo’s double-time burst gimmick (though it’s currently offsync and needs to be looked at), but honestly overall I feel it’s somewhat of a boring boss fight. While you can usually count on him to continue making laps around the arena, sometimes you miss out on cycles because he unexpectedly swaps directions, or the bombkoblin you need to resupply your bomb bag spawns too far away. Compared to the chaos of the Synthrova fight, this fight involves a lot of standing around waiting for an opportunity to deal damage, especially in the earlier slower-moving stages. As with Synthrova, I’ll still have to spend more time fighting him before I can make final assessments.

  • New Enemies

I like most of the new enemies. The swiping broadsword Lizalfos are scary but pretty manageable, and the Eyeballs (can’t recall their names) are a neat twist on the Evil Eyes from NecroDancer. Bomb bokoblins are a neat tweak to the Bokoblin formula, with neat potential for friendly fire setups from savvy players.

I’m not the biggest fan of the exploding bat things (can’t remember their name right now), as it’s yet again another fully random effect that you have to react to in a single beat (less than that, even, as the animation of them exploding into Keese takes some time). These types of effects translate incredibly poorly to double-time mode.

Minor objection to the flavoring of Phasing Zols. Every Zol type has a pattern that ignores the player and follows a set movement pattern (at least until they’re split), but Phasing Zols are a basic two-beat chase AI. They don’t really seem like they fit the archetype.

Skull Ganon basically being Ganon But Easier is a bit of a letdown, especially after the last boss that was added to the game, The NecroDancer, was arguably the most creative and enjoyable fight not only in Cadence of Hyrule, but in Crypt of the NecroDancer as well. I’d really like to see some more unique flavor on this fight.

  • New Items

Magic Torch is a neat alternative to the powerful Torch of Wisdom, but its stamina draining trait makes it a pretty divisive item. It’s great for characters that don’t tend to use their stamina (Aria, Yves, Cadence), less useful for characters with decent stamina abilities (Link, Zelda), and straight awful for characters with strong abilities requiring a full bar (Octavo, Impa). Overall though, I think the vast range of usefulness based on character choice isn’t inherently a problem, and I think this item’s in a pretty good spot.

Gold Shovel is an interesting new angle on shovels and has a lot of potential value in Arena Mode runs (assuming we lose the infinite-run capabilities Ring of Stealth provides). While not gamebreaking, it’s a neat item that can help with resource management.

Ring of Stealth is a decent idea, but I think the effect is a bit too strong, especially in Arena Mode where, as I already mentioned, I think it should be removed entirely. Perhaps an increase to the player aggro range would help.

Boots of Leaping… oh boy, Boots of Leaping. I wish I were exaggerating, but the moment it became clear that these were added to the game and findable in all game modes, a lot of players said they were probably done with speedrunning the game. The simple fact is that these are WAY TOO POWERFUL in a speedrunning context compared to literally every other item (permanent or temporary), making for a metagame that is overcentralized on finding a single item. While using them effectively within dungeons can be challenging at times, they’re ridiculously easy to utilize in overworld traversal where enemies and obstacles are comparatively few and far between, giving a runner several minutes of free timesave in extreme cases. I’m not sure how to suggest a re-balance on this - I’m just not going to mince words and say that I think most of the speedrunning community would have rather these never been added in the first place.

  • Other Changes

Flails seem to be kinda buggy and sometimes attack on both sides simultaneously. Even if this is an intended change, the graphics don’t show an attack swing on both sides.

Zoras shooting ice instead of fire is a welcome change. That said, while it does reduce the number of situations where the player is somewhat unfairly affected by burn damage, it still doesn’t do anything about the underlying mechanics of burn damage that are being a problem in the first place.

Mini-boss rooms were changed to remove their grace period where the enemies wait a few beats before moving. While I do feel that period was a bit on the long side previously (sometimes you could even kill them before they even moved), I think removing that period entirely is a bit unfair and sometimes causes players to nearly instantly be attacked upon entering a mini-boss room. There should be an acceptable middle ground somewhere between the 8 (?) beat long waiting period, and having none at all.

The removal of the bomb boost/pot throw skip in Temple of Storms is a bit frustrating, though at least there are alternatives to the reliable Power Glove setup in Cane of Somaria, Tower Shield, and Boomerang/Hookshot + Iron Boots. The problem here though is there’s also a setup for a skip that only needs Boots of Leaping + Bombchu, which further cements the problem with Leaping being overcentralizing.

The addition of the tree at the southern end of the Hyrule Castle border just seems… odd. It doesn’t do much to interrupt the wall-walking approach on most seeds as one can just walk around it to the right, but can make for very frustrating run-arounds in a select few seeds.

The Yves speedrun is an unfortunate victim to the way the new Future Hyrule content was implemented, and is honestly what I’m most disappointed in with this new update. Previously, Yves speedruns involved a number of complex minimal-item skips which relied on bomb boosts. Since Yves has low health, this was only doable with a bottle and constant potion refills between skips. This led to a neat routing and resource management game, where one had to locate additional shops, maintain cash flow to afford potion refills, and manage the dungeon order in a way that transitioned between run stages smoothly. It was easily my favorite combination challenge/speed run in the entire game.

Sadly though, with Yves not being eligible for the new item-based Temple of Brainstorms, he has a much faster run by going through Future Hyrule, as ToBS is literally reduced to a lone boss fight with no puzzles. With technically no more need for bomb boost cushions, the complex resource management and routing game is now completely gone and replaced with a reset-fest for an immediately adjacent Lost Woods to warp to Future and rush down two very RNG-heavy bosses. While a lot faster than pre-1.4 runs, it’s much less intriguing and loses much of its roguelike charm with a very one-dimensional route.

I think that’s all I’ve got for now. I may come back with more thoughts later, especially once the key points mentioned at the start of the thread are addressed - those points are making it difficult for me to focus on much else in the game. If there are any questions or things you’d like for me to elaborate on, feel free to ask. Thanks for your time!

6 Likes

On the subject of more things that are very obviously not working as intended:

Adding to Spooty’s comment on bosses hitting you after you kill them, wire puzzles in ToBS also does the same thing. Destroying all points on the wire still lets enemies hit you before they despawn. I died to it on stream losing what I think was a sub 17 pace Puzzle Mode run (lost my hover boots).

Dungeon mode’s Gold chests and Flawless Blue chests can still give you multiple base weapons of the same type. I’m fairly sure this isn’t intended since the newly added Arena Mode correctly gives me glass weapons instead. There have been seeds that gave me 2 BASE broadswords and 2 BASE spears in the span of 2 zones from 2 gold chests and 2 flawless chests.

Onto the balance issues not mentioned by Spooty:

Green puffshroom’s huge AoE makes for some impossible exits in Deku Hollow when placed in a convenient chokes with traps. Not sure how you’d fix this, since NecroDancer’s zone 2 also suffers the same problem sometimes.

Right now entering River of Ice from the right side seems like an objectively wrong decision. Trying to go ahead ignoring the Daira, there’s 2 blue tektites that can basically lock you in place almost indefinitely, or at least long enough for the White Daira to get to you.

Trying to kill those 2 tektites will take a combined 10-16 ish beats depending on what weapon you have, plenty of time to also let the Daira get to you.

You also can’t quite kill the Daira in time before the tektites get to you if you decide to try to kill the Daira first and I won’t even try to count how long it takes to kill one on dagger range, your best bet is to poke it a few times with Skull Mask and HOPE that the instakill procs, otherwise, leave the screen, come back, roll the dice again, and so on.

Personal opinions not really related to balance:

I don’t really like how Goriya and Rope wire puzzles work. It’s difficult enough to get both enemy types to move in a specific direction. With Ropes, getting them to move a specific way without triggering their 2-tile charge is so much of a pain you’d much rather tank it. Goriyas are kind of the reverse, once they start throwing their boomerang it takes forever until you can start to wrangle them again.

Feels weird when you pick up some Lead Boots/Ring of Piercing/Ring of Courage in ToBS and have to somehow spend enough durability to break it before the next puzzle becomes possible (think lizalfos wire rooms and turbine rooms) it would be nice if there’s a place where you can purge those items instead of holding an arrow key against wall and wait.

That’s all I have to add here, I’ve been running Puzzle Mode a ton and it’s been fun. Broken Freddy AI makes it less so, but I’m still enjoying it.

2 Likes

I agree with everything said here. I’m really worried about the number of people that don’t have any more interest in playing this game anymore because of this update

1 Like

I agree with everything that Spooty said, but there are also a few other things I wanted to point out.

Characters

Unless this was changed in 1.4, Aria’s item pool is littered with items that are completely useless for her. It’s mostly defense-providing items (ring of protection, greaves), but also ring of healing. Battle torch can be used I guess…? But it requires having a potion, so it’s mostly useless. The scroll that increases defense (scroll of enchant armor? I don’t remember the exact name) is also useless, but removing it would make it impossible to fill all slots in the inventory, so I guess it has this reason to still be there… kind of.
Removing these items from Aria’s pool would make it more likely to find useful stuff instead, and would probably make the experience less frustrating.

As far as other characters go, I especially want to emphasise how nice it would be if they had different starting locations. Currently, the main thing I like about Shadow Zelda is that she starts in a different location than regular Zelda, which makes the overworld routing and the run work out quite a bit differently despite the character mechanics being mostly the same.

However, this can’t be said about Shadow Link, as he starts in the same place as regular Link (well, I guess he starts outside of the house but it doesn’t really make a difference…). This makes these 2 characters almost identical. As Spooty said, it’d be great if the shadow characters started in Kakariko crypt somewhere instead, and it’d also make sense given how there’s a guaranteed Shadow Link/Shadow Zelda miniboss there.

I think this would make for a pretty interesting meta, since in single character mode you get a weapon from Kakariko crypt. Being able to get it early without taking too much time doing it could actually make the run a lot different from other characters, which is I think what the shadow characters need to be a bit more popular. While it’d still be faster to find glass and, you know, just not get hit, in races it could be a good idea to grab the guaranteed damage up weapon, since you might not find glass for a while.
This does bring an issue of no guaranteed shovel/torch being available anywhere, but Octavo doesn’t get them either and does just fine.

For other characters the starting location isn’t that big of an issue since they already offer very unique gameplay mechanics. That said, making them start elsewhere would still add some more variety, and I think that’s always great to have (and it’s not like there’s a logical explanation of why Freddy would start from Link’s house).

Main menu

Spooty mentioned that the UI in the menu is a bit of an issue. Personally I don’t think this is a huge deal, since it’s still organised in a reasonable way, but the annoying part for me is having to navigate this menu literally every time I want to restart a run. Simple solution to that would be making the menu remember the previously selected settings.

Being able to choose the character costume from the menu would also be really nice, since you still need to do it ingame, which wastes a bit of time. It would work especially well if the menu remembered last selected settings as I said above.

Future Hyrule overworld

I’m a little disappointed that there are no tiles with guaranteed item chests (as in, chest always has a specific item in it, like wisdom torch next to the fountain in present Hyrule) in the future Hyrule overworld.

In present Hyrule, it’s important to memorise how some of the POIs look like on the minimap, since if you notice them you know that they are worth visiting for the item they have. This makes overworld traversal much more interesting that simply going from point A to point B, since you want to constantly be on the lookout for certain POIs on the minimap, and take small detours if they are worth it.

However, in future it’s, well… just going from point A to point B with not much else, due to all item chests being random. Even if you learn to recognise the POIs that have chests, it’s usually not going to be worth the risk of wasting time going out of your way for something not very useful.

I also wanted to mention that adding a guaranteed bomb drop in some bush or a pot in Deku Village would actually remove a lot of unnecessary randomness from Skull Kid runs, since ideally you want to use a bomb boost to get to the Frozen Grotto from the Sheikah Stone near it, and it’s done early in the run. Currently, the best thing to do is to hope that you get a random bomb drop somewhere in Deku Hollow. I’m also not sure if item drops from common enemies/random bushes are seeded, but if they aren’t, this could be a big issue in races if 1 person gets a bomb and the other doesn’t.

Temple of Brainstorms

I gotta say, I absolutely love this dungeon, even if due to its nature it causes a lot of variety in Skull Kid runs, which doesn’t really have an easy fix. Playing puzzle mode on its own is really nice though!

I think that some rooms being in beat mode is not necessairly bad - yes, it does slow the player down and can be annoying sometimes, but on the other hand it makes mistakes have bigger consequences. In the Lizalfos ice rooms, you can lose quite some time if you solve them in a way where you have to walk a lot. Because of that, it’s important to figure out a way to do them decently fast. If these rooms were fixed beat, it’d be better to just do whatever works since thinking about a good solution would take more time than the solution is actually going to save.

THAT SAID, the electricity rooms where you have to wait for gibdos to slowly make their way to the right tiles are absolutely painful due to how freaking slow gibdos are. I actually think that this one enemy type should be outright removed from these rooms entirely, since most of the time is spent standing in place and waiting which is just… not very interesting. Alternatively, even just replacing them with a variant of gibdos that moves faster would help a lot.

Boots of leaping…

As Spooty mentioned, many people said they were done with speedrunning the game when leaping was added, myself included. They are simply way too powerful, and run being good or not now heavily relies on finding early leaping for overworld traversal. And of course, it makes dungeons faster too. Meta that’s centered on finding one specific item early is simply very uninteresting and reset heavy, and because of that, just… not fun.

One of my main issues with these boots is that there already existed an item that allowed moving faster: the pegasus anklet, which uses stamina. The stamina use is what stops it from being completely ovepowered, while still being useful. Leaping completely outclasses the anklet, which is more than stupid for an item that can be found literally anywhere, while anklet can only be obtained from purple chests, many of which you have to complete puzzles or challenges for.

What I want to say here is, in my opinion, the way to fix leaping being so stupidly good is simply make it use a considerable amount of stamina, comparable to the amount used by anklet, maybe even more so that a temporary item isn’t better than a permanent item. It’d not actually make it strictly worse, since it’d still allow you to jump over pits, which can’t be done with anklet, so it’d always have some use. Given how there already is a temporary item that uses stamina to prevent it being ovepowered, the magic torch, I don’t see why a similar balancing strategy couldn’t be applied to leaping.

Other things

Spooty mentioned that flail can attack 2 enemies at once sometimes; I just wanted to add that an easy test case of this is the room with 4 confused poes in temple of brainstorms, if I recall correctly.

I think it’d be great if runs that take the “shotcuttter” route (going to future through the portal in lost woods cadence cave and clearing the future dungeons instead of the regular ones) had a separate leaderboard. Not only would this fix the Yves issue that Spooty brought up, but also add a bunch of new categories for every character. Runs that clear all 6 dungeons could also have their separate “all dungeons” leaderboard, but I guess this might be too much to ask for :stuck_out_tongue:

Either way, checks for these conditions are already in the game due to the “shortcutter” and “necro-mastery” achievements, so unless there are some roadblocks that I’m not aware of, I don’t think making runs that fulfil the requirements use separate leaderboards should be too much of an issue? Though maybe it would be a problem I guess, given how many leaderboards it would add when you include double time mode/fixed beat mode/mystery mode/etc variants… It’d be really awesome if the leaderboards were added though!!

Out of all these things I mentioned, I think many people who also speedrun the game (or well, USED TO speedrun) would agree that fixing leaping is the most important thing, since it unfortunately completely destroys all balance there used to be there in previous versions.

Personally I’d even be fine with all the other issues that 1.4 introduced.
- Bosses being able to hit you on the same beat you kill them? Annoying, but I guess just don’t kill them when they’re about to attack.
- Future hyrule music being horribly offsync? Pretty terrible, I guess try to move very late in the beat.
- Freddy teleporting inside of you in temple of brainstorms? While stupid, you can sort of get out of that with bombs most of the time (well I guess if you play Aria you have a pretty big problem when that happens :joy:)
- Boots of leaping? No. Just no.

2 Likes

Giving a +1 to all the other points that were mentioned here. Aria’s useless items is another big part of why she feels worse here than she does in NecroDancer, as it completely undercuts the value of fighting for additional items. Battle Torch, Ring of Protection, Ring of Healing, Greaves (though the set in the pot in Temple of Storms still serves a valid purpose of avoiding Iron Boots preventing progress), and Scroll of Enchant Armor all are worthless for her. Yves received an adjustment at v1.1 to replace all the permanent purple-chest items with temporary equipment and diamonds instead - Aria could use a similar touch-up.

Perhaps it was an intentional design point of making a Future Hyrule ruled by Ganon less hospitable, but there is a distinct lack of guaranteed hearts in bushes and pots in towns, which means that the most reliable way of refilling health is to suicide on a Cactus or some such. Maybe put a couple hearts in some bushes and a bomb in a pot somewhere?

Definitely want to echo the comment about Boots of Leaping vs. Pegasus Anklet, and also add Hookshot into the mix. PA was a pretty neat item in a speedrunning context because it was very obviously a big time-saver, but using it cut into your stamina which you might need for other things (mainly Nayru’s Love). It made for a neat aspect of proper stamina management where you had to be constantly aware of your surroundings, both to spot good positions to get a charged dash in, and to make sure you kept enough stamina for Nayru’s Love if you were likely going to need it in an upcoming fight. Hookshot, on the other hand, didn’t have the stamina cost, but had a limited set of places it could save time on, making it more about spacial awareness and proper movement. Improperly using the hookshot caused straight-up time loss, as opposed to improper PA usage usually causing loss of health.

But just having Leaping alone outclasses both the Pegasus Anklet’s and the Hookshot’s movement boost without the downsides. Leaping doesn’t need specific items to hook onto, doesn’t need stamina, and doesn’t commit you to a particular course of action for several beats - you just straight up move faster for 400 steps. And again, this is an item that can spawn in multiple places in open red chests, while the now less-useful Anklet and Hookshot require keys, puzzle solving, or killing extra mini-bosses. Making the boots consume stamina to use is definitely a potential way to rectify this, with a shut-off valve similar to Magic Torch once all your stamina is consumed.

Fully disagree, however, with leaping being the most urgent issue to fix. While I do agree that it changes speedrun meta for the worse, ultimately that’s the only subset of players it adversely affects. The offsync beatmaps and unfair hits, however, are affecting every player’s experience.

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Well yeah, objectively, leaping balance issues are not the most important problem to fix, as they only affect a subset of players. What I said earlier was just what I personally think, but reading it again, I didn’t really make it all that clear :stuck_out_tongue:

One other issue that could plausibly affect both speedrunners and casual/new players is pausing the game during King Dobongo’s double-time rush.

Say the player pauses the game 1/3 of the way through the rush. Currently, the game applies its usual rule of “when the game is paused, stop the beatmap but don’t stop the music”. This causes the remaining 2/3 of the double-time rush music to play out in the background, followed by silence. When the player unpauses the game, the regular boss fight music picks back up, but the remaining 2/3 of the double-time beatmap is still active. This causes enemies to move at double speed to something that doesn’t match the current music at all, which likely makes the player screw up.

I’m assuming the goal is to prevent the player from cheesing the double-time rush by just pausing through it all, in which case one possible solution is to stop the music on pause if the current music is the double-time rush. This behavior already exists with the Minigame music.

Re: DLC3

I love the new dungeon style but I think it’s a bit too puzzle-oriented. It demonstrates that the procedurally-generated dungeons can incorporate a thread of required items to solve puzzles which is awesome and Zelda-esque, but it would be nice to also include normal combat rooms that aren’t connected to a puzzle. It’d also be nice to extend this design beyond the Temple of Brainstorms, including other biomes and music.

I’d love to see the new enemies appear in the original game, including dungeon mode.

Re DLC2, agreed about the boss music, I was really looking forward to a FamilyJules remix of the Ganon battle. Also, where’s Nicolas Daoust? Puppet Freddy is hilarious (reminds me of a Sing-a-ma-Jig), but the real star would be the “Real Shopkeeper”.

Definitely don’t agree with wanting the new enemies in other game modes. Some of those enemies are really hard to kill lol.

Understood, they definitely are more difficult than the normal enemies. Maybe add them in to select biomes only after you defeat a certain number of bosses? Or only after you beat Symphony of the Mask? Or maybe allow the player to escape the castle courtyard and explore the Future World overworld? Or via some kind of game option? I just enjoy the variety and challenge that they add.

Or maybe allow the player to escape the castle courtyard and explore the Future World overworld?

A feature was added in v1.4 allowing any character in the game to explore Future Hyrule’s overworld, if this is what you’re looking for. Two of the new achievements also require this. I won’t spoil how to do this though :slight_smile:

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