Beating Blossom Tales Without A Walkthrough Is Harder Than I Thought

blossom tales
Blossom Tales is awesome. Castle Pixel

When I was eight-years-old, my mom gave me a clear original Nintendo Gameboy for Hanukkah. In the 1980s, she was a huge fan of the original Legend Of Zelda and it’s still the only video game she's ever beaten. Either because of nostalgia or because she thought I’d love the experience, she bought me my first real video game: The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening . I played that game non-stop, trying to wake the giant sleeping fish with a little elf boy and his eclectic menagerie of tools. But alas, I was too young to really appreciate the nuances inside the cartridge and I quickly lost interest in the game (mostly because she bought me Pokemon Red a few weeks later).

But The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening’s challenge and sense of adventure still stuck with me today: top-down action games are still my favorite genre. The Legend Of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures was the first game I ever truly beat without the use of walkthroughs and guides, and the last. I eventually made it back to Link’s Awakening in college, but had to keep GameFAQS open on my computer at all times. Though these pixelated games are absolutely amazing, I absolutely suck at them and constantly catch myself googling whatever dungeon I’m stuck on. If a puzzle takes more than five minutes to solve, I’m over it, which is something I’ve been dying to change. I promised myself that I would complete the next top-down adventure game without any help, but it’s turning out to be tougher than expected.

Blossom Tales is the closest thing I’ve found to a spiritual successor to the Zelda games of old. It’s a gorgeous 8-bit tale about a girl with a sword, shield, bombs and arrows to save her sleeping king from an evil sorcerer. I absolutely love Blossom Tales ; from the hilarious banter between the narrator and his grandchildren to the in-depth puzzles that really make you think. And I’ve done a lot of thinking and have spent hours of my life snaking my way through dungeons without the help of the internet. It’s been hard and I’m barely halfway through the game, but I feel a sense of pride that’s been missing from my gaming experience.

While it’s nice to accomplish something with the help of others, there’s something about toppling a feat without guidance that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. I’m determined to beat Blossom Tales and am ready for that video game accomplishment high. But I’m in no rush—I’m taking my time with this one. If I get stuck on a puzzle or boss, I take a break from the game, smoke some weed and come back relaxed and ready. I also have to play with the Nintendo Switch docked so I don’t throw my console against the wall.

With this challenge set, I’m hoping that I’ll actually be able to beat Blossom Tales before 2019.

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