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The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap Discussion (Nintendo Game Boy Advance) [game]
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap on the Game Boy Advance
8.96/10 from 50 user ratings

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02/16/23, 21:12  
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What the.

Was literally just talking to a guy at an indie meet-up yesterday who said this is his favorite Zelda game and I told him I run a Nintendo site and he should come check it out because we all fight about which Zelda game is the best and no one ever picks Minish Cap so he could add a new perspective. But no one here has talked about this game in a long, long time.

02/16/23, 21:16   
I've always dismissed Minish Cap as being a pretty forgettable Zelda game, but now that I'm replaying it, I'm remembering all these things I loved about it as a kid! Turning small isn't an arbitrary gimmick; it makes the world so much fun to explore by imbuing every part of the environment with a dual use. And because this is the most advanced pixel art Zelda they ever made, they got really dense with the art too! Every house has these colorful little details. The game is gorgeous! When you play it with the Small Screen and Recreate Classic Feel settings, it's almost like one of those Nintendo Hire This Man pieces, but better. It's a little cartoon.

And I love how it doesn't hold my hand. I wasn't expecting the Mt. Crenel climb to be anything substantial at all, just a little fetch quest, and it ended up being really long and involved and requiring me to actually use my brain! Even the little lock-and-key ""puzzles"" where you need the correct item to proceed are cooler in this game, because the items haven't been in a dozen other Zeldas. It's got so much personality! Everything is so snappy! And the kinstones merging exploration and NPC interactions is a rad idea too.


I remember it being V_s's favorite!

V_s said:
1. The Minish Cap

...which always confused me.

But now I'm loving it. I'm only a couple hours in, but if it keeps this up it's almost Top 5 territory for me.
02/16/23, 21:22   
Edited: 02/16/23, 21:28
I never had this for the actual GBA, but I did get it as part of the Ambassador stuff on 3DS. I forget exactly when I played it, maybe 7-8 years ago? I'd have to go check my play log (remember that? How I miss it on Switch...), but it was long enough ago that I don't really remember specifics of the game, just a general thought that I enjoyed it. I wouldn't mind giving it a second playthrough, if I could find the time...

@Zero It's one of the titles that launched with the GBA NSO app, so it looks like we could see a resurgence in discussion about it.
02/16/23, 22:11   
This was the final Zelda game I never played before but finally got around to playing (just before the pandemic hit in 2020), and I really enjoyed it. The shrinking mechanic was one of my favorite transformation "gimmicks" in 2D Zelda, second only to becoming a wall painting in ALBW. The kinstone quests were a lot of fun to complete. And it's got my favorite version of Castle Town in any Zelda game. I really enjoyed exploring all of the nooks and crannies for secrets.

It's my third-favorite 2D Zelda game and 6th-favorite Zelda game, overall. So yeah, definitely borderline Top 5 in the series imo. @Zero is right that it hardly ever gets talked about. You've got the two Oracle games on the GBC that are tied together, and the same deal with the DS games, and Minish Cap in a lot of ways is the "forgotten middle" 2D Zelda game of the GBA. It's quite underrated.

EDIT: I was a few months late for the 3DS ambassador thing, so I ended up playing this on Wii U.
02/16/23, 22:12   
Edited: 02/16/23, 22:15
Zero said:
we all fight about which Zelda game is the best

That's because you OoT hating cretins won't accept the TRUTH when it's spelled out for you.

If everyone just accepted that OoT was the best, there'd be no fights!

As far as Minish Cap goes, yeah I feel like it really flew under the radar. It came out pretty near the end of the GBA run , when everyone was basically focused on the shiny new DS. I remember looking back on my initial playthrough as really forgettable.

But when it hit as one of the 3DS ambassador titles, I really started to appreciate just how much exploration there was in the game. Probably one of the best 2D overworlds easily. And I love the Kinstone sidequest.

I wonder if we're ever going to get a new 2D Zelda.
02/17/23, 15:52   

No, the problem is that you "Lergund Of Xorrelda" nerds don't accept that the Mario Kart 8 DLC is the best Zelda game. Period. End of discussion. Future objections overruled.
02/17/23, 23:14   
It's a great game, although I think I'd rank the Oracles higher nowadays as far as Flagship's Zeldas go. The tiny traversal is something of a double-edged sword for me, alternating between being both really interesting and detail-oriented but also kind of tedious at points.
02/17/23, 23:55   
Stan McStanly said:

No, the problem is that you "Lergund Of Xorrelda" nerds don't accept that the Mario Kart 8 DLC is the best Zelda game. Period. End of discussion. Future objections overruled.

Are nonsense arguments genetic, or just the result of over-exposure to Chicago pizza?

I might need to conduct a study.
02/18/23, 02:13   

I thought we were having a classic unintelligible salty LOZ argument, but that died quickly.
Well then. Tell me when the study results are in. Meanwhile, I'll be sitting here with a few quality Slices on hand while you choke down your Vegemite toast.
02/18/23, 04:30   
02/18/23, 04:58   

Yep. I love the exploration, the fun and unique items (some of which are optional and therefore difficult to come by), all of the lore that it adds to the series, the complexity of the villain (he conquers Hyrule without breaking a sweat and still isn't satisfied because that was just a means to an end rather than his main goal unlike Ganondorf... My only complaints are that the game is too short, and 100%ing the game is a bit tedious.
02/20/23, 20:14   
V_s said:
My only complaints are that the game is too short, and 100%ing the game is a bit tedious.

Having just finished the fourth dungeon, I'm running into these issues now.

Kinstone fusion is pretty neat in its reductionist approach to traditional Zelda secrets; rather than coming across a locked door disguised as a bombable wall, and needing a key disguised as a bomb to open it, Minish Cap does away with the formality and strips it all down to "find the right doodad, and a treasure chest appears." With as antiquated as I think that type of quest design is in older Zelda games, it's a fun novelty getting to play what is essentially a The Legend of Zelda: Championship Edition that goes all-in on it.

But still, I now have the nagging feeling that the majority of my time spent with this game has been on clearing Ubisoft-style markers from my map. "Fuse kinstones, walk to the new chest, get rupees from the chest, use rupees to buy a kinstone potion, find kinstones, fuse kinstones..." It's an easy habit to fall into because of how barebones everything else is. This game does the evil thing where it'll show you a world full of secrets, only to block them all off until the story is ready to take you over there on its tour of the map. It was disappointing finding out that Castle Town's coolest mysteries are all mandatory to advance the plot!

I'm still enjoying the game quite a lotóof the Zeldas I've replayed recently, I'd still put it above Skyward Sword and A Link to the Pastóbut it's much less dense in interesting ideas than it seemed to me at first.
02/20/23, 22:32   
About to head into the final dungeon, and I've definitely had my fill of bloated empty calorie sidequests.

...however, when I remind myself that this was originally a portable game, I'm willing to excuse it. Yes, kinstone fusion and figure collecting are grindy, but they're also just entertaining enough to make time fly by, and if you're a kid who has a ton of long car rides, the new Gameboy Zelda being only eight hours long would be a huge rip-off. So inflating the playtime with these wackadoo endgame quests actually does make some amount of sense. Peace Walker and Crisis Core do the same thing!
02/21/23, 07:47   
Get ready for the final battle. I hate to abuse save states, but this game is a HUGE PAIN if you die during the final battle.
02/22/23, 21:12   

I lived! But it was a close one.

Very abrupt ending. This game would've been perfect for a classic credits sequence showing what happened to all the lovable characters!
02/23/23, 02:19   
I feel like this premise would work really well in 3D. I wonder if it would be better realized on a future console where they could really push the fidelity of the regular size and small worlds.

I like this game but donít love it. The scope of the world plays with my head, though I appreciate the worldís density. This game really shines when Link is tiny, surrounded by beautiful hand drawn artwork. I love the idea of the Minish, even though I canít stand the whole kinstone thing. One of the best looking games on the GBA though, absolutely. And I love the villain and his origin story. At the end of the day it kind of lands in the middle for Zelda to me. Not my favorite but very good, and a must play for any Zelda fan.
02/24/23, 06:11   
I never realized that people viewed Minish Cap as underappreciated. What a strange revelation.

Favorite GBA game and would put it solidly as my 5th favorite Zelda game.
02/26/23, 20:52   
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