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You Are a Pirate!
Once the island's out of sight, Tetra gives you orders to go down into the ship's hull to see a pirate named Niko. You can talk to the various pirates around here, but there isn't much to do. One thing is for certain- you're heading towards the north seas. It will be a while until you reach the destination, so open the door to go inside the Pirate Ship. There's a pathway here guarded by Nudge, one of the pirates. He won't let you through, so don't bother trying. You can talk to him for some interesting information, though. Go down the stairs. To the left and right at the bottom of the stairs, you'll see jars on shelves. To obtain their contents, roll into the walls with (A), tipping the shelves and shattering the jars. Proceed straight ahead into the next room. Here, Niko will give you a challenge that all new swabbies have to complete. Here's the breakdown: there are a couple of switches next to you. By just walking into one of these floor switches, you can do a short hop on top of them, pressing them into the ground. This will raise platforms up to jump across. To shut them off, step onto the opposite switch. The goal is to reach the other side of the room by hopping across the platforms while they're raised. However, there are two catches to this. First, they are timed, so you have to be quick or else the platforms will go back down. Second, some of the gaps are too wide to just hop across. When that happens, jump towards one of the lanterns suspended by ropes overhead. You can swing around on these to jump to the next platform. To hold the rope still, use (R). After the rope is still, you can climb up and down or change your swinging direction as long as you hold (R). After you let go of (R), swing back and forth and press (A) to let go in the direction where you want to jump. It can be a tricky process at first, but you'll have to learn it. Once you get across, Niko will be so surprised, he'll let you into the back room. Open up the treasure chest here to get the Spoils Bag! This pouch is similar to the Bait Bag, but it holds 8 types of special treasures. These treasures can be found in treasure chests or in other hidden areas, but are oftentimes held by specific types of enemies. They'll come into play a little later on. After you've got this new item, Tetra will call for you to come outside. You've reached the Forsaken Fortress, where that big bird made its nest. It's nighttime now, and all the pirates are staring at something large and ominous behind the rock where there ship is hiding. Climb the ladder up to the crow's nest and you'll see why. The Forsaken Fortress is a massive stronghold, tightly-guarded and infested with monsters and darkness. To get inside, the pirates use the apparently "standard" method of catapulting you into the fortress from inside a barrel. You do land inside the fortress, but unfortunately, your Hero's Sword gets stuck on a high ledge. It won't be easy to retrieve it- and you need it to save Aryll.
Don't Step Into the Light!
As soon as you step out of the water and move forwards, Tetra's voice will suddenly reach out to you through the Pirate's Charm, an item that she slipped into your pocket before you were launched. All you need to know about this item is to press (A) when the Action Icon flashes. Then you'll be able to hear any information Tetra has to tell you. It's not used all that frequently, but the information you get is generally helpful. Anyways, the way forwards will be treacherous from here on out. There are searchlights positioned on towers around the fortress, and a few of their light beams sweep the area that you're going to walk through at first. If you're spotted, you'll be thrown into jail- we'll go into detail about that later. For now, just try to stay hidden. A very effective way to do this is by picking up a nearby barrel with (A). You'll hide beneath it so it covers you while you walk. As long as you stand still under the barrel when the light passes overhead, you'll go by unnoticed. You can use this strategy to pick up a few of Green Rupees and Red Rupees if you'd like. Throughout the fortress, you'll also encounter Lantern Moblins. These enemies carry lanterns, and if they spot you, you'll be thrown into jail. You have to sneak past them in barrels similarly to the searchlights, but you can only move when they're not looking at you or when they're not right next to you. Otherwise, you'll be found out. Sneaking by is no easy task, and more often than not you'll have to get past a pair of them, requiring accurate movement with (C) to track them and ensure one isn't watching your barrel move. Anyways, there are a number of ways for progressing through the Forsaken Fortress, and for this reason it can be a difficult area to navigate, especially at such an early point in the game. For this reason, the various strategies for getting around the Forsaken Fortress and obtaining specific items are listed separately.
Go Directly to Jail
It might sound crazy, but getting thrown into jail isn't the worst thing in the world. In fact, it actually makes movement around the fortress easier. You can either look for a Lantern Moblin to find you, or you can get caught by a searchlight. Once you're in jail, stand up on top of the table and jump towards the cabinet. Climb on top of it and break the jar to reveal a crawlspace. You can use this crawlspace to escape the jail. You'll find yourself on the fortress' second floor. From here, you can get your bearings and get down to business. For starters, open the treasure chest here to get the Dungeon Map, which will display a map of the Forsaken Fortress' rooms and layout. For your next prize, DO NOT swing across on the lantern to the pair of doors. Instead, jump downwards into the room below. Check out the pile of barrels in the corner. There is a floor switch just like the ones in the Pirate Ship back there. Hop on it, and the prison cell in this room will open up. Walk inside and open the treasure chest to get Piece of Heart #1! For every 4 Pieces of Heart you collect, you'll get another Heart Container for your Life Gauge, so keep a good lookout for these. Getting back to where you left off can be annoying, so feel free to get thrown back into jail by the Lantern Moblins in the hallway here. After making your way back to the Dungeon Map room, swing across on the lantern and go through the door on the right side, not the left side. Follow the outdoors hallway straight ahead and open the door, then look behind the barrels in this room and pick up the Compass from the treasure chest, which will add the locations of treasure chests and the dungeon boss to your map. With the Dungeon Map and the Compass, you'll be able to find your way around the Forsaken Fortress much easier!
You won't be able to reach your Hero's Sword without shutting off the searchlights, because a few of their beams are set to sweep the area around the central tower. Of course, you have to go to each searchlight and shut it down yourself. There are three machines that run the searchlights, so if you just got the Compass, you'll be in a room directly beneath one of them. To reach the first searchlight, swing across on the lantern and open the door. You'll be in one of the outdoors hallways. Take the pathway to your left and you'll find a path that goes backwards, up to the top of the searchlight tower. When you near the ladder to climb up to it, Tetra will tell you through the Pirate's Charm that there's a monster running the searchlight, and you can't fight it without a weapon. She recommends that you use the Hero's Shield to block its attacks until it drops its weapon, then use its weapon against it. However, there's an easier method. Climb up the ladder and look around the area near the searchlight machine. You'll find a jar full of Boko Sticks. Break the jar and take one, then give that Blue Bokoblin a thrashing. Take caution- you might notice that enemy weapons take slightly longer to swing than your normal one. After you defeat it, the searchlight it was running will be shut down for good! It's also worth mentioning that Blue Bokoblins may drop Joy Pendants upon defeat on rare occasions. If this happens, just pick it up and pocket it in your Spoils Bag. You'll want to collect dozens of these throughout the game. Anyways, that's one down, two to go! To find the next two searchlights, head back the way you came to the outdoors hallway between the room that contains the Dungeon Map and the room that contains the Compass. In the middle of the hall, there is a crossroad of sorts. One way leads to a balcony which is clearly a dead-end, and the other leads back towards the big outdoors area where you started off. Go in that direction, but follow a slightly out-of-view pathway northwest. It will take you to the next searchlight. Shut it down exactly like the last one. To find the final searchlight, go back to the room with the Dungeon Map. This time, go through the left door. You'll be in another outdoors hallway. Go left immediately to find a ladder. Climb up and take out the last searchlight, same as the other two. Now that the road is open, it's time to proceed with caution towards that central tower.
Tight Guard = Tight Squeeze
There are actually two roads into the central tower. The first one, approaching from the left/west side, is closer at the moment, so hop down from the searchlight area and proceed up the outdoors hallway to the next door. Open it and you'll be in a room filled with bunk beds, as well as a Laser Moblin Statue. This statue will fire damaging lasers at you if you walk near the red carpet in this room, but there's a treasure chest containing a Yellow Rupee down there if you feel like taking a risk. If you go through the big wooden doors, you'll be in an outside area which is really of no particular interest. Just climb up the beds or swing across on the lantern to get to the next door. Open it up and you'll be in yet another outdoors hallway. Once you go through the door here, you'll be on the second floor of the central tower. This is perhaps the most difficult part of the game thus far; the camera pans in to show you where the next two large doors are. If you entered from the left/west side, you'll have to get past two Lantern Moblins at a very narrow intersection. They are positioned so that it will be difficult to make progress without getting slowed down immensely or being thrown in jail. If you want an easier time, then head in the complete opposite direction. Go back through the rooms, swing across the lanterns and run down the hallways to the right/east side of the central tower. This is not only a more recommended entrance due to the easier stealth, but in the outdoors hallway right before the door that leads into the second floor of the central tower, there's a crate that you can push over the edge. It will land near a ladder. From that point on, you can just climb up the crate and ladder anytime you want to go back to the central tower! Anyways, once you're in the right/east path of the central tower, it will be easier because there is only one Moblin directly blocking the path, and the other is usually too far off to make much of a distance. Of course, there is a catch. A single Rat also patrols this area, and it has the annoying tendency to attack you while you're hiding in the barrel, which will not only make you lose your Rupees but you'll likely be caught instead. Just try and avoid it and sneak around the Lantern Moblins to the door. Easier said than done, but once you're outside, you have only a couple more things to get past.
A Familiar Villain...
The outdoors might be less claustrophobic, but you still can't breathe easy while sneaking by one last Lantern Moblin. Take your time getting past it unnoticed, you don't want to sneak through that room again! The way upwards is to the left. Once you're out of range, put down the barrel and run up the pathway. There will be a few sections where you must sidle across gaps using narrow ledges. Press (A) and hold it up against the wall. While you're doing this, you'll lean into the wall and you can shuffle from side to side to get across. Normally, there would be searchlight beams around here to catch you, but you shut them all off! There are also a few hearts around here, so that's helpful. At last, you'll finally be at the end of the path! Release (A) to stop sidling. Before you lies the Hero's Sword! But in the midst of your celebrations, you draw attention to a Green Bokoblin. Pick up your Hero's Sword and get into the battle, this is the game's first miniboss! This new enemy takes just a couple more hits than Blue Bokoblins. In addition to standard Bokoblin attacks, this variety can also block your attacks with its wooden shield. Try out your more complex sword moves here, especially the Parry, which is important to practice. If you can get it to drop its machete, you can pick it up and use it against the fiend yourself! As with other enemy weapons, it can also be thrown from a distance. The damage dealt by its own weapon should quickly bring this guy down. After its defeat, the doors will open. Just when it seems you've reached Aryll safely, that big bird drops down from above and faces off against you. But this is no boss battle- that bird just grabs you and flies out. You catch a glimpse of a mystery man at the top of the Forsaken Fortress, just seconds before you're thrown far into the distance.