I am continuing this The Legend of Zelda streak, writing about one of my favorite games in the Saga: The Minish Cap (2004). After playing The Legend of Zelda (1986) and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (1987), I felt like playing another part of the Hyrule Fantasy! I wanted to continue chronologically, in terms of publication, so I downloaded some emulators on my phone. However, when I saw that one of them had The Minish Cap as a preloaded game, I knew I had to play it! I was so frustrated by Zelda II that I needed time to relax and enjoy life (and get my thumb time to recover). The Minish Cap excels at sparking bliss inside your heart, so I really had no other choice!
Comparing it with the originals in the Saga, the improvements in Gameplay and Narrative are notorious. Even if the story was simple, it successfully explained the world, the hero’s quest, and Link’s relationship with the Princess, without needing an introduction in the instruction manual. One must not forget that The Minish Cap was designed for the Game Boy Advance, so it is only logical that the story and the graphics were not as developed as console Zelda games like Majora’s Mask (2000) or Twilight Princess (2006). However, the pixelated, bright, and colorful concept in art näive/kawaii style is outstanding. Stylized graphic design usually ages gracefully, not like realistic graphics that tend to become outdated with the development of faster and better processors. This design makes it feel like a new game even though it has been sixteen years since its release.
The characters are too cute to overlook, and I wish I could Catch ‘Em All! Zelda and Link, the Minish, and the rest of the characters awake my inner Agnes, and I cannot help but say: “They are so adorable! I’m going to die!”. The world design transmits a childish, ludic environment where you are up for adventure without feeling anguished nor scared. They decided to go for space mechanics, similar to the original Zelda and other games of the Saga, which means that you move across a plane. Using this eagle-like perspective, the videogame feels more natural, free, and Zelda-like than with the 2D horizontal view that Nintendo incorporated into the battle system of Zelda II.
The world is polished; it is easy to understand the objectives, goals, and quests; THERE ARE MAPS; and the NPCs are useful. A big plus is that the Game Boy Advance can be translated to a smartphone interface without too many changes, so you are not missing out on a lot by playing it on your phone. The unique mechanic of this game is the power to become tiny with the help of a magic cap, the Minish Cap, and some stations. Therefore, the aesthetics merge perfectly with the Gameplay, creating a magic immersion inside a world full of wonder and, even if in danger, joy. The Minish Cap is simple, but it is a fun game that I highly recommend as an “E for Everyone” in the sense that EVERYONE should play it.
My only complaint about the game is the figurine quest that can get boring and exhausting, but I understand Nintendo added that side-quest to fill the game with extra things to do. The mission is not bad by itself: what makes it tedious is the fact that you have to listen to the same guy over and over again to get each one of the 130 figurines. That’s right! You have to sustain the same conversation at least 130 times, even if you do not leave the store. Sadly, that is the only way to obtain a heart piece, so if you are looking to acquire every item, you will have to finish it.
By the way, if you are trying to do excatly that, be careful to not miss the light arrows, since they can only be obtained before a particular inflexion point in the story. I do not want to spoil a lot, so, in case you need help or simply do not want to miss the chance to get them, you should read a guide beforehand. Another important note is that there is a special item you can get only after beating Vaati, the antagonist of this game, so, even if you finished the game and collected “everything”, you will have at least one thing left to do.
Because this is The Cake, I must talk about The Bakery in Hyrule Town: “Wheaton & Pita”. OH, MY DEITY! The bread looks extremely lovely and tasty! Sometimes, I would enter the bakery and buy bread just to see if Link would share a tiny bite with me: the selfish little imp never did! I do not care if he left his comfortable life in the countryside to save Princess Zelda and Hyrule, he did not want to share his bread with me! This OBVIOUSLY means that he is just a spoiled green elf that deserves to be mistaken with Zelda! I LOVE HIM, and he does look adorable in this game, but COME ON! Just look at Wheaton & Pita’s brioche loaves of bread, croissants, slices of pie and cake! They are mouthwatering! I wish I could get a Bakerish Cap from them and replicate those baked delights outside Hyrule!
The Minish Cap brings happiness to people. It is so good for the heart and soul that Marie Kondo will neatly store it in one of her boxes filled with sparks of joy without even asking if you want to keep it. Moreover, there is a great lesson embedded in this cute game: the simple daily life and the tiniest universes can be interesting, powerful, important, and brave as the most grandiloquent quests. If you are looking for something light and uplifting to play, fresh-and-warm bread for your heart and inner child, The Minish Cap is for you!
NOTE: YES! I went from the MINI NES to the MINIsh CAP! :3
NOTE 2: If you did not notice, the name of the bakery “Weathon & Pita” is a great pun!
Have you played The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap? Please share a slice of your opinion in the comment section below! The Cake is always thrilled to read about your thoughts!
If you liked this cake, share a slice with your friends!
Featured image taken from Cute Wallpaper.
“The Minish surrounded by flowers” image taken from Indian Gamer.
“Hyrule’s Marketplace” image taken from MPRD.
“Bandits” image taken from Pinterest.
“Home of a Minish” image taken from Zelda Palace.
“Bakery 1” image taken from Zelda Wiki.
“Bakery 2” image taken from Fandom.
“Bakery 3” image taken from Corona Jumper.