Categories > Games > Zelda > Gatecrash0 Reviews
Chapter 3: Rabbit Hole
"No way!" Rock exclaimed, "No way Wily could have made it all the way to here from Siberia in that short amount of time." He pounded his fist on the table.
Wily's tank advanced over the concrete debris, swinging his tank's robotic arms, demolishing the house with each step. Rock could almost hear his maniacal laughter from the console. He hadn't the time to comprehend how or why this was happening, only that it was time to do his duty.
Rock activated the comm system on the computer, "Roll, we've got big trouble. Get Dr. Light down to safety right now!"
"What's happening? What was that tremor?" came her disembodied voice.
"It's Wily. No time for details, just get him to the underground shelter right now."
Rock jumped up from the chair and sped off to the robot lab.
The lab had various utilities that Light used to improve his humanoid robots, but this lab was special to Rock, because it was where he was changed into Mega Man, and where all his subsequent upgrades were made.
The only upgrade Rock needed right now though was his helmet. It was based on an old war bomber helmet, colored blue, with two metallic receptors covering his ears. He grabbed it from a table and fastened it over his head. Now he was truly Mega Man.
The blue bomber checked his Mega Buster - it was at full power, though there was nothing in his weapon inventory. But he had the home court advantage and the assistance of his battle robots Dr. Light created for him.
Now would be an excellent time for Rush, he thought. Mega Man activated Rush's call and a red dog appeared before him. Rush was created to be Mega Man's friend and multi-purpose transportation as he used a special transformation chip to change into a variety of vehicles, including a submarine and a suit of armor.
"Jet, Rush," Mega Man commanded. The smiling, panting Rush tucked in his legs and flattened his back and in no time had changed to a jet sled. Mega Man stepped on top of Rush's platform back.
"Let's go!" Mega Man yelled. Rush zoomed off into the halls. The flares from his tailpipe lit the hallways amid the circling red sirens. As he neared the front of the building he could hear Wily's tank destroying his home, creating vibrations in the air.
Mega Man burst out of the tunnel at full speed and climbed in altitude. The bright light of day shone down on him from the open air now surrounding the living room. Wily's tank had already demolished a large chunk of their home. Open floors were visible, walls torn off.
Wasting no time, Mega Man began firing at the robot tank. The plasma bursts hit the armor with an ineffective clink and reflected away harmlessly. The entire machine was made out of litanium - plasma proof armor. Mega Man's blaster would be completely ineffective.
But there was always a weakness, there had to be. Some part of the machine had to be vulnerable, usually it was some sort of crystal-like outcropping. Mega Man flew his jet around the robot's circumference, looking for some sort of weak point, shooting at likely places. The slow tank rotated with Mega Man, tracking him. "Grrr," Mega Man exclaimed, not finding anything. "Come on, Wily. Show yourself!"
The armored bubble on top of the robot slid away, revealing Wily in his control booth, furiously pounding at buttons and levers. "Good to see you again, blue bomber," Dr. Wily's voice boomed over a loudspeaker in the tank.
"Yeah, same to you," Mega Man leveled his buster at Wily and fired a charged shot. The blast diffused harmlessly.
"Ha ha ha ha ha..." Wily laughed maniacally. "Anything else you'd like to try?" Wily turned the robot to face Mega Man. "How do you like my new robot design? State of the art armor. Not a weak point anywhere."
"There's always a weak point, Wily. Always."
"Ho ho ho ho... is that what you think? Sorry, not this time, little blue man. I decided instead of waiting for you to come to me, I'd take the bull by the horns."
"Bad choice, Wily. Now you're on my turf, and you're not getting away. Not in that turtle of a robot."
"Ah, but guess what? This robot is not an attack weapon. It's a transport carrier!"
The stomach of the robot burst open and five robot masters poured out - Shadow Man, Elec Man, Magnet Man, Gemini Man, and Gravity Man.
"He's mine!" Magnet Man shouted. The speeding robot jumped like a rocket and fired a trio of magnet missiles from his arm. Mega Man maneuvered Rush out of the way just in time and fired a powered-up buster shot. The shot impacted on Magnet Man's armor and just fizzled out. He fired again and Magnet Man just laughed as the shots dissipated away.
"How do you like my shield, Mega-moron?" Magnet Man said. Mega Man fired at Gemini Man behind him, resulting in the same effect. Mega Man couldn't believe it. Had Dr. Wily invented something he couldn't defeat? No way, he thought, every opponent has a weakness. Mega Man maneuvered Rush to flank Magnet Man and leapt off, tackling him. Both tumbled to the ground and rolled to a broken section of the wall as Wily's robot-tank crashed its arm down, trying to smash the little blue robot. They rolled to a corner and Mega Man landed a right cross on Magnet Man's face. On a robot, this was like pounding sand, but it turned his head for a moment so that Mega Man could grab a broken off girder and drop it on Magnet Man's head. The robot master began to flail his arms around, trying to get it off.
So the shields are only good against plasma shots, he thought. Mega Man jumped off and called back to Rush. Now all the robots began firing their weapons - lasers, missiles, and plasma. He narrowly missed their concentrated onslaught as Rush flew him out of danger back into the house.
"Thanks Rush, I'll get you an extra dog biscuit after this, if we survive."
"Woof," Rush barked in acknowledgment as he zoomed through the corridor, sloping downwards. The blue robot twisted his head and saw all the robots trailing after him. Elec Man was ahead of them, jumping great distances, but limited by the ceiling of the corridor.
"Not zo fazt, Mega Man," Elec Man buzzed.
"Hurry, Rush, try to lose them." Rush barked compliantly and flew left. "Get into that lab, Rush. I've got an idea," Mega Man commanded. The robo-dog pushed his afterburners to the limit. Mega Man knew Rush's power had to be low by now, but he had confidence in his companion. Elec Man was right behind them.
Mega Man flew into the lab and jumped off Rush. He twisted his body around in mid-air and shot out the door panel. Elec Man jumped through the hall and landed in the middle of the doorway. Suddenly, the titanium emergency door came dropping down like a guillotine. He was crushed under the weight and exploded in flashes of energy shooting out.
"Yes! He's hot tonight!" Mega Man exclaimed. He jumped up and spread his arms out. The energy spheres returned and became absorbed through the robot's armor. Mega Man's weapon copy system analyzed Elec Man's weapon - the thunder beam - and added it to the inventory.
It wasn't over yet though. The other robots were on the other side of the wall and began firing on the emergency door. Punch marks started protruding out.
"Better get out of here, Rush," Mega Man said. "I'll call you when I need you."
Rush whimpered, not wanting to follow this order.
"Go! Go to safety," Mega Man commanded. Rush whimpered one final time and teleported away.
Mega Man grimaced. The door was strong, but it wouldn't hold against the combined strength of six robots, and especially not when Wily's tank arrived. The emergency doors began shutting down around him, trapping him in the room.
"Isn't there something I can use?" Rock exclaimed, darting his head around searching for something to reinforce the door or some decoy battle robots he could use. He noticed a large metal circle in the middle of the room attached to a control panel.
"What's this?" Mega Man looked at the control panel, shrugged, and pressed 'on'.
The inside of the circle lit up. Sparkling black and gold filled the space before him, bulging and swelling like waves. Mega Man reached out with a finger and touched the force field, it rippled slightly from the sensation and gave way. It wasn't coming out the other side, he noticed.
An explosion rocked the lab as the door blew out. "Heeeeeeere's Johnny," Shadow Man said.
"No time for answers," Mega Man said as he glanced back at the force field. Mustering his strength he jumped through. The screen rippled outward and Mega Man disappeared.
Gemini Man entered the lab, brushing away the smoke. "Hey, where'd he go?" Link set the bulky backpack on the bed. He turned back to his closet and began rummaging for things to bring on his quest: a few magic bottles, his boomerang, a lantern, a sack for magic powder, the fire rod and ice rod, and the invaluable hookshot, of course. Going out into a dangerous place like Hyrule's country meant bringing many weapons, but the space in his backpack was limited. He also had to bring food, clothing, and other life necessities.
knock, knock Link whirled around and saw Zelda behind him. "Packing so soon?" Zelda said.
"There's no time like now," he replied.
"You've got all the provisions you need?"
"Oh, yeah. But I'll probably get more along the way. I always do."
"Are you going to be coming back to the castle at all?"
"Probably. I never quite know what to expect on my quests. That's where the fun of it is."
"I suppose so."
"You seem kind of nervous about this."
"Well, adventures always entail some kind of risk."
"No, I mean you seem so down. You must have come in here for something."
"No, no reason."
There was a reason. Zelda cared very much for Link's safety. Whenever he ventured out into Hyrule, she worried, but she would never let Link know that. He would probably chide her for being nervous.
Link hooked the stout backpack under his arms. "Well, I guess I'm ready."
"I thought about giving you a grand parade to see you off."
"Oh, please, no, don't do that."
"I didn't, I decided against it."
"Good, I hate huge parties and galas where I'm the center of attention."
"Well, come on. Finding the Triforce did warrant a huge celebration."
"I guess that was a good exception." Link attached his bag to his belt. "I'm off." Link cleanly exited the room, leaving Zelda alone.
Once outside, Link took one more look back at the palace before turning away. His path led him around the castle to the northwest, over gentle hills and dales, through a sparse grove of trees, and upward to the border of the forest. Green pastures and tall fields of grass littered the way. Link cut through the tall grass with his sword to clear the way. These quests had been a lot more interesting when monsters were prevalent throughout the land. During Agahnim's reign, the evil energy let beasts roam the land freely, made more fearsome by magic. Now there were but a scant few hiding in holes. Entering through the archway of trees he looked skyward. The upper canopy blocked the dwindling sunlight, creating an evening feel, except for spots of uncovered sky. Squirrels and woodland creatures skittered about. The mysterious forest was a much more peaceful happy place now.
Suddenly, Link felt a tap of wood on his shoulder. He quickly turned around and saw a wizzrobe was standing behind him, holding a cane up.
Link's battle mode instinctively switched on, he unsheathed his sword and was ready to come straight down when the wizzrobe shrank back and said "Don't hurt me, I'm only an old woman."
It wasn't a wizzrobe, Link realized, just her dressings made her look like one. Link dropped his sword and resheathed it.
"What are you doing out here in the forest?"
"I was out gathering water for my family and got sidetracked," she replied in a crinkly, weathered voice. "What fortune finds you here?"
"I'm on a quest to find a lost treasure."
The old lady lifted up her hood to get a better look.
"No, it couldn't be, the Hero of Hyrule, oh, in my presence."
Link subtly rolled his eyes back. He liked attention, but when people started revering him like he was a god, then the feeling lost its shine quickly.
"You must come back with me, Sir Link, for shelter."
"Well, I don't really need-"
"There are storm clouds on the horizon. Follow me to my home." The old woman grabbed Link's hand and started walking deeper into the forest. Link followed her. They trudged through the hilly land a few minutes, going into a thick area of majestically aged oak trees and deadwood. The hooded lady approached a hollowed stump and pulled an outcropped twig several times.
"Cursed thing always jams when it rains," she muttered to herself. The front of the stump gave way and revealed a staircase.
Link followed her down the passageway past a torch-filled wall.
"It's just down this way, Sir Link," she said as she took off her hood.
"You can call me just Link."
"Just Link? The one who saved our land from Agahnim? The one who recovered the Triforce? The one who restored the seal of the wise men and returned peace to Hyrule? Wants to be called just Link? My dear boy, 'sir' is the absolute least title I could hope to bestow upon your noble brow."
Link didn't say anything. Who would after such a speech?
"Children, look!" the matron said when she emerged into the cavernous main area. "The Hero of Hyrule!"
"It's Link! It's Link!" the two children's squeaky voices cried as they sprang up from their seats on the floor and scooted up to their beloved idol.
"Oh, Sir Link, we've always wanted to meet you."
"Will you be staying with us?
"Oh, yes. Please stay the night, please."
"Children, children," she clapped her hands "Show some manners now. Let the poor soul rest his feet for a minute." She led him over to a chair. "You just rest there for a bit and I'll get you something warm to drink."
"Thank you," Link replied. The old woman scuttled off to another section of the cave. Link closed his eyes and took a deep cathartic breath. When he opened his eyes he became aware that the two kids were sitting on the floor and staring at him with huge open eyes, never even blinking.
"So..." Link started, trying to break the unpleasant silence, "Um... do you live down here?"
"Uh-huh, we found it."
"We used to live near the pond, but then it got flooded."
"Yeah, he almost drowned."
"No, I didn't!"
"Yeah, you did."
"No, I didn't."
"Yeah, you did."
"Children, children, that's enough now, it's off to bed with you."
"Awww, we want to stay up with Link some more."
"Now, now, I'll hear none of this. Off to bed with you."
The kids got up and skittered into a tunnel shouting "Good night, Link!"
The woman sighed. "They can be trying at times, but I couldn't love them more." She handed Link a steaming round cup. "This is a root drink that grows down here."
"How long have you been living here?"
"Oh, more than half the year now."
"Why don't you live in the villages?"
"We have no trade. My husband died during Agahnim's reign and since then our money dwindled down."
"That's terrible. I'm so sorry."
"Well, I think we've managed to make a good life considering all. But you, you should get to bed. Here, put this blanket on." the lady handed Link a thick woolen sheet.
"Thank you," Link replied sweetly.
"Now, you go to sleep, get a good night's rest, and I'll see you in the morning." She shuffled out of the room, leaving Link alone with the dim glowlight. Link considered the kindness and hospitality of this stranger. How could someone in such an unfortunate situation maintain such a warm motherly attitude. Maybe it was his status as a royal figure that prompted this fresh disposition. He really shouldn't have been so curt, Link disliked it when people treated him like they treated the royal family. He was just a server of them. A highly esteemed server, but nonetheless he was still not royalty.
Anyway, he had to ready for the continuation of his quest tomorrow. Link drifted off to peaceful slumber.
...grass, rain stings...
...barely see, cloudy, faded...
...light, bright, golden...
Link woke with a start. The glowlight had been extinguished so he was welcomed by total blackness.
He thought back to the dream. He had been lost somewhere deep within the center of a storm and seen the Triforce. Any dream with the Triforce was powerful and most definitely meant something. The voice had told him to get out. That meant there was no time to lose, Link grabbed his pack and set off to find the cave's exit.
After a deal of groping around for his lantern he used it to find his way back out of the cave and up to the surface. Once there the large, low moon shone through holes in the canopy.
Link came outside the border of the forest and stopped to take a drink from his canteen. The sky was beginning to lighten from the impending sun. He heard a rustling from behind him in the trees and turned around and saw a blue dog-faced beast emerge from the foliage with spear pointing straight at him. Four of his friends came out with him.
"Who invited you?" Link smirked as he dropped his pack and pulled out his sword. "Sorry, this is a one-man quest."
Link jumped forward with sword hilt at his hip. He swiped at the first moblin's spear, knocking it away and then knocking him in the face with the sword's shaft. The moblin bounced back and swiped with his beefy claw, striking Link in the arm. He pulled back, and one of his buddies came up from behind and cracked Link in the back of his head with the hilt of his spear. Resounding pain made Link see white.
"Hey, guys, can we cut a deal here?" Link grabbed the back of his head. The moblins strafed into a circle surrounding Link, holding their polearms at the ready. Red light gleamed out of their eyes. Link held up his sword, ready for a four-way attack.
But they stopped and their faces changed to ones of fright. Link looked behind him.
A giant, swirling vortex was forming in front of him, spiraling and opening up like an iris. It shimmered black and gold and rippled like water. The vortex oscillated violently and with a flash, spit out a body onto the ground. The vortex closed back in on itself as quickly as it had appeared.
Link looked at what the portal had deposited. It was a small man dressed in blue, wearing a bulky helmet around his head. His right arm ended in a thick cylinder the same color as his clothes.
The man stood and looked at Link and the monsters behind him.
"Now I'm in trouble."
Next Chapter: The Meeting