Gaming Post 33: Animal Crossing (GameCube)

The random number generator chose Animal Crossing! Yay!
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Animal Crossing is a weird sort of game. Its premise is that you are a human who moves into a town inhabited by cartoon animals. There isn’t an explicit goal to the game except to have fun living in the town. What makes the game special is the use of the GameCube’s internal calendar to make things happen in your town based on the passage of actual days in real life.

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For example, Animal Crossing games have different things happen in different seasons.

Animal Crossing is one of the games I played a lot of when I was in Middle School. I couldn’t tell you for sure how I originally heard about it, but my friend Jonah was the first to play it, and he was also the first among the people I knew who had a Nintendo GameCube. He doesn’t remember much about that time, but I do.

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I started playing Animal Crossing as one of the villagers in my friend Jonah’s town. That’s when I learned to like the game. Jonah says it was one of the only GameCube games he had at the time, which might explain why we played it so much.

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I often sold oranges to the store, but I liked using the shovel much better. Each day I played, I’d dig up any fossils and Gyroids I found and donate the fossils to the local museum after getting them identified via mail. If the museum already had the type of fossil, I’d sell it to the store for some good money.

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I always saved the Gyroids I found instead of selling them, because I was hoping to possibly complete a collection of every Gyroid. I knew which ones existed because I had Jonah’s guide to the game that listed every item. I’m not sure if the internet would have been able to help me back then, but I wasn’t obsessed enough with the project to bring it to completion.

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One interesting thing about Animal Crossing was its inclusion of certain NES games that your character can put in his/her house and play. It was cool because it offered the player a substantial reward for finding a virtual object in the game.

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Villager’s first game was also his first crossover game with Little Mac.

Another game Jonah had around this time was Super Mario Sunshine. Unfortunately, as both Animal Crossing and Super Mario Sunshine are single player endeavors on the one GameCube and TV we had, only one of us could play at a time. Funnily enough, when I was really into Animal Crossing, Jonah mostly wanted to play Super Mario Sunshine, and when I finally wanted to focus on Sunshine Jonah was back into Animal Crossing. This sort of thing can happen with obsessive personalities like my own.

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Animal Crossing allows one town to be stored per memory card. The great thing about having a game like this on a disc is that you are only limited in the quantity of towns by the number of memory cards you have, as opposed to games like Pokémon that only allow one file to be saved per game cartridge.

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Sometimes, I just don’t know where to stop.

When I finally got a GameCube on Christmas of 2002, I borrowed Jonah’s copy of Animal Crossing, because he was completely done caring about the game. I then proceeded to build towns on different memory cards to help my overall progress, but my strategy wasn’t refined enough to work as effectively as it could have. I did know that an Orange sold in a town that started with oranges fetches 100 bells while its selling price in a town without oranges is 500 bells, so I used my GameCube’s second memory card slot to move between towns, bringing my town’s fruit to sell in the other towns and picking foreign fruit and bringing it back to sell it in my own town, but I could have easily replaced the fruit trees growing in my own town with foreign fruit trees which would have made paying off my loans a lot faster, but I was too afraid of messing up my town by chopping down existing trees because I didn’t have a clear idea concerning why some trees grew and others did not. I was also more focused on the immediate results of selling the fruit rather than the investment of planting it. At that age, my brain had a lot more development to undergo before I could really be good at video games.

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I traveled so much between my 5 towns that at one point I actually had 2 of the same animal villager (Fang) in one of my towns. I didn’t take a picture of it because it happened a long time ago before I started taking pictures of interesting things. Although I lack solid evidence I’m pretty sure it did happen.
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What caught my imagination about Animal Crossing was its customizability. In this picture from my old town, you can see that I made shirts themed on Mario Wario Waluigi and the Pokémon Kyogre. You can see that even back then, I was a big fan of rain, both in the game and out.
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I wasn’t against changing the date in the game to suit my purposes. I remember summer days when I would change the date to make it rain in the game, often when it was also raining in real life, and just go fishing on the beach. I would try to catch Coelacanths (which appear only when it is raining), Barred Knifejaws and Red Snappers, fetching 15,000, 5,000 and 3,000 bells respectively. All 3 of those species appear in the ocean, but if you catch a Sea Bass, put it back! It’s a waste of inventory space!

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I paid at least one considerable loan by selling fish to the raccoon. One weird thing about these games is that you can catch frogs the same way you catch fish, but there can also be frogs living in your town.

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One day my friend showed me how he had been cheating in Animal Crossing. He had an Action Replay and was able to use it to create any item he wanted in the game as well as obtain infinite money. He had me visit his town and wanted me to participate in a makeshift lottery game that he had set up, the prize being money he had created using the cheating device. I was annoyed because to me it seemed that the point of Animal Crossing was to work to make money. By accepting the cheated money, it would be the same as if I was cheating, so I refused. What puzzled me, however, was why my cheating friend bothered to play Animal Crossing at all given that he was cheating. This is when I started to consider the actual game of Animal Crossing to be somewhat stupid. I was in middle school, which is when a lot of people judge some of their old hobbies more harshly than they should.

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I stopped playing for a very long time, assuming in my little mind that I had finished upgrading my house and paying off my debt. My opinion of Animal Crossing changed and changed back as I matured. I played the DS sequel quite a lot, but I stopped playing that too after a few months. It inspired this riddle.

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What is forgotten and full of weeds? Your Town in Animal Crossing!

Having read the Iwata Asks about Animal Crossing: City Folk, I played a bit of it after its price dropped to $20, but I couldn’t really get into it maybe because I knew I didn’t finish paying off my debt in the DS Animal Crossing.

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It wasn’t until I mistakenly added Animal Crossing to my list of beaten games (thinking that I had paid off my debt to Tom Nook) that I rekindled my interest in going back to finish the other Animal Crossing games that I had started. I consider an Animal Crossing game to be beaten if 1: You fully upgrade your house and pay off your debt to Tom Nook, 2: You do everything else you want to do in the game. It’s pretty open ended, but you’d be a fool to attempt to really 100% an Animal Crossing game, unless you really feel passionately about it. It’s a game that can take over your life because you typically have to play it every day if you don’t want to miss out on things in the stores and stuff like that.

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An example of someone’s life being taken over by Animal Crossing New Leaf

I eventually found the memory card for my old Animal Crossing town, and I decided to visit it. My friend Cameron brought over his disc since mine (probably Jonah’s) wasn’t working. It was then when I discovered that I hadn’t really finished upgrading my house and paying off my loan, so I got straight to work continuing my game where I left off, possibly a decade before. I wonder if there are other games on my list that I haven’t technically beaten. If it could happen once, it could have happened again. I suppose the only games I’m not 100% sure that I beat are Pokémon Red and Blue, but I think I made a point of completing both of them before I got Crystal Version.

Gotta bring in the bells!
Gotta bring in the bells!

When I found out about my miscalculation, I had been on a roll in the other Animal Crossing games, finally perfecting my technique for planting the maximum number of foreign fruit trees in a single town and destroying every other tree. I believe there was at least one Apple Tree growing in town, so the first thing I did was buy as many axes as I could from the catalog (which can only be done prior to the DS version) and as they arrived, I chopped down every tree besides the apple trees. I also expanded the orchard of apple trees, using every grown apple as a seed for the next tree.
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I also planted money trees whenever I could. To plant a money tree, you need to find a spot on the ground that has magical light shining from it. You have to bury a bag of bells in the golden spot, but it can be risky. If the tree is planted in a bad spot, it might not grow to replace the money it took to plant it. If it does grow and a bag of 30,000 bells was planted, the profit is 60,000 bells.

“Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees.” At Least That’s What They Say, But What About That Money Tree I Saw The Other Day?

I continued the expansion of my apple orchard until my Microsoft Excel sheet indicated that It would take more effort to plant more apple trees than to just wait a few days and sell every apple that grows in that time to finish paying off the debt.
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In the end, Nook gave me a golden statue, and thus I beat Animal Crossing for GameCube.
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Along the way, I actually did succeed in finishing the fossil collection at the museum. That is something I felt pretty good about since it was one of my favorite parts of Animal Crossing.

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And here’s my Animal Crossing house, Assassin’s Creed Logo included. I simply call this image “AC”.
This monstrosity can be found upstairs, made from some of the extra fossils I didn't sell.
This monstrosity can be found upstairs, made from some of the extra fossils I didn’t sell.
Apparently electronics can get wet in this game without malfunctioning.
Apparently electronics can get wet in this game without malfunctioning.
This is my basement. I like this room.
This is my basement. I like this room.
 The 2015 portion of my gameplay was performed using this Super Smash Bros. GameCube controller. After all, Villager is a Smash character now.

The 2015 portion of my gameplay was performed using this Super Smash Bros. GameCube controller. After all, Villager is a Smash character now.

The passage of time in Animal Crossing makes the town feel like a living breathing place set in a virtual reality even though it’s really just a computer program. That’s why it can be interesting to come back after years have gone by, even only for a visit.

Animal Crossing

Is your town full of weeds?

– Zelgerath (@Zelgerath)

Thanks for reading!

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A Brief Majora’s Mask 3D Fishing Guide

This is the first gaming article on Zelgerath.com which was not written because of a Random Number Generator. I’m writing this because I feel that it could help a lot of people who are aiming to 100% complete The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D.

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I have recently played The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D to 100% completion. Most of the game is essentially identical to the original game that people know and love, so guides for the original game are very useful to anyone playing the remake. However, a brand new fishing quest was added to the 3DS Remake which has been an unexpected challenge.

Because the fishing in this game is new and only a side quest, there isn’t a lot of reliable information about how to catch all 24 fish in the game, so I decided to write this simple guide to help those of you who are attempting to catch all the fish. I owe much of this information to helpful threads I found online, but it’s here that I want to compile the results and details of my experience with this side quest.

There are 2 Fishing Areas (Fishing Holes) in Majora’s Mask 3D. One is in the Swamp and the other is by the Ocean. Each area has 12 fish to catch, 3 of them being considered “Boss Fish”. There are 6 “Boss Fish” all together, but you’ll only find 3 in the Ocean Fishing Hole and 3 in the Swamp Fishing Hole.

When you enter a fishing hole, the fish will load inside of the water. It is random what appears but not completely (but I’ll get to that later). You don’t have to pay for a fishing rod to check if a specific fish is there or not, so I recommend not paying unless you know there’s a fish you want inside the water. Otherwise, if the fish you’re looking for isn’t there, exit the fishing hole and come back in to check for it again.

I did this quest after 100%ing the rest of the game, so it helps to have every mask and a ton of money.

SWAMP FISHING HOLE

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Fish 1: Termina Bass

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A common fish; very easy to find. Learn the basics of fishing catching these.

Fish 2: Termina Loach

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Slightly less common fish; I’ve seen them near the bottom, so definitely learn to use the sink lure.

Fish 3: Groovy Carp

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These guys are common along the north east edge of the pond. (You might want to buy a map of the Swamp and Ocean from Tingle if you haven’t.)

Fish 4: Sweet Ranchfish

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This fish can only exist between 6AM and 3PM. It has a chance of appearing if you enter the Fishing hole at or after 6AM, and at 3PM, if they’re in the Fishing Hole, they will disappear, even (I hear) if it’s hooked on your line.

This guy is a little tough. It will be willing to take your bait for a while if you play “Epona’s Song”. It’s not always there, so you might need to run in and out of the Fishing Hole a few times before it appears. What you should do is enter the fishing hole, walk onto this bridge…

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and play Epona’s Song using your Ocarina (It might work with the other instruments, but I don’t know). If it’s there, you should hear a “Success Chime” and there will be ripples at its location until the song wears off. While there are ripples, try getting the bait close to it as you can and it may bite. If the ripples stop before you can catch it, play Epona’s Song again.

Fish 5: Fragrant Reekfish

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To check if it’s there, stand at the water’s edge with your feet in the water and put on the Mask of Scents. If nothing happens, leave the fishing hole and come back. Try again until wearing the mask makes you hear a chime and you see at least one purple cloud on the surface of the water. They have a strong smell, so a purple cloud indicates its location.

Fish 6: Mooranha

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To check if it’s there, wear Romani’s Mask (The Cow Mask) and stand on the water’s edge with your feet in the water. If it’s not there, leave the fishing hole and come back. Try again until you hear a chime and ripples appear on the pond. The ripples tell you where the fish is.

Fish 7: Postal Salmon

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From 6AM to 9PM, this fish may be moving around the pond in a fairly uniform pattern. If it’s there, you can stop it in its tracks by wearing the Postman Hat. A chime will play, and then you can catch it fairly easily.

Fish 8: Cuccofish

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This fish cannot appear on Day 2. All other times are okay. To check if it’s there, go to the edge of the water and march with the Bremen Mask. If it’s there, a chime will play, and for a while, there will be ripples, which means that it is willing to take your bait. If the ripples stop before you can catch it, march again with the Bremen Mask and the ripples should start again.

Fish 9: Ancient Fish

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This fish is based on the Coelacanth, a prehistoric fish that lives in deep water. As such, you might find this one at the bottom of the pond. The quickest way to check would be to go into the fishing hole as a Zora and walk to the bottom of the pond to see if any are there. Alternatively, you can check by wearing the Gibdo mask and listening for a chime. You must wear the Gibdo mask to make its ripples appear so it can be caught.

Fish 10: Ferocious Pirarucu

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This is one of the six “Boss Fish”. To make Boss Fish appear, I recommend catching a lot of fish on Day 1 (I’m just guessing 20 is more than enough). Make sure you are using the song of double time to slow time. It doesn’t matter where the fish are caught, so I would recommend fishing in the Swamp because the fish are easier to catch. If you run low on fish in the pond, leave the fishing hole and come back in. After you have fished for awhile, save your progress at an owl statue, because it is now possible to encounter a boss fish. If you fail to catch it and run out of time, you can return to your last save point and try again.

To check if this guy is in the pond, go into Zora form and walk to the bottom of the pond. If it’s not there, leave the fishing hole and come back. If it is there, you want to hook a fish on your line near him. Don’t reel the smaller fish all the way in, but instead use it as bait to catch the Ferocious Pirarucu. If it grabs the small fish, you have to hook him with the circle pad as if you are catching a new fish or he’ll get away. The boss music will play. Enjoy.

Fish 11: Colossal Catfish

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This is one of the six “Boss Fish”. To make Boss Fish appear, I recommend catching a lot of fish on Day 1 (I’m just guessing 20 is more than enough). Make sure you are using the song of double time to slow time. It doesn’t matter where the fish are caught, so I would recommend fishing in the Swamp because the fish are easier to catch. If you run low on fish in the pond, leave the fishing hole and come back in. After you have fished for awhile, save your progress at an owl statue, because it is now possible to encounter a boss fish. If you fail to catch it and run out of time, you can return to your last save point and try again.

This fish can only be found on the final day. To check if it’s there, you need to hop to the island in the middle of the pond using your Deku form, and then pound the ground using your Goron form.

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This is the only reliable way to check, because without shaking the lake in this way, the fish will be invisible. If you hear a chime, the ripples will appear and you can try to catch it. If the ripples stop, just pound the ground on the island again. When you hook it, the boss music will play. Enjoy.

Fish 12: Lord Chapu-Chapu

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This is one of the six “Boss Fish”. To make Boss Fish appear, I recommend catching a lot of fish on Day 1 (I’m just guessing 20 is more than enough). Make sure you are using the song of double time to slow time. It doesn’t matter where the fish are caught, so I would recommend fishing in the Swamp because the fish are easier to catch. If you run low on fish in the pond, leave the fishing hole and come back in. After you have fished for awhile, save your progress at an owl statue, because it is now possible to encounter a boss fish. If you fail to catch it and run out of time, you can return to your last save point and try again.

This is the Master of the Swamp; A baby Lord Jabu Jabu named Lord Chapu Chapu. To check if this guy is in the pond, go into Zora form and walk to the bottom of the pond. If it’s there, it should be sitting in a small underwater cave on the east edge of the pond.

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If it’s not there, leave the fishing hole and come back. If it is there, you want to hook a fish on your line near him. Don’t reel the smaller fish all the way in, but instead use it as bait to catch Lord Chapu-Chapu. If it grabs the small fish, you have to hook him with the circle pad as if you are catching a new fish or he’ll get away. The boss music will play. Enjoy.

OCEAN FISHING HOLE

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Fish 1: Termina Seabass

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A common fish; pretty easy to catch. I don’t 100% remember, but you might need to use a normal fishing lure. I had trouble using the sinking lure.

Fish 2: Goodta Goby

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A common fish; pretty easy to catch.

Fish 3: Ambrosial Amberjack

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A common fish; tends to be in the far north.

Fish 4: Bashful Angler

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Swim around while wearing the Stone Mask, and if there’s a chime, it means it’s there. Ripples indicate its location.

Fish 5: Dancing Sea Bream

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It can only appear during the day. Dance using the Kamaro Mask for a few seconds to check if it’s there. There will be a chime if it is. If the ripples wear off, dance again.

Fish 6: Fairy Fish

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Swim around while wearing the Great Fairy Mask. I don’t remember if there’s a chime or not, but ripples indicate its location. It tends to be in the east near the underwater fairy cave.

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Fish 7: Ninja Flounder

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Swim around while wearing the Garo Mask, and if there’s a chime, it means it’s there. Ripples indicate its location.

Fish 8: Skullfish

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It can only appear at night. Swim around while wearing the Skull Captain’s Hat, and if there’s a chime, it means it’s there. Ripples indicate its location.

Fish 9: Neptuna

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This fish cannot appear on Day 2. All other times are okay. Swim around while wearing the Couple’s Mask, and if there’s a chime, it means it’s there. Ripples indicate its location.

Fish 10: Grand Swordfish

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This is one of the six “Boss Fish”. To make Boss Fish appear, I recommend catching a lot of fish on Day 1 (I’m just guessing 20 is more than enough). Make sure you are using the song of double time to slow time. It doesn’t matter where the fish are caught, so I would recommend fishing in the Swamp because the fish are easier to catch. If you run low on fish in the pond, leave the fishing hole and come back in. After you have fished for awhile, save your progress at an owl statue, because it is now possible to encounter a boss fish. If you fail to catch it and run out of time, you can return to your last save point and try again.

This guy is pretty darn tough. He’s pretty easy to check for though. Go into the ocean as a Zora and check if it’s there. It can be around any of the small islands. If it’s not there, leave the fishing hole and try again. I think I eventually caught him using a normal fishing lure instead of a sinking one, but I don’t remember. It’s possible that you need to be wearing the Goron Mask to reel him in successfully. When you hook him, the boss music will play. Enjoy.

Fish 11: Savage Shark

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This is one of the six “Boss Fish”. To make Boss Fish appear, I recommend catching a lot of fish on Day 1 (I’m just guessing 20 is more than enough). Make sure you are using the song of double time to slow time. It doesn’t matter where the fish are caught, so I would recommend fishing in the Swamp because the fish are easier to catch. If you run low on fish in the pond, leave the fishing hole and come back in. After you have fished for awhile, save your progress at an owl statue, because it is now possible to encounter a boss fish. If you fail to catch it and run out of time, you can return to your last save point and try again.

These guys usually spawn as a group. When they appear, I have usually seen them in the southeast. To check if they are in the fishing hole, go into Zora form and walk to the seafloor. If it’s not there, leave the fishing hole and come back. If it is there, you want to hook a fish on your line near one. Don’t reel the smaller fish all the way in, but instead use it as bait to catch the Savage Shark. If it grabs the small fish, you have to hook him with the circle pad as if you are catching a new fish or he’ll get away. The boss music will play. Enjoy.

Fish 12: Great Fairy Fish

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This is one of the six “Boss Fish”. To make Boss Fish appear, I recommend catching a lot of fish on Day 1 (I’m just guessing 20 is more than enough). Make sure you are using the song of double time to slow time. It doesn’t matter where the fish are caught, so I would recommend fishing in the Swamp because the fish are easier to catch. If you run low on fish in the pond, leave the fishing hole and come back in. After you have fished for awhile, save your progress at an owl statue, because it is now possible to encounter a boss fish. If you fail to catch it and run out of time, you can return to your last save point and try again.

This is the Queen of the Ocean; A creepy looking fish that has the same haircut as a Great Fairy. To check if this thing is in the fishing hole, go into Zora form and walk to the small underwater fairy cave in the northeast. If it’s there, it’ll be sitting in that cave, but you have to look carefully.

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If it’s not there, leave the fishing hole and come back. Once you know that it’s there, you want to get a Fairy Fish onto your line. Remember to use the Great Fairy Mask so it will be willing to take the bait. Don’t reel the Fairy Fish all the way in, but instead use it as bait to catch the Great Fairy Fish. When it grabs the Fairy Fish, you have to hook it with the circle pad as if you are catching a new fish or it’ll get away. The boss music will play. Enjoy.

I hope this brief guide has helped you 100% this game. Don’t forget to share this article if you found it helpful! Thanks for Reading!

Update: If you like Zelda and challenges, check out our playthrough attempt of Wind Waker HD without using the sail! https://zelgerath.com/2015/05/10/no-sail-zelda-wind-waker-challenge-session-1/?preview_id=769  Thanks! =)