Tuesday, December 13, 2011

25 Days of Villains - #13: Veran

A sorceress who wants to alter the flow of time, Veran is a somewhat different villain than many of the primary evil characters in the Legend of Zelda series. She's careful and methodical, planning her every move. She's also patient, possessing Zelda's attendant Impa and then following Link as he leads her directly to Nayru, the Oracle of Ages. Before Link and Nayru can have much of an exchange, Veran makes her presence known, jumping from Impa's body to that of Nayru's. She then proceeds to travel back in time, messing up the present and leaving pain and sorrow in her wake.

Veran's logical side lets her get away with her plan to build the Black Tower, using Nayru to influence Queen Ambi. But there is another side of Veran that rears its ugly head later in the game, once Link has caught her attention by collecting the Essences of Time. After Link storms Ambi's Palace to face the Veran-possessed Nayru, the sorceress taunts him, informing him that any damage he inflicts upon Veran will also harm Nayru. Link discovers a loophole, however, firing the most simple of projectiles at Veran - Mystery Seeds. It seems the Mystery Seeds have some properties that work against Veran's dark magic, which leads her to separate from Nayru's body.

But things are far from over. Losing the Oracle of Ages is no hindrance to Veran, since the Black Tower is nearly completed. Veran then jumps into the body of Queen Ambi and races to the Black Tower to oversee its completion, knowing she now has direct influence over the people of Labrynna.

When Link returns to face her in the final showdown, he is able to free Queen Ambi from her control rather easily, in the same fashion that he freed Nayru. Veran then changes into a dark fairy, flying around, almost taunting Link to hit her. While this form proved more challenging than possessed Ambi, the third and final form is one of the most challenging boss fights I've ever played through on any system, handheld or console. Veran is constantly changing between three forms - Spider, Turtle, and Bee - each with different attacks, all of which deal significant damage to Link. If Link is too close, he may be able to land a few swipes of his sword, but will take damage in the process. If he's too far away, he can dodge her attacks, but not retaliate. It's all about keeping a rhythm and finding a medium between the two.

After the grueling final boss fight is said and done, Veran perishes, but not before confirming that her work is complete. It seems that everything she did in Labrynna, past and present, was to spread sorrow - sorrow that would fuel one of Twinrova's flames as part of their ritual to revive Ganon.

Boss theme:

This theme, which plays during the lengthy final battle at the top of the Black Tower, is a great accompaniment to the intensity of the fight.

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