“Defeat The Darkness. Find The Master Sword!
Golden triangles that grant the wish of whomever touches them: this sacred relic is known as the “Triforce™.” The Triforce was left behind by the Golden Goddesses after they created the realm now known as Hyrule, then sealed away so that none would be tempted to use it.
That is, until the Great King of Evil, Ganondorf, used his dark powers to steal the Triforce for himself. Responding to his unending ambition, darkness has begun to cover the land. If left unchecked, Hyrule will soon be completely controlled by evil.
There is only one way to escape from this terrible fate: find the legendary Master Sword.
It is up to you and your team to become “Defenders of the Triforce,” ally with Princess Zelda and the inhabitants of Hyrule, and obtain the Master Sword.
The survival of Hyrule Kingdom rests on your shoulders.
Your adventure begins now.”
I’m a huge Legend of Zelda fan, so when I found out that there was a live Zelda-themed escape room coming to the city I was about to move to, I was quite excited. I had no idea what to expect from the experience, and was eager to find out how they were going to manage a huge conference room full of people. It turns out, the answer was that they really couldn’t! There were some logistical issues—long lines at the puzzle stations, for example— that made it hard to complete the event in a timely manner. Despite that, the experience turned out to be pretty fun, and we were able to win with literal seconds to spare.
There was an intro video, inspired by the Ocarina of Time aesthetic, that kicked off the event and let us know that Ganon was, indeed, returning once more. They gave everyone a Link cap, which was a delightful touch, along with a laminated puzzle sheet, and some basic supplies. The ballroom decorations were fairly minimal, but in each corner of the room they had little stations setup representing the different realms of Hyrule. Each realm had a curtain hiding an inner sanctum and an actor, in costume, on each side of the curtain. The actor on the outside acted as a guard, preventing access to the realm and actor inside until you provided proof of solving whichever puzzle was linked to the realm. The actor inside would give you a handout or key part of the next puzzle. That was about the extent of that narrative, so not a lot there. (Certainly a little less than I had been hoping for.)
The puzzles were all on paper, so no mechanical puzzles or locks to solve. It’s been four years since I did the puzzles and I’ve found that most of them were fairly forgettable and haven’t stuck around in my brain since then. I do recall getting frustrated when we’d solve a puzzle and then have to wait in line to get the next puzzle piece, wasting valuable time. The coolest puzzle, and the one I recall the most clearly, was one where the puzzle solved to a phrase that encouraged you to cut the grass. There was a grass border near the bottom of the laminated handout. However, since they were reusing the link hats, it seemed likely that they would reuse something like a laminated handout. I was so nervous about cutting into it that I called over a gamemaster to make sure that what I was doing was okay. They wouldn’t give me a straight answer, so I did so with some trepidation, only to be rewarded with a hidden pieced of paper tucked in between the two sides of the laminated document!
This game was a limited affair which ended back in 2017. While the puzzling experience was fun, I would be unlikely to do another one of these mass ballroom escape room type games again. (Though I could maybe be lured in with the right theme.) For as expensive as it was, I think you’d be better off finding a good escape room in whatever city you happen to be in.