Defenders of the Triforce – SCRAP Zelda (Review)

SCRAP Zelda (Defenders of the Triforce) is an Ocarina of Time-themed escape event that is fun for both Zelda and SCRAP fans alike. This SCRAP Zelda review is spoiler-free!

Story and Background

The story is the classic Zelda story from Ocarina of Time – As Link, you must assemble the Triforce and retrieve the Master Sword to defeat Ganondorf and save Princess Zelda. Our team was only vaguely familiar with the Ocarina of Time, but the references were still fun for us.

Please note that despite many people calling this “Zelda escape room”, this is not an escape room. For those unfamiliar with these events, these are large ballroom events where many teams of 6 play the game simultaneously. This is much more like an themed puzzle hunt rather than an escape room experience.

Quick facts:

  • Theme: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • Good for beginners: Yes, absolutely! SCRAP events are basically all extremely beginner-friendly.
  • Play with strangers: Extremely likely, if you don’t buy tickets in exact multiples of 6.
  • Location: All around North America. Specifically SF, LA, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Houston, Chicago, New York, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.
  • Players: Exactly 6 (If didn’t buy your tickets in multiples 6, expect strangers to be added to your table.)
  • Price: $34-43 per person (varies depending on location). Early bird discount codes of $5 available via booking website if you book early enough. They also sell merchandise both at the time of booking and at the event.
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★
  • Booking: http://scrapzelda.com/

Theming

Six teammates pose around the Master Sword.

Our celebratory photo!

This game is packed with various Ocarina of Time references and should be a delight for any fan of the classic game willing to role-play a bit. For those who really get into the experience, it was cute, delightful, and fun.

The scenic design was minimal and we were hoping for a lot more to make the game feel more like a Legend of Zelda experience. Some of the stations felt makeshift (but very practical), but if you’re willing to look past that and immerse yourself in the experience it’s not too bad. There are quite a few fun, small interactions with staff members, along with a few neat medium-sized set pieces. The props were cute, although for certain ones we wish there were more of them for each player instead of just one per team.

For the San Francisco location, the game was fairly crowded which deterred somewhat from the overall experience and theme – it was clear (makes total sense from a business perspective) that they were trying to fill up the room as much as possible. There were queues forming around the stations for any teams that are around the middle of the pack, although clear walking paths were marked on the ground to help ease aisle.

Puzzles

SCRAP Zelda seemed to be a bit lighter on usual SCRAP-style puzzles. Instead, there are more tasks, small interactions with in-character staff, and fun things to do at various stations around the ballroom. We welcome this kind of shift away from the mini-puzzles and more towards tasks and interactions, and would love to see more SCRAP events shift in this direction.

SCRAP Zelda is a lot easier than your usual SCRAP ballroom or stadium event. Usually, these kinds of events have an escape rate of about ~10%, but over half (18 out of 32) of the teams in our slot escaped. There aren’t any time-released clues, and the infamous final puzzle is a lot easier than usual. The fastest teams in each time slot will probably finish in around 35-40 minutes. Some of the puzzles are even trivially easy as they’re purely just following the directions with very little twist.

SCRAP ballroom events are all made for groups of 6, and unlike their stadium events there’s unfortunately no flexibility in team size. If you have a smaller group, they’ll very likely group you in with strangers given how full the bookings usually are. 6 people is a perfectly fine team size for beginners, but for experienced enthusiasts we think the ideal team size is 3-4…

Overall Recommendation ★★★★

For people who are interested in a peek of the coolest parts of the inside of the game, the official Nintendo YouTube channel has published an official video where you get to see a bit of the layout, setup, and even some of the cool set pieces. The partnership with Legend of Zelda seems to have brought along a bunch of press events (including photos and video from inside the game room itself), which we think is really neat.

Here’s the official Nintendo Video:

Tickets for some cities (San Francisco second run, New York, Toronto, etc.) haven’t yet gone on sale so there will still be plenty of people out there looking to decide if they should purchase a ticket. Unlike previous SCRAP events, there’s more than enough news coverage of what it’s like to participate, so there’s plenty of material to read besides this blog post here. For example Hunt and Escape (new SFBA escape blog, check them out!) comments on the nostalgia and the crowding and Engadget comments on the tedium.

For fans of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: this is a rare opportunity to relive some of the nostalgia from when you first played the game. There are plenty of references to the classic game, from the story to the characters to even the mechanics. You won’t feel like you’re in Hyrule, but at least you can geek out with the small little interactions with the staff and enjoy all of the cute props.

For fans of SCRAP games: This is a fun new game by SCRAP with shifts to usual formula. There are fewer (and easier) SCRAP mini-puzzles. This is replaced by more stations and more interactions with staff in character. You’ll probably enjoy this if you enjoy the role-play and interacting with staff, but might not like it as much if you’re into SCRAP events for the devilishly difficult puzzles. (The last puzzle requires some thinking but is much easier than usual SCRAP last puzzles…)

For fans of escape rooms: This is really different than an escape room, with a lot more small tasks, mini-puzzles, and small opportunities to role-play. Don’t expect too much of an immersive game – you have to role-play and really provide your own immersion. It’s a bit pricy, but everyone should try one of the these SCRAP events at least once. It satisfies a particular audience, and you just might be one of them!

Tips (spoiler-free)

Screenshot of Legend of Zelda game

You’re literally not supposed to go alone in this game. When you travel, you must travel as a full team (which we think is the right call for a good experience here).

You really get out of this event what you put in. You’ll enjoy it most if you’re willing to role-play a bit and immerse yourself into the game. If you come expecting an immersive experience where you feel like you’re in Hyrule, you’ll be disappointed. Put on a silly cap, accept the mini-puzzles and tasks as part of your quest, and you’re going to have a fun time!

Try to be quick, as (at least in the SF game), the top teams in each session will win a 20-minute session to try out the new Zelda: Breath of the Wild game for the Nintendo Switch. In our slot, the top 7 teams out of 32 got the opportunities. But the main benefit of being quick is actually that you get to beat all of the lines.

 

Make a Booking

These paper tickets were only sold in LA.

You can check if SCRAP Zelda is coming to your city and if there are still slots at http://scrapzelda.com/. Slots for New York, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver are opening soon.

For our San Francisco Bay Area-based readers, there are plenty of spots available for San Francisco’s second run of SCRAP Zelda since it’s going to run for 6 weeks in SCRAP’s Japantown Hall of Heroes.

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