Legend of Zelda: Opaque Essence is a spinoff of the Legend of Zelda series that features gameplay and controls very similar to the Dark Souls series. Such similarities include a vast multitude of weapons, blocking and attacking using the shoulder buttons, a lot of actions requiring stamina, and more.
The story begins with an encounter with the Masked Salesman in the middle of a very dark area. The Salesman speaks towards the camera, saying that he foresees a horrid event coming up. As such, he decides to show you one of his wares for free. But first, he needs the players' assistance to fix it up. He places an effigy down on the desk between him and the camera, and players are prompted to create their character. After creating their effigy, the Salesman says it'll be necessary elsewhere, so he lets the player go.
The scene then cuts to a raid on a cavern, the player leading the charge, now resembling the character they created in Character Creation. They explore the cavern and take on a few relatively weak monsters. This area serves as a tutorial for players, allowing them to learn how to do their basic actions. It soon culminates in a battle with a Hinox, which is almost guaranteed to end in the player's death.
Following the death, the scene cuts to the Masked Salesman in some decrepit tower, before he takes out the effigy from before and places it on the ground. A souls is seen traveling towards the effigy, before manifesting a physical form, which the player takes control of. The Masked Salesman begins by saying the player is in a world unlike their old one. The Salesman tells the player that they're needed in this unusual realm.
They say it is attracting all sorts of strange creatures, including this horrible, malicious force. He says that this force has the power to traverse the boundaries between dimensions. He feels this gluttonous force coming from the being, and he fears that it'll grow to break into other worlds and consume everything. So, the player is tasked with traveling the dilapidated world and finding out how to suppress it.
First, however, the player has to traverse the strange ruins they woke up in.
Players traverse a relatively standard dungeon. In it, players encounter some fairly basic enemies, are forced to find levers to open up certain locked doors, and are forced to find keys to progress. Occasionally, they may encounter a few "prisoners" who state that something called Rebonac is right outside the exit. Some also say the creatures of malice will let them leave the fort if someone strikes down Rebonac, though they lament no one can destroy it. Sure enough, after enough traveling, players soon reach the exit to the fort, only to be greeted by a heavily armored knight atop a horse wielding a lance. Of course, this is the Rebonac.
After a tough fight against the armored menace, the player receives the monster's soul, and the prisoners now stand in the room just before the bridge. They look on in disbelief at you having destroyed the beast. They cheer, and the player can see the Masked Salesman among them. Upon speaking with him, he congratulates them on their heroic task, noting that the world could use more people like them. However, he notes that destroying one teenie weenie monster does not save a world. He directs his attention towards the skies, coated in the clutch of malice, a thick smog blotting out the sunlight. He says that if they're going to have a chance of taking the world back from evil, that they need to handle the lesser monsters first.
He explains that the monster behind the smog is a fearsome dragon known as Aquamentus, residing high up in the Gnarled Root temple. Unfortunately, the temple requires a specific key to enter, the Gnarled Key. He says it remains over on Maku Road, though it remains far away, and that ever since Malice took over, the earth shifted such that you cannot reach it on foot. The Masked Salesman explains that if they're going to get to Maku Road, they need to find a creature capable of flying them over. The Masked Salesman figures that the creature that'd be capable of that would be the Helmaroc King on Death Mountain. Realizing their next goal, the player sets out of the Fort, and in the direction of the ginormous volcano, Death Mountain.
Hyrule Fields (part 1)
The fields are going to be a fairly common point of exploration for players, as a means of getting from place to place. From here, players are also able to see the Gnarled Root, though it is locked. The point of focus is the path to Death Mountain, laden with many low level monsters. As players progress, there's a chance that they may encounter a strange figure with a black sword at his side.
Much of the gameplay depends on your stamina wheel and magic bar, as well as what is equipped in either hand. If you have a weapon that deals melee damage, you can use the shoulder button closest to you, for right and for left, to use a light strike which won't deplete stamina. If you use the shoulder buttons further away from you, for right and for left, you can deliver a heavy attack which will deplete stamina. If you have a shield, you can use the closest shoulder buttons to block strikes (each hit the shield takes depletes some stamina, and if it runs out you can't hold up the shield), and a press of the further shoulder buttons will have players attempt a parry, which, if timed properly to deflect an attack, leaves foes open to a high-damaging riposte.
Another major aspect to gameplay is the items/weapons/spells you have equipped. You can choose what you have equipped by going under the equip menu when you enter menus with . If you press , you'll change what weapon you hold in your right hand. If you press , you change what weapon you hold in your left hand. If you press , you can change what spell you have ready. If you press , you can change what item you have prepared.
If you tap , you can dodge roll away (which'll deplete some stamina) as long as you aren't over encumbered. If you hold , you start sprinting, which'll deplete stamina for as long as you sprint. has you interact with the environment, either picking up items or speaking with npcs. You can press to use whatever item you have selected. You can tap to hold your right weapon with two hands, or hold to hold your left weapon in two hands.
There are a few simple stats to worry about. Most stats are upgraded by armor or by finding key items scattered around the world.
- HP - This stat determines how much damage the player can take before being killed. This is represented by Heart Containers shown in the upper left corner. Each heart represents 10 units of HP. The key item to increase this are Pieces of Heart, or Heart Containers.
- Stamina - This stat determines your maximum stamina, which is used for various actions, including running, heavy attacks, and blocking. This stat is represented as a stamina wheel in the upper left corner of the screen. The key item to increase this stat are Stamina Seeds.
- Magic - This stat represents how many magical points the player has. Said points are used to summon up magical spells. The key item to increase this stat are Great Fairy Dust.
- Physical Attack - This stat represents the base melee damage you are capable of. The amount of damage you do can be increased by the weapon you wield, for the amount of damage a weapon does is added to your physical attack stat.
- Physical Defense - This stat represents how much physical damage is negated when you're struck. Your physical defense is typically affected by the armor you wear, typically by adding the armor's physical defense to your own.
- Magical Attack - This stat represents how much magical damage you are capable of. The amount of damage you do can be increased by the weapon you wield, for the amount of damage a weapon does is added to your magical attack.
- Magical Defense - This stat represents how much magical damage is negated when you're struck. Your magical defense is typically affected by the armor you wear, typically by adding the armor's magical defense to your own.
This game features character creation at the start of it. It features the ability to change Name, Species Gender, Age, Class, Gift, Facial Presets, Build, and Appearance. Most of the options are cosmetic, but Species, Class, and Gift do have an affect on your gameplay.
- Hylian - the jack of all trades of this world. Becoming a Hylian offers no changes to your stats.
- Sheikah - the shadow-y warrior. As a Sheikah, they are incredibly nimble and can move faster/closer to enemies before aggroing them, meaning they're more likely to ambush foes. They also tend to be more in tune with magic, able meaning they can send out/learn magic faster than most species. However, they have significantly physical defense, and, when blocking, their defenses tend to be shattered faster than most species.
- Goron - the mountain with legs. Becoming a Goron gives you increased physical strength and physical defense, and causes you to take less damage from fire/lava. They also have high carrying capacity, meaning they can equip a lot more gear before getting over encumbered. However, Gorons are significantly slower and can't dodge away from certain attacks, and projectile attacks are less accurate.
- Zora - the dancing-blade of the waters. Zoras are seen as nimble and quick, being able to move, attack, and dodge faster than most species, and can move faster in water than most species. However, they're not nearly as defensive as most species, and are exceptionally weak to electrical attacks.
- Gerudo - the Amazons of the desert. The Gerudo are exceptionally dangerous foes, able to deal a smidge more physical damage than most foes, are very spiritual and thus more capable of magic. They are also really good with lightning magic, and good at defending against it. However, they aren't usually very fast, and they have less defenses starting out. Side note: choosing to be a Gerudo locks Gender options to Female.
- Rito - the eagle-eyed sniper of the skies. The Ritos are known for their incredible speed and agility, and are also known to launch projectiles farther than most species, and be more accurate with their strikes. However, they aren't too good at up close combat, having low defenses and melee ability. They also have a low carrying capacity, meaning that they can carry less gear than most to be over encumbered.
- Knight - As a knight, you are known for your sturdiness and your high vitality. As a knight, you like to get up close with foes and dish out melee strikes. You're also more well known to stand behind a shield rather than dodging attack.
- Thief - As a thief, you are known for your high dexterity and swiftness. You don't like to be as close to foes, preferring to stay in their blind spot and blindside them, stabbing them in the back or using a bow to deliver a deadly blow. However, be careful that you don't get in the way of a foe's strikes, for you can't stand so many attacks.
- Wizard - As a wizard, you are known for summoning magical spells, usually for striking foes from afar. But you can eventually find a few spells for melee strikes. You prefer to stay away from foes and look for gaps in the enemy's attacks, for you can't take to much harm.
This game features a multitude of weapon types to aid the player. Each weapon type has their own moveset, speeds, and weight. A few even have special attributes to them that allow them to affect the rest of the world.
- Broadsword - A jack of all trades sort of weapon. Players typically wield this blade in one hand and can slice at an average speed with the light attack, and slightly less than average speed with the heavy attack. These also typically cut, so they're good at cutting certain things in the environment. If players hold the heavy attack button, the player can charge up a spin attack (which consumes stamina the more it's charged).
- Hammer - A weapon with a lot of weight to it. These thing are notoriously slow, but typically deal a lot of damage. The light attack is a slow swipe, while the heavy attack is a really slow overhead slam.
- Clawshot - A gauntlet specially designed with a claw that can spring forward. It is typically fast and consumes little stamina, the light attack being especially quick to bash foes. With the heavy attack, players can spring the claw forward in front of them. If the target is small enough, they can get pulled towards the player. Else, the player will be pulled towards them. Certain far-off switches can be pulled by a clawshot, and certain chests need to be pulled towards players with the clawshot.
The game also features online connectivity, which will be present throughout the whole of the game if players allow it. By maintaining a Light Spirit, players invite others to enter their game, and invite the ability to go into others' worlds. While communication doesn't mean seeing others, it is possible for players to physically appear in another world. Those summoned to cooperate with the summoner are seen as a Light Being, and are tasked with defending the player from harm. Those that invade or are summoned to fight the summoner are seen as Dark Beings, and are tasked with slaying the summoner. Below are a few items involved in online interaction.
- Sign Posts - Players can leave a signpost on the map in order to warn those visiting this place what might be ahead.
- Summoning Bell - Players can leave this bell on the map so that another player may be able to summon them. Those summoned appear as a Light version of themselves, and are tasked with helping them defeat the area's boss.
- Insightful Mirror - Players that use this are able to invade another world, slipping through it in order to hunt down the hero of that world. Those that use an Insightful Mirror appear in other worlds as a Dark version of themselves.
- Challenge Mirror - Players can leave this mirror on the map to invite a spar. Those summoned will be brought to the summoner's world as a Dark version of themselves.