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'Hey! Listen!' Legend of Zelda escape room gets Vancouver fans playing classic game in new way

Chance to play "frustratingly troublesome puzzle adventure" in real-life delights fans of long-running video game series.

Players at Thursday’s game solved a variety of puzzles and tasks with a Zelda theme to win the game

Players pore over materials at the Legend of Zelda escape game in Vancouver to find clues. (David Horemans/CBC)

A hotel ballroom in Vancouver has been transformed into the mystical world of Hyrule.

Real Escape Games has turned the room at the Pinnacle Hotel into an "escape room" with a Legend of Zelda theme.

Players rush from room to room to collect items and information in order to win the game before time expires. (David Horemans/CBC)

Escape rooms are games where players try to escape from a room by solving puzzles, completing objectives and finding clues.

Izzy Aslam, the game's master of ceremonies, said the focus on puzzles made Zelda a natural fit for an escape game tie-in.

Actors in Zelda-themed costumes help to facilitate the game. This person is dressed as a Zora, an underwater creature. (David Horemans/CBC)

"Legend of Zelda is a frustratingly troublesome puzzle adventure. You get thrown into dungeons. You get to solve puzzles oriented towards saving this land of Hyrule.

"[Players] really come in and play the video game. There's going to be a lot of familiar faces, familiar lore."

Players like Naomi Lapurga had to contend with some pretty diabolical puzzles during the game. (David Horemans/CBC)

About 100 players came to the first Vancouver edition of the travelling game, which has made stops in other Canadian cities, among them local university student Naomi Lapurga.

Players found Zelda-themed clues in these ornate chests. Unlocking the chests, however, was another matter. (David Horemans/CBC)

"It's a video game that's cool, and it's real life," she said. "I like adventuring, breaking pots, going into dungeons."

Her friend, Alex Pertoia, has been playing Zelda games, he estimates, since he was three or four years old.

This actor was guarding Kokiri Forest, an iconic location in the Zelda series. (David Horemans/CBC)

"I started with the [1986] Zelda and I've played almost all of them ever since there," he said. "I'm here to kill Ganondorf and save the princess. What else would you do in the Zelda escape game?"

The escape room is decorated with Zelda-themed props, like this bomb in the Death Mountain room. (David Horemans/CBC)

Players at Thursday's opening event solved a variety of puzzles and tasks with a Zelda theme to win the game.

They even got to throw pots — in a way. They were, in fact, bean bags with pots printed on them.

There are clues everywhere and teams must work together to solve the puzzle. (David Horemans/CBC)

In the end, teams got to complete the most vaunted of all Zelda tasks: finding the Master Sword, a recurring weapon in the game with enough magic powers to defeat Link's archnemesis, Ganondorf.

The object of the escape room is to get the Master Sword. (David Horemans/CBC)

The Zelda escape room runs in Vancouver throughout the weekend. Tickets are available online.

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