The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds continues the long-standing tradition of having a very difficult, entirely optional challenge for bragging rights, involving the number 999. Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks both had the 999 sword hit challenge, and The Wind Waker had a similar sword challenge that ends at 1000 hits.
But it’s different in A Link Between Worlds. This time, the challenge involves avoiding chickens. It’s the Endless Cucco Challenge, and it’s not truly endless as you win at 999.99 seconds. The prize? A Giant Cucco, that spits a heart at you every time you interact with it:
There are ten different waves, which change every 100 seconds. Each wave has different types and/or speeds of Cucco, and sometimes the waves overlap if there are still some chickens on the screen when a new wave starts. You’re in a small, rectangular pen which doesn’t leave you much room to manoeuvre at all; the best advice is to stay away from the corners – and if you get hit even ONCE, that’s it. You lose. This is the hardest of any optional challenge in any Zelda game ever; for the sole reason that there is no margin for error. One hit ends it instantly!
There is a trick called “pause buffering” which can help. The idea is you control your character with your left hand while your right hand is used to repeatedly pause and unpause the game, giving the illusion of slow motion. It’s not perfect as boxes block the middle of the screen, and it makes the game take that much longer, but I know of no-one who was able to successfully finish this minigame without repeatedly pausing, at least after 300 seconds once it starts to get really fast.
There are regular and large Cuccos as well as flying yellow Cuccos. These obscure your vision slightly, but that’s all they really do so they are hardly a threat. Here are the waves:
- 0 – 99.99s: A medium number of fast, large Cuccos
- 100 – 199.99s: Lots of slow, small Cuccos
- 200 – 299.99s: Lots of slow, large Cuccos
- 300 – 399.99s: A few very fast, small Cuccos
- 400 – 499.99s: A mix of medium-speed small, slow large and slow flying Cuccos
- 500 – 599.99s: Lots of very slow, small Cuccos with a few fast, large Cuccos
- 600 – 699.99s: Lots of slow, small Cuccos with fast, flying Cuccos
- 700 – 799.99s: A mix of fast small Cuccos, very slow large Cuccos and fast flying Cuccos
- 800 – 899.99s: A few fast, small Cuccos with fast, flying Cuccos
- 900 – 999.99s: A mix of medium-speed small, slow large and slow flying Cuccos
As I said before, if you (somehow) succeed in completing this hectic challenge, the prize is a Giant Cucco that waits by the gate of the Cucco Ranch, as well as 3,000 Rupees. Every time you talk to it, it flaps its wings then spits a single heart at you. It also appears in the ending. Here is a series of pictures showing what happens, along with all the text:
Finally, here’s the Giant Cucco in the ending of the game. As the camera pans over the ranch, the Cucco flaps and spits out a heart, just as it does during the game:
Here’s a link to my Miiverse profile. There, you can see some other records in this game and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros.