The Legend of Zelda, what does this name conjure up in your mind? Link? Zelda? Nintendo? A great game? A bad game? Or is it the franchise that you think of? Do you think of all of the many great games that been released across the two decade time-span? Does Ocarina of Time come before any other Zelda thought for you? If so, then you are not alone. Many people across the Zelda community think of this when they are trying to define what this is. However, this is not what I’m here to discuss.
The Legend of Zelda is where it all started, and it’s going to be where it all finishes as well. Many of you may know that I have a real love for this game, just as I do for the Gizmondo, but that’s another story. Those of you who don’t you’ll soon find out why!
I joined Zelda when Ocarina of Time came out; I was a fan of Nintendo, because of Ocarina of Time. Before this point in 1998, I was a Sega fan. I had grown up on Sonic, Ecco and other brilliant Sega games. Yet, when I first played Ocarina of Time, I was blown away. There has never been another moment like that for me, save one. It took a long time for me to get over my love for Ocarina of Time, maybe I never will do. Although this does not negate the fact that when I first played The Legend of Zelda, the feeling of love came back to me.
The simplistic gameplay is a joy for me. There may be little plot to the game, aside from kill the evil ones. However, it’s still clear that it’s a Zelda game. It’s the first. You’ve got all of your enemies from Ocarina of Time; in fact, there are more enemies than in Ocarina of Time, such as Zola. You wonder around the overworld and see the graphics that you saw in the screen before you and think that the game is poor. However, when you get out of that mindset you realise how much of a good game it really is.
The Legend of Zelda is a lot harder than a lot of the modern Zelda games, significantly harder than Ocarina of Time. It’s a lot shorter, which is why it can be speed run by people like TSA in like 30 minutes. This does not mean that it’s not hard. Just to get to the first temple, Level 1, you’ve got to meet seven types of enemy. Seven! Many of them appearing on the same screen at the same time. You also need to kill each of these enemies so that you can supply yourself with arrows later on in the game, as your arrows are directly deducted from your overall rubie count.
Alone, this made me feel that The Legend of Zelda is a great game. But then we get to some of the enemies. Seeing Gohma in her first, crab like form, is amazing. This game may be second to last in most people’s timelines, but it’s sure easy to see the evolution of each main, recurring boss.
The Legend of Zelda, for me, is full of nostalgia. It’s full of what we should be focusing on. Creating quality games, to the best of our graphical, hardware and gaming abilities to date. Not any of this crap that we’re getting like Four Swords. But real games. Games that actually take time to master, games that are still played twenty years into the future. Not a mish-mash of games and reused sound clips.
If you’ve never played the game, get it in any way you can. Via the NES Classics collection, via the Collector’s Edition or via the first NES cartridge game. You’ll then see why I believe that this game is truly some of the best, and overlooked gaming of today.Follow This Entry | Read Other Posts by Archaic Sage