Nostalgia Lane: The Legend of Zelda

I’m not much of a Nintendo fanboy, nor am I deeply entrenched into the Zelda series. In fact, to this day, I’ve only really been sucked into just two of the titles, and it’s those two I wanted to reminisce about today.

The first of these was the original 1986 Legend of Zelda on the NES. Now, I didn’t have an NES, but believe you me, this game was so incredibly popular in our grade that I sought out every neighborhood friend who had a Nintendo, this game, and a willingness to let me hang out to play or at least watch. That was the original streaming, kids: Watching over a friend’s shoulder because it was the next best substitute to playing yourself.

Anyway, I was completely fascinated with Zelda because it was this action-packed game with a whole lot of RPG elements. I loved the idea of collecting and using all sorts of different items, not just for combat but also for exploration. It was an action-RPG before I even knew what that sort of thing was.

I did have get the amazing two-screen Zelda game and watch portable in 1989, which became one of my favorite handhelds ever. It was really clever how it offered sprawling dungeon crawling and even a bit of item collection and usage.

But for my money, the high point of my Zelda adventuring came in 1991 with A Link to the Past. By then, we had a SNES, and you best believe that this was one of the first games we bought for it. You got your money’s worth here, both in terms of quality and length, because you could pour dozens and dozens of hours into exploring this sprawling world (and an alternate dimension version). I don’t know how I beat this without walkthroughs — I think I did have some magazines that offered tips and hidden secrets — but I did a couple of times.

And that was it. I didn’t get a N64, so my interest in Zelda plummeted to nothing for the successive Nintendo consoles. I don’t know, nothing seemed to grab me as a “must play” the way those first two games did, and I’m content with that being the case for me.

3 thoughts on “Nostalgia Lane: The Legend of Zelda

  1. Syp, have you ever player (or watched) the Link to the Past randomizer? I end up getting into it once a year or so. There are some very advanced versions of it (start in Dark World, entrance randomizer, etc.) but the gist of it is that it takes all 216 item locations and items and randomizes them all – while making sure logic works out so that you can complete the game.

    As an example, instead of finding the lantern in your house, maybe you find the Book of Mudora (if you’re playing in Open Mode you don’t have to do Castle Escape at start), which leads you to Desert Palace first half to get a Power Glove and Moon Pearl which leads to Dark World to find Bow in Village of Outcasts, and so on and so forth. You usually don’t have to do all 10 dungeons (7 crystals plus 3 pendants) unless you have progression on Master Sword pedestal.

    It ends up being a real fun change up from the original by basically turning it into a logic puzzle at the same time. If you really enjoyed ALTTP, you’d probably really enjoy a playthrough on the randomizer.

  2. If you’re interested in checking it out, you’ll need a Japanese version 1.0 ROM and SNES9x is the recommended emulator. If you needed one or both, you’d have to find them somewhere.

    Hmmm, I just entered my email right here in the comment form… 😀

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