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Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Legend of Zelda



The Legend of Zelda
Alright, here it is... The big one. Anyone who read my first post knows I love my Zelda games, so it was inevitable that I try out the original The Legend of Zelda. I have to admit, I was anxious when I was loading up the game. I have played every Zelda game that has come out since Ocarina of Time (except Wind Waker, which I now have and am playing in my spare time), so when I started it up and the oh-so-familiar music started playing, the familiarity was already was starting to hit. Then comes the screen about the story of your adventure, which of course has to do with Gannon capturing Princess Zelda and trying to claim the Triforce, and I was the only person who could stop him. I was already loving this game by the time I hit start with how it brought back those weekends where 8-year-old me would sit for hours trying to save Hyrule.

Octorocs everywhere
When I started however, I was a little confused. I love myself some quests of epic proportions, but I generally like to be pointed in the right direction on where to start. I found myself wandering around trying to find where to go and only running into creepy old men hanging out in caves and shop-keepers yelling at me to buy stuff. I was pretty much instantly used to the controls as it felt like playing Oracle of Seasons (on the GameBoy Color), yet it still took me awhile to realize that I can only throw swords when at full health. It did not take me very long to realize how easy it is to die in this game, though. Between the unknown things in the water shooting energy balls at me and the octoroc infestation in Hyrule, I'm figuring out by now that all NES games are going to be so much more difficult than any current generation game. Finally, after wandering around for a good 30 minutes, I was beginning to get tired of dying, so I reluctantly looked up what I was supposed to do (killing octorocs if fun and all, but I just wanted to get to my first temple). So as I was going through the temple, I was surprised to find a dragon in wait for me. I never thought that there would be dragons in any Zelda game, until I realized that the Dodongos in Ocarina of Time were sort-of dragon like. Anyways, long story short, after a solid 3 hours of playing this game, I beat two temples with the help of GameFaqs (solely for the purpose of finding them) and really enjoyed myself in the process.

Thank you creepy old man
What I Liked: The familiarity with my childhood favorites was huge. Running around killing octorocs, getting boomerangs and bombs, the ability to upgrade your equipment through shops or in dungeons, a familiar storyline, heart containers, searching for the Triforce... I could go on and on. The similarities to be seen for anyone who played and loved any other Zelda game will enjoy this game. The sword-shooting was entertaining and the vast array of enemies makes you figure out different combinations of sword and accessories to effectively take them out. The boss battles make you change up your tactics also since they can not be killed as normal enemies. The difficulty, in my opinion, was actually not at all frustrating for me. Once you died, you simply started back at the starting point without losing any of your items.

Oh don't mind me... I'm just gonna put a bomb in your mouth
What I hated: Again, I'm not fond of how open-world this is. As I said earlier, just putting you in Hyrule and not telling you where to go or what I should be looking for was the only problem I had with this game. When I could find the dungeons, it was all because I looked up how to get there (and that was confusing sometimes too). *It should be said that I did not have the manual or map of Hyrule at the time while playing this. Thanks to those of you who linked it to me*

General Impression: This game is awesome. I am planning on playing through this entire game when I have the chance. Being able to see what inspired some of my favorite games ever and seeing so many similarities made this game, one that is already fun by itself, that much better for me. I would highly recommend this to anyone who could play it, but make sure you have a map handy or you will get lost for sure.

39 comments:

Loli and the Bear said...

I love all the Zelda games. My favorite game would be Majora's Mask.

MonsterKill said...

Where mah Dragon Warriors at?

Caroline Amnesty said...

i love zelda too!

Exospaca said...

You're a fool for not playing Windwaker, damned game is one of the best games of all time.

Ryan said...

I'm working on it! I just bought it last week and I'm coming up on massive amounts of free time in the near future. I'm getting a little anxious haha

HappyWulf said...

Hey buddy! Just stumbled upon your blog via Reddit. I wanted to give you a few recommendations to play.
Blaster Master, NES
Ninja Gaiden, NES
Sinistar, where ever you can find it on a compilation of arcade games...
River Raid, Atari 2600
Act Raiser, SNES
Soul Blazer, SNES
Super Castlevania 4, SNES

.... Blaster Master was by far one of my favorite games of my time growing up. Remember, you jump out of your tank by pressing Select, and you go into dungeons by pressing Down. Find the boss and use it's power up to find the entrance to the next area. (Area 4 is hidden at the very start of Area 1, right where you begin the game. Go there as soon as you get the Hover upgrade. That's the only hint you'll get from me!)

shaurz said...

If you want a nice easy game for a change, try Kirby's Adventure. It was released in late 1992 so it might not actually be older than you. It's my favourite Kirby game and it really pushes the NES to the limit.

Stu said...

hmm so old school gamers liked open worlds.. new school games like to be led around by the hand and pointed toward everything and told what to do... kinda funny how a bazillion people managed to finish this game before internet connections where prevalent.

I personally think zelda is more boring than fun tho so props for even trying it.

Travis said...

Ugh. The open-ness of it all is what was so beautiful about games of that generation - games allowed YOU to explore them. The feeling of discovering something new completely on your own just wasn't one that could be matched back in the day. Now, as admitted by the author, gamers today like to be "pointed in the right direction" as if they only have patience for having their hands held through an overly guided experience; thus entirely taking away that revealing freedom that games like Zelda and Metroid gave to us.

Props for giving it a shot and taking the time to write this article, but this is sadly just yet another example of why I don't call myself a gamer anymore.

Ryan said...

Some of it also was that I am not an 8 year old gamer anymore. I don't have the amount of time I had back then to pour into finding every secret and bombing everything.
I do like modern open world games such as Fallout 3 and Oblivion, but again, you still have more of a sense of where you're supposed to go

Chip988 said...

One thing to keep in mind: Back in the 80's, we had instruction manuals, magazines, and huge fold-out maps lying all around to help us figure these vague NES games out.

People often forget this fact, and assume that kids back then just developed some super-mad clairvoyant skills to figure out where the dungeons in Zelda were. Thing is, we were just as stumped as you. For some games, playing without an instruction booklet was a recipe for failure.

Of course, game companies took advantage of this and used the mind-blowing difficulty of these games to cross-promote magazine and strategy guide sales. How the hell were you supposed to play Metroid 1 without the map? Boxes were full of promotional pamphlets asking you to spend more of your parent's disposable income on paper cheat sheets.

Now that gamers can just look this stuff up on the Internet, the compromise companies made was actually less than graceful. Nowadays, games just have huge "GO THIS WAY" arrows superimposed on the top of the screen...

Randy said...

This brings back memories xD

Oscar said...

ZELDA is an epic game; thanks for posting this awesomeness.

boylehatesu said...

lol you think that's hard? put your name is Zelda and try world 2.

BigLoser said...

A true classic, the beginning of a wonderful franchise.

Daniel said...

Zelda, all zelda games ever created, the best. I've played them all and thoroughly enjoyed MOST of them (except for Majoras mask because honestly, I didn't care for it). Keep playing awesome games.

Daniel said...

God, this game.. i've forgot everything about it!
Jesus this brings back memories ...

Troz32 said...

Wow, I feel old. I remember buying Zelda when it was brand new. It came with a map of the overworld, but the map was only 3/4 complete. Back then, the manuals encouraged us to draw our own maps while playing. I remember that me and all of my friends had notebooks full of maps, and it made us feel like explorers. When one of my friends would find a secret shop by burning down a random bush, we'd all call each other (on phones connected to the wall no less) and update our maps.

steve said...

You can't even imagine how mind blowing and addictive this game was. It was ten times the game of anything that came before it. I didn't have any magazines to consolt just hours and hours of time until you knew every inch! After you beat it the first time it mixes things up and it is a new game again. Mindblowing!

Austin said...

Why haven't you played Wind Waker?! Wind Waker is one of the best Zelda's ever! It's way better than Twilight Princess...

Ryan said...

Fixed the post :)
I'm playing it in my spare time haha

Andrew said...

When you beat this game, you have the Second Quest to look forward to. At the beginning, it kinda looks the same, but the layout is quiet different. ie: where the dungeons are, what levels you get different weapons.

You might also want to try out the second Zelda game; the Adventure of Link. Its not as cool as the first one, but I did find it harder. I still haven't beaten it. (I now play it on a NES emulator on my Mac.)

chehalis said...

YAY!! Zelda!!! ^_^ I'm a total zelda freak. And I love the N64 too. It's such a classic!

But yeah..just wanted to say that..

Ray Lukard said...

The monsters shooting things at you from the water are called "Zola" and are supposed to be related to the Zoras. I finally beat this game in 2003. But I do hve to agree that Wind Waker is better that Twilight Princess, cause TP is too short. If you want another frustrating game in my opinion, try "Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past" on Super Nintendo. I was so fed up I qiut that game.

MKB said...

I played and beat this game in 1986 when I was nine years old. I still remember the feeling of accomplishment and pride at having finsihed the game that overwhelmed me. Thanks for taking me back to an awesome childhood memory. Great blog.

Laura said...

God I feel OLD. LOL. This has to be my favorite game of all time! Thanks for posting... now I want to play it again!!!

I did like Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker too. Wish I had more time to play now.

toorpat said...

here's a tip I learned a couple of years ago from a buddy (who is my age, 30) - if you get all of the heart containers in the overworld, the blue ring, and the white sword BEFORE you enter level one... it's way easier. I remember crying when I was 8 because I couldn't beat the knights in level 5 to save my life. Great game.

Also check out:


Startropics (NES)
Shadowgate (NES)
Out of this World (SNES)

Friar Canuck said...

Thanks for making this. Add to the list of games to try Mega Man and Bionic Commando. Classics that I love playing to this day.

I've got a couple of years head start on you, but I can beat the first quest of Legend of Zelda in around two hours by memory. I don't want to start a pissing match, just stating that the classic stick with you.

char-az said...

nintendo Legend of ZELDA good game.

Geoff said...

Much like Metroid, I feel the original Zelda is outshined by its Super Nintendo sequel. In fact, I would say that A Link to the Past is my favorite game ever. I hope you play it first once you move on to games as old as or slightly younger than you. :p

Laura JW said...

THERE'S A MAP???!!!

I was unemployed for a few months last year and decided to play this game for the first time, no game genie, no walk-through cheats. To find these dungeons, I actually started surveying my male friends over the age of thirty, and it's amazing what they had committed to memory. They can't remember their wedding anniversaries or where they left their sunglasses, but they can tell you where the level 7 dungeon is located.

But, shoot, a map would have saved me probably about 15 hours of aimless wandering.

Maunderingcabal said...

Super nintendo, Link to the past was the best one. That game taught me how to read.

Dakuro said...

For me the best zelda game is a link to the past, I know it's super nintendo but it's great and the second one of course ocarina of time.

John said...

I have to echo Chip988's comment: back in the day when Zelda was made, instructions and guides were not built into the games the way they are now, they were printed out in manuals and strategy guides. You don't need to feel bad for looking up maps and guides to these games, in doing so you are actually being very true to the type of experience that players had with these games when they first came out. Keep up the good work!

Unknown said...

I love what you're doing with this blog. True story: We bought Zelda a little while after it came out, probably at the end of 1986. I was 7. Your comment about how open-ended the world is in Zelda is spot-on--sometimes we would go a couple of weeks without finding the next dungeon. My Dad and I were fiercely competetive when it came to finding the next item or dungeon--true story: one time he got out of the shower naked after I bragged that I had found the Power Bracelet and air dried while I showed him where it was.

Games today just don't seem to inspire that level of crazy.

But back then, THAT WAS THE GAME. It wasn't about slaughtering fodder randoms on your way to the next cutscene. Sometimes you would spend hours searching for the next item or dungeon, and you would have to detour to grind a little bit to get rupees to buy bombs or whatever else you needed. Back then it didn't seem like a grind. I honestly don't know if the games have changed or I have.

Anyway, keep it up. And if you are ever hunting for another game to play, my favorites are Bionic Commando, Kid Icarus, and Rygar (all of which got updates/new system treatments recently). Great work!

Konstanty Kwas said...

i remember this game, good time. now all game in xbox live gold winkel are good but you know, its not the same like old school

Michael said...

The Legend of Zelda series is my favourite video game series of all time. This game truly does lay the groundwork for this great series. The music, the story, and the gameplay are ground-breaking for a game of its time. I do agree with you that It is difficult to figure out what to do at first, but wondering around Hyrule is all a part of the game’s charm. I loved travelling around the world and discovering new secrets and items. I also agree that you can die pretty easily in this game. Unlike most games that follow a linear path, this game lets you decide how you want your journey to unfold.

I also love how you have many items at your disposal. The Magical Boomerang and the Bombs are probably the most useful items. However, my favourite item is the Magical Rod since it shoots a magic beam that can hit enemies at the other side of the screen. Have you gotten far enough in the game to get the Magical Rod yet?

Have you played Zelda II? It is a MUCH more difficult game. Dying in this game is even more frustrating compared to the first The Legend of Zelda game. Zelda II also uses an experience points system, which makes it completely different from the other Zelda games.

Joe Copson said...

Loved this Zelda game. If you're looking for something similar try 'Story of Thor' on the Mega Drive. Same idea but different story.

Out of Bounds with JP and Rich said...

This is in my opinion, the greatest video game of all time. The game play was ahead of it's time.

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