For my Zelda review marathon, i'll just start where it all began.
It's 3 years after the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario, Donkey Kong, Star Fox etc.) and Takashi Tezuka (also known for Mario etc.) created a game which would later become world famous. The very first Legend of Zelda was a big succes and sold for approximately 6.5 Million times making it the number 4 on the list of best sold NES games (Super Mario Bros on number 1 with 40.2 million). The Legend of Zelda is considered one of the most important game of the Nintendo franchise.
The idea of the game was very simple, there were 8 pieces of the Triforce, every piece has i'ts own dungeon, and i'ts own monster guarding it. Defeat the monster, get the piece of Triforce. Once you have 7 pieces, you may proceed to the final dungeon to fight Gannon get the last piece and recue Princess Zelda. Once you rescue her the game is completed.
|The ingame storyline.|
The Legend of Zelda is a mixture of Action, Adventure and Puzzle solving. You play as Link and you are rescuing Princess Zelda. To finish this game you need to have decent puzzle solving abilities, today you can find a walkthrough within 20 seconds, but back then there was no such thing.
While playing you will need to collect items, get upgrades through fighting monsters and a LOT of secrets to discover. The items you achieve are: a sword, a boomerang, bows and arrows, bombs and a tunic for armor. Later you can find better items by completing dungeons.
The currency in Hyrule are Rupees, dropped by mobs you kill. You can spend these Rupees to buy new items, upgrade them or getting information. Hyrule, the place where this whole adventure takes place is huge. And in this huge land there are many secrets, these secrets can be find by burning bushes, placing bombs near walls or in caves to reveal new caves, shops or treasure chests. Hyrule is filled with it, and that is what makes this game harder than regular RPG-like games.
The amount of energy/life is indicated by hearts. You will start with 3 hearts, for every dungeon you complete you get a heart. But that is not the only recourse, there are alot of hearts hidden from you. If you manage to find all the hearts, you will have a total of 16 hearts.
In each dungeon, there will be a wise old man who will give you a hint about the dungeon, the beast guarding the piece of triforce, or help you increase the amount of bombs you can carry.You can't just rely on your fighting skill to get you through a dungeon, you will have a hard time getting to the end of a dungeon. Once you have finally beat Gannon you have the option to play the whole game again, but even harder than before, locations have changed and dungeons are even harder, making this games replay value over the top!
|Zelda (left) Link (right) both with a piece of triforce.|
For the NES, these graphics are not bad and everything is simply to tell from one another. You can easily see the difference between a bigger (harder) monster than the average enemy, you can see which colour Ruppee is on the floor. Some NES games have the problem that because of the background the game is annoying to play and starts to hurt your eyes, but, this isn't the case with Legend of Zelda, it plays really smooth and has no annoying factors. Sprites (game items, characters, enemies) flow nicely with one another, and make the game a much more enjoyable experience. There is only one downside, and that is that when the area gets flooded with enemies, some of the enemies start to blink or turn invincible for a couple of seconds, which can be pretty annoying.
|Legend of Zelda graphics.|
What helped make this game so amazing is the sound of the games and the theme song. One of the greatest theme songs ever, and an amazing soundtrack accompany the gameplay wherever you go. I'ts a catchy song and most gamers can probably humm the song with you. Every location has i'ts own style of music fitting the location. Every casual and important event in the Legend of Zelda is outlined with background music that seems to affect every action you do. The actual in-game sound effects are excellent in terms of clarity. Blowing up a bomb makes a higher pitched effect rather than a boomerang being tossed. The audio in the game is just perfect.
On the NES there were only the A , B , Start , Select buttons and the D-Pad. Making this game extremely easy to play. D-pad moves you in 4 directions, A is your sword, B is your secondary item, Start brings up your inventory and Select pauses the game. Those controls are so basic and easy anyone can pick up the game and being able to play it right away. There is no lag involved, when you press a button , it happens.
Like i said before, the replay value is very, very high. When you finish the game you can beat it again where everything is in different places and dungeons are even harder. You can also play it again if you didn't reach the 16-hearts max, or to find more secrets and updates.
If you don't use a walkthrough the difficulity of this game is very high. The secrets are very well hidden, and there are alot of enemies in the dungeons making it hard to survive. If you pay enough attention you can actually figure out a weakness for each and every monster, and get tips on where to go. It makes the game easier to play.
In Conclusion: This is one of the games that made the NES complete. Some people say it's the best RPG-like game on the NES but that's debatable (Final Fantasy series.). The Legend of Zelda set a very high bar for newer video games. and even today, The Legend of Zelda is considered one of the best game series of all time.
That's probably why they sold it as a goldcollored cartridge. But that's what i'ts worth. A gold medal for The Legend of Zelda
This was MrBunni, see you next time.