June 2019 Retro Article: The Legend oF Zelda
The Legend Of Zelda is an action RPG for the Nintendo Entertainment System. While I was a bigger fan of the Final Fantasy series, the Legend of Zelda was the first RPG type game that I ever played. The game has you playing as Link, a boy whose goal is to get all 8 pieces of the triforce of wisdom to defeat Ganon. Along the way you fight a variety of enemies and bosses, unlock secrets and rescue a princess. It might sound like a simple plot, but this one game lead to a massive franchise.
The game was a new experience for me. Going around an expansive world collecting items and discovering secrets was exciting to me. The combat was good and the game had a variety of useful items. I never liked that it cost rubies to use arrows. Also, for some reason I never had enough bombs. This was the first game were I learned grinding was a great trait to have and something I always do in every RPG I play now. And while I enjoyed exploring the world looking for secrets, Nintendo Power quickly became my friend when looking for them.
One experience I had with the game had to do with the insert that came with it. The game came with a pretty detailed map showing the overworld and the items that you could get in the game. I remember my best friend and I were big into the game at the time. We used to take our copies of the map to recess and go around the playground and act like we were finding items on the map. Sounds kind of dumb looking back on it but we were kids and at the time it was fun.
The Legend of Zelda was one of the best games for the NES and has spawned a whole franchise behind it. Link’s Awakening was the second game in the series and took a different approach using a side scrolling combat view vs. the top down view of the original. I liked the sequel but there were many others at the time that did not. For me, the best game in the series was A Link To The Past for the SNES. I would consider that game to be one of the best games on the SNES. I stopped playing the series after that but every major Nintendo system has had at least one Zelda game on it. And this does not include the comic, the animated series or the merchandise out there for this franchise. This is a flagship series for Nintendo and it is easy to see why.