Welcome to the very first Retro item reflected on NintendoReporters! We have decided to also give the golden oldies the needed attention they deserve. Thanks to the rich gaming history of Nintendo and its consoles we are where we are now and with an absolute love for Nintendo. To kick it all off, I opted for a game which is very dear to me and will for very many people to be so as well; The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past
Why The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past?
In fairness, there are so many reasons that this game is the first on my Retro list. Let me explain briefly a number of reasons.
I as a gamer started out on the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) but that console was actually on it’s final legs when I started playing it. It’s successor the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) was already coming out soon at that time and the SNES was the console that made me love Nintendo like I do. The SNES has a very very rich collection of top games. But I’m not going to name all of them seeing as really talking about them is the whole essence of the Retro section on NintendoReporters in the first place. It is also better to be able to tell more about them at a later time then too rushingly say something in a few sentences.
The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past is the third game in the Zelda franchise. On the NES The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II – The Adventure of Link already appeared earlier. Both titles where of course games I had already played in my short time with the NES (roughly 1 / 1.5 years). Both are great titles but they just do not posses the same magic that A Link to the Past has but we will get to that later on in this item.
The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past was first released in Europe in September of 1992. I was just 7 at the time (damn I’m getting really old) and I had nagged about this game so much to my parents because I really wanted this game the moment it came out.
Of course I got it at it’s release and man was I happy and done nagging.
About the game
For those who do not know the story (reaaaallllyyyy?). You wake up when you are spoken to by a voice. You notice that your uncle is not present anymore in the house. You go looking for him, finally you find him but something tells you to move on.
You shortly thereafter get to know Zelda and after getting to know various characters you learn about the Pendants of Virtue and the importance of finding them.
Meanwhile you are travelling through all different kind of areas ranging from dungeons to deserts to swamps and so on. As you notice, I want to keep it spoiler free, just so I don’t spoil anything for people who have never played the game. To keep it as fun as possible when they get around to playing it.
You receive an arsenal of weapons, all of which will indicate their usefulness at a given time.
This game is simply a classic and if you have not played it then you’ve missed a huge piece of history from the Zelda series.
One of the things I particularly like about The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past is how good this game has aged. Since the first time I played it on the SNES and later when I played it through the Virtual Console are a lot of years. But I have to keep saying that despite it being a 2D game, it still looks so attractive and you just knows how to capture you with it’s art-style again and again .
And we have not even touched a word on the soundtrack. Although we are dealing with the 16-bit era, this game has a very recognizable sound. A sound that just makes it an even better experience. If I was not mistaken Koji Kondo was also largely responsible for the sound of this game.
It is also nice that we see so many elements that have arisen for the first time in this game come back in Zelda series and even up to current generations of Zelda games.
Think of the dungeons with multiple levels (okay in Breath of the Wild we retreat from this for the first time) the Master Sword, the hook shot (also absent in BOTW), and a dynamic environment with parallel worlds (I count the shrines in BOTW as a parallel world).
Since the SNES days I think this I finished this title roughly 20 times, and that’s something I can say about very few titles. The replay value of this game is just so incredibly good. It also remains fun to collect all heart containers and oh woe if you forgot one. The games does not really take your hand and give you any suggestion.
This is a title which if you’ve never played it before, you should play 10000%. It’s worth it so very very much. The advantage is that once there is a Virtual Console (I already look forward to the Nintendo Switch getting it’s version of Virtual Console) you can bet your life on it that The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past will find it’s way there.
That is perhaps also a little bit bad, but that is nothing to blame on the title. I think I bought this game certainly five times. And that is something Nintendo by now should really start to tackle; a virtual console that is linked to an ID system should make you repay for a title again and again. But hey who knows!
Bu even though if I must again pay a price for The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past I am sure my absolute love for this game will make me say … meh I want it again. That’s just frankly how good this golden oldie retro title is!
To still give a moving and sound preview we dug around the web for the 1991 SNES trailer for The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past. ENJOY!