#213 The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Posted: 1st February 2016 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

485th played so far


Genre: Action/Adventure
Platform: SNES
Year of Release: 1991
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo

Time for some more Zelda! It’s been over a hundred games (and over a year) since we played the original Legend of Zelda, at which point we were quite behind anyway.

The NES game in the series sticks in my mind partially because its graphics were reused in ancient MMO-like Graal Online, where the Classic (and just original) version used. It also stole some of the gameplay, so at least parts look familiar. When it comes to playing, however, I believe I didn’t play much more than the first dungeon – a lot of it will still be new to me.

Our Thoughts

Link to the Past feels good. Although the first game in the series set part of the tone, it feels like this really nails the spirit of exploration while providing a good story. The previous game had an overworld that linked hidden dungeons and had several hidden caves, but nothing as complex as the puzzles found here on a casual basis. And while some items needed to progress are found in dungeons, more is done by moving around the world.

It’s done with a cartoonish charm. While not pushing it as far as some later games, the game feels more colourful and varied than the earlier games, the characters feeling like they’re intenionally more cartoony and funny, with guards vaguely resembling Marvin the Martian in plate, at times seeming a bit silly in their movement. It’s not overly so, instead just having small touches that make the game look slightly more fun. Even so, the graphics don’t mean the game is simple, standard Zelda warnings and difficulties apply.

By building up abilities and equipment, the open(ish – we’re still barely in the nineties) world gains more places to explore. Secrets and such, mostly – not necessarily expanding the dungeons, but expanding the small secrets. The game is, in the strictest sense, more linear than the first game, with dungeons unlocking one at a time rather than all available together but needing that one item to advance.

Peter advanced a bit further than I was, making it to the main gameplay addition – the dark world. The difficulty goes up and, most important, it’s trippy. Very trippy. An interesting addition.

Final Thoughts

Link to the Past is a great entry in the series, it feels like it codifies and improves on the existing formula. There are some pretty big gameplay additions, but at the same time it feels familiar – just about familiar enough while feeling like a completely new game. Later games might have improved this further, but there’s something magical here.

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