Game Title – The Legend of Zelda
Game Release date – 1986
Start Time – Early January
End Time – February 4, 2012
System Played on – Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console (Ambassador Program)
Walkthrough Used – Zelda Dungeon
I started the original Legend of Zelda in early January. My goal was to make it through the game while I was still on vacation in the US, but life had other plans, and I am still playing this title back in Japan. I was able to blow through the first quest with limited use of a guide to help me. There were somethings I could not have found without the guide. I found the blue ring and some of the rupee areas with a walkthrough. Most of the dungeons were easy enough to get to, and I even stumbled upon dungeon number eight while clearing a shrub to try to get to the other side. It took me a while to work my way thought Ganon’s dungeon, but I still remember the trick for killing him from when I played the game twenty-four some years ago (You can look that up in any guide if you need to know.)
Impressions (Spoilers await thee)
One of the things that struck me the most while playing this game was the level of difficulty. Even the first quest could leave you dead pretty quickly if you weren’t careful. I liked the gradual ramp up in difficulty over the course of the game, but I thought many of the boss characters were rather easy. I assume they were not designed as the main challenge, but rather as a roadblock on your way to each triforce piece.
I really enjoyed making my way through each dungeon. That sense of discovery and challenge was present right from the start. I read an article on the mastery of Design in this game after I had played it, and I would have to agree that each level feels very non-linear even through there is a clear linear way to each boss. For a twenty-five year old game, it still felt very fresh. I found a great place to rupee farm as well. I never used this my first time through, but it really helped. Especially with getting red potions and shields (I went through three. I had no idea there was a monster that ate them until I realized I was taking major damage in the last dungeon.)
The biggest roadblock for me in this game was the ending. I actually found that I had no idea how to get to Zelda once I finished the game. I didn’t see any way to get though the flames, and didn’t know you just need to slash them to make them go out. In the end, I ran right through them and burned myself. It didn’t kill me, and I imagine that must have made an impression on her. If she had anyway to sense my chivalry, that is.
Overall I would say it took my around 3-4 hours to stumble through the game. I am now working my way thought the second quest and the next post will be an update on that. Overall I would recommend any serious gamer play this game. It is the foundation of solid action RPG gaming and a history lesson for anyone wanting to learn.