Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Legendary Tale of the Legend of Zelda Series (Part 1) the Original

One of my favorite game series is the Legend of Zelda, which started on February 21, 1986 on the Japanese home console the Famicom with the Disk System peripheral and later released on the North American console the Nintendo Entertainment System on July 29, 1987. The first game in the series is simply known as the Legend of Zelda in the States and The Hyrule Fantasy: Legend of Zelda.

The original Zelda title was groundbreaking in its time as one of the first games to have an internal battery save feature and it was needed as the game wasn’t made to be beaten in a single play session. It was also known for its complex dungeons and numerous secrets that were able to drive players of the time insane. People who had the game had to seek each other out in the real world to share their knowledge of the secrets of the game as you couldn’t look it up on the internet in those days.

The Story

The story of the game is simple; the evil prince of darkness Ganon led an army of monsters against the kingdom of Hyrule and stole the Triforce of Power. Fearing his oncoming rule Zelda the Princess of Hyrule, split her Triforce of Wisdom into 8 pieces and hid them across the land to keep them out of the hands of the evil Ganon. At the same time she ordered her most trusty nurse maid, Impa, to escape and find a man with enough courage to defeat the evil Ganon and save Hyrule. This enraged Ganon as he imprisoned Zelda and sent out a party to find Impa.

Braving forests and mountains, Impa fled for her life, but as she reached the very limit of her energy she became surrounded by Ganon’s minions. Cornered! But what could she do? … But wait! A young boy appeared and drove of the monsters and saved Impa from a fate worse than death.

The boys name was Link, could he be the one Impa was searching for? She told him the whole story of Princess Zelda and the evil Ganon. Link burning with Justice, vowed to save Zelda and defeat Ganon, but Ganon was a powerful opponent. He held the Triforce of Power, and so in order to fight him Link must assemble the 8 scattered pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom and rebuild the mystical triangle. If he couldn’t do this he would not be able to make his way into Death Mountain were Ganon lived.

Only your skill will allow you to save Zelda and Hyrule.

The Gameplay

The game itself is a top down perspective where you see things from above, although some sprites were drawn horizontal so players can know what they are. Such examples are trees and rocks. The world featured various environments, such as lakes, forests and mountains.

The biggest thing that separated the game from others was its nonlinear overworld, where you can go almost everywhere from the beginning. You could also go through the dungeons in any order (except for the last one), although some require special items to get to. These items can be found in stores or in certain dungeons. This flexible way of playing allowed for intriguing ways to play, such as its possible to get to the final boss (but not defeat him) without getting a sword.

After completing the game you could then play the second quest, this quest is the same as the first but the dungeon layouts have changed as well as most of their locations on the overworld. The second quest is a lot harder than the first with stronger enemies and deeper mysteries. Also included were false walls players could walk through which really confused players. By entering “ZELDA” as your name you can start the second quest right away.

Graphics and Audio

Although the graphics and audio can’t compare to those seen today, they were impressive back then. At the time it was good if you were able to tell what things are.

As for the audio, it introduced several melodies that would continue to this day.

I can’t actually go much further into the graphics and audio as they really don’t compare to those of today, and I’m probably not the best to talk about it anyways.


Because of its success, the game allowed for many sequels to follow with more to come in the future. It also introduced several locations that would be in some of them, such as the Lost Woods, Death Mountain, Lake Hylia, a graveyard, and Hyrule itself. It also introduced Link, Zelda, Ganon, as well as the first two pieces of the Triforce.

The Legend of Zelda spawned many ports since its initial release. The latest one was for the 3DS Ambassadors Program, but if you missed that you can still purchase it on the Wii’s Virtual Console.

Popular Quotes from the Game

It’s a secret to everybody” This has been referenced in other Zelda games and has become an internet meme as well.

Dodongo Dislikes Smoke” This quote by one of the old men in the game has somehow lived on in the hearts of gamers even though it only tells of one of the boss’s weakness.

In closing, The Legend of Zelda is one of the greatest games in history. Even if you don’t think it can compete with games today, you can’t argue the place it’s made in the history of video games.

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