Timeless Review: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

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The Legend of Zelda was and still is a beloved franchise. At the time we had a classic NES game and the black sheep that is the sequel. But now there was the third of a Nintendo franchise and it took the best of both, resulting in one of the best 2D Zelda games of all time. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, known as Zelda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Triforce (ゼルの伝説 神々のトライフォース Zeruda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Toraifōsu, “The Legend of Zelda: The Triforce of the Gods”), developed and published by Nintendo and was released in 1991 in Japan and in 1992 in Europe and the US.

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A prequel to the original The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, we have Link who has to save Zelda and the seven mages from evil wizard Agahnim who wants to open a seal to the dark world, sealed by the seven mages. Link also must find the Master Sword if he is to defeat Agahnim. There’s more to it but I don’t want to spoil it for you.

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So the game goes back to the original overhead perspective instead of the confusing platformer and it’s much better that way. The game uses the same mechanics and concepts from the original game but they have vastly been improved. Link can now go in different directions for smooth gameplay and the controls make use of all of Link’s abilities along with the menus. You still have your swordplay and shield, in fact, holding the sword button (and upon hearing a sound) will let you do a 360 swing, at times this is really helpful but you may need to time it. You also have your arrows and bombs though you going to have to collect the bow in dungeons, in fact, most of the important items will have to be collected in dungeons.

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There are also new items, but first, a returning item the lamp which uses a meter that can also be uses for magic later in the game and this meter came from Zelda II. Link can also collect the Pegasus Boots, this will make him run fast as long as he’s on the screen, he’ll only stop if you enter the next screen, or crashes onto an object, etc. This is so awesome since you’ll mostly be able to speed through areas to get to objectives quickly. And finally, and most importantly…WE HAVE A MAP!!! And, when you need to do an important objective, someone will mark the area where you need to do, this was a brilliant addition and makes the game beginner friendly for those who may not have played a Zelda game. The decisions to do side missions however is up to you to discover, though I’d recommend it since you’ll get rewards that will help you in, especially later in the game. You will barely get lost in this game and it isn’t too confusing in the slightest, heck, remember in Zelda 1 where you had to bomb walls but because the textures were exactly the same, you didn’t know what to bomb or even burn. In A Link to the Past, if you need to bomb walls, the walls will have certain cracks on it, indicating that you can blow it up.

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So the first objective of the game is to go to three dungeons and collect a pendant from each of them, collecting all three pendants will give you the ability to pick up the Master Sword, so what will happen when you defeat Agahnim? That will be something for you to find out.

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The gameplay is brilliant; it’s a true improvement of Zelda 1. The graphics are fantastic with a timeless fantasy land, though its map, whilst looking awesome at the time hasn’t really aged well. The music by Koji Kondo is awesome and timeless, with Kakariko Village being my favourite tracks in the game; each track fits all the areas.

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Overall, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is one of my favourite Zelda games of all time…well for a 2D game, there is a favourite 3D Zelda game of mine but that’s for another day. It takes the best of both Zelda games and makes a true masterpiece of a SNES game and even has features that will continue on in the series. This game is so good that it got a (kind of) sequel known as A Link Between Worlds for the Nintendo 3DS. This is a game that is a must-play and as it’s a timeless review it gets full score.

I have a story and it’s a story I’ll always cherish as someone who plays games. I went to a car boot sale (Yard sale for the Americans) and this woman was selling some PS2 games, mostly sports games so I didn’t bother. A while later she put out some SNES games, these games include Aladdin, three WWF games, Starwing (Starfox), Super Mario All-Stars, Killer Instinct and this game, I then asked her how much was the Zelda game as I assumed it would be pricey, she said that ALL the games were 50p. So I brought them all for 50p each. But why I cherish this story is that Zelda is a very, very expensive SNES game (ok, not Earthbound or Mario RPG expensive), but a pricey game nonetheless, about £30-40 for the cartridge alone and I got mine for 50p, it was just an amazing find as a game collector.

You can get it on the SNES, Satellaview, Game Boy Advance and Virtual Console (Wii and Wii U).

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3 thoughts on “Timeless Review: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

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