The Legend of Zelda

20 Jan 2017

I’ve decided to do something a bit weird, which is play through all the Zelda games. In er, order. And write about them as I go.

Which means the first one is Legend of Zelda, for the NES.

Legend of Zelda is surprisingly like Dark Souls: zero help, high difficulty, full of secrets. It is nowhere near as fair, though. Nintendo’s idea of difficulty towards the end often involves putting lots of enemies in a room. Blue darknuts and wizzrobes are particularly aggravating. The worst of all is the Like Like, though. If one touches you, you lose your upgraded shield permanently. It costs 130 rupees to replace. In future games you’d get back your shield as soon as you defeat it.

I’m impressed at how much of the formula was established in this first game. World map, lots of secrets, hearts, plenty of iconic enemies. The dungeon formula is extraordinarily similar: map, compass, boss, unique item treasure. Many secrets are hidden behind bombable walls, which are not signposted at all. By the end of the game, you’ll bomb every single wall you can.

Despite the difficulty, Ganon really was a cakewalk. Once you have the silver arrows, which are really, really well hidden. They’re a requirement to deliver the final blow. I feel that Zelda was made for another time: where people shared secrets in the playground and you’d get home and try something new. Because lord knows you’d never find half this stuff yourself unless you just tried a lot of crazy things.