The Legend of Zelda - Retroview

A Classic Game Everybody Should Play

By: Robust Stu

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 7
   Interface 4
   Music/Sound 6
   Originality 7
   Plot 3
   Localization 2
   Replay Value 8
   Visuals 5
   Difficulty Medium to Hard
   Time to Complete

10-15 Hours


The Legend of Zelda

   The Legend of Zelda is one of the most famous games of all time. What self-respecting Nintendo player of the mid to late 80s didn't have a copy of this game? And it's easy to see why it was so popular: because it had so much to offer, particularly at that time. The story is very simple: you, as the adventurous Link, are on a quest to find the eight fragments of the shattered Triforce of Wisdom, thereby gaining entry into Ganon's dungeon where the lovely Princess Zelda is held captive by the evil monster. To do this, however, you must find and battle your way through eight dungeons, within each is a fragment of the Triforce of Wisdom.

   The battle system is just like any other Zelda game (except Zelda II). You have an overhead view of Link, and every time you walk into a new room, you are besieged by the evil minions of Ganon. Octoroks, Moblins, and jumping spiders are but a few of the monsters you will have to go through. In order to combat these baddies, you can either use your trusty sword, or one of many items you either purchase or find, including a boomerang, bombs, and a candle.

   The interface is simple but good. By pressing the start button, you go to a menu where you a)see how many pieces of the Triforce you've collected, and b)see which items you've collected, and choose which one you want to use. Stores are similarly simple, walk in, walk over what you want to buy and, if you've collected enough Rupees (the national currency of the land of Hyrule), get the item. Conversations are nearly nonexistant. The few people you meet will give you their one sentence when you walk into their lair, and that's it. The musical score is small, but a game like this doesn't need twenty thousand different tunes.

The Journey Begins
The Journey Begins  

   The tunes that there are, however, are good. The classic overworld music, like the game itself, is one of the most famous tunes ever, and has even been reworked for the game's many sequels. On the other hand, the ominous dungeon music has a sense of dread and despair to it, much like anybody trapped in a huge underground labrynth, surrounded by monsters and a five headed fire breathing dragon might experience. The sounds, on the other hand, were not that good, and weren't that realistic. However, I have to give it a little bit of leeway, being that this game came out in the mid 1980s. This game may not have been the originator of the overhead, action-RPG formula seen later is games such as Ys and Seiken Densetsu, but it was the first that many American gamers of that era experienced, and as such, deserves a decent score for originality.

   There wasn't much to translate in this game, but what DID have to be translated was poorly done. All the sentences sounded stilted and looked like the person who did the translating either didn't know much English, or was rushing to get this done so he could go to lunch. Not a quality translation by any means. For those of you who look for replay value in a game, however, you're in luck! Once you beat this game, you can start the fabled Second Quest, in which you go through the game again, but nearly everything is in a different location, the dungeons are laid out differently, and the battles are tougher.

Are You Prepared?
Are You Prepared?  

    On average, I'd give it about a five hours for a seasoned Zelda player to get through. The Second Quest is a little tougher, though, and tacks on about another seven hours. Altogether, I guess I'd give it about twelve hours to get through. Anybody, regardless of age, should play this game if they have the chance. In addition to being a classic, it is quite a good game. Older players, such as myself, can relive their youth through this game, while younger players can see where the Zelda craze all began. Highly recommended.

    It's like playing a sequel with the same game engine, and adds a whole lot to the experience of this game. The visuals weren't pretty, but considering whem this game came out, I am hesitant to blast it too much. It wasn't quite as bad as, say, Space Invaders, but it also wasn't quite Final Fantasy X. It was about average for it's time, and as a result deserves an average score. This game, or at least the first quest, doesn't take that long to get through if you know what you're doing.

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