2 Decades Late

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Part 1

Once in a while, a storm of unrelated events combine in my favor. In this instance, they unfolded thusly. First, I have this regular piece where I make up for the console I missed growing up by reviewing Super Nintendo games after having played them for the first time. Secondly, I am a member of Club Nintendo and I have given them large portions of my paychecks this year. Thirdly, Club Nintendo made The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past available for a mere 150 coins for the Wii Virtual Console. Lastly, Nintendo recently released the spiritual successor to this game on the 3DS and it seems to be hitting everyone right in the nostalgia. Given that my favorite game is Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and my entire online brand is Ocarina of Tom, some of you have been waiting for this day. What would happen when I came up against the game that many hail as one of the best not just of the series, but of all time? This review is going to take a slight dip away from the norm. I want to retell the story of me playing it as it happened. I think that will give you the best idea of how I enjoyed my experience. In order to do this, however, this review is going to appear in two parts. At least.

Let me start off by saying how very much I love Ocarina of Time. It not only is my favorite game as a game, it is my favorite game as something that helped me escape during a very difficult time in my life. If you feel like some extra reading, I explained all of that here. Because of that, I have been reluctant to play this one. Everyone says it’s better. I almost don’t want to run the risk of loving it more. Ahh, but I have a job to do and really, I need to play this.  Besides, I have adored every other Zelda game I have ever played. Even Zelda 2. I am robbing myself of another great experience. Not playing this is no longer acceptable. Man up and get some Zelda done. I power it up and hey, Triforce pieces! Nice title screen music. Oh good, a quick story explanation. Seven Wise Men, huh? Like the sages, I got it. Ok, who’s this asshole?  Agahnim? Looks like bad news. Ok, let’s get to it. File select screen has the right music. Here we go. Damnit, Zelda, I’m trying to sleep over here. Yeah, sure, strange man I am assuming is my father, I’ll stay right here.

What is this I hear?

What is this I hear?


I head over to the castle and find out the front door isn’t going to work. I get lucky and find the hidden entrance pretty quickly. I get through the junior dungeon and have my first encounter with Zelda. And that music plays. You know what music. It is at that very moment that I think to myself that I might already be falling in love with this game. I get her to the Sanctuary and I am off to an unnamed village on my map. Oh my. I am again greeted by a familiar and pleasant tune. I am, no doubt in Kakriko Village.  This game is filling my Heart Container. I explore the town, find some goodies and a cleverly hidden picture of Mario and I am off to find this elder fellow whose location is now conveniently marked on my map. Wow, this map is fantastic. Very well done.

Old dude says no pendants, no sword. Alright, into my first dungeon I go. Yes. Absolutely yes. This is great. Cool enemies. I am forced to swear exactly the right amount of times. Not an overly challenging dungeon puzzle wise but the enemies get the best of me a couple of times. Ok, got the pendant. Wait a minute. I need three pendants before I get the Master Sword? Sort of like needing three Spiritual Stones? I like the cut of your jib, game. Gathering the rest of the pendants is a fantastic journey, aided by the amazingly awesome Pegasus Boots.

In fact, a quick word about the Pegasus Boots. That word is WHEEEEEEEE! My goodness, what a wonderful powerup. All aboard! Here comes the Link express! Link is now the Juggernaut. Not Eric Hunter, the X-Men character. Now, back to your regularly scheduled review.

So, it looks like I can enter this Dark World I have heard so very much about. Huh. I am a rabbit. As much as I could go for a bowl of Trix, I have work to do. I must find this Moon Pearl. I head into the tower and handle my business and claim the 3rd pendant. Excellent. You know what is really missing from this equation, though? The Master Sword. I need that. Like, to live. Now I meet the qualifications. Off to the Lost Woods I go to grab said sword. Can’t say I am overly fond of the Lost Woods music but no big deal. I doubt the sword is just laying haphazardly in the woods, but I’ll try it. Yeah, thought so you jerks.

Very sneaky, Nintendo. I'm on to you.

Very sneaky, Nintendo. I’m on to you.

I next experience a moment. One of those amazing moments in a gamer’s life when they experience something that they know immediately will stay in their memory forever. I found the Master Sword. I read the message in front of it and went around to pick it up when I heard another familiar tune. One that took me immediately back to the Temple of Time. The pendants are now floating in the air, and that intoxicating music is going on as Link pulls that destined sword out of its pedestal and claims what belongs to him. Now I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt, I love this game almost more than I can love a human baby. Knowing Zelda games as I do, I know they wouldn’t have mentioned seven wise men/sages if I wasn’t going to have to complete dungeons for each one of them. I realize am not even halfway through and I have already had one of the best experiences I have ever had with a video game.

For part one of this review, though, I am through. I think that this is a logical breaking point for it. Add in the fact that I am well over 1,000 words already and as I mentioned, am not halfway through and yes, I need to cut it here. I want you to actually read all of it. I want you to experience what I have experienced. This has been, to this point in my experience, a game that has made me forget I recently played Super Metroid. I can not wait to share the rest of of my experience with you and so I will be putting up the second part of this review in place of my next N64 Connoisseur piece. Until next time, be careful looking for that Golden Power.