The Legend of Zelda(NES)

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I’ve been playing this game for a while now and I thought why not start dropping the odd retro game review onto the blog. I recently bought a retro console off Facebook it’s loaded with 1000’s of games as in around 55,000 spanning over all sorts of consoles. This is a cheaper and easier way to play these old games as recently the market for retro games and consoles has soared higher and higher. So here are my thoughts on Legend of Zelda.

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When I was a kid I played the odd game here and there at friends’ houses on Commadores and Spectrums etc. The NES was the first console I ever had and I’ve loved it ever since (I just wish I still owned the original one I had) Super Mario Bros was the first game I ever completed and the story of me thundering down the stairs to tell my parents is still commented on to this day.

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There were a handful of games I played as a kid one being The Legend of Zelda, back then I never really got that far into the game I completed a couple of dungeons and found the secret passage ways to characters giving away money. I experimented with cheats that turned the game world strange and different but I never completed it.

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Fast forward 25-ish years and here I am again this time uttering my frustrations in a more colourful language. The game is a simple but tough one like most older games from the 80’s and early 90’s, you play as Link and the evil Ganon has invaded Hyrule in search of the Triforce of Power. However Princess Zelda before being kidnapped by Ganon splits the triforce and hides it in 8 secret dungeons!

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She also commands her nursemaid Impa to find someone courageous enough to save the kingdom of Hyrule. Enter Link who saves her from some of Ganon’s goons who attacker her and our game starts.

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It’s a relatively simple but unforgiving game, it’s somewhat open world as well. The map is made up of screens 16 across and 8 up I think it is. Like all RPGs we have to roam the land as Link building up our energy by collecting hearts as well as slaying enemies to collect money to upgrade our weapons and shield. It’s also handy to stash a few potions away as well when you can afford them.

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From there you have to find all the dungeons and beat each one to collect all the pieces of the Triforce power. Sounds simple enough right? Wrong the game is hard work die anywhere on the map and you’re sent right back to the first square that you started in, die in a dungeon and it’s a little more forgiving, sure you’re sent back to the start of the dungeon but you are still equipped with everything you found before your death.

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The Good

  • The simplicity of a two button set up with an easy to use inventory.
  • Very good variety of bad guys to kill.
  • Combat has a good difficulty not too hard not too easy.
  • The dungeons make this quite a big game for it’s time.

The Bad

  • Like most RPG’s even today the endless slog of killing baddies to gain some money can bog you down a bit.

The In Between 

  • I have no idea how anyone would have managed with this game if they’d lost their maps that came with the game as a kid. I’ve checked out the map on the internet and even then it’s pretty hard to find your way round.
  • There’s no hand holding here it’s straight into the game with not much idea on what it is you’re supposed to be doing.

This game gave me a real feeling of nostalgia playing it and I’m hopeful that I can complete it however it’s taken me over quarter of a century to reach the 4th dungeon! I am getting more enjoyment out of this game as an adult and a new level of appreciation for it as well.

Overall Rating 8.5/10

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