GameSpite Issue 13.2: The pivotal Zelda

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
We continue this issue’s theme of exploring personally influential games with not one but two Zelda write-ups. Does this mean we’re all a bunch of idiot Nintendo fanboys? Nah, it just means that the Zeldas — particularly these two — were pretty much revolutionary masterpieces that defined how games can and should work.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Of course, GameSpite already has an Ocarina of Time retrospective, but the previous entry was a bit more objective, a bit less personal. This is the gonzo version — except not really, since it wasn’t written in the desert under the influence of quaaludes, and any screaming about being attacked by bats isn’t hallucinogenic in nature. Bats actually do tend to attack you in Zelda games, you see.
Oh, yes — be sure to enlighten us with your opinions in the Issue 13 Talking Time thread.

8 thoughts on “GameSpite Issue 13.2: The pivotal Zelda

  1. Great articles, couldn’t have come at a better time either as I’m currently doing my annual Zelda series playthrough!(although I skipped Zelda II)

  2. Oddly enough, these are two of my least favorite entries in the Zelda series. I’m sure that I’m in the minority, but I’m tired of the whole Link/Zelda/Gannon storyline. I have trouble getting excited about running up the side of yet another Death Mountain and swimming around in yet another Lake Hylia. I think that the series is at it’s best when Link gets out of Hyrule and does some honest to goodness adventuring.

  3. But for a lot of people, Patrick, these were the games that set those standards.

  4. I too, Patrick, prefer when they mix it up, Koholint and Termina being some of my favorite world in all of gaming, but we would not be ‘tired’ of Hyrule had it not been because of these games. And maybe we have the ‘Hyrule burn out’ just because these games did that story so well that we do not need yet another retelling, probably the reason the most recent Hyrule games – Wind Waker and Twilight Princess – have told the tale with different elements mixed in.

  5. Fantastic entries, as usual. It’s interesting reading these two articles after having just played through Majora’s Mask – the tone of that game compared to these two are so different, it’s somewhat amazing they are all part of the same series. Although I suppose that says more about MM than LttP or OoT.

    And I definitely recommend Alixsar’s Ocarina of Time LP – I’ve beaten OoT probably ten times, yet I learned things from that topic. His breakdown of the Forest Temple alone is worth the price of admission.

  6. “Zelda II being such an odd offshoot, Nintendo wisely decided to forego building on it; ALttP is build solidly on the first game’s template.”

    Regardless of what you thought of Zelda II itself, it was also stifled by 8-bit limitations. If they developed its mechanics into a sub-series, it would easily rival the Castlevania series’ Metroidvanias.

    Link turning into the pink bunny the first time he visits the Dark World, that was clever, but as justification for “BEST. ZELDA. EVER.”? Nah. I also thought subsequent 2d Zeldas had better combat, not to mention better items. Even though things were more refined later on, LttP did set the standard for post-Zelda 1 top down games for many of the reasons you stated though, and it should be applauded as such.

    Now please Nintendo, shake things up again by getting to a Zelda II-type game, or even a remake! Yeah, I went there.

  7. Regarding the combat though, the only Zelda I thought had substantial combat was Zelda II. Most of the others were slash, slash, slash.

  8. Zelda: ALTTP is one of my favorite games of all time. I spent so much time as a 6th grader exploring Hyrule and its Dark World counterpart and it coincided with a time that I realized I really enjoyed exploration in games as I played what we knew as FF2 inside and out. ALTTP really did excel with the puzzles and improved combat but what really stood out to me was the exploration and finding all the hidden areas as well as characters and places that really stood out in the game.

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