GameSpite Quarterly 2, #39: The Legend of Zelda

Dear humans, I’m sorry to say that I have abandoned you. It’s a temporary state of affairs, mind you; I’m just going to visit family for a few days. But probably I won’t be updating much here! It’s entirely possible. I hope we can still be friends.

The Legend of Zelda
The online edition of GameSpite Quarterly 2 continues with entry 39, The Legend of Zelda. I’m actually really proud of this piece, which is a sentiment I rarely feel about things I write. I suspect that probably means there’s something horribly wrong with it, but at least I have that happy feeling to hold on to for a few more moments before the first comments appear about it.

13 thoughts on “GameSpite Quarterly 2, #39: The Legend of Zelda

  1. Yeah, that was pretty good, actually. Always nice to see some love for the original. So many people can’t get past the more archaic elements anymore that it’s good to hear a kind word for it both as the origin of a great series and also a great game in its own right.

  2. Great article. I really like the point about NES-era Nintendo having more faith in its audience and design, as that’s a major reason why those games still hold up so well today. I always appreciate a game that gives the player the bare essentials at the beginning and pushes them out into a vast, uncharted world. It can be daunting at times, but the sense of exploration and accomplishment is unrivaled. This is why I find myself gravitating more towards Western RPGs these days, rather than the JRPGs of my youth.

  3. So many memories of Zelda, though I’d never thought of the game in terms of text adventures before. I beat the main quest countless times as a 6-year-old kid, though I got hopelessly stuck in the last dungeon of the secon quest and never was able to figure out how to progress. Great read.

  4. I could actually find a flaw, albeit a minor one, so your suspicions were only partly correct:

    > Enter cave
    An old man stands in the darkness, illuminated by a pair of fires that flank him to either side. Before him on the ground lay a sword—a humble, brown, wooden sword, but a weapon regardless. “It’s dangerous to go alone,” he says. “Take this.”
    > Take sword

    should have been something like

    > Enter cave
    Elderly Man alone in cave, with glowing fire shining Elderly Man. Sword of Tree on ground underneath Elderly Man. “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.” saying him.
    > Take sword

    Actually, now that I put that to words, it seems kind of stupid, so no, no flaws.

  5. Excellent article – It really sums up the appeal of the game. There’s a small, naive part of me that still holds out hope that Nintendo will make another Zelda like the first one.

  6. This really did give a good perspective on the original Zelda. All I have is the Gameboy Advance “Classic NES” one. This really might push me to go play it more sometime.

  7. @Wiggumbeard:

    That’s the first and only version I’ve played.

    And yeah, this is a really good article; as I look through it, I find myself thinking ‘yeah, that’s why I stuck all the way through the difficulty of the Second Quest’…

  8. The original is still my favorite even if Ocarina may be the better game. But then again, I like Adventure…

  9. Call me a weirdo, but one of the reasons I still like the original two games is because of freakin’ combat (well, in the case of the second game, I guess that opinion isn’t really weird). The combat lost a lot of finesse when they went from slow stabs to spammable swings.

  10. Felt a little cumbersome in the case of the first game though due to limited freedom of mobility.

    One memory that sticks out is always opting for the red potions over the heart containers from the old man during the first playthrough, then immediately starting all over after finding out, much to my chagrin, that the old lady sells potions after being shown the note.

  11. Interesting perspective on the article.

    You mentioned getting a map with the game. Unfortunately, that’s a luxury not afforded to people (like me) who only played the game on an Advance or that sweet Zelda collection disc for the Gamecube. Instead, we’re forced to just wander around pointlessly. As someone who first played ALttP and OoT, the first Zelda suffers by comparison if you don’t have such basic features as an overworld map.

    I am sure that it was a fantastic game for its time, but I don’t think it holds up well. To paraphrase something that once appeared on this site, burning unmarked bushes as a substitute for challenge is NOT good game design.

  12. Interesting perspective IN the article, I mean.

    I bet that if this was my first Zelda, I would have loved it. Instead, I first played ALttP, Link’s Awakening, OoT, and Ages/Seasons. The original just seems lacking by comparison due to the uneven difficulty (Level 6 being twice as hard as the other 7 dungeons put together), the aforementioned lack of an overworld map, and the often frustrating gameplay challenges.

    Of course, I feel the same way about Metroid and Super Mario Bros.: that they were probably good for their time, but the sequels vastly outclass them in every possible way. And having played the sequels first (Super Mario World, SMB3, Super Metroid, Metroid Prime), the originals really just can’t measure up. I guess that’s the difference between being born in ’78 and being born in ’88.

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