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The Legend of Zelda (NES) artwork

The Legend of Zelda (NES) review

"The gameplay experience that you get from the game is still fresh to this date, and there's nothing quite like the sense of exhiliration you get from beating Ganon all by yourself."

The Legend of Zelda is more than just a video game; it's the start of a franchise. With one little eight bit game made way back at the start of the Nintendo era, Nintendo managed to start a series that would go on to gross over one billion dollars. They were able to do so because The Legend of Zelda is an outstanding video game, and shows off the creativity present in earlier games.

The Legend of Zelda starts out with a fairly familiar story: Save the princess from the evil badguy. The princess in this case is Zelda, the hero is Link, and the evil villain is Ganon. This adventure takes place in the far off land of Hyrule, which is inhabited by nasty creatures. You must uncover the nine pieces of the Triforce, which will allow you to vanquish Ganon and restore peace to Hyrule. The story itself is primative, but it's miles ahead of anything else the NES had to offer at the time.

The gameplay of The Legend of Zelda is what truly seperates it from NES game of the time. Outside of the game Metroid, another very successful game, no other game allowed so much experimentation and exploration. It allowed everyone, young and old, to expand their minds with the possibilites. Indeed, a dexterious mind was required to solve all the puzzles that the game threw at you.

The perspective of The Legend of Zelda is one of an overhead camera sort. Link moves on a sort of grid, in between obstacles and land barries. The smaller grid squares combine to make up larger grids; one very large grid is the overworld map, and smaller (but still large) grids make up each of the game's nine dungeons.

The controls in The Legend are Zelda are kept to the bare minimum. The A button uses your sword, which has three various forms of power, and B uses your accessory. Your accessories range from boomerangs to bombs to a magical fairy whistle. All are essential to use against the game's varied force and enemies, or to unlock areas in dungeons.

The dungeons play a major role in the game; most of the items you find are in dungeons, and every dungeon has at least one item and one piece of the Triforce. However, they don't just GIVE you the piece; it's usually guarded by a fierce enemy that requires cunning and skill to defeat.

All in all, you can't ask for more in the gameplay department from The Legend of Zelda. No other game, excluding the aforementioned Metroid, offers nearly as much gameplay. And when it's all over, a second quest is opened up, with all new dungeons to play through. This much depth was hardly ever seen in such an early generation game.

Graphically, The Legend of Zelda isn't outstanding, but it gets the job done. Nicely colored characters and enemies are the normal. The only qualm is that the background is usually a stale color, some sort of tan variant. It can cause the eyes to blur after a while, but it's only a small problem.

The music for The Legend of Zelda borders on the epic; remakes and remixes of the main theme have appeared in every ''Zelda'' game since then, and it's considered such a staple that some bands even cover it. The sound effects are not as forgiving though. After hearing the sound of Link's sword for the seven thousandth time, you'll want to mute your television.

The Legend of Zelda deserves a place in your gaming library. The gameplay experience that you get from the game is still fresh to this date, and there's nothing quite like the sense of exhiliration you get from beating Ganon all by yourself.

sgreenwell's avatar
Community review by sgreenwell (Date unavailable)

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