"Forget the rain, forget trying to determine if Link is a stumpy elf or a cross-eyed, inbred troll, forget the much-argued cosmetics. Just... let them go. Focus on Link to the Past as it is; a mediocre game. "
Forget the rain, forget trying to determine if Link is a stumpy elf or a cross-eyed, inbred troll, forget the much-argued cosmetics. Just... let them go. Focus on Link to the Past as it is; a mediocre game.
Remember the battles. Link isn’t too far into the game before he is given his first blade; one that has the size and the presence of a feeble butter knife. But size is not important: it’s what you do with it that counts and Link is a legendary swordsman! Thus, with blade in hand and steely look in eye, he does what he can with a flaccid dual offence. He either calls upon a wild, untamed swing that any idiot could perform or, at the hold and release of a button, launches into a ballet-like 360* spin with his tiny dagger exposed. Spare a thought for the waves of pallet-swapped foes: they never stood a chance.
Remember his travels. Buy into the laughable hyperbole about the little nymph’s ability to go anywhere then discover that this is not, in fact, Zelda 1. Link is free to explore as he wishes only so long as his path remains free of such mighty obstacles as a small wooden fence or a shallow puddle. These impassable landmarks are too much for the greatest warrior of his time to bypass, even if he owns an item in his inventory that lets him lift and subsequently hurl house-sized boulders, so our hero never walks right to his destination, but is instead forced to take a roundabout ramble as to avoid such monstrous pitfalls as small shrubberies and ‘Keep off the Grass!’ signs.
Remember the ‘revolutionary’ new Dark World which is often quoted as a system that changed the way games were made. What this feeble warp really does is pallet swap the entire map into an ever-so-slightly edited stage. Here amongst the shadows and the anger, our protagonist is himself warped to fit better in with his new surroundings. Link becomes a fluffy pink bunny of +2 cuteness. The Horror!
Is this really the game that everyone loves so? What am I missing? Should I find myself caring about the same slightly-edited plot lifted from the previous two titles then dug up from the graves and transplanted, rotting and reeking, in a shiny new 3D body, wrapped up with hype and released as Ocarina of Time? Should I cream like the rest of you over the run-into-the-ground soundtrack, the sugary-sweet graphics that lands the unhealthy side of childish? Should I be seeing a masterpiece when all my disappointed eyes register is long stretches of boredom involving asinine fetch-quests housed within dull, laborious dungeons, broken up only by vastly, and, frankly, surprisingly, enjoyable boss encounters?
The fact is I do remember. I remember the trudging repeatatism, the goofy story centred on evil fairies, villains with huge eyebrows and princesses in peril that even preschoolers would find childish. I remember the placid, mute and personaless lead that can’t be saved from the status of humdrum even with the plethora of cool gadgets at his constant disposal. I do, I really do, I remember it all.
I even remember the rain. I remember the screen was washed over with a dramatic shade of grey as the rain fell from the sky in white streaks. Hyrule forever stayed that shade.
Link to the Past is a game without colour.
Community review by Pyro (July 28, 2007)
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