Confession time here: (wondering how far back and personal to go)- I was usually the kid with the older system growing up, which was fine. So, when I first saw The Legend of Zelda on NES, my mom had gotten it and the sequel at a yard sale. The gold on their cartridges was a bit tarnished and the label ripped; neither had an instruction booklet or sleeve with them. So when I popped in the original game, I didn’t understand what to do. The view overhead was a weird one too, and there were so many enemies I was overwhelmed. I moved onto the sequel and preferred the side scrolling action (when you get to it) above the tiny character and tiny world.
My first real deep adventure with Link is SNES’ s A Link to the Past, arguably the best game ever made. I’ve been hooked ever since. But, to be able to go back and explore fully the original after all these years has made me appreciate where this game came from. My patience has grown and now when I turn on this game to the opening screen, the music just sings to my heart like every time you see the beginning of a Star Wars movie. Just that alone gives the music and sound score a 10; moving through the map and exploring the dungeons with their dark scary themes blows it out of the water and I wish I could give it a 15!
Who realized the level of depth this game had to offer? The map for one is just a complete departure from side scrolling games and gives you the real first taste of being part of the adventure. Exploring and Remembering the map is part of the fun; Finding the secrets isn’t as easy but is stlll part of the Zelda experience. The creativity explodes out of this game with every new screen and even when you’re near the 7th and 8th dungeons, you still haven’t seen all of the map.
The controls are responsive and fluid, although targeting is a little clunky, it’s still very good for such an old game. The graphics I think are just okay, but I give bonus points for finding new backgrounds, characters and landmarks being so genuinely exciting to come across.
Playing the Legend of Zelda at this point in the history of the world is like being able to open the cases at the Natural History Museum and getting to play with the artifacts; everything we know and love about the Zelda series, began here and even 30 years ago when this game was released, you can see the blueprint for everything to come before it. It really is a revolutionary game and a living piece of history.
Playablity/ Controls- 8.5 Graphics- 6.5 Music/Sound- 10 Replay Value- 9.5 Originality- 10