The Legend of Zelda
Box Shot
The Legend of Zelda
Platform: NES
Publisher: Nintendo
Designer: Nintendo
Genre: Adventure
Players: 1
Published Date 1987
Reviewed by: Kurt Kalata

What's the point of this review, you ask? Hasn't everyone played The Legend of Zelda? Well, actually, no...it wasn't until about a year ago that I truly played the games. In any case, everyone at leastknows Zelda. Revered by many as one of the best games of all time, The Legend of Zelda thrust Link, the young elf character, on a quest to find the eight pieces of the Triforce (some mystical thing), rescue the Princess Zelda, and defeat the evil Ganon, who has infested the land of Hyrule with monsters. Memories...

The game takes place in an overhead view, and the game view never scrolls (i.e. it moves screen by screen.) There are a total of nine dungeons in the Legend of Zelda. The first eight contain a piece of the Triforce, while the final dungeon contains the last boss. There is an "overworld" that you travel in to get from dungeon to dungeon, although the entrances are spread all over the land. These underworld levels are often mazes, requiring that you find keys to open various doors that you find. There are also maps of each level to find, and a compass to point out the location of the boss. There are sometimes rudimentary puzzles to be solved, but most of these revolve around pushing blocks.

You start off with just a wimpy wooden sword (which can shoot projectiles, if your life meter is full) and three hearts, although you can get plenty of more items and weapons. including boomerangs, bombs, arrows, candles, two more sword, plenty more heart containers to extend your life meter, rings to increase your defense, a new shield to block stronger projectiles, and even some magic spells. Many of these are found throughout the course of the game, some hidden in the dungeons, while others must be bought. In fact, you'll probably spend quite a bit of time running around gathering Rupees (the monetary unit) to buy some necessary items to beat dungeons. For instance, you'll almost definitely need to find the ring (reduces damage) before going into the fifth dungeon. Not all enemies yield Rupees though, so it can take quite a long time to gather the cash you need.

The graphics are pretty rudimentary, which is understandable for a game this old. Although the overworld uses a grating shade of yellow for the ground, the dungeons look noticeably spooky, and the color of each level changes. However, many of the sprites are too small to be well detailed, and the trees look like bushes. I can't deny how well the music is though...the main tune is about as well known as the Super Mario theme, and while it doesn't sound nearly as good as the rendition as the SNES version, it still sounds pretty decent. The dungeon music is pretty creepy too, but it only changes in the ninth level...so, including the title screen, there are really only four tunes. The sounds are okay, but the screams that a boss makes are pretty cool. The game controls fine...A button will use your sword, while B will use the special weapon select (boomerang, bomb, etc.) You can't move diagnolly but neither can most of the enemies, so there's not much of an advantage. Link can shoot projectiles when his life meter is full, but only then. Also, whenever you die, you always start with only three hearts filled. This is okay at the beginning of the game, when you can only hold three or four hearts, but later on this can be annoying. Make sure to stock up on medicine!

Zelda deserves to be called a classic. The gameplay is simple to understand, but complex to explore the game and find everything. Up to this date, I still haven't found all of the hearts containers, nor either of the magic spells listed in the instruction manual. And the second quest, which features different dungeons and new item locations, gives it an extra replayability. Give this adventure a shot, if you haven't.