Retro Time: The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past
By KarenNerak. Sunday, June 17, 2012 1:21:25 AM
I'll never forget the day I purchased Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past back in 1991. I could barely wait to get home and start playing it. To this day, I enjoy the heck out of playing the game - it never seems to lose its charm.
A Link To The Past is often referred to as one of the greatest games of all time...and for good reason. It is! Everything within the game seems to click perfectly; starting with the title screen. Even that is awesome!
The game starts out when Link gets visited in a dream by Princess Zelda, herself. She begs him to save her from an evil wizard. Of course, since Link is a rebel, he decides to go out into the stormy night in order to save the Princess although his uncle had told him clearly to stay put. Stay put? Please. This is Link we're talking about!
Well, with this single act of rebellion, one of SNES's best games ever made begins. (Though, I think it is THE best game for the SNES, myself.) From the get-go, Link is armed with a sword, but naturally, as the game progresses, he'll stumble upon several more tools and weapons that will aide him in his quest to save the Princess.
A lot of time will be spent exploring Hyrule. It's amazing how much detail and content Nintendo included. You simply never run out of things to do. You'll run into townspeople who beg for help and will run inside when they see you due to the fact that you're actually a wanted criminal. (wussies) You'll eventually come across a hobo who's camped out near the waterfront, Blacksmiths who work diligently in order to form their masterpieces, and all sorts of other characters throughout Hyrule.
There are plenty of ugrades and heart pieces that you'll see, but they're generally just barely out of reach. You've gotta work for that junk! You're able to bomb walls, move statues, and do other sorts of things that will reveal new adventures within the game.The first visit to The Lost Woods is pretty awesome as well. The atmosphere is foggy and the forest, itself, is pretty much like a maze. For its time, the detail that was put into the forest is astounding.
You eventually make your way to the dark world. Once you've completed the first four dungeons, you realize that you're not even close to finished yet. There's an entirely new version of Hyrule waiting for you to explore! Everything seems a bit twisted and freaky. The Lost Woods eventually becomes The Skeleton Forest, and the village is suddenly considered an outcast town. It's right around this point that the game really picks up! You're required to travel between the two realities in order to accomplish your goals. It's pretty awesome how the Dark World feels so dangerous. You'll run into very strong enemies, terrain that's simply not very pleasant, and all kinds of other unsavory things. In my opinion, the level of uncertainty that you're left feeling is something that no other Zelda game has been able to accomplish since.
As far as the dungeons go, they're just as imaginative. There are different challenges in each one, and the difficulty level is pretty much perfect. The first three dungeons are fairly simple, but don't get too comfortable. Once you've reached Turtle Rock, you'll be having your ass handed to you constantly. This type of increase in difficulty level seems to have fizzled away with the Zelda games that have been released since A Link To The Past. A pity, if you ask me. The enemies in A Link To The Past are almost like puzzles, but once you learn the correct combinations and patterns, your enemies don't stand a chance against you. Basically, if you're not fairly good at combat, prepare to die repeatedly. The dungeons are very focused on exploration, but in the last few dungeons, you'll see more puzzles in the conventional sense. The fact that you can complete particular dungeons without even exploring every room is pretty awesome. As for Gannon's Tower? To this day, it offers us the most rewarding and complex dungeon that any other Zelda game has ever supplied us with.
Of course, we cannot discuss a Zelda game without addressing the bosses. Defeating them requires pretty creative measures. Many times, you are required to use a weapon that can only be found directly in the dungeon where the boss is located. It's basically a combination of incredibly fun - yet frustrating combat in conjunction with the discovery of new items and maneuvers. In my opinion, the totally epic boss challenges makes A Link To The Past dungeons some of the most bitchin’ in the entire series. While on the topic of dungeons, here's a little tidbit of info for ya': A Link To The Past has the most of any other Zelda game ever created. Between the Light World and the Dark World, there are a grand total of twelve dungeons. Most Zelda games average nine dungeons. Not only is this game full of quality, but it's clearly full of quantity as well!
Now let's talk about the music in A Link To The Past. All of the music in this game has a way of setting the perfect mood for wherever you are in the game. This game is responsible for some of the most well-known Zelda songs such as "Zelda's Lullaby" (which happens to be my alarm tone on my phone) and also the "Village Theme."
If you look at the game from a graphical standpoint, it's simply amazing - especially considering the time period in which it was created. You don't just get one version of one world, but you get two very detailed versions of the same world where the details are amazing...all the way down to the trees and the grass!
My personal opinion is that A Link To The Past has yet to be surpassed by any other Zelda game. While I consider Ocarina of Time to be my favorite Zelda game to play, A Link To The Past is my favorite when it comes to things such as details, music, dungeons, etc. It's pretty much a perfect game, and if you've yet to play it, I highly suggest that you give it a shot. Although it's 2D, don’t let that stop you. It may feel a bit odd at first, but is easy to get used to.
On a scale from 1-10, this game gets a 12 from me. I love it THAT much.