Sometimes, when a game hasn't aged well, you can look back at it and go "yeah, this was an Important Game, even if it did a lot of things wrong". That's what the original Super Mario Brothers was like.

Other times, you look at a game and go "I know this was an Important Game... but who in their right mind would have liked this game?" The first Metroid was one of those, but upon actually forcing my way through this, I'm just dumbfounded at how... impenetrable the very first Legend of Zelda was.

I pulled out all the stops here. I loaded up maps before I even started up the game. I save-stated my way through Money Making Game. This game was, in a way, my childhood... but it wasn't a good part of my childhood. I could never get into it like I did its spiritual successor Crystalis; it wasn't until I finally got my hands on a copy of Link to the Past that I finally understood why people liked the tiny green man who was made of glass.

This time, though, I forced my way through it. Took me about... three, four hours? I feel like it would actually be a good speedrun game. Thing is, Sonic 06 is a good speedrun game, too. Being accessible to gofast players does not necessarily mean a game is good.

For the most part, the dungeons were okay (save for one enemy, more on that later) though heavily reliant on you either knowing ahead of time where you needed to go and not trusting the map to not lie to you at every opportunity. Sure, it told you where most of the rooms were, but everything is so honeycombed together that you'll find yourself bombing walls religiously if you don't have maps beforehand. This may not be a problem, but bombs are pretty uncommon drops, and you can only hold 8 at a time for over half the game (and have to pay almost a full wallet's worth of cash to double it to an "astounding" 16). Since Link hadn't perfected the art of "poke wall with sword", you have no idea WHERE to bomb, except, apparently, fucking everywhere. Except you don't have enough bombs to do that, so you either have to grind or know ahead of time.

No, the problem is in the overworld, which is a labyrinth all its own - and that's not even getting into the two Lost Woods-style infinite-scrolling screens. This was what stymied me as a kid. I never had any idea where the fuck I was going, where I had to go next... there's such a thing as "too open", and oddly enough, a gigantic 16x8 maze with no finite start or end point? Is too goddamn open.

It's also got a heavy reliance on that whole Continuing Is Painful thing; if you die then you might as well just throw the whole thing away, since hearts are even rarer than bombs, fairies are practically nonexistent (and only fill four hearts anyway), you restart at 3 hearts regardless of how many you have, and oops, the thing that killed you takes off two hearts every time it breathes on you!

(Speaking of which: fuck darknuts, particularly of the blue variety. If an enemy is invulnerable from only one side and your main/only method of attack is at close range? don't make their movement pure RNG. kay thanks.)

But yeah. After about 30 years, I finally saved Hyrule with a little green man made of glass. I'm not doing the Second Quest. It was obnoxious enough once around.
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