The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

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North American box art.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo and released in 1991 on the SNES. It is the third game in the Zelda series.

My brother "borrowed" this game from a friend of his, deleted his completed save file, and pretended it was his own game. We played it quite awhile before he was caught and had to give it back, minus his save file. Having fallen in love with the game, I got a used copy at some point later and played the game getting all the way to level 7 before failing to beat the end boss and giving up. Shortly there after, I sold my SNES, and didn't play the game for quite awhile after. I played the game off and on through an emulator, and, after many years, decided to beat the game properly from the start. I played it all the way through, defeated the level 7 boss, and finished the entire game.

Status

I own this game, have beaten it with 100% completion, and am very familiar with it.

Review

  • Overall: 10/10
  • Best Version: SNES

Good

  • The graphics and animation are all stunning.
  • The music and sound effects are particularly good and make great use of the SNES's stereo sound.
  • The game engine is solid and functions like a well-oiled machine.
  • The story, while cliche, is a big jump up from previous game, and the frequent interactions with NPCs early in the game keep it flowing nicely.
  • The game play is both challenging and exciting throughout the entire game.
  • The large amount of items really keep the game interesting, and several are used in novel ways. In addition to the classics like the boomerang, bombs, and bow, we now get the hookshot, pegasus boots, and bug-catching net which are fantastic additions.
  • There are tons of hidden things in the game to keep it exciting, and most of them are hidden in a clever way and useful in the game. The pieces of heart scattered all over the map was a great addition. The bottles are also very useful and one is expertly hidden. The good bee is an especially interesting find. The Chris Houlihan room is also interesting.
  • The game manual is top-notch. Lots of beautiful art and a detailed explanation of the game.

Bad

  • The game is pretty linear. In the first game, almost all of the over world and several underworlds can be explored from the get-go. But in this one, large sections of the game are off-limits until you get specific items. This is certainly helpful to keeping you on track the first time through, but makes the game predictable every time after.
  • The bosses are indeed a step up in complexity, but most of them can be killed just by hitting them with the sword over an over again, unlike in the first game, where most of them required you determining which weapon they were weak to.
  • Several of the items are unimportant, either by being entirely unnecessary to beat the game, too awkward to be useful, or they exist for a single use. The magic cape, the cane of Byrna, and the Bombos spell are the worst offenders.
  • The difficulty of the dungeons isn't quite orderly. 1 is harder than 3, 5 is harder than 6, etc. Though, this might be my play style.

Ugly

  • Nothing really, this game is a work of art.

Documentation

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