Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Legend of Zelda (NES)

Yeah I have played this before, a while ago now, but I haven't seriously played it. I walked a couple of screens, got killed by monsters, and turned it off.

I guess I'd better go "do" that then. Huh, she split the Triforce into eight pieces? That's just excessive.

I had to go with the name 'Link'. Some things you just don't mess with.

Hey, it's playing the Legend of Zelda theme! Well yeah, that seems like it should be obvious, but I wasn't certain which Zelda game introduced the iconic music.

Okay I've started off with a cave, three paths, iconic music, three hearts, and absolutely no weapons. I should probably go check out that cave.

'It is dangerous to go alone... take this sword and go alone.' I tried to get past him but the it seems that there's an invisible barrier running across the screen in front of the fires.

I'm definitely not going to turn down a free sword though!

My free sword is awesome! I don't even have to stand next to enemies to kill them, because my sword fires swords. Which is handy, because these flea-like enemies keep leaping everywhere.

Annoyingly, moving between screens doesn't seem to be filling in locations on my mini-map. I guess I'm expected to remember where I've been, or draw a map on paper as I go. But I can't be bothered.

I killed every enemy and barely took a scratch! Huh, what's up with my sword? It won't fire swords anymore!

Damn, I need to have full health to use my sword as a gun? That's just mean.

Well I'm not going any further this way. I thought that thing firing shots at me from the water was some kind of submarine, but now I'm thinking it's probably a sea monster sticking its head above the water. Either way it's really annoying. My shield can block most ranged attacks that hit me from the front, but it doesn't help at all against the sea monster.

I did a bit of backtracking and came across another cave. I was hoping for a dungeon, but a shop's handy too. Or at least it would be if I'd found more than 1 rupee in all my adventuring so far.


I think I've taken a wrong turn  as I've come across a screen full of enemies that take more than one hit, and they're all shooting stuff at me. I'm taking this as a clue to go search somewhere else for the first dungeon.

I've found that the enemies sometimes drop collectable bombs and hearts when they die though, so if I can kill a few more enemies along the way I'll be able to get my super sword attack back. Sometimes they even drop a fairy, which dances around the screen to lure me into enemies, but gives me max health if I can grab her.

I found an old woman in a cave, but nothing I did would encourage her to talk. On the plus side she seems to be immune to explosives, so I probably haven't blown my chance of figuring this mystery out later.

I hate you sea monster!

Crap, this is not good. And the sea monster is about to pop his head up again too.

I don't really have much choice but to make a run for it across the bridge and hope they don't kill me by spitting rocks at my back before I get off screen.

A door into a sinister tree! There's no way this is going to be another shop keeper or mysterious mute old lady. This has to be a dungeon.

Yes! I've finally found myself a dungeon! And it's full of weird statues that mysteriously haven't come alive and attacked me... yet.

The top door is locked, and my bombs are having no effect, so I'm going to try the other rooms.

Bats. Killing all the bats got me a key!

Well that worked out so well for me that I'd be a fool to not go check the door on the right too.

Skeletons. Killing all the skeletons got me a second key! Now I'm making real progress.

It seems that it actually auto-maps the dungeons as I go, though none of this shows up on the mini-map for some reason.

And then I got killed. Oh well.

But I reappeared back at the start of the dungeon! And now I'm close to finally getting... a piece of orange paper.

The orange paper turned out to be a map to the whole dungeon, so now I can see where I'm going.

Why do these guys get to have boomerangs? I want a boomerang.

Crap! When I walked down, the spikes suddenly slammed together, knocking a chunk off my life.

Well I managed ruin that puzzle. Only one of the blocks wants to move, so the stairs are forever lost to me. Plus I managed walk into the spikes again.

Actually the blocks reset when I left the room, and I figured those spikes out (I dodged in and out of their way to trigger them, then just walked around safely while they were moving back to their corner.)

The stairs led to a 2d side view room, and a bow! Which I can't seem to equip.

Well that was a stupid thing to try. I thought I'd see what happened if I saved and reloaded. It turns out that it doesn't put you at the start of the dungeon like I thought, it puts you right at the start of the game again.


Well it took me a while, but I eventually found the dungeon again, and fought my way up to the boss!

Is that thing a cross between a dragon and a unicorn? That's like... double mythical. I probably shouldn't be killing endangered fantasy creatures like this, but I've just found a new boomerang weapon to try out and I AM trying to save a princess. On the scale of heroism, saving princesses ranks way higher than saving endangered monsters.

Killing the boss got me an extra heart... plus the first piece of the Triforce! Only two more pieces to go and I've finished the game!

Oh right, yeah, it's split into eight pieces. I forgot. So only seven more dungeons to go.

Damn, Zelda really went to a lot of trouble to hide these things from Gannon. If she was tough enough to fight to the end of the eight deadliest dungeons in the land to hide these pieces, why didn't she keep hold of the Triforce and just kill the guy herself?


I really hate you sea monster!

My journey to find another dungeon to pillage isn't going so well. It doesn't help that despite all my exploration, my map is still just a green dot on a big grey rectangle. 

Hey, I've found another entrance!

And then the sea monster and his blue friend with the one hit kill sword attack game over'd me, throwing me back to the start again.

You know, I have to say that I actually liked this game. A lot more than I was expecting to. Being able to keep my cash and equipment after dying means I can chip away at the game, making progress with each run. Which is far better than getting put back to square one after a game over.

Though on the other hand, you do literally start right back at square one of the overworld or a dungeon after a game over, and I'm tired of finding my way back to where Link was killed last, so I'm through with this.


  1. The game has a teleportation system, but you'd pretty much have to map it out to use it. I think that actually makes Zelda 2 the only Zelda without one, which may help explain its unpopularity. Or maybe it's the XP-eating enemies.

    Later Zelda games would still throw you back to the start of the dungeon, but the dungeons would be built with that in mind. The door to the boss might be in the first room, all the gear needed to open it further in, and the gear wouldn't drop on death. It's a strange kind of checkpoint system.

  2. If the first quest was too tough for you then don't bother with the second quest... you'll get creamed.

    1. For maximum insanity, check out the Zelda Outlands ROM Hack. It has two new complete quests that can basically stand as third and fourth quests for the game. I haven't played it in several years, but I recall that in their 2nd quest (I believe), they don't even give you a SWORD for the first couple of dungeons. I know I beat their 1st quest, but I can't if I finished the second. Highly entertaining.


Semi-Random Game Box