Video Games

The Legend of Zelda


The Legend of Zelda is a 1986 fantasy video game developed and published by Nintendo, designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. Set in Hyrule, an elf-like boy named links on a quest to rescue Princess Zelda from Ganon. The player controls Link from a top-down perspective through the overworld and dungeons.  Link needs to collect the eight fragments of the Triforce of Wisdom to save her. Link will also gather weapons, defeat enemies, and uncover secrets along the way.

Full thoughts and Review of The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda is one of the most revered games of all time. For 1986, this game was ambitious for a console game. Legend of Zelda is a game inspired by Shigeru Miyamoto’s explorations as a young boy in the hills, forests, and caves surrounding his home. Koji Kondo wrote the overworld music in less than a day after the original piece Nintendo wanted to use had not yet expired its copyright. Miyamoto wanted to create a game to break free of linear thinking, like his Mario Series, and require users to interact with in-game elements and solve secrets.   The Legend of Zelda has become one of the most memorable and greatest video games of all time and one of my favorite video games.  

You play as a hero you can name. Although, people started to know this hero as Link, or constantly mistaken as Zelda. You start with only a wooden sword and must navigate the world of Hyrule and the massive overworld. You must reclaim and reform the Triforce of Wisdom, defeat Gannon, and save Zelda and Hyrule. As you progress, you gain weapons to help you out in your adventure. You fight Zora’s, Octoroks, Tektites, Moblins, Lyonels, and many other enemies trying to stop you. There are two variants of enemies that you encounter red and blue. Red enemies are weaker than blue enemies and deal less damage than blue enemies. They are tough when you meet them, but as you learn their patterns, the only nuisance is slowdown if multiple enemies appear on a screen.

The Legend of Zelda had many features that took me and many others to learn and understand. The game isn’t straightforward, and the game is heavy on exploration and discovery. You get clues every so often, but then they aren’t too helpful. You try to find your way around and will most likely get lost frequently. You can find secrets and hints around the land from the citizens of Hyrule. You do this by burning trees, bombing walls, even walking through invisible barriers.  The Legend of Zelda was a game that I and others likely needed a guide from Nintendo Power or online video or walkthrough for the modern audience.  

Another staple for many future Legend of Zelda game titles is secondary weapons to aid you in your quest. Some items you receive are bombs, a weapon to defeat enemies, and blow-up walls to find secret passages. The arrows can fire across the screen and kill most enemies. Although at the cost of one Rupee per arrow fired. The Boomerang, which can either stun enemies or kill the weaker ones. These weapons are helpful in your cause and are in nearly every Zelda game since this one.

The in-game currency is another iconic feature followed up with the other games. The Rupees currency is how you can buy most of your weapons and items that you will need in the game. Gold Rupees are worth one, and blue is five. You can hold a max of 255 Rupees. Compared to the other Legend of Zelda games, the currency system is more straightforward than the other games. But it is excusable since this was the first game before Rupee’s gained more varieties with Rupees.

There are nine dungeons in this game. The first eight contain pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom; you need to gather and complete the Triforce from the eight dungeons to get to the last dungeon in the game. One unique aspect is that you don’t need to complete the dungeons in level order. You may go straight to the eighth dungeon if you choose to. You may not get far depending on how prepared you are or possibly missing a pivotal item to advance, but you can try. I found myself doing this as I thought that level 6 was more manageable than level 5. It’s like the prototype of an open-world video game, where you don’t need to progress linearly to move on, at least until the end. There are only certain enemies that appear here, like Kesse, a bat enemy, Like Likes, Wizrobes, and dungeon boss are here as well.

While made in 1986, I feel the graphics hold up rather well. The design represents the characters and is reasonably sized, for the most part. There is some annoyance as you will face slowdown from the game, even if you play this on the Nintendo Switch Online Service. It’s not deterring and made some sections easier. This game is also had a save feature, which was a new feature for any game I’ve played at the time. The game initially released on the Famicom Disk System in Japan. The game is on the NES in the US. So the cartridge had a backup battery to save your game. I liked the backup battery feature and wished more Nintendo games used this when I was a kid.

The music is phenomenal. There isn’t any denying that the music in the game is 8-bit bliss. Koji Kondo wrote The Legend of Zelda, a melody used in nearly every game in the series. It sets the mood for any of the areas that you enter. The overworld is energetic and upbeat. Entering a dungeon is a haunting and ominous melody that can fill you with a kind of unknown suspense or terror. The final Dungeon Music gives a sense of urgency that provided a “fate of the world is in your hands if you fail” adrenaline rush. Even the sound effects from the game have a lasting impact and started here. Discovering a secret chime started here and continued in almost every game after this and the chime whenever Link found an essential item.

Even after beating the game, the adventure isn’t over. After defeating Gannon, you can unlock a second quest. The gameplay is the same, but the levels, items, and dungeons as all in different locations. It’s a remixed version of the game. It adds challenge and gives what can feel like an extra game for the player.

Summarized thoughts and review of The Legend of Zelda

This game is fantastic. I don’t think I speak anymore praise that this game already gets. The music is excellent and has the most memorable tunes in Video games. The graphics are simplistically amazing for their time but feel dated and timeless at the same time. It’s not simple to figure out what you are doing without a guide to get you through the game. A second quest adds replayability, and even if you complete the game, you’ll still want to go back and play this again from the start. With a pretty open-world environment, there are many paths you can take to get to the end of the game. Past, present, or future, this is one of the best games ever made.


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