Total time played: approximately 10 hours over 2 weeks
Short review: Nintendo got it right the first time with this open world classic. There is so much to explore and so many secrets that give the game immense replay value. The game also features one of the most iconic characters and soundtracks of any video game throughout history.
Interesting links related to The Legend of Zelda
- Zelda no sword, 3 heart, no death speed run (3 hours 45 minutes)
- Zelda speedrun (43 minutes)
- Zelda medley by On Being Human
- Why Robin Williams named his daughter Zelda
- Nintendo Legend Review
- Pop Fiction hidden messages and Zelda programming
My Aunt Missy surprised me with this game when I was 7 years old after seeing a commercial on TV for the game and thinking it looked cool. I am pretty sure it wasn’t even a special occasion that prompted her to buy the game. Zelda was one of the first 5 NES games I owned and I played it over and over going through both the first and second quest. I played the game so much that I got burned out and didn’t play it again for 20 years. Not only did I play the game over and over but I watched as my little brother and my mom played the game over and over. I would be embarrassed to know how many hours of my youth were spent watching/playing Zelda. When I decided to play Zelda as an adult I hadn’t played it in probably 15 years. Amazingly, I remembered where almost all of the levels were and a lot of the secrets. Playing Zelda for me is kind of like riding a bike, once I learned its secrets I never forgot. Now, that isn’t to say that I remembered everything. I never did completely fill up my heart meter and missed several secrets that I either had forgotten or never knew about, but I was able to navigate the game to completion without the help of Nintendo Power or the internet. Once I finally beat the game I watched YouTube videos to see what I had missed and most of what I saw brought back memories of discovering the missed items during my childhood. This is a game that would give someone who has never experienced a video game an understanding of why gaming is so popular. It is easy to pick up and learn to play with no previous knowledge of video games. This is the first successful open world exploration game where there were no rails to guide you on which way to go. For me, the big problem with newer open world games like Grand Theft Auto and the Elder Scrolls series is that the worlds are so large that I am lost the entire time I play the game and never get a grip on my surroundings. Zelda is big enough to feel immersive but not so big that you continually get lost (I’m sure the developer would have made a much larger game if it were not for the limitations of the NES, but in this case that limitation made me enjoy the game even more).