RETROspective – Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – Pt 1

Once you’re out of the church you get a whole lot of freedom. You can basiclly go anywhere you want as long as it’s not blocked by something you don’t have the item for yet. I remember the first thing I did, unintentionally was get lost in the forest and eventually stumbled upon the Master Sword and quickly found out I couldn’t pull it free. At this point I realized I should probably read what people say to me and I headed for the town and talked to people, then that one girl goes and throws a fit when I walk up to her and calls one of those spear wielding guards on me. That’s when you learn that the whole land wants you dead, lucky you not only do you have to fight through a bunch of dungeons and and fight big monsters but the kingdom wants your head on a pike. But that doesn’t stop you from keeping up your searching and eventually you figure out that there is an old guy on the opposite side of the world who can help you out. So obviously you need to seek him out.

Light World Map - A Link To The Past

I know there were some big games at this point. Super Mario World was huge but it was huge in the fact that it had a lot of levels that took a long time to finish. For me though Link to the Past was huge and seemed to take forever to get from one place to the other, thank god for the little bird later on. It’s funny though now you have huge MMO’s like World of Warcraft or single player games like Skyrim that actually take forever to get from one place to the other, but that’s a post for another time.

Lets fast forward a bit, so after traveling across the map and fighting a lot of assholes you finally find this weird temple kinda place and then the god damn golem things chase you when you get near them. I’m sure everyone had a different experience in this area, I remember just jumping down into the pit with the house because it seemed like fun. And luckily it paid off here in the house is the old man with a story you were looking for to begin with. He lets you know whats going on, how you need to find some pendants to pull the master sword and all that jazz. And the pendents are in three dungeons so your job is to go beat those dungeons get the pendants, get the master sword, and free the world. So now you have your quest, part one anyway but that wasn’t something they told you yet! Only problem he doesn’t tell you the whole story he wants to test you first. That test is to get the first pendant as proof your serious or maybe he’s just a dick.

As the chosen hero you need to get the Master Sword to beat the evil guys, whom I totally neglected to talk about before. You’re fighting an evil wizard and of course Ganon but you already knew that. So in order to get the sword you need some pendents because you can’t just buy some bombs and go blow the hell out of the stone holding the master sword and make shit a whole lot easier. So you go on your quest. Conveniently the first dungeon with a pendent is in the same temple ruin thing where you found the sage. You just have to make your way to the upper corner not a big deal so you make your way over and enter the building. you proceed to get lost over and over again and eventually you find a map, which because at this point we’re still kids does you know good because really who looked at the map back then?

While you explore and fight a bunch of crazy monsters you find things, keys, rupees, a compass and eventually you get a Bow and Arrow. You also find puzzles lots and lots of puzzles, and what would a Zelda game be without puzzles? Fucking boring. I’m not going to lie to you, or go watch a bunch of YouTube videos of the game. I really don’t remember much of this dungeon, I do however remember the boss, and what a joke it was. A bunch of Knight statues bouncing in a circle and what weapon did you just get? A bow and arrows yea no brainer even for a little kid. You can pretty much just stand in the corner and pick them all off until the last one. That one you had to move for because he got mad, probably because you just took out his whole posse, and comes at you. Hit him with a few arrows and the battles is over, first pendent is yours and a shiny new heart.

So you beat the first boss, got a cool weapon, and now you have to go back and talk to the old sage again. This time he has a story to tell you. He tells you all about the world, the past and the present, the birds and the bees everything a young hero looking to save a princess needs to know. He even gives you a present for your quest a pair of shoes that let you run forward like the god damn juggernaut, only stoppable. Now it’s time to move on, and like any good Zelda game you really have nothing to go on. I think the sage mentions something about the desert to the south but I could just be making that part up. So At this point I remember wandering around a lot and finding a lot of different things. There’s heart pieces, mushrooms to make magic powder at the witches hut, and all kinds of people and building to explore in the towns. So now that I’m an adult I know that there are a lot of hints at what to do and all, but I remember finding the library to the south of the village and because I was impatient I ran into everything with the boots. So as you can guess I ran into the library knocked the book off the shelf and had the key to enter the next dungeon. Which I did eventually head towards, I’m actually fairly certain the old sage guides you a bit with his telepathic messages. Anyway lets jump right to the dungeon, you get there read the book say a prayer and head on in.

One thing everyone who’s played a Zelda game knows is the dungeons are pretty much the same. Each one adds a little twist but for the most part you have to hit a switch in one room to open a door in another and find a key to get into a room to hit another switch. You get the idea. So that’s what you do, just like before only it’s new and exciting and dangerous and the whole time your lost in this maze you’re on the edge of your seat wondering what’s gonna happen! Just like before you eventually find a map and a compass and that dungeons item which isn’t a weapon like before. It’s the Power Glove and man does this thing open up a whole new way of playing the game. But more on that in a minute lets finish up this dungeon first. We got the three dungeon items, found the boss key and head into the boss room. The first dungeon was pretty simple just a bunch of bouncing knights so this one has to be harder right? Nope it was still a pretty easy boss fight.

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talks a bunch on PodQuest each week. He's also been known to write about stuff from time to time.

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