James’ Zelda Journey: Zelda 1

History and Platform

The Legend of Zelda was originally released in 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The game was a huge hit, spawning many sequels, prequels and spinoffs. Not all of the games are great, but there is no other game series quite like The Legend of Zelda.

I did not play Zelda 1 when it was first release. I didn’t play this title until the mid 2000s when I purchased The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition from a friend for only $20. LoZ Collector’s Edition is a Gamecube compilation of Zelda 1, Zelda 2, Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Now over 10 years later, I broke out that same copy of the game, once again, to play for my Zelda Journey.

SPOILER ALERT

This post will contain spoilers for The Legend of Zelda. This game is almost 30 years old, but proceed with caution anyway. There may also be spoilers for other games too, proceed with caution.

Expectations

I expected the hardest part of this game to be finding each level. I was mistaken. On many of the levels even once I found them I died repeatedly trying to defeat the enemies inside. I also did not expect the enemies to be so frustrating.

Story

We actually know quite a bit from the brief paragraph in the game booklet. We know Ganon, Prince of Darkness, invaded Hyrule Castle and stole the Triforce of Power. Zelda broke the Triforce of Wisdom into 8 pieces and scattered them throughout the land. In the game we play as Link and we collect the 8 shards of the Triforce of Wisdom. Then Link uses the Triforce to destroy Ganon. Link saves Zelda and is named the “Hero of Hyrule”.

How I did

I did terribly in this game. It killed me repeatedly. Upon completion I had played 15 hours and died 202 times. I made it through Level 4 with no outside help. I used a guide to tell me only the locations of Levels 5,6,7 and 8. Then I used a more in-depth guide to find the remaining items and navigate Level 9.

My Thoughts

This story is simple, but it has some holes in it. Where is the Triforce of Courage? We only ever see two pieces of the Triforce in this game. I didn’t really like that the main quest did not progress the story at all. The only bits of story were pre-game and post-game. I liked how large the game felt. I liked that gaining items made certain areas much easier to navigate. I didn’t like a lot of the enemies. To me it seemed like every single enemy would approach you diagonally, this got frustrating in Level 8 and Level 9 when there were many enemies on the screen at a time.

Would I play it again?

Although this was a frustrating game and the end was not rewarding at all, I am very glad that I have played it. There will probably be a time where I tell myself, “you know, it wasn’t really that hard”, and try to play through again. As of right now, there is nothing in me that wants to play it again.

Next Game

The next game in this series will be Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

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