Saturday, April 21, 2007

The SGM Super 30: Video Game #24

Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
(a/k/a Zelda 3)

"With the exception of Zelda II, every Zelda has been a chart-busting classic. I was never able to get into any thing released on the N64 and beyond, because they were often long, convoluted and boring, but I played a shitload of I and III and I'd give Zelda III the nod because of the graphics and the opening scenes in the night rain." - Rev. Joshua

I never had the opportunity to play any of the original Zeldas, 'cause we was poor; in fact, the first Zelda game I had the opportunity to play was "Ocarina of Time." The game is available now for the Game Boy Advance, and I might have to venture out and grab a copy of it. Meanwhile, I did some research and found the following interesting information ...

- In a contest, Nintendo Power magazine reader Chris Houlihan was chosen to have his name attached to a secret room in Zelda 3. The room contains 45 blue rupees (the official currency of Hyrule) and a plaque with a greeting from Senor Houlihan himself. According to Wikipedia, the level is removed from later ports of the game.

- Apparently, according to Gamespot, this game took place before the events of the first Legend of Zelda game for the NES. And, according to some of the walkthroughs of Zelda 3 that I read through, combined with my own experiences playing the N64 game, this game falls in a time frame AFTER "Ocarina of Time." Not knowing much about subsequent games in the Zelda series, that would seem to indicate that the Legend of Zelda series is probably the first backwards sequential game franchise.

- From what I've gathered, part of this game's appeal might have been the return to form from the first game. Zelda II was a side-scrolling monstrosity that was poorly received. Zelda III returned to the top-down perspective, a style of gameplay that in no small part certainly influenced games like Baldur's Gate, Diablo, Champions of Norrath, and more too numerous to mention. I remember playing Zelda II ... ugh.

- The Master Sword is apparently the greatest thing since the word "great." It is the only way to kill Ganon. The sword makes its debut here, although some argue that the Master Sword was the sword used in the first game. But I think that's just bullshit.

- The Japanese version of the game had to be somewhat altered to remove any religious references, apparently a big no-no back in the old Nintendo days. Symbols like ankhs, wizards who used to be priests, references to gods ... uh-uhn, pal, that shit don't fly.

- The cartridge was an eight MB monster, which was more than enough memory at the time to hold both the massive Light and Dark Worlds through in which Link has to journey.

Anyway, I'm convinced. Any game that can make a superstar out of a guy named Houlihan, and has that bomb ass image of lil' Link getting resurrected like Jesus by some old dude, that's a game to play.

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