Legend of Zelda

System: NES


Game Type: Overhead view adventure
Remember, an "adventure" game isn't the same as a turn-based RPG. In an RPG actions are chosen from a menu. While action/adventure games have you hunt for treasures and solve puzzles like RPGs, adventure games are controlled by the player in real time. Zelda basically defines the adventure category by itself.

Gameplay: 95/100
Move your character around in 4 directions, swing a sword, throw a boomerang, deflect a shot with your shield. While being limited to 4 directions of movement may sound like it would ruin the gameplay, perhaps it strengthens it. The controls are rock-solid, and you'll fully appreciate them when you're in a room full of armored knights that you can only strike from behind or dodging a barrage of fireballs. The game plays so well that I think Zelda is the best (excuse the term) Zelda-style game I've ever played.
This game should keep you busy for a while, too. The first quest is a little tricky to beat without ever consulting a hint book, but the dungeons in the second are so tough and everything is so well hidden that you may never beat it without help.

Graphics: 50/100
Very simplistic. The "forests" look like nothing but a bunch of individual bushes. The dungeons all have the exact same graphics, rearranged into different mazes. Anyone who wasn't reared on a NES will be horrified at first. But the graphics have a very clean look. Everything you need to see is highly visible. The main character is well animated. The visuals do the job, and once you're hooked you don't notice them.

Sound: 80/100
Sound effects are unremarkable, but the music... while there are only three or four scores in the entire game, they are so incredibly catchy that you can listen to them over and over. (A good thing, since you'll often go 10 to 20 minutes listening to the same one.)

Overall: 95/100
Primitive, I admit, but the game plays so well that it's an undeniable classic. Looking for an education in videogame lore? You better play Tetris, and you better play this.


Skip to Second Quest
Start a new file and enter your name as "Zelda". That character will immediately have access to the second quest.
Skip to Save Menu
During a game, enter the submenu and press U and A on Controller 2. This will let you save your game without adding to your games lost counter.


Copyright © 1997/1998 Jay McGavren. All Rights Reserved.