The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Introduction

This hub is going to review The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, one of the best action adventure videogames of all time, developed for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (and remade for the Game Boy Advance) and arguably a poster child of the action adventure genre.

When The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was released in 1992 in North America and Europe (after having been released a year earlier in Japan), it quickly achieved popularity. You see, it was different. It wasn't exactly a role playing game, but it wasn't some generic hack and slash game either. It was a little of both, and I believe that this had an influence on its success.

So, read on as I talk about this game that could also be called The Link To The Past (why are you all groaning; the pun wasn't that bad! :P).

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Title Screen

The title screen for this awesome game. Brings back sweet memories. :)
The title screen for this awesome game. Brings back sweet memories. :)

Story

The story of A Link to the Past has you taking the role of a young boy (who you could name whatever you wanted, but his canon name is Link.) that's the nephew of a swordsman. You wake up in his cabin to find him gone. The only thing left in the cabin of note is a magic lantern (which will be quite useful in that very early part of the game). You quickly find your uncle seriously injured, as he tasks you with saving the princess of Hyrule Castle (named Zelda; for whom the series is named). You grab his sword and shield and that's where your adventure begins.

After saving the princess and taking her to the sanctuary, you are tasked with finding three pendants, each symbolizing one part of the Triforce (Power, Courage and Wisdom). However, there is more to it than meets the eye, and the game is far from over once you complete this...

Nintendo's stance with the Zelda series (which is noticeable in A Link to the Past as well) has always been to work on the gameplay first, the story second. While this game's story isn't likely to win awards, it gets the job done. This, combined with minor details that add to the in-game immersion, actually makes you feel like you're a part of the game. The first time a Hyrule guard chases you down in Kakariko Village (after a villager snitches on you, no less!) is awe-inspiring. You actually feel like you have to make the world of Hyrule a better place.

Gameplay

The gameplay is pretty simple. You face your enemy, press the attack button and swing. Once you get usable items, you can press the item button to use those. The variety of items and their uses (a decent amount of which are actually optional) adds a level of complexity that you wouldn't expect from a game like this. For example, early on you get a Boomerang that can be used to trigger switches from afar. However, it can also be used to stun enemies or even grab objects from a distance.

The simplicity of the gameplay hides the difficulty this game can have for inexperienced players. You start the game with 3 Heart Containers (these symbolize your character's health; if these run out, you're dead) and can get more by defeating bosses and finding Pieces of Heart scattered around the world of Hyrule. In addition, you will acquire Bottles during your adventure that will allow you to carry potions that can restore your Hearts and your magic power (which is used for spells and some items). Your trusty sword, shield and tunic can be upgraded as well (the sword does more damage, the shield gets bigger and gains the ability to block more types of attacks and the tunic reduces the damage you suffer from attack). As you can see, there's a lot more to this game than meets the eye at first sight.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack is classic, and most people must have heard at least the overland theme. The overland theme is a staple of most older Zelda games. (It plays from 0:22 to about 1:10) Other memorable songs include the dungeon boss theme and the Dark World theme (which is a variation of the normal overland theme).

All in all, it's considered one of the best videogame soundtracks of all time. This game isn't a classic for nothing!

Conclusion

By today's standards this game isn't so spectacular, but perhaps the fact that this game has withstood the test of time and even got a (relatively) recent remake into the Game Boy Advance portable system is credit enough to how great it still is. :)

If you have a chance to buy this game, then do so, because it's definitely worth at least one playthrough!

Until the next time, take care and have fun!

-Winterfate

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Comments 10 comments

Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

THE best game in history if you ask me. I love my games but I don't get as into them as some people (mainly my daughter and maybe you). But this one still ranks up there on my list of favorites. I would sit and play this for hours and hours when I was younger. Well, the original anyways :) And I loved your clever little pun!


Winterfate profile image

Winterfate 4 years ago from Puerto Rico Author

Glad to see someone else that loves this game. It's a classic! :D

Thanks for reading Ardie!


JohnGreasyGamer profile image

JohnGreasyGamer 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

Excellent review, and I look forward to giving it a shot on my emulator. I have to agree with AVGN (James Rolfe of Cinemassacre) that it doesn't look like the best but it's still a great. A lot of gamers have said that it's the worst due to it not being like the first. But if you believe that, then you'd also be insulting the Super Mario franchise which did the same... and not many have the balls to do so (unless you're referring to the Wii and DS then by all means, do so).

But I have to agree, it's definitely one of the games that perfected the birth of action-adventure games ^^


Chris Qu profile image

Chris Qu 4 years ago

This game was amazing... A year ago, I finally accomplished my goal to beat it in one sitting. It's really short if you know exactly what you're doing, but it's still a lot of fun. I really wish I could somehow have the opportunity to play it again, completely fresh. You're review is really good, though I disagree with the closing comment that by today's standards it's not spectacular. A Link to the Past is, I feel, one of the benchmarks that every action adventure still aspires to be like.


Winterfate profile image

Winterfate 4 years ago from Puerto Rico Author

@JohnGreasyGame: I've actually played the most recent Mario platformer games (New Super Mario Bros Wii and Super Mario 3D Land). People love to complain that Zelda and Mario refuse to innovate, but those people are blind. Every new Zelda game manages to be both identical and completely different from every other game. That's insanely hard to pull off and still make a decent game, let alone a great one.

Miyamoto and co. are just that awesome. :)

A Link to the Past is in my top 10 favorite video games of all time.

Thanks for the comment!

@Chris Qu: Well, I probably could've phrased the closing remarks better, but I definitely do agree with the fact that it's still a great game and a benchmark for the entire action adventure genre. :)

Not sure if you heard that they released an official timeline for the Legend of Zelda series as a whole, in a Japanese only book called Hyrule Historia. Someone on the net translated it to English. In the weird, three way timeline that the franchise takes part in, A Link To The Past is part of the Era of Light and Dark (part of the timeline that assumes Link LOST to Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time). Anyways, I'd love for a new game to explore what happens after the end of that timeline...in a full top-down perspective mode, just like A Link to the Past and Minish Cap.

I would buy it out of pure nostalgia, even if it turned out to be garbage (and no Zelda game has been completely bad). :D

Thanks for the comment!

Thanks for reading guys!


RolyRetro profile image

RolyRetro 4 years ago from Brentwood, Essex, UK

An iconic game, one of the best on the SNES and probably the best Zelda game ever. Although I have always had a soft spot for Links Awakening on the Gameboy. Great hub!


Kasman profile image

Kasman 3 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

I'm a Nintendo fanatic to the core, but more than that I'm a huge Zelda fan. This brings back memories of being a kid and staying up late at night when I should've been sleeping to go to school the next morning. I'm an auditory guy, so I collect tons of videogame soundtracks and music across the board. The Zelda music is probably the largest amount in my collection. Great hub and voting up brother!


Winterfate profile image

Winterfate 3 years ago from Puerto Rico Author

Thank you very much Kasman! :)

I feel you, because I'm a Nintendo fanatic myself. I went as far as getting a deluxe edition Wii U and I still haven't gotten any more games for it (it does bring Nintendo Land, so that's something). I'm waiting for a good Zelda game or for Mario U to drop a bit in price. $60 is a bit much for a game that doesn't even last 30 hours. :/


Skylanders profile image

Skylanders 3 years ago from California

I remember we got this game for Christmas, and the whole family loved it. It was the first game I had ever played that you really needed to think about the puzzle solving as well as combat. I loved the music, the feel of the game, everything really. He next week my boyfriend went out and bought a SNES!

Great hub


Peakalkamma 3 years ago

F*ckin’ remarkable things here. I’m very glad to see your article. Thanks a lot and i am looking forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

Bumbastbroott

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