Zelda: The link to the past is a true classic (Image: Nintendo).
To mark the 35th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda, a reader explains why the third volume is still his favorite and the best game of all time.
In a way, I’m glad Nintendo didn’t make 35. Zelda’s birthday. They probably would if they could, but due to the pandemic they just seem to miss out unless a big surprise comes along on Sunday. I agree, because I think these things should be special, and let’s face it, 35 is not a particularly significant number. Nintendo just warmed it up for Super Mario Bros. because they had nothing else last year.
Let’s hope that for the 40th edition they can do their best and pay tribute to the entire series, which by then will surely include at least two or three new games, including the sequel to Breath Of The Wild. I don’t know how it will turn out, of course, but I can already tell you that my favourite, of the 19 that are already here, is still the third: A reference to the past on the SNES.
Before anyone says it’s nostalgia, let me tell you that this is not the first or even the second Zelda game I’ve played, as I actually started with the excellent Ocarina Of Time and then moved on to Majora’s Mask. They are definitely great games, and at the time I wanted more, so I bought the SNES for a low price (it was around 2001) and a copy of the game in as good a condition as possible. Which is easier said than done when you see the condition some people keep their flippers in when they offer a trunk for sale…. But that’s another story.
Despite this, I have to admit that I was very disappointed with my first impression of A Link To The Past, as the graphics were pretty basic, even for the time. I don’t know what they were thinking with pink hair either – some kind of technical limitation, I guess, but, yeah. It’s not a game you show to someone else and expect them to be impressed. But when you play it, it’s a totally different experience.
Even with simple graphics, the game is surprisingly atmospheric outside. The story takes place during an ominous storm as the game gently introduces you to the main characters and controls. There are no 10-hour presentations here (I’m looking at you, Skyward Sword), you’re in action almost immediately, and then when you get into the supernatural world, you realize how huge it is by 1991 standards, and what a challenge you’re up against.
The sense of scale and unfamiliar danger is incredible for such a simple, top-down game, and as soon as you enter the first dungeon, you realize there’s a whole other side to it. At first I thought there wouldn’t even be dungeons in the game, because I thought they only existed in 3D games, but no, the dungeons in A Link To The Past are just as difficult and demanding as the others, maybe even more so.
At that point I was completely hooked, and as I got deeper into the game I was introduced to the concept of the light-dark world. Then you realize that the game’s map is essentially twice as big as you think, and that the puzzles aren’t limited to dungeons. Since then, I’ve learned that every Zelda game has its own gadget, but A Link To the Past is great, and to this day, it gets copied to other games, even if it’s never been as good as it is to me.
It’s just a great game that has everything you’d expect from a classic: Exploration, action, puzzle solving, and even a breathtaking story. There may not be much plot, but the characters are really memorable, and when you find out at the end what happened to everyone, it’s so moving. Like I said, it’s the best game ever. And I think it always will be.
The story you read doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinion of GameCentral or Metro.
You can submit your own 500-600 word reading message at any time, which, if used, will be published in next weekend’s slot. As always, you can send an email to [email protected] and follow us on Twitter.
PLUS: 35th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda: a tribute to the best video game series of all time – Reader’s Digest
MORE: Zelda: Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker HD are still coming for Nintendo Switch Insiders.
MORE: Zelda: Skyward Sword HD with button controls is coming to Nintendo Switch in July.
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frequently asked questions
Why is the connection with the past the best Zelda?
Link Past is the best 2D Zelda game and perhaps the best 2D Zelda game of all time. But to say this is the best 2D Zelda game of all time comes with a lot of caveats. With enough 3D rendering power on all portable 3DS platforms, we may never see a Zelda game in 2D again.
Is the breath of nature the best game in the world?
Breath of the Wild was a game that seemed traditional, but in the sense that it wasn’t revolutionary. … It’s probably one of the best video games ever made. It is, of course, my favorite.
Is Zelda stronger than bonds?
In terms of experience and weapons, Link is a more formidable opponent. But if Zelda fully mastered her powers, those of the goddess Hylia, she would likely become far more powerful than Link.
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