"All aboard the old-skool train. No casual gamers allowed for this ride."

This is it. The original Zelda game, in all of its 8-bit glory, ported to the GBA. Originally released in 1987, this port gives us born in the 80's (me) another chance to enjoy this game. I was so excited when I bought the game, but I was then disappointed somewhat right at the start. Now, off with you, the Princess awaits!!!!

STORY
Gannon has kidnapped Princess Zelda and her servant Impa has asked you to rescue her. The plot is straight forward. No side stories. However, this is an NES game, so don't expect much.

GAMEPLAY
Well, back in the 80's, this was revolutionary, but now, it is pretty old. You start out in the middle of Hyrule with little instruction on what to do or where to go. This might anger some. The instruction book gives you little help. Chances are you will be making frequent visits to the FAQ's. The difficulty is, well, unforgiving. This is definitely not for the casual gamer due to the difficulty of this game.

This game is rather long, and that's why it has a save feature. Zelda was one of the first games to have a save feature, replacing passwords. The only problem is, 1) if you want to save, your going to have to die, or 2) You can press start and the Up on the D-pad and select, but doing so will start your game over.

You got 9 dungeons, and each contains a new weapon or tool, a heart, a boss and a piece of the triforce. Your goal is to go through each dungeon, and slay Gannon's evil minions. Each dungeon has many puzzles and enemies, but it is all pretty basic.

GRAPHICS
You can tell how dated it is right when you start playing. 8-bit pixel Link in an 8-bit pixel Hyrule slaying 8-bit pixel enemies trying to save the 8-bit pixel Zelda. But the old graphics just add to the nostalgia of the game. But this however will turn some people off.

SOUND
The origin of that famous fanfare started all here. The Zelda theme is played throughout Hyrule, but it will eventually get annoying and you will be tempted to shut off the sound and turn on your CD player. Then, when you enter a dungeon, you get a repetitive tune that just nails your ears like a knife.

REPLAYABILITY
After you beat it the first time, you are treated with a second quest, with all the dungeons are swapped. It'll keep you playing for a while.

BUY OR RENT
Definitely buy it. It's a great buy. If you want to go back in time, so to speak, and play some of the best games for the NES, definitely start with this. The $20 price tag is well worth it.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 06/28/04


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