Review by Triforce_Wolf
"One of the Super Nintendo's greatest games."
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the third entry in Nintendo's juggernaut franchise The Legend of Zelda. Released on November 21, 1991 in Japan as Zelda no Densutsu: Kamigami no Triforce, (when translated into English, stands for The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods) this installment in the series returns to the overhead perspective of the original Legend of Zelda, dropping the side scrolling/platforming gameplay of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. A Link to the Past proved to be a success, quickly becoming a fan favourite, along with being considered one of the Super Nintendo's best games. Now, 20 years later, A Link to the Past is still a favorite among fans of the series, but does it still hold up as a great game 20 years later? Let's find out.
The game opens with an intro detailing the land of Hyrule. Another world, called the Sacred Realm, is said to exist opposite to Hyrule. Ancient legend states that the Sacred Realm holds the Golden Power, which grants the wishes of whoever claims it. A war was fought to reach the Sacred Realm and the Golden Power. Eventually, the leader of a band of thieves by the name of Ganondorf Dragmire was able to claim the Golden Power as his own, changing the Sacred Realm into the Dark World, a dark, mirror image of the Sacred Realm. In order to prevent Ganondorf from taking over Hyrule, seven sages cast a binding seal which trap Ganondorf in the Dark World.
Centuries later, a wizard named Agahnim appears in Hyrule. He kills the good king of Hyrule, brainwashes all the soldiers of the land, and kidnaps seven young maidens descended from the seven sages, casting them into the Dark World in an attempt to break the seal. It is at this point that we meet the protagonist of the game, Link. Link is woken up in the middle night by a telepathic message from the princess of Hyrule, Zelda. She informs him that she is trapped in Hyrule Castle and seeks help. After Zelda's plea for help, Link notices his uncle leaving their house to head to Hyrule Castle, telling Link not to follow him. Ignoring his uncle's command, Link sets out to Hyrule Castle, beginning a long and epic journey.
After its absence in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, the overhead perspective of the original game makes a return, with some vast improvements done to the gameplay. Now, the player can move Link in eight directions, as opposed to four directions like in the NES game. This allows a greater range of movement, making it easier to travel through the in-game world. Combat has also been improved on. Instead of just stabbing his sword in the forward direction, Link swings his sword sideways, and along with an all new spin attack, he can now dispatch monsters more efficiently.
The over world in Link to the Past is large, and filled with life, along with many secrets to discover. Many notable locations that would make appearances in future Zelda games make their debut in Link to the Past, such as Kakariko Village, Lake Hylia, and Death Mountain. In some point in the game the player gains access to the Dark World. The Dark World is the dark mirror image of Hyrule. Many locations in Hyrule have a counterpart in the Dark World, such as the desert becoming a marsh, and Kakariko Village becoming the hideout for a gang of thieves. Traveling between these two worlds is a vital part of Link's journey to save the world. The concept of two parallel worlds has been reused in the Zelda series time and time again, and A Link to the Past is where it started.
Composed by Koji Kondo, the music in A Link to the Past is one of the games crowning achievements. Fans of the previous two games will recognize the series main theme, which reappears as the Hyrule overworld theme. New music such as the Kakariko Village theme, the Great Fairy's theme, and the Hyrule Castle theme are fan favourites that continue to be used in future Zelda games. From the intro to the ending credits, A Link to the Past has a terrific soundtrack, if not one of the best for the Super Nintendo.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a fantastic entry in Nintendo's long running series, if not the best in the Zelda series. The epic story, great gameplay, and a wonderful soundtrack are key factors to why A Link to the Past is a must play, for it is not just of the best Zelda games, or even one of the best Super Nintendo games, it is one of the greatest videogames of all time, and even through more then twenty years has past since the its original release, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a masterpiece that is still going strong.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/17/13
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (US, 04/13/92)
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