Review by TheMadcapLaughs

"One of the first games ever to feel epic, this game retains its splendour thanks to great gameplay and music"

In many people's opinions The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past ranks up next to Link's Awakening as one of the best 2D Zelda games. There are quite a few reasons for this, the most prominent being its solid gameplay and sound. However if you aren't convinced to buy it yet then read on and you will see that not only is this game worth a purchase, but it is also your duty as a gamer to go and play it as soon as possible.

The story goes that Aghanim, an advisor to the King, gets rid of the King in order to search for the seven Maidens and free Ganon. With six Maidens captured only Princess Zelda remains free from his grasp. One stormy night the hero, Link, finds his father dying in the sewers and is told of Aghanim's plans. It is now up to you, Link, to rescue Zelda and the Maidens.

Zelda games are Adventure games split into two main areas. One area is the overworld which you will explore in order to find helpful items and gain access to dungeons. The second area is the dungeons. Each dungeon has its own theme, as well as a hidden item in it. It is your job to fight through enemies and solve puzzles to reach the item, then use the item to open a path to reach the boss.

This Zelda game has a nice little feature where there is both a Dark World and a Light World. You start the game in the Light World, and after a few hours you will reach the Dark World. You can switch between the two in order to reach areas and solve puzzles that you can't do without using both worlds. This feature works very well.

The graphics are good, and though not particularly detailed, they do have a nice look about them, particularly considering this was released early on in the life of the SNES. My one main complaint with the graphics though is that at times they can look very washed out. This doesn't matter particularly in the Dark World due to its art style, but when trees in the Light World start looking pale and ugly then you know there's a problem.

Whereas the graphics aren't perfect, the music most definitely is. The music is some of the most memorable in gaming and really help sets the mood. Whether it's the haunting Dark World music, the magical fairy song or the epic main theme, every piece of music in this game works perfectly. If you choose to get the GBA version of LttP then the music does crackle occasionally, but is still brilliant.

One of the most important elements of any Zelda game is the item choices. In this department LttP truly excels. It contains, not only one of the biggest varieties of items, but also one of the most interesting and frequently used item selections. The choices are great whether they be the classic items, including a Hookshot that drags you to anything it can grab (mainly wood), a Lamp for lighting torches and, of course, a sword, shield, bow and arrows, or some of the stranger items like a wand that creates blocks and amulets that cast spells.

The design as a whole is great. The dungeons are fantastic, with a lot variety in their setups as well as constantly calling on you to use items from previous dungeons. The puzzles are interesting, though admittedly never get too challenging. The enemy designs are very good, with this game featuring some of the best enemies in the series, including one of my favourites; a giant robed mouse that will move in the opposite direction of wherever you move. Also amazing though are the boss designs which not only look cool but also provide a fun, though often too easy, battle.

Link to the Past was one of the first games ever to feel epic, and even nowadays it has a splendour to it that few 2D games can match. Add this to its good design choices and brilliant gameplay and you have yourself a fantastic game.

Gameplay = 10/10
Graphics = 7.5/10
Sound = 10/10
Design (incl. Item Choices) = 9.5/10

Final Score = 10/10

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/15/07

Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (EU, 03/28/03)

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