Review by Blackjack4x

"The best game ever created"

Yes, the best game ever created. I bought the game not long after it's release, and I was hooked instantly. You play Link, and your mission is to rescue Princess Zelda. Link collects three pendants and then seven crystals on his way to destroying Ganon and recapturing the Triforce. The game uses something like a 3/4 overhead perspective throughout the game. Link's strength is gauged using hearts; he starts with three and finishes with a maximum of twenty. This game is for one player only.

Graphics: 9/10

Very good for an SNES game. The colors are bright, the characters are sharp, and the villages are well done. There are plenty of nice touches like an enemy running in space frantically after running off a cliff before falling. The graphics don't make this game, but they certainly don't detract from it either.

Sound: 9/10

The classic Zelda tune is here, as well as an assortment of new tracks that fit the theme of the game nicely. The music in the Lost Woods helps create the atmosphere of a foggy forest; the Kakariko music will always bring back fond memories for me because of the sense of warmth and tranquility that it brings to the little village. The dungeon and castle music is nothing special, but is above average.

Gameplay: 10/10

Fantastic. Controlling Link is very easy - he walks or dashes, plus has another item active at all times, which you choose. The items that you collect (except for a few) are necessary to complete the game, and all of them make your quest easier.
The game is divided into the Light World and the Dark World. Link lives in the Light World, which is the ''real'' world. The evil Ganon has created (and is now trapped in) the Dark World, which is a mirror image of its counterpart, save for a few minor differences in landscape that often help reveal the game's secrets. The differences between the two worlds, however, is monumental. The Light World is lush and green; the Dark World is barren and dreary. The chickens in the Light World are plump and feathery while their counterparts are literally nothing but bones. Kakariko has been reduced to a haven for pickpockets in the Dark World, and flowers that used to grow in the Light World have been replaced with nothing.
The game contains lots of things to do on the way to rescuing Zelda, and the dungeons don't always have to be completed in numerical order. Unlike Ocarina of Time, the world in Link to the Past doesn't consist of one huge field with several small, clearly-defined areas branching off from it. Instead, the point where one area ends and the other begins is unclear, as it should be. As the game progresses Link gains the ability to dash, swim, lift heavy rocks and use various forms of magic (depending on the items he has acquired).
The dungeons can be difficult, but not particularly frustrating - the puzzles can be solved with clever thinking and reasoning as opposed to pure luck.
The aspect that I like most about the game are the little things - the bottle seller in Kakariko that also buys fish, the man in the desert whose identity is revealed later in the game, the swordsmith who yearns for his long-lost partner to return, the flute boy who wishes that he could see his grandfather again, and his grandfather that wishes he could see him, the little blue monkey, Kiki, that offers you his assistance, the sick bug-catching kid, the deception used by Blind the Thief to trick Link, the talking trees, the shooting games, digging for Heart Pieces and the final battle with Ganon. The ending to the game ties all the loose ends together and it's the best ending I've even seen in a game.

Replay: 9/10

Maybe I'm biased, but I love to play the game again once I've finished it. It's not particularly long, but once you've finished it you can go back and do things such as find all 24 heart pieces, find the items that are not required to finish the game and explore areas that you may have missed the first time around. For me, the game still has not lost it's charm eight years later.

Overall: 10/10

Link to the Past is the best game that I have ever played. Unlike the other great SNES games, Final Fantasy 3 and Chrono Trigger, Link to the Past can be purchased for a very cheap price, and thus there's no reason not to buy it if you've never played it before. For some reason the game is never talked about in the same breath as Square's games, but for me it has a charm that no Square game has ever been able to impress upon me, not even Final Fantasy 3. I wholeheartedly recommend a purchase, because this game is Miyomoto at his finest, and it proves without a doubt that he creates the best games in the world.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/23/00, Updated 11/23/00

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