Review by RageBot
"A link to perfection"
Looks like it's time for another Zelda review, and this time, about arguably the best Zelda game to date, one of the best games on the SNES (I think that Final Fantasy 6 is better, but it's like saying that A+ is a better grade than a straight A) and one of the best games ever created. Why? Just read, as you delve into one of the greatest adventures of all time... which can be completed in only 20 hours.
This game is a prequel to the original Zelda 1 and 2, and was meant to be a sequel to Four Swords Adventures before Nintendo decided to screw it up. Just like Zelda 2, this game tells a tale about Hyrule's past, and the Imprisoning War. Also, Ganon was not killed, but instead banished to the Sacred Realm, further strengthening the theory about Ocarina of Time. He was banished by seven wise men. In the GBA remake, they are called "Sages", to keep up with the Zelda tradition, similarly to the orbs in Final Fantasy renamed "Crystals" in that remake.
Anyway, all is fine and dandy until the evil wizard Agahnim kills the king, brainwashes the soldiers and orders them to capture seven maidens, heirs of the sages. He manages to catch six of them, and warp them to the Sacred Realm turned evil, to open the seal. The last one is none other than Princess Zelda, and this is where you come in. Link goes to Hyrule Castle, with its classic theme, to rescue the princess. In the end, Zelda is delivered safely to the church, turned into the Sanctuary by the infamous claw of censorship.
This game is where many things started. For the first time, your sword doesn't go only straight, but you swing it in a certain angle, being able to hit enemies that come from above as well as ahead of you. It definitely comes in handy during fights with one of this game's new enemies - enchanted tiles that come from the floor and fly towards you, hoping to crash into you and damage you. Once you get the Master Sword, you retain the ability to shoot beams that are half as powerful as a direct swing. There are also two hidden upgrades for the sword.
Another first is obviously the twist of the light world and dark world. You first reach the dark world on your way to the third dungeon. You need the Magic Mirror to travel between the worlds, and the Moon Pearl, found in the third dungeon, to stay in your human form. Back then, you obviously don't have the Moon Pearl, so you are stuck as a bunny. Later on, you return to the dark world with the Pearl in hand, ready to wreak havoc against much stronger foes, such as Moblins.
Magic is back, and cooler than ever. You get the magic meter at the very beginning of the game, and you get to use it with some of the acquired items. You get the Lantern in the beginning of the game, and you earn many optional things that help you offensively or defensively, at the cost of some magic points. To your aid, another first, is the witch that sells red, green and blue potions. You can also find a way to upgrade the magic meter, but it is so secret that I'm gonna let you find it out.
Also for the first time, instead of collecting Heart Containers, you search for Pieces of Heart, making you explore more. However, since you travel through 11 dungeons - The biggest number of dungeons in a Zelda game to date - with a full Container in each of them, you need to collect only 24 Pieces in this game. Oh well, still a lot more than five.
Secrets are abound in this game. While you don't need to bomb every inch of rock and burn every tree, there are many locations you can reach. If you're only interested in skimming the surface, you'll get only a quarter of the possibilities. There are plenty of minigames around, most of them offer you nothing but a gamble for your money. There are no collectibles, but that would change in the future. There are many items to get, the majority of them is optional. There are "Bomb bags" and "Quivers", in a secret location. Many things are cryptic, but talk to all the people, and you're bound to find your way.
There are also new enemies. However, the majority of them are nothing but Dark World versions of previous enemies. For example, there are crustaceans shooting rocks, that are equivalent to Octoroks. Ocean cyclopsi replace the Zora, pink pterodactyls replace the crows, and green insects replace the rats. Many other enemies are unique to one dungeon, such as Leevers and antlions in the desert dungeon, poison lizards in the water dungeon and killer penguins in the ice dungeon. This game is absent of the Like Like (Though it exists in the GBA remake), Peahat and Darknut.
All in all, this game had a lot do to in making the Zelda franchise into the money making, time burning, fun inducing machine that it is today, it's a must for every gamer out there and I highly recommend it, along with Ocarina of Time and The Minish Cap, as a great game for beginners who want a good first impression.
Presentation time again. The graphics take 16-bit to the limit. Everything looks very realistic, even in only two dimensions. The music is excellent too. Take the excellence and diversity of the Zelda 2 soundtrack, now apply it to SNES capabilities. Wow is all you could say. It is here that many more famous tracks were first made, like Kakariko Village, the Hylian prayer, and there are also an atmospheric dungeon theme which is among the best dungeon themes ever. The classic Overworld theme is back, better than ever.
To sum it up: Buy this game. You need it. You will never be happy again until you try it for the first time.
Final grade: 9.7/10
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 05/24/11, Updated 03/08/12
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (US, 04/13/92)
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