Review by zorzioule

"There are countless ways of enjoying this!"

There is always a way to like playing this game. No matter if you're crap at this or extremely skilled, if it's your first try or if you beat it a hundred times.

Graphics, play control, sound effects... there's nothing here to brag about. The game is nice looking and sounding, and controls easy to get used with.

Story hmm... not bad, but many clichés. The young lad that becomes the world's savior and of course a most irritating image of the female... princess gets abducted, girls call guards for help but not men, lady brooms floor... but wait, the maidens and Zelda actually take part in the quest! They open a gate! Christ... doesn't ruin the game though, you gotta expect such clichés.

The music in here deserves an honorable mention. I'm a musician myself, and I love this Kondo guy's work in this game. Ok it's no Chrono Trigger or FFVI, but it's very well done. Every musical theme is extremely fitting with the place/situation you are in, it captures the exact feel of the place. Highlights: The opening demo theme ROCKS. Great feel. The game select screen theme, very nice. The Dark world overworld and forest songs. The light world dungeon song has that heavy sounding intro I like a lot. Very cool cave song too, with the water sound being an instrument! The ending theme is magnificent too, and very catchy... damn I had it stuck in my head during my whole shift at work the day after one of those evenings that I beat the game.

Challenge is probably the hottest part of this game. Because you can control it. If you're a first-timer, or not skilled at all, well don't be shy and pick up the bottles and fill em up with fairies to keep you from dying, get many pieces of hearts for more energy, upgrade your sword... do everything, basically. Don't care if you die, it's not that bad, you'll be able to go back fast to what you were doing. So what if that game counter at the end (number of deaths in the game/times you left the game) is 452, you're not an expert and you don't give a damn. There'll be enough challenge for you in the new puzzles and enemies you'll encounter anyway, so don't make it tougher. Plus there's that world to explore.

But if you're skilled and already know this game by heart, and beating it again sounds boring... well think about it, you can make it harder on purpose. Check this out cause it's the most exciting way to play ''A Link to the Past''. Well, my favorite anyway. Pick up ONLY what is absolutely necessary to advance in your quest. No bottles, keep the blue sword and green mail, no heart from the sanctuary or pieces of hearts, hell, no boomerang! Who needs this blue piece of uselessness anyway. Link can walk and get those rupees himself, or get rid of an enemy without immobilizing it. No bombos medallion, no magic meter upgrade... NOTHING that is facultative. And score a ZERO at the end, this means no dying and no ''Save and quit'' (since the number is the number of games, not of deaths). Of course, no save states allowed if you have an emulator.

It's really a true challenge, and it's really exciting cause you know that if you die, you have to start all over again. There's no way to cheat, you can't ''Save and quit'' just when you're about to die or such things. Well you can use the mirror in dungeons, you judge if you consider it cheating or not... but even then you can't use the mirror when you're against Gannon, so let me tell you that when you battle Gannon with 13 hearts, a green mail, blue sword, no bottles, a crappy magic meter, no deaths on your score yet and the thought that many hours of tough surviving will be flushed away with your life if the fat pig hits you over 4 times, you are REALLY pumped cause it's THE moment that decides if you finally get that big zero along with the green Link and the blue sword on the game select screen. I love it. ;)

But basically there are so many ways to enjoy this game that you just must play it once in a while. Haven't played for a while? Fast, run to your SNES and play. No Zelda near SNES? Run to your closet, shake the dust off this cartridge and rediscover this thing in one of the many ways to enjoy it. No Zelda in your closet, or no SNES? Run to the nearest game store and buy the meaning of life. You're an indian and more white men came, too much for cree? Well run to the hills. But it's so far away you know you can't reach it and you try it again and again in your dark dreams? So run for the night, burn awaaaayy....

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 05/01/03, Updated 05/01/03

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