It’s been a while since I’ve played this particular Legend of Zelda game. I’ll admit my first Zelda game to ever complete was The Wind Waker and even then I was harassed by Nerds United. Probably because of the dopy cartoonish look The Wind Waker had. A Link to the Past is however, 16 bit fantastic. I noticed immediately there were a lot of things which future Zelda games had which can easily be (no pun intended) linked to this particular installment.
Einstein sought out one one inch formula to rule them all. That was the theory of relativity. Zelda figured it all out with little to no time and since then has kept the same formula: World exploration without being yelled at by the game, item acquisition, and finally the all important story progression.
In consideration to the first Legend of Zelda game it can easily be called a skeleton idea of what A Link to the Past would bridge concept and reality together. The first thing to consider here is the game map. Like the first installment and subsequent chapters the world is vast and limitless and the game gives little to no reason to not explore the world. Reasons for this is mainly because there is side quest you will find and in a way those item achievements will help out some way or another. Either way, unlike most games at this particular time frame games would yell at players for venturing off the beaten path to the goal. A Link to the Past on the other hand doesn’t get bogged down because the entire game is orchestrated in a way for players to stay on the straight and narrow or for those moments of frustration which allows me to say, “Screw this I’m going into dungeon 12 and God help me if I survive.”
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past opens on a rainy dark night as my uncle decides to visit the castle because shenanigans is going down. For some reason he tells me to stay home, and like a good boy I didn’t listen and followed suit. Meanwhile, a princess is in trouble as usual. Apparently the needy bitch has been sending mixed messages in my dreams and while I’m awake she’s still nagging at me. Anyway, I find my uncle in a dungeon. I take his sward and find the princess. After stashing her in the ‘not so hidden’ church just North of the castle the quest begins. In all seriousness, the intro is literally the most linear moment of the game. If not the next few sequences where she’s kidnapped, again, and I have to save her ass… again….
Overall the game is just as fun as it was when I was a kiddo. There’s three magical pendants to find which then helps release the Master Sward from it’s ‘Sward in the Stone’ cut scene. Aside from mastering the Master Sward and defeating our evil wizard Agahnim. As usual the story isn’t ever over, if merely half way over…. Kinda like that one time in Wind Waker when we find Princess Zelda and I thought the story was nearly over… Till five hours later…. The game is immersive and honestly, I wanted to play all the way through however, it’s seriously not possible between me, beer, pizza and a bulldog. Especially the scale of difficulty, and scope of the quest.
In all honesty though after completion, A Link to the Past isn’t as long as it’s later chapters. However, you will notice the same formula is in every chapter since A Link to the Past. Just more flushed out and optimized in one way or another. I will venture to say now a days the measurement of how ‘vast’ of a Zelda installment is dependent on how many dungeons and labyrinths are involved. Given the amount in A Link to the Past I’d say it grades B+.
Dungeons and Labyrinths are rendered very well, given the fact we’re talking about 90’s Nintendo development. For graphics A Link to the Past is a video game which belongs in a museum of show casing a high point of what video gaming accomplished. This isn’t limited to characters and music either.