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Classic Games (Games) Nintendo Games

The Legend of Zelda Turns 25 98

harrymcc writes "The Legend of Zelda originated 25 years ago today, when Nintendo released the original game for its Famicom console in Japan on February 21st, 1986. Benj Edwards is celebrating with a look at some of the franchise's odder sidelights, from a version broadcast by satellite to the unexpected true story of where the game got its name." If you're in the mood for more nostalgia, 1Up has a collection of articles delving into the past two and a half decades of Zelda. And since it's cool, here's a link (sorry) to a guy who hacked an oscilloscope to display Gameboy games, using 1993's Link's Awakening as a demonstration.
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The Legend of Zelda Turns 25

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  • by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Monday February 21, 2011 @05:56PM (#35272326)

    Are the other 2D variants (which I haven't tried) not as good ad Zelda 3 on the SNES? Any idea why?

    As good? No. Zelda 3 is still the best 2D Zelda.

    That doesn't mean there are no good ones, though.

    Of the 2D Zelda games, the one other that is closest to Zelda 3 is likely:

    Minish Cap - Game Boy Advance - The art is nice, the music is a throwback to earlier Zelda games, and it uses abilities to lock off areas of the world map until you have the equipment to deal with it.

    The transport bird from Zelda 3 makes a reappearance, although you have to unlock its target locations by finding specific stones on the overworld.

    One of the dungeons is actually a throwback to Zelda 1, right up to the music and sound effects in it.

    It also uses a number of new items rather than just rehashing the same items from every other Zelda game.


    Other good 2D Zelda games are.

    Oracle of Ages - Game Boy Color - Upgraded version of the Link's Awakening DX engine. Graphics are still somewhat more primitive than Zelda 3.

    The item trading sequence unlocks the level 2 sword.

    Uses the time portal mechanic instead of the Dark World mechanic of Zelda 3, but it works out much the same.

    Has a few new items to the series, but most are shared with Oracles of Seasons.

    Makes one continuous story with Oracle of Seasons.


    Oracle of Seasons - Game Boy Color - Same engine as Oracle of Ages, but the game isn't as good. Instead of the previously mentioned time portal mechanic, it instead allows you to change the season for the current area; there are four versions of every outside area.

    The two Oracles games form one single storyline with two final bosses after each game's respective boss, but you will only encounter said bosses if you finished one game and used the code it gave you when starting a new game on the other.

    Link's Awakening (DX) - Game Boy (Color) - DX version is in color. Graphics are somewhat more primitive than Zelda 3.

    Uses a lot of the same of the same items as Zelda 3.

    Engine features (these are also found in the Oracles games):
    Has two item slots instead of one, but the Sword is now an item you have to equip. Shields are no longer automatic.

    Rooms do not scroll, each room on a map is exactly one game screen wide and one game screen tall.

    Item Trading sequence, which in this game is required in order to locate the last boss in the final dungeon.

    Link does not start with the sword. It must be found first.

    Some dungeons require keys before you can enter.

    If you have a dungeon's compass, the game will play a tone if you enter a room that has a key in it.

    Every dungeon has a mini-boss. Beating the mini-boss unlocks a portal to the dungeon entrance.

    The Legend of Zelda - NES - Fairly good, but very unintuitive in places. Badly in need of a remake.

    Most items from the NES Zelda went on to appear in the same or upgraded form in Zelda 3. Best example: The Red Candle was upgraded to the Lantern in Zelda 3.


    And the other 2D Zelda games that you may or may not want to avoid:

    The Adventure of Link - NES - Exchanges top-down view for side-scrolling view. Black sheep of the family. OK, but doesn't feel like a Zelda game.

    Phantom Hourglass - DS - Sorta fun, but the touch-screen controls means you may have a bad case of handinthewayitis. Areas are separated on the world map, and you must navigate by boat, but it doesn't suck like Wind Waker's boat did.

    Has one really irritating, timed dungeon that you need to visit repeatedly.

    Spirit Tracks - DS - Somewhat fun. Same as previous entry, but without the tedious dungeon, plus your main mode of transportation around the world map has changed from a ship to a... train. Also involves teaming controlling a second character at certain points using the touchscreen.

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