The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past is a game that has resonated with me for years. It’s one of those titles that embeds itself within your gaming core through and through. Why is this? Perhaps it is the vast nature appeal of the Hyrule with all of the bright colourful sprites that pop up all around Link’s quest? Perhaps it is the storyline of one hero taking on all evil? Perhaps it’s the dungeon crawling with room after room of traps, enemies and puzzles that kept my interest for all these years? We could ask these questions all day long. One thing is clear though: The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past is one of the Super Nintendo’s finest games. That was true back in 1991 and this is true as I write this in 2016.
A Link to the Past adopts one of my favourite perspective’s of the 16bit era: The top down perspective same as was used in The Legend of Zelda on the NES. As a young girl, before I even knew what Video Games were I used to love drawing top down pictures of fictional houses and ships. My drawings were always full of colour and secret rooms much to the same as A Link to the Past is. As an adult I look back on this and it comes as no surprise that The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past taps right in to that part of my childhood. More often than not Video Games can trigger a memory like this for us gamers. That is part of the buzz, the intrigue and the enjoyment and that right there is a pretty powerful concept. A Link to the past really invokes the Nostalgia in me and I find that incredibly overwhelming.
#2The Elder Scrolls Link
We know that we, Link awake from receiving a telepathic message from the captured Princess Zelda. It’s a classic video game formula boy saves girl from evil and it worked very well throughout the many games since. I remember leaving Link’s house for the first time and thinking “where do I go?”. I did not know what to expect. During my first play through of A Link to the Past I think I wanted something a little more linear. I was afraid of making the wrong choice, going the wrong way and not being able to find my way to a dungeon quick enough but the more I played the more I became accustomed to that style of gameplay. Okay so A Link to the Past is not a traditional RPG but Nintendo seemed to borrow heavily from genre. What is interesting to me now is that I believe The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past was the catalyst for my deep appreciation with Role Playing Games today. I prefer Western RPG’s over Japanese RPG's though. I prefer the slightly slower pace of Western RPG’s whereas when I play Tales of Xillia for example the pace can be too frantic at times. Interestingly, it has been indicated the The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild was influenced by the Elder Scrolls series. How do I feel about that? At first I was put off but the more I looked in to the Breath of the Wild the more I saw the Elder Scrolls shine through and that works great for me being an avid fan of the Elder Scrolls series!
#3The legacy will never die
It’s pretty clear that The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past has been very influential on fans across the world. With popular rom hacks like The Legend of Zelda Parallel World’s it seems clear that fans wanted to milk the experience for all it was worth. I don’t blame them. In fact there have been some phenomenal fan made tributes of Zelda games of late. The most impressive has to be the Ocarina of Time 2D remake. Imagine A Link to the Past meets Ocarina of Time and Voila. You can read more about that here. When all said and done this work speaks volumes to me! The Legend of Zelda Link to the Past is truly iconic. It is truly one of the best adventure games to come out of the 16bit era.
More recently Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and it borrows heavily from A Link to the Past. It was really nice to dip back in to the experience and be reminded of how important A Link to the Past is. Nintendo have milked it for all its worth. The top/down experience, the similarities in the map or rather Hyrule as a whole; it's all there. Okay there are some new mechanics included. I loved the being able to blend in the wall and traverse through the world. It was a new way to experience old Hyrule!
2016 and Beyond
So where are we today? The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past still holds a high value. For a Complete in Box copy you can expect to pay up to £150 but for a shabby boxed copy I’ve seen them go for £50-£90. I often wondered if we can judge the quality of a video game based on the value it holds? In the case of The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past I don’t believe this to be true. I think the value should be much higher in this case. Now this is entirely my opinion but I’m surprised A Link to the Past does not fetch in the region of £200 consistently. A Link to the Past offers gamers far more in terms of replay value than most games out there. I can beat Turtles in Time in less than two hours whereas I can pump over twenty hours in to A Link to the Past. Clearly they are two very different games but the one thing they have in common is their high monetary value.
Whether you’re a fan of The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past or not there’s no denying the games influence. It’s definitely been a game that has influenced my gaming direction and evidently the same can be said for the fan remakes. Now we are awaiting a brand new Adventure. Breath of the Wild is set for release in 2017 and I am hoping it will be just as iconic as A Link to the Past.
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