The Legend of Zelda has been one of Nintendo’s most popular series of games for years. The success of the game, especially with people who favor the more traditional RPGs is easy to understand, considering they use many of the same themes, most notably character development and puzzle solving.
The history of the action adventure roleplaying game started with the release of The Legend of Zelda, but the action-adventure role playing game did not gain popularity on other consoles until the release of the Playstation, where Parasite Eve for the Playstation and a number of Xbox games used elements that were first used in The Legend of Zelda.
- 1 The Super Nintendo’s Zelda Game: A Link to the Past
- 2 Zelda History Changes: A Right-Handed Link
- 3 Zelda in 3D was Visually Spectacular
- 4 Nintendo Immersed Players with a Brilliant Musical Score
- 5 Shigeru Miyamoto’s Team Focuses on Great Gameplay
- 6 Link’s Simple, Yet Involving Combat System
- 7 Deep Dungeons and Mind Boggling Puzzles
- 8 Conclusion
The Super Nintendo’s Zelda Game: A Link to the Past
The next chapter in the history of Zelda was the release of the Super Nintendo title The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It made sense to take advantage of the better graphics and memory storage available on the Super Nintendo, even if the Zelda games would follow a predictable plot pattern.
Zelda’s history would continue by at least one title released on every system that Nintendo made available, including the Wii. Even if you have to acquire a shield and sword at the beginning of each game, it is the puzzle solving and the games light-hearted humor that keeps people coming back to the Zelda games. It has also made the character of Link a cultural icon.
Zelda History Changes: A Right-Handed Link
Although Link has traditionally been left-handed, the release of Twilight Princess for the Wii caused the Nintendo designers to flip the game world around and offer a right-handed version of the main Zelda character. Left-handed gamers may have wished the designers would stick to their principles, but it had more to do with the awkward motion of the left-handed movements Wii when the Wii controller was held in the right hand.
This is the first game where the player gets an option to change Link’s handedness. This is probably the most significant change in the history of The Legend of Zelda franchise, and will likely continue if Nintendo’s systems continue to require more interaction on the part of the user.
Zelda in 3D was Visually Spectacular
Ocarina of Time, upon its release, set an industry standard for gaming in every department. Beginning with its incredible 3D graphics, Zelda made its mark. Visually spectacular, Ocarina of Time presented a lush, living world in impressive fashion. From the rolling hills of Hyrule Field while riding on Epona, to the pristine waters of Lake Hyrule, there was never a dull moment (or wasted pixel) throughout the entire game.
Nintendo Immersed Players with a Brilliant Musical Score
This beautiful scenery coupled with an amazing score immersed the player more fully into the game’s world, the main theme brought light and hope, while Gannondorf’s score evoked fear and loathing. With this ambient score combined with the added ability to play an actual Ocarina to further game elements, Nintendo showed developers how to create a true gaming experience.
Shigeru Miyamoto’s Team Focuses on Great Gameplay
Fortunately, creating an aesthetically pleasing environment was not the primary focus of the Nintendo team on this project. Nintendo was eager to deliver in the department that most developers seem to forget – gameplay. They poured all their knowledge and creativity into the design and development of this game, making Link a video game icon in every sense of the word.
Link’s Simple, Yet Involving Combat System
Link’s combat system, for example, is near perfect; multiple different attacks can be performed with a single button and when Z-targeting is taken into account, the combat system unfolds to become an intricate, yet simple system; intricate in its design, simple in its use. While the combat is action-oriented, Zelda is an RPG at heart, with the RPG elements truly realized in the unique way Link ‘level’s up.’ Having him grow seven years older in order to gain more abilities was fresh and clever, while also adding a new element to some of the puzzles scattered throughout the game.
Deep Dungeons and Mind Boggling Puzzles
There are plenty of puzzles to get lost in, and the mini-games and sidequests in Zelda were not only involving, the fishing game alone could have been packaged by itself, but they were also very rewarding. Zelda worked in a way that most RPGs fall short, by making players want to play each side-quest and mini-game. The prizes received, such as bomb bags and heart pieces, weren’t just collectable trinkets; each new item furthered Link’s development and made the games worth playing.
Sidequests were fun, but the crowning achievement of the Ocarina of Time was the various dungeons scattered throughout Hyrule. Each was more fascinating than the next, and it is obvious that much time and effort was spent on creating the ingenious puzzles that accompanied each room. Utilizing time travelling components, the use of the Ocarina, and a very trusty Master Sword, each area was extremely innovative and refreshing. Each new puzzle requires thought and quick action, making for perfect gameplay.
As an action RPG, Zelda blends every necessary element in a game to create a flawless experience. While the story may not be the most original, it is a tried and true formula –save the princess – which works perfectly with effervescent atmosphere created by Nintendo. Multiple plays are encouraged in order to truly understand the beauty of this game, and even ten years later it is still be branded the best game ever.