Retro Gaming Weekends – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

I faintly remember playing the original Zelda game on the NES and not knowing what the hell to do. Being a kid that was impatient, I just wanted the game to tell me where the hell to go next. Unfortunately, I was forced to just wing it and see where else I could go next. I didn’t know how to save… So I always started from the very beginning no matter how far I got. The game was either rented or borrowed, so I never really owned the game (until last year when I got my mom the original Zelda game since she’s a big fan of the old Zelda games). So in comes my ownership of the SNES. And this is where our next Retro Gaming Weekend starts. All in commemoration of Zelda’s 25th Anniversary.

First Contact

I first saw this game in a FingerHut catalog when they still sold a plethora of games (for inflated prices). My mom remembered how much I liked playing the original Zelda on the SNES. So around when I got the SNES, my mom and I saw on Fingerhut The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Going on the notiion that the graphics on the SNES would be better and that I just got it, she went ahead and got me A Link to the Past. Needless to say, I was a happy kid when I got the game!

Memorable Moments

Entering the Dark World for the Very First Time: I spent quite a bit of time in Death Mountain, what with its many tunnels and layers. I searched everywhere to try and get to the last Pendant dungeon. And then I found what looked like a warping puddle of water (from my kid eyes back then). I stepped in….and I turned into a bunny… and entered a new world. There was a whole lot of WTF going on all at the same time, and it took me a bit to grasp all the shit that was happening. So then, as this bunny in this (now) volcano, I wondered how exactly to change back to Link. But to no avail. I was stuck and had no idea what to do. I’m not sure how exactly I figured it out, but I think I gracefully kicked my own ass when I realized that I could use the Magic Mirror to go back to the Light World and be Link again.

Simultaneously: “Huh?” my little kid brain once asked when I saw this word. I think my mom was with me when I got to this point in the game (the second Dark World dungeon). Even my mom was like, “The hell does that word mean?” She got a dictionary out and looked it up, and saw that it meant “at the same time.” I still wasn’t sure what to do. Upon letting a friend of mine borrow the game, he was able to get farther than me. He told us that we had to open the floodgate in the Light World to flood the Dark World dungeon. Once again, I kicked my ass.

Getting the Master Sword: There was a lot of hype in this game that pertained to getting the Master Sword. Hell, you needed the Pendants to get the damn thing in the first place. You can actually see the Master Sword right there perched on the pedestal at the beginning of the game, but you cannot take it. No until you get the Pendants. But once you do, cue the music! In all, the hours you spend to get the pendants gets wrapped up in a 10 second cutscene. There’s no a lot of pomp and circumstance with getting the Master Sword, but it does make you a bit more power (Green knight take one hit to kill, Blue knights two, Red Knights three).

Stay tuned. Later today we’ll talk about 5 memorable themes from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

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