All things The Legend of Zelda

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JaySevenZero
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The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can write up your thoughts and opinions for Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Our next podcast recording: The Legend of Zelda

Post by Alex79uk »

I've never liked the Zelda series. Unfairly, I might add. But they've always been a series that I was sure I didn't like. The first Zelda game I played was Ocarina Of Time, and I hated it. I'd just finished Final Fantasy VII and was desperate for another big RPG to sink my teeth in to. Someone suggested I try Zelda, and I sat playing it thinking 'hang on, this is nothing like Final Fantasy!' I gave up after about half an hour and never went back.

I've always known I should have played them, but barring a brief dalliance with Minish Cap the series has remained completely alien to me.

Until now.

Upon learning that Cane & Rinse would be covering the series I thought it was about time I really got stuck in and discover what I'd been missing, so there I was, like Link, about to embark on a huge journey.

I started Legend Of Zelda and died almost instantly. This wasn't going to be easy. Retrying and taking a more methodical approach I started to make progress. I'd downloaded a map of the overworld and eventually found my way to the first dungeon. It was cleared relatively easily, as was the next, and the next. It was at this point I found myself completely stuck. Unsure of how to progress I started to explore the dungeon more and discovered some sort of whistle, which as it turns out was essential to beating the boss. I felt pretty good about not using save states (I was playing via emulation) and started to think the game wouldn't be that difficult after all.

One thing I noticed whilst playing was just how much Binding Of Isaac had pinched from the game! The hearts, the dungeons, blowing up the walls to find secrets, some enemy designs - even the areas where you climbed down a ladder and the view flipped to side on. To say Ed borrowed from Zelda is the understatement of the centuary!

Around the 7th dungeon I found the game difficulty spiked to make things incredibly difficult, and it was at this point I decided I just wanted to finish the game and started really abusing the save state system!

By the time I finished the game I was relieved it was over. The game teased almost every emotion imaginable out of me over its course, and when it was done I had no desire to go back and do it all again!

Highlights of the game for me were the exploration of the overworld - which would have been even more interesting if I'd not been checking a map every few minutes! The music was great too, I really enjoyed those tunes and despite the repetition it never got annoying. The boss fights were a lot of fun too.

Overall I think it's a pretty solid start to a series, and it's still playable now, if a little difficult by today's standards. I'm really pleased I played it though, and am really looking forward to playing as many of the others that I can.

THREE WORD REVIEW : It started here

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AndrewBrown
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Re: Our next podcast recording: The Legend of Zelda

Post by AndrewBrown »

Three Word Review: Linearity? Grumble grumble.

With the first game in the series coinciding with the year of my birth, I've always felt that The Legend of Zelda and I have been connected on a spiritual level. It is the game I give credit to getting me into videogames; I was aware of them as I grew older, and I played them a bit, but the first Zelda is the first game that I was positively ravenous to break into and spend a parent-worrying amount of time with. Whereas most of the games I had seen before seemed like extended challenge modes to me, a game where you see how far you can get, seeing a game where there was no fixed destination, where you could just explore and see what you could find, was revelatory. Before I got old enough to understand that the Zelda games actually did have goals and weren't just a world to be wandered about in, it seemed to me that the point was to see "how much you can you find" and "how long you can last," as opposed to "how far you can get." It's a subtle difference, but one which has affected me ideologically. To this day, I like games best that allow me to explore, even if only a little bit, and more broadly I become frustrated by tasks in which I have my hand held through the whole thing. "Go here, do this, do that, you can't go that way, you have to go this way." This is what Zelda taught me: Let me be. Let me do my thing, make my own discoveries, my own mistakes. Let me see what's out there. Don't tell me.

To this day this is probably what the original The Legend of Zelda does better than any other game in the series (which, for good or ill, have shifted into a more structured design ethos). It allows you to explore, it allows you to get lost, it allows you to make mistakes. There is no outlined paths through each dungeon which you are required to follow; it's easiest to find the first dungeon first, yes--and the game designers should be given kudos for that--but there's nothing stopping the player from ignoring it, from heading out into other areas or other dungeons to see what they can find, to see how far they can get, to see what they can get away with. Exploring a Zelda game, and the first game in particular, is about the growth of the character. The more you explore, the stronger you get, and the more you are able to explore. It's a recursive model which works wonderfully to create a sense of continued discovery and conquering the countryside. The first screen having a cave you can enter, where Impa gives you your first sword ("It's dangerous to go alone! Take this!") sets the stage for everything that follows: Find caves. Enter them. See what's inside. Use what's inside to beat the next cave. Can't beat what's in that cave? Come back later with stuff from other caves. Even beating Gannon [sic] doesn't necessarily mean you've done everything there is to do in the game, that you've found everything in every last cave, which in a time when beating Bowser and rescuing the princess meant you had seen all the game had to offer, at least in theory, was amazing. As I've grown older I've learned that Zelda was hardly the first videogame, let alone game, to do this (Hello, Adventure), but to me The Legend of Zelda is one of the first games that did it well and it's still a satisfying experience to this day.

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Re: Our next podcast recording: The Legend of Zelda

Post by gallo_pinto »

AndrewBrown wrote:Three Word Review: Linearity? Grumble grumble.
Damn, that's really good! :lol:

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dezm0nd
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Re: Our next Zelda podcast recording: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Post by dezm0nd »

Thank you all for your contributions. The recording is in the bag now! Your feedback made the show that much more valuable to listen to :)

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Craig
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Re: Our next Zelda podcast recording: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Post by Craig »

The adventure of Link is an interesting but flawed
game with its main flaw being its difficulty. It is not simply that the game is too hard, but more to do with the way it handles your failure. I always found that I had to redo a whole lot of stuff to practice on the bit that was actually giving me trouble any time I died which is often par for course in older games.

However, when exploration is one of your main tenants this becomes a much greater issue. The penalty for death is such that I found it a pain to explore rather than a joy and a relief when I actually made progress.

The obtuse nature is also ramped up somewhat in this game with certain parts being completely unfathomable without a guide at hand. Because of the difficulty I was reluctant to just wander aimlessly and try and find the solution because I would probably die just trying something out. The difficulty didn't add to the atmosphere, it just felt restrictive and not very fun.

There are also certain areas that I figured was just a crapshoot on how much damage I'd receive - like the area where lizards are throwing rocks at you.

In all honesty I don't have great memories of it and I would probably be reluctant to recommend it even with the caveat of "abuse save states with an emulator."

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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Post by fieldy »

I remember seeing early screen shots of Wind waker in N64 magazine and being very unsure what to make of it. In the course of one year we'd gone from space world 2000's Zelda tech demo showing a progression of Ocarina's graphical style to space world 2001 where we got the first look at the new 'Toon link' I think for a lot of people (Myself included) this was a huge shock and a big gamble for Nintendo at the time. But when the game finally arrived in 2003 I could see that Nintendo had done wonders with it. The world created in Wind Waker is one of the most colourful and engrossing of any Zelda title and kept me hooked for months after completion seeking out hidden areas and items. Overall this is one of my favourite Zelda titles along with Majoras mask and Links awakening.

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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Post by Alex79uk »

This is the one I'm most looking forward to playing. I've borrowed a copy on the Gamecube all ready to go.

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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Post by DomsBeard »

All I remember is that it was far too simple but then it was always going to be after Ocarina of time. Great looking game though.

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Re: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Post by fieldy »

Majoras Mask is my favourite Zelda title in the series, it is a game that holds a special place in my heart and is very important to me.

I'd seen screen shots of this game for around a year before release and was intrigued but initially dismissed it as I was sure that nothing could top Ocarina of time. Upon playing this for the first time on boxing day 2000 I was captivated by the world that Aonuma and Koizumi had created, this was not Ocarina of time and Link was not in Hyrule but some of the assets from Ocarina had been used and this made it feel like it was an alternate Hyrule or some kind of dream/nightmare. This initially confused me as I tried to make sense of where this title fitted in with the Zelda series and what had happened to the Hyrule I had just saved in the previous game? It didn't matter though, Majoras mask had its hooks into me and I was addicted.

My brother and I took turns playing after school and at weekends until we finally made it through all of the dungeons and had most of the masks with the sinister grin of the moon hanging over us the whole way. Travelling back and forwards in time trying to make sense of the various side quests was an amazing experience as everyone had there own routine over the their final 3 days and figuring these out to complete missions was a new experience not only for a Zelda game but pretty much any game up to that point. Then came the finale when we entered the moon and what I saw was one of the most visually striking images of any game i have ever played, the scene with the field and a large tree with children playing under it was very unexpected (given the context) and added to the whole dream like feeling this game has. The final battle didn't disappoint either with Majora's mask taking 3 forms before you could finally beat him.

When I first played this final battle the boss, Majoras mask was kind of whacky and in places made me laugh but coming back to the remake some 15 years later the same battle came off as very sinister and dark with the boss acting with almost manic psychotic rage as he tried to defeat you. The same could be said for a lot of the game coming back 15 years later I could see a more darker side to it that I picked up on when i first played it but that ultimately escaped me as I was at an age where I still had some youthful naivety and innocence. Playing through the game again after such along time was a very interesting experience as I remembered all the key elements but understood so much more overall and so my second play through of the remake was a slightly different experience because of age and adjustments made by Grezzo but it did nothing to weaken my feeling toward this title, I still love this game as much as I ever did if not more now. I could go on for hours about this game, the music, the setting, the underlying themes but i'll finish by saying that this is a superb game and crowning glory in the Zelda series for me!

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Re: Our next Zelda podcast recording: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Post by Alex79uk »

I'm really not sure I can endure Zelda 2. I've got to the end of the first dungeon, and I'm just not enjoying it. I've been playing with a walkthrough next to me as I defy anyone to get through the game without one, it's so bloody obtuse! I just about made it through the first game, and I'd say I did enjoy it overall, but I don't think I can stick at this one, it's not as much fun as the first. The overworld is a pain in the ass, the semi random battles really irritate, and I'm even finding myself battling with the controls doing jumps half the time I mean to swing my sword! I think I'm talking myself out of it as I write. No, I've made my mind up, I'm moving straight on to Link To The Past.

I think.

Aaaaargh I don't want to quit though! This game sucks! But I've started it now! Ah man. Stupid Zelda.

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Re: Our next Zelda podcast recording: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Post by gallo_pinto »

The two Zelda games for the NES were the only games in the Zelda series that I hadn't beaten. I got both of them for the 3DS to play along with the podcast and while I was a bit wary of the original due to its age and alleged difficulty, I ended up having a pretty good time with it. I started playing Zelda II with significantly more reservations. I'd never played it before and it doesn't have a very good reputation. Most people seem to agree that it was a bizarre and ill-advised departure from the series and that Nintendo was wise to never return to it.

That's why I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the game! I actually enjoyed the NES Zeldas equally, though granted, I went into Zelda II with lower expectations that the first one. For me, both games were quite enjoyable for the first half and then difficulty spikes hurt the game later on.

I thought the side-scrolling combat was pretty fun, especially when you got the down-thrust technique. There were certain enemies that felt unfair, like the ones that were only hurt by fire and those obnoxious packs of flying eyes. But once I was able to reliably take down an Ironknuckle or successfully block three boomerangs in a row and kill the Goriya, I was having a lot of fun! The RPG elements that let you level up also made it really satisfying to return to earlier areas and easily defeat enemies that tormented you before.

I actually think that overall Zelda II is more fun if you try not to use save states because it's normal loop is built on the idea of making some progress in a dungeon, dying, coming back stronger, getting farther in the dungeon, dying and repeating until the dungeon is finished. While using save states might seem easier, I think you miss out on getting into a rhythm and building up those experience points.

My biggest complaint about the game is the final temple and the lead up to it. Though I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the game, it's hard to overstate how terrible the ending is. Just getting to the final temple is unbelievably frustrating because you're constantly getting knocked into lava by those floating eyes. If by some miracle (or heavy use of save states) you make it to the final palace, you have to get through floors and floors of repeating assets, cheap enemies and dead ends. When you finally get to the Thunderbird boss, you must have lots of magic just to be able to damage it at all and it's still an extremely challenging boss. Once you beat that boss, you still have to fight an overpowered Dark Link in the next room. I know I said I thought the game was better without save states, but I genuinely don't understand who would want to finish this particular section without them. It took me at least 25 tries to beat the two bosses, and the thought of having to repeat the entire temple every three lives would make me tear my hair out.

So overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this game. It's nowhere near my favorite Zelda and it has some pretty clear flaws. That being said, that's how I felt about the first Zelda too. For me, it was a Link to the Past that fixed all of the issues with the first game and went on to become a masterpiece. As I was playing through this game, I was wondering: if a Link to the Past had been based on Zelda II instead and fixed all of the problems and difficulty spikes and still added those beautiful graphics, what would the Zelda series look like today?

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Re: Our next Zelda podcast recording: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Post by NeoGazza »

Zelda 2 was the first NES game that I bought with my own money as a 10 or 11 year old kid. The sole reason that I initially wanted it was because of the fact that the original Zelda already attained a mythic status on the NES and the simple fact that this looked like it was going to trump the original in every way imaginable. That and that fantastic looking golden cartridge. Combat was great and those side-scrolling scenes really made Zelda II have an identity of its own.

Reminiscing now, the only thing I can vividly remember of Zelda II was the final stretch where you fight your dark alter ego as the final boss. I must have tried that part a 100 times and every time I tried, I failed miserably. In hindsight, it wasn't so much the fight that made it hard but the runup to that final battle that made it a horrendous experience. After months and months of intermittent runs, I finally succeeded in slaying the final boss. It was a gloomy Sunday, it had been raining all day and there was nothing to be particularly cheery about, but I will always remember the sense of triumph that I experienced on that particular moment in my small bedroom playing on a black and white telly. If nothing else, Zelda II taught me that perseverance is key in life.

I would not recommend anybody play this game nowadays as it has aged horribly and the difficulty is very steep when compared to contemporary games. Nevertheless, Zelda 2 will always be fondly remembered, irrespective of the many flaws it has.

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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Post by zen_anarchy »

My favourite of the later Zelda games much preferred this to the darker in tone later Zelda games on GameCube and Wii.

The game suffered with the fans because of the video footage Nintendo showed off at e3(? or tgs) with a much darker and more adult tone, but years later and this is one of the few later Zelda titles that visually holds up to todays graphical standards due to its cell shaded cartoon styling.

At the time of release this game caused a fair bit of controversy with its deemed childish graphics but retrospectively is one of the stand out Zelda titles and possibly my favourite Zelda game second only to A link to the past on SNES.

Gameplay wise it's fairly simple, easy to pick up and play with a lighter level of challenge for its dungeons with nothing comparing to the mind bending madness of The Ocarina of Time's water temple. It is also fairly short.

Another annoyance to some fans was the use of the boat to traverse between islands which I personally enjoyed the freedom it allowed.

three word review

Tingle Tuner Triumph

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deacon05oc
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Re: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Post by deacon05oc »

Majora's Mask was the 2nd Zelda I had the pleasure of playing. The first being Ocarina of Time. After the grand epic battle of good and evil In Ocarina, what could Link do next? Majora's Mask at times to me feels a bit larger in scope compared to Ocarina. The quietness of the opening with Link trotting on Epona, the frantic nature of the chase of Skull Kid felt a bit more engaging to me than its predecessor. Perhaps that was due to this particular incarnation of Link being already established. The game's concept of saving the world in 3 days feels intimidating at first, but once you realize how you accomplish this, like Ocarina time is at your disposal. The sense of urgency is greater to me than in Ocarina because Ganon already took over the kingdom. In regards to Termina, everything was fine until it wasn't. To hear that joyful and cheerful music on the first day and see the town just going about its business and then to see the mirror result of that near the end of the third day when that eerie music plays and the moon begins its final descent. It makes you wonder what's going through the head of the townspeople as their world comes to an end. In Ocarina you don't really stop to ask questions because you are the Hero of Time, in this game I wanted to learn this world. It's mysteries were far more intriguing than the last game. Locales like the temple in the swamp and Ikana Castle were highlights to me. I also enjoyed the idea of Skull Kid not being an antagonist but rather a soul you feel for. As much as I love Ocarina of Time, I think Majora's Mask is its equal in every way imaginable. Time to pull my Wii out the closet and play again on the Virtual Console.

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Post by Matthewjbutler »

A Link to the Past still feels like a genuine epic after all these years with its vibrant open world, ingenious dungeon designs and real character and emotion in the storytelling.

There are some unforgettable sequences such as the wielding of the Master Sword in the Lost Woods, the first trip into the dark world and the opening scene in the rain when the world seems in a confused, bad way - the intrigue and desire to explore is there right from the start.

However, it's the little moments which lend this game it's real beauty. From the villagers and their incongruous charm, to spending hours just digging for rupees, and playing mini games with the bow and arrow.

I played this game relatively late in 1997 and although it took me a year to complete and I was stuck on one section up on Death Mountain for two or three months, the magical feel of Hyrule meant I was happy just to explore. No frustration, no complaints of bad game mechanics - just a sense of wonder and a belief in this strange land and its heroic quest.

This game is my favourite of all time as it so perfectly balances an engrossing and iconic story with a charm and playfulness throughout.

Zelda has been bettered technically since but the template was truly set here and it's amazing how a simple pixel design of a small boy with pink hair can inspire so much sentimentality, wonder and joy.

A true work of art.

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Craig
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Re: Our next podcast recording (7.1.16): Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Post by Craig »

Something that has always bugged me in Zelda 2 is that through the whole game when you die you are sent back to the start except at the very last temple. It's a welcome but baffling act of clemency - why now? Is it just because the last temple is so long?

Seeing how the famicom disc system version works I think it's more to do with the technical side. The game loads on side A and then immediately after the title screen it asks you to change to side B before you even get to the scene of Zelda sleeping which will no doubt be etched in your memory by the end of the game. The first time it asks you to change to side B is when you start the final temple.

If you were to die on the final temple and sent back to the start, you'd have the frustration of having died compounded by the need to get up and change the disc around. Maybe this was taken into account when planning the game allowing them to have a huge last temple as there was little else on that side of the disc.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (7.1.16): Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Post by Kosayn »

Part of what made finishing a Zelda game so rewarding and magical was how a lot of us played video games back in the 1980s. I initially played most of my NES games by renting or borrowing them from a friend. Arcade experiences were similar - you might play Bubble Bobble many times without bringing enough quarters and a good enough partner to seriously attempt finishing it. You would hear about the ending of any given game, often with a spoiler about three words long, way before you got there. But you wanted to see it for yourself. We would often two-person play a game rental to avoid wasting any of our limited time with it, and for Zelda games, two people figuring out the puzzles were definitely better than one.

Zelda 2, one thing I noticed was that renting or borrowing was a huge help, because you could snoop around in other people's saves who had gotten further than you did. I remember coming back to Death Mountain with someone else's leveled up Link and exploring the parts that had confounded me. It's a really horrible death maze the first time you encounter it, and the long commute from the start point increases the tension. It's the most Dark Souls experience in the game, in my opinion, though each of the Palaces feels the same way to a lesser degree.

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Re: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Post by NeoGazza »

So this game was released in late '91 and a friend and I both got our SNES in late '92 - we were 15 years old. He went with a copy of TLOZ:ALTTP and I got a SNES for one reason only; Street Fighter 2. At the time I wasn't jealous, because as a 15 year old SF2 was more my thing. We finished TLOZ feverishly in order to 'get good' at SF2 so we could tear up the local arcades. TLOZ was sold off quickly so he too could get into the Street Fighter 2 scene.

A couple of years later I bought my own copy and with the Street Fighter 2 hype diminishing somewhat, I was able to play TLOZ with the attention it deserved. I loved every second of it. The atmosphere, the art, the gameplay, the lowered difficulty when compared to its ancestors - it felt perfect. That was the time -to me at least- that TLOZ cemented itself as a triple A Nintendo franchise. This realisation came oddly late, since I had already played (and finished) it upon original release. Having played it recently on an emulator (I still own the original copy), it holds up well even to this day. The game smoothes you in but never really holds your hand the way modern games do and I loved that.

Should you play it nowadays? I think you should. TLOZ and TLOZ II were good games but ALTTP really gave the franchise the identity that it has today. Great, timeless fun!

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Re: Our next podcast recording (7.1.16): Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Post by Crowcifer »

I received that game as a gift (probably Santa, hoho!) when I was a young fella and it was waaayyy too hard for me. I finally got back to it earlier this year through the magic of emulation and well, it was still waayyy to hard. However, I got through it with the help of an online walkthrough. I can only imagine what it must have been like to plug through it with nothing but grit and word-of-mouth. Hellish. Fun, absolutely, but hellish.

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