Tuesday, May 18, 2010

So Every Princess Is To Be Named Zelda?

In my youth I was lucky enough to make friends with the youngest son of my Grandparents best friends. His name was Ross and even though he was 9 years my senior he was an avid Weird Science reader as well as a huge early console and PC fan. So on Saturday nights I would go with my Grandparents to play bingo at a small town social every week and then afterward we would spend a couple of hours at Ross's house where I would peruse his mass collection of Atari 2600, Intellivision, and PC floppy disks.

So as I grew older our mutual interest in gaming led to us both swapping NES titles every weekend and since Ross had a full time job he was able to secure the newer games as they came out. We both went nuts over the original Legend of Zelda but when the sequel, The Adventure of Link, came out...he was disappointed by the complete change in gameplay from its predecessor. So much so that he flat out gave me his copy of Zelda II.

I didn't get a chance to play the game upon going home and had to wait until Sunday morning until I was able to once more step into Link's shoes and live a life of high adventure in the land of Hyrule. Though come the morn I found I took to the title like a fish to water and was shocked to hear the next day at school as I was going on about the game that my fellow students hated it so much. What was it about the game that I was digging that so many others weren't?

From the Wiki regarding the story of the Advenure of Link:


Six years after the events of The Legend of Zelda, the now sixteen year old Link notices a strange mark on the back of his left hand, exactly like the crest of Hyrule. He seeks out Impa, who responds by taking Link to the North Castle, where a door has been magically sealed for generations. Impa places the back of Link's left hand on the door, and it opens, revealing a sleeping maiden. Impa tells Link that the maiden is Zelda, the princess of Hyrule from long ago, and the origin of the "Legend of Zelda." Zelda's brother had tried to force her into telling their recently deceased father's secrets concerning the last of three sacred golden triangle treasures of his kingdom, known collectively as the Triforce. Princess Zelda refused to reveal its location, and the prince's wizard friend, in anger, tried to strike her down with a spell. Zelda fell under a powerful sleeping spell, but it also resulted in the wizard's own death. The prince, unable to reverse the spell, had his sister placed in the castle tower, in the hope that she would one day be awakened. He decreed that princesses born to the royal family from that point on would be named Zelda, in remembrance of this tragedy.

Impa says that the mark on Link's hand means that he is the hero chosen to awaken Zelda. She gives Link a chest containing six crystals and ancient writings that only a great future king of Hyrule can read. Link can read it and it indicates that each crystal needs to be placed in a different palace in Hyrule. This will open the way to the Great Palace, which contains the TriForce of Courage. This, combined with the other two parts, has the power to awaken the enchanted Zelda. Taking the crystals, Link sets out to restore them to their palaces. Meanwhile, the followers of Gannon are seeking to kill Link; sprinkling his blood on Ganon’s ashes would bring Ganon back to life."

Doing a little research shows that 1-up.com has a score of 65/100 and Gamespot bestows 69/100 on The Adventure of Link. IGN gives it a 70/100 and Nintendo Power 72/100.

So what say you? Is the negative reception to the game in fact because the gameplay had changed? Perhaps the title is considered too difficult? Is the storyline just too crazy to comprehend?

Night Moves - Bob Seger


CritAnime said...

Change is a hard thing for some people to accept. The gameplay was a massive shift from the first game and I know that friends hated it compared to the first game for that exact reason.

I never got to play it however because my parents bought me Castlevania 2. And even though I now own the game, I still can't play it because the battery backup is screwed. It needs a new battery.

In any case there was a massive shift to this style of play for a few games, Faxanadu been one, at that time. Maybe Nintendo felt that the old style wasn't going to cut it against the newer style games.

Vic Sage said...

Ah, Faxanadu...now that is game I have not heard in some time. Excellent viewpoint as always, Crit. :)

CritAnime said...

Mate you provide the content and I just provide my 2 pence worth :) Sometimes it's right and sometimes it's wrong....

Ok mostly wrong but that's another story.

Switching rapidly back to the subject matter though. Played Zelda II today via emulator, because that seems to be the only way that I am going to be able to play the frigging thing, and I must say it's not as bad as some would criticize it for.

Fair enough it lacks that Zelda game flow but it's not a terrible game.