There is a Legend, and it is of Zelda.

25 11 2009

by Wayne Shayler

There are many sounds which make me smile, and a few that make me laugh out loud.  However, there is one noise that generates a response in me, like no other, and I have just heard it coming from my TV in the living room.

The sound is my old friend Link, a boy garbed in green, opening another treasure chest – the very sound that warms my heart and cradles my soul and there is a new adventure coming, just in time for Christmas.  The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, and that is all the information I need to make my purchase.

I don’t know why I love Zelda so much.  I’m quite  sure that I’ve only ever finished one of the many games available, but it still resonates with me as one of the greatest games series ever created.  Sure, it could be argued that they’re all predominantly the same game, re-hashed and re-skinned.  In fact, I would argue for that very point.  Like an old friend you’ve not seen for a while, with whom you strike up a conversation, and it’s like you’ve never been apart.  That is one of the reasons why for me, Zelda is  the king of the action RPG, but how would I cut it going up against the original title released in Japan in 1986?

Where the legend began.

I have to say that the original NES title  is just as much fun now, as it was then.  I have lost the original map so I have been mapping my own progress, with only one rule to abide by whilst I play. No looking at any game guides or FAQ’s for help – what idiot came up with that idea?

It’s amazing how ‘open world’ this game feels, long before the term existed.  You can go anywhere, as there are only a few areas that you can’t access from the start of the game and I even strolled into the seventh dungeon before I’d found the sixth – which is where I am at present.  The games have become more linear over time, as the stories have become more heavily involved, but there are always numerous side quests in the later games to keep things interesting.

One thing that certainly stands out is how hard this game is, and it has made me realise that the series has become easier as the stories have progressed.  I have replayed the sixth dungeon numerous times now, having to go back up to the Hyrule overworld, grinding my way through many battles to collect more Rupees, to afford more medicine, so I can have another crack at the dungeon.  Really tough stuff.

Who lost the map?

I can only surmise that my fourteen year old self had more skill, agility and patience than I do now, which is a shame, and perhaps the only Zelda game that I have finished will now finally defeat me, whilst laughing in my face.

Perhaps that is the point.  Perhaps I don’t want to finish it.  I never want it to end.  I want to wait a few months, then replay it again from the beginning like I have done with so many of the Zelda games.

Perhaps it does just come down to the fact that I really love opening chests.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks will be released in the UK on December 11th 2009 for the Nintendo DS.




2 responses

26 11 2009

Nice article. Although I never thought I’d see the word grind in the context of a Zelda game. The series definately got easier after the first but as you say the core values of the game remain the same. Like putting on old pair of slippers or pyjamas on on a cold winter night after you’ve spent the afternoon out in the elements

27 11 2009
Wayne Shayler

Yeah, there’s definitely a grind. That medicine was costing me 60 – 70 Rupees, and when killing a monster only rewards you with 1 or 5 Rupees, then it takes me a good while!

There is a gambling game in the north east of Hyrule, but I couldn’t work out a system and kept losing more than I was winning.

That robbing old man, he saw me coming! I tried attacking one of his ‘kin’ in another cave and the fire that keeps him warm started attacking me.

One day old man, one day I will have my revenge!

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