Game of the Week 37/2007: The Legend of Zelda

In Zelda

Game of the Week 37/2007 (week from 2006/09/11-17)

The first Zelda on the Famicom was the game that founded the legend which the series is today. Zelda games like the NES one or A Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time are often considered as milestones and best games of their generation.
Wikopedia says the following about Zelda:
"The Legend of Zelda (ゼルダの伝説, Zelda no Densetsu), or commonly abbreviated LoZ by fans, is the first game in the Legend of Zelda series of video games. It was made by Nintendo under the direction of game creator Shigeru Miyamoto, who also created Mario. The game was inspired by Miyamoto's adventures in the hills of Kyoto as a young child. It was released in Japan as the first game for the Famicom Disk System add-on to the Famicom on February 21, 1986. As this add-on was not released outside of Japan, it was released in the US and other countries on the regular NES cartridge format in 1987. The music, including the classic Zelda theme, was composed by Koji Kondo."

I didn't own the game when I was younger. At that time I had enough money to buy a game and chose Megaman 3 over Zelda. Next time I had enough money to buy a game, they didn't have Zelda any more.
As soon as I had internet and knew about emulators, I guess Zelda was the first NES ROM I downloaded and played.
This game is very good, but also very hard (or is it only me?), as there are no clues what to do or where to go.

Zelda was released in Japan on disc and cartridge. Boxart was nice.

Bonus! Japanese magazine ad for Zelda:

Western boxart and cartridge:

A of Hyrule can be found on

It's on the very bottom of the page.

There's more!

French modder-blogger Kotomi modded a NES in Zelda style. I love it!

Make an external HDD out of a NES cart!

And now, discuss... and maybe throw in that Zelda cart once more to relive good old times.
Also post speedruns, videos (you made), tips, tricks, maps, ads, everything Zelda-related. And keep it Zelda 1 please.

Oh, where do I begin with this one? It's like trying to talk about a work of art...
Anyway, I bought this one when it was new, I was immediately struck by the gold cartridge. I thought that was the coolest idea yet for home consoles, and a game that saved your data without putting in a bajillion different numbers and letters (I can't even begin to count the many times I lost data on others like Metroid because I confused a 0 with a O)? What could be better than this?
I played the game and was pretty obsessed. Everything about it--the weird music in the labyrinths, graphics, etc. I remember being driven crazy by the blue candle, only being able to use it once per screen. And that old fart who wants you to "pay for the door repair" should be listed as one of the greatest "NES villains!"
Upon getting to labyrinth #9, I got stuck as how to kill Gannon. I could get him turned brown and had no clue as what to do next. I tried everything, going around the entire area of Hyrule with my head up my ass, trying every possible combination, looking in every nook and cranny, finally, after about a month later, I stumbled on the Silver Arrows in #9. Evil NES game creators!!!
The creators really got down and dirty with the 2nd quest. those red and blue clouds! I loved how they shaped the labyrinth maps into letters for the second quest (level 4, I believe that's the one shaped like the letter D, is pure evil)! Using the whistle to open more doors outside was a challenge, too; you never knew if it would work or not!
It's one game I never get tired of, in fact, I was playing it just the other day. One tip I learned by myself, even though I see it posted all over now, is killing every enemy except one, and from then on, as long as you don't kill that one, it will be the only enemy left on the screen. This is especially useful with those annoying spinning flowers (I forgot their names).
Hardcore challenges, a`la OSG's Solo White Mage, include going without a sword/no rings. I've completed it rings before, but I've never tried it without the sword, even though I marveled at the "Swordless Link" thread in this very forum.
I also created what I call "The Money Loop." I start with the area where the trees are off of the screen with the first store near the start, go to the right near the lake, up to the area with the rock (the fairy is above this, in case you run into trouble), right to the first brown area, killing all enemies but one here, up again, left to the red burrowing creatures (what are their left again, killing all but one spinning flower, then down, down, until I'm back where I started from. The red creatures and the blue spiders tend to shell out a lot of $$, and in no time, I have enough for the candle, and then the whole game opens up. This "loop" is also useful because a lot of the creatures in it aren't that hard to beat with your meager start of just three heart containers.
I also like to get the white sword (they base this on how many heart containers you have), before even going into the first labyrinth. Along with the medicine. I like how you actually have to press the B button in showing the letter to the old lady!
Even though I have the NES ROM and emulator, I've got two copies of the games, and the funny thing is, lots of the battery games I've owned have died; the Zelda ones keep chugging along!
I'm really surprised that this one is going to be 20 years old soon; it seems like yesterday!
Long post, but I love this game, and can't talk enough about it!!!!


funny, i found a torrent for all the old cartoon episodes and it just finished downloading before i checked this thread.

LoZ was one of the first games i had for NES. back then i didn't really understand the point of the game, but i always played it. i'd walk around aimlessly for hours killing the same Octoroks and Tektites over and over again, occasionally i'd find a dungeon to go in, but i'd end up dying and starting over

i didn't beat the game until about 4-5 years ago when i started playing my NES again. now i've conquered it several times, and i still find it entertaining. i've yet to beat the 2nd quest, everytime i start i get side tracked, or forget that i started it. the one time i started on the 2nd quest i got to the 6th or 7th dungeon and my save erased

How 'bout a link to that torrent?

Ahhh... thank God we finally got around to this one. Zelda was the first game I ever wanted. And I got it, of course, when I was young. I admired the gold cartridge, and played it as much as possible. I wasn't very good, true, and I never got that good (right now I can only get to about Level 5, and I always end up going there with the wooden sword like an idiot.) It was the probably the first fantasy game to ever sell well. The combination of maps, compasses, and many keys within the dungeon was a simple system, but challanging nonetheless. It is possibly the only game of all time that allowed the same basic storyline to be used again and again and no one cared. If some Mario games were released that sounded too similar to the already growing-old story of the Mario RPGs, then people would get mad and kill Bill Gates for no reason, just to vent their anger without harming Shigeru. The fun is in the many dungeons you must travel to, rather than just appearing in like normal levels, and how you solve the key puzzle, and your evasion skill against the bosses. Zelda is timeless, and even if they do make a "Legend of Zelda - The Lampshade of no Real Significance" game, you can be sure I'll be there to play it and make sure that I was a guy who followed Link through his many adventures in Hyrule. Or over it on a boat. But one of my favorite things about LoZ is the It was three simple triangles made as the symbol of the Hylian Gods, and I still want it displayed on everything I own.

So live on, Zelda. Quest on Link. Ya awesome as hell jerks.

Here's one especially for your admiration.

EDIT: i found it.....

Legend of Zelda... I could never, ever figure out what to do, but I loved it. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent on it, yet my insistence on not using a strategy guide forever dooms me to remain in a state of confusion.

I loved it, and most of all I loved it's free roaming gameplay, the very thing that made the GTA series popular decades later.

Actually (belive it or not) I haven't played this game that much at all.

I normally like games like this though, RPG games rule!

I'll start out with the negative parts of the game:

I really can't see why this game has been so positively presented over the years, I mean the graphics aren't great and the playabilty is OK, but I've seen much better.

That beeping sound when you're low on energy is so annoying.

It is fun to begin with, but get's so boring after you've played it awhile.

Now for the positive parts of the game:

It is a great game to play when you're with friends.

It has some creative bad guys.

It takes you some time to beat it (although I haven't beaten it myself).

Overall, it's an OK game.

This was just my opinion, don't take my word for it if you haven't played the game before. As you can see, a lot of people love this game.

the graphics are fine, nothing to really worry about. i don't understand what you mean by the playability. if you mean controls, the controls are great. if you mean the sub-menu where you switch between boomerang, bow, bombs, etc. that get's a little annoying after awhile, but it's still better than most RPGs i've played.

That beeping sound when you're low on energy is so annoying.

well there's a trick to that.... don't get low on health

Yeah, the beeping sound is annoying. I hear you there.

I liked the fact that the shield was always equipped. Everyone else think it was really nifty that you could block shots at will? Too bad it can't block those #$@!ing energy beams.

Yes, and buying the magic shield helped a little; especially against that creature in the water (Zora?!), which I kill every time I get a chance. I hate that #$!*head.

Legend of Zelda and Kirby's Adventure tie as my favourite NES Games. I've beaten the first quest many times, but the second quest only once I think. I actually had Zelda II: The Adventure of Link first and when I finally got into that (took me months to figure it out) I really liked it so of course wanted the first game. It was then that I really began to dig the Zelda series.

And yeah that bleeping is annoying, but it is supposed to be.

Great game. One of the first games I rented when I first got my nintendo. It reminds me of how much I used to have fun just playing the game, rather than now I play games to beat them (eventually I beat it).

Everything up to Level 6 I can pretty much do without dying. And for some reason, I don't play for awhile, I always forget where Level 3 is at.

manuel, did you ever torrent the cartoons?

What I mean about that is simply how entertaining the games is, including all it's functions, controls, graphics sort of put together.

Yes, the game has a lot of good stuff, I'm just not very used to it, but I think I'll sit down and play it a lot in the weekend. After all it's a classic.

I didn't say it was a really bad game, just didn't see at this point why it has been so popular over the years.

BTW, thanks for the tip of getting rid of that beeping sound, Campkill, I'll keep that in mind.

They're on my list.
There's an anime I dl right now that has highest priority.
I want to download the Zelda cartoons for sure.

Well, I found another kind of "hardcore" tactic last night with this game.
I got all the heart containers I could at the start, got the medicine (just in case), and the blue ring, and ladder from level 4 only, and trekked into labyrinth #8 and scored the Master Key just so I wouldn't have to worry about keys for the whole game.
Needless to say, I was quite bored yesterday .

Hey, that's a pretty good idea Todd. I may try that sometime.

The last time I went through this game was from beginning to end in one sitting, without dying. This was when NES Achievers was going strong and I started taking pics of games. The reason I went through without dying is simple... my battery is dead in my cart. So I had to. It was fun going through it that time though.

I'd say it's a pretty damn good game, especially for how old it is. A big adventure that was made way back when... on par with Metroid for sure. As a matter of fact, as everyone here knows, those are two of the Big N's most famous franchises now. There's a reason these games lived on ;)

Not dying is a Goal I always try for, but I always seem to fail right at the beginning, trying to get enough rupees for that candle. For some reason, once I make it to 4 heart containers, I'm fine.
Oh! Almost forgot. I also have the GBA version; I believe it's the first game I bought for it (in fact, it's the first handheld system I ever bought as well, unless you count those old football and basketball games where there was nothing but red 'blips' on the screen).

Time to post in this thread.

The last time I played this game, I got to level 6 and stopped. I was at a friend's house drinking beer, and decided to play. It took me about an hour, and everyone was impressed by my knowledge of really old games.

I sucked at the game forever, until I tried the swordless quest. That's something that really teaches you how the enemies work, what items to use, and how to conserve items. Beyond that, I'm fully aware of get-rich-quick schemes, and how to not die quickly.

Also, I have the DVD of the cartoon ;)

HORSE the Band has a song called Pol's Voice from their album R. Borlax. as you can guess the song is about Pol's Voice (the bunny dudes in the dungeons). they've got another song called The Immence Defication of the Buntaluffigus which has the dungeon theme in it.

good songs, check them out. i can email them if anyone needs it, just let me know.

I liked the fact that the shield was always equipped. Everyone else think it was really nifty that you could block shots at will? Too bad it can't block those #$@!ing energy beams.

There's no such thing as Wizzrobes, there's no such thing as Wizzrobes, there's no such thing as Wizzrobes, there's....

Yeah, the energy beams are pretty much the main reason why I put them up in "Most Annoying Enemies." Probably considering that the energy beams are what they kill you with.

Fantastic Game! Like a lot of you, I was awed by the gold cartridge. My first Zelda memory is definitely that crazy commercial that they came out with. It had that guy that shouts “P-P-P-Peahats! Leeeevers! etc.” In those days, the way I picked out a game was simply by looking at the box at the store. Video game commercials were rare, and I didn’t have any game magazines. This commercial definitely caught my interest, even though it didn’t have any useful content telling me what the game was about. In fact, from the weird guy in the commercial, I honestly thought it was 4 individual games that were included and those games were called Octoroks, Tektites, Leevers, and Peahats. With those 4 sections on the box (the key, the heart, etc), this only supported my 4 games theory. Too funny.

The game itself was such a fun time. Exploring new areas freely, conquering a new dungeon, etc. The labyrinth music actually seemed creepy back in the day. I actually hand-drew the overworld once, one game screen at a time.