The Legend of Zelda (Gold) NES Game Cartridge
The Legend of Zelda was released for the NES in 1987. It was developed and published by Nintendo. If was the Zelda game in the series, being a launch game for the Famicom Disk System in Japan in 1986. It also became the first console game to have an internal battery to save data when it was released in the USA as a cartridge. It sold over six and a half million copies. The game has been featured in multiple lists of most influential or greatest game, also being regarded as the RPG genre’s spiritual forerunner. There have been many prequels, sequels, and spin offs which established a series becoming one of the most popular for Nintendo. The game has been ported to GBA and the Gamecube, also being emulated for the Wii, 3DS, and Wii U Virtual Console.
The game’s plot is described inside the game’s instruction manual and in a short prologue that appears after the game’s title screen. It takes place in Hyrule, a small kingdom, where chaos has engulfed it by an army being led by the evil Ganon, also known as the Prince of Darkness, invaded the kingdom, stealing it’s Power Triforce. The Power Triforce is a magic artifact that bestows great strength. To prevent Ganon from obtaining the Wisdom Triforce, Princess Zelda ends up splitting it and them hides all eight fragments inside secret dungeons that are located throughout Hyrule. Before Ganon kidnaps Zelda, she commanded Impa, her nursemaid, to find a person courageous enough to save Hyrule. While wandering around Hyrule, the elderly woman becomes surrounded by the henchmen of Ganon. A younger boy by the name of Link appears to rescue her. After listening to the plea from Impa, Link decides to try to rescue Zelda and goes on a quest of reassembling the scattered Wisodom Triforce fragments to become strong enough to be able to destroy Ganon.
The game incorporates elements from RPG, action, and adventure games. A player will take control of Link from an overhead view having a flip screen as they travel around the overworld, which is a big outdoor map that has a variety of environments. The player will start the game with just a shield, with a sword becoming available to them after venturing inside a cave accessible on the first screen of the game. During the game, a variety of characters will help the player by selling or giving equipment and some clues. Those people are able to be found inside caves scattered around Hyrule’s overworld. Some of the caves will be readily accessible, and the others will be hidden behind some obstacles like waterfalls, trees, and rocks.
There will be creatures barring the player’s progress and they will need to fight to locate entrances to the nine dungeons that are underground. Every dungeon will be unique, being maze like and having multiple rooms that are connected with secret passages and doors, also being guarded by different monsters than the ones located on the overworld map. The dungeons will also have useful items the player can add into their arsenal, like the boomerang that will stun enemies and retrieve distant items, and the recorder that has magical properties. The player will need to navigate through the game’s first eight underground dungeons successfully to obtain the eight fragments of the Wisdom Triforce. When the player collects the pieces, they will be able to enter the game’s ninth dungeon so they can rescue Zelda.
The order of finishing the dungeons will be up to the player, although the difficulty of the dungeons will increase steadily, with some only being able to be completed or reached with items obtained from a previous dungeon. In addition, entrances for the three dungeons with the highest levels will be hidden. The player is able to wander the Hyrule overworld freely, being able to buy or find items anytime. This flexibility will enable unusual ways to play the game. An example is the possibility of reaching the game’s final boss without ever getting the sword.
When the game is completed, the player will have access to a quest that is more difficult. It is referred to officially as the game’s Second Quest, having newer dungeon locations and dungeon layouts, different placements for items, and more powerful enemies. Even though this harder second play through was not something unique for Zelda, very few games had offered entirely different dungeons/levels to finish on a second play through. The game’s Second Quest will be able to be replayed every time Zelda is completed. The player can also access it anytime when they start a file and use ZELDA as their name.
Region: NTSC (North America)