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One of the most influential video game franchises came to life on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986. The Legend of Zelda was both developed and published by Nintendo and helped launch the career of Shigeru Miyamoto as well as the popularity of the NES. It’s one of the most iconic adventure games filled with secrets, lore, and dungeons and this is the first time I played a Legend of Zelda game. What magic will you find in my version of The Legend of Zelda NES review? Keep scrolling to discover the fun!
The Legend of Zelda NES Plot:
Let’s check out the plot for my Legend of Zelda NES review from the best source possible… the manual!
“A long, long time ago the world was in an age of chaos.
In the midst of this chaos, in a little kingdom in the land of Hyrule, a legend was being handed down from generation to generation, the legend of the “Triforce”; golden triangles possessing mystical powers. One day, an evil army attacked this peaceful little kingdom and stole the Triforce of Power. This army was led by Ganon, the powerful Prince of Darkness who sought to plunge the world into fear and darkness under his rule. Fearing his wicked rule, Zelda, the princess of this kingdom, split up the Triforce of Wisdom, into eight fragments and hid them throughout the realm to save the last remaining Triforce from the clutches of the evil Ganon. At the same time, she commanded her most trustworthy nursemaid, Impa, to secretly escape into the land and go find a man with enough courage to destroy the evil Ganon. Upon hearing this, Ganon grew angry, imprisoned the princess, and sent out a party in search of Impa.
Braving forests and mountains, Impa fled for her life from her pursuers. As she reached the very limit of her energy she found herself surrounded by Ganon’s evil henchmen. Cornered! What could she do? But wait! All was not lost. A young lad appeared. He skillfully drove off Ganon’s henchmen and saved Impa from a fate worse than death.
His name was Link. During his travels, he had come across Impa and Ganon’s henchmen. Impa told Link the whole story of the princess Zelda and the evil Ganon. Burning with a sense of justice, Link resolved to save Zelda, but Ganon was a powerful opponent. He held the Triforce of Power. And so, in order to fight off Ganon, Link had to bring the scattered eight fragments of the Triforce of Wisdom together to rebuild the mystical triangle. If he couldn’t do this, there would be no chance Link could fight his way into Death Mountain where Ganon lived.
Can Link really destroy Gannon and save princess Zelda?”
The Legend of Zelda NES Gameplay:
During my Legend of Zelda NES Review, I was blown away by the size of the game. In 1986, this must have been mind-blowing to so many gamers who found secret after secret. As Link, you’re free to roam the vast land of Hyrule screen by screen in an overhead adventure view. Enemies will randomly materialize on screen after a second and you can either run away to avoid them or engage in combat.
Combat is fair and fun. You come equipped with a wooden sword but can upgrade its power of it throughout your run. If you have full health you can shoot your sword toward opponents making combat much easier. When you aren’t swinging a sword or shooting it, you have a shield equipped that will block most attacks if you face them head-on. It’s important to learn the fine balance of being aggressive but not reckless to survive hordes of enemies.
While I was blown away by the combat during my Legend of Zelda NES review, I loved the wonderful music that was paired for my adventure. Sound effects were spot on from finding secrets, killing enemies, and finding segments of the Triforce. Every action had its charm.
Using a guide during my Legend of Zelda NES review was needed. I used a video one to better illustrate the dungeons but if you’re planning on playing it without a written or video guide, GodSpeed. Secrets are everywhere in this game and it can become overwhelming. I often wondered how anyone found these secrets without just throwing bombs at random trees and walls. Some secrets aren’t required while some are to progress. You’ll need time and patience to unveil all of them which I didn’t so I used a video guide.
The main goal of The Legend of Zelda is to find segments of the Triforce before facing Ganon. These segments are tucked away in dungeons that are spread out across Hyrule. Every dungeon will take skill and patience but are generally fun. Enemies are a bit harder and bosses will be at the end of dungeons ranging from Triceratops to Dragons. You’ll need to figure out the pattern or weakness but most take a few good blasts from your sword.
My only real complaint about The Legend of Zelda is needing the silver arrow to defeat Ganon. I didn’t have it and faced him numerous times wondering why I couldn’t damage him. It was only after I turned to the guide I realized I had missed something. It was annoying to redo the dungeon to get the required weapon but I suppose that is how it goes for retro games.
You won’t find a better adventure game on the NES and it stands the test of time being a phenomenal experience but do yourself a favor and use a guide. My Legend of Zelda NES review was a treat from the combat, and vast land of Hyrule, to the pleasures of listening to the music. It’s all wrapped up in a wonderful package.
Can you believe that I didn’t play a single Zelda game until 2022? It’s true but because of my OCD, I had to start at the very beginning. What a wonderful adventure it was. I used a video guide for most of the games due to time constraints, I only have so many video games to play in one lifetime! But it was so special to play this game. I did complete the final dungeon by myself without help but at a cost. I faced Ganon three times before quitting due to not being able to damage him. Why was this? I needed the Silver Arrow and I didn’t have it. After learning that I went back and got it and finished Ganon off. What an adventure! I envy those who played The Legend of Zelda when it first came out. How special those nostalgic memories must be.
The Legend of Zelda NES Review Score:
This is one of the most iconic video games in history and rightfully so. It’s an adventure that everyone should take on whether they go in blind or use a guide. There are so many secrets, dungeons, and enemies to fill your imagination with. Gamers of all ages will share a love for The Legend of Zelda. My Legend of Zelda NES Review was a long time coming and I couldn’t have been more blown away by the adventure, combat, music, and addictive nature of finding the next part of the Triforce. If only I didn’t miss that silver arrow at the end! The Legend of Zelda is near perfect.
The Legend of Zelda NES scores a 9.9 out of 10.
What would you write in your Legend of Zelda NES review? What was your favorite secret? Did you use a guide during your playthrough or did you discover all the magic yourself? What was the hardest part of the game? Let me know your thoughts and comments on The Legend of Zelda NES, I’d love to read them.