Time for another franchise starter and so we are told it’s dangerous to go alone, look up a guide on the internet (because magazines wont have it unless you have a very old one). The original Zelda game came out for the NES in 1986 and was an early user of a saved file so you didn’t have to complete the game all in one go.
Right after you name your character you have a choice to go north, east, west or into a cave. Assuming you chose the right choice of going in a cave an old man (odd how a lot of Nintendo franchises start with that) will give you a sword. Now it’s up to you to look up what you are meant to be doing as this was long before the game told you what to do in the game alone.
What’s before you is a long quest, searching the land of Hyrule for the 8 pieces of the Triforce to defeat the evil Ganon and rescue the princess Zelda. These are found in dungeons all along the land, which can be a bit of a task finding, well the first one is not too much to find and you may find it after random wandering and not dying (which will probably happen as you’re pathetic at the start).
This is why I find using a guide to be VERY helpful, use it to get the first few hearts, a more powerful sword and a magical ring that decreases the damage you take by half (YOU WILL NEED THESE). While I found I didn’t need these too much for the first dungeon, by the time of the third I find I really needed these, and as mentioned, no where in the game does it reliably tell you where to find them.
Exploring is a key aspect for this game, BUT unlike future games it can be rather counter intuitive. There are no clear indicators where hidden objects are, or when you should get them, and while in new games this would be considered a sign of a sandbox game back then it really just prevents you from getting going. By dungeon 3 you’re facing enemies that can easily kill you if you didn’t find any of the hidden hearts or items.
I honestly can’t recommend this game to anyone that wants to check out the Legend of Zelda. It’s better than the second game (which had one of the most notorious difficulty spikes in gaming) but a better early Zelda game is a ‘Link To The Past’. With a guide the game is a lot better but without one it is sadly lacking, and I can’t recommend a game that you should play while having access to the internet,especially from before the internet was in wide use.