The last classic game I reviewed was Mario brought over to handheld so let’s now move to them having brought over the Zelda franchise over to handhelds. It also happens to have been my first Zelda game I played so let’s look into it, and once again thank the implementation of the Gameboy player for an easy access for review.
Much like Mario Land 2, its quite impressive what was done bringing Zelda to handhelds. You have a large island and 8 dungeons to explore, side quests and a few mini games.
The game opens with Link on a raft in a storm, why? We do not know, but next we discover him on a beach as a woman finds him. Link awakens in a bed (this was before that became a cliché). We learn the island he is on is called Koholint Island. Link after getting his sword back finds out from an owl that the only way to leave the island is to wake up the legendary Windfish who is sealed in a large egg on top of a mountain by beings called the Nightmares. To do this Link will need to find 8 musical instruments sealed in the 8 dungeons.
As with classic Zeldas you explore the world or Island, interact with characters, and obtaining items to open the next dungeon which will have a key tool for you to use so you can explore more of the island and so on.
Due to the limitations on controls, both the sword and shield are items that can be equipped to the A and B much like all the tools, be they the Roc’s feather allowing you to jump over pits, bombs or even the Pegasus boots. Many of the classic items in the game are here, and some like the Roc’s feather first appear here.
For a handheld, you get the full classic Zelda experience. Gameplay – it feels like a midpoint between the original NES and Link to the Past. It’s the limits mechanically of the NES such as each screen scrolling to the next square. But with the more refined gameplay learned through Link to the Past. This makes it a very good first Zelda, though it will leave you puzzled by why it’s called the Legend of ZELDA when there is no Zelda and her name brought up once.
The game was originally released for the Game Boy in 1993, but an enhanced Port for the Game Boy Colour was released in 1998 which also contains a secret hidden dungeon. Additionally in 2019 a remake for the Switch was released and had a toy box aesthetic.
The core controls and skeleton of the GBC release would later be used to make the Oracles Zelda games which are expected to come out for the Game Boy player at some point, and I’m eagerly awaiting for. But for other people this is a perfect time to experience Links first handheld adventure.
Leave a Reply