When I was a kid, I remember being very aware of The Legend Of Zelda thanks to those commercials. Remember? "Zelda!? Zelda!?" I bet it's on Youtube. But I didn't have a NES yet. I had an Atari 2600. And while the commercial showed me NOTHING, I feel like I created this insane vision of what Zelda was. And I had to have it.
I got a NES a year or so later, and by that time Zelda II was out. I remember getting a copy of Zelda II and the Official Nintendo Player's Guide for my birthday. It was a huge deal. And I've written about how much nostalgia and fondness I have for Zelda II. But soon enough I knew I needed the original game. I brokered a trade with my cousin, Matt. I don't remember what game(s) he got in the exchange, but I can promise that I came out ahead.
The first Zelda quickly became an obsession. And it was and remains one of my absolute favorite NES games of all time. Shocking? No.
But I've replayed it many times over the years. It's straight comfort food. In the past year, I played through NES Remix which featured a sort of micro-version of the game where you just plow through boss battles and key moments. It was a fun and quick way to revisit the game. It was like getting a little Zelda fix.
Nintendo has done an interesting job in presenting new experiences for old games in the Wii U and Switch eras. I think most people probably overlook these SP versions of games on Switch Online. But some of them are pretty interesting.
The Legend Of Zelda SP is basically easy mode. You start off with better armor, better sword, a few items, some extra hearts and lots of rupees. Oh, and all the bushes with hidden entrances are already revealed. You might say this takes away from the experience. And it does - for a first playthrough. But for me - someone who's been through this game multiple times over the decades - it's like a nice relaxing visit home.
Now I can march right from one dungeon to the next and play a sort of mellow version of this game. It's not about the CHALLENGE, it's about reminding myself of the EXPERIENCE. Scoff at these SP versions as being cheap ROM-hacks if you like. But some of them are not without their merit.
I ran through the first four dungeons last night in about an hour. A nice way to do it for a dude who's got a four month old in the house that's still figuring out how to sleep through the night. To be honest, with such inconsistent downtime for gaming, having this sort of easy mode to revisit is actually quite the blessing. I don't need to spend time grinding for rupees or exploring the overworld map - it's all just the dungeons. Nice.
I don't know what happened. I actually played this a bunch over the weekend. I did some of the dungeons out of order because I forgot where they were. Anyway, I got up to Gannon's dungeon and died a couple of times and then just kind of quit. I don't know. I feel less compelled to finish this up now. I've beaten the game in the past, so I'm not super motivated to see it through. And I feel like I've played the bulk of the game - or at least had fun revisiting it for now. Still an awesome game. Top 10 Zelda for sure.