January 1st, 2013, 9:50 pm

The Legend of Zelda: The First Game I Played

Happy 2013, everyone!! I'm darn pleased to tell you all that I managed to meet my own deadlines, and finish Chapter 9 of "The Edge and the Light". Two more chapters to go this January!

Someone asked me why I spent this much effort to draw such a long Zelda fanfic, and I decided to post up several reasons, one of which included why the original "Legend of Zelda" meant so much to me. So here it is, my first experience in playing Zelda.

The first Zelda game I played:

The first time I played the original "Legend of Zelda", it was a failure. The second time I played it was a revelation. I was 8 years old, sitting with my my old white-and-red modded Famicom from Japan, and Zelda was just one game I had among many. Working through my game library, I popped Zelda in, tried to figure out what to do for a few minutes, declared it boring and stupid and then played another game. It wasn't because it was a bad game (heck no), but because I couldn't understand the game. Unbeknownst to my young mind, the original "Legend of Zelda" was a watershed moment in home console gaming, and a huge departure from what video games were like back in 1987.

Up until then, my understanding of computer games were either side-scrolling platform games like "Super Mario Bros" or "Castlevania", or single-screen games like "Lode Runner" or "Bubble Bobble", where the goal was to get to the next stage. Occasionally you get sports games like "Ice Hockey" (totally fun) or racing games like "Excitebike" (simple, but still one of the most fun multiplayer games I've ever played), or shooter games like "Defender" or "TwinBee"... but the basic idea remained the same. Go right, never left - keep going. Most games I played were a variation of that. The "Legend of Zelda" was a free-roaming exploration game, and I just didn't "get" the concept.

It took a visit to a friend's house to change that perspective. My friend was playing the game, and he explained it to me, while I watched. Suddenly, I got it. I understood what the game was about, and how to play it. It was full of adventuring, exploring, beating monsters, and secrets. My friend lent me the strategy guide, and I went home and literally played the crap out of the game. As a 9 year-old I managed to reach the final dungeon, but never managed to get through that massive level to defeat Ganon. And then my Famicom got given away, so I never got to finish it, though I managed to play a bit of the murderously-difficult "Zelda 2: Adventure of Link" (to date, I'm sure I'm the only person on earth who wants to see Nintendo do another take on Zelda 2 - not a remake, but a side-scrolling Zelda).

Years later, I would finally get the chance to beat both the first and second quests, but the original "Legend of Zelda" will always remain the game that revolutionised my idea of what video games could be. It was a seminal moment in gaming history, but it was also a seminal moment in my young impressionable mind - video games could be anything you wanted, and be about anything. It was as big a revelation as reading "Black Jack" was, as a teenager, as I wrote about it on my blog here (http://www.queeniechan.com/2011/05/11/recommendation-black-jack/).

It's been years since the first "Legend of Zelda" game, and it's been gratifying to see the series evolve, and survive a transition to 3D, something that countless other gaming icons have failed to do (Sonic and the Belmont Family, I'm looking at you). I can't say I like the latest Zelda games as much as the earlier ones, but I understand the series needs to keep evolving, so at least for now, I'll keep on buying and playing the Zelda games, even as I hardly ever play video games anymore (long story there). Either way, this series has given me so much fond memories, hence why I'm doing this fanfiction. I'm sure other people have similar stories as to why they're long-time Zelda fans too.

posted by queeniechan @ January 1st, 2013, 9:50 pm   0 comments

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