Let’s Talk About…: Legends

We’re back with our “Let’s Talk About…” series! Check out the previous chats here.

Let’s Talk About…: a few The Legend of Zelda games

Where to begin?

Well, let’s start at the beginning.

Image result for skyward sword

No. Not that beginning.

Image result for zelda ii the adventure of link

Much better.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was the very first Zelda game I played way back in nineteen-ninety-mumble (it was one of the games my parents gave us with our shiny new NES). This so-called black sheep of the Zelda franchise is notable for a number of reasons that many people know, as well as some you may not know, so let’s get the easy ones out of the way:

  • It’s the only side-scrolling Zelda game
  • It’s the only game where Link is mentioned in the title
  • It’s the only Zelda game that doesn’t have “Legend” in the title (unless its the Japanese version)
  • It’s the only Zelda game that has true RPG elements like experience points and leveling up
  • It’s the only Zelda game in which Link has a set number of lives (and can pick up more as he quests)

But did you also know that Zelda II is the reason later Zelda have some of their now-iconic elements? And this makes sense, considering it’s the second game released in the series, so the “Zelda” feel was beginning to be established. For instance, NPCs began to have a much bigger role in the story, and players saw the Triforce of Courage for the first time. And, of course, we meet Dark Link, who shows up again in Ocarina of Time (and I think in Four Swords Adventures. Oh, and briefly (sort of) in Twilight Princess). So, regardless of some of its flaws and deviations from what would eventually become “standard” Zelda fare, it did help, well, establish what “Zelda fare” was and wasn’t.

Image result for zelda 2 link finds a mirror

Anyway, I loved watching my brother and sister play “Link” (which is what we called the game since that was the biggest word on the cartridge), and eventually I loved to play it for myself, when they let me have the controller. It’s such a hard game, and I never beat it (they came close, though!), but it was my go-to game for the longest time, even as young as I was. It still holds a pretty special place in my heart.

Of course I can’t talk about Zelda without talking about Ocarina of Time.

Image result for ocarina of time

This was the first Zelda game I beat, but more importantly, I remember how full of wonder I was seeing the adventure unfold in 3D and with the amazing graphics (for the time). I still babble on about the translucency of the Spiritual Stones.

I was also introduced to redeads, which their mere sound used to send me in to a panic, as did those gosh darn wallmasters…

And I can’t talk about Ocarina of Time without mentioning the one Zelda game I regret not finishing…

Related image
It’s the only Zelda title with purple text.

I was way too particular about this game. I just couldn’t get past the fact that I couldn’t do everything during every three day cycle, because little me just thought that everyone deserved to be saved all the time, didn’t they? I never finished it, and then, a million years later when I was starting to rebuild my old N64 collection (I don’t want to talk about why I had to rebuild it), my dog ate the cartridge. He literally took it off my desk and crunched through it.

I almost killed him. Anyway, that game is as of yet unfinished.

But then there’s the reason I bought a Wii (no, seriously):

Image result for twilight princess

I think I love Twilight Princess not only because it’s a “spiritual successor” to Ocarina of Time, but also because of how the darker themes were made a little more apparent in this one (because, let’s face it, in Zelda II, Ganon’s minions wanted to kill Link and use his blood to revive Ganon, which is a pretty dark theme, but wasn’t really brought up all that much in-game). I also loved Midna, and she is still my favorite companion character for so many reasons that I’m not going to get into here…

Related image
Yes. Yes, you are so beautiful that I do not have any words left.

This is in direct comparison to certain other Zelda companions who shall remain nameless.

So there you have it: my rambling devotion to Zelda has certainly spanned the decades (as it has for most fans, I think). Thus I ask:

What about you? What’s your oldest Zelda memory? Who is your favorite companion character? Did you play/like Zelda 2? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~ Athena

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  1. OK, confession time … I never actually finished a Zelda game. I didn’t own a NES or SNES, so I missed out on the older games, and I didn’t own of the games on my later Nintendo systems (N64 and GameCube). It’s never been a case of disliking the games either, it’s just that my exposure was limited.
    They feel too long to play at the local gaming cafe, so it really does come down to me having to own them to play them at this point. That being said, my youngest bought herself a gameboy colour with Links Awakening at a recent convention, so i’ve been helping with that 🙂
    The dog eating the cart though … I truly hope none of my animals do the same to any of my games …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, that’s cool. Prior to OoT, I haven’t finished any of those games. And I didn’t have a GameCube, so I didn’t even play Wind Waker (I know, I know…). Link’s Awakening is cool; my friend played it (I was never a handheld person), and I’m sure your brother appreciates your help 🙂

      …and yeah. We’ve had a lot of dogs, and he was the only one that ever took things off the counters/tables and chewed on them. He was really the odd-dog-out in that regard.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do feel like I missed out a little with the Zelda games in that regard, but hey ho. I can still catch up.
        My daughter is defintiely appreciating the help though. She can see what she needs to do most of the time, but isn’t quite there in terms of nailing different tasks or puzzles yet.

        Heh. Our dog wouldn’t likely grab anything I don’t think. She’s good at knocking stuff over though. Out cat is the biggest problem. She likes to sit on consoles and overheat them. Or sometimess the sky box … she’ll sit on that and then start changing the channel.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I just realized your comment says “bought” and not “brother.” So…. yeah I apparently really should consider going to the eye doctor. Sorry about that! I’m sure your daughter appreciates the help even more than the brother that I accidentally gave you!! And it’s never to late to play a Zelda game 🙂

          Your cat sounds like a hoot, by the way.


  2. You’ve chosen some great games to love here!

    I guess my favourite Zelda game has to be Link’s Awakening for the Game Boy, followed closely by The Legend of Zelda. I think it’s cute that you guys used to call the game Link because I’m pretty sure we did in my home as well! Link’s Awakening was a game that captured my heart with its super cute sprite work and its story. I was honestly blown away to find out that Seasons and Ages were done up in the same engine, and I’ve been wanting to get around to playing them just to get thrown back into that universe in a different storyline. Though lots of people think Link’s Awakening is a bit weird because of the game’s entire premise, I didn’t care that it didn’t really follow all the traditional themes and story of the original games, and that’s probably why I also love Zelda II. I’ve never finished Zelda II, but I hope to get around to it someday. When I first picked up Zelda II in my late teens, it really reminded me of Faxanadu (my favourite NES game).

    I’m really sorry to hear about your Majora’s Mask. I would be livid too if something ate one of my games!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the thing… I know there’s standard “Zelda fare” now, but if they’re legends, surely there can be deviations from the “norm”? If it’s a good game, it’s a good game! I haven’t played Faxanadu, but if it’s like Zelda II it sounds like one I’d like! Hope you get to play Seasons and Ages soon 🙂

      And thanks… he was an odd dog, and the only one we ever had that took stuff off of tables to chew on them….

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Whatever they paid that guy in the commercial, it was not enough.

      Twilight Princess was great, Skyward Sword (cough) had its moments… No, really, the dungeons were solid and I liked some of the puzzles. And I”m nowhere near playing BotW, so you’re in good company haha


  3. My first Zelda game was the original. I spent a lot of time with both it and Zelda II as a kid and was super jealous of friends that got a Super Nintendo and had A Link to the Past before I did. I didn’t play Ocarina when it came out (I opted for a Playstation instead of a N64) and I don’t think I got to it until after I played Wind Waker (which holds my heart as the best 3D Zelda game at least until I come to terms with my Breath of the Wild opinion). I still think I prefer 2D Zelda though, A Link Between Worlds was a phenomenal game and I hold it real close to A Link to the Past but I’ve come to appreciate the 3D Zelda’s over time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah OoT was the last Zelda I played before I got an incredibly used Wii just to play Twilight Princess. I wanted to play A Link Between Worlds, but I never really got into the handheld scene, and with my gaming habits I couldn’t rationalize buying a handheld just for one game. At least on the Wii I scraped a few more games together for it… I’ve heard great things about it, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My first memory of Zelda was the animated version, either on Captain N or the Super Mario Bros. Super Show. This is probably bad form for a video game enthusiast, but I could never get into the Legend of Zelda games.

    I think we had Zelda II for the Famicom, but there were no Spanish translations in the market, so, being too young to understand English, I got bored really easily with it. Eventually, I played Majora’s Mask, and funnily enough I had to play it in Portuguese because we were in Brazil at the time. I figure a lot was lost in translation, because despite being hyped for it and the cutting-edge graphics (for the time!), I couldn’t get into the game.

    And now I am a bad gamer I guess 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well excuuuse me, Princess. 😛

      If that’s your exposure to Zelda, then I’m not surprised…. All kidding aside, that’s too bad they weren’t translated, because they’re great games, but they do require a lot of reading.

      Nah, you’re not a bad gamer. There are plenty of “staple” games that I don’t like/have never played, either!!


      1. Ahaha, that catchphrase. xD

        Yes, it’s a shame. Later on I found out that there were translations but they were made for the European market (and I am not even sure if they were legit or bootlegs). At least I can try again now, right? What Zelda game would you recommend a total noob?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh no. Recommendations… my ultimate weakness….

          I guess it depends on what console(s) you have? A Link to the Past on the SNES is a good one, since a lot of “standard” Zelda fare begins to be solidified in that game. The original game on NES and Zelda II can be a little obtuse without having a map. If you have an N64 or a GameCube (or a Wii that can play the GameCube disc), Ocarina of Time is an older “new” Zelda game, so it’s more akin to the types of games out now in regards to being 3D, having aiming/targeting, etc.

          If you play OoT, definitely go for Majora’s Mask afterward! or Twilight Princess…

          As much as I love Twilight Princess, there were times that it really hinted at some other things that happened in previous games (particularly OoT), so for the fullest impact I might not start there….

          Sigh. After that whole mess, I’d say either Ocarina of Time or A Link to the Past…

          OH! And if you’re going for the GameCube disc, there’s a Zelda “Collector’s Edition” that has 4 Zelda games on one disc and it’s absolutely worth the money, because it’s the original LoZ, Zelda II, OoT, and Majora’s Mask. I was able to snag a copy for about $40 on Amazon… If you’re using a Wii you might have to get a memory card in order to save your game, but if you had a GameCube you can use one from that (I think).


  5. It was nineteen-ninety-mumble when I played my first Zelda too! It was A Link to the Past on the SNES though. It was actually the 2nd video game I ever played, and during a certain depressing hospital stay when I was a kid. I could never get passed the castle intro then (that thing with the chain weapon in the basement always pwned me, haha), but damn it was a fun escape 😀 I remember my Mom and I loving the castle music too.

    Ocarina of Time is still my all-time favourite video game, ever! I loved Major’s Mask too. Getting to swim as a Zora more than made up for my annoyance with the 3 day time limit. Twilight Princess sold me on the Wii too. When my friend at work FINALLY finishes BoTW and returns my Wii U, I plan to play the HD remake of Twilight Princess, haha. Oh and the Midna & Wolf Link Amiibo is awesome! I wish they would make an Amiibo of her true form. I’m detecting there’s a 98.346% chance that you’re not a huge Fi fan.

    To date, Zelda II, Link’s Awakening, A Link Between Worlds, and Breath of the Wild are the only Zelda games I haven’t beaten yet. I’ll get to them eventually! I’m also pretending those terrible CD-i ones don’t exist…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A Link to the Past is great! I never finished it (played it at a friend’s house), but once I re-aquire a SNES you bet I’ll be playing the heck out of it!

      I really did like the masks in Majora’s Mask, too, and though it was a neat layer of puzzles to be able to transform into other people.

      The Wolf Link/Midna amiibo is the only one I have. Although I have to send you a picture of one of Link I found the other day…… And you’re pretty close with that assessment of my relationship with FI.

      What CD-i? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Having different forms was so cool! Though I felt bad for poor Link every time I made him put on a transformation mask… It sounded really painful! 😦

        DO NOT buy anymore Amiibo. I’m warning you – one turns into ALL of them very quickly… I’m intrigued by this Link picture you speak of!


        Liked by 1 person

  6. fun read. Like you I started with Zelda 2. It was just there as part of a bunch of games my dad got for NES. It was the shiny gold cartridge, easily the most eye appealing game, until I started playing. It was so damn hard and I didn’t understand anything. the RPG mechanics were completely foreign to me, I hadn’t played a game like that and being a 5 year old, it was a little hard for me to grasp. I never came close to finishing it, but eventually found Zelda to be way cooler when link to the past was out. I also never finished it because I never owned it, but OOT is what really tested me and I was actually able to finish. That water temple… man, good times.Majora’s mask I rented but it was too hard, having the game reset every 3 days. I also loved Twighlight princess, I loved the darker themes and the similarities it had with OOT. and Midna is such a good character.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah Zelda II was hard for me, too and I had no idea what was going on. I just remember seeing that my brother and sister would add points to magic or life and told me to do the same things, so I just went with it.

      I actually liked the Water Temple and didn’t have as much of a hard time as other people seem to have had. I actually was more terrified of the Forrest Temple and those creepy floormasters…

      I’m still hoping for a return of Midna one day……..

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My first Zelda was the original, although I didn’t do a whole lot of playing of it. The local rental place had a copy, so pretty much all my neighbors had their go with it back in the day, and I did a lot of watching. Nobody got very far, I think everybody had trouble finding dungeons. Which was the same problem I had with it once I grew.

    The first Zelda I owned was Link’s Awakening, the Game Boy one. I used to borrow a Link to the Past too, although never finished it back in the day. I think the first Zelda I actually beat was Ocarina of Time, but I’ve gone through that one more times than I can count.

    And yeah, Twilight Princess is an all around great game. I feel they brought more of the magic that eveyone’s been expecting to that game than they have to any other since Ocarina of Time. So much care put into so many aspects of it, and creativity really abounded.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems to be a pattern that people started with the first few games, and then actually beat one of the games when OoT came out. Likewise, that got a lot of playtime from me, too.

      You’re right about the magic they brought to Twilight Princess. Not to sound completely sappy, but it was like you could feel the love that was put into the designs; it really was a spiritual successor to Ocarina of Time in so many ways.


  8. Minda forever! I’m torn between Twilight and Majora. I love the darker aspects of both. I’ve only actually played The olde Zeldas (really old) like OOT and LTTP. Er, I’m going to be that person…isn’t there Link’s Awakening for a title? Were you just going with the non-handheld consoles? Don’t kill me! I think Adventures is nowhere near as bad as that one game, Sword of Gamelon or something? We don’t even talk about that 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Woo Midna!!

      Ah, yes, you’re right. I never got into the handheld games, and so my brain defaults to not-handheld consoles. Link’s Awakening definitely has “Link” in the title!! It wasn’t a purposeful snub; I legit forgot, but yes, let’s go with non-handheld consoles 😉

      The Wand of Gamelon?? *shudders*

      …*shudders again because I remembered the title*

      Liked by 1 person

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