Hello and welcome to The Starlight Megaphone’s playthrough of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, an adventure game originally released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan on 21 November 1991, in America on 13 April 1992, and finally in Europe on 24 September 1992.
At its launch, the game was proclaimed an instant classic, lauded then and now as one the greatest video games of all time. Building on the solid and commercially successful gameplay of the original The Legend of Zelda, Link to the Past developed and polished that approach, utilising the increased power of the Super Nintendo to deliver superior graphics and audio. The result, an incredible success, established ‘Zelda’ as an unshakeable and core Nintendo franchise.
In addition, the game’s strong focus on a narrative thread throughout the game developed concepts found in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Giving Link a clear motive for his actions, people with whom to interact, and a set of circumstances in which he is contextually located helped to broaden the appeal of the game beyond that found in the original NES title. Instead of blindly exploring a wilderness, Link explores his own home kingdom, encountering friends and neighbours–but he also explores a terrifying alternative reality, where nothing is quite the same.
So successful was the release of A Link to the Past that Nintendo has subsequently re-released it on the Game Boy Advance, and on the virtual consoles for the Wii, Wii U, and New Nintendo 3DS. The game was also included in the Super Nintendo Classic console. A sequel, remaking elements of A Link to the Past was released on the Nintendo 3DS as The Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds, which draws upon the setting and premise of the original SNES game, even as it delivers an experience altogether different from the original title.
Speedrunners continue to favour A Link to the Past, and many modifications have been made to the ROM of the game, including versions which randomise item locations, increase difficulty, or add new levels, dungeons, and worlds. Although The Starlight Megaphone will be playing through the original release, any fan of the game would be well-advised to look at the creations of the creative people who continually seek ways to make the game relevant and new for players of all experience levels.
As mentioned above, A Link to the Past builds upon the gameplay of the original The Legend of Zelda game. Set in Hyrule, the game is a top-down adventure in a style now ubiquitously associated with the 2D entries in the franchise. The protagonist, Link, seeks to recover the Triforce, defeat Ganon, and rescue the beautiful princess Zelda, thereby saving Hyrule in the process. Along the way, he will explore dungeons and defeat monstrous foes in order to acquire tools and weapons which will help him to reach formerly unreachable places. He will also grow in strength and power, even acquiring magical spells which can aid him in time of need.
Use the comment thread below to discuss your approach to the game, challenges you have faced, secrets you have uncovered, and what you are getting out of your playthrough. Do you feel that the The Legend of Zelda series has truly advanced since its origins in the 2D era? Or, do you prefer the aesthetics and gameplay of the classic 2D titles? Has your experience with other Zelda games affected your perception of this game? Do you find the world immersive, lacking in direction, or constricting? Tell us all about it and join in our discussion below! We will select some of the best comments, each week, for our podcast discussion.
The aim in this playthrough is to complete the entirety of the game in three weeks:
– Week 1: Obtain the three pendants, the Master Sword, and the first crystal.
– Week 2: Obtain the second, third, fourth, and fifth crystals.
– Week 3: Obtain the last three crystals and complete the game.
Please join in, even if you are behind on the playthrough. Anyone and everyone is invited to participate, regardless of speed of play or familiarity with the series. Comment and tell your friends!
Without further adieu, it is our pleasure to invite you to join The Starlight Megaphone’s staff members and readers as we return to the glories of top-down Zelda adventures in Spring into the Past: A The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Playthrough!