It’s entries like this that I’m glad I only have about four or five regular readers because if I did have a large fan base or a hefty amount of traffic I think I could probably hear them now putting down their mice and keyboards and getting out the torches and pitchforks. “But random RPG blog guy, the Zelda games are NOT RPG’s!!!!” they would exclaim loudly and angrily. “They are adventure games or action-adventure games at best you fool! renounce your heresy or burn in the fires of damnation!”.
To these people I say……your probably correct, well about Zelda games. Look, I know the definition of what an RPG is can be nebulas and varies a bit from person to person. Hell, some even deny traditional JRPG’s are RPG’s because you don’t actually roleplay or create the character from scratch. Let me just say the purpose of this blog is not to define or philosophize on what makes a game an RPG. If you disagree with me including Zelda games that’s fine but TO ME they always really felt like RPG’s….even if just barely, so I want to include them. I know I’m in a minority group on this but if you disagree that much then just skip this article and I’ll happily greet you next time….unless the next one is another in the Zelda franchise or a similar grey area RPG. anyways….
Let me start out by saying LTTP is my favorite of the Zelda series and possibly in my top five games of all time. My best friend who is a big Zelda fan bought this game when it came out and I ended up borrowing it and I just fell in love with it from the moment It started and I walked out the door of my in game home and into a downpour on my way to the castle to save the princess.
The envisioning of Hyrule, the world that the game takes place in was such a colorful and varied world when I was a kid and even to this day I love traversing it. In honesty the world is nowhere near as massive as some game worlds and only features one town (two if you count the dark world) but it’s a huge step up from the NES iterations and it is a bright and colorful world of detail and varied terrains. Your goal is to explore the world searching out the various dungeons first to find the pendents which enable you to wield the master sword and later to save the decedents of the sages. The world is actually twice the size as it first appears as later you discover a mirror “Dark World” that you travel to and eventually can freely traverse back and forth.
The controls for the game are pretty spot on and I can’t complain. With Zelda being a action RPG controls are pretty important but everything works as it should. Progression is also done via the traditional Zelda way with you as Link usually discovering a new item in every new dungeon that is integral in defeating that dungeons boss and opening the way in the outerworld to the next dungeon. I suppose it isn’t strictly liner but I honestly cant remember as a kid getting lost or doing dungeons out of order and hitting a difficulty spike. Of course having played this game a few times over in my youth I had no trouble navigating in my latest playthrough.
The game doesn’t do anything very new for the Zelda series. Its the same dungeon to dungeon grind to collect new items and abilities on a quest to collect X number of pendents and then decedents with an overall goal of defeating Ganon and saving Zelda. I want to stress though this certainly is not a bad thing and I think this game really feels like a updated and improved Zelda on NES. Its what I like about the SNES library as many of the “Super” sequels really do feel like they kept the core of the NES originals which made them fun and just updated them and made them more expansive.
For the time the color and sound on LTTP kind of blew me away. the colorful world and excellent soundtrack that plays as you journey the world. I loved the effects at the time such as rain in the opening sequence as well as the swamp in the dark world. The fog and atmosphere of the forest was another part that really impressed me back in 1993. Me and my friends would always get a kick out of making Link do his little push animation on NPC’s since it kind of looked like he was humping them…hey, we were 13
The hero as always is the elf like boy Link and the main baddie is of course eventually discovered to be Ganon but before that it’s the evil wizard Agahnim whom is really just Ganon’s avatar. Ganon, as iconic of a villain as he is was never really a complex or developed character in my opinion, at least not in the early titles. He was just kind of evil and wanted power and Hyrule for himself. It worked but it wasn’t very developed though I do believe in later titles they expanded Ganons past and motivations. The enemies are familiar and varied. We see a lot of familiar faces from Zelda on the NES such as Zoras and Octorocks but also plenty of new fiends.
The dungeon bosses are a treat as always and are varied and visually impressive. They almost always have to dealt with via the item or power you most recently obtained. A few that stand out to me are the annoying worm boss that gets faster as you hurt it and has a nasty habit of knocking you off the ledge to the level below as well as this strange scorpion monster that you need to bust its armored mask off to hurt it.
There are a few tricky parts such as one section where to reveal the dungeons boss you need to lead a captive you free earlier into a section of light that shines through a window and then through a hole you create with a bomb. As a kid this part held me up for quite some time and I distinctly remember asking my mom to call a local used game store to ask if anyone knew how to progress at this point.
There are plenty of important items to pick up but when compared to more traditional RPG experiences the armor and weapon selection is a tad small but this tends to be the nature of most action RPG’s and I cant really say LTTP suffers from it at all. you do upgrade your armor and sword throughout the game as well as alternate item/weapons such as bombs and the boomerang though its only a few times you can with each.
I have to admit i’m a bit biased on this game because I have so much nostalgia for it but I do think it’s a great game regardless. The game has several pleasant surprises like the dark work opening up and the sound and visuals are excellent for an earlier SNES title and still hold up today. It really feels like a “super” upgrade from the NES origional and is certainly worth your time to play or replay if you hadn’t beaten it for awhile like myself.
Game World – A-
Controls – B+
Game play – B
Plot – B-
Graphics/Sound – A
Protagonist (Main Character) – B-
NPC’s, Antagonist (main villain) – C+
Weapons/armor/items/magic – C+
Enemies – A-
Stability –Grade: N/A
Overall – B+