The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past has always been a part of my life, I’ve been told my dad would put me to sleep as a kid by playing it at night. I continued to watch my father play various games, as I got older, but I always wanted to watch him play The Legend of Zelda game he had. Although it was the only Zelda game my father ever played, he is the reason my love for the Zelda franchise blossomed. I tried to thank him by sharing my love for the series by getting him to play Skyward Sword, but the motion controls were definitely not his forte. Nevertheless, whenever I had time with him we would always go back and play to A Link to the Past, and I would show him all the things he did not know to augment our time together.  

The 16-bit classic is no stranger to exploring puzzles and finding hidden gizmos in an “open world” setting.  The SNES  game has consistently been at the top of the list for the best games of all time for a reason. The game is timeless, A Link to the Past looks and feels as great as the day it came out, even just being a 16-bit game, colors are still vivid and game play is seamless. A Link to the Past  revolutionized the Zelda series and even influenced the foundation of all adventure games after its release. I grew up playing a single Zelda game, never getting bored.

To this day I still go back and play A Link to the Past just for the pure enjoyment of it. The style was charming, the story was captivating and logical, and gameplay was simple.  The first time I played Skyward Sword I detested the controls and some game play mechanics, such as the introduction to the stamina bar and the ability to guard. Despite the alluring colors and, later discovered, an enjoyable story, the controls ruined my initial impression of the game. Due to those redesigned game mechanics, I refused to play for months until I decided otherwise. Instead I went back to what I knew and what I loved – A Link to the Past.

A Link to the Past was the start for game play mechanics and exploration for all the Zelda games seen today. The controls are simple and reliable allowing anyone to play without hassle, even for someone not so great at video-games, including myself. For a game released in 1992, A Link to the Past has held up to its successors in narrative, style, and game play. An exceptional game does not need to be hyper-realistic with hundreds of hours of content. Games like Undertale and Stardew Valley, are designed and stylized similar to the classic 16-bit style of A Link to the Past. Game play mechanics such as the item collecting routine and heath system are found in larger titles, namely compared Dark Siders and the God of War series. Newly released, Blossom Tales has been seen as a clone to A Link to the Past, in practically everyway. However, Blossom Tales does capture the nature of unique boss battles, differing just slightly from the Zelda game.

Dungeons and battles in A Link to the Past were unconventional, exhilarating and gratifying. Each dungeon is distinct in creating a perplexing environment to trek through. Dungeon bosses are just as iconic as the theme and the dungeon it resides inElemental boss battles are a given staple in Zelda games. Ice with Kholdstare, fire with Helmasuar King, and lightning with Vitreous in A Link to the Past. Even though, dungeons in current Zelda games will never quite compare to the originality A Link to the Past establishedsimilarities can be found within new Zelda games that originated in the 1992 classic. Armogohma, from Twilight Princess, is comparable to Arrghus and Vitreous not just in the design of a single eye but also having miniature enemies emerge during the fight attack you. Molgera, from Wind Waker, and Moldarach, from Skyward Sword, while named similarly to Moldrom are actually based off of the battle mechanics of Lanmola, all sand dwellers that surface to strike. Plenty of more comparisons can be drawn between games, but the gist is that A Link to the Past has influenced many Zelda games and even non-Zelda titles produced currently.

A Link to the Past has been apart of my life ever since I can remember and will always be an icon for the Zelda series. For many this was the introduction into the Zelda universe. So many games have been influenced by the innovative design.  This is where my love for the Zelda series began, this is where the real legend began.

Thanks for reading!! Let me know what Zelda game you think inspired the series the most down in the comments below!

Credit to Billysan291 for the awesome feature image! Credit also to Nicolas Pelletier and Neko for the amazing fan art!


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