This time around we are looking at two strategy guides for the original Legend of Zelda. What’s strange is that both of these guides were made by the same company. Why would a company want to make two guides for the same game? After diving in further, we can see that one of the guides is sort of a ‘preview’ guide, only covering the first 3 dungeons of the game. The second guide is a bit more elaborate in which it extensively covers the first 6 dungeons, but provides little coverage for dungeons 7 and 8, and almost no coverage for the final dungeon.

The strange thing here is… this was completely normal back in the late 80’s. Most of the Japanese strategy guides and even the American Tips and Tactics strategy guide left out some of the material towards the end of the game. Why do you think old strategy guides left out this material?

My personal take on it is that these guides had a different purpose than modern guides. They weren’t meant to spoon feed fans all the way through the entire quest. Instead, they guided them through much of the game, preparing them for the difficult challenges near the end. Even though these are strategy guides, they aren’t complete walkthroughs, and players still had to use their gaming knowledge to make their way through the end of the quest.

On a similar note, of all the guides that I have for the original Legend of Zelda, not one of them fully covers the second quest of the game. Not one. I think this proves the point of what these guides are for. They help the gamer, but they don’t hold their hand through the game.

So what do you think the purpose of a strategy guide should be? Do you think they had it right back in the 80’s? Do you think today’s strategy guides that show everything are a bit better? Do you prefer online strategy guides? What about in-game guides such as the new ‘Visions’ mode for Ocarina of Time 3D? Let us know by posting in the comments below.

Rarity: Rare
Price: $20-$40 each

You can see full scans of these two strategy guides over at our image gallery. You can see part 1 of the Legend of Zelda Strategy Guide series where I looked at the Million Publishing strategy guide. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to see all the latest videos from Zelda Dungeon.

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