The StarSoldier


Artist touch: Despite how cool the actual game is I never liked the cover art here. The gold shield is different from the norm but since when is a bunch of icons on a shield art it's nothing special. Cover art rating: 5/10

(Nintendo, July 1987)

Month it won: April 2006

Special note: The Legend of Zelda was the first console video game to feature a built in Battery so you can save your data right to the cartridge plus there are two different editions of this NES game available. One cart is gold while the later version is standard gray.

Introduction and Story:

Here is the original that started it all! The first ever Legend of Zelda may be one of Nintendo's biggest franchises but it certainly didn't start out that way. Although the Nintendo Entertainment System was highly successful thanks to big games like Super Mario Bros. they still had a hard time creating new stars. Just look at some of their past NES characters: Kid Icarus's Pit hasn't been heard from from since he had that public break up with Cindy Clawford, Mike Jones is still in rehab (I will give bonus points if anybody actually knows who he is) and Mike Tyson just lost to Glass Joe in his last fight. I wasn't to sure what to think of this weird little green elf in a adventure title here but the game was so complex, so innovative, and so much fun to play that it really won me and millions of others over. See why the Legend of Zelda was one of the most important video games of all time and a perfect choice for my NES Stud Series!

The Legend of Zelda tells the story of a princess living in the peaceful mystical land of Hyrule. The Kingdom of Hyrule was able to maintain order with the power of the magical and legendary Triforces but not everyone is happy with this arrangement (but who usually is in these stories, eh?). One day a giant pig creature known has Ganon had stolen the Triforce of Power so he would be one step closer to conquering the world. Princess Zelda knew is was only a matter of time when Ganon would get the other Triforce of Wisdom so she divided into 8 pieces before she was captured. It looks like you better get off your butt and do something! You play the role of Link, a young elf that's pretty good with a sword and shield.

Controls and Game Play: Video Review:

It won't be an easy mission to save Zelda because you have no idea where she is and you must first find the pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom to even enter Ganon's hidden lair. What you do know is these Triforce pieces are hidden deep inside one of game's 8 dangerous dungeons filled with monsters and traps. You must search through the dangerous Hyrule countryside to find all the necessary items to unlock all of the game's different areas. The coolest thing about the Legend of Zelda here is that it was one of the first NES games to be a completely open ended adventure. Link can freely discover this huge land on your own so you don't have to complete this big game in any particular order.

Because the game is so big the game includes a much needed Save feature so you can shut off the console and just continue the game later on. Yeah, I know that happens in a lot of games these days and that's no big deal now but the Legend of Zelda here was the first ever console video game to feature this save option. How cool is that, eh? It was kind of annoying when you had to hold Reset while you turn the Power off but it was still worth it.

When the game begins Link isn't very powerful (he's a freakin elf, what did you expect) but he can find better swords, more magic, and more life hearts so he can grow stronger over the course of the adventure. Link can even shoot pure energy from his sword which isn't only very effective against enemies but it even sounds and looks cool.

Graphics and Sounds:  

See, you don't always need those plumbers to sell your games Nintendo!
See, how's that for a segway into the game's graphics and sounds, eh? Well, to be honest the game doesn't hold up that well for visuals. When Link enters a dungeon room from the sides for example it doesn't seem like he's going through the right prespective and it looks pretty bad. There are a few detailed trees and monsters here and there but other then that the overall environments look fairly bland. Although the graphics were fairly good for a 1987 title, it didn't take long for other NES adventure games like Cyrstalis and The Guardian Legend to over shadow it. The game's music and sound effect are much better though. On the main overhead map there is this great musical score that has become the Zelda theme with almost every title in the series. The game is also packed with realistic sword strikes and various monster noises to help draw you into this cool new world.
The Bottomline:  

Although the graphics are certainly not much to look at and there isn't much to do when both quests are completed (C'mon Nintendo, give me an expansion pack or something!), the Legend of Zelda is still one of the best adventure/action games ever made with the perfect balance of fast action and unlinear game play. If you are looking for a easy to learn yet very challenging and complex adventure then you must play the incredible original Legend of Zelda.

I just showed you a secret! You owe me.
*Battery back up game
*500 points on the Nintendo Wii

overall rating: 99/100
Find Zelda on eBay here!

For 1 player only
graphics: 4/10
sound: 8/10
gameplay: 10/10
replay: 7/10

(Ryan Genno) 2006

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