Adventures are the foundation of RPGs, the stuff to build upon and keep everything standing mighty and tall, especially those romps from fonder times when graphics alone could not carry a game. Think about titles like Chrono Trigger, Grandia, Mother, Secret of Evermore, and Breath of Fire II. Any similarities? All open up with a young boy off on an adventure, his parents strangely indifferent to such careless actions, wishing him all the best, but to be careful. Same thing goes with Hero’s Adventure.
Created by Terry Cavanagh of VVVVVV fame, Hero’s Adventure is actually not an adventure at all, especially one starring a hero of some sort. Instead, it’s about a boy who goes off into the shadowy forest, returning home after a hard day’s work. What happens in those woods, stays in those woods…but you can find out by playing the game itself. It’s about a minute long, cynical, and disturbing, with evocative music and really fast battles that, upon popping up, initially scared the crud out of me.
This is the second indie game I’ve played as of late that is short and sweet, but manages to leave a strong impact regardless. The other game was BATHOS, a neat little thing created in a single weekend. I highly recommend y’all checking both out; I know you have the minutes to spare.
My first experience with The Legend of Zelda series was on the SNES in 1993 with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. In that one, Link, a young boy, awakes from sleep, contacted telepathically by a kidnapped princess named Zelda. He then to journeys through a rainstorm and into secret pits next to the castle’s walls to rescue her, eventually trying to track down the Master Sword. It’s a fantastic journey, full of surprises and a killer soundtrack. I’m fine with this being my first taste, genuinely pleased to have such a perfect game start it all. It’s like if the first piece of bacon you ever had was wrapped around succulent lobster and personally served to you by Gordon Ramsay while high as a kite. No bacon could ever beat that bacon.
And so, with the 3DS Ambassador program that gave us early adopters 10 free NES games, I was looking forward to experiencing where it all truly began, back with The Legend of Zelda, no freaking subtitle needed. Little did I expect it to be so…difficult. It’s a challenging game. It’s hard because you only have three hearts to start out with, and each screen you encounter is filled with enemies, the worst being those sandbugs that burrow beneath Link’s feet, surfacing the moment he walks over them. It’s hard because it is unclear where Link should go first, often wasting time exploring the overworld and losing precious hearts. It’s hard because you only have a sword starting out, and to kill enemies you have to get right next to them (unless at full health when you can fire a projectile from the sword), a risk in that if you miss and they move a fraction closer, Link loses some health. And then there’s the dungeons. Fear Wizzrobes (blue and red) and Wall Masters.
Heck, even series producer Eiji Aonuma has never completed it. Yeah, that’s kind of crazy.
At least dying doesn’t truly restart you from square one. Instead, you revive back at that initial overworld screen, that one we’ve all seen time after time after time, with all of your items still in your inventory. Well, I think you lose your dungeon keys though. Can’t confirm that. And so back into the wild Link and I go, nervous yet aware, trying to find some kind of clue as to what’s really going on, and hoping we can at least make it into a dungeon with full health and a couple of bombs…
Posted in entertainment, fail, musings, nintendo 3DS, randomness, retro gaming, videogames
Tagged 3DS Ambassadors, A Link to the Past, bacon, Eiji Aonuma, Gordon Ramsay, Link, NES, The Legend of Zelda, Zelda