A few weeks ago at E3 2016 Nintendo debuted gameplay footage of the next installment in The Legend of Zelda series, Breath of the Wild. They pretty much staked their entire E3 presence around the game, and it has been exalted as the Game of the Show by just about all the video game news sites that were in attendance.
The crux of Breath of the Wild is that it is a massive open world which players can explore anyway they want. For a while now astute gamers have been comparing images from previously shared clips of the game and stating how it appeared to have some similarities with older LoZ titles and it looks like they were right on the money.
BotW takes a lot of cues from the first games in the Zelda series, like the original The Legend of Zelda or Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. These games, although remembered fondly, are incredible difficult and players are basically given no instruction on what to do. You're presented with an open world and you have to try and figure out what steps to take next.
This was refined in later entries in the series, like A Link to the Past and Link's Awakening, where although you're presented with a fairly open world, you're give a defined path to walk through and aren't left completely on your own trying to figure out what to do next.
Watching the Nintendo Treehouse - Nintendo's in-house North American product development team - play through BotW at E3 hearkened me back to those old 8-bit Zelda titles and I found myself wanting to revisit them. So I did!
The first LoZ game I ever finished was the first one I played, Ocarina of Time. It's still my favourite, but admittedly I've never gone back and completely finished the titles that came before it. I've put several hours into most of them, but never made it to the end.
The other day I finished, for the first time, the original The Legend of Zelda and it was a blast! I had some help - I used a map someone on the Web stitched together with screenshots of the Overworld, and consulted a walkthrough a few times - but for the most part I tried to just play the game as it was intended. I could remember a few things I'd muscled through in the past; I quickly finished off the first dungeon - Level-1 aka The Eagle - and picked up some essential items, like Heart Containers, the White Sword, Magical Shield, and Blue Ring. After that, though, things got serious as I'd never played much further than that before. It took a little while, but I managed to get to the final dungeon, defeat Ganon, and save Princess Zelda!
I haven't made up my mind on whether or not I'm going to keep this train rolling and play through all the games I've missed in the series or not, but I pretty much instantly booted up The Adventure of Link and am slogging through that game now.
I've been posting my adventures to Miiverse and Twitter and you can follow along, if you'd like! On Twitter I've been hastagging the whole thing with #RyHoVsLoZ, so you can find it easily enough. Although I do own the original games on cartridge, I've been playing on my 3DS out of convenience, so I won't be livestreaming anything just yet, but maybe down the line I'll stream some Legend of Zelda goodness on my Twitch channel, as well. Who knows!
The game of the month for the Cartridge Club is actually Majora's Mask, a game I haven't played since it first came out, so I think I'm going to change gears soon and try to complete that game. I have played that one, as it came out after OoT, but it's been a long time and I'm anxious to give it another try.
So join me as I fight and puzzle my way through the many incarnations of The Legend of Zelda! I'm more than okay with a few tips as I play. Just keep the spoilers to a minimum!
Hope you enjoy,