The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

  • by Star Dingo
  • December 13, 2002 00:00 AM PST

Link to the past with A Link to the Past�it�s as if Nintendo knew some day it was gonna port this to a GBA all along.

It�s a masterpiece, for sure, but anyone who enjoys Link�s darker, more sinister tales of human corruption, depravity, and debauchery may want to stay away from his latest legend�A Link to the Past is a little on the �kiddie� side.

In Case Your Sarcasm Detector Is Broken�
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the GBA port of a classic SNES adventure: Every clean sprite, indelible (if a little dated) sound effect, enduring orchestration, and weird gameplay quirk is reproduced with astounding accuracy. Hyrule is a colorful, happy place with a giant pig for a villain and a main character who, at one point, gets turned into a fluffy pink bunny. It�s unclear where the notion got started that a �cartoon� Link somehow went against the natural order of things�but it certainly wasn�t here.

Most criticisms about A Link to the Past revolve around the lack of a good story to draw you in�a valid complaint, �cuz there ain�t much of one. Abstract thought is the draw here�the world is huge and open with tons of secrets and quirky random characters to see, run into, and try your magic powder on. Play requires patience and exploring, and�once the Dark World comes into play�even some upper-level parallel thinking (a quality that seems to have been lost as games become more linear and cinematic). Link isn�t afraid to include mysteries that are there just to make you smile. The challenge/reward structure of solving temples to collect heart containers and glove upgrades is masterfully paced, even without a neo-Tolkiensian backdrop or a Hideo Kojima�directed diatribe about the substance of liberty and the price of human social identity.

A Link to the Past
Even though the reappearance of A Link to the Past isn�t quite the handheld publishing event of Harmony of Dissonance or Metroid Fusion, it�s still an important part of The Grand Renaissance of the Second Dimension. So embrace the past, you sophisticated modern gamer you�it will help you get a better handle on what�s to come.