Hot Zelda: Link To The Past Taken from Game Mags in the 90s, 30 years later

Electric Nintendo
Image: Zion Grassl / Nintendo’s Life

During the holidays, we are republishing some selection feature from the past 12 months. Compilation of arguments, interviews, opinions and more from NL staff and collaborators, you’ll find our usual blend of thoughtfulness, expertise, vanity, classic nostalgia, and — of course — enthusiasm for all things Nintendo. Happy holidays!

Let us set the scene: The year is 1992. You’re sitting in your living room, probably wearing something with large shoulder pads. Guns N’ Roses is playing on the radio. Social media doesn’t exist yet.

Game Zone No. 12 (October 1992)
Raise your sword if you missed the 90s — Picture:

It is in this peaceful setting that we can add countless video game magazines, overflowing with a large number of large, large fonts, interiors filled with game-recommended helplines and advertisements. strange aggression. And, on the cover of one of the 1992 issues, a new game: The Legend of Zelda: Link to the PastThe third installment in the series was previously only available on the Nintendo Entertainment System.

However, this new game promises more color, more story, and, unbeknownst to you, a whole new world separate from the Hyrule you know and love. This is the first time a Zelda game has introduced the concept of geographical and/or temporal dichotomy, but let’s be honest – it’s 1992 and you don’t know what any of those words mean. what. You’re excited to receive a new Zelda SNES game for your birthday, and we don’t blame you. Plus, magazines say it’s Actually good.

And now, 30 years later (so far!), we’ve rummaged through the magazine archive to find a handful of those magazines, to see what the gaming world was like back then — and the real people How do you feel about A Link to the Past? It was only the third Zelda game, and although Zelda was clearly very popular, it’s not anything close to today’s cultural saturation, where a Zelda game can sell for millions of dollars in its first week of release and make grown men go crazy. rage if it’s not quite what they want.

It’s fascinating not only to look back at the general perception of a game that would eventually make it to the “best of all time” lists, but also to see exactly what game critics found helpful for the game. their readers in 1992.

Nintendo magazine system

The Nintendo magazine system, the British magazine that eventually became the Official Nintendo Magazine (RIP), had a lot to say about the game in their guide/guide/review:

“Zelda is excellent…. Buy it and you won’t regret it. What you’ll get is a game that’s incredibly deep, exhilarating, even funny, but above all quality. Quality The amount of new design and implementation is the most important thing that stands out about Zelda The graphics are beautifully designed to appear 3-dimensional with vibrant colors and animations of great detail: just witness pull the lever or fight.

“All technical magic tricks aside, Zelda strikes me most as a brilliantly planned adventure. The puzzles are ingenious and challenging but never too vague, and the feeling is that there is always room for improvement.

“It’s one of the few games that rewards discovery, and there’s so much underneath the surface that’s still waiting to be discovered (by me!).”
– Gus

“It’s hard to think of things to say about near-perfect games… What impressed me most was how much thought has been put into the controls. There are countless objects to manipulate. , people to talk to and actions to take and every last action managed in a sensible and friendly manner.

“Anyone with a slight inclination to explore the adventure role-playing genre should grab this book with both hands, and anyone lacking that inclination needs to test their brains.”

Nintendo Magazine System October 1992

In brief:

  • Zelda: “A nimble girl” has “an annoying habit of being caught often”
  • Hyrule: “A square country surrounded by rocks”
  • Graphics: “Excellent” with “excellent animation” but “perhaps…sometimes a bit too colorful”
  • ability to meet: “Excellent”
  • ability to play: “Get the word out” but “monsters that roam are sometimes a nasty distraction”
  • reliability: “This game is massive…it will take weeks or months to complete”
  • Difficulty: Medium hard

Electric Nintendo

Nintendo Power’s coverage seems to be mainly focused on how play Link to the past, and also spoil all the interesting secrets. But that’s just the point – back then, talking about the awesome powers you would eventually get, such as the ability to swim or traverse the Dark World, were just tantalizing reasons to buy and play. game. That will not fly today!

Nintendo Power also released the LTTP manga for 12 issues with the release of the game, from January 1992 to December 1992. The series was illustrated by Shotaro Ishinomori, an influential manga artist. , who created many tokusatsu series, like the predecessor to Power Rangers, Super heroand widespread kamen knight. It’s a really cool video game relic, especially for someone who writes about Zelda as much as we do — there’s a lot of Link drawings in it that we’ve never seen before!

While Nintendo Power’s relevance is “here’s a bomb wall” a bit more than “here’s what we think of this game”, there’s still some excellent prose. be found:

“A Link to the Past could be called the ultimate adventure. There’s action for adventurous players, mystery for secret lovers, two worlds to explore, and a cohesive story. all together The mission has only just begun, although it looks like it has been a long road.

Link’s path will pass through seven levels of the Dark World and the Golden Pyramid. He will meet unexpected friends and face danger in both the Light and Dark Worlds before hearing whispers about the terrifying name Ganon.”

Holy Triforce, what a great way to describe the game! This makes us want to dig up copies of ourselves and start the game over.

Computers and Video Games

Computer video games Issue 123 1992 02 Published EMAP GB 0068
Picture: Internet Archive

“I didn’t like half of the first two Zelda games,” says writer Frank O’Connor in a very British way of saying that, in fact, he enjoyed the first two Zelda games. “This is a real pain in the ass.” He goes on to say that “Zelda III”, as they call it, retains “instantly accessible arcade gameplay” while introducing “strategy and adventure elements”. It’s worth noting that CVG played this game on the Super Famicom in Japanese, which they deemed “difficult” at first, but “all you have to know is the difference between yes and no.”

  • link: “Little Goblin” and “Strong Guy” “Death Risk”
  • Zelda: “A smart and charming little princess” (ew)
  • Graphics: 85/100 — “very simple”
  • Sound: 87/100 — “spot-on”, whatever it means
  • ability to play: 90/100
  • reliability: 90/100
  • total score: 89/100

CVG’s review is a bit muted, especially given the modern knowledge that “Zelda III” is considered a masterpiece, but we admire their work in bringing the import of Japan debut soon. Another thing about this review is that it’s almost 90s British humour. Look:

“Zelda! For some, this was the definitive RPG and it now appears in its third installment on the Super Famicom. The game features the exploits of a little elf named Link. Zelda is a company The smart and sexy little princess who spends most of her time being kidnapped by evil wizards. This causes a lot of trouble for the unlucky Link, as he is the one who always has to. guarantee her.

Link is a strong guy and also very brave. Even so, he must be strong, because he can carry an unbelievably large amount of objects in his magic bag…”

The review is a page long and they spend a lot of time talking about Link’s inventory. However, we guess they couldn’t really tell the story, since it’s entirely in Japanese…

It was the early 90s and you couldn’t play video games without a game guide. Whether you’ve spent hundreds of pounds/dollars/local money on printer ink and dial-up internet costs to print yourself, or you’ve convinced your parents to spend their hard-earned money on one of these books. bulky manuals at newsstands, all the same – but this glossy illustrated guide is official Nintendo (it even has a seal of quality!) Pretty cool.

Plus, just like the Nintendo Power, there are even more Zelda images that we’ve never seen before!

Super NES . Buyer’s Guide

If you own a Super NES (or SNES), you might want to know what’s worth buying. Tip question! The first thing you need to buy is a guide to buying, stupid!

Much like Nintendo Power, the Super NES Buyer’s Guide is more about “how to play” than actual reviews, but it seems to give potential players the information they need (difficulty, format, genre, etc.) etc) and allow them to decide for themselves. However, there isn’t much of a buyer guide right? It’s basically just an introduction after the box, and you know, we can just look at the back of the box. Ah okay!

What a lovely trip down memory lane. Nothing shocking, of course – we were hoping for some surprisingly negative reviews that we might laugh at in hindsight, but Of course Everyone loves A Link to the Past. Not only is this a great game, but the blueprint for Zelda games ever since. We will not have Ocarina of time or Breath of the Wild without ALTTP, let alone all the other excellent, non-Zelda games that have inspired Link’s Dark World adventures ever since.

Happy 30th birthday, The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past. You changed the game forever and we love you for it. And thanks for giving us a reason to read old game magazines.

Give us a Link to your game magazine past and memories in the comments section below!


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