Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
Nintendo - 1993
Machine: Nintendo Gameboy
I always wanted to play Zelda. Each version that was released looked fantastic and emmersive. I finally managed to play it on my Gameboy. What a perfect machine to play Zelda on... those long train journeys were suddenly easier to negotiate. You could even look forward to chronic constipation as long as you had Zelda by your side (so to speak.) And, yes, you could just play it anyway because it was such a brilliant game. I'm still puzzled as to how such a huge game, complete with neat details (don't mess with the chickens), was crammed onto such a small cartridge. As with the SNES and NES versions, Legend of Zelda is played from a top-down perspective. You pick up hearts for health and Rupees so that you can buy extra stuff at the various shops that are dotted around. As you progress, you discover various mystical items that are needed to defeat villains, solve puzzles and so on. As well as baddies, there are various other characters that befriend you and send you on little missions... for example, one villager asks you to walk her dog. And so even though the graphics are limited by the small screen, you get to care for the little guys. Even if their chickens are annoying (trust me, don't mess with them.)
The actual story seems quite simple. You, as Link, find yourself swept ashore on a mysterious island. With the help of the Owl, you have to go on a quest to find the villains that are keeping you there... it gets rather complicated and as the game starts to open up it can get quite overwhelming. There are dungeons to explore (as per usual with the Zelda games) and weird sub-plots that you can follow. I don't want to spoil the ending of the game because the consequences of the final revelation are head melting... yes! A game that has metaphysical ambiguities! The ending was so amazing that I nearly wept, and the final cut scene has a weirdly transcendent feeling that made me want to laugh like a maniac.
Bubbaray 01 Jul '03
Zelda Universe - This is the official Nintendo Legend of Zelda series site.
Legend of Zelda dot com - The biggest and best unofficial Zelda site.