One of the Coolest SNES Games Ever Made “The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past”

A young man dressed in green. Pointy elfin-like ears. A mighty sword slung over his back. And the weight of a world on his shoulders. Those of us who have played the Legend of Zelda video games on various Nintendo consoles have been fans of the series from the first time we played the game. It is a love beyond definition for die hard Zelda fans. Is it the music that creeps into your mind and plays over and over for no reason? The pioneering game play that introduced us all to the underground labyrinths where monsters and creatures lurked and haunted us for days on end? Or is it the classic story of cheering on good to triumph over evil and for the boy to save his girl? Whatever the reason, Zelda fans are hooked, and have been since 1987.

The third installment of the Zelda series, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, was a groundbreaking game in its own right. Released in 1991 in Japan and in 1992 in the United States, the game returned to the top-down view of game play familiar to players from the original Legend of Zelda. The sequel on the NES, Link’s Awakening, used a side-scrolling game play familiar to fans of the Super Mario Bros. series and most other games on the NES. This allowed the player to see everything around them within the screen before moving on to the next. The game play moved along a type of grid, in which you played in one square, and when you moved to the edge of it to go to a different area, Link moved into another square.

Another new addition to the Zelda franchise was the addition of another parallel world to the actual world Link lives in. Link is able to move back and forth between the Light and Dark World, which used to be the Sacred Realm before evil moved in. However, players are greeted with the sight of Link as a pink rabbit if they attempt to enter the Dark World before obtaining the Moon Pearl. Depending on where the player tried to cross between the worlds determined where they would appear in the opposite world, often unlocking different secrets that were unattainable any other way. This concept would be central to the plot in another successful Zelda installment, Ocarina of Time.

The central characters from the original Legend of Zelda are present in Link to the Past, but some had a makeover for the new capabilities of the Super Nintendo. Link is, of course, still the main antagonist, but this is the first game where Zelda takes a somewhat active role in her own rescue. Link goes to Hyrule Castle to rescue her, and she is able to communicate telepathically with him to tell him where she is. She also give Link a sword and shield when he finds her, and follows him out of the dungeons. Ganon is still around as the ever present dark enemy, but players do not realize that fact until much later in the game. The character, Agahnim, is the foe Link believes he is fighting, but in the final battle of the game Ganon erupts from the broken body of Agahnim.

A Link to the Past was another ground breaking game for Nintendo in the early 1990’s, selling over 4.5 million copies. The game was re-released on the Game Boy Advance in 2002 as a combination game with Four Swords, and it was also recently re-released as a downloadable title on the Wii. Players can still play the game without having their SNES functional and connected, and employing newer graphics and audio technology. It has been voted a top game by numerous magazines and gaming lists, and is a classic in the vein of the whole Zelda series. This game is a must have for any Zelda fan, as well as any video game fan.