Video Game Thoughts: The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda was a 1986 action-adventure game by Nintendo. I first played this game through a video store rental. With just one weekend to play, I didn’t get far. It wasn’t all that hard to navigate the world, but it was really hard to figure out where to go to make progress. The price of video games in the ‘80s was roughly the same as the price of video games in the present time, but the ‘80s games were much shorter. To keep players from feeling ripped off, game developers always did something to slow the player down. Usually, they did this by making the game really hard with no continues. Once the player died, they had to start all over from scratch.

The Legend of Zelda took a different route. The player was slowed down because the game usually didn’t tell them where to go next after completing a portion of the quest. To really make progress in this game, the player needed to spend countless hours randomly exploring areas and trying out items in various places to hopefully flip a switch that would lead them to the next dungeon. This was time consuming stuff. It was common practice for the players of this type of game to draw maps by hand. It was the only way to keep track of what things the player had tried and what they hadn’t tried. As a kid, I didn’t have the patience for this, but even more there was no way I could do this in one weekend.

I rented the game a few times. After not making much progress each time, I never rented it again. The next time I played it was on the PC with a port called Zelda Classic. I was still a kid then and pretty much thought if I could download something online it was legal. I used a free walkthrough from GameFAQs to guide me through the whole game. I would not have been able to beat it without a guide. I mainly did this because I had a lot of fun with newer Zelda games like Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past. I wanted to go back to the first game and see what it was like. I had a lot of fun seeing the primitive things in the original Zelda that inspired similar things in the sequels.

These days, I would never download a game for free online though. Just because I am able to doesn’t mean it is morally right. Even things that are legal are not always morally right. Lying is legal in many cases, but that doesn’t mean I can tell lies to everyone. These days I really try hard to do the right thing. Sometimes it’s a sacrifice, but I believe I will be rewarded in heaven for those little sacrifices. I either pay for a video game or I don’t play it. Because of the limits I put on leisure spending, I don’t buy many video games anymore.


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