Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gaming Archaeologist: The Legacy of A Link To The Past

The Super Zelda Game that Pushed Gameplay To New Horizons
Someone once told me that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was possibly the best game of all time. I figure that is not an outrageous statement, given the innovative game-play that game provided for the N64 Platform in a time when three dimensional games were still in their elemental phase.  I myself had suggested the very same notion and I'm sure that there are many people who would back up that idea.

It is unfair, however, to say that this or that is the best of anything unless one has seen everything, so I wont make any outlandish claims here.  But I will say this: Ocarina of Time is seen as the standard for all Zelda games.  Eiji Aonuma, Miyamoto's apprentice who has created the Zelda games since Ocarina of Time, is relentlessly trying to make a Zelda game that people will consider better than The Ocarina of Time, thus breaking his own record.  The games that Mr. Aonuma dished out were his attempts at surpassing his initial masterpiece, and he wont rest until he has done so.  (for more on this read this article from Zelda Informer)
But what game is his latest attempt at breaking through the very high standards that Ocarina had set? Paradoxically, to get to the future of Zelda gameplay, Mr. Aonuma has looked to the past, A Link To The Past, that is.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past is a Super Nintendo Game released in 1992 in North America.  Mr. Aonuma did not work on that game, but it was the game that inspired him to make games.  This influence is noticeable in the game play of Ocarina of Time, the first Zelda game that Mr. Aonuma worked on.  Ocarina of Time inherited many things from A Link to the Past.  Among those things are:
  • The Medieval feel of the games atmosphere
  • The Spin Attack  
  • The Master Sword 
  • The fact that you can pick up and brake pots to get rupees out of them 
  • The fact you can pick up, throw and cut grass and get rupees out of them 
  • The hook shot, the use of bottles
  • The use of potions 
  • The notion of having a villain with Ganon as his alter-ego
         and the list goes on an on.
It is not surprising that Mr. Aonuma will return to his source of inspiration to create his latest Zelda game, namely, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.  This game is a direct sequel to the Link to The Past in both gameplay and storyline.  It is set in the familiar world of The Link to the Past, but with a few innovations, such as the ability to turn into a moving painting.
I don't know if the sequel will live up to the original.  The Legend of Zelda a Link to the Past is a game that has created many fond memories for me.  As is the case with Professor Gamer, it was my first actual video game, and in came in my first home game console, the Super Nintendo.  I was not dissapointed in that game and neither were my family members who played it with me.  I'm not going to say that A Link to the Past is the best game ever (even though I really want to), but I will say it is one of the best I've played, right next to Super Mario Bros.  And even though Ocarina of Time is extremely awesome, I have to say that if I had to pick between the two games and decide which one is best, I would have to go with A Link to the Past.  That is my opinion, and the reader is entitled to his or her own.  I say this because A Link to the Past is so unique, so intriguing, that no other Zelda game has managed to be like it.  I'm sure that others agree, nonetheless, I hope that A Link Between Worlds proves to be a worthy sequel.

What do you think?  Comments are welcome.

Sources (Links to articles that contributed to my own):

You can read more from Carlos at, or follow him on Twitter at @carlosjalpense as well as follow his YouTube channel, lubicuslatinae.  He can be emailed at

About the Author Carlos is the archeologist of Latino Gamer, looking at the oldies but goodies and making sure that their memory remains. A Graduate student at CSULA, Carlos has a BA in English and lives in Maywood (the little city that thinks it's big). He plays guitar, writes for fun, and overall loves to look at the bigger picture of things.

Carlos es el arqueólogo de Latino Gamer. Se enfoca en los videojuegos de los tiempos viejos pero divertidos para asegurar que la memoria de los clásicos permanezca. Es estudiante de posgrado en CSULA, y tiene una licenciatura en Inglés. Vive en Maywood (la pequeña ciudad que se cree que es grande). Toca la guitarra, escribe para la diversión, y en general le encanta contemplar la vida.