“A Link to the Past” (SNES)

“The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past” (SNES)


          Working our way right along to the SNES Zelda entry, the game makes it’s move into the 16-bit era with the title many consider to be the best Zelda in the series. Are they right?

          I dunno… But it’s a pretty sweet game!

          Completely ignoring the hybrid approach that “Zelda 2” had, for combining a top-down overworld with sidescrolling gameplay segments, the entirety of “ALttP” is in a top-down format. The combat was upgraded from a single stab forward to an arched slash, and you could now charge the sword for a spin attack. The game also came with a map that would better illustrate both your location as well as the places of interest for advancing your quest. Unfortunately, this game had a bit more structure to it than the original NES Zelda. While it can be argued that it was inevitable with a much larger game that had many more items and button combinations, it almost seems like a step backwards. When you could originally play the game however you saw fit, you now had to complete dungeons in almost a certain order, and go to only specific places before you could fully explore other areas of the map.

          While that sort of thing is common in Action/Adventure or RPG games nowadays, it seemingly spits in the face of the original NES Legend of Zelda. I wouldn’t say that it makes “ALttP” any better or worse than it’s predecessor, it certainly is noticeable by comparison.. You go from having the ability to be the one solely in charge of your entire adventure, to having to follow the arbitrary direction the programmers picked out for you. Still! The SNES Zelda entry offers so many more things than just the combat overhaul and choice deprivation, such as:

  • More BUTTONS!!: You can now swing your sword dedicatedly with the B-button, and interact with things on the map with the A-button. Y (a new button to the SNES along with the X, L and R buttons) is dedicated to your items. One item per button gets tedious, though, so…Enjoy!!
  • That glorious MAP!!: Yes, as mentioned above, you could finally see the world you were exploring more descriptively, and better determine not only where you were, but where you’re going next. Very helpful.
  • SO. MANY. COLOURS.: The colour schemes from the original NES Zelda titles were very limited, and for good reason; with the higher processing power of the SNES, the new rendition of Hyrule springs forth with vibrant colours, brilliant depth, and beautiful scenery that was impossible in the previous entries.
  • Mo’ Money Mang: This one isn’t really a big deal, but it’s notable, and that’s that, in the original NES Zelda entry, the maximum number of Rupee’s you could hold was 255, due to the programming limitations of the 8-bit codes. In this one, the maximum number has been nearly quadrupled to 999!!

          All in all, the “A Link to the Past” has been heralded by many as the best “Legend of Zelda” experience–right next to the first 3D adventure, “The Ocarina of Time”; but I personally think that, while it’s super good (see what I did there?), it still lacks the freedom to go wherever and do anything that the original NES Zelda did so well. Sure, there’s more elaborate environments, new enemies and combat scenarios, more in-depth dungeons, an actual story, more NPC’s to interact with, more weapons and items, more overall content, and a much wider variety of musical selection–but other than that it’s almost a slight disappointment by comparison. (but not by much)

          In parting: “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past” is a vast improvement on the original NES, but, in making so many improvements, it took a step back in one major direction. Was it inevitable or necessary?

I’ll let you decide.


A quick look at the SNES entry of the Zelda series.
Nintendo Fever


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Arthur6413 View all posts by
Hey, y'all. I'm just here making little articles about various topics! :D I hope y'all enjoy reading what all I post, and I appreciate you for having me. I'm on Twitter, and I'm super into: Nintendo, Pokemon, and Yugioh! I'm dating the most absolutely gorgeous girl on the planet!