I cannot express my love for this game enough, its simply phenomenal. I can’t get over the characters, the story, the graphics…. any of it! Its certainly one of my favorite – if not my absolute favorite – Zelda game of all time (and I’ve played quite a few).
Fun Fact: Shortly before the game starts, there was a massive civil war in Hyrule that is what caused Link to be orphaned, and its when Gannondorf swore allegiance to the king (which, as we all know, lasted no time at all).
Then the game as we know it starts with Link growing up in the village as the boy without a fairy. Princess Zelda grows up in the castle, keeping a sharp eye on Gannondorf who she doesn’t trust (rightly so).
A fun fact: In one of the earlier games, the king of Hyrule was tricked into putting his sister, Princess Zelda, into a permanent sleep. After realizing he had royally screwed up he made a royal decree that all girls born into their family would be named after her. Although this is complicated by the timeline splits I talk about later, its still interesting.
Thats when Link goes to Zelda, and Gannondorf attacks. Thats when the game gets complicated, with Link jumping back and forth between his youngerself and his older self in order to save Hyrule.
Fun Fact: Link’s time hopping actually causes the timeline to spit into three more timelines. If he is successful he creates two timelines: the child era becomes the timeline where Majora’s Mask, Twilight Princess, and the Four Swords take place; the adult era creates the timeline of the Wind Waker, the Phantom Hourglass, and Spirit Tracks. If he is defeated he creates the timeline of Link to the Past, Oracle of Ages/Seasons, Link’s Awakening, The Legend of Zelda, and Adventure of Link. You can see a cool graph that shows this here.
This was the first time I ever played a handheld Zelda game that wasn’t the childish, cartoony style of Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks and I love it. It really brings Hyrule to life in a way that the childish ones weren’t ever able to do for me (even though I didn’t realize it at the time). At the time I loved those two games more than anything, but after having played this and Majora’s Mask I realized how simple they really were in comparison to the rest of the Zelda Franchise.
Fun Fact: After defeating Gannon, Link wakes up as a child and runs and warns Zelda. He then goes wandering aimlessly and that’s when he stumbles upon the Skull Kid and Majora’s Mask starts.
The controls are intuitive and easy to get the hang of, and the few masks you can pick up and play with are really great teasers for the sequel Majora’s Mask. I love running around Hyrule, but my only complaint is the sheer amount of time that it takes to run across Hyrule field. Yes I know that, at the time the game was first produced, such a large world was a huge deal, but did the field have to be that big?
This is one of my favorite Zelda games (and I’ve played quite a few) and really got me hooked on the more detailed style of Majora’s Mask, Skyward Sword, and Twilight Princess.
Now, speaking of large worlds, who’s ready for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?