Zelda NES review: Top 11 Reasons Why The Legend of Zelda for NES is Still the Best

by | Sep 9, 2020 | NES

Legend of Zelda for NES is the first game in the series, and it was first released back in 1986. It’s hard to believe that this game has been around for so long, but it is just as popular now like it was when it was first released. The Legend of Zelda for NES introduced many elements that are found throughout the rest of the series including items such as bombs, boomerangs, masks, and more! There are also a ton of memorable characters like Link and Princess Zelda who starred in all games in different genres over time. The first Legend of Zelda was an 8-bit classic, which can be played on your Nintendo Switch.

Image from Wikipedia

1) Link is Always the Hero

Link first appeared in “The Legend of Zelda” (1986) for NES. He is the protagonist and hero, making him a vital character in the series. Link appears in all games as either an adult or child throughout different time periods including ancient times, Hyrule’s future, and even during Christmas! His design has changed over time with some important changes happening in 1998 when the first Legend of Zelda game was released for GameCube.

2) Link Always Saves Zelda

Princess Zelda is a supporting character and love interest to Link, making her an important character throughout the series. Princess Zelda has been kidnapped many times by Ganon/Ganon-like villains throughout different games, including the vast ocean in The Wind Waker and Skyward Sword. Her design has changed over time with some changes making her appear older or younger, depending on the game’s overall story.

3) A Vast World to Explore with Many Different Environments 

Zelda for NES introduced the idea that you could explore a vast world with many different environments. The first game is set in Hyrule, which has some deserts and lakes, as well as forests and mountains to explore. Other games have taken place on other planets or continents, but they all share this element.

Credit to Other
Credit to Other
Credit to Other

The game’s creator wanted to emulate his childhood in this original game by creating a huge world to explore with various elements and secrets. Shigeru Miyamoto would explore the natural areas of his childhood home, exploring fields and caves. This would inspire his work for the original Zelda game on NES.

4) The Game has Tons of Secrets

There are plenty of secrets and things to find in the game. Some secrets can be found by solving puzzles and others are hidden in places that you might not have even noticed. You’ll need to explore the world first before finding them all!

Most of the dungeons in-game contain secrets too. For example, in the original NES version, you can find numerous caves hidden through Hyrule that require a bomb or fire to uncover treasures such as health items, magic potions, money, or hearts. You just have to know where to look.  

5) It Had an Epic-Sounding Music for Its Time

The NES didn’t provide developers with many sound choices for music, but the first Legend of Zelda game had such epic music, especially the intro. You can still listen to it today (All nine minutes of it) and enjoy it as much as when you first played this game!

“I first heard the music to The Legend of Zelda as an 8-year-old while watching TV. One of the Nintendo commercials came on and gave me a listen to its 8-bit music. I knew I had to play it when I heard it. Now whenever I hear it, the soundtrack makes me smile.”

6) It’s Challenging but Not Difficult

The overall game provides a challenge, but it’s not so difficult that you can’t make any progress. The difficulty levels tend to increase as the game progresses, so you can experience some stress as you go along. But if you play it long enough, you start to pick up on the enemies’ behavior at different levels.

The two main causes of challenges in the game are random enemy spawns and playing in an unfamiliar environment. Plus, moving back and forth between screens can put you right into a randomly spawned enemy’s path. Yikes!

7) The Game is Fun to Play

The Legend of Zelda for NES is super fun to play because it is a first-person perspective game, and there is regular music during the gameplay. But, because there is no general direction, this allows you to use your imagination as to what will happen next in the game.

Without a guide, it’s difficult to get through the game completely. But, if you wander around enough, you’ll eventually come across an item that will help you on your quest. It’s so much fun to explore all Hyrule knowing that one day Link will defeat Ganon!

8) Ganon is Almost Always the Main Villain

Was Ganon ever a good guy? Maybe in the first Zelda game, he was a good guy. But over time, after learning of the power of the Tri-Force, Ganon became eviler and eviler until he’s almost always the bad guy that Link must defeat at the end of every story.

9) Link Gets to Use a Ton of Weapons

Though it may not seem like Link gets to use a ton of weapons, he does. Not only does the first Zelda game let you get your hands on boomerangs and bombs, but later games in the series give players even more creative ways to take down enemies – from throwing pots at them to shooting arrows with different types of bows!

  • boomerang
  • bomb
  • magic
  • bow and arrow technique

10) The Game Brings Back Memories

NES Legend of Zelda was a classic in the 80s. It was an instant hit. The first Legend of Zelda game is also the first graphical adventure game ever created for home consoles, so this one has history! And in those days, there were no maps on your phone or GPS systems to help you find clues; you had to figure everything out by exploring the world like Link would do.

11) It’s A Classic That’s Still Popular

The game has withstood the test of time as it has been a favorite for the first generation of gamers, as well as new generations to come. It’s not just popular because it came first or because you can find copies anywhere as some games do; The Legend of Zelda is still an appealing game with its unique gameplay and twists on RPG elements that made this one such a hit in its time and today!

The Legend of Zelda was my second introduction to video games (Super Mario Bros. was my first!) when I got the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) back in 1986. Not only did the graphics catch me off guard but there were also enchanting labyrinths filled with tough puzzles and unique ways to acquire new weapons. These dungeons always gave me a sense of accomplishment.

What first attracted me to the game was how much of a challenge it could be, which made it that much more satisfying when you finally beat Ganon in the final battle and saved Hyrule! It’s not like other games where all you had to do was press A or B every so often as many times as possible just to get through some dungeons—this one required using your brainpower and puzzle-solving skills. That is what I love about The Legend of Zelda, even for someone who has played video games before, there are still new challenges waiting for them with each playthrough.

What are some of your favorite things about Legend of Zelda for NES?

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