Comes with old & new graphic
You can even make new games!
When Nintendo released the game The Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) back in 1986, little did they know that the little green-clad elf named Link would have such an impact on the world. Now, exactly 20 years after, Link has spawned numerous new adventures and has been one of the few Nintendo characters to have been included on every Nintendo system. With such a legacy, it was only a matter of time before some fan would make a remake of the old NES classic, and in April 1999 a programmer nicknamed Phantom Menace stepped up to answer the call.
And, again, Link turned this game into something much bigger than initially imagined. It seems that you can't make a game with Link in it and expect it to fail. The full replicated game stood complete in June 2000, and Phantom Menace left his creation behind, thinking it was complete. Never have anyone been more wrong.
The Legend of Zelda had been reborn in the shape of Zelda Classic, but Link wanted more. And so did his fans. New and more detailed 8-bit graphic was demanded, along with new quests and stories to complete, and much much more. The community desperately needed a new programmer to take over where Phantom Menace left, and to answer the pleading from the fans, and in 2001 their saviour arrived in the form of Dark Nation. He managed to completely redo the game in a matter of weeks, and included a lot of new features to the game. The results? Zelda Classic exploded and became one of the biggest freeware successes in history, gathering more than 3000 new members for the forum in a matter of a few months!
Later the team decided, in a moment of true brilliance, that "Hey. People continually demand new stories to complete for Link and new graphics. Why don't we let them make their own games?" And so ZQuest was born. ZQuest (The Zelda Classic Quest Creator) allows the gamer to make his own game from beginning to finish, and also lets him import graphics and sprites from other games or create his own. The limits are endless - as long as the graphic used is 8-bit. While this was originally imagined to be used only for Zelda games, the community decided otherwise, and have created completely new Super Mario games, Metroid games, and even Star Wars games using the ZQuest program. And the list of games doesn't stop there. At the moment of writing there are amazing 234 Quests in the official database, which doesn't include all the games created around the net without informing the Zelda Classic homepage.
But while the new quests are great in themselves, to me they can't really compare to the original remake Zelda Classic. The Legend of Zelda was the first game I owned myself, and came with the NES system my parents bought me when I was a kid. I loved every moment of it. The game was so much better than anything I had ever played at that time, and actually had a really advanced engine for its time. With a huge arsenal of swords, bombs, boomerangs, bows, shields and more, the game was truly one of the first in-depth RPGs ever made. You have lots of different monsters, some of which shoots stuff at you. This is where your shield comes in handy. You start out with a basic shield, which can protect you against only the weakest missiles, like arrows and furballs that some monsters spit at you. While the shimmering balls the water snake spits at you will pass straight through. And as you loose health, your attacks will also get weaker. When you have full health, you will be able to shoot a ghost sword towards your enenemies by attacking. Loose just half a heart and you'll loose that ability, and will have to run right up to the monster in order to hit it. This is where the other weapons that you will get/buy later on gets so incredibly useful. Using a bomb you can kill almost any enemy immediately, should they be stupid enough to be near the explosion. The boomerang will be highly effective against the jumping spiders, as everything you hit with it will be momentarily stunned and defenseless (with a few exceptions like the flying melon things).
The game also comes with a really huge map filled up to the brim with secrets, and finding them all without a walkthrough (the proper NES nostalgia way) will take a really long time. There's just so much to see and so much to do. Luckily the world is also filled up with friendly hermits, that will sell you useful equipment, but will also give you crucial information in order to find secret places or solve mazes.
While the country map in itself is huge, there are also dungeons spread all over the place. Each one with their own piece of the Triforce. Gather all the pieces, and you are off to fight Gannon, the prince of darkness, and ultimately save the whole of Hyrule from his evil tyranny.
Zelda Classic has managed to capture every essence of the original game, including the original music for every single scene. The true remake doesn't add anything new, and doesn't take away anything from the original game, and thus make for the ultimate trip down memory lane. I would definately recommend this game to anyone who loves old games, and with all the possibilities of ZQuest, everyone will be able to either find a game they love or make their own 8-bit game.
A definate download for anyone. The only flaw I could spot was that sometimes the screen would flicker when a new room was loaded, but this only happened when I played the game in windowed mode, and I think it was more a result of my extremelly low RAM than a fault with the game. In addition there are two versions of the game, either for Windows or DOS. While I was able to play the Windows version without any problems, I discovered that I could not manage to play the DOS version using DOSBox. So I assume that you will need pure DOS to play that version.
Enjoy the game that started the legend!
Review by: Tom Henrik
Safe for all ages
Windows or DOS
(I was unable to make the DOS version run in DOSBox, though)