Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Zelda Checklist

Are you excited for Skyward Sword? Me too. Can't wait for it to be released? Me neither. Well, but the waiting is the perfect opportunity to revisit some of the already released Zelda games. And since there are many, chances are high that you missed something. Why not use the waiting to fill some gaps in your Zelda experience? Here's a complete list of what you can do:
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • The Legend of Zelda (2nd Quest)
  • Zelda II - The Adventure of Link
  • A Link to the Past (classic SNES version)
  • Link's Awakening
  • Link's Awakening DX
  • Ocarina of Time
  • Ocarina of Time - Master Quest
  • Majora's Mask
  • Oracle of Ages & Seasons (beat Ganon)
  • Oracle of Ages & Seasons (Hero's Secret, 64 rings)
  • A Link to the Past - Four Swords (Gold Keys, Hero Keys)
  • The Wind Waker (finish it once)
  • The Wind Waker (2nd Quest, figurines)
  • Four Swords Adventures
  • The Minish Cap
  • Twilight Princess (Gamecube version)
  • Twilight Princess (Wii version)
  • Phantom Hourglass
  • Spirit Tracks
Your goal should always be the 100%. Of course in some games like Oracles, The Wind Waker or the Nintendo DS Zelda games this can be quite some work, but remember, we do this to kill some time anyway. So, if the game has a noticeable 2nd Quest like The Legend of Zelda, The Wind Waker or Four Swords, then you should want to beat it as well. In Wind Waker it might even be necessary to complete your Minintendo figurine collection (you can finish it on the first run though, but that's hard). The Oracle games are a very tricky case here. Beating Ganon gives you the Hero's Secret, that let's you begin a 2nd Quest, where you start with an additional Heart Container, a new ring (Victory Ring for defeating Ganon) and the ability to transfer all your rings from your first playthrough. Use this to play in the other direction and complete your ring collection. If you play in the other direction, there will be also many differences to the link game features. For example the Hero's Cave will be totally different, both versions belong to the most challenging dungeons in the series, so you don't want to miss them. You might even want to play the games a third time, since each of the three animals gives you a different enviroment on the overworld. However, Four Swords is probably the most problematic of them all, because it requires a second player. It has basically difficulty levels with the Gold and Hero Keys, collecting them as well as ten Medals of Courage for the Riddle Quest in A Link to the Past requires quite some determination and skill. It's sadly the only Zelda game I wasn't able to finish until today due to the lack of a second player. Zelda II also offers a 2nd Quest, there you replay the game using your levels and spells from the first playthrough, which makes it much easier. Might be fun, but there's no new content, which is why I haven't listed it here.

Some games received an extended or altered version during the course of time, you might want to play both versions to experience the differences. If there's two versions of one game, why not play both? See it as a replay with some twists. In case of Ocarina of Time - Master Quest this should be clear, since its dungeons provide a completely different challenge. So, you should definitely play both versions of Ocarina. If you've only played the old version of A Link to the Past or Link's Awakening, you should check out the later released improved versions, DX and Four Swords. Next to the coloring of Link's Awakening and the additional multiplayer game that A Link to the Past received, both new versions got several additional improvements, as well as a bonus dungeon and a new sidequest. If you've already played the newer versions, you still might be curious about how the games used to look like. Especially the classic monochrome version of Link's Awakening got its own charme. And then there are the two versions of Twilight Princess. They are mirrored to make Link right-handed in the Wii version, so what's in the East in the one version lies in the West of the other version and vice versa. This can be very confusing, but also interesting. And the controls are obviously different, you might want to decide for yourself, which controls you like more, so try out both.

Well, if you've already finished all the Zelda games in all their variety or if you just want to play something entirely else, there are also the spin-offs and cameos, so here's another list:

  • BS The Legend of Zelda
  • BS The Legend of Zelda: MAP2
  • Ancient Stone Tablets
  • Freshly Picked: Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland
  • Link's Crossbow Training (all Platinum Medals)
  • Super Smash Bros.
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  • Soul Calibur II
For the BS Zelda, go to the BS Zelda Homepage and be happy. Yes, you should check these games out, especially Ancient Stone Tablets is fun and those were originally official Zelda games made by Nintendo, just for Japan-exclusive system, which is unaccessible today (for more info see my BS Zelda posts). Link's Crossbow Training is short but fun, try to get all Platinum medals here, this isn't hard.

I only listed the first of the Tingle games, since it's the only game that was released outside of Japan and the only Tingle game that shares some gameplay elements with the Zelda series, like the dungeons. But if you can get your hands on the other games and if you're curios about them, it can't hurt to play them as well, I guess. The fighting game cameos are all fun and you should at least check the Zelda related content in these games out, for example try to get all costumes and weapons for Link in Soul Calibur II. Apropos, most of you probably have played the Super Smash Bros series, but in case you haven't played Soul Calibur II yet, you should get it, it's awesome. I haven't listed the Zelda LCD games, like the Game & Watch one, because they don't offer much content. And I haven't listed the CD-i games, because they're not official anyway and very hard to get - this would really jump the shark. Play the BS Zeldas instead, if you want something rare and strange.

So, found anything on the list, that you've haven't played and finished so far? Then what are you waiting for? Go for it, play the Zelda games, they're all worth it.

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