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Best Zelda

Started by Johnny Textface, December 28, 2021, 01:05:10 AM

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Quote from: colacentral on January 12, 2022, 02:36:09 PMLink's Awakening is compromised for the system it's on. The overworld map can't be as big and varied as LttP, so it's designed in such a way as to make it appear larger by making it difficult to navigate, with dead ends and holes blocking your path, forcing you to go the one correct route to get around.

I feel the opposite! LA is the perfect example of a game that fits the system on its like a glove. It probably doesn't get as many benefits from that now, but at the time the whole concept of the game fit "portable monochrome Zelda" to a T.

Things like the Mario cameo bits, the weirdness of the characters, the multi-floor dungeons wouldn't work as well at all on a big screen. You take it away from the portable setting and it becomes more obvious, the minigames and little puzzles would have to be fleshed out... it just wouldn't be the tiny pocketwatch miracle that it is.

Playing it at the time was like nothing else. First reaction: wow, this isn't some spin-off, its an actual full Zelda on a gameboy, that doesn't feel possible! Second reaction: why is everything so off and why does the game know its a game?

Just a perfect thing.

fit bird

Quote from: MojoJojo on January 12, 2022, 03:54:55 PMI clicked on this thread because on the front page of forum it said "Best Zelda by fit bird" so I wanted to look at sexy video game characters and tut.
I'm sorry, I hope this makes up for it.

Pink Gregory


Quote from: colacentral on January 12, 2022, 02:36:09 PMLink's Awakening is compromised for the system it's on.

It would be difficult to name a less compromised game by any measure than Link's Awakening.


January 12, 2022, 06:45:38 PM #34 Last Edit: January 12, 2022, 07:39:18 PM by Kelvin
Yeah, even though Link's Awakening is more hemmed in, more restrictive, initially, it feels very much like a metroidvania, with all the shortcuts you open up everywhere, and the smart ways they reuse the limited space. I think overall I still prefer LttP, but there's less fat on LA, and its quirky charm and simple story go a long way. The remake has wonderful music, too.     

Magnum Valentino

January 12, 2022, 06:54:51 PM #36 Last Edit: January 12, 2022, 07:09:28 PM by Video Game Fan 2000
One of the best things about Nintendo in the GB/early GBA era is that they weren't a 'member this? company yet, and usually you only saw nostalgic things in the rare direct sequels. But when they did bring out old stuff it was always in a funny, what the hell, way. They didn't care about the brand purity at all. Links Awakening and Warioland/Warioware are the alpha and omega of that for me.

The world being interconnected like Metroid rather than sprawling like Zelda worked for the format because there were already lots of portable games with sprawling worlds full of mostly identical screens, so having a more linear and limited world worked because it made it feel intricate and like the little world had its own interior logic. The way it defines different regions in the game with monochrome and simple sprites and hardly any background is just brilliant. Push away an urchin to get to the beach, jump over a hole to get to the swamp, etc.

I think the experience of LA is tied to its time and place, the hardware it was on and as a kid I don't think I'd played anything that drew me in like that. I loved the other Zeldas but the experience of having that world on a little grey box, with all those unique characters, was just great. A bit like playing a proper point n click for the first time ever.


It's hard to pick a best Zelda as about five or six of them are all time greats, and each of those excels at something different.

LoZ (original) - still enormous fun, I played it for the first time a couple of years ago, and was blown away by how good it was. The dungeons fucking suck, especially the last one, but the overworld is so much fun to explore, the best in the 2D games.

Link to the Past - Probably the best 2D game overall. Dungeons are mostly short and sweet, there's very little fussing about, and its fun to explore the overworld, even if parts of it are a little bit empty.

Ocarina of Time - I replayed this a month or so ago, for the first time in several years. It still holds up on a gameplay level, but the aiming is a pain in the arse now. Probably the best "linear" 3D Zelda on a purely gameplay level; no gimmicks, and the overworld and dungeons are both solid, which isn't true of most later entries.

Majora's Mask - Best story, or at least theming, in the series, and I'd make a case for it having among the best, most interesting incorporation of themes in gaming more generally. Dungeons are fucking awful, but the side quests are great.

Windwaker - Wonderful aesthetic, maybe the most endearing in the series. But held back by its empty overworld and boring dungeons. Felt like the series was running out of ideas a bit, even if its a joy to run around Windfall Island.       

Twilight Princess - Excels at nothing. Midna's good, everything else is a slog.

Breath of the Wild - Best game ever made. Even putting aside the exploration and open ended gameplay, its got a chilled out vibe that's second to none.

BOTW is my favourite after LA.

I think MM might be the objective best game just for the atmosphere, gimmick and the town but my gaming shame is that I've never finished it. I used to think it was the framerate, but I got the 3DS version and came to the conclusion that the maps layouts and dungeons were bad. Not as bad as Twilight Princess, but you can tell they had time and hardware limitations. I've played the first half the game about seven or eight times at least.


Quote from: madhair60 on January 12, 2022, 06:26:49 PMIt would be difficult to name a less compromised game by any measure than Link's Awakening.

You and VGF2000 are misunderstanding me. It's compromised by being a game boy game,
by definition. It doesn't really matter that a 2d Mario game is shorter and simpler than a console Mario game, or that Tetris isn't in colour, but the Link's Awakening developers tried to cheat the feeling of a large open world with side quests, and it's to that game's detriment.

It's an amazing game for what it is, but it's a poor man's LttP.


Might as well repost this: extremely insightful and well made video essay about the the themes and subtext of Ocarina of Time. Actually made me tear up at the end, when I first watched it.

All the "cheats" are what make it so good though! Like the way the Straw Millionaire substory entwines with the plot. For the most part, wherever they could have just compromised they did something unique and interesting instead.

I think its a much better game than LttP for it, which had a magnificent world for its time but still locks you in the story -> dungeon -> item -> boss loop.


If it hadn't very clearly, very skilfully been designed from the ground up for Game Boy, if it was a port or an attempt to port LttP, maybe I could agree. I think it's the superior game to LttP (which I find bloated) and I see it as an iteration on the original NES game's puzzle box design.

I have a suspicion, and I don't mean this as a dig at either side, that people who played LA first prefer it to LttP, and vice versa. To me, LA is a refined LttP, not a cut-down one.

Pink Gregory

Do you think there's some weirdo out in the world who would say 'Spirit Tracks'?

Jerzy Bondov

Honestly I have recently come to the realisation that I just generally don't really like Zelda very much. The only ones I've actually bothered to finish are Wind Waker, Minish Cap, Twilight Princess, Phantom Hourglass and Breath of the Wild. So those are the best. I've played most of the other Zelda games (all except the Oracle ones, Spirit Tracks, Skyward Sword and Link Between Worlds I think) and they just don't do it for me.

Minish Cap is proper underrated though. Looks great, cool shrinking gimmick, talking hat.


Breath of the Wild, getting rid of the dungeons alone would've been enough for me.


BOTW for me, but i don't think it's really a Zelda game because I've really not enjoyed any other Zelda game I've attempted to play. Like a vegan saying their favourite steak cut is a slab of Seitan.

Or, it's BOTW because all the other Zeldas are tedious shite.

Jerzy Bondov

Four Swords Adventures on the GameCube was a banger, amazing fun with a friend. You need to work together to get through the levels but you're also competing for the high score, which leads to protracted bouts of throwing each other into pits.


Quote from: Jerzy Bondov on January 13, 2022, 11:53:36 AMFour Swords Adventures on the GameCube was a banger, amazing fun with a friend. You need to work together to get through the levels but you're also competing for the high score, which leads to protracted bouts of throwing each other into pits.
How does it work as 2 player? I think it was re-released as DSiWare very briefly but I'd never be able to get more than one  person around to try it.


No-one has said Hyrule Warriors. Or the CD-i game. Wonder why that is.


I played about fifty hours of HW cheers for the reminder that it existed

Great times pushing the buttons there

Jerzy Bondov

Quote from: peanutbutter on January 14, 2022, 03:38:14 AMHow does it work as 2 player? I think it was re-released as DSiWare very briefly but I'd never be able to get more than one  person around to try it.
I only ever played it in 2 player as I've no mates

Magnum Valentino

Thread has inspired me to have another go at Breath of the Wild. I bought a Switch for it, launch day back before those mad shortages, but even though I finished it I really felt like I rushed through it. Never devoted the time I felt it deserved because I very much felt like I had to tick it off my list of things to do. I've had the notion to go back to it for about a year but Skyward Sword HD took that spot last summer.

Anyway I bought it yesterday and am finding it hard to believe it's been nearly five years since this came out. It sort of coincided with coming out of a really bad time for me - I'd just moved out of a caravan in a field after three years and quit being a teacher the same month - and I have a lot of mental energy invested in glamorising that first couple of months of not being depressed all the fucking time.

But FIVE YEARS? That's fucking flown. I've been thinking for ages the unnamed BOTW sequel has seemed premature but has it fuck. Five years.

Anyway thanks for listening to me life story who would like to give me tips on how to play this properly?

I'd love to be able to explore without having to stockpile apples to replenish tiny amounts of health as they drop away during jaunts up the cold mountain, for example.

Exploration is the main thing as I love cutting about the long grass as those curious uncommon piano chords occasionally colour the soundscape but it would also be nice not to feel like I'm going to shit myself every time I encounter a centaur cunt when I turn the wrong corner so improving combat odds would be a second priority.


There are quite a few threads already on how to play BotW so I'm wary of repeating too much in here and going off topic. In short, you shouldn't be replenishing health by just eating single apples, but by cooking meals which give more health and - if you do it right - give you other perks as well. The game has an easy way of indicating what perks a food offers, just go off the food's name - so a Hearty Durian will give a massive health boost in made into a meal, a Firey Pepper will give you an immunity to cold, a Mighty Banana gives you a damage boost, etc.

To unlock the perk, just go to a cooking pot and combine two or more ingredients - one with no perk (like an apple or meat), and one or more with the same perk (hearty, firey, etc). You'll need to experiment, but once you find meals that give you a lot of health, just make a bunch of those.

Oh, and don't combine items with different perks as they cancel each other out. And items with the same perks usually stack (increase effect and how long it will last).   


Lynels still shit me up even after over 100 hours playing BOTW and completing the main quest, probably largely because I spent most of the game avoiding them rather than learning to fight them.

Same, I realised at one point that I respond to them in the same way I'd respond to seeing a scary beast in real life, heart rate increases as I slowly back away until it's safe to run for safety.

BOTW is my favourite too, love lots of elements of the others (Link's Awakening is my pick of the others) but find dungeons quite tiring and repetitive (and gloomy) so much preferred the logic puzzles of some of the shrines and the pure bliss of being in that world. I've said it before but it was a real saviour in the first couple of lockdowns and I've never experienced a feeling in a video game world like it before.

Pink Gregory

I've not been chasing story parts much, just been gradually exploring on foot, finding shrines.

Most mindblowing moments are when you see a divine beast in the landscape from miles away, like genuinely from halfway across that massive map


BOTW for me also. Agree with Kelvin about it being the best game ever made. I put over 520 hours into it and still wanted to keep playing it. It made me buy Majora's Mask for the N64, as I wanted more 3D Zelda and missed that back in the day. I still think about BOTW a lot and I haven't played it since last July.

Link Between Worlds was very good, second best portable after LA. Not a fan of any of the other Capcom entries, except maybe Phantom Hourglass.