The Legend of Zelda - A Link to the Past & Four Swords Review by: sonicthehedgeho.."The hero that is forced between two worlds"
The legendary word known as past......Something that all of us are linked to in some way, shape, or form. As such we’re always told tales about ancestors from our own past that changed the world whether it was for better or for worse, and as you’ve probably heard already that every story has it’s conclusion but what we’ve never figured out is when does the conclusion truly appear. This story follows the same path, leaving you with the memories of the past when a dark evil force was sealed away however; it was never gone for good since it was only waiting to be awakened once again. During that one night though you felt the awakening of a power and from deep within you hear a voice calling out for your help, although you are told to go to sleep by your elderly family member you just know that this power is not your own but the power of the hero spoken throughout the legends of this land. So it’s now time for you to start your adventure and for us to start the review!
Graphics: 8 out of 10
Now while the graphics for this game have vastly improved over the NES games, having more detailed backgrounds and enemies. There aren’t any changes in the graphics from its SNES to GBA port but for this version I guess you could say it stacks up pretty fine compared to other game released for the handheld. If you want some ideas on how the graphics really fit the game, when you first enter the lost
woods it appears all foggy causing many enemies to blend with the background and hard to see at times. Other things that showcase how well the graphics look in this game are the medallions that you collect during your quest through the light and dark world with the three being named “Ether, Bombos, and Quake” Ether having the power to freeze enemies is the surrounding area near you, Bombos as you would guess from the name makes your sword shoot out fire in a spiral motion then it causes the screen to have explosions that cover almost all of the screen, finally Quake having the power where you stab the ground with your sword causing it to violently shake causing enemies to either change into a strange looking enemy or be defeated. A decent job on the graphics so I’d be willing to give the graphics an 8 out of 10 rating.
Sound: 9 out of 10
You’d think that since it’s just a port of the SNES version that the sound wouldn't’t change just like with the graphics but that is where the first mistake that people would normally make. Unlike the graphics section this port did gain additional sound effects compared to the original, as before when Link would attack he wouldn't’t make any sound and you’d only hear the sword swinging but; now he sounds just like how he does in his Young Link self from another Zelda game known as Ocarina of Time. Now in the terms of actual music this game may not have as much compared to other games that came later in the series however; it will leave quite an impression on you from the moment you turn on your GBA, to the time that you’ve finished the quest in Hyrule and have finished the game. Some of my favorite songs in this game have to be Princess Zelda’s theme, Agahnim’s theme, File select theme, and the prologue theme. When you hear the prologue theme and listen to how dark it sounds you know that this game shall draw you into both the story and gameplay immediately, so all in all I’m giving the sound a 9 out of 10
Addictiveness: 7 out of 10
Even though this game isn’t my favorite installment in the series it is definitely still a game that holds my interest, due to how large the world is and having to switch between the Light and Dark World to enter or escape a certain area. One mechanic I like about that factor is only being able to use the Magic Mirror item once and having to find another teleporter if you’re in the Light World and have already used the Mirror which causes you to carefully plan out each move before you can progress forward. This game is also quite long spanning 13
Dungeons (If you include Hyrule Castle with Agahnim) so I’m sure this game will last you at least a few days or weeks depending on how much you’ll spend on this game each day. While this may not be as great as other GBA games it certainly is a great SNES game, which to me earns this a rating of 7 out of 10.
Story: 10+ out of 10
In a dark stormy night you awaken from hearing the pleas of a girl known as Zelda princess of Hyrule, and she is telling you that she needs help from inside the castle as she’s been locked away. Your grandfather notices that you’re awake and cautiously tells you to go back to sleep while he has his sword and shield equipped, he then leaves the house without any other words. Link however; knowing that something is amiss decides to disregard the words of his grandfather, hopping out of bed he heads for Hyrule Castle in the violent sounds of the night. Link quickly reaches his destination wet tunic and all, but; the castle guards do not permit his entry into the castle telling him to buzz off and go back home. Link doesn’t give up yet just because of that and decides to search for another means of entry soon after finding an underground entrance to the basement, once inside he finds his grandfather barely alive as he hears his final words and takes his grandfather’s sword and shield. You’d think that after you defeat the main villain Agahnim that you’ll have finished the game right, well nope because just as you deliver the finishing blow you get transported to an alternate world of Hyrule known as the Dark World now
you’re sent with the task of rescuing the 7 maidens from the Dungeons spread out across the land so you can take down the evil that has been reawakened in this world and become a known hero. An excellent job on the story with this game by making it have an incredibly interesting as well as a detailed prologue and main story so I’m giving the story section a 10+ out of 10 meaning I would rate this higher than 10 but I can’t.
Depth: 9 out of 10
Out of all the games I’ve played through-out the series this game seems to have the most dungeons, 11 actual dungeons and 13 if you count Hyrule Castle and the Palace of the Four Swords. Meaning that this game will most likely take the longest amount of time to beat compared to let’s say for instance Link’s Awakening or Oracle of Seasons/Ages, now in the ways of how much this game offers there isn’t much besides the dungeons. There is one interesting secret that you can unlock in this game that wasn’t possible in the SNES version and that is a room known as “Palace of the Four Swords” which is found by completing the 4 swords game included with this cartridge as well as defeating Ganon on A Link to The Past, then by going where the pyramid of power is located (along with having 20 ruppies) go into the hole and there should be a creature inside asking you to pay him 20 ruppies. When you do this he’ll disappear leaving you to enter the room ahead where you will have to find each one of the 4 swords by defeating the 4 bosses included in this dungeon and after all of that you’ll enter a room where the swords will float over to the corners of the room creating 4 doppelgangers of yourself each with a different color (Green, Blue, Red, Purple) and abilities. Green is average and will stay on the defensive and try to attack you; Red will have more attacks such as using the Pegasus boots and spinning around the room with his sword, Blue will have the same moves as Red however; he has another move similar to the quake medallion, and finally Purple who will be heavily defensive dodging almost all your attacks while he can attack using the Pegasus boots as well as the quake attack plus the Spin attack type move that I mentioned and sometimes he will shoot fire out of his sword. Finally if you are able to defeat them you’ll receive a special ending that you wouldn't’t normally get after finishing the game where you’ll see slides of the Dark World temples and bosses and afterwards a slide showing how many times you’ve used certain items along with how many ruppies you’ve collected and enemies you’ve defeated, so for depth I’d give A Link to The Past a 9 out of 10.
Difficulty: 8 out of 10
Like you would expect from a Zelda game, having many challenges and difficulties is part of the experience when playing this series. This game is definitely no exception to this rule especially like how I mentioned in the addictiveness factor of this review, you can only use the magic mirror once to change from the light to dark world or vice versa and in order to use it once again you must enter a portal in the light world or enter the spot where you used the magic mirror before which does add challenge to this game which I like very much in a game. Not only that but you might think that the normal enemies in the dark world would do the same damage as the enemies in the light world right??? Wrong actually they usually do 2 to 3x the amount of damage that they do in the light world which can also cause you to die easier. Although this game isn’t as difficult as for instance: Zelda II The Adventure of Link on NES or the original Legend of Zelda, it is still a challenging game but it’s that certain level of challenge where it keeps you entertained and makes you enjoy the game so I’m giving the difficulty for this game a 8 out of 10.
Now that you know what task lies ahead of you brave hero chosen by the gods, will you accept the dangers of this quest in order to save this land? As you travel between these 2 worlds granting the wishes of the maidens that have been kidnapped and bringing peace back to the world of Hyrule, you stand there at the entrance where the last of the evil that was brought here is hiding. Will you become a legend? Or will the land of Hyrule be swept away into a land of darkness? Only one way to find out and that is to enter through the path ahead of you so LET’S GO!
*Enters through door*
The Fortress Of The Reviews Ending