Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda is one of the most iconic games ever. It re-invigorated the RPG and Fantasy genres, produced some of the most memorable figures in gaming history, and launched a franchised that prospers to this day. Oh, and I almost forgot, it’s pretty much impossible to beat.
You Had No Idea What to Do!
You might think that The Legend of Zelda is beatable, and in fact, many of you probably distinctly remember winning the game. However, unless you’re one of the most persistent or luckiest gamers to ever walk the earth, I suspect you had a lot of help getting there. You see, The Legend of Zelda is very much a game that needs a guide in order to conquer it. This isn’t really a bad thing. Game manuals used to be a lot more elaborate than they are today. And, for exploration games like Zelda, a hefty game manual enhanced the experience by giving you another resource for meticulous investigation.
You Needed to Read the Manual for Answers!
This is all well and good, if you own the original game, complete in its box with the manual. But if you were renting Zelda, or borrowing it from a friend, you were out of luck. Need a clue where the dungeons are hidden? It’s in the manual. Want to know what any of those items do? It’s in the manual. Wait, what are all these enemies? It’s in the manual. Wait, a minute… there’s secret room that I must discover in order to beat the game? Oh, yeah, didn’t you know? It's in the manual.
Good Luck Guessing all the Secrets on Your Own!
Believe it or not, this is almost certainly the reason our protagonist’s name is Link. In the original X, he acted as a link between the player and the game world. Ideally you’d be reading the physical booklet and using its innumerable hints and tips to guide your proxy through this 8-bit fantasy land. It’s a really cool concept and a type of player immersion that really doesn’t exist anymore. However, it also makes that guide an integral component of the game. Without it, you will be lost.
So, if you are one of the few who managed to complete The Legend of Zelda without any help from manuals, cheats, or the advice of friends, I salute you. You remain among the most dedicated gamers to ever pick up a controller. And, I have no idea how you managed to do it.
If you’d like to share some of your wisdom in the Comments section, please do so. I think we could all benefit from it.