|Yeah, the Triforce! "Zelda" won! What do you mean "it's only the first one"?|
As Zenic has said in one of his recent posts, there is a real difference between player knowledge and character knowledge. It's not the first time I'm experiencing Zelda. In fact, I've played it at least twenty times and completed it five or six times already in the last 25 years (yup, we ain't getting any younger...) It means I remember the basic layout of the otherworld and could cross the first three dungeons with my eyes closed. I'm trying to put myself in the shoes of a new player, and waiting to discover clues, instead of rushing through the game, but considering the clues are quite rare and cryptic (Miyamoto obviously wanted to encourage the player to experiment and explore by himself), I don't know which places you're guided to and which you're supposed to discover by yourself.
That doesn't mean the game will be a breeze, though. First of all, the difficulty is quite high, especially when you compare it to later Zelda games (except Zelda II. This one is a bitch). You have a room as soon as the third dungeon where you have to fight one dozen knights at the same time. And secondly, there is a few places I can't remember. For example, I knew the second dungeon was east of the beginning, but I had to search a bit to remember exactly where. So I went wandering around the otherworld for a while (and, as Zelda is a really open game, you can stumble upon ferocious foes) before I found my way. It was a short, but nice moment, and I really cherish first experiences on a game for the pleasure of discovery.
It's amazing to see how many landmarks of the series are already there : The health is shown in hearts, you find items in dungeons that help you tackle the next one, and so forth. The items themselves are well-known : bombs, boomerang, bow, rupees, small keys, etc... The monsters are basic versions of monsters we'll see again a lot, like octoroks or moblins. That's what really great in the Nintendo franchises. Mario still uses mushrooms and Link still has a boomerang, even dozens or hundreds of games later...
|And it was before the fairies become drag-queens.|
Anyway, as for now, I've got two pieces of the Triforce, the bow (no arrows yet, but it's only a matter of having enough rupees to buy them), the magic boomerang, the big shield and some bombs. The third dungeon ramps up the difficulty with the knights all over the place, but it's only a matter of time before I secure the next piece. Now where the heck is the fourth dungeon in this huge overworld?