In 1987 I was knocked out by the Nintendo Entertainment System. I loved Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man was already aiding in the development of my explosive vocabulary. But The Legend of Zelda on the NES was truly the first game to bite me hard. With its open world map, and seemingly endless possibilities, it helped me to develop an understanding of memorable gaming experiences and personal story telling. Much like we see in games like Left 4 Dead, the average person is tossed into a very mystical world and is charged with saving the day. Saturdays on the couch with friends became a new kind of interactive experience where everyone could be part of the fun and the following Monday day at school would swell with tales of the muti-bomb death of the dreaded Dodongo! Each gaming session became filled with a sense of trepidation and wonder. These tiny, pixelated enemy monsters and special weapons became the stuff of legends. This week I found my self playing through it again and after finishing the first quest in under an hour I was prompted to try a new quest, something I had completely forgotten about!
To experience the second quest, after you finish the first quest you are prompted to start again (or you can simply type in ZELDA in the name prompt the first time). While the over world map remains the same in appearance, the dungeons and shops, etc are all relocated, redesigned and more difficult to find. This time around, not only are you dealing with more difficult enemies, but invisible walls as well! This quest truly forces the player to master the mechanics and problem solving techniques learned in the first to persevere. I was only able to find four of the dungeons on my own before I had to ask a friend for help. It turns out that if it weren't for a mistake by The Legend of Zelda's supervisor and graphic designer Takashi Tezuka the second quest might have never been. According to Toshihiko Nakago, President of SRD:
"I created the data exactly in line with it [the map], but then Tezuka-san made a mistake and only used half of the data. I said, 'Tezuka-san, there's only half here. Where did the other half go?' and he was like, What?! Oops, I messed up...' But Miyamoto-san said it was fine just like that.""So, using the half of the memory that was left over, we decided to create the Second Quest."
Apparently there were space issues with the game that later became irrelevant, prompting Miyamoto to keep the game data separate and after some tweaking: a second quest was born! Thank goodness for that! While it is definitely more challenging, any extra time I can spend in this world of tight mechanics and puzzle solving is a pleasure. I am wondering if any of you have any shared memories of this grand game that spawned such an influential IP?