While attending a lovely party not too long ago the discussion just so happened to turn to the topic of video games, and during the discussion I learned that one of my friends had not played The Legend of Zelda. Any of them. Ever.
"What do you know about Zelda?" I inquired.
"You're an elf who swings a sword," he replied.
Oh gaymers, this could not stand. The Zelda series is classic, and for his video game experience to be devoid of these works was a sad indictment of our modern education system. Fortunately for him, I had all the supplies he'd need and my inner teacher was ready to inform.
Every console version of a Zelda game, save for A Link to the Past, is available on a Wii or Gamecube disc, and it just so happens that I own all of those discs as well as a Wii. I packed a small bag with everything we'd need and got started.
Things did not start smoothly. His A/V system hooked up to a projector via HDMI, so a special adapter needed to be acquired in order to upconvert the Wii signal to HDMI because Nintendo decided that its user-base doesn't want high end video resolution. *facepalm* Once the adapter was hooked up, on went the Wii. And then the Wavebird didn't want to connect. *headdesk* And then it changed its mind and decided it did want to connect. *sigh*
Ok, the Wii is hooked up, audio and video are fine, the Wavebird controller is operating properly...in goes the Zelda collection and we start up the original Legend of Zelda.
"No memory card detected. You will be unable to save your progress. Do you wish to continue without saving?"
The Gamecube emulation was not designed to allow players to save GC data to neither the Wii's internal storage nor to the SD card I had in the system. *facepalm*headdesk*sigh*
Oh well, we were only going to have a few hours for this first session anyways and it'd all be learning. I'll get a memory card for next time.
When the game began, we watched the intro story and list of items and cracked up at the game's directions to read the manual for more information. Remember when we used to read those, back in the days when they provided flavor for the game instead of just bare-bones instructions on controller mechanics? Those were good times.
After a few minutes of figuring out how the controls were re-mapped to the Gamecube controller, we got his file registered and the game started. Now something you need to know about my friend is that he started with the Atari 2600 and then went to the Xbox, so there's a few generations of gaming that passed him by. So when he immediately started heading east instead of into the door right in front of him, I realized that there are a lot of conventions that many of us gamers take for granted.
Needless to say, without a sword, he died quickly. I'm trying to take a generally hands-off approach so that he gets to enjoy the game himself instead of just letting me tell him how to play it, but I figured that pointing out the location of the first sword was probably a good idea.
He caught on quick and learned how to block smaller projectiles, how to kill things from a distance, and just generally get a feel for the world. Without any direction from me, he managed to stumble across Level 1 all on his own. I was so proud! I gave him the general rundown of how levels work: there's a compass, map, boss, treasure and triforce piece to find in each one. The triforce pieces have to be found to confront Ganon and save Zelda. Pretty simple. There was exploration, trial and error, death, and a freakout "WTF?!" moment with the Wall Masters, but he eventually reigned supreme and recovered his first triforce piece.
Back in the overworld, exploration continued and he found the entrance to Level 3. Yeah, we passed by Level 2, but you don't have to do them in order and I wasn't gonna rain on his discovery. Besides, I don't really remember where Level 2 is anyways. Whereas Level 1 was a good introduction in difficulty, 3 was a bit more unforgiving. Zols split into Gels when hit, so no items were dropped when killed, and Darknuts were immediately despised since they dealt heavy damage, were immune to the boomerang's stun, and couldn't be hit from the front. After a few deaths, we called it a night since it was starting to get frustrating we couldn't save the game in any case. This was just the introduction, but I hope to have him indoctrinated in short order. I'll keep y'all updated on the progress!
"I don't like getting hit by fireballs."
"Those are rocks, actually."
"They look like fireballs."
"Those things are called 'octorocks.' They're land-octopi that walk around and spit rocks."
"That's just wrong on so many levels."
"The old woman doesn't talk to you yet."
"She's dead to me."
"I can't remember what the [Level 1] boss is called."
"Dragicorn. Cuz that's what it is."
*attacking a Darknut head-on*
"He's got a shield too."