Feature: Spring into the Past

Box Art

Box Art

Hello and welcome to The Day Tonight’s playthrough of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, an adventure game originally released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan on 21 November 1991, in America on 13 April 1992, and finally in Europe on 24 September 1992.

At its launch, the game was proclaimed an instant classic, lauded then and now as one the greatest video games of all time. Building on the solid and commercially successful gameplay of the original The Legend of Zelda, Link to the Past developed and polished that approach, utilising the increased power of the Super Nintendo to deliver superior graphics and audio. The result, an incredible success, established ‘Zelda’ as an unshakeable and core Nintendo franchise.

In addition, the game’s strong focus on a narrative thread throughout the game developed concepts found in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Giving Link a clear motive for his actions, people with whom to interact, and a set of circumstances in which he is contextually located helped to broaden the appeal of the game beyond that found in the original NES title. Instead of blindly exploring a wilderness, Link explores his own home kingdom, encountering friends and neighbours–but he also explores a terrifying alternative reality, where nothing is quite the same.

The guards do not take kindly to uninvited intruders.

Castle Hyrule

So successful was the release of A Link to the Past that Nintendo has subsequently re-released it on the Game Boy Advance, and on the virtual consoles for the Wii, Wii U, and New Nintendo 3DS. The game was also included in the Super Nintendo Classic console. A sequel, remaking elements of A Link to the Past was released on the Nintendo 3DS as The Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds, which draws upon the setting and premise of the original SNES game, even as it delivers an experience altogether different from the original title.

Speedrunners continue to favour A Link to the Past, and many modifications have been made to the ROM of the game, including versions which randomise item locations, increase difficulty, or add new levels, dungeons, and worlds. Although The Day Tonight will be playing through the original release, any fan of the game would be well-advised to look at the creations of the creative people who continually seek ways to make the game relevant and new for players of all experience levels.

Princess Zelda is kept under lock and key.

Hyrule Dungeons

As mentioned above, A Link to the Past builds upon the gameplay of the original The Legend of Zelda game. Set in Hyrule, the game is a top-down adventure in a style now ubiquitously associated with the 2D entries in the franchise. The protagonist, Link, seeks to recover the Triforce, defeat Ganon, and rescue the beautiful princess Zelda, thereby saving Hyrule in the process. Along the way, he will explore dungeons and defeat monstrous foes in order to acquire tools and weapons which will help him to reach formerly unreachable places. He will also grow in strength and power, even acquiring magical spells which can aid him in time of need.

Use the comment thread below to discuss your approach to the game, challenges you have faced, secrets you have uncovered, and what you are getting out of your playthrough. Do you feel that the The Legend of Zelda series has truly advanced since its origins in the 2D era? Or, do you prefer the aesthetics and gameplay of the classic 2D titles? Has your experience with other Zelda games affected your perception of this game? Do you find the world immersive, lacking in direction, or constricting? Tell us all about it and join in our discussion below! We will select some of the best comments, each week, for our podcast discussion.

The outskirts of the lost woods are verdant and inviting.

Hylian Forests

The aim in this playthrough is to complete the entirety of the game in three weeks:
– Week 1: Obtain the three pendants, the Master Sword, and the first crystal.
– Week 2: Obtain the second, third, fourth, and fifth crystals.
– Week 3: Obtain the last three crystals and complete the game.

Please join in, even if you are behind on the playthrough. Anyone and everyone is invited to participate, regardless of speed of play or familiarity with the series. Comment and tell your friends!

Without further adieu, it is our pleasure to invite you to join The Day Tonight’s staff members and readers as we return to the glories of top-down Zelda adventures in Spring into the Past: A The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Playthrough!

25 comments on “Feature: Spring into the Past”

  1. Anyone coming here before listening to the podcast is going to be confused.

  2. I was just playing through this last month— what a classic! When I was playing through it, it got me thinking how much fun a “Zelda Maker” game could be, even if it was only maybe making a single dungeon to share with the community…I don’t know, maybe it’s a bad idea, but I’d buy it.

  3. Which week will the playthrough begin? Been a while since I played it. Now I just need to decide on device because I have bought this ehm a few times

  4. I would definitely be open to a ‘Zelda Maker’ although I think it does not lend itself quite so well to the form as Mario Maker because of the size of the levels.

    The playthrough has begun! Four dungeons this week!

  5. Great! Started it up now, I’m off ^^ Been a long time since I played through all of it, very exited.

  6. I completed the opening last night before I fell asleep from a combination of illness/medication.

    I hope that SiliconNooB is actually PLAYING the game. If not, he’s going to get a right bollocking. There’s no excuse this time.

  7. Oooo, now this is a pleasant surprise! I have played this many, many times over the years and my last playthrough was about a year ago, so everything is very fresh in my mind. I’ll be starting shortly!

  8. Week 2 has begun!

    This week’s goal is to obtain Dark World crystals 2 through 5 inclusive! Good luck!

  9. My update: I obtained Crystal 2 today, and will make a strong essay on getting the rest done if not today then this weekend. Weekends are my gaming time these days. :)

  10. I have cleared through the first palace of the Dark World and reached week 1’s goal.

    What is everybody’s favorite sub-weapon? I have always been rather fond of the hook shot.

    This game has aged quite well. The visuals and colors are eye pleasing in the World of Light, bleak and drab in the Dark World. The soundtrack fits the action on the screen well. I like the boss theme and its 3 note sequences that are simple but exciting. Overall it’s just as fun as it was 25 years ago, and I imagine it’ll still be fun 25 years from now.

  11. Quite a bit behind. Had visit during the weekend where we played Phantasy Star Online nonstop. Desert palace now. I’m not great at it. Dying a lot I don’t know what it is with A Link to the Past, but I just die constantly.

  12. Got some extra rupees and a golden bee before the battery got red. Charging and then it’s ssving up the last 90 rupees, getting the flippers and off to get the last pendant!

  13. @Winter: One thing that helps a lot, especially in the early going, is keeping fairies in your bottles. They’ll autorevive you if you die, and you’ll regain most, if not all of your health at that point. It’s helpful to not have to micromanage your health as much!

    I just got the fifth crystal and have reached this week’s goal. I died twice to the boss guarding the fourth crystal. Reckless play on my part, and I didn’t do myself any favors by going into the boss without the second shield.

    The digging minigame in the Dark World drove me crazy. Took me well over 10 times to finally dig up the randomly placed piece of heart.

  14. Finally got Master Sword and completed Week one. Took me more than a week though That last pendant dungeon wss seriously annoying, had me see probably 30 deaths and the boss pushed me off the ledge probably 15 timed xD

    I’m definitely keeping fairies in bottles! It’s very helpful to have one stored in a bossfight.

  15. Wait I haven’t completed the first week yet, but I think I will today. To think of beating this in ten hours is madness. I must have 15 hours at least now after three pendants lol.

  16. It’s our FINAL WEEK!

    Let us know how you are doing—and when you finish the game!

  17. Just finished! Picked up everything along the way except for three pieces of heart. My “total games played” counter was 6 – my 2 deaths, and the times that I saved and quit. Great game! My favorite 2d Zelda game with Link’s Awakening not too far behind.

    I’ll probably run through Suikoden 1 before the Suikoden 2 playthrough. It’s only a 20 hour game and I think doing so gives a big boost of enjoyment to Suikoden 2. given how many characters carry over and how close together they are in the Suikoden timeline.

  18. And done!! Played it nonstop since yesterday basicly. Probaly took about 20-25 hours. The last part of the game was a lot of fun after getting some quality of life items and a place to get easy rupee refill for constant four magic/health filled pots. Thanks for cheering me on, or well shaming me on. It got me through xD

  19. And we are done! Congratulations to everyone who participated! Our next playthrough, this Summer, will be Suikoden II!

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