Never Played A Zelda Game. Need Advice.

#1 Posted by ThePudgeMan (3 posts) -

I've never played a Zelda game other than the first few hours of Twilight Princess and Links Cross Bow Training, both on the Wii, and I lost interest pretty quick with both. There's no reason I've never played any of the early games, I just never got around to them. I own all the relevant systems (SNES, N64, DS, 3DS, Wii, WiiU) and I would like to give them a shot. The question is where do I start? Is there a timeline or any continuity that I have to worry about? Will the games be making explicit references to previous games? The games that are currently on my radar are WInd Waker HD (WiiU), Ocarina of Time HD (3DS), and Link Between Worlds (3DS).

#2 Posted by AMyggen (2847 posts) -

First of: the timeline of Zelda is complete nonsense, so don't worry about continuity.

Personally, I'd start with WW. I think it holds up better than OoT, and it's just an amazing game. I haven't played LBW yet though, so can't comment on that.

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#3 Posted by TooWalrus (13167 posts) -

The only two that have any real connection are Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker, and even then they're just subtle nods and references that aren't really noticeable unless you know to look for them so don't even worry about it and yeah- play Wind Waker. It's my favorite Zelda.

#4 Posted by Vasta_Narada (442 posts) -

Link to the Past, Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time, and Link Between Worlds are all great choices for Zelda games. Personally, I'm a fan of Majora's Mask and Skyward Sword, but I know that they aren't held in the highest regard by many fans.

#5 Edited by crithon (3126 posts) -

the time line thing is the product of mad people. Because by Wind Waker if that even did matter they just wave their magical wand and say "there will always be another hero, a princess and villian." Which is serviceable hero's journey archetype and then anything else will be just little hints to how the games connect to one another.

But if you must try one just go for the SNES one or Ocarina of Time, that's the basic design of every other game just fallow. The thing is the entire series just is this warm nostalgia thing that doesn't change and comes out every couple of years to where it doesn't feel like it's feeling old to the fanboys. If your getting the impression I'm cynical, it's because I lost interest in Zelda around 1993, when I played Mana and realized all the flaws of the series. Sold my copy of a Link to the Past to buy SFAlpha 2 for the PS1 and never regretted it.

#6 Posted by Turtlebird95 (2363 posts) -

Ocarina of Time is probably the best Zelda game to start with. Don't worry about the timeline and continuity, it's mostly just subtle references.

Plus the Zelda story as a whole isn't really that interesting.

#7 Edited by Superkenon (1418 posts) -

You miss nothing playing them in any order, except maybe some inconsequential callbacks. A Link Between Worlds seems like the only game that's enhanced from playing its predecessor (A Link to the Past), because it is so very much a love letter to the SNES fans, but even then I'd say it stands alone well. Though I would recommend playing ALttP anyway. It's a gem.

Everything on your list is a fine choice.

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#8 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3199 posts) -

To start always make sure to name your character either "Link" or "Ham Radio" trust me on this one.

#9 Posted by ThePudgeMan (3 posts) -

@superkenon: Thanks for the response. P.S. Love the avatar. Godot is the best.

#10 Posted by audioBusting (1506 posts) -

Ocarina of Time might be a bit rough to get into now. Wind Waker for a 3D Zelda and Link to the Past for a 2D one would be my recommendation too, or Link's Awakening if you want something more goofy and weird.

#11 Edited by davidwitten22 (1708 posts) -

Link's Awakening DX and Majora's Mask are the best Zelda games, but I'm not really a Zelda fan.

So as someone who doesn't appear to be a Zelda fan, I recommend them.

#12 Edited by TheBlue (334 posts) -

Definitely start with Ocarina or Wind Waker, they are the definitive jumping off points. If you like them then really you should just play as many as you can. The 2D ones play very differently than the 3D ones but the game structure is essentially the same. You won't miss anything by playing them in any order, certain games just reference each other on occasion but it won't change your experience with each game.

Basically, play Wind Waker and/or Ocarina. If you like 'em and want more, go anywhere. Each game is a solid experience and a quality game.

#13 Posted by UpsideDownAce (54 posts) -

Just keep in mind that A Link Between Worlds isn't like most other Zelda games in the series. Other Zelda games have you build up your inventory of items as you complete dungeons. ALBW has the ability to have access to most of the items for early in the game. But if you like the top down games, I would recommend Link To The Past, Oracle of Seasons/Ages, and A Minish Cap. OoT and WW are amazing games, and I would play OoT -> WW and maybe Major's Mask if you want to revisit the N64. Everything else you can ignore.

#14 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6155 posts) -

@thepudgeman: Moved this to the Legend of Zelda franchise board.

Moderator
#15 Posted by Marino (4653 posts) -

@thepudgeman: As someone who's been playing them since 1987, A Link to the Past is the best one. So, you can either start there and know nothing will ever live up to it, or save that til the end. I'd probably recommend just starting with it.

Staff
#16 Posted by Slag (4244 posts) -

##@thepudgeman:

I'd say the only ones that really matter to play in order are the original Legend of Zelda and Legend of Zelda: adventure of Link on the NES (which was a direct sequel) and A Link to the Past (SNES) and A Link Between Worlds(3DS). But even those are almost entirely self contained.

ALttP is probably the best loved 2d Zelda, while Ocarina of Time is probably the best loved of the 3d ones. Fwiw I think the 2d and 3d ones play very differently almost to the point that it feels like a different game despite being very similar. So since you didn't dig Twilight Princess it might behoove you to try a 2D one.

hard to go wrong with any Zelda really. The closest that franchise came to a bad game is Spirit Tracks and that's Ok (the Phillips games and Crossbow Training don't really count).

#17 Posted by BisonHero (6440 posts) -

@crithon said:

the time line thing is the product of mad people. Because by Wind Waker if that even did matter they just wave their magical wand and say "there will always be another hero, a princess and villian." Which is serviceable hero's journey archetype and then anything else will be just little hints to how the games connect to one another.

This, absolutely this. OH GOD, this. The games are functionally cyclical, given the sheer number of times Ganon has been defeated and is then inexplicably alive in the next one.

Anyway, Link to the Past is probably the place to start, since it is the basis for all Zeldas from then on. You can play the NES Zeldas, but they're interesting eccentricities more than anything, because a ton of mechanics never really made it into future Zeldas, and the first one is obtuse as shit about a few things.

#18 Edited by Tom_omb (387 posts) -

Ocarina and Link to the past are the two molds the rest of the series is cast from. There are people that will tell you the story is BS, and there are others who care about it a lot. I'm somewhere in between. But OoT is the most commonly referenced game, story wise, for the games that came after.

#19 Edited by Fattony12000 (7298 posts) -

#20 Posted by Marz (5648 posts) -

original Zelda is pretty good, buy it on the Eshop or something.

#21 Posted by BisonHero (6440 posts) -

@fattony12000: Seeing that Wind Waker HD art up close, does Tetra actually have a dagger at some point? I seem to remember all of those "pirates" of hers having surprisingly zero weapons in their hands or on their person, Tetra included.

#22 Posted by PandaBear (1357 posts) -

I started at Ocarina of Time on the N64... I grew up a SEGA fan so the 64 was my first Nintendo console. I played it recently on the 3DS and it totally holds up.

I like all timeline stuff, but go into it totally blind and read about it later. I think it's best to play from Ocarina then move to Wind Waker... wait for the inevitable Majora's Mask remake.

For the record I think Ocarina of Time is my favourite game ever, and Twilight Princess is utter garbage. I'm sick of saying it's so-so or it's ok ... it's boring as hell.

If you're REALLY into the timeline start with Skyward Sword as chronologically it's the first game. And despite it's slow nature it's a great game.

#23 Posted by Fattony12000 (7298 posts) -

@fattony12000: Seeing that Wind Waker HD art up close, does Tetra actually have a dagger at some point? I seem to remember all of those "pirates" of hers having surprisingly zero weapons in their hands or on their person, Tetra included.

You know, now that you mention it, I'm of the same mind also! I don't recall a place or time where she (or any member of her crew) is armed with a blade, either. Although, it has been several years since I last played the game.

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