I just beat my first Zelda game!

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Skoot

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#1  Edited By Skoot

I didn't know where else I could share this, but I just had to get it out!

I'm 31 (only a few months younger than Dan), and I just finished my first Zelda game. I had an NES in the 80's, SNES in the 90's, even an N64 when it came out. I really don't know how I never got into these games before. Maybe I just wasn't ready for them.

Of course, now, the whole idea of getting into the series felt daunting, given the number of titles. Then, there was the question of whether i'd play through the game's lore timeline(Hyrule Historia), or simply by release date timeline.

Ultimately, I decided on the one everybody raves about as one of the best Zelda experiences, 'The Ocarina of time', as my starting point for the series.

I'm blown away with how well the game stands the test of time.

For a game from that era, it's a goddamned masterpiece in my mind. Sure, it has flaws, but the good outweighs the bad by a metric fuckton.

I'm not really here to review the game. I'm just here to express my absolute genuine excitement about this series that I've only dipped my toe into.

With the game now completely under my belt, the question nags at me: "How the hell did I miss these games the first time around?!"

So, now, with a few dollars spent online, I'm on a very Scanlon-esque mission to play them all (slightly out of order) up to when this new Zelda Wii U game comes out.

I'm absolutely pumped for this!

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I just really had to share with gamers who'd hopefully understand what I'm going through.

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Robinson

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Now, play Majora's Mask and be even more amazed!

Congrats!

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Skoot

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@robinson: That one's definitely next on the list. Where I go AFTER Majora's Mask is the big decision.

I could go back and play Link to the Past or the original NES game, or go forward and play Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword.

There's a whole lot of Zelda out there to choose from!

Not the CD-I, though. Never the CD-I.

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InsidiousTuna

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@skoot: congrats! I'd suggest Link to the Past and then Wind Waker. I'm glad Ocarina still rules if someone is just playing it for the first time! Happy for you!

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audiosnow

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My first Zelda was the original, about a year ago. It's amazing that an RPG that complex was made in '86.

(I've played the first hour of Ocarina half a dozen times and it's never taken, although the three hours I put into Wind Waker made me want to return when I have the time.)

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GERALTITUDE

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#6  Edited By GERALTITUDE

What an amazing post! Congrats duder. Always so interesting for me to hear from older gamers (I'm your age lol) and what they think of the games that, to me, were beyond perfect growing up.

Did you have much experience with the N64 growing up (what did you play on it, just saw you said you did have one)? PC guy maybe? Curious what you were playing around that time when you passed Zelda by. Some questions for you too: how did you find the combat and puzzles in the game? In general how was "figuring out what to do"? Games are designed so differently now and signposted very differently too. Did you get lost? Was it too easy?

OoT has a really special place in my heart. That opening menu music... T_T

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ll_Exile_ll

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@skoot said:

@robinson: That one's definitely next on the list. Where I go AFTER Majora's Mask is the big decision.

I could go back and play Link to the Past or the original NES game, or go forward and play Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword.

There's a whole lot of Zelda out there to choose from!

Not the CD-I, though. Never the CD-I.

Well, Ocarina of Time has 3 sequels, which are the next 3 games I'd recommend you play. You should definitely play Majora's Mask next, since it's a direct sequel that features the same Link.

The other two Ocarina of Time sequels are Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, which each take place in a different timeline following the split that occurs at the end of Ocarina of Time. More than half of the games take place in the multiple timelines that split off after Ocarina of Time, but most of them were placed there well after they were made and hadn't had any timeline implications considered during their development. Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, however, are each very clearly sequels to one of the two endings to OoT.

Because of the way each of these games references the events of OoT and clearly establishes the aftermath of that game in these two timelines, I definitely suggest you play them next just to have a through-line with the first couple games to start your Zelda journey. After you play those, you can pretty much go anywhere. A Link to the Past is the best 2D Zelda by most people's estimation, but Skyward Sword has the most overarching, series wide lore implications. It's really your choice at that point, though I would definitely suggest that A Link to the Past should be your first 2D Zelda, since it establishes the formula that all 2D games after it (on handhelds) would use.

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Skoot

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#8  Edited By Skoot

@geraltitude: My experience with the N64 growing up was, I got it bundled with Starfox N64, played an awful lot of Goldeneye and, unfortunately, Mission:Impossible. (A lot of shame admitting to that one). Eventually, I traded that N64 in for a PlayStation and played a a lot of Metal Gear Solid and a whole lot of PC games. (Doom 2, Jedi Knight, Quake, basically all of the Lucasarts point-and-click adventure games). The 'cinematic' things that games on the PlayStation and PC could do back then were mostly what pulled me away from the N64.

I was really into action games. My first proper RPG experience has to be Fable on the original Xbox. I've still not played a Final Fantasy yet. Maybe that'll be my 2017/2018.

As far as figuring everything out goes, yeah, it took a little while to "get it".. I found myself wandering the fields aimlessly in the beginning, but I eventually figured out where to go, I was pretty patient in some parts(that goes double for the water temple).

I missed puzzles that were that hard, I've played a good number of the Resident Evil games and the puzzles in that we're likely the last thing to properly scratch that itch.

A part of me wants to play through the game again, and I still might, but not yet. I want to play the others, first.

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TheHT

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You made the right choice.

I know people love the old 2D Zelda games, but to be honest, I never really much cared for the combat. I fucking loved the rainy intro to Link to the Past, absolutely. My god, the first time I saw that as a kid in the SNES room of my sister's orthodontist I was blown away. All the art in that game is wonderful as well, but Ocarina was the first one I actually enjoyed playing.

That side-scroller one looks kinda awesome though.

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SpaceInsomniac

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@skoot said:

@robinson: That one's definitely next on the list. Where I go AFTER Majora's Mask is the big decision.

I could go back and play Link to the Past or the original NES game, or go forward and play Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword.

There's a whole lot of Zelda out there to choose from!

Not the CD-I, though. Never the CD-I.

I'd go with A Link to the Past. Best Zelda game by far. If it was released today in a world without Zelda games, it would be considered a retro pixel art masterpiece.

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Justin258

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#11  Edited By Justin258

The only Zelda game I've finished is A Link Between Worlds and I thought that one was goddamn fantastic, my second favorite game on the 3DS behind Etrian Odyssey IV.

I put a few hours into the 3DS version of Ocarina of Time and just never really got into it. I'm going to retry it, as I've been known to play a game once, think it's boring, then play it again and really enjoy it, but for now, I didn't really like it all that much. I can definitely see how it would have been mind-blowing in 1998, though.

I have tried to play A Link to the Past as well, but I had some problems with latency in that game. It's probably because I've only ever played it on an emulator, but something always felt off when trying to attack guys.

Call me crazy, but I played some of the Gamecube version of Twilight Princess on an emulator and I'm pretty interested in playing all of that one when I finally buy a Wii U sometime in the next few months. I'll probably also buy and play some of A Link to the Past and Wind Waker as well.

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liquiddragon

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Nice! I beat my first Zelda last year and I'm 27. I chose the og Wind Walker and had a great time.

Great world, fun characters. Some puzzles had weird Zelda logic I wasn't familar with but overall top notch.

My favorite part was the music. Just beautiful!

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hippie_genocide

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The only Zelda I've ever managed to beat was A Link Between Worlds. I usually get to a point and fizzle out on them but that game just had me coming back to it and it was kind of effortless to push on through to the end.

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Teddie

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You had the opposite experience to me, then. I played Ocarina first too, but didn't enjoy it much at all-- enough that I just wrote off every other game in the series for years afterwards. I've played a fair few since then though, and they've all been ten times more enjoyable than Ocarina. I guess something about that game just didn't gel with me (and I don't think it was "age" because I loved Majora's Mask).

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Takoyaki

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@skoot: If you're doing MM next, do yourself a favour and save and reset time whenever you unlock a new dungeon. My last MM playthrough kind of went on hold after I had to reset a dungeon with the boss key in my inventory and the door pretty much in sight. Love that game though.

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LawGamer

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Link to the Past is where it's at. Ocarina of Time is vastly overrated.

Yeah, I said it.

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SpaceInsomniac

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@lawgamer said:

Link to the Past is where it's at. Ocarina of Time is vastly overrated.

Yeah, I said it.

Those pre-rendered backgrounds were hard to look at, even back then. It looked like someone smeared the town in Vaseline.

Pixel art always holds up much better than polygons.

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Skoot

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@teddie: In my case, time-travel/manipulation stuff in video games just does something for me as long as it's implemented well. This game certainly falls into one of its better implementations as an 'Epic quest across time'.

Which is why I'm excited to jump into Majora's Mask even though it sounds like a very different implementation. More like 'Edge of Tomorrow'. Lol

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sparkysanxion

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I wasn't massively keen on Mask.

Link between worlds on 3ds is a great 2D Zelda.

Wind Waker is just great.

I'm currently playing through Twilight Princess. Which feels like a (fairly fun) slog.

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#21  Edited By Quazzy

Ocarina of Time was my first as well it came out when I was three so it was definitely a huge part of my love of gaming I've only played the Zelda games from that year on other then dabbling with one and two. I do want to start checking more off the list then Ocarina, Majora's Mask, and Twilight Princess, working on Wind Waker on the Wii U sailing still boring to me but I'll beat it eventually. Personally I like Twilight more then Wind Waker and think Majora is just as good as Ocarina in a fun way of reusing all the assets but being so damn different, Ocarina and MM are my top two Zelda games out of six I played I'll be shocked if any of the older ones change that.

Great to hear you give a game from way back a chance and be so fulfilled it's like Drew experiencing Metal Gear Solid on this very site.

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chu52

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#22  Edited By chu52

Congratulations duder. I've been a huge fan of Zelda for decades. 2016 is the first time I've played any 3d Zelda game. Now I'm on my third in a row! So I get it.

Play the HD remakes on wii u. Cannotated stress enough how the tweaks they made really cut through the worst part of both Windows Waker and Twilight Princess.

Also DON'T BELIEVE DAN ON RANKING THEM. Every Legend of Zelda Game (cd-i gsmes do not say LoZ) has something of merit to it.

If you want to get into the 2D games Link between Worlds is the best starting point.

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@skoot: A Link to the Past or Wind Waker next!

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Skoot

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I'm really surprised in the number of responses here. I'm glad you guys enjoy seeing my thoughts as an outsider entering the series.

Honestly, I was expecting some awful Reddit-style hatemongering when I posted this, but you duders are great!

You guys think I should post again when I finish my next adventure?

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mrroach

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Definitely, and as an observer untainted by nostalgia you can answer objectively once and for all whether Ocarina or Link to the Past is the better Zelda game (hint: it's LTTP) ;-)

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supermonkey122

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Despite Ocarina being one of those games that is "cool to hate", it's still my favorite Zelda. Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, and A Link Between Worlds are my other favorites, but they're all great games. Except Skyward Sword.

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BananasFoster

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When you get to playing Zelda 1, makes sure you read the game's instruction manual. You can find it online. Too many people think that's optional and never read it, and then don't like the game.

It's not optional.

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GERALTITUDE

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#28  Edited By GERALTITUDE

@skoot said:

@geraltitude: My experience with the N64 growing up was, I got it bundled with Starfox N64, played an awful lot of Goldeneye and, unfortunately, Mission:Impossible. (A lot of shame admitting to that one). Eventually, I traded that N64 in for a PlayStation and played a a lot of Metal Gear Solid and a whole lot of PC games. (Doom 2, Jedi Knight, Quake, basically all of the Lucasarts point-and-click adventure games). The 'cinematic' things that games on the PlayStation and PC could do back then were mostly what pulled me away from the N64.

>>I had forgotten that I ever played Mission: Impossible until now. Wow. I just had Vietnam-style flashbacks to needing to spray-paint security cameras in a bland hallway. Think I played that on PlayStation but not sure.. Starfox and GoldenEye were real mainstays in my house. Something about Starfox was so replayable for me, but then again I did only have five 64 games.

Always interesting seeing where you crossed paths with others' game history. MGS, FFVII, OoT & Diablo II are probably my "golden age". Big deviation for me is I never played any adventure games growing up. Still my biggest blind spot outside newer stuff like mobas, etc.

I was really into action games. My first proper RPG experience has to be Fable on the original Xbox. I've still not played a Final Fantasy yet. Maybe that'll be my 2017/2018.

>>@zombiepie might have a heart attack about this, but yeah duder, you should definitely get to Final Fantasy at some point! After I played VII, VIII and IX I went on a tear through all the old ones. It'd be hard to find the time now though, to be honest.

As far as figuring everything out goes, yeah, it took a little while to "get it".. I found myself wandering the fields aimlessly in the beginning, but I eventually figured out where to go, I was pretty patient in some parts(that goes double for the water temple).

I missed puzzles that were that hard, I've played a good number of the Resident Evil games and the puzzles in that we're likely the last thing to properly scratch that itch.

>>I don't think this is a very controversial statement, but, in my opinion, there's no party like an S Club Party there are no puzzles like Zelda puzzles. Absolute first class, top of the line stuff. They will spoil you for other games! I remember very clearly the first time I did the Forest Temple. While the Young Link temples have puzzles as well, the air of "spooky mystery" in the Forest Temple and the increase in complexity felt like a real graduation moment. Zelda is so, so good at teaching you concepts, testing you on them, then complicating them over time.

A part of me wants to play through the game again, and I still might, but not yet. I want to play the others, first.

>>Maybe you know this already, but there is some flexibility to how you can progress in the game, never mind all the little/big sidequests (did you get the Biggoron Sword? or the collectible masks? catch all the ghosts?). If I recall correctly, as a child you can do either Death Mountain or Zora's Fountain in any order. As an Adult you can do the Fire Temple before the Forest Temple (bit harder without the bow), then you have to do the Water Temple. After that you can do Spirit/Shadow in any order. I may be off here or there as it's been so many years, but there's some flexibility for sure.

Also, you could always try the Master's Quest!

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@geraltitude: I actually have never played a console Legend of Zelda game. I have only ever played a couple of games on the Game Boy Advance.

Don't play games from the Final Fantasy franchise...except you totally should play at least one game from the Final Fantasy franchise.

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@lawgamer said:

Link to the Past is where it's at. Ocarina of Time is vastly overrated.

Yeah, I said it.

The man speaks truth

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Skoot

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#31  Edited By Skoot

@geraltitude: After spending a bit more time thinking about it this morning, I remembered actually selling my first PlayStation and exclusively only owning a crappy PC for quite some time. Eventually, my next console purchase would end up being a $60 Dreamcast from ebay(well after its demise) and, being young and poor, I took advantage of its complete lack of copyright protection. This is where I played Dino Crisis, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, and a lot of other late PS1/early PS2 titles(Star Wars: Jedi Power Battles!), as well as the Sonic adventure games while also playing everything to do with half-life on PC.

After this, is where I got the first Xbox console and that's where I properly re-entered the console market and played current games again. So, I guess I left out that I went a good long while in the late 90's and early 2000's without a console at all!

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mathj

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twilight princess just got hdified, so maybe check that out. also, windwaker did too so those 2 are definitely the ones you should play next, id suggest windwaker. amazing game, i actually liked it more than ocarina.

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renegade1973

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#33  Edited By renegade1973

I'm old. 42. While OOT is amazing and was when I first played, personal view is link to the past is better overall. Maybe I just played OOT to death. I couldnt get into Majoras mask at all. Windwaker should be your 3rd port of call. Twilight princess is underrated, skyward sword was such a slow start I gave up.

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GERALTITUDE

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@geraltitude: I actually have never played a console Legend of Zelda game. I have only ever played a couple of games on the Game Boy Advance.

Don't play games from the Final Fantasy franchise...except you totally should play at least one game from the Final Fantasy franchise.

wow really! Is this another series we can look forward to? That super long form mental break down was exceptional. We need more of that here. What did you play on the GBA? Minish Cap is amazing, as are all the re-releases (I, II and LttP).

@skoot said:

@geraltitude: After spending a bit more time thinking about it this morning, I remembered actually selling my first PlayStation and exclusively only owning a crappy PC for quite some time. Eventually, my next console purchase would end up being a $60 Dreamcast from ebay(well after its demise) and, being young and poor, I took advantage of its complete lack of copyright protection. This is where I played Dino Crisis, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, and a lot of other late PS1/early PS2 titles(Star Wars: Jedi Power Battles!), as well as the Sonic adventure games while also playing everything to do with half-life on PC.

After this, is where I got the first Xbox console and that's where I properly re-entered the console market and played current games again. So, I guess I left out that I went a good long while in the late 90's and early 2000's without a console at all!

Man! I love console stories. I remember dying to play a Dreamcast, only having seen it once at a friends house and thinking Sonic/Soul Calibur was just the most beautiful thing ever made. God I remember how much people talked about Code Veronica and wanting to play that so badly. I'm a huge Dino Crisis fan actually, loved the first two to death on PS1; here's a great blog about the game from our resident RE/DC expert, @yummylee. Believe it or not I actually just got my dreamcast last year. Needs more games though (only have Shenmue II and MvC).

If Majora is next for you I'll think you'll enjoy it a lot. So curious what you'll think actually. For those of us who had played many Zeldas, what was crazy about MM was how different it was. I wonder how it'll feel to you!

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ZombiePie

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@zombiepie said:

@geraltitude: I actually have never played a console Legend of Zelda game. I have only ever played a couple of games on the Game Boy Advance.

Don't play games from the Final Fantasy franchise...except you totally should play at least one game from the Final Fantasy franchise.

wow really! Is this another series we can look forward to? That super long form mental break down was exceptional. We need more of that here. What did you play on the GBA? Minish Cap is amazing, as are all the re-releases (I, II and LttP).

There are a TON of future topics for me to cover if we are being perfectly honest.

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GERALTITUDE

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@zombiepie: wow I really busted a gut there, I did not know you had assembled this list. :D I really look forward to your next venture.

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Slag

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hey congrats man. You started an adventure that you'll love undertaking. Zelda is one of the very best franchises of all time.

I wouldn't worry about following the Hyrule Historia timelines unless you want to (that could be neat), although you still can since OoT really is the focal point of the whole thing. But really though that Historia stuff is more or less a retcon so it's not like much would be really noticeable to you unless you paid close attention.

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TanookiSuit

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How has nobody brought up Link's Awakening on the GB/GB Color (DX)?! That game is so damn good, and should you go through the portable titles it should be the first one you play. It is charming as fuck. Between Worlds should come right after you play through Link to the Past as well, but it's your list, don't let anyone tell you one way or another.

I'm glad you're going on this journey; the Zelda games are (Mostly) fantastic. I still play Link to the Past once a year or so, with Awakening in a close 2nd for "most played".

It's interesting to see people's fresh take on a series they haven't played, even years later from release, and still enjoying themselves and getting into it. It's kind of why Metal Gear Scanlon is so good!

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Skoot

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#39  Edited By Skoot

So, I started with Ocarina of time playing the N64 version on Wii Virtual Console with a Gamecube controller plugged in. Closest I could manage to an N64 experience these days, even though the controller is different. While I could do the same with Majora's Mask... I own a New 3DS. So, I'm going to use that where I can.

My list, in order I'll likely play in, is going to be:

-Majora's Mask(3DS)

-Link to the Past(should be out on the New 3DS Virtual Console by the time I'm finished MM)

-Wind Waker (Gamecube - I got it for a steal on eBay)

-Twilight Princess(Wii - wish I could have gotten the Gamecube or Wii U version - because of the Wii version's mirroring - but this was $20.)

-Skyward Sword

-Link Between Worlds(so that it feels like I'm revisiting the LttP world, rather than continuing my time there)

Not yet planned out after that. Of course, it's mostly handheld and NES versions. I want to get through most of the big console releases(and see what the big deal is about each one) before playing the handheld versions.

**NOTE:For Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, I really, really, REALLY wish I could play the HD versions of these on my Wii U, but I live in Canada, where our dollar took a nosedive and game prices jumped to $79.99+15% tax=$91.92 per game. I couldn't pay that and still call myself a responsible human being.

Maybe I'll get lucky and our dollar will recover by then, but I doubt it'll be that quickly.

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John1912

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@skoot: Grats on enjoying OoT. Just imagine how great it was when everything in it was cutting edge. It was practically flawless back in the day.

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I've been a fan of LoZ games since 89, but I've only recently played the 3D ones for the first time, most recently Majora's Mask and Skyward Sword. Im firmly in the camp of LTTP and Ocarina being the best of each kind. All that said: I think you should play Skyward Sword next because it's such a weird game for as important as it is to the series. That game got a lot of criticism for a lot of reasons, and most of it is justified. However, there's a a quite good in there somewhere and I don't see it ever getting a remake because of the motion controls.

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John1912

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@skoot: "My first proper RPG experience has to be Fable on the original Xbox."

Oh my dear lord....That doesnt even count in my opinion lol.

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Skoot

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#43  Edited By Skoot

@john1912: well...it was a good way to get the uninitiated into RPG's? I'd classify it as an Action RPG.

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ll_Exile_ll

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@slag said:

hey congrats man. You started an adventure that you'll love undertaking. Zelda is one of the very best franchises of all time.

I wouldn't worry about following the Hyrule Historia timelines unless you want to (that could be neat), although you still can since OoT really is the focal point of the whole thing. But really though that Historia stuff is more or less a retcon so it's not like much would be really noticeable to you unless you paid close attention.

I'd say maybe like 50% of the Hyrule Historia timeline is a retcon. Sure, plenty of games were just placed seemingly at random at some point in the timeline, but other games were clearly designed with at least some idea as it where they took place in relation to other games. Even the timeline split appears to have been something that was considered well before the official timeline was established, since both Wind Waker and Twilight Princess reference the events of Ocarina of Time and the Hero of Time, but different versions of the outcome of those events.

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@slag said:

hey congrats man. You started an adventure that you'll love undertaking. Zelda is one of the very best franchises of all time.

I wouldn't worry about following the Hyrule Historia timelines unless you want to (that could be neat), although you still can since OoT really is the focal point of the whole thing. But really though that Historia stuff is more or less a retcon so it's not like much would be really noticeable to you unless you paid close attention.

I'd say maybe like 50% of the Hyrule Historia timeline is a retcon. Sure, plenty of games were just placed seemingly at random at some point in the timeline, but other games were clearly designed with at least some idea as it where they took place in relation to other games. Even the timeline split appears to have been something that was considered well before the official timeline was established, since both Wind Waker and Twilight Princess reference the events of Ocarina of Time and the Hero of Time, but different versions of the outcome of those events.

Yeah that sounds plausible. Hopefully Nintendo someday reveals how the whole timeline concept came to be. I doubt it was there when a Link to the Past launched, which i kind f took to be a reboot, but how crazy would it be if it was always intended to have one?

I definitely remember seeing all the fans sites and stuff when Wind Waker hit with speculation and whatnot. That was the first I heard the chatter about the timeline stuff.

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#46  Edited By Skoot

So, I'm into Majora's Mask a little bit now and I'm starting to see that while there are similarities in gameplay to OoT, each Zelda game seems to have its own distinct mechanic that makes each game its own unique entity.

Ocarina of Time's being the use of the Ocarina to solve puzzles and adult/kid time-travel.

Majora's Mask, while still using the Ocarina, it's 3-day system and use of masks to progress are that game's unique mechanics.

With that in mind, what would the unique mechanics of the other games be?

I imagine it's probably the sailing in Wind Waker, unless there's something else, too.

*Edit: I almost immediately feel like I shouldn't have asked, so I could blindly discover, but I know there's clearly more to these games than the mechanics. The puzzles those mechanics go up against are equally as important.

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There isn't anything in the post Majora's Mask Zeldas that is as drastically different from those two games as those two games are to each other, if that makes sense. But without giving too much away, sailing does play a big part in Wind Waker; in Twilight Princess you turn into a wolf; and Skyward Sword's unique mechanics all stem from how the motion controls are implemented.

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