The Legend of Zelda was a highly respected member of society, attending PTA meetings, and even ran for mayor once. With its loyal supportive spouse (Nintendo) they had a bright future together.
Little did they know that this game had a secret love affair with a maiden from a passing gypsy caravan trader. Their lovechild would never know its true origin and grow up in the wilderness away from Nintendo’s family friendly policies to become the most brutal game of the last decade, it would become Dark Souls.
That’s right folks the original Legend of Zelda bears a striking resemblance to an action adventure, hack and slash game where excessive dying is part of the fun; more than it does to any of its legitimate children. The series had an overhaul with the SNES entry “A Link to the Past”, that laid the foundation for the rest of the Zelda series.
Why should you care about any of this? To better understand what a guy named Ben Purdy achieved recently with his 16 pixel “de-make” of the original Legend of Zelda. Purdy describes himself as a person doing creative things with technology. He created this Zelda “de-make” for the Mini Ludum Dare 50.
The entire over world is playable as a 16 by 16 pixel flash game where Link is no more than a green square, a glorious, monster butt kicking, Tri-force collecting, princess saving green square. It goes without saying that the game play is slightly simplified as well.
Enemies have no projectile weapons except the submarine type enemies who guard the riverbanks. Link does not have a projectile attack either at full health, or a shield. I understand it would be very difficult to implement but the chosen hero without a shield is like a toasted sandwich that is only half toasted. I mean once you add the cheese it becomes soggy. It’s still edible so you don’t make another one, you just eat it but it is not the same… can you imagine the horror? Besides, none of the other square’s will take him seriously, especially not the girl squares.
What Ben Purdy accomplished is still pretty impressive. In the description from his website it says, “Photoshop for various graphics (haha graphics??)” but I have tried to design a generic square in Photoshop and it took me 20 minutes (I suck at graphic design), so let’s give the game some credit.
I started the game and ran straight for the first dungeon only to find out that the dungeon is a room with the yellow square conveniently placed in the middle of the room. Great job hiding those Tri-force shards Zelda, I bet Gannon would never guessed looking in the middle of a room. With that said it is surprisingly fun. I collected five shards before dying and I even picked up the steel sword.
If you have never tried the original Legend of Zelda this fun little browser game really highlights how complex it actually was. I recommend another play-through of the original. I mean it is about time don’t you think? If you have never experienced it, pick it up on the Wii U Virtual Console but remember if you’re not careful it will chew you up pass you through its digestive system like you are nothing more than a Tik Tak. Have fun.
Link to the game: http://labs.benpurdy.com/zelda/