Link and Zelda in Gamelon

In the past few weeks we featured our writers’ Memories of the Legend of Zelda. All leading up to the release of the remake of Links’ Awakening in September. Time to add my memories of the pointy eared guy in green!

I’ve often remarked that I came into gaming relative late in life. My solo “career” playing videogames started in 2006 with Animal Crossing Wild World and it took me quite some time to try a Legend of Zelda game on my own. Actually, the first game for me was Phantom Hourglass on my DS. 

First meeting with Link

But that wasn’t my first meeting with Link. No, the first encounter goes way back to 1991 when I played a Zelda game together with my husband. You see, when Philips, a Dutch electronics company that actually originates from my hometown of Eindhoven, released the CDi, we couldn’t wait to own one. 

You have to take into account that the internet was just reaching the masses, and although we did have a computer it wasn’t for gaming. The CDi was the first device that had any kind of video game capacity for us, and it had multiple purposes. You could use it to play music from CD’s, play movies and as digital encyclopedia. But, back to Zelda.

We had several games on the device, and two of them were our absolute favorites. Those were Link: the Faces of Evil, and Zelda: the Wand of Gamelon. This is from the wiki about the CDi:

“Nintendo and Philips had established an agreement to co-develop a CD-ROM enhancement for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System due to licensing disagreements with Nintendo’s previous partner Sony (an agreement that produced a prototype console called the SNES-CD).[19] While Philips and Nintendo never released such a CD-ROM add-on, Philips was still contractually allowed to continue using Nintendo characters.”

That’s how we came to enjoy a couple of Link and Zelda games that most of you might not even know. Actually, most people feel as if these aren’t really games that belong in the series of the Legend of Zelda.  The games have been the subject of derision since the beginning, because they do look different. The characters looks like a caricature for the original Link and Zelda. 

We loved out time in Gamelon

But the gameplay was ace for us: we loved it and spent many an hour unraveling the puzzles, finding the clues that allowed us to go to the next “dungeon”, or island in this case. We had notebooks filled with where to find what to be able to solve it all. 

We often played until 3 am, while having to go to work again the next day. This might be normal behavior for a true gamer, but you have to keep in mind that we weren’t gamers before. It just shows how spellbinding the games were to us. It prompted us to buy a GameCube a couple of years later and buying Zelda Windwaker. 

I still remember to this day how disappointed we were with Windwaker. We had spent $60 for the game which we felt was a lot. Where were the characters we had loved? Link looked so different, and it was difficult to find our way around the game. So difficult that we put the game aside after a few hours, feeling sorry that we had spent so much money on the game.

Finally finding our footing with Nintendo’s Link

It wasn’t until a year or so later that we finally picked it up again to give it another go. We ended up loving it, once again spending hours playing it together. Mostly it was Frank doing the battles, and doing the puzzle-solving together. It took me quite some courage to try it alone, as I feared I would never be able to fight the bosses. But playing Phantom Hourglass on the DS was an excellent first timer for me. I loved the way it made maximum use of the stylus, how you could make notes in the game and most important: I managed to finish it! 

That was my first solo Zelda experience, to be followed by Spirit Tracks. I tried Ocarina of Time on the 3DS but couldn’t make it work. I dabbled a bit in A Link between Worlds but I feel I have finally found my favourites of all Zelda games in Breath of the Wild. I won’t go on raving about it once again, but it’s the exploration that speaks to me. Love it!


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.