Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete? Wouldn’t you think I’m a girl, a girl who has… all the Zeldas? You’d be right.
Although this blog is dedicated to hunting for retro games and collecting them, I also want to occasionally share some of the different collections I’m working on and end up completing along the way. As of a few days ago, I have managed to collect all of the games in The Legend of Zelda franchise up to but not including the 3DS installments. I don’t currently own a 3DS, and truthfully I am waiting to see if they come up with something that’ll allow DS/3DS games to be played on a big screen like they did with the Super Game Boy and the Game Boy Player. I live for stuff like that, and with the NX rumoured to be a cartridge-based console, maybe, just maybe, my wish will come true.
I want to take a moment to speak to this collection and how it got started. I was inadvertently put on the path to collecting these games when I was handed the first Zelda game in the early 1990s as a very young girl. With my trusty Game Genie jammed into the shiny gold cartridge, I played the game constantly alongside other NES classics like the Super Mario Bros. games, Adventure Island II, Faxanadu and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Video Game Adventure to name a few. Unfortunately my copy of the game doesn’t save, and I found myself leaving my NES on for hours on end. Another consistent problem I ran into was that every time I’d pick up the Master Sword while playing with the Game Genie, my game would freeze like clockwork. I’m going to be completely honest here and admit that I have never actually beaten the game without the Game Genie. My days of cheating are over though, I swear! I have a second copy of the game that saves, so I now have a chance of being able to get through it without having to start from scratch each time.
Below is a photo of my childhood copy of the game. It’s the Canadian version, but as far as I know, there’s nothing particularly special about that version compared to releases in other countries. In the manual, some of the enemy names are spelled wrong. I went my entire life calling Zoras (the lake monsters that shoot red fireballs at you) Zolas instead because of how it was spelled in the manual! This is similar to how I always called Birdo enemies Ostro because of the mistake in the ending credits of Super Mario Bros. 2, but I digress.
Before the times of the internet and all its helpful hints and walkthroughs, I explored this game endlessly without any guidance. I wasn’t subscribed to Nintendo Power, so the game’s map fell victim to a small girl that needed to document and record all small details in the game. Its truly a mess: it’s ripped, taped back together in spots, and I’ve written all over it on the front and back. I’ve even filled in all the labyrinth maps on the back in the designated spots. My maps come complete with bomb-able walls and where to find all the goodies! The collector in me would shudder at finding a copy of a map in this condition, but because it’s a snapshot of the Nintendo-loving kid I was growing up, I am very proud of it!
As a quick aside, if you haven’t picked up on it at all yet, my blog name hungrygoriya comes from this game as well. In the 7th labyrinth, you run into a literal hungry Goriya that you need to feed to get past him. You feed him a meat stick, which is my blog’s avatar… you can see where this is going! As a kid, I got stuck here for the longest time. When I realized that Grumble Grumble referred to this Goriya’s stomach rather than his mood, my mind was blown.
Images are borrowed from http://www.zeldadungeon.net
After falling completely in love with the first Zelda game and playing it to death my entire childhood, I finally expanded my Zelda collection when my mom bought a Game Boy off of a neighbour and Link’s Awakening came with it. Link’s Awakening quickly became and still is my favourite Zelda game, though I got completely and utterly stumped in Eagle Tower in my early teens. I put the game down for years but eventually picked it back up again and beat it for the first time very recently. It was truly a wonderful gaming experience with excellent graphics (I love sprites!), its music, and its interesting story that is truly unique among all the Zelda games. I have adored listening to orchestrations of the soundtrack from Link’s Awakening, and one composer in particular I’ve come to really enjoy listening to is The Second Narrator. He has orchestrated the entire Link’s Awakening OST and is definitely worth checking out sometime.
I could go on and on about how I came to own each of the games with photos and all the rest, but I will spare you the details here unless someone is extremely interested, of course – I am happy to do a follow-up post showing the games and their condition and completeness. For this post, I simply wanted to share a little about how this all got started for me at a very young age and how I grew to love the series. I am so grateful for having had the opportunity for the Zelda franchise to be a springboard into my lifetime journey of gaming and game collecting. Now that my collecting for the main series is done, it’s just a matter of finding the time to sit down and play them all! I’ve managed to get through Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword in recent years, but the other games have been mostly untouched. I’ve got a lot of fun ahead of me!
Don’t think you’ll never see another Zelda post, though. I still have peripherals and manuals/guides to track down, as well as some re-releases and adaptations like The Ocarina of Time Master Quest. A collector’s collecting is never done.
Thank you so much for reading and being on this journey with me.