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In my hazy memories of the game, there are things that stick out. I was about 7 years old when I got an SNES and along with it ALttP and Super Mario World. It was around this time, after a few years of playing NES games that I think I started to attain truer mastery of playing video games. And coincidentally that Nintendo, I think, was starting to make inroads into accessibility and its ethos that skill shouldn’t be a barrier to completing a game. So being able to cruise through ALttP was intoxicating with that nice warm empowerment some games make you feel.
The opening of the game was thrilling, the first dungeon boss got me HYPE as hell especially with the boss fight music. It was one of the first games I played that felt ~vast~. The first time I accidentally swam under a bridge and met a guy camping out under there is etched into my mind. For some reason despite playing other games that had secrets, that one felt more real because it sort of operated on real world logic. There’s spaces under bridges, of course there might be something there!
But then, maybe because I got a mental block or missed a hint or something, I could NOT figure out how to get into the third dungeon in the Dark World (in the DW version of the Lost Woods). The game sat uncompleted in my collection for about 7 years. Flash forward to then and I booted the game back up. Voila! I figured out how to get in there and cursed my previous stupidity, and started making a ton of progress over the course of an afternoon. Mom called me down to dinner so I saved my game and shut off the console. Afterward I booted it back up and to my utter despair, all my saved games were gone. To this day I don’t know what happened. So! Back to square one. But over the next 24 hours I blasted through the game and finished it.
It’ll always hold a special place in my heart, even if I think it is definitely the tipping point where Nintendo’s tutorializing started down its slippery slope. It was also the beginning of series’ common problem of having tons of items that are useful for approximately 1 dungeon and a handful of other locations and then forever collecting dust in your inventory.