Pretty much the only reasons I still hang on to my 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System are Mega Man 2 and 3, Clu Clu Land, and The Legend of Zelda. Especially The Legend of Zelda.
There is still something unmistakably awesome about pulling out that shimmering gold Game Pak, blowing dust off its gleaming copper pins, inserting it into the NES, pushing power, getting that awful blinking red light, removing the Game Pak, blowing in it again, re-inserting it, getting that blinking red light again, removing it one more time, blowing inside the NES instead, reinserting the Game Pak, sliding it back and forth a bit, pushing power on last time… and suddenly seeing that Hyrulian waterfall appear from the inky blackness of the TV screen.
Playing it takes me back to that great heyday of video gaming in the late 80s, the so-called Second Golden Age of Video Games, and I can recall with sepia-toned clarity those days back in junior high when each evening was spent exploring Hyrule with Link and each subsequent morning spent with friends comparing our virtual adventures when we should have been dissecting frogs or solving for x or whatever in class. It seems like yesterday.
But apparently, it wasn’t yesterday. Not by a long shot.
It was a quarter of a century ago.
Today is the 25th anniversary of the original Legend of Zelda, and it is also the day that I feel officially “old.” I might as well start hitching my pants up to my nipples and ranting about kids these days and their blasted hippity-hop music.
But before I submit to permanent geriatric pissantry, let’s pause and remember one last time how good the eighties and Zelda were…
Now get off my lawn, ya goddamn kids.