History VideoGame / TheLegendOfZelda

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17th Apr '13 9:38:04 PM WaxingName
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-->''@@MANY YEARS AGO PRINCE DARKNESS "GA[[FandomBerserkButton N]]NON" STOLE ONE OF THE TRIFORCE WITH POWER.@@''
-->''@@PRINCESS ZELDA HAD ONE OF THE TRIFORCE WITH WISDOM.@@''
-->''@@[[DismantledMacGuffin SHE DIVIDED IT INTO "8" UNITS TO HIDE IT FROM "GANNON" BEFORE SHE WAS CAPTURED]].@@''

-->''@@[[GottaCatchThemAll GO FIND THE "8" UNITS "LINK"]] [[SaveThePrincess TO SAVE HER.]]@@''

[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thelegendofzelda_2.jpg]]

The original ''Legend of Zelda'' was a top-down ActionAdventure HackAndSlash, with a very nonlinear setup. Originally the first game to be released for the Famicom Disk System in Japan, in North America and Europe, it was the first game for the NintendoEntertainmentSystem to use a battery-backed save feature, and was released, as a gimmick, in a gold cartridge rather than standard gray.

Both the original adventure and the "second quest" would eventually be remade as ''BS-Zelda'', an enhanced version for a satellite-based Super Famicom add-on.

The story, as told through an [[BlindIdiotTranslation Engrish-filled]] opening title scroll (though revised in later rereleases), is that the evil Ganon had stolen the Triforce of Power, and captured Princess Zelda, holder of the Triforce of Wisdom. However, to keep the Triforce from falling into Ganon's hands she had split it into 8 pieces and hid them in the eight dungeons across Hyrule. Link, the hero, must gather the 8 pieces, allowing him to enter Ganon's lair, defeat him, claim the Triforce of Power, and SaveThePrincess. Unlike the later games, there was little character interaction other than the vague hints given by various old men, and not much in the way of sidequests. There weren't even Pieces of Heart - instead, full {{Heart Container}}s were found around the map.

Not to be confused with ZeldaClassic.
----
!!This Game Provides Examples Of:
* AdamSmithHatesYourGuts: Especially bad since you can only hold [[PowersOfTwoMinusOne 255]] rupees in this game, and it takes some serious exploring to find the best deal on the magic shield.
** Not to mention the Blue Ring costs 250 rupees. Granted, it is an arguably more optional item than even the magic shield.
** On top of that, your nice, expensive Magic Shield was nastily prone to [[MooksAteMyEquipment being eaten by Like Likes]], monsters that resemble [[http://brawlinthefamily.keenspot.com/2009/05/08/160-pancakes/ a pile of evil pancakes.]]
* AnimatedAdaptation: The [[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfZelda cartoon]] was primarily based on this, with elements of ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink''.
* BatOutOfHell: Vire and Keese.
* BlackoutBasement: Starts and is most prevalent in Level 4 of the first quest, where nearly every room is pitch black. However, Level 5 is a close runner-up. In later dungeons it becomes more of a random gimmick.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: To the point that it actually severely increases the difficulty of the game. A lot of the trial-and-error aspects of the game would have been averted if the messages had been rendered properly, and indeed Japanese speakers who played the Japanese version have traditionally cited the enemies as being the primary reason for the game's NintendoHard difficulty, rather than the difficulty of finding dungeon entrances and hidden treasures.
* BoldInflation: The intro scroll.
* BossInMookClothing: Darknuts.
* ClassicCheatCode: Naming your saved game ZELDA (or at least ''starting'' the name with ZELDA) starts you off on the second quest.
** Pressing Up+ A on the player 2 controller takes you to the [=Continue/Save/Retry=] screen immediately, so you can save without having to die.
* ComicBookAdaptation: The ValiantComics [[ComicBook/TheLegendOfZelda series]] authorized by Nintendo was based on this and ''ZeldaII''.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Every dungeon located on DeathMountain in the first quest has lava in place of water. Not only is Link unaffected by it, but he can also cross narrow flows of it with a wooden ladder. It gets better: [[LavaIsBoilingKoolAid The lava is completely invisible in the dark.]]
* CreepyCoolCrosses: All the tombstones in the graveyard have crosses on them, as do Link's shields and, oddly, the Magic Book. WordOfGod explains that the motif is caused by the fact that the original plan was to have Christianity as the main religion in Hyrule; the [[CrystalDragonJesus three goddesses]] weren't invented until after the two NES games were released. The Magic Book's cross is only odd in the states; the tome is explicitly a Bible in the Japanese version. One common suggestion is that religion has waned over the centuries and, with the land quite ravaged, the old Hylian religion was left behind in favor of a CrystalDragonJesus religion.
* DamageDiscrimination: Played straight with Bombs, averted with the Candles and the "Book of Magic"-enhanced Magic Wand.
* DeathMountain: The {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* DenialOfDiagonalAttack: Link is only able to move in four directions and his main attack is a straight-forward stab, which makes it difficult to attack things that you'd rather not be standing directly in front of.
** With a little finesse, you can throw the boomerang diagonally, but that's it.
* DiscOneNuke: If you know where to look, are somewhat good at evasion, and willing to grind rupees for a few minutes, it is possible to get three of the five overworld {{Heart Container}}s and therefore the [[InfinityMinusOneSword White Sword]], ''and'' the Blue Ring before entering the very first dungeon in the first quest. The three extra hearts and the White Sword can easily be gotten quickly and will allow you to breeze through at least the first half of the game, but the ring is ''very'' expensive at 250 rupees (5 away from the maximum) and thus requires more time spent finding hidden rooms in the overworld for larger caches of Rupees if you want to buy it quickly (and without savescumming or rupee-farming), but it is also a major boon to have itself. (You can also manipulate the money-making game with SaveScumming, which will greatly cut down on the time necessary to farm rupees).
** It's also possible to get the Magic Key in the first quest with the treasure from just one dungeon, namely the bow. Granted, it's rather ''difficult'', but doing this makes the rest of the quest a breeze.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Rather minor since it isn't explicitly mentioned in the game itself, but as mentioned above, the crosses are because Christianity was supposed to be Hyrule's religion; the mythology of the Golden Goddesses came later. A less minor example is the fact that there are no NPC-filled towns and [=NPCs=] are rather rare; oddly enough this was rectified in [[VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink the next game]], which is generally considered to be the OddballInTheSeries.
** Also of note is that Link is going after the Triforce "with" Wisdom instead of the Triforce of Courage.
** The game also has the Stopwatch item, which freezes all enemies on screen and makes Link invincible in the current area. The Stopwatch is the only item that has not been seen anywhere else outside of this game.
** The lowest Rupee units are orange instead of the now-standard green (since Rupees shared their palettes with the enemy characters). Orange Rupees would later resurface in ''Wind Waker'', but they are worth 100 Rupees in that game.
* EmptyRoomPsych: While most levels were fairly straightforward, the ninth dungeon and several second quest dungeons tended to feature these.
* ExactWords: One of the old ladies in the cave says "Pay me and I'll talk." So, you give her a good chunk of rupees, hoping for some great information about what to do next... and she says "Boy, you're rich." Well, she ''did'' say that she would talk if you gave her money...
** This old woman is meant to screw with you, since paying the maximum is what gets all the other old ladies to talk. Give this one the middle amount and she'll pony up the real information.
* FacelessEye: Patra.
* FeedItABomb
* {{Feelies}}: The game came with a poster sized map which had the locations of most of the dungeons and could be used for taking notes. Much to the general annoyance of people who owned the original, this map has not been re-released with any of the remakes.
* FlashOfPain: Both Link and the enemies, when hit.
* FlipScreenScrolling
* GameMod: Several; the best-known (and best) is probably [[http://questforcalatia.net/ZeldaC/index.html Zelda Challenge: Outlands]].
* GiantEyeOfDoom: Tektites, Digdogger, and ''especially'' Gohma and Patra.
* GiveMeYourInventoryItem: [[AC: GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE...]]
** [[AC: LEAVE YOUR LIFE OR MONEY.]]
* GoForTheEye: Again, Gohma and Patra.
* GoodBadTranslation
* GrowlingGut: The abovementioned "Grumble, Grumble..." screen. "Grumble, Grumble" is the noise the Goriya's stomach is making.
* GuideDangIt: Try to get through the second quest without looking at a map. Just try. You'll probably get to about Level 3 before giving in.
* HeartContainer: The {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* HereThereWereDragons: Unlike later games, magic (while it does show up) doesn't play a large role. The artbook ''Hyrule Historia'' officially calls the NES games "The Era of Hyrule's Decline".
* HeroesWantRedheads: The sprite and artwork of Princess Zelda are shown with red/brown hair.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: Multi-headed dragons (Gleeoks) as bosses.
** Another dragon called Aquamentus is the first dungeon's boss.
* InterchangeableAntimatterKeys: Used to a higher degree here than in any other title in the series. Not only would keys transfer over from dungeon to dungeon, but you could even buy extras if you somehow managed to fluff the puppy and run out.
** There was also a "Magical Key" that left off the "antimatter" part.
* InvincibleMinorMinion: "Bubbles" were flaming skulls that disable Link's ability to use a sword for awhile. There was absolutely no way to kill them. This was even worse in the Second Quest, where two new versions were added -- a red one which took away the sword ability completely, and a blue one which restored it. Touching the first required touching the second, which was sometimes in a completely different ''room''. You could also drink a Water of Life to end the red-bubble effect, but with the NintendoHard already cranked UpToEleven in the second quest, this is widely considered a bad move.
* KidHero: According to the [[AllThereInTheManual Hyrule Historia]], this incarnation of Link is only ten years old.
* KillItWithFire: The Candle, and the Magic Wand after you find the Magic Book.
* {{Knockback}}: Both with Link and the enemies, some of which are [[PunchedAcrossTheRoom sent flying all the way across the screen]]. Link can actually get knocked back into another enemy and take more damage.
* LawOfChromaticSuperiority: If a monster has a red or orange version and a blue version, the blue version is generally tougher. The only exception is the blue bubbles, which are far less annoying than the red versions.
* LostForever: In the second quest, some of the old men in the dungeons ask for 50 rupees, and if you don't have that you must give up a HeartContainer. Not as in one unit of health, we mean ''one heart of your life capacity.''[[hottip:*:Of course, you can attack the old man and wait for the resulting fireballs from his flames to kill you instead.]]
** In both quests, there are old men who offer you a choice between a heart container or a red potion. You can buy red potions, you can't buy heart containers. Potions are expendable. ''Always'' take the heart container.
* LudicrousGibs: Yes, this game has an example when you [[spoiler:defeat Ganon. He explodes into a mess of red pixels, which then pile up underneath the Triforce piece he leaves behind.]]
* MacGuffin: The pieces of the Triforce.
* ManEatingPlant: Peahat, Manhandla, and (arguably) Leever.
* TheMaze: Two of them - TheLostWoods and the Lost Hills.
** [[spoiler: Lost Hills are debatable since all you have to do is keep going up]]
** Arguably, Level 9 in both quests, and the majority of the labyrinths in the second.
** Level 8-2 is unique in that the maze itself is the big challenge to the labyrinth. The labyrinth has the goriya/rope/stalfos enemy theme, but it's also got more secret passages than any other level in the ''game'', including a half dozen or so one-way passages, and a lot of automatically locking doors to force you back to the beginning if you take even one misstep.
* MooksAteMyEquipment: Like Likes. If you let one touch you, it quickly envelops you and you can pretty much kiss your Magic Shield (if you have one) goodbye. Your only chance to escape without losing your Magic Shield is to have the Magical Sword and give it the required three stabs as quickly as possible. If you have anything less than the Magical Sword, you'd better hope you were caught by one that has already taken damage!
* NewGamePlus: As was not uncommon in those days, there is a "second quest" with a remixed [[NintendoHard extra-hard]] layout.
* NintendoHard: Only somewhat more forgiving than the second game. Focusing more on combat than puzzles, this is the hardest of the standard style games. If you started on the later games, it even combines with SurpriseDifficulty.
* NonNaziSwastika: There's a dungeon shaped like a swastika, described as "manji" in the manual. Definitely a case of ValuesDissonance.
* NoSwastikas: Averted, as the third dungeon in the first quest forms a manji symbol. Even WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd lampshades this as he calls it a swastika at the beginning of his review for ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink''.
* {{Oculothorax}}: You'd never guess this from the game itself, but [[http://zelda.wikia.com/wiki/Digdogger_%28The_Legend_of_Zelda%29 Digdogger]] (who hates a certain kind of sound) is one of these.
** Patra is an entire ''squadron'' of these.
* PinataEnemy: The Tektites and Leevers along the southern border of the map. Easy MoneyGrinding to be found there.
* PowerUpLetDown: The Magic Book is supposed to enhance the Magical Rod by making its shots burst into flame upon contact. However, many of the enemies late in the game are immune to fire and while the Magical Rod by itself could have done damage, the fireball that the item creates from the book completely negates the damage when the enemy is fireproof.
** The Candle (both versions) are also fairly useless for having extremely short range, not working on certain enemies, and causing self inflicted damage to Link if you walk into your own fire. They do light up dark rooms and burn down select bushes, but that's it.
* PyroManiac: Link has always had a thing for bombs, and this is the only game in the series that requires you to start several forest fires in order to progress.
* RandomDrop: Enemies and bosses will drop recovery hearts, rupees, bombs, fairies, or the time stopping stopwatch. Bosses guarding a Triforce fragment always drop a HeartContainer.
* RainbowSpeak: The intro.
* RecurringBoss: All of them except the final boss, sort of.
** Level 4: Manhandla, boss of the third dungeon, returns as a midboss.
** Level 5: Three Dodongos show up for a miniboss battle, where a single one served as the final boss of the second dungeon.
** Level 6: The two-headed dragon boss of the fourth dungeon, Gleeok, shows up as a midboss sporting a third head.
** Level 7: The fifth dungeon's boss, Digdogger, returns for a miniboss battle, followed later on by another trio of Dodongos. Later still, another Digdogger appears, and this one splits into three during the battle. Finally, the boss of this level is Aquamentus, the boss of the first dungeon.
** Level 8: A total of three Manhandlas appear in this dungeon, as do two Gohmas which due to the LawOfChromaticSuperiority require three times as many hits to defeat as the one that served as the final boss of the sixth dungeon. The final boss is a ''four''-headed Gleeok.
* SaveGameLimits: Sort of. Unless you know the Player Up+ A code, the only way to save is to die. In the VirtualConsole version, this doesn't even work... for some reason, the VirtualConsole re-release is ported from the ''GameBoyAdvance re-release'', which doesn't even begin to make sense.
* SchizophrenicDifficulty: The game hits a major difficulty spike about halfway through the first quest with the introduction of tough enemies such as Wizzrobes and Darknuts. The beginning of the second quest is even harder, as you must deal with such enemies much earlier on and with less equipment/life at your disposal. The difficulty rapidly subsides as you near the end of the second quest, however, as you continue to get stronger while the game's challenge begins to come more from increasingly complex/confusing dungeon layouts than from strong enemies (whom you see less of at this point than you did in the first quest).
* SelfImposedChallenge: A number of players have worked out how to get through the entire game (except for the final boss) without using a sword.
** Dorkly actually created a video where [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OydCKdKlbM Link defeats Ganon with a shield]]. Virtually impossible in the game, but still.
* SequenceBreaking: Later games carefully worked out where you could find and use keys so that none were left over and no doors were left locked; this one didn't do that, so you can easily clear level 2 with about six or seven of them in reserve making it even easier to beat some of the later dungeons.
** There is also very little to force you to do the dungeon levels in order. A few are unreachable (or more difficult) without treasures found in others, but even a level that couldn't be reached without, say, the raft didn't require you to actually complete the level in which you find the raft. This was by design, but careful planning allows you to delay even the first boss fight until you have many more power-ups than you would have otherwise. This is pretty much vital if you are playing [[SelfImposedChallenge a swordless quest.]]
** Theoretically, you're supposed to clear the first two dungeons before obtaining the White Sword, but since what qualifies you to "master using it" is not the number of dungeons you clear but the amount of heart containers you have (5), you can easily pick up two free ones in the overworld map using bombs and grab the White Sword before taking on any dungeons at all.
* SequentialBoss: Level 6 in the second quest ends with a battle against Manhandla in the room immediately before Gohma at the end of the level.
* SpellBook: It's not necessary for Link to be able to use the Magic Wand, but it does make his shots [[KillItWithFire burst into flames]]. Ironically, this actually ''weakens'' the power of the wand, as enemies who would be injured by the magic but are impervious to fire stop being affected by wand shots. Many GenreSavvy players don't bother picking up the book, since it's not a required item for anything, just so they can keep using magic.
* StockSoundEffects: Aquamentus, Gleeok, and Ganon all use a pterodactyl roar lifted straight out of a HannaBarbera cartoon, just in low-quality (and low pitch.) Something similar may also apply to the noise made by Manhandla, Digdogger, and Patra.
* SwordBeam: If your life meter is filled to maximum capacity, you can fire these at distant enemies.
** Notable because the beam, unlike many later ''Zelda'' titles, carries the same power level as the blade itself. Needless to say, getting the Magical Sword as early as possible is a major boon; even the White Sword is an improvement.
* TalkingWithSigns: As Link is a HeroicMime in the series proper, perhaps this is the only way he could truly talk. He holds up sign "[[ReadTheFreakingManual PLEASE LOOK UP THE MANUAL FOR DETAILS]]" in the opening scroll.
* TimeStandsStill: If an enemy drops a watch, it will freeze all remaining enemies on the screen. However, this will not change their vulnerability - if a Peahat is still moving when the watch is grabbed, it will remain invulnerable. The effect ends when Link moves to a new screen.
* TutorialFailure: In the instruction manual, the Pols Voice enemy is said to "hate loud noise". Naturally, the player would assume that their weakness would be the flute, then, but that's not the case at all. The flute does absolutely nothing to the Pols Voice. What the manual is actually referring to is the built-in microphone found in the Famicom, the Japanese version of the NES, the functionality of which was removed entirely for the American release. This is fixed in later games, where musical items will kill the Pols Voices.
* UnfortunateNames: Seriously, ''Manhandla''?
** Its original name was even worse. ''Testitart.''
* {{Unwinnable}}: In a way, possible in the second quest. Several rooms have all their doors slam shut until you defeat all of the non-Bubble enemies in them. If you get tagged by one of the red Bubbles (which remove your ability to use a sword until you touch a blue Bubble) in such a room without a blue Bubble, then you're down to whatever subweapons you have on hand. It's quite possible to be out of uses (if you haven't gotten unlimited-use ones like the wand or the red candle yet) and stuck in the room. Fortunately, you can just quit and retry even should all those conditions apply.
** In the First Quest, the game is pretty good about providing you with more than enough keys to unlock any door you come across, except in the final dungeon, which assumes you have the Magical Key (which acts as infinite keys). While it's possible to complete all the goals of the dungeon (get the map and compass, both powerups, kill the BigBad, and rescue the DistressedDamsel) without either the Magical Key or buying extra regular keys, wandering around without keys can potentially leave you in a room with no exit, except to immolate yourself and respawn at the entrance. And if you've somehow managed to get that far without either the Red Candle or the Magic Book....
* UselessUsefulSpell: Part of what makes the second quest so difficult is that certain "useless" items get a lot more mileage on their next go around, as they become essential to finding many helpful power-ups. The [[GuideDangIt only indication you receive of this]] is finding said items much earlier in the game than before.
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: Level 9 - Death Mountain. You know you're there: "Spectacle Rock" is the overground architecture in the first quest (and the map, a skull, is by far the largest in the game). The music is ''much'' creepier than that used in the first eight dungeons, there are much stronger enemies that only appear in Level 9 in either quest, and these levels are much more mazelike than their predecessors. In addition, if you don't have all eight Triforce pieces, a guardian awaits in the first room beyond the entrance with some gratuitous {{Engrish}}.
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment: If you attack the old men in the dungeons, they respond by having their campfires shoot fireballs at you until you go away. The ones encountered on the surface simply can't be hit.
* VillainForgotToLevelGrind: In the first quest, Aquamentus, boss of level one, returns as the boss of [[BreatherLevel level seven]] with no improvements whatsoever. Two hits is all it takes and the Magic Shield can block its beams.
** Averted in the second quest with originally weak enemies such as Stalfos, who can now throw swords, and the Rope snakes, who now take more hits (and flash).
* WallMaster: The {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* WarpWhistle: The Whistle. Link can also use the Power Bracelet to access {{Warp Zone}}s between four areas.
* WideOpenSandbox: Quite possibly the UrExample. One of the reasons the game was so well liked was that you could go pretty much anywhere from the start.
* AWinnerIsYou: "THANKS LINK, YOU'RE THE HERO OF HYRULE."
----

to:

-->''@@MANY YEARS AGO PRINCE DARKNESS "GA[[FandomBerserkButton N]]NON" STOLE ONE OF THE TRIFORCE WITH POWER.@@''
-->''@@PRINCESS ZELDA HAD ONE OF THE TRIFORCE WITH WISDOM.@@''
-->''@@[[DismantledMacGuffin SHE DIVIDED IT INTO "8" UNITS TO HIDE IT FROM "GANNON" BEFORE SHE WAS CAPTURED]].@@''

-->''@@[[GottaCatchThemAll GO FIND THE "8" UNITS "LINK"]] [[SaveThePrincess TO SAVE HER.]]@@''

[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thelegendofzelda_2.jpg]]

The original ''Legend of Zelda'' was a top-down ActionAdventure HackAndSlash, with a very nonlinear setup. Originally the first game to be released for the Famicom Disk System in Japan, in North America and Europe, it was the first game for the NintendoEntertainmentSystem to use a battery-backed save feature, and was released, as a gimmick, in a gold cartridge rather than standard gray.

Both the original adventure and the "second quest" would eventually be remade as ''BS-Zelda'', an enhanced version for a satellite-based Super Famicom add-on.

The story, as told through an [[BlindIdiotTranslation Engrish-filled]] opening title scroll (though revised in later rereleases), is that the evil Ganon had stolen the Triforce of Power, and captured Princess Zelda, holder of the Triforce of Wisdom. However, to keep the Triforce from falling into Ganon's hands she had split it into 8 pieces and hid them in the eight dungeons across Hyrule. Link, the hero, must gather the 8 pieces, allowing him to enter Ganon's lair, defeat him, claim the Triforce of Power, and SaveThePrincess. Unlike the later games, there was little character interaction other than the vague hints given by various old men, and not much in the way of sidequests. There weren't even Pieces of Heart - instead, full {{Heart Container}}s were found around the map.

Not to be confused with ZeldaClassic.
----
!!This Game Provides Examples Of:
* AdamSmithHatesYourGuts: Especially bad since you can only hold [[PowersOfTwoMinusOne 255]] rupees in this game, and it takes some serious exploring to find the best deal on the magic shield.
** Not to mention the Blue Ring costs 250 rupees. Granted, it is an arguably more optional item than even the magic shield.
** On top of that, your nice, expensive Magic Shield was nastily prone to [[MooksAteMyEquipment being eaten by Like Likes]], monsters that resemble [[http://brawlinthefamily.keenspot.com/2009/05/08/160-pancakes/ a pile of evil pancakes.]]
* AnimatedAdaptation: The [[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfZelda cartoon]] was primarily based on this, with elements of ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink''.
* BatOutOfHell: Vire and Keese.
* BlackoutBasement: Starts and is most prevalent in Level 4 of the first quest, where nearly every room is pitch black. However, Level 5 is a close runner-up. In later dungeons it becomes more of a random gimmick.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: To the point that it actually severely increases the difficulty of the game. A lot of the trial-and-error aspects of the game would have been averted if the messages had been rendered properly, and indeed Japanese speakers who played the Japanese version have traditionally cited the enemies as being the primary reason for the game's NintendoHard difficulty, rather than the difficulty of finding dungeon entrances and hidden treasures.
* BoldInflation: The intro scroll.
* BossInMookClothing: Darknuts.
* ClassicCheatCode: Naming your saved game ZELDA (or at least ''starting'' the name with ZELDA) starts you off on the second quest.
** Pressing Up+ A on the player 2 controller takes you to the [=Continue/Save/Retry=] screen immediately, so you can save without having to die.
* ComicBookAdaptation: The ValiantComics [[ComicBook/TheLegendOfZelda series]] authorized by Nintendo was based on this and ''ZeldaII''.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Every dungeon located on DeathMountain in the first quest has lava in place of water. Not only is Link unaffected by it, but he can also cross narrow flows of it with a wooden ladder. It gets better: [[LavaIsBoilingKoolAid The lava is completely invisible in the dark.]]
* CreepyCoolCrosses: All the tombstones in the graveyard have crosses on them, as do Link's shields and, oddly, the Magic Book. WordOfGod explains that the motif is caused by the fact that the original plan was to have Christianity as the main religion in Hyrule; the [[CrystalDragonJesus three goddesses]] weren't invented until after the two NES games were released. The Magic Book's cross is only odd in the states; the tome is explicitly a Bible in the Japanese version. One common suggestion is that religion has waned over the centuries and, with the land quite ravaged, the old Hylian religion was left behind in favor of a CrystalDragonJesus religion.
* DamageDiscrimination: Played straight with Bombs, averted with the Candles and the "Book of Magic"-enhanced Magic Wand.
* DeathMountain: The {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* DenialOfDiagonalAttack: Link is only able to move in four directions and his main attack is a straight-forward stab, which makes it difficult to attack things that you'd rather not be standing directly in front of.
** With a little finesse, you can throw the boomerang diagonally, but that's it.
* DiscOneNuke: If you know where to look, are somewhat good at evasion, and willing to grind rupees for a few minutes, it is possible to get three of the five overworld {{Heart Container}}s and therefore the [[InfinityMinusOneSword White Sword]], ''and'' the Blue Ring before entering the very first dungeon in the first quest. The three extra hearts and the White Sword can easily be gotten quickly and will allow you to breeze through at least the first half of the game, but the ring is ''very'' expensive at 250 rupees (5 away from the maximum) and thus requires more time spent finding hidden rooms in the overworld for larger caches of Rupees if you want to buy it quickly (and without savescumming or rupee-farming), but it is also a major boon to have itself. (You can also manipulate the money-making game with SaveScumming, which will greatly cut down on the time necessary to farm rupees).
** It's also possible to get the Magic Key in the first quest with the treasure from just one dungeon, namely the bow. Granted, it's rather ''difficult'', but doing this makes the rest of the quest a breeze.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Rather minor since it isn't explicitly mentioned in the game itself, but as mentioned above, the crosses are because Christianity was supposed to be Hyrule's religion; the mythology of the Golden Goddesses came later. A less minor example is the fact that there are no NPC-filled towns and [=NPCs=] are rather rare; oddly enough this was rectified in [[VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink the next game]], which is generally considered to be the OddballInTheSeries.
** Also of note is that Link is going after the Triforce "with" Wisdom instead of the Triforce of Courage.
** The game also has the Stopwatch item, which freezes all enemies on screen and makes Link invincible in the current area. The Stopwatch is the only item that has not been seen anywhere else outside of this game.
** The lowest Rupee units are orange instead of the now-standard green (since Rupees shared their palettes with the enemy characters). Orange Rupees would later resurface in ''Wind Waker'', but they are worth 100 Rupees in that game.
* EmptyRoomPsych: While most levels were fairly straightforward, the ninth dungeon and several second quest dungeons tended to feature these.
* ExactWords: One of the old ladies in the cave says "Pay me and I'll talk." So, you give her a good chunk of rupees, hoping for some great information about what to do next... and she says "Boy, you're rich." Well, she ''did'' say that she would talk if you gave her money...
** This old woman is meant to screw with you, since paying the maximum is what gets all the other old ladies to talk. Give this one the middle amount and she'll pony up the real information.
* FacelessEye: Patra.
* FeedItABomb
* {{Feelies}}: The game came with a poster sized map which had the locations of most of the dungeons and could be used for taking notes. Much to the general annoyance of people who owned the original, this map has not been re-released with any of the remakes.
* FlashOfPain: Both Link and the enemies, when hit.
* FlipScreenScrolling
* GameMod: Several; the best-known (and best) is probably [[http://questforcalatia.net/ZeldaC/index.html Zelda Challenge: Outlands]].
* GiantEyeOfDoom: Tektites, Digdogger, and ''especially'' Gohma and Patra.
* GiveMeYourInventoryItem: [[AC: GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE...]]
** [[AC: LEAVE YOUR LIFE OR MONEY.]]
* GoForTheEye: Again, Gohma and Patra.
* GoodBadTranslation
* GrowlingGut: The abovementioned "Grumble, Grumble..." screen. "Grumble, Grumble" is the noise the Goriya's stomach is making.
* GuideDangIt: Try to get through the second quest without looking at a map. Just try. You'll probably get to about Level 3 before giving in.
* HeartContainer: The {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* HereThereWereDragons: Unlike later games, magic (while it does show up) doesn't play a large role. The artbook ''Hyrule Historia'' officially calls the NES games "The Era of Hyrule's Decline".
* HeroesWantRedheads: The sprite and artwork of Princess Zelda are shown with red/brown hair.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: Multi-headed dragons (Gleeoks) as bosses.
** Another dragon called Aquamentus is the first dungeon's boss.
* InterchangeableAntimatterKeys: Used to a higher degree here than in any other title in the series. Not only would keys transfer over from dungeon to dungeon, but you could even buy extras if you somehow managed to fluff the puppy and run out.
** There was also a "Magical Key" that left off the "antimatter" part.
* InvincibleMinorMinion: "Bubbles" were flaming skulls that disable Link's ability to use a sword for awhile. There was absolutely no way to kill them. This was even worse in the Second Quest, where two new versions were added -- a red one which took away the sword ability completely, and a blue one which restored it. Touching the first required touching the second, which was sometimes in a completely different ''room''. You could also drink a Water of Life to end the red-bubble effect, but with the NintendoHard already cranked UpToEleven in the second quest, this is widely considered a bad move.
* KidHero: According to the [[AllThereInTheManual Hyrule Historia]], this incarnation of Link is only ten years old.
* KillItWithFire: The Candle, and the Magic Wand after you find the Magic Book.
* {{Knockback}}: Both with Link and the enemies, some of which are [[PunchedAcrossTheRoom sent flying all the way across the screen]]. Link can actually get knocked back into another enemy and take more damage.
* LawOfChromaticSuperiority: If a monster has a red or orange version and a blue version, the blue version is generally tougher. The only exception is the blue bubbles, which are far less annoying than the red versions.
* LostForever: In the second quest, some of the old men in the dungeons ask for 50 rupees, and if you don't have that you must give up a HeartContainer. Not as in one unit of health, we mean ''one heart of your life capacity.''[[hottip:*:Of course, you can attack the old man and wait for the resulting fireballs from his flames to kill you instead.]]
** In both quests, there are old men who offer you a choice between a heart container or a red potion. You can buy red potions, you can't buy heart containers. Potions are expendable. ''Always'' take the heart container.
* LudicrousGibs: Yes, this game has an example when you [[spoiler:defeat Ganon. He explodes into a mess of red pixels, which then pile up underneath the Triforce piece he leaves behind.]]
* MacGuffin: The pieces of the Triforce.
* ManEatingPlant: Peahat, Manhandla, and (arguably) Leever.
* TheMaze: Two of them - TheLostWoods and the Lost Hills.
** [[spoiler: Lost Hills are debatable since all you have to do is keep going up]]
** Arguably, Level 9 in both quests, and the majority of the labyrinths in the second.
** Level 8-2 is unique in that the maze itself is the big challenge to the labyrinth. The labyrinth has the goriya/rope/stalfos enemy theme, but it's also got more secret passages than any other level in the ''game'', including a half dozen or so one-way passages, and a lot of automatically locking doors to force you back to the beginning if you take even one misstep.
* MooksAteMyEquipment: Like Likes. If you let one touch you, it quickly envelops you and you can pretty much kiss your Magic Shield (if you have one) goodbye. Your only chance to escape without losing your Magic Shield is to have the Magical Sword and give it the required three stabs as quickly as possible. If you have anything less than the Magical Sword, you'd better hope you were caught by one that has already taken damage!
* NewGamePlus: As was not uncommon in those days, there is a "second quest" with a remixed [[NintendoHard extra-hard]] layout.
* NintendoHard: Only somewhat more forgiving than the second game. Focusing more on combat than puzzles, this is the hardest of the standard style games. If you started on the later games, it even combines with SurpriseDifficulty.
* NonNaziSwastika: There's a dungeon shaped like a swastika, described as "manji" in the manual. Definitely a case of ValuesDissonance.
* NoSwastikas: Averted, as the third dungeon in the first quest forms a manji symbol. Even WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd lampshades this as he calls it a swastika at the beginning of his review for ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink''.
* {{Oculothorax}}: You'd never guess this from the game itself, but [[http://zelda.wikia.com/wiki/Digdogger_%28The_Legend_of_Zelda%29 Digdogger]] (who hates a certain kind of sound) is one of these.
** Patra is an entire ''squadron'' of these.
* PinataEnemy: The Tektites and Leevers along the southern border of the map. Easy MoneyGrinding to be found there.
* PowerUpLetDown: The Magic Book is supposed to enhance the Magical Rod by making its shots burst into flame upon contact. However, many of the enemies late in the game are immune to fire and while the Magical Rod by itself could have done damage, the fireball that the item creates from the book completely negates the damage when the enemy is fireproof.
** The Candle (both versions) are also fairly useless for having extremely short range, not working on certain enemies, and causing self inflicted damage to Link if you walk into your own fire. They do light up dark rooms and burn down select bushes, but that's it.
* PyroManiac: Link has always had a thing for bombs, and this is the only game in the series that requires you to start several forest fires in order to progress.
* RandomDrop: Enemies and bosses will drop recovery hearts, rupees, bombs, fairies, or the time stopping stopwatch. Bosses guarding a Triforce fragment always drop a HeartContainer.
* RainbowSpeak: The intro.
* RecurringBoss: All of them except the final boss, sort of.
** Level 4: Manhandla, boss of the third dungeon, returns as a midboss.
** Level 5: Three Dodongos show up for a miniboss battle, where a single one served as the final boss of the second dungeon.
** Level 6: The two-headed dragon boss of the fourth dungeon, Gleeok, shows up as a midboss sporting a third head.
** Level 7: The fifth dungeon's boss, Digdogger, returns for a miniboss battle, followed later on by another trio of Dodongos. Later still, another Digdogger appears, and this one splits into three during the battle. Finally, the boss of this level is Aquamentus, the boss of the first dungeon.
** Level 8: A total of three Manhandlas appear in this dungeon, as do two Gohmas which due to the LawOfChromaticSuperiority require three times as many hits to defeat as the one that served as the final boss of the sixth dungeon. The final boss is a ''four''-headed Gleeok.
* SaveGameLimits: Sort of. Unless you know the Player Up+ A code, the only way to save is to die. In the VirtualConsole version, this doesn't even work... for some reason, the VirtualConsole re-release is ported from the ''GameBoyAdvance re-release'', which doesn't even begin to make sense.
* SchizophrenicDifficulty: The game hits a major difficulty spike about halfway through the first quest with the introduction of tough enemies such as Wizzrobes and Darknuts. The beginning of the second quest is even harder, as you must deal with such enemies much earlier on and with less equipment/life at your disposal. The difficulty rapidly subsides as you near the end of the second quest, however, as you continue to get stronger while the game's challenge begins to come more from increasingly complex/confusing dungeon layouts than from strong enemies (whom you see less of at this point than you did in the first quest).
* SelfImposedChallenge: A number of players have worked out how to get through the entire game (except for the final boss) without using a sword.
** Dorkly actually created a video where [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OydCKdKlbM Link defeats Ganon with a shield]]. Virtually impossible in the game, but still.
* SequenceBreaking: Later games carefully worked out where you could find and use keys so that none were left over and no doors were left locked; this one didn't do that, so you can easily clear level 2 with about six or seven of them in reserve making it even easier to beat some of the later dungeons.
** There is also very little to force you to do the dungeon levels in order. A few are unreachable (or more difficult) without treasures found in others, but even a level that couldn't be reached without, say, the raft didn't require you to actually complete the level in which you find the raft. This was by design, but careful planning allows you to delay even the first boss fight until you have many more power-ups than you would have otherwise. This is pretty much vital if you are playing [[SelfImposedChallenge a swordless quest.]]
** Theoretically, you're supposed to clear the first two dungeons before obtaining the White Sword, but since what qualifies you to "master using it" is not the number of dungeons you clear but the amount of heart containers you have (5), you can easily pick up two free ones in the overworld map using bombs and grab the White Sword before taking on any dungeons at all.
* SequentialBoss: Level 6 in the second quest ends with a battle against Manhandla in the room immediately before Gohma at the end of the level.
* SpellBook: It's not necessary for Link to be able to use the Magic Wand, but it does make his shots [[KillItWithFire burst into flames]]. Ironically, this actually ''weakens'' the power of the wand, as enemies who would be injured by the magic but are impervious to fire stop being affected by wand shots. Many GenreSavvy players don't bother picking up the book, since it's not a required item for anything, just so they can keep using magic.
* StockSoundEffects: Aquamentus, Gleeok, and Ganon all use a pterodactyl roar lifted straight out of a HannaBarbera cartoon, just in low-quality (and low pitch.) Something similar may also apply to the noise made by Manhandla, Digdogger, and Patra.
* SwordBeam: If your life meter is filled to maximum capacity, you can fire these at distant enemies.
** Notable because the beam, unlike many later ''Zelda'' titles, carries the same power level as the blade itself. Needless to say, getting the Magical Sword as early as possible is a major boon; even the White Sword is an improvement.
* TalkingWithSigns: As Link is a HeroicMime in the series proper, perhaps this is the only way he could truly talk. He holds up sign "[[ReadTheFreakingManual PLEASE LOOK UP THE MANUAL FOR DETAILS]]" in the opening scroll.
* TimeStandsStill: If an enemy drops a watch, it will freeze all remaining enemies on the screen. However, this will not change their vulnerability - if a Peahat is still moving when the watch is grabbed, it will remain invulnerable. The effect ends when Link moves to a new screen.
* TutorialFailure: In the instruction manual, the Pols Voice enemy is said to "hate loud noise". Naturally, the player would assume that their weakness would be the flute, then, but that's not the case at all. The flute does absolutely nothing to the Pols Voice. What the manual is actually referring to is the built-in microphone found in the Famicom, the Japanese version of the NES, the functionality of which was removed entirely for the American release. This is fixed in later games, where musical items will kill the Pols Voices.
* UnfortunateNames: Seriously, ''Manhandla''?
** Its original name was even worse. ''Testitart.''
* {{Unwinnable}}: In a way, possible in the second quest. Several rooms have all their doors slam shut until you defeat all of the non-Bubble enemies in them. If you get tagged by one of the red Bubbles (which remove your ability to use a sword until you touch a blue Bubble) in such a room without a blue Bubble, then you're down to whatever subweapons you have on hand. It's quite possible to be out of uses (if you haven't gotten unlimited-use ones like the wand or the red candle yet) and stuck in the room. Fortunately, you can just quit and retry even should all those conditions apply.
** In the First Quest, the game is pretty good about providing you with more than enough keys to unlock any door you come across, except in the final dungeon, which assumes you have the Magical Key (which acts as infinite keys). While it's possible to complete all the goals of the dungeon (get the map and compass, both powerups, kill the BigBad, and rescue the DistressedDamsel) without either the Magical Key or buying extra regular keys, wandering around without keys can potentially leave you in a room with no exit, except to immolate yourself and respawn at the entrance. And if you've somehow managed to get that far without either the Red Candle or the Magic Book....
* UselessUsefulSpell: Part of what makes the second quest so difficult is that certain "useless" items get a lot more mileage on their next go around, as they become essential to finding many helpful power-ups. The [[GuideDangIt only indication you receive of this]] is finding said items much earlier in the game than before.
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: Level 9 - Death Mountain. You know you're there: "Spectacle Rock" is the overground architecture in the first quest (and the map, a skull, is by far the largest in the game). The music is ''much'' creepier than that used in the first eight dungeons, there are much stronger enemies that only appear in Level 9 in either quest, and these levels are much more mazelike than their predecessors. In addition, if you don't have all eight Triforce pieces, a guardian awaits in the first room beyond the entrance with some gratuitous {{Engrish}}.
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment: If you attack the old men in the dungeons, they respond by having their campfires shoot fireballs at you until you go away. The ones encountered on the surface simply can't be hit.
* VillainForgotToLevelGrind: In the first quest, Aquamentus, boss of level one, returns as the boss of [[BreatherLevel level seven]] with no improvements whatsoever. Two hits is all it takes and the Magic Shield can block its beams.
** Averted in the second quest with originally weak enemies such as Stalfos, who can now throw swords, and the Rope snakes, who now take more hits (and flash).
* WallMaster: The {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* WarpWhistle: The Whistle. Link can also use the Power Bracelet to access {{Warp Zone}}s between four areas.
* WideOpenSandbox: Quite possibly the UrExample. One of the reasons the game was so well liked was that you could go pretty much anywhere from the start.
* AWinnerIsYou: "THANKS LINK, YOU'RE THE HERO OF HYRULE."
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[[redirect:Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda]]
6th Apr '13 4:42:57 PM Saurubiker
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Added DiffLines:

** The lowest Rupee units are orange instead of the now-standard green (since Rupees shared their palettes with the enemy characters). Orange Rupees would later resurface in ''Wind Waker'', but they are worth 100 Rupees in that game.
4th Apr '13 3:05:41 PM Steven
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* PowerUpLetDown: The Magic Book is supposed to enhance the Magical Rod by making its shots burst into flame upon contact. However, many of the enemies late in the game are immune to fire and while the Magical Rod by itself could have done damage, the fireball that the item creates from the book completely negates the damage when the enemy is fireproof.
** The Candle (both versions) are also fairly useless for having extremely short range, not working on certain enemies, and causing self inflicted damage to Link if you walk into your own fire. They do light up dark rooms and burn down select bushes, but that's it.
3rd Apr '13 2:56:42 AM BigRobotBil
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** Theoretically, you're supposed to clear the first two dungeons before obtaining the White Sword, but since what qualifies you to "master using it" is not the number of dungeons you clear but the amount of heart containers you have (5), you can easily pick up two free ones in the overworld map and grab the White Sword before taking on any dungeons at all.

to:

** Theoretically, you're supposed to clear the first two dungeons before obtaining the White Sword, but since what qualifies you to "master using it" is not the number of dungeons you clear but the amount of heart containers you have (5), you can easily pick up two free ones in the overworld map using bombs and grab the White Sword before taking on any dungeons at all.
3rd Apr '13 2:54:54 AM BigRobotBil
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Added DiffLines:

** Theoretically, you're supposed to clear the first two dungeons before obtaining the White Sword, but since what qualifies you to "master using it" is not the number of dungeons you clear but the amount of heart containers you have (5), you can easily pick up two free ones in the overworld map and grab the White Sword before taking on any dungeons at all.
29th Mar '13 8:03:31 AM TenorCub82
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** In the First Quest, the game is pretty good about providing you with more than enough keys to unlock any door you come across, except in the final dungeon, which assumes you have the Magical Key (which acts as infinite keys). While it's possible to complete all the goals of the dungeon (get the map and compass, both powerups, kill the BigBad, and rescue DistressedDamsel) without either the Magical Key or buying extra regular keys, wandering around without keys can potentially leave you in a room with no exit, except to immolate yourself and respawn at the entrance. And if you've somehow managed to get that far without either the Red Candle or the Magic Book....

to:

** In the First Quest, the game is pretty good about providing you with more than enough keys to unlock any door you come across, except in the final dungeon, which assumes you have the Magical Key (which acts as infinite keys). While it's possible to complete all the goals of the dungeon (get the map and compass, both powerups, kill the BigBad, and rescue the DistressedDamsel) without either the Magical Key or buying extra regular keys, wandering around without keys can potentially leave you in a room with no exit, except to immolate yourself and respawn at the entrance. And if you've somehow managed to get that far without either the Red Candle or the Magic Book....
29th Mar '13 6:47:34 AM TenorCub82
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Added DiffLines:

** In the First Quest, the game is pretty good about providing you with more than enough keys to unlock any door you come across, except in the final dungeon, which assumes you have the Magical Key (which acts as infinite keys). While it's possible to complete all the goals of the dungeon (get the map and compass, both powerups, kill the BigBad, and rescue DistressedDamsel) without either the Magical Key or buying extra regular keys, wandering around without keys can potentially leave you in a room with no exit, except to immolate yourself and respawn at the entrance. And if you've somehow managed to get that far without either the Red Candle or the Magic Book....
24th Mar '13 8:53:14 AM rcmerod52
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Added DiffLines:

** Dorkly actually created a video where [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OydCKdKlbM Link defeats Ganon with a shield]]. Virtually impossible in the game, but still.
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