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YMMV / The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

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  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • When you upgrade the Tempered Sword to the Golden Sword: "Your sword is stronger! You can feel its power throbbing in your hand!"
    • The Desert area features an enemy called the "Geldman."note  The romaji of said enemy is "Gerudoman", suggesting that "Gerudo-" was meant to be a prefix for sand enemies in Zelda considering the enemy in Zelda II called the "Geldarm" and the later Gerudo race.
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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: The relationship between Agahnim and Ganon isn't fully clear. Is he merely some alternate form of Ganon, a mortal who works for Ganon, or a mortal who is possessed by Ganon? Ganon refers to Agahnim as his "alter-ego" in the game (the Japanese game uses the term bushin, "split soul"), but the three major manga/comic adaptations of the game depict Agahnim and Ganon as separate beings, and one of them even gives him a backstory that tells how he came into contact with Ganon and became his servant.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The awesome music, Dark World.
    • Hyrule Castle one of the first songs you hear is also pretty great.
    • Dark World Dungeon, which takes high-tempo "Psycho" Strings and adds in some ominous and foreboding cello bass to create a tune that can constantly make you feel on edge about what's in the next room.
  • Breather Boss:
    • Arrghus is not only a much easier boss than the Helmosaur King, but arguably even the easiest boss in the game overall. If you get the tempered sword before fighting Arrghus, he becomes even easier, as the creatures surrounding him only take one hit that way.
    • Blind. Any attack that damages him will deal the same amount of damage, including sword beams, and it takes a total of nine hits to kill him. If you have an upgraded shield (which is no problem, it's quite reachable if you know where to get it) to block his fireballs, you can fire sword beams at him from a safe distance and cheese the fight without difficulty.
  • Breather Level:
    • The Tower of Hera does have six floors, but floors 2, 4, and 5 all have one room apiece (and the top floor is the boss), the other 2 floors have only a few rooms, and the enemies are fairly easy to defeat. The only difficult part is Moldorm, the Goddamned Boss.
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    • Thieves' Town (Blind's Hideout). It is smaller and shorter than all of the other Dark World dungeons, it's a simple and fairly linear path through the dungeon and there's not really any puzzles you need to worry about other than how to make the boss appear, and you'll find the Map, Compass and Big Key in the first rooms. As for the boss, well, that's Blind, who's listed above under Breather Boss. All in all you can be in and out of Thieves Town in about five minutes.
  • Broken Base: Much like with Ocarina of Time, there are debates in the fandom about whether ALttP continues to be one of the greatest games in the series, or whether it's outdated and is mostly notable for its place in gaming and Zelda history. Compared to its successor, ALttP is lesser known and less infamous for Hype Backlash (though it's still very much present) and its sprite graphics are generally agreed to have aged better.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The Beamos. Not only are they unkillable, but their beams are stupidly fast, unblockable (even with the Mirror Shield) and also pack a lot of punch.
    • The Lynels of Death Mountain can only be hurt by a few select weapons, have a particularly nasty fireball that cannot be blocked without the Mirror Shield and are often fought in a very narrow mountainside. Thankfully, there are only three in the entire game, and you can avoid them entirely until you have the Mirror Shield.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • This was the very first prequel game, and for a time was the earliest in the series. However, as the series grew, it developed a debated place in the timeline like all the other games. The reason for the confusion came from the final line of the game: "The Master Sword sleeps again...forever!"...which made no sense ten years later when the Master Sword made another appearance in the Oracle games, and then appeared yet again in Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. Hyrule Historia confirmed that LttP is a prequel to the very first two Zelda games as was originally stated, and even then the Master Sword is taken out of its "retirement" for A Link Between Worlds.
    • "Zelda is your...", courtesy of Link's Uncle, got tons of fans Wild Mass Guessing about what his last word was going to be, the most popular one being "sister". No wonder it was Orwellian Retconned from the GBA port outside of a Mythology Gag from one of the Bonus Bosses.
  • Even Better Sequel: Generally considered to be this to its two previous games. It's widely considered the best of the 2D entries (both classic and modern), and a contender for best game in the series overall.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Magic Cape, which renders the player invisible and invulnerable, automatically renders any boss fight that doesn't require a magic item ridiculously easy. The Cane of Byrna is even better, because it makes you invincible and simultaneously deals damage to enemies. Most experienced players contend that "Only wimps use the cane."
    • The Bombos Medallion might cost a bit of magic, but it will destroy nearly any enemy on the screen outside of bosses. The one boss it works on is Kholdstare, whose shield of ice can be broken more safely and with less magic consumption than the Fire Rod. The Ether Medallion can also count, as even though it doesn't kill as many enemies, the ones it freezes can be hit with the Hammer for magic jars. The Quake Medallion, on the other hand, is significantly weaker than the other two, and usually only gets used for its one required use.
    • The Magic Powder can turn Anti-Fairies into Fairies, which are an extremely common enemy found in almost every dungeon in at least one room, often in multiples. You basically never need Red Potions with the Magic Powder, just know where you can find an Anti-Fairy and you can turn it into a health refill.
    • The Cane of Somaria has so many uses it isn't funny. It creates a block that can be used to hold down switches, which immediately renders a lot of switch puzzles in the game trivial. The block will bounce away enemies that touch it, making it useful for defense (though it disperses after five hits). Finally, swinging the Cane again when a block is already out will make the block explode into four fireballs that travel in the compass directions, damaging enemies, striking Crystal Switches, and flying through Crystal Blocks to do so. Sequence breaking to get the Cane early is a common play and it will be one of your most used utility items once you have it.
    • Speed Runs make heavy use of the Pegasus Boots and the fact that Link flies a few tiles backwards through the air after running into a solid object. This allows players to cross gaps (such as the one at the beginning of the Misery Mire) that would normally require the hookshot or some other item.
    • Silver Arrows will kill everything in one shot, including most bosses. The only thing that keeps them from destroying the game's difficulty is that by the time you get them, you probably only have Turtle Rock and Ganon's Tower left; lucky for Trinexx he's hard to pin down with arrow shots, but the rematch bosses in Ganon's Tower will be over in seconds with the Silver Arrows. Alternatively, if you use a minor glitch, you can use a glitch to trick the game into letting you into the Dark Pyramid fairy fountain without the Super Bomb, and this can be done as soon as you acquire the Magic Hammer; then you can use the Silver Arrows to steamroll the second half of the game.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Flying enemies that home on you. Crows, Vultures, Dactos... you name it. They're often quick and awkward to hit. The bees count as well, especially if you get an entire swarm after you.
    • This is also the case of enemies that move quick and have erratic movement patterns, such as Octoroks, Sand Crabs and Deadrocks (the little rock dinosaurs from Death Mountain who are also unkillablenote , but can be stunned for a short while).
    • The falling boulders from Death Mountain. They're large, fast, can hit while you're climbing up ladders and deal decent damage (one heart per hit). Link will probably be at the 5-7 range at the point when they are first encountered.
    • Medusas are fireball-spitting statues that are also a big annoyance, especially when paired with other enemies. They're unkillable, so you can't do anything to them. And in Misery Mire, they're all over the place.
    • The Thieves from the Lost Woods and the Pikkus (the fox-like enemies) from the Village of Outcasts are unkillable and will steal your belongings if you bump into them. Avoiding them, especially in a narrow space, can be very tricky. The positive side is that they don't cause damage.
    • Hardhat Beetles are often found near chasms. Hitting them with your sword causes a lot of knockback to Link himself, who might end up falling down a nearby hole. In a way, they end up being the enemy equivalent of the Moldorm boss fight, as seen below. Additionally, they can only be damaged with the sword and the hammer, so taking them out from a distance is only possible with the sword beam (only available at full health).
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • Moldorm might not be the toughest boss in the game, but he's easily the most frustrating one, simply because he has a completely unpredictable pattern and can knock you off the edge of his platform, forcing you to restart the battle. Falling through the hole in the middle of the platform is even worse, as you will end up falling through a second hole on the floor underneath, and have to climb up two stories to fight Moldorm again. Worse still, if you attack him but fail to hit his weak spot, that also sends you flying backwards. It's even worse when this rule still applies outside the boss battle. You can beat Moldorm, but the moment that you fall through the hole in the ground, you have to beat this boss again. One rather fitting Fan Nickname for him is Trolldorm.
    • The first Agahnim fight isn't too difficult. However, he can be a bane for speedrunners. He can only be harmed by magic that he launches, including an unblockable lightning attack every fifth attack pattern. Sometimes, he has a habit of launching nothing but smaller blue projectiles when he's close to being defeated, instead of the red energy ball that can be reflected to him.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • The Hookshot renders you invincible while it's extended. Attacks either pass through you or hit with no effect. Very useful against those pesky Beamos.
    • This game has Edge Gravity in the form of a (very short) window in which Link can run back to safe ground if he ventures over a Bottomless Pit. However, with fast enough Button Mashing, Link can "hover-dash" over a pit instead; the "reverse boss order" Self-Imposed Challenge takes advantage of this bug to beat several dungeons without relying on the Hookshot.
    • "Bomb jumping", using the explosion of a bomb to push Link across pits, allows for lots of Sequence Breaking, and in dungeons like Palace of Darkness or especially Ice Palace, lets you skip parts of the dungeon or avoid backtracking. This makes the technique very exploitable, especially for speedrunners and randomizer players.
    • The Japanese cart of the game has two glitches that allow for faster speedruns - "fake flippers", the ability to swim if Link jumps into water at a screen transition, and "zipping", the ability to run in all directions if a certain set of commands are executed after Link leaves any set of stairs.
    • It's possible to clip yourself into cliffs so the game thinks Link is on a ledge and will let him "jump" off it, which actually means Link is now on top of the cliff. It happens that Link can walk on top of many of the cliffs sectioning off the world and then jump down them at any edge. This allows such fun as getting into Aghanim's tower without the Master Sword, accessing the bulk of the Dark World without defeating Aghanim or needing the Hammer, and getting the Silver Arrows without needing the Super Bomb.
    • All of the dungeon rooms in the game are actually in one giant map sheet, relying on the game's programming to prevent Link from going somewhere he shouldn't. But if you know what you're doing with clipping, and know the positions of the rooms relative to each other, you can glitch your way between them, such as warping from a cave on Death Mountain into the Palace of Darkness, or from the Tower of Hera to Swamp Palace.
    • The final boss battle has Torch Glitch. If you use the Lantern or Fire Rod on one of the torches as soon as it goes out, the other torch stays lit for the rest of the fight, allowing you to only have to worry about keeping one torch on as opposed to both.
  • Growing the Beard: This game is often considered to be this for the Zelda franchise, as it was the first to set the series' formula into gear and introduce more intricate characters and deeper lore for the series (even if not to the extent of OoT).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The original Shotaro Ishinomori Nintendo Power comic adaptation is practically prophetic when you look back on it now. Link has a fairy companion, the magic of the Dark World transforms him into a wolf (instead of a rabbit), and Zelda is the one to kill Ganon by shooting him with the Silver Arrow.
  • It Was His Sled: While not as well-known as Sheik and Tetra being Zelda, Agahnim being Ganon still commonly comes up in discussions to the point that it's fairly common knowledge in the fandom. It helps that Agahnim always being accompanied by Ganon's Leitmotif essentially gives the surprise away to newer players.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
  • Narm:
    • The scene where Link returns to the Sanctuary to find Zelda kidnapped and the Old Man near-death might have been more of a Tear Jerker if the Old Man's body didn't have a typical old-school video game death animation, complete with blinking followed by disappearing, as well as sound effects.
    • This was the first Zelda game with extensive dialogue; as such, it can come across as simplistic, stilted and harder to take seriously compared to the dialogue in later games, especially since the characters aren't nearly as fleshed out as in the later 3D entries (to the point that the maidens have near-identical appearances and personalities, and share several lines of dialogue between them).
  • Narm Charm: Some find that the game's simplistic presentation and awkward dialogue give it a sort of nostalgic charm; it helps that the game has a greater focus on gameplay than story compared to modern Zelda games.
  • Older Than They Think:
  • Sacred Cow: The game is considered a pinnacle of the series and immune to criticism by old-school Zelda fans - mostly, specifically by those fans, as it suffers from a lack of recognition among newer fans.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The fact that you need to play through The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords in order to unlock the bonus content added to the GBA port of ALttP, due to Four Swords being multiplayer-only. For introverted players or people who just didn't have any friends with Game Boy Advances, playing the game was pretty much impossible, and even if you forked over enough money for three more GBAs and four wireless adapters, trying to play the same game on four controllers at once isn't exactly a manageable task. The fact that the Game Boy line's been discontinued for several years only adds to the problem nowadays.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: While a less frequent target of this than Ocarina of Time for being a lesser-known game, A Link to the Past is occasionally cited as being a bit too outdated, simplistic and campy compared to later Zelda games, with many of the characters, locations and dungeons lacking the charm, character and identity that would be introduced in later games. As with OoT, some Zelda fans believe that much of the game's praise comes from nostalgia. In addition, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is similar to ALttP but polishes and refines the experiencenote  and has themes more akin to the plot-driven 3D entries, making its predecessor look even more outdated to some.
  • Sequel Displacement: While again a lower-profile case than Ocarina of Time, because A Link to the Past introduced many of the elements and tropes that the series is known for, it's not uncommon for people to consider this the "first" real Zelda game. Or, to the very least, have played this game but not the first two.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
  • That One Boss:
    • The Helmasaur King is very frustrating, mostly because you face him at a point in the game where you have relatively few upgrades, and between seven to ten heart containers. The latter becomes an even bigger problem when you take into account the fact that he has an attack which drains two full heart containers, and can be difficult to dodge, especially if he uses it and his other attack at the same time (he often does).
    • Mothula: Not only is his movement pattern random and diagonal, but the floor keeps moving to send you into spikes. While the boss spits fireballs at you. It does not help that the SNES version had a bug where the Infinity +1 Sword's normal attack had no effect on it (apparently this was related to its immunity to spikes).
    • Kholdstare. If you haven't gotten half magic, just melting the ice will drain you of your magic, and that's just the beginning. Once you've done that, he separates into three eyes that deal a colossal amount of damage (three hearts with the blue mail) and that each take several hits to defeat. Throughout the fight, ice falls from the ceiling at constant intervals, and it also deals a heart's worth of damage. Given that this comes at the end of one of the most difficult levels in the game, after which you're likely to have used up some of your potions, it's a challenging fight.
  • That One Level:
    • The Ice Palace, which is full of some of the game's strongest enemies, has a ton of rooms filled with slippery floors, drains your magic meter quicker than any other dungeon bar Turtle Rocknote , and requires you to double back on yourself twice in order to defeat the infamous "Block-Switch" puzzle. Many players skip over to the following Misery Mire dungeon in order to obtain the Cane of Somaria, which nullifies the aforementioned puzzle — and the fact that so many players are willing to delay getting hold of the Ice Palace's armor upgrade to skip the puzzle should tell you everything. Nintendo themselves seem to have tacitly admitted that the puzzle was overly difficult, by redesigning it to only require backtracking once in the GBA version.
    • Skull Woods. Not that bad on its own...but if you die during the outdoor segments between entrances and exits? Good luck walking all the way back! Oh, and there are these new enemies you haven't seen yet in any level 'til now called Wallmasters. They drag you all the way back to the beginning.note  Have fun!
    • The Misery Mire lives up to its name very well, especially if you show up early to pick up the Cane of Somaria to skip That One Puzzle in the Ice Palace, since you won't have the Blue Mail from said dungeon, and the enemies here, especially the Beamos and Wizzrobes (let alone Vitreous, whose mini-eyes take off three hearts apiece to a green Link), will take you out quickly if you're not careful. The Wizzrobes actually take off four hearts if you haven't gotten the armour upgrade.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Although the GBA version is mostly considered a Polished Port, it has some minor quirks that make the SNES version more playable to some. Just look at the comments on the YouTube comparison videos!
    • The most complained-about is the music, which a lot of SNES-to-GBA ports seem to suffer from (such as Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island). It's sometimes excused due to technical limitations.note  However, detractors cite the Final Fantasy VI SNES music restoration patch, stating that it proves that it's possible to 1:1 port SNES music to the GBA.
    • Like the Mario ports, some people dislike the addition of voice acting. Link's voice clips are recycled from Young Link's from Ocarina of Time, and some people think a 9-year-old's voice doesn't fit a teenager.
    • The brightened palette was not well-receivednote  but people found out that you can change to the darker SNES palette in the options menu.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: In order to open access to Swamp Palace, you have to go into the Light World and open the floodgates in the shrine there, which will flood the first room in the Swamp Palace. This is the only instance of the player doing things in one world to change things in the other, despite all the potential puzzles it could allow.
  • Unwinnable by Insanity: It's possible to glitch your way into the first battle with Agahnim immediately after you rescue Princess Zelda right at the start of the game. If you beat him however, then you get transported into the Dark World — which is a very bad thing since you won't have either the Magic Mirror or the Moon Pearl, meaning that you instantly turn into Bunny Link, can't return to the Light World, and can't do a thing in the Dark World beyond wandering around until you eventually get killed. However, once you die or reset the game, you're given the option to restart at Link's house, allowing you to continue the game as normal (albeit with a few anomalies, such as the priest being alive and the Dark World entrance in Hyrule Castle being active at the same time).
  • The Woobie: Prior to the story, the Triforce beckoned for people across the land to find it and harness its power. The young man known only as the Flute Boy was one of the people who set off, but he and his companion bird went missing in Death Mountain. Link finds him later in the Dark World, a twisted version of the regular Light World, where he's been transformed into a tapir and unable to leave. Saddened by his inability to return home, Flute Boy asks Link to find his flute for him. When he does, Flute Boy thanks him, but mourns that the Dark World's influence prevents him from playing anymore. Link instead plays for him one last time, and as the music sounds out across the forest, the boy is slowly petrified into a tree. Afterward, Link uses the flute to free Flute Boy's companion bird from the weather vane it was trapped in and informs the boy's worried father that his son has passed away. Fortunately, he receives a happy ending, as Link defeats Ganon and restores the land back to before Flute Boy went missing.
  • Woolseyism: The Book of Mudora in the Japanese version was treated more like an instruction booklet for what Link can do. The English version translated it in such a way that made it seem as though it contained various myths and prophecies, and worded the instruction in such a way that did seem somewhat prophetic.

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