Co-Opting the Legend of Zelda Series With My Spouse – Part 1: The Legend of Zelda (NES)

October 14, 2019

This is the first in a series I have titled “Co-Oping the Legend of Zelda Series With My Spouse”. She had never really played any of the games except for the beginning of Ocarina of Time, so this would be her first outing into the original game that started it all. This series will chronicle how both her and my own reactions and thoughts as we go though these games. Me revisiting them, and her for the very first time.

As soon as the title screen comes up, that iconic music brings me right back in. She likes the tune, but it clearly doesn’t affect her like it does me. We watch the little intro the game gives if you don’t push the start button, in order to provide her with some backstory and an idea on what the items will look like that we will need for this play-through. I remember the basics: get the Wooden Sword, get Bombs, use the Rupee-loop to get up enough Rupees for the Blue Candle and Magic Shield, then go bomb and burn to get enough secret Heart Containers for the White Sword before going into Dungeon# 1-Eagle. I use the Bombs to shortcut a bit and save a few keys for future dungeons, then explain to her that we get 2 items in this one, the Wooden Boomerang and the Bow. Boss time with Aquamentus. With the White Sword and Magic Shield it goes down without a scratch on myself.

She uses the old Nintendo guide to follow along as I destroy the first dungeon, but I make sure to explain what I am doing and why while I am doing it. Rule #1 being OP is always the best option. We proceed though the rest of the game that way, she following along, and pointing things out my memory has been foggy about. Dungeon#2-Moon is similarly a piece of cake, and we have a laugh over the bad translation “Dodongo dislikes Smoke”. She would point out the 100 rupee locations, & from Dungeon# 3-Manji on she makes sure I don’t get lost in the dungeons. We blow though it pretty quickly, but I can see that she is loving the music and the enemies.

We break up our sessions over a week, since we aren’t on any type of speed run. I explain about the Magic Sword not being the Master Sword. Playing with her makes this run though much easier and more fun than playing though it alone. Dungeon#4-Snake introduces the Vires, and I cannot wait to get the magic sword fast enough. Like Likes can go die in a fire, but I am able to avoid them munching down my magic shield. Gleeok (2-Headed version) was a major pain when I first played it as a kid, but now I just go right in on those heads kick it’s butt. Dungeon#5-Lizard is where the difficulty spikes (IMO) and I explain about the bomb upgrades and how I think a room full of blue Darknuts are truly the most evil of rooms. I am able to even regale her with trivia like the fun story of Pols Voice.

Before going to the next Dungeon, we do the Lost Woods, and I remember the pattern to get though almost by instinct. The Magic Sword is at last ours and now so many problems become easier. Dungeon#6-Dragon introduces thee Wizzros, a very dangerous enemy in this game since they have no knockback and the blue ones can just pass though blocks in the room. The Magic Rod in this one helps keep the Like Likes away since bubbles here take away my sword. My spouse keeps track of which room I am in so we don’t get turned around. An arrow to Gohma’s eye and we are moving on.

After this we know we are so close, we head right for Dungeon#7-Demon. I almost forgot about getting the bait for this dungeon but She has her guide up and reminds me. One more bomb upgrade, and with her help we make quick work of Dungeon. One more Dungeon before Gannon, and I remember it being very Darknut full. Dungeon #8-Lion, like the 2nd dungeon has 2 items, one right at the beginning but the other is pretty deep in. We pick up both, and with her keeping track we make quick work of it. The boss, a 4-headed Gleeok almost gets me, but with the red medicine in hand, it goes down before I do.

So we eventually get all the heart containers, all the items but the last two. It’s time to go to the last Dungeon and fight Gannon (That’s how it was spelled in the original game so that is how I am spelling it here). Dungeon #9-Skull is a big confusing maze usually. This is where our co-op playthrough has been most fun. She has the map ready and even with it all the different tunnels can get confusing on where they connect. We work together, pick up the red ring and silver arrow, then leave to restock our red medicine and make sure our hearts are full. She just enjoys the final ride as I deal with the last petra, then go in for Gannon. He is a pain as always, but we are focused and the ugly pig finally turns red and one silver arrow later we are victorious! I head up and with the Triforce of power I can finally kill those annoying flames and rescue Zelda! We just sit back and enjoy the short ending. We talk about the 2nd quest. The special differences that are in it, but we decided that it isn’t worth it.

Next up is The Adventure of Link: Zelda II. A very different game than the first one, but fun in it’s own way. I know that she will get something out of the more story in-game than this one. This is the beginning of a fun series that we are enjoying together and I hope that you all enjoy it as well.

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