A Link to the Past Mech
Written by: Sage Raziel
Possibly the best 2D Zelda game of all time, A Link to the Past was originally released for Super Nintendo and was released in Japan in 1991. It was later released in North America and Europe in 1992. This game was the third game to be introduced to the Zelda series. Hard core fans often argue over which Zelda game is the best. Among this list of most popular games is A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, and Twilight Princess. But in all The Legend of Zelda has truly been a treat to the gaming community.
In 1998 Nintendo had announced that they were working on a new Zelda game for the Nintendo. After several months the game was moved over to be one of the first games released to help Nintendo new system, the Super Nintendo. Due to the previous success with The Legend of Zelda, and The Legend of Zelda II Nintendo could afford to invest a large amount of money and time into the development of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
At the time, normal game cartridges were about 512KB. A Link to the Past was the first game to be put on a 1MB cartridge, allowing for a much larger over world for the game. This also allowed for an improvement in graphics and character interaction with the environment.
The original Nintendo only supported 8-colored tiles, and the Super Nintendo allowed for a 16-colored tile. Unfortunately A Link to the Past was native to the Nintendo, so when it was moved over to the Super Nintendo it's graphics and color capabilities lacked. Another interesting fact is that Nintendo used “mirror” images in the game to save space. Instead of having the Light and Dark world being two different places, they are actually the exact same run-time map. Only the changes in the two worlds were saved. Picture it as if you had a piece of paper. Then you took a pencil and wrote L on it. This represents the Light World. When ever the play went to the Dark World it was like you erasing the L and the paper and instead drawing a D. While most other games would have two separate pieces of paper, one marked L and one marked D.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has had the most dramatic changes done to it, more than any other game in the series. Nintendo of America had made it perfectly clear to Japan that they wanted absolutely no religious items in any of their games. At the time America was not the number one buyer of video games so Nintendo of Japan didn't mind breaking our rules. So they went ahead and used religious references in the game. Luckily they allowed Nintendo of America to edit these things out and release the game in North America... Though the changes were huge the game still thrived.
Guess you're wanting to know about these changes, huh? Well I'm getting to it. Just be patient.
The most notable change to the game was the title. The games full title was The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods. Nintendo of America could not get the government to compromise the rules so they could release the game with the word “God” in the title, so they edited the name to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The font used to represent an unreadable language known as Hylian used to have two symbols in it that resembled an ankh, and a vulture. Both were based off o f Egyptian hieroglyphs and had a religious background, thus they were removed. The ankh symbol was then replaced with a “t” shaped symbol, and the vulture was slightly edited so that it no longer resembled the same pose as the Egyptian hieroglyph did. Minor changes were made to the plot of the game as well, most of these alters have never been revealed. Changes to the game booklet were also made. Wizard Agahnim was originally Priest Agahnim, and had religious background information and origins. This was changed to project that he was a wizard of celestial background. All lines stating that Agahnim was sent by the gods were removed.
One secret is that a guy named Chris Houlihan won a Nintendo contest and had a secret room added to the game to reward him.
A Link to the past was reworked and a new version was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2002, then the original version was made available for download on the Wii Shop Channel in 2007. The Wii version is the exact same as the origional except that the Chris Houlihan room was renamed to the Top Secret Room.
A Link to the Past is one of the best-selling SNES games, with 4.61 million units sold worldwide, and has had an exceptionally long stay on Nintendo Power's top games list: when the SNES list was finally retired, A Link to the Past had more than five consecutive years in the number one spot. It was re-released as a Player's Choice title in North America, indicating that it has sold a minimum of one million copies there.