The Anatomy of Zelda II – I. Genre Shift

Welcome to the beginning of the latest chapter of Anatomy of a Game. You can read more musings on The Legend of Zelda‘s design at the Anatomy of a Game landing page, and thoughts on the NES Castlevania trilogy are also available for digestion both online and in a self-published book. And now, let’s dissect¬†The […]

Anatomy of a Game: Zelda XIV

Finish the Legend of Zelda and press Start and you begin the Second Quest. This goes back to a long arcade tradition of “flipping” the game and playing through a second cycle of stages in which everything is a little faster and a little more dangerous. It goes back to Space Invaders, I guess. But […]

Anatomy of a Game: Zelda XIII

I didn’t mean to give the impression with yesterday’s update that Zelda was the first game with a strong bestiary, or a diverse one, or a well-crafted one. However, what you would typically find in the early ’80s was that RPGs had large casts of monsters with diverse powers, but those unfolded primarily through the […]

Anatomy of a Game: Zelda XII

Just a couple last wrap-up pieces on The Legend of Zelda and then we’re on to, I don’t know… Zelda II, maybe? (Whereupon cartman414 will respond to every post to tell me why I love the game insufficiently.) We’ve looked at Link’s powers, the lay of Hyrule’s land, and the structure and purpose of each […]

Anatomy of a Game: Zelda X

“We are getting very near what is known as the end, if you see what I mean.” I refuted the surprisingly popular theorizing that Zelda’s levels are scrambled and run out of intended proper sequence in my write-up of Level-7, because it actually does feel like a logical follow-up to dungeons 5 and -6. But […]

Anatomy of a Game: Zelda IX

As this series of long-dated observations about The Legend of Zelda nears its conclusion, it’s time to circle back around to the very first post on the topic and look at the overworld design again. Zelda admirably points players in the right direction from the very beginning and “teaches” you how to play as you […]

Anatomy of a Game: Zelda VIII

I would like to put forth two possibilities for the design of The Legend of Zelda Level-07, Demon. Either it is meant to be a sorbet of sorts — a palate-cleanser — in the wake of two extraordinarily difficult dungeons, or else someone got their numeration wrong and this was supposed to come much earlier […]

Anatomy of a Game: Zelda VI

I can’t believe it’s been a full month since I posted the last of these. My apologies. I was out of town for two-thirds of that time and basically just set the site to auto-publish GameSpite Journal 12 content (aside from the occasional pointless observations about Evangelion). Let us now regroup and return to the […]