I’ve been playing Video Games for quite a while, nearly two decades in fact. I was first introduced to the medium by my siblings who let me play their Commodore 64 when I was around three years old. My brother had me programming in Basic and even though I couldn’t exactly read or write proficiently I was able to create a little bouncing ball on the screen. I was thoroughly amazed. The system even had a tape deck add-on so I spent much of my free time as a child staring at this:
By the time I was four I was playing Sonic The Hedgehog, Bonanza Brothers and Asterix on my brothers Sega Master System while he was in High School. A year later he bought himself a computer and a very large amount of floppy discs containing shareware DOS games.
I would spend my free time going through the discs trying out each of the games and, because there were literally hundreds of games to trawl through, i’d usually give each one a quick go before moving on to the next. There’s one that grabbed my attention though and I spent quite a bit of time playing, The Legend of Zelda.
This wasn’t some cheap ripoff ROM; this was the Legend of freakin’ Zelda, ON PC! It was my introduction to one of the gaming series I love most and as such left a great impression on me. I’ve been unable to find information on this version of the game so my reasoning is that it’s super-duper rare which makes the playthrough I’m about to write even more incredible. It’s also a personal plus because as I stated before I played it at a young age and thus didn’t have the reading skills I posses now as a twenty-two year old. So, on to the playthrough.
As you can see here the game select screens much like in the regular Zelda games and even allows you to put in more than a few letters, which is awesome. There’s even a long passage of back-story like in the original Nintendo Entertainment System releases.
This passage does not sound very Zelda-Like. At least you can see the little face which MUST be the Old Man from the original Zelda. He’s even given me the Megaton Hammer which will do instead of the regular Sword which I imagine I’ll pick up later.
Link looks a little scruffy in this game. He must be much older than he is in his usual adventures, and he’s suddenly ginger? I gather that this is some kind of ‘gritty reboot’ Nintendo made earlier in the series. Trust Nintendo to once again be a trendsetter.
As you can see, there’s the regular Zelda Overworld which even includes the screen switching sequence from the earlier games. There’s also Rupees lying around which should come in handy later on and a score meter so players can compete with their friends. (even though I seem to be the only person who owns this game).
The sound and music is even much the same even though Link’s trademark screams and grunts have been replaced with a slightly erotic ‘ooo’ sound.
Ahh, there’s Old Man again! The translation team has misspelled Ganon though, and have even misspelled the misspelling (it’s spelt Jörmungandr, who happens to be an ancient Norse god). This may be the reason this game seemingly had such a limited release. I also never knew that the Old Man was Link’s dad! I think I’ve just discovered a long unknown piece of story line canon! Oh man, my brains starting to fill with theories though. I’ll have to get back to that later.
While I’m thinking of it I should also try out my default weapon.
WHOA! That’s awesome! Instead of shooting out a laser-zappy-whatever from his sword Link instead chucks the hammer! It even returns to him like some kind of heavy death-boomerang.
Now to have a little look at the enemies you face in this quest.
These…are not very threatening. The iconic Moblins and Like-Likes have been replaced with fluffy squirrels and blobs. I almost feel bad for killing these cute critters. At least there are bats like in every other Zelda game.
After a bit of exploration I came across a spider filled cavern where an old friend was residing…
Look, its Old Man again! I’ll walk up and talk to him, hopefully he gives me a sword I can throw at all these stupid looking things.
I…I killed him. I accidentally hit the attack key and killed the old bastard. I feel incredibly guilty now, even a little upset. I didn’t expect this game to be so violent. I guess I was right when I said that this is some kind of gritty reboot, even though instead of blood there’s sparkly glitter stuff.
Due to my mourning of Old Man’s demise and the fact he can no longer give me cool shit to use I think I’ll reset and start again. There’s a ‘Die’ option on the select screen which kills Link and starts you back at the last checkpoint, but unfortunately that’s been set just after I murdered the old dude. I’ll just go back to the title screen.
Wait, what? Oh, oh whoops. Looks like I’ve made a big mistake due to my low reading ability at my young age that’s taken seventeen years to notice! It seems like God of Thunder was written by Ron Davis in 1993, but isn’t well known since it wasn’t funded well in the shareware market. It IS apparently pretty rare, which is a bit of a plus I guess. I also probably should have noticed the big ‘God Of Thunder’ title plastered on the floppy disc and the ‘GOT.exe’ filename. Oh well, I can still salvage this review with a bit of magic.
+ The best Zelda game currently available on the PC.
+ Retains the classic Zelda formula of exploration and combat.
+ Gritty and violent reboot of the franchise.
– Not actually a Zelda game.
– The old man in the game isn’t actually Old Man.
– I’m an idiot.
So yes, that’s been my playthrough of God of Thunder sort of. I’m going to go cry and cuddle my cat now, have a nice day.
(Feb 3, 2011)