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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Developer(s) EAD (Nintendo)
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Producer Shigeru Miyamoto
Director(s) Takashi Tezuka
Release date Super Famicom: November 21, 1991
SNES(US): April, 1992
SNES(EUR): September 24th, 1992
BS(JP): 1997
Rerelease with FS
GBA(US): December 2, 2002
GBA(JA): March 13, 2003
GBA(EUR): March 28th, 2003
Genre Action Adventure
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone (E)
Platform(s) Super NES, Bandai Satellaview, Game Boy Advance



Released in November of 1991 for the Japanese Super Famicom under the name "Kamigami no Triforce", or "Triforce of the Gods", and then in April of 1992 for the Super NES, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the third game in the Zelda series. After the side-scrolling RPG The Adventure of Link, a dissapointment to many, this game returned to the overhead view of The Legend of Zelda, and introduces many trademarks of the series, such as Kakariko Village, Ganon's theme, Zelda's theme, bottles, and many more. It is also the first to delve deeper into the myths, history, and legends of the land of Hyrule, introducing the Hylians, the Imprisoning War, the Golden Goddesses, Ganondorf Dragmire's origins, and the Master Sword.

The game was remade and bundled with Four Swords for the Gameboy Advance. The rerelease featured updated dialogue and text for the US and European versions, along with an added dungeon and a few other small features. The remake was released in North America on December 2nd of 2002, and in Japan on March 14 of 2003.

There is also an almost unheard-of port to the Bandai Satelleview (one of the "BS" Zeldas). The BS was never released outside of Japan, and neither was the port. The port was an exact one, so we missed nothing.

Manual Story

The Legends of Hyrule

To set the stage for this adventure of the legendary Hero of Hyrule it will be informative to delve into the Triforce myth, an ancient epic about the creation of the world that is still believed in the land of Hyrule. Every culture has such myths and theories about the creation of their worlds, and it can be beneficial and entertaining to examine them in detail, for they often affect the present day social structure. The legends say the mythical gods of Hyrule had as their chosen people the Hylia. These ancient people left scrolls that are the primary source of the legends.

The Creation Of Hyrule

Creation of Hyrule

According to the Hylian scrolls, the mythical gods descended from a distant nebula to the world and created order and life. The God of Power dyed the mountains red with fire and created land. The God of Wisdom created science and wizardry and brought order to nature. And the God of Courage, through justice and vigor, created life - the animals that crawl the land and the birds that soar in the sky. After the gods had finsihed their work, they left the world, but not before creating a symbol of their strength, a golden triangle known as the Triforce. A small but powerful portion of the essence of the gods was held in this mighty artifact, which was to guide the intelligent life on the world of Hyrule.

Although it was an inanimate object, the Triforce had the power to bestow three titles which gave the person who received them great powers: "The Forger of Strength", "The Keeper of Knowledge", and "The Juror of Courage". From its hiding place in the so-called Golden Land where the Gods placed it, the Triforce beckoned people from the outside world to seek it in the hope that someone worthy of these titles would find it. With their magic infused blood, the Hylian people were endowed with psychic powers and skill in wizardry. It was also said that their long, pointed ears enabled them to hear special messages from the gods, so they were held in high esteem by many people in Hyrule. Their descendants settled in various parts of the world and passed on their knowledge and magical lore to all people. But in its passing, the lore was often distorted or lost altogether.

Gates To The Golden Land

In Hyrule, there are many Hylian buildings which are mentioned repeatedly in the legends. These buildings, which now lie in ruin, pale shadows of their former splendor, are closely tied to the Triforce. Some were even said to house the Triforce...

If it were only a symbol of the gods, the Triforce would be coveted by many. But a verse from the Book of Mudora (a collection of Hylian legends and lore) made the Triforce even more desirable:

In a realm beyond sight,
The Sky shines gold, not blue.
There, the Triorce's might
Makes mortal dreams come true.

Many aggressively searched for the wish-granting Triforce, but no one, not even the Hylian sages, was sure of its location; the knowledge had been lost over time. Some said the Triforce lay under the desert, others said it was in the cemetary in the shadow of Death Mountain, but no one ever found it. That yearning for the Triforce soon turned to lust for power, which in turn led to the spilling of blood. Soon the only motive left among those searching for the Triforce was pure greed.

One day, quite by accident, a gate to the Golden Land of the Triforce was opened by a gang of thieves skilled in the black arts. This land was like no other. In the gathering twilight, the Triforce shone from its resting place high above the world. In a long running battle, the leader of the thieves fought his way past his followers in a lust for the Golden Power. After vanquishing his own followers, the leader stood triumphant over the Triforce and grasped it with his blood- stained hands. He heard a whispered voice: "If thou has a strong desire or dream, wish for it..." And in reply, the roaring laughter of the brigand leader echoed across time and space and even reached the far-off land of Hyrule. The name of this king of thieves is Ganondorf Dragmire, but he is known by his alias, Mandrag Ganon, which means Ganon of the Enchanted Thieves.

The Imprisoning War

I do not know what Ganon wished for from the Triforce. However, in time evil power begain to flow from the Golden Land and greedy men were drawn there to become members of Ganon's army. Black clouds permanently darkened the sky, and many disasters beset Hyrule. The lord of Hyrule sent for the Seven Wise Men and the Knights Of Hyrule, and ordered them to seal the entrance to the Golden Land.

The Triforce, being an inanimate object, cannot judge between good and evil. Therefore, it could not know that Ganon's wishes were evil; it merely granted them. Suspecting that Ganon's power was based on the Triforce's magic, the people of Hyrule forged a sword resistant to magic which could repulse even powers granted by the Triforce. This mighty weapon became known as the Blade of Evil's Bane, or the Master Sword. It was so powerful that only one who was pure of heart and strong of body could wield it. As the Seven Wise Men searched for a valiant person to take up the Master Sword, Ganon's evil army swarmed from the tainted Golden Land into Hyrule and attacked the castle. The Seven Wise Men and the Knights Of Hyrule combined forces to wage war on this evil horde.

The Knights took the full brunt of the fierce attack, and although they fought courageously many a brave soul was lost that day. However, their lives were not lost in vain, for they bought precious time for the Seven Wise Men to magically seal Ganon in the Golden Land. All of Hyrule rejoiced at the victory that upheld peace and order over Ganon's evil and chaos. This war, which had claimed many lives, became known as the Imprisoning War in stories told in later centuries.

The Coming of The Wizard

Many centuries have passed since the Imprisoning War. The land of Hyrule healed its wounds and the people lived in peace for a long time. Memories of the vicious Imprisoning War faded over the generations...

So it is no surprise that no one was prepared for the new disasters that have recently struck Hyrule. Pestilence and drought, uncontrollable even by magic, revaged the land. The king of Hyrule, after counsel with his sages, ordered an investigation of the Imprisoned Dark World (as the Golden Land had come to be known) but the Wise Men's seal was apparently intact. He offered rewards for anyone who could find the source of these troubles. In answer to these summons a stranger named Agahnim came and quelled the disasters with a previously unseen form of magic. As a reward, the king gave him a new position as chief advisor and heir to the Seven Wise Men. The masses proclaimed him their hero. Peace had returned to Hyrule... or had it? Of late, rumors have traveled their whispering path with alarming frequency. Rumors saying Agahnim now rules the country with his magic... Rumors of strange magical experiments in the castle tower at night... The people of Hyrule were gripped by dread.



One night, a girl's voice awakens you from your sleep.

"Help me... my name is Zelda... I am in the castle dungeon."

She telepathically pleads.

You jump out of bed not knowing whether the voice was part of a dream or reality. Upon leaving your bed, you find your Uncle, who should be fast asleep at this time, preparing to go out, girded for battle.

"I'll be back by morning," he says as he departs. "Don't leave the house."

You watch him leave with the family sword in hand and shield on arm. This night is like no other... Who is Zelda? Where had your Uncle gone and for what reason?

And so, on an ill-fated night, a new chapter in the legend of Hyrule's hero begins- a new chapter in The Legend of Zelda!

In-game Story (Spoilers)

Link leaves his house, sneaking into Hyrule Castle only to find his dying Uncle. After listening to his Uncle's final words, Link rescues Zelda from the dungeons of the castle, and she tells him that Agahnim has done something to her father, and brainwashed the soldiers... and that he is using the descendants of the Seven Wise Men, The Seven Maidens, in some dark magic on top of the tower.

Link leaves Zelda in the care of the sage at the Sanctuary and travels to Kakariko Village, where he finds that he is now a wanted criminal - for kidnapping the Princess! Acting on the advice of some of the townsfolk, he finds Sahasrahla, an old sage, in the eastern part of the kingdom. Sahasrahla sets him on a quest to find the three Pendants of Virtue, the keys to gaining the Master Sword. The quest takes him all across the Kingdom of Hyrule, eventually ending with him deep in the Lost Woods, in front of a pedestal with the Master Sword embedded within it. Using the three Pendants of Virtue as proof of his worth, Link pulls the Sword of Evil's Bane from the Pedestal. On his journey out of the forest, he recieves a telepathic call from Zelda - soldiers had come to the Sanctuary.

Link rushes back, but too late to save the Princess. The old sage who tended the Sanctuary weakly told the story of the intrusion - soldiers had come and kidnapped the Princess once again, and there had been nothing the old man could do. With this news, Link heads to Hyrule Castle to confront Agahnim. After fighting through the soldiers in his path, Link arrives at the top of the tower just in time to see Agahnim cast his spell on the Princess, who dissapears before the eyes of the hero.
Tower of Hera

Link does battle with the devious wizard, deflecting his evil magic against it's wielder with the Master Sword. Finally, the wizard retreats - into the Dark World. His escape draws Link into the Dark World as well. Once there, Link recieves a telepathic message from Sahasrahla, informing him that he needs to rescue the Seven Maidens.

Over the course of this quest, which takes Link all over the Dark World and even back into Hyrule, the story behind all of these troubles reveals itself. Agahnim was a servant of Ganondorf Dragmire, the evil king of thieves who had found the Triforce and started the Imprisoning War, generations ago. The spells that Agahnim cast on the Seven Maidens were intended to break the seal of the Seven Wise Men, and allow Ganon to conquer Hyrule, as he had tried to do so many years before. Link, as the last descendant of the line of the Knights of Hyrule, was destined to fulfill the Prophecy of the Great Cataclysm and face Ganon.

Armed with this knowledge, Link eventually found himself ready to rescue Princess Zelda, who was being held in the fortress of Turtle Rock. With the last of the Seven Maidens freed, it was time to tackle Ganon's Tower. After fighting through the final defenses, Link found himself on the top of the tower, where Agahnim was waiting for him. After a dangerous battle, the wizard lay dead - and from his body rose a black bat, which fled from the Tower to the depths of the Pyramid of Power, in the center of the Dark World.

Gathering his courage, Link followed, where he finally came face-to-face with Ganon, the wielder of the Triforce. Wasting little time on talk, the battle ensued, finally ending with Link the victor, and Ganon dead. Link proceeded to the next room, where he found the united Triforce. The Essence of the Triforce explained to him that the stronger someone's wish, the stronger the expression of that wish. Ganon's wish had been to rule the world, and it had transformed the Dark World into a mirror of the Evil King's soul.

The story ends with Link's own wish - nobody knows exactly what it was, but the Golden Land was restored, the King of Hyrule and his Uncle brought back to life, the land healed, and the people of Hyrule were safe.



Items and Equipment




Japanese names are used where US ones are unavailable.

Places of Note

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