The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
|The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past|
|Release date||Super Nintendo:|
November 21, 1991
April 13, 1992
September 24, 1992
Virtual Console (Wii):
December 2, 2006
January 22, 2007
March 23, 2007
March 23, 2007
June 10, 2008
Virtual Console (Wii U):
December 12, 2013
December 12, 2013
January 30, 2014
February 12, 2014
Virtual Console (New 3DS):
March 4, 2016
March 10, 2016
March 10, 2016
April 14, 2016
Super NES Classic Edition:
September 29, 2017
September 29, 2017
September 30, 2017
October 5, 2017
Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online:
September 5, 2019
September 6, 2019
September 6, 2019
September 6, 2019
|Console(s)||Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U, 3DS)|
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the third installment of The Legend of Zelda series. It was first released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, starting with Japan in late 1991 (on the Super Famicom) and then overseas the folowing year, 1992. The story is about Link, who goes on a journey through two realms, the Light World and the Dark World, to save Hyrule and the kidnapped maidens from Ganon.
The game returns to a top-down perspective like the first The Legend of Zelda game, thereby abandoning the side-scrolling gameplay of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Several series staples such as parallel worlds and the Master Sword were introduced in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is widely considered to be one of the greatest video games of all time and a landmark title for Nintendo. In 2002, the game received a Game Boy Advance port for the compilation title The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past/Four Swords, which also includes an exclusive multiplayer game, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was later re-released for the Virtual Console of the Wii (at a price of 800 Wii Points), then the Wii U, and the New Nintendo 3DS. The game is included on the Super NES Classic Edition and for Nintendo Switch Online. In 2013, the game received a direct sequel for Nintendo 3DS, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.
The introduction chronicles the Imprisoning War, which occurred many years before the events of the game. It describes Hyrule as a beautiful kingdom surrounded by forests and mountains, and tells of an omnipotent golden power that lies hidden in the Sacred Realm, a place which cannot normally be entered by mortals. However, a dark portal to the Sacred Realm opened, causing many people to quarrel and fight each other. While many men entered the Sacred Realm, none returned. Instead, an evil power began to issue forth from the dark portal. During the main story, it is discovered that the source of the evil power is a lowly thief named Ganondorf, who got his hands on a golden power named the Triforce, turning the Sacred Realm into the Dark World. The king commanded the Seven Sages to seal the gate to the Sacred Realm. Many knights had perished in the battle to protect the sages from the evil, but eventually, the seal was cast on the portal. The evil ceased to flow, and the portal was sealed.
Many years later, a mysterious wizard known as Agahnim appeared as if from nowhere, using his magic to vanquish the King of Hyrule and take over Hyrule Castle. In doing so, he cast a spell on the knights of Hyrule, forcing them to obey him and kidnap seven maidens, whom he intended on using to break the seal by making each of them disappear into the Dark World. Agahnim manages to send six of the maidens into the Dark World, leaving only the final descendant, Princess Zelda. Agahnim has also captured Zelda, but plans to send her into the Dark World to complete the destruction of the seal.
At the beginning of the game, a young boy named Link is awakened by a telepathic message from Princess Zelda, who says that she is locked in the basement of Hyrule Castle. As the message closes, Link's uncle goes to rescue her, telling Link to remain in bed. However, Link ignores his uncle's command, and goes to Hyrule Castle as well. He goes to Hyrule Castle and finds an underground passage in the courtyard. Link travels down it, and he finds his uncle in the hallway, severely wounded. Before passing out, Link's uncle tells gives link a sword and a shield, instructing him to rescue Zelda, and teaches him the Spin Attack technique. Link navigates the castle and rescues Zelda from her cell. Zelda guides Link to the throne room, where they take a secret passage through a sewer that leads to a sanctuary.
Link is told by a sage that Agahnim is planning to break the seal by sacrificing the seven maidens; the only thing that can defeat him is the Master Sword. He tells Link to visit the house of Sahasrahla, a wise man known to reside in Kakariko Village, marking the location on his map. By the time Link leaves the Sanctuary, the storm and rain clouds have vanished, yielding to clear skies. It also becomes evident that Link is wanted for kidnapping Princess Zelda. Once Link arrives at the wise man's house, he finds only the wise man's wife present, and she tells Link that her husband left the village when Agahnim took control of Hyrule Castle. Link talks to a boy, who tells Link that Sahasrahla is hiding near the East Palace, and marks the exact spot on his map. Link heads east, and arrives at a house where Sahasrahla is staying. Sahasrahla tells Link about the Master Sword, and instructs him to return with the Pendant of Courage from the East Palace.
Link makes his way to the East Palace. There, he solves a variety of puzzles, and eventually finds a Big Key, which unlocks not only the chest containing the Bow, but also the door leading to the lair of the palace's boss. Once he reaches the boss' room, he finds six large, blue statues called Armos Knights, which, sensing the presence of someone in the room, become animate and proceed to engage in battle with Link. After he defeats the Knights, Link takes the Pendant of Courage and exits the palace. He shows the pendant to Sahasrahla, who tells him that retrieving the Pendants of Virtue—Courage, Power, and Wisdom—and taking them to the Lost Woods allows Link to draw the Master Sword from its pedestal therein. Before Link leaves, Sahasrahla gives him the Pegasus Boots and tells Link of a helpful item to the east of Lake Hylia. He marks the locations of the other two pendants—one in the Desert Palace, and the other in the Tower of Hera at the top of Death Mountain—and the Master Sword on Link's map.
After acquiring the three pendants, Link returns them to the resting place of the Master Sword in the Lost Woods. Unfortunately, just as Link draws the sword from its pedestal, Zelda contacts him telepathically to call him urgently to Sanctuary because the Hyrule Castle soldiers have just arrived there. Link arrives at Sanctuary moments after the Soldiers have vacated it, where he learns from the dying sage that Zelda has been removed to Hyrule Castle. Link goes to rescue her, but arrives too late; Agahnim sends Zelda to the Dark World. Link defeats Agahnim in battle, but is also sent to the Dark World.
The Dark World is where Ganon has been imprisoned by the elders of the light world and, once he has managed to capture the maidens in crystals (thanks to Agahnim's work), he is also able to harness their power to "break a path through to the light world" where, with the power of the Triforce, he will be able to rule both worlds.
Once in the Dark World, Link finds himself standing atop the Pyramid of Power where Hyrule Castle stands in the Light World (as the two worlds are essentially parallel dimensions). To restore the Sacred Realm (now the Dark World) and save the once-peaceful Hyrule (a.k.a. the Light World), Link must rescue the seven maidens from dungeons scattered across the Dark World, defeat Ganon, and reclaim the Triforce.
Once the maidens have been freed, they use their power to break the barrier around Ganon's Tower, where Link faces reincarnations of the first three bosses: The six Armos Knights, the three Lanmolas (sand worms), and the Moldorm (a giant Worm), and of course, meets Agahnim again. After Link defeats Agahnim the second time, a bat rises up from Agahnim's clothes and flies off, crashing into the Pyramid of Power. As Link arrives at the Pyramid (using the bird he can eventually summon after he obtains the flute), he drops down into the hole made by the bat to find that the bat is none other than the evil Ganon, who can only be defeated using Silver Arrows. After Ganon's demise at Link's hands, Link touches the Triforce and is granted the most noble wishes of his heart, among them, the Dark World to return its former glory as the Sacred Realm, peace to return to the Light World, his uncle to be healed, and all to be restored as it was. His quest completed, Link returns the Master Sword to its resting place.
Instead of using the side-scrolling perspective in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past reverts to an overhead perspective similar to that of The Legend of Zelda. The game reuses mechanics and concepts from The Legend of Zelda while introducing several of its own. For instance, arrows have been made into their own item, so Rupees are no longer used as arrows.
The game introduces items and equipment that would become common throughout The Legend of Zelda series, most notably the Master Sword. The game also introduces Link's Spin Attack technique. Heart Containers make a returning appearance, but many are split into Pieces of Heart, and Link can collect four of them to make a Heart Container, adding a heart to his life bar. All dungeons are multi-level, requiring Link to walk between floors and sometimes fall through holes to land on lower levels. Control of Link was made more flexible than in previous games, as he can walk diagonally and can run with the aid of the Pegasus Boots. Link's sword attack was improved to swing sideways instead of merely stabbing forward; this gives his sword a broader range and makes combat easier.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the first The Legend of Zelda game to feature the existence of two parallel worlds between which Link travels. The first, called the Light World, is the ordinary Hyrule. The second is the Dark World that was created when Ganon corrupted the Sacred Realm. The Dark World is a decaying version of Hyrule. Each location in the Light World corresponds to a similar location in the Dark World, usually with a similar physical structure but an opposite nature (e.g. a desert in the Light World corresponds to a swamp in the Dark World, a peaceful village in the Light World corresponds to a dilapidated town of thieves in the Dark World).
Link can travel from the Dark World to the Light World at almost any outside location by using the Magic Mirror, and can travel back to the Dark World again from the same location using a temporary portal left behind on the map at the point where he reappears in the Light World. Otherwise, Link must use hidden warp locations throughout the Light World to travel from the Light World to the Dark World. Travel between worlds allows for puzzles in A Link to the Past that exploit structural differences between the Light and Dark Worlds, as Link may travel to otherwise inaccessible areas in one world by warping from parallel but accessible locations in the other world.
|Link||Link is the main protagonist. He goes on a journey to rescue the Maidens and defeat Ganon to save Hyrule once more.|
|King of Hyrule|
|Lost Old Man|
|Armos||Statues that come alive when Link approaches and hop after him.|
|Arrgi||Small spheres that cover Arrghus. They can only be destroyed if pulled off him first.|
|Ball and Chain Trooper||Rare but mighty soldiers that wield a far-reaching flail.|
|Bee||A common insect that can be found in grass and trees and can be caught in a Magic Bottle.|
|Biri||A small jellyfish split from a red Onoff, which acts exactly the same.|
|Black Shade||Shadowy ghost-like entities that charge out of dark holes in the wall.|
|Black Spider||Tiny creatures that move in droves from certain opened bombable walls.|
|Bomb Slug||A quick-moving creature that occasionally lays down green bombs.|
|Bomb Soldier||A soldier that throws bombs from high atop battlements.|
|Bouncer||A tall, segmented creature that hops around erratically.|
|Bubble||A magic-draining spirit that turns into a faerie if sprinkled with Magic Powder.|
|Buzzblob||A creature that will painfully zap Link if hit with a sword.|
|Chain Chomp||An aggressive creature held back by a chain.|
|Clutch||A giant hand that falls from the ceiling at Link, and deposits him at where he entered the dungeon if it catches him.|
|Cricket||A small yet strong and fast insect that inhabits bright but little used areas.|
|Crow||An aggressive bird that swoops down upon passerby.|
|Dark Zora||Water monsters in the Dark World that spit fireballs.|
|Deadrock||Quickly moving creatures that temporarily turn to stone if attacked.|
|Dragonman||Reptilian humanoids that wander aimlessly, with the red ones shooting fire at intruders.|
|Eyeball Bat||A large-eyed flying creature that flies erratically.|
|Firebat||A creation of Ganon's evil magic that can drop flames behind it.|
|Flyceratops||An aggressive and hard-hitting pterosaur that swoops at passerby, just like Crows.|
|Freezor||An icy golem that disguises itself as a wall relief, emerging if approached.|
|Geldman||Large-but-weak sand-based monsters that pop up from desert ground.|
|Gibdos||Strong mummies with a crippling weakness to fire.|
|Good Bee||A rare bee that will stay by Link's side a long time if caught, and fetches a high price.|
|Goriya||Monsters that mirror Link's movement, with the red ones also shooting fire at him.|
|Green Glob||Large blobs of water that float up and bounce around diagonally at high speeds.|
|Hardhat Beetle||Creatures that try to bump Link into pits with their high recoil.|
|Helmasaur||Mask-wearing reptiles that constantly charge around.|
|Hinox||Giant brutes who throw bombs, which they are also weak against.|
|Hoarder||A small creature that hides under bushes and rocks and may drop Rupees if its cover is removed.|
|Hyu||Swooping ghosts found in the Dark World, which act essentially as strong Poes.|
|Keese||Small, weak bats that fly around if disturbed.|
|Knight Archer||Soldiers that prefer to attack from a distance using their bows, sometimes hiding in grass.|
|Land Crab||Small crabs found near Lake Hylia.|
|Leever||Spinning, sand-dwelling flowers that burrow.|
|Lynel||Strong lion centaurs that breath fire.|
|Masked Snake||Green snakes with skull-like heads that appear after a trapped lever in Thieves' Town is pulled.|
|Mini-Dodongo||Small dinosaurs that breath fire.|
|Mini Moldorm||Fast, erratic caterpillars common in caves.|
|Moblin||Spear-throwing pig men who are common in the dark world.|
|Moblin Pikeman||Minotaur creatures who charge after Link with different weapons.|
|Octoballoon||An inflatable Octorok that pops into several small versions of itself.|
|Octorok||A quick but weak rock-spitting octopus.|
|Onoff||A flying jellyfish capable of generating electricity. Red ones split into two Biris when attacked.|
|Pengator||Toothy creatures that slide on their bellies, jaws wide open.|
|Pick||Fox-like bandits in the Dark World.|
|Pikit||Long-tongued hopping plants that try to eat Link's items.|
|Poe||Ghosts that swoop after Link.|
|Potatohead||Singing creatures that are the result of sprinkling a Buzzblob with Magic Powder.|
|Rat||Small animals that scurry around dark areas.|
|Red Ghost||A giant floating cell-like entity that can only be damaged when the nucleus is outside the membrane.|
|Rock Frog||A fast slug-like creature that spits rocks.|
|Rocklops||Giant statue-like creatures that chase Link while showing their weak spot, that being the one large eye.|
|Rope||Aggressive snakes that charge at Link if they see him.|
|Sand Worm||Giant antlions that pop up from the sand, with red ones also shooting at him.|
|Shūdan Bubble||A clump of four Bubbles that breaks up if the room's other enemies are defeated.|
|Skeleton Knight||A giant skeleton that must be destroyed with a bomb once it crumbles.|
|Skull Rock||A monster that disguises itself as one of the Dark World's many skull-shaped stones.|
|Slime||A weak creature that results from sprinkling certain enemies with Magic Powder.|
|Snake Bushel||A tangled mass that slowly wanders some dungeons.|
|Snap Dragon||An aggressive plant monster with big jaws.|
|Soldier||Basic soldiers brainwashed by Agahnim which simply wander around, speeding up if they see Link.|
|Spear Soldier||Strong soldiers that either aggressively pursue Link or throw their weapons as endless javelins, sometimes hiding in grass.|
|Stalfos||Skeletons adept at jumping and capable of other behaviors.|
|Swamola||A swamp-dwelling centipede that leaps from its murky depths.|
|Sword Soldier||Soldiers that charge after Link to hit him with their weapons.|
|Tektite||Jumping one-eyed spiders in the mountains.|
|Thief||Ambushing bandits that try to force Link to drop his items.|
|Toppo||Small hares found in the grass that give Link rewards if caught.|
|Torpedo Fish||Rat-like fish that swim around in underground shallows.|
|Turtle||Tortoises with impenetrable shells, but soft underbellies.|
|Vulture||Large desert birds that circle potential prey.|
|Water Tektite||Large insects that skim along the surface of water.|
|Wizzrobe||Cloaked spellcasters who can make themselves disappear and reappear.|
|Worm Basket||Jumping sea anemones that are common in the Dark World.|
|Zirro||Flying mushroom creatures, of which the green type can drop bombs.|
|Zol||Slimes that pop up from behind Link and hop after him.|
|Zora||Fish monsters who can spit fireballs or follow Link on foot through shallows.|
Traps and obstacles
|Rotating Green Laser Statue|
||Armos Knights||East Palace|
|Helmasaur King||Dark Palace|
|Blind the Thief||Thieves' Town|
These are items that Link can obtain more than once.
|Piece of Heart|
These are some usable items and weapons that Link only obtains once.
There are items that Link can only obtain in the dungeons.
There are some items that Link can store inside a Magic Bottle.
|Bee / Good Bee|
|Medicine of Life|
|Medicine of Life and Magic|
|Medicine of Magic|
Aside from a heart, another special item is rewarded at the end of each dungeon. The Light World dungeons reward a Pendant while the Dark World ones reward a crystal.
|Pendant of Courage|
|Pendant of Power|
|Pendant of Wisdom|
Link is permanently equipped with these items once he obtains them. If Link obtains a new sword or shield, it replaces the one that he was previously equipped with.
These are the dungeons of the Light World:
These are the dungeons of the Dark World:
- For this game's image gallery, see Gallery:The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
Names in other languages
Zeruda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Toraifōsu
|The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods|
- At the time, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was the only home console installment of The Legend of Zelda series that was not included on The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition (not including the demo of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker). This decision is likely because of the Game Boy Advance port, which is compatible with the GameCube via the Game Boy Player. Another possible reason is because the GameCube face button layout is different than the Super Nintendo's.
- Nintendo (September 4, 2019). Nintendo Direct 9.4.2019. YouTube.
- Nintendo (September 4, 2019). Nintendo Direct 2019.9.5. YouTube. [dead link]
- Tweet by Nintendo of Europe (Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online release date). Twitter.
- Tweet by Nintendo AU NZ (Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online release date). Twitter.
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