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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
10
Visuals
8.0
Audio
8.0
Gameplay
10
Features
10
Replay
10
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
GameCube
PUBLISHER:
Nintendo
DEVELOPER:
Nintendo
GENRE: Compilation
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
November 17, 2003
ESRB RATING:
Everyone
IN THE SERIES
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time 3D

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

More in this Series
 Written by Jeff Milligan  on December 19, 2003

Review: Not since the days of the Ocarina of Time/Master Quest bonus disc have we been able to label a game the Best. Freebie. Ever.


The Legend of Zelda is a Legend which no real gamer is unfamiliar with; a Legend that helped put video games on the map back in the days of the original Nintendo; a Legend that has spanned over six consoles and turned over nine original games. Simply put, Zelda has become just what it's been titled, a Legend.

Whether he's known as the main character in the Legend of Zelda games, as the cool guy with a big-ass sword in in Super Smash Bros. or Soul Calibur II, or the wanna-be Legolas elf, just about everyone knows who Link is. This of course with good reason, as Link is easily one of the best main characters in any video game to date, rivaling even Mario as Nintendo's #1 creation. Keeping that in mind, it would seem like a no brainer for Nintendo to promote their grand hero of Hyrule to some extent, and in the recent past, we have seen them do just that.

Not too long ago, anticipation and hopes were flying high for Nintendo's new Zelda game aptly title The Wind Waker. Before the game was even released, Nintendo decided to do something special for those loyal enough to pre-order the game. With a minimum balance on a pre-order for The Wind Waker, players were able to receive a free bonus disc for the GameCube, packed with 2 complete Zelda games. One of these games American players were all too familiar with. The Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64 was neatly ported to the GameCube, and was fully available to play on the disc. Also included was a new addition for most American gamers, a version of Ocarina of Time with remixed dungeons, making the game quite a bit more challenging that the original. This new game, Ocarina of Time: Master Quest, was another welcome addition to Zelda enthusiasts, and made the bonus disc that much more valuable and exciting. This disc was easily the best freebie to ever be handed out to gamers, but now it may have a little competition for that claim to fame.

To promote holiday sales, Nintendo has decided to create yet another free disc to give out to their followers. By purchasing and registering a Nintendo GameCube and 2 holiday titles, gamers can now once again be treated to a special Zelda gift from the big N. This time, players get to enjoy not 2, not 3, but 4 full, excellent Zelda titles, all on one disc. Included on the disc are the full, ported versions of the original Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. Also included on the disc is a 20 minute demo of the latest Zelda adventure, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and special video covering the history of the entire Legend of Zelda series. All this for the low, low price of zero dollars.

As was mentioned, the easiest way to get this bonus disc is by registering you Nintendo GameCube on Nintendo website, along with 2 of Nintendo's holiday titles. Games eligble for registration are: 1080 Avalanche, Mario Party 5, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga. However, there are other ways of obtaining this amazing disc. For those without GameCube's, buying a brand-new GC at the now low-cost of $99.99 will include a copy of the disc for your gaming pleasure. Also, gamers can order a new subscription to Nintendo Power, Nintendo's own magazine. All of these ways lead to the same prize, so whichever suits your needs and wants best, go for it.

Since the Collector's Edition (the actual name of the new bonus disc) does include so many titles, it's best that we take a look at each game separately. I know, I'm sure you're just hating so much coverage on Zelda. Cry me a river.

The Legend of Zelda
Here it is, the game that started it all. Not only is it the original Zelda game, but it still remains to be one of the best, and most difficult Zelda's to date. Long ago, the Prince of Darkness, Ganon, stole the Triforce of Power. Doing her best to save the Triforce of Wisdom, Princess Zelda broke it into eight pieces, and scattered them among the land of Hyrule. Being taken captive by Ganon's forces, Princess Zelda lies hostage to the evil being. It's up to Link to find the eight pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom, and rescue Princess Zelda from the evil Ganon.

That's the hand players are dealt upon starting this classic game. Originally released for the NES, The Legend of Zelda mixes incredibly difficult gameplay with challenging dungeons and bosses. Upon your quest you'll discover many secrets, new items and weapons, and numerous challenges. Although the game is over 15 years old, it still remains to be one of the most difficult games around. For those who have never had the opportunity to play The Legend of Zelda, be prepared to die, and to die often.

With the game originally being released on the NES, the simple control scheme is easily handled by the superior GameCube controller. Both the analog control stick and the D-pad can be used for movement, the B button controls items, and the A button swings your sword. That's pretty much all you need to remember. The C-stick and shoulder buttons are not used, and the X and Y buttons are used only while the subscreens are showing.

One thing that should please gamers is that while playing The Legend of Zelda on the GameCube, you will never have the annoyance of the game freezing, pixels becoming messed up, or any of the problems that plagued the NES. I'm sure we'll all miss taking out the game and blowing on the cartridge 2-6 times, hitting the rest button anywhere from 2-20 times, and all that fun stuff, but it's a sacrafice we're all going to have to make. Saving during gameplay is the only other difference between the original and the GameCube version, and believe me, it's a very welcome change.

The Legend of Zelda was an amazing gameplay experience back in 1987, and it's still incredibly fun today. This was my personal second favorite addition to the disc, following only that of Majora's Mask.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
After Ganon was destroyed, Impa, Zelda's nursemaid, tells Link that a sleeping spell has been cast on Princess Zelda. The only way to wake her is by using the power of the Triforce. Setting out on a journey to find the Triforce, Link is unaware that evil forces are after him. By sacrificing Link, these creatures plan to use Link's blood to revive their master, Ganon. Link must fend off all evil in his way, and revive Princess Zelda from her sleeping state.

This is the follow-up story to the original Legend of Zelda. The Adventure of Link, also originally published for the NES, is quite a different game from the original. Although most of the cast stays the same, the gameplay experience is totally different. One thing however stays the same, the difficulty of original. Actually, The Adventure of Link might be more difficult than the original, if that's humanly possible. Another great challenge for players.

Again, the controls for The Adventure of Link stay relatively simple. Both the analog control stick and the D-pad are used for the same thing. Depending on where Link is, they can both be used for movement, magic/level selections, shield placement, thrusting, and entering buildings. The B button controls Link's flute, sword, and speech. The A button can be used to control Link's hammer, and allows Link to jump. Again, the C-stick and shoulder buttons are not used, and the X and Y buttons are for the subscreen only.

Also, as with The Legend of Zelda, game freezes and pixelation screw-ups are a thing of the past on the GameCube. These 2 NES Zelda's are hard enough without having to deal with starting certain areas over because the game froze. The only other difference between the original and the port is again the saving options presented.

Being released only 1 year after the original Legend of Zelda, The Adventure of Link is a great follow-up to the story, and a flawless game in it's own right.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
As the Nintendo 64 rolled around and Ocarina of Time was released, the game not only revolutionized the Zelda franchise, but it also completely changed the video gaming world. Sporting godly graphics, an intense gameplay style, an amazing story, and the revolutionary Z-Targeting system, The Ocarina of Time was easily the game of the century, and possibly the best video game ever.

The story behind the Ocarina of Time spans back to when Hyrule was first created. Blessed by three golden godesses, the land of Hyrule was a land of peace. One day, a man from the desert appeared, and began searching for the Doorway to the Sacred Realm, where the awesome power of the goddesses lie, kept locked inside the Triforce. Chosen by the Great Deku Tree, a lazy boy from the Forest of Kokiri is chosen to stop the evil man from entering the Sacred Realm and obtaining the ancient relic. Joined with a fairy known as Navi, the 2 set out to keep Hyrule a peaceful place.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is much more than just another game in the Zelda line. Using the Ocarina of Time, Link is able to change his journey into a musical adventure, spanning the lengths of time itself. The first Zelda game to be showcased in full 3D, Ocarina of Time showed the world what graphics can do to a video game. The lock-on battle system that is used so frequently today was also originated in Ocarina of Time, adding one more feature to it's overall long list of accomplishments.

For those that played Ocarina of Time on the original GameCube bonus disc, you know what to expect from the control scheme. Movement is controlled by the analog stick, the map is toggled with the D-pad, and the C-stick controls the camera angle, allows Navi to speak, can utilize items, and can play notes on the Ocarina. However, if you don;t like using the C-stick to use your items (I sure didn't), the Y, X, and Z buttons are all mapped for items usage as well. The B button controls actions, and also controls 1 Ocarina note, and the A button controls Link's sword. The R button controls Link's shield. Instead of Z-Targeting, the GameCube version has L-Targeting, which in effect is the same thing, except locking onto enemies and items is controlled by the L button. It may seem like a lot, but once you're used to it, you'll feel like you're playing it right on the Nintendo 64.

Although the GameCube does have a much more powerful graphics engine than that of the Nintendo 64, The Ocarina of Time is a direct port, so the graphics remain almost identical. I say almost because the GameCube version does have a slightly improved resolution, although the change is almost negligible. You may also notice slightly improved sound, but again, the difference is very slight.

If you've never had the opportunity to play Ocarina of Time, then consider this bonus disc to be your new best friend. Do yourself a favor, and don't read the rest of this article, and go get the disc now if you've never played the game. It's honestly that good.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Following up on the Nintendo 64 classic, Nintendo released Majora's Mask nearly 2 years later for the same console. Although not as impressive a game as Ocarina of Time was, Majora's Mask still proved that the Zelda line of games was still a series to be reckoned with. Using the same graphical engine and control scheme of it's predecessor, Majora's Mask is another solid title in the Zelda series.

After defeating Ganon and restoring peace to the land of Hyrule, Link departs from the land that made him the Hero of Time. Setting out on a journey to find a close friend, Link finds himself traveling through the Lost Woods. Upon meeting a strange and mysterious boy named Skull Kid, Link soon finds out that Skull Kid controls powerful magic. Having his horse Epona and his precious Ocarina stolen from him, Link gives chase to Skull Kid into the strange world or Termina, where he finds nothing but his impending doom.

For those that have played The Ocarina of Time previous to Majora's Mask, you'll find that the changes in the gameplay are not very vast. The one noticeable change is the addition of the clock. The entire story behind Majora's Mask revolves around the clock, so it's important to know how to read it, and how it effects your gameplay. I don't want to spoil any of the story as to how the clock pertains to the game, so I'm going to leave it up to you to figure it out by playing the game. Don't worry, it's not that difficult to figure out.

As was stated, Majora's Mask utilizes the exact same control scheme that's found in Ocarina of Time. So instead of retyping the entire paragraph on the controls, if you want to see how the controller is laid out, jump back up the Ocarina of Time section and check out the section on controls there.

As I said toward the beginning of this review, Majora's Mask was my personal favorite part of this entire disc. This is due largely to the fact that prior to this disc, I had never played Majora's Mask. Obviously this editor owes a great deal of thanks to Nintendo for releasing the Collector's Edition disc, for without it, it may have been some time before I had another opportunity to play this excellent game.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Although the portion of The Wind Waker contained on the disc is not the full version of the game, it still deserves to have something written on it. After all, this 20 minute demo may inspire a lot of people to go out and buy the full version of the game, which is a purchase well merited.

Instead of continuing where the story left off after Majora's Mask, Nintendo decided to go in another direction with The Wind Waker. Set on an island in the great sea, we find the people of Outset Island to be a peaceful people. On this island, it is a custom for those coming of age to dawn the garb worn by the legendary Hero of Time. The games main character happens to have his birthday on the day of games start, and he is the age of the Hero of Time. After putting on the legendary green clothing worn by this hero, our main character finds that his sister is kidnapped by a giant bird. Setting out with a band of pirates to find his sister, our hero is in for much more than he originally bargained for.

Just as The Ocarina of Time revolutionized the graphics of it's day, so too does The Wind Waker. Having an incredible resolution, and smooth graphical interface really sets the tone for the game. The Wind Waker also utilizes a cel-shaded look, bringing life and animation to characters and enemies like never seen before.

Nintendo once again decided not to stray away from the great control scheme behind The Ocarina of Time, so once again, look to the control section there. The only real differences are that in The Wind Waker, Link can utilize a spin attack by holding down the B button for a few seconds and letting go, and can also perform a jump attack by holding down the L button and pressing A.

Again, even though this is only a demo of The Wind Waker, it's another great addition to an already amazing bonus disc. Hopefully the demo will inspire those who haven't made a purchase for The Wind Waker to go out and do so, as it's an incredible game. Players can also view a special movie on the disc pertaining to The Wind Waker.

The Legend of Zelda: A Retrospective
Although this portion of the disc isn't playable, it's worth it to take a second and check it out, especially if you're a giant Zelda fan. This is basically a couple minute long movie showing all of the Zelda games made throughout the years. Games shown in the movie include The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, The Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

Overall
Due to the fact that this Collector's Edition is being given away for free, there's no way you can complain about any aspect of it. Even if the game was being sold for the regular price of $49.99, even then there's not much you can find to whine about. The only thing that players may find disapointing is the absence of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, but with that being on the Game Boy Advance already, it shouldn't be that big a deal. Especially when played with the Game Boy Player, A Link to the Past feels just like it did on the Super Nintendo.

Bottom Line
There's not much more that can be said about this incredible collection. Go out and buy a Nintendo GameCube and 2 games, register them, and be done with it. Even if you have to order a subscription to Nintendo Power, do it, because a disc like this comes around once in a lifetime. Nintendo has been known as one of the best developers of all-time, and with free promotions like this disc, that reputation should stick to them for quite awhile longer.


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