Celebrate Zelda's 30th Anniversary with a Complete* Playthrough [Update: Archived]

Celebrate Zelda's 30th Anniversary with a Complete* Playthrough [Update: Archived]

Jeremy battles Ganon's forces, ancient and failure-prone video game hardware, and the remnants of a cold to bring peace to Hyrule.

You may have noticed a higher-than-usual amount of content related to The Legend of Zelda on USgamer this week. That's no accident! In celebration of the series' 30th anniversary this coming Sunday, we've been looking back on the NES game that started it all.

For my contribution to this collective nostalgia, I'm going to broadcast my attempt to do something I've always wanted to try: A complete playthrough of the original version of the original game. Don't get me wrong, I've beaten The Legend of Zelda a fair few times on NES. What I'm talking about is the original version of the game, which debuted in Japan about a year and a half before it showed up in the U.S.

The entire stream has been archived here. And yes, I beat the game. Shockingly!

Before the game came to America and Europe on NES, it actually debuted on a slightly different platform back east: The Famicom Disk System. That peripheral attached to the Japanese version of the NES, but it used floppy disks and offered some expanded features over the base hardware... features that didn't all translate to the U.S. console for various reasons. Anyway, Zelda on FDS was very slightly different from the American version (I recommend Clyde Mandelin's Legends of Localization book for more information!), and I've always been curious to experience it for myself.

So, today at 1 p.m. Eastern Time (that's 10 a.m. Pacific), I'm going to stream a live playthrough of that version of the game on Twitch. Or at least... I'll try. I'm going to be playing on actual hardware with an actual disk. The Disk System has a reputation for being terribly finicky and prone to breakdowns, and when it comes to Disk System diskettes, there's always a chance that I'll come across a bad or corrupted sector midway through the adventure. What we have here, friends, is a crapshoot. Let's gamble... together.

I'll begin playing at 1 p.m. Eastern Time and will continue until either (1) I complete the game, (2) my equipment breaks down, or (3) we hit 5 p.m. ET. Can I beat the game in four hours? Will fragile 30-year-old equipment hold up for such a marathon experience? The real Zelda begins here. Please join me!

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