Retronauts Asks, "Does The Legend of Zelda Remain Really Rad?"

Retronauts Asks, "Does The Legend of Zelda Remain Really Rad?"

After three decades, are Zelda for NES and its direct sequel Zelda II still worth rapping about? The podcast gang deliberates.

It's the Legend of Zelda and it's really rad! Those creatures from Ganon are really bad. Octoroks and Tektites and Leevers too, but with your help our hero makes it through. Yeah!

With that infamously awful rap (clumsily spouted by a dead ringer for the dude from those old Encyclopedia Brittanica commercials), Nintendo introduced me to The Legend of Zelda, a so-called "never-ending adventure" for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Somehow, despite such an unfavorable introduction, I fell in love with the game anyway. The golden packaging, the shiny cartridge peeking through, the massive manual and fold-out map (which left the deadliest corners of the world shrouded in mystery) — it suckered me in, no question. Once I played the game, though, I found myself disappointed to discover that it wasn't truly never-ending; after the Second Quest, the game doesn't offer anything new. Nevertheless, it was a heck of a game, one that etched itself on my mind (as my 30th anniversary live stream of the game can attest).

Download Links

Libsyn (1:41:54, 73 MB) | MP3 Download | SoundCloud

Episode Description

Wired's Chris Kohler and IGN's Sam Claiborn join Jeremy and Bob to dive deep into a part of the Zelda series Retronauts has rarely touched on: The NES duo of The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II.

Inspired by the game's 30th anniversary back in February, the Retronauts podcast does a deep-dive into the original Zelda — then goes into detail on its sequel as well. We've talked plenty about the Zelda series, and Bob has already headed up some thorough analyses of A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, and Majora's Mask in recent months. But in nearly 10 years of Retronauts, we've never really put the original NES games under a magnifying glass... well, not until this week, anyway.

I called in two experts on the NES and the Zelda series in general this time around, and I hope you'll find the results both entertaining and informative. Much about the NES Zelda games can feel dated or primitive by modern standards, I won't deny it. Yet both of them overflow with innovative ideas that would go on to define the series decades later. In fact, you might be surprised by just how much of the Zelda universe was locked down as of the very first entry in the series.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Read this next

USgamer Holiday Gift Guide 2019: For the Nostalgic Gamer

If you're shopping for someone who still finds beauty in cartridges and pixels, have we got a gift guide for you.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Master Trials DLC - Where to Find Midna's Helmet, Travel Medallion, Tingle Outfit, Korok Mask and More

Here's where you can find all the Zelda Breath of the Wild Master Trials DLC items, including Midna's Helmet, the Travel Medallion, Tingle's outfit, the Korok Mask, and more.

Link is an 80s Anime Lady in This Ancient Magazine Unearthed by Twitter

Now I want to fight Ganon while listening to some Bonnie Tyler.

This is What Zelda and Doom Look Like When Mashed Together in a Mod

When a game about an elf boy and another game about rampaging hellspawn love each other very much...


"The Biggest Concern with Stadia is That It Might Not Exist"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | As Google streaming service preps for a bare bones launch, Microsoft positions Project xCloud as a compelling alternative

"If You See Someone Running Around and Screaming, You're Going to Run Around and Scream"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | VR news, lawsuits, and a big splash on mobile from Nintendo mark a busy week for games in America (and for America, generally).

Starting Screen | NeoGAF's Fall is a Sign of the Times in More Ways Than One

STARTING SCREEN | On the sudden end of a long-standing gaming community.

Starting Screen | Starting Screen: Fire Emblem Heroes and the Stages of Regret

The inevitable regret that comes with spending on a free-to-play game, plus the rest of this week's game releases and news.

More on 3DS

The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 5: Fin

Yacht Club Games concludes their deep dive into Specter of Torment's design!

The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 4: The Subtle Art of Backgrounds

In the penultimate entry, Yacht Club Games talks about the small but important details that can make the difference in a level.

M2 Designer Says Implementing Easy Game Modes is Important For Bringing in New Players

Bullet hells can be a little less punishing for some players.

Shovel Knight's Final Expansions Are Coming Next Month

They'll mark the end of Treasure Trove, but not for our brave blue Knight.

Reggie Fils-Aimé Given Lifetime Achievement Award by Video Game Hall of Fame

The former NoA president credits his connection to the community.

Mario & Luigi Series Developer AlphaDream Files for Bankruptcy

The Superstar Saga creator is reportedly in severe debt.

More Action Adventure Games

Will Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order Have DLC?

Are there further adventures in store for Cal Kestis and his crew?

Former Campo Santo Writer "Disappointed" Over In the Valley of the Gods Going on Hiatus

Contract writer Duncan Fyfe talks about the work he put into the now-on hold game.

Smash Bros. Director Masahiro Sakurai Really Likes Death Stranding—With Caveats

Sakurai has enjoyed his time delivering packages and facing BTs.