The Zelda Challenge
At one point in every man's life, he decides that it would be a good idea to do something completely ridiculous and record it so other people can laugh at him. So, in the spirit of being a stupid man, I created the Zelda Challenge. The deal was, me and my friend, Dave, would both sit down and each tackle a Zelda game to see which one was faster or who was better or whatever. (Side note: I believe we came up with this notion one night over a 26er of gin). So we both sat down one October afternoon, him with the Legend of Zelda, me with the Adventure of Link. And we played... and played...
Here's a run down of how the event went.
Before everything got started, we decided we'd play 30 minute intervals and take a break in between for a smoke, drink, piss, whatever. So we both turned our NESes on at the beeping of the watch, and the event began.
After the first 30 minutes, Dave was faring well. He was on Level 4, with his first row of hearts completely collected. He had the blue boomerang, the bow, the blue candle, the raft, the ladder and the blue ring. On top of that, he only died once. Ouch. It looked like I had my work cut out for me, as I was still on level 2 and had only collected 1 heart and 1 magic potion. I had Jump, Shield, Life, the candle and I got one doll. I guess the only thing I really had going for me was the fact that my levels were fairly high. My sword was at level 3, my magic was at level 3 and my life was at level 4. I had only died once. It was during the first break that disaster struck. I accidentally knocked his NES, and Zelda 1 reset. Guess what that meant, kids? He had to restart. So, after a prolonged break and mourning period, he got back to it. He tried to get back to the exact same part, and I think he did a fairly good job. After that, we got back to the challenge.
Dave contemplates life over a kicked NES
The next 30 minutes went by, and we were an hour into the challenge. It was pretty evident by this point that Zelda 1 would be finished much sooner that Zelda 2. He was on level 6, with 4 hearts on the second row. He had added bombs, the letter, the power bracelet and the whistle to his inventory. I was behind. Far behind. I was still on palace 3, and I had only gotten 1 more heart and one more magic potion. I now had the Fairy spell, the glove and the hammer. My levels were at least still looking nice, with my sword at 4, my magic at 5 and my life at 6. I guess I wasn't on top of my game this day. At this point, I died again, and Dave didn't die at all. We took another short break, and then got right back to it.
Taking a break...
After a buck and a half, it was starting to show that this challenge would end soon for Dave. I speculated he would maybe finish before two hours were up. By this time, Dave was on his way to level 9. He had all hearts, save one. He also tacked on the red candle, the magic book, the arrows, the big shield the wand and the bait. Yikes. He joked that he'd spend the rest of the day trying to find Gannon. He called level 9 unfamiliar to him. At least I had the advantage of knowing the Great Palace like the back of my hand. But, alas, I was just on level 4. I had 1 more heart and 1 more potion again and I found another doll. I picked up fire, reflect, the raft, the boots, and the coveted downward thrust. My sword was in level 5, and my magic and life were both in level 6. Not bad, but still not great. I suffered my first game over, unfortunately. I was only waiting for the end now.
Well, after 2 hours, Zelda 1 was completed. Dave picked up the red ring, the silver arrow, his very first red potion, and the super key. He was still missing a heart, but that didn't seem to matter. He laughed as he was solving level 9, calling the Patra "Patra Swayze". What a joker. He finished Zelda in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 47 seconds. A shave off two hours. At this point, I was at the level 6 boss. I went through level 5, but got a game over at the boss and decided to fight him later. I got my potion meter full and picked up the whistle, spell and the super key. My sword was at level 6, and my magic and life were at level 7.
Well, the next hour went by all right. I polished off level 5 and 6, filled out my sub screen, and picked up the last heart container. I also cashed in on 2 dolls. I defeated both Thunderbird and Link's shadow in one life-- on my first try. Hell of a time to get on my game. Oh well. I passed Zelda 2 in 2 hours, 53 minutes and 62 seconds. It looks like either Zelda 1 was easier, or I was just sucking more that day. In either case, fun was had by all. And when we were done... the room fell silent....
...nice touch, eh?