The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

aka: A Lenda de Zelda: Um Elo Com O Passado, TLoZ: ALttP, Zelda 3, Zelda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Triforce
Moby ID: 6608
SNES Specs
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Description official descriptions

Recently, famine and drought have plagued Hyrule. When all seemed lost, a mysterious wizard, Agahnim, appeared and stopped these strange happenings from occurring. But there is talk that Agahnim now rules the country with his magic, behind the scenes. And then, one night, the Princess of Hyrule, Zelda, calls out for help - and the one who hears her pleas is a young lad named Link.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a top-down action game with puzzle-solving elements (similar to the original Legend of Zelda). Players assume the role of Link, and their goal is to rescue Princess Zelda and save the land of Hyrule. All combat in the game is action-oriented - the player can make the protagonist swing the sword at enemies with a press of a button, or spin the sword around for a more powerful attack by holding down the button until it is charged.

Progression through the game is done by conquering a series of dungeons - each dungeon has its own special item associated with it, such as the hookshot (which latches onto a far-off object and pulls Link across) or the hammer (which can be used to flatten objects in your way). Most of these dungeons are rendered impassable until the dungeon's particular item is acquired; from there, the rest of the dungeon becomes accessible due to Link's latest new ability. The bosses of each dungeon are also themed to that level's particular item.

Link starts out with only three units of health; however, these can be increased by defeating dungeon bosses, which give one additional heart container, or by finding four 'pieces of heart'; which can be given for anything from passing a small trial to winning a mini-game. Some of Link's items also use magic - this can be refilled with collectible green magic pots. After defeating the initial three dungeons, Link gains access to the Dark World - many puzzles and difficulties come from alternating between the Light World (Hyrule) and the Dark World to make his way past previously impassable obstacles.


  • ゼルダの伝説・神々のトライフォース - Japanese spelling
  • 젤다의 전설: 과거로 간 링크 - Korean spelling

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Credits (SNES version)

39 People (33 developers, 6 thanks) · View all



Average score: 94% (based on 52 ratings)


Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 354 ratings with 7 reviews)

Best SNES game ever!

The Good
I remember the days... when I was a kid, my brother had strategy, he always knew where to go in the dungeons and what to do to win, but he sucked at fighting, so I fought, he told me what to do. Ah, Zelda. What a great game. Talk about Challenging. My neighbor beat the entire game when his kid got it and he doesn't even play video games! I have beaten this game like twenty times! What better game? Great music, sound effects, all the weapons and heart pieces to collect, upgrading your sword, shield, armor... going through all the dungeons, fighting all the cool bad guys and the bosses... traveling between the Dark World and the light world... all the things to do, mini games, talking to everyone, and when you discovered something new, it was like Heaven. I remember I used to come home from school and start playing and wouldn't want to stop and do my homework, and then my mom made a new rule: No videogames till your homework is done. Ah, well. And the forest when your in the Dark Side, so challenging, like a maze, and the end... the music at the end... oh man. What a great game. A true masterpiece. And the story... oh man, your never gonna get such a good story in a video game... it almost makes you wanna cry at the end. What a great game.

The Bad
Nothing to add here.

The Bottom Line
If you don't got it, get it. If you got it, play it.

SNES · by darthsith19 (62) · 2006

It's not so bad

The Good
The soundtrack has really grown since the NES days and there was never a tune playing that I didn't like, given I didn't play until the end, but it was still great to hear songs such as the Lost Woods, Kakariko Village and Hyrule Castle. The Lost Woods amused me even more because that area reappeared in Ocarina of Time and later on also in Twilight Princess, so it was funny to see that area, but with a completely different theme song and design.

I really liked the way they mark important locations for the main quest on your map, it was a nice way to guide me to the puzzles I was expected to participate in next without giving away too much. Navigating using the map was a lot of fun and quite often I had to find alternative routes to reach a certain area, which was a fun experience for me. If you really can't figure out what to do next and believe you have exhausted all other sources of information (aside from the internet) , you can always go to the fortune teller in order to learn what you shall do next.

Hyrule has gained a lot of detail since the original Zelda, once again we return to a top-down perspective, but there is just so much more to it. There are trees, interesting locations, villages, secret groves, and a lot of beautiful scenery to be found in Hyrule and its darker counterpart. It's also swell that they managed to keep the original's great timing when it had to switch to another screen, that was such a great feature and it is welcome to return. All by all, it is really obvious that A Link to the Past set a new standard for Super Nintendo games.

It is kind of cool to finally see the Golden Realm, or Darkworld as it is called now, after Ocarina of Time hyped it up big, but never showed us anything but the inside of the Chamber of Sages. The memorable theme song also helps to present this interesting world, a world full of history and years of Zelda games hyping it up. It is too bad to see it in such a bad shape, as it is foretold to be a paradise when the Triforce is touched by the right person, but you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.

The combat works so well and requires a lot of tactic. The major addition to the gameplay here is that Link can do a spin attack and walk diagonal, which gives us a lot of opportunity to experiment. Some of the enemies have shield which makes them hard to hit with just a stabbing move, others have spears and other arrows and there is even an enemy that is impossible to approach without getting a spiked ball in your face, so you will have to switch between weapons a lot and make clever use of scenery and cover to get out of the fights unharmed.

I was always psyched for the next boss-fight because they were just so interesting and there was no way to predict what was going to attack you. There was one moment where I fought my way up a huge tower only to find the item I needed guarded by a giant worm that was more than happy to push me off a platform and back to to another floor of the dungeon. The game was full of such moments, but Hyrule Castle was by far the most memorable dungeon in the entire game with an awesome boss-fight to top it all off.

The Bad
The biggest problem is that there is little to no interaction with other characters during the part of the adventure I played, you had to collect a few directions here and there, but the cast is bland and forgettable. Given, Ocarina of Time had a few problems when interacting with the world as well, but at least it presented us with an enjoyable and very well designed cast of characters, each one more lovable than the other.

As for the story everybody seems to be so fond off, I either stopped playing too soon or I have all the right to be underwhelmed. You are connected to an ancient race (apparently the Hylians somehow all died at some point) and because of that you are chosen to be the new hero, send out to save a bunch of maidens who are descendants of the Sages from Ocarina of Time who sealed Ganondorf away. Even that summary doesn't make any kind of damn sense to me because I assume half the events of this game have been changed because of the new ones (such as how the seven wise man were changed to just the Sages for Ocarina of Time and most of them were female). One way or another, very little of it is discovered through playing, you just get a few expositions at set moments and none of the details are ever discovered because you never interact with characters.

There were a lot of glitches in this game and none of it was my fault because both the cartridge and the controllers are fine. Bugs I noticed were; characters clipping into each other and doing massive damage if I was one of them, sound effects randomly dropping out and poor detection when using weapons or been attacked. It really took me out of the experience when I am busy fighting with some random enemies and I suddenly can't hear the satisfying slashes anymore or the sound of enemies disappearing into nothing when they die.

The Bottom Line
I found it difficult getting into A Link to the Past because the Zelda franchise has the habit of using previous games as the foundation for the next one, so naturally it wasn't going to be as good as Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. If you grew up with a Super Nintendo then you won't have any problems and this game is worth getting because it is both good and nostalgic.

Whereas Ocarina of Time is definitely worth checking out, even for kids who just became fan of the franchise, A Link to the Past is just something exclusive to the Super Nintendo fans. A few people might enjoy this classic, but this is not the game you should give as a present to your little cousin if he demanded Battlefield 3 for his birthday,

SNES · by Asinine (956) · 2011

Agahnim and Ganon rock....

The Good
Wow. This game man takes me back. I loved playing games on SNES. So much, I had a friend record himself and I playing them using the old VCR Trick, so I could watch it over and over again. Anyway, If I had to recommend a game that's a must play if you own a SNES, It's this one along with Castlevania 4. The characters in Zelda 3 are phenomenal, Ganon is so fricken good of a enemy. The way he warps time and hypnotizes the soldiers and captures the maidens. He does so much and it pisses Link off. Link has to fight not one but two last bosses. And I got really mad when I got to the top of Ganon's Tower and found Agahnim and not Ganon. I said "Where's the SOB?". There's so much in this game, and it's really long too. Took me as long if not longer to beat this game than Ocarina of Time and I really like that in a RPG.

The Bad
Uhhhhhhhhh, whatever.

The Bottom Line
How would I describe this game? Get a SNES off of Ebay for like $70.00. They're rare now. And BUY IT NOW, screw the auction part.

SNES · by Lake Hylia (2) · 2006

[ View all 7 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Genre GTramp (81961) May 17, 2011
tempering the sword cathy roland Apr 1, 2010
Anyone Heard of a Gold Cartridge Version? mobiusclimber (235) Dec 29, 2007


1001 Video Games

The SNES version of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


There is a very well-hidden secret room with the name Chris Houlihan written on a wall tile. He is the winner of a Nintendo Power contest to have his name featured in a game.


The original SNES version of this game took approximately 58,240 hours to program. (Source: Nintendo, World Features Syndicate)


To add to the evidence of the game's popularity and longevity: When Nintendo Power retired their Top Games list for the SNES, A Link To The Past had remained number 1 on the chart for more than five consecutive years.


In various homes across Hyrule, there are pictures of our favorite plumber, Mario on the North wall of each home.

Release date

The Japanese version of the game was released on November 21, 1991. Exactly seven years to the day later, the N64 game Ocarina of Time, was released in the U.S.

Title translation

The English translation of the Japanese title is "The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods".


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • March 1992 (Issue 32) - Game of the Month
    • 1993 Buyer's Guide - Best Sequel
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #3 (Best 100 Games of All Time)
  • FLUX
    • Issue #4 - #2 on the "Top 100 Video Games of All-Time" list
  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #23 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – #28 Top Game of All Time
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #16 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)

Information also contributed by Big John WV, CaptainCanuck, Echidna Boy, gamewarrior, Robbb and Tiago Jaques


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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Satoshi Kunsai.

Wii added by Corn Popper. Wii U, New Nintendo 3DS added by Michael Cassidy. Nintendo Switch added by Kam1Kaz3NL77.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, Alaka, gamewarrior, Игги Друге, BobaMa, Perfil Falso, Patrick Bregger, Thomas Thompson, Rik Hideto, FatherJack, A.J. Maciejewski.

Game added June 7, 2002. Last modified March 5, 2024.