Hexbyte – Science and Tech
Exploring the dangerous realm of Hyrule just got a bit easier. As part of the first big update for its NES app on the Switch, today, Nintendo released a new batch of classic games. Most were expected — including NES Open, Solomon’s Key, and Super Dodgeball — but there was also a surprise: a brand-new enhanced edition of the original Legend of Zelda that gives players a much-welcome boost at the beginning of the game.
The game is called The Legend of Zelda: Living the life of luxury!, and the main difference between it and the original is that it loads you up with stuff at the outset. You’ll start out the game with a bunch of money as well as powerful items like the white sword and the magical shield, which is gear that typically takes hours to find. It’s a big shift: the original Zelda is infamous for dropping you in the middle of a dangerous, magical world with little equipment and even fewer directions. The new edition at least remedies one of those things. Players who beat the game will also unlock a harder version to play through afterward.
Of course, while all of the extra items make the game easier, they don’t exactly make it easy, especially for newcomers. You still have to find your way around a confusing world and battle all kinds of baddies. But for new players looking to try the original after exploring Breath of the Wild, this might be the best way to ease into classic Zelda. (The original 1987 Zelda and Breath of the Wild actually have a lot in common. BOTW, in fact, started life as an NES-style 8-bit prototype. The final version is, of course, much more expansive.)
Aside from the items and rupees, the updated Switch version of Zelda appears to be identical to the original, at least from the little bit I’ve played. But it shows that Nintendo is being much more thoughtful about its library of classic games. Past retro game services like the Virtual Console sold games that were completely unchanged from there original releases, but the Switch online service is doing something slightly different, adding in features like online multiplayer, save states, and actual helpful gameplay tweaks.
Now we just need a version of Super Mario Bros. 3 where you get the warp whistle from the start.