The NES Legend of Zelda: A Taboo Remake?

By Seumas the Kilted Gamer
February 1, 2021
I’ve pondered this subject for quite a while, but I’ve remained reticent on the subject because of the possibilities; possibilities being the ramifications if the idea were to come to pass. This idea is a topic that I have not seen anyone discuss, from the retro Zelda fans to the newcomers, or those who favor the later games in the franchise. The original Legend of Zelda for the NES: Should the classic game get a remaster?
One reason for my silence in particular is because for a while, quite a while actually, I didn’t like the idea of a Legend of Zelda remake. The reason being is because that title gave birth to one of the most successful gaming franchises on the planet. It was a game that stood out all on its own. To me it felt sacred; sacred as in it should not EVER be touched again. Let it be, so to speak.
There is no mistaking the success of The Legend of Zelda. That game launched a big franchise that has withstood the test of time. It has attracted fans of all ages and walks of life. It’s a game to reminisce on, to recall the fondness and memories of playing games from the good old days. As a retro gamer, I will always appreciate that game. The simplicity—when looking back on it—of the graphics, the game play, controls, handling, music, etc., all give the game an originality that simply cannot be beaten.
Legend of Zelda NES Aquamentus

Graphics

Looking back on the graphics now, they are quite rudimentary, right? At the time, they were top of the line. You could tell you were carrying a sword and shield and were fighting a dragon. And the concept was simple: A hero embarks on a journey to fight evil and save the princess. That was enough to attract millions of fans worldwide, as well as the successful marketing tactic of the gold cartridge.
As Zelda grew in popularity upon more game releases, there were games that were so successful that they were remade. Some titles were remade and re-released more than once. Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess and Wind Waker, to name a few. Fans love those games, and were excited at being able to play remakes that were playable on later consoles.
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess Epona Link
Take The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, for example. It was a wildly successful game that was originally released on the GameCube. Next it was remastered to fit the Wii. Lastly, it was remade into HD to be compatible on the Wii U. With those consoles being different, it goes without saying that they would look and feel different on later consoles.
Being able to experience better versions of a game—especially with the advent of advanced game development technology—can be quite a treat. Of course, there is also the risk of failure due to flaws of development, controls, handling, deadlines, etc. With every investment comes risk, and the video game industry is no exception.
So what makes a remaster worth playing? For me, it is four things.

4 Key Qualities

Graphics – With every new console comes improvement to some degree, whether it is running speed, processing times, graphics or whatever. Aside from better processing speed, I really like to see improvements in the looks of the games. Remasters show us how far video game development has evolved.
Controls – Different consoles obviously have different controls. Previous releases of games can have terrible handling (but not always), while newer releases have better controls that enable one to maneuver the character a lot better. Of course there are multiple controllers for each console, so any problems with the placement of certain buttons and be alleviated by switching to a different controller.
Nostalgia – As a retro gamer, I love revisiting the games I played in childhood. The Legend of Zelda and Battletoads are two games I’ll never get tired of playing. Remasters are especially helpful in that they allow one to revisit an old game that was on a console that is no longer in possession.
First Time – Remasters or re-releases allows one who has not been able to play the original game to enjoy the game for the first time. I have not played Super Mario Sunshine prior to the release of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, and so being able to play it on the Switch was a real treat for me.

NES Legend of Zelda Remaster

With all of that in consideration, after a while my opinion has changed on the idea of a remaster for the NES The Legend of Zelda. I would love to see a remake for that game. With games as advanced as they are now, it would please me greatly to be able to play that game on an advanced platform.
Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Temple of Time
Taking a look at how game development is now, it would almost be a crime to not witness a resurgence of the game that launched a worldwide successful franchise. I’m sure some people would disagree and say leave it be. Not me, though.
Of course, if the game were to be remade, it would pretty much have to have a complete makeover. The concept and dialogue would simply not suffice in today’s society. It would almost be a whole new game. Keep the story and add in some more details, that’s what I say.
Is the idea of a remake taboo? I think so, for the simple fact that there will always be a division wherein there are people on both sides of the issue. But I think it still needs a remake because it would show the newcomers and youngsters that the franchise is one of the most successful in gaming, and as far as I see it will last for generations to come.
Do you agree or disagree? Hit me up on Twitter or the TGPZ Gaming Discord server to give me your opinions.