All sagas have their dark side, and in Zelda’s case it manifests itself through three infamous Philips CD-i games. I’m sure you’ve heard of them, but I’m not so sure you’ve tried them. That is why I have sacrificed myself and lost an hour of my life. Here my testimony.
If you are a fan of the Zelda saga, you will have heard of a series of games for the Philips CD-i platform that became sadly popular due to their low quality. Personally, I’ve always been interested in these games, but I’ve never tried them. Would they really be that bad? Caught up in curiosity, I have filled myself with courage, I have dedicated an hour to them (more than enough) and I can tell you that bad reviews even fall short. It’s not just the worst The Legend of Zelda games, it’s the worst thing I’ve ever played. I don’t know when someone thought that making these games was a good idea, and I say it in the plural because… there were three! Although it has an explanation. turns out Nintendo signed an agreement with Philips, from which he retracted some time later, giving in exchange the possibility of using several of his characters in a series of games. All without any supervision, leaving the way open to developers without sufficient experience, and who were really specialized for the most part in animation. It was an explosive cocktail in which the chances of everything going wrong were very high.
And so it happened… but it was not for lack of funds. The Wand of Gamelon and The Faces of Evil had a budget of 600,000 dollars, a figure that had to be divided between both projects, with a team consisting of three programmers, a scriptwriter and a musician. The design team was larger, but not more talented for that. In fact, playing it you can realize that the essence of Shigeru Miyamoto’s original designs is not respected at all. Link and Zelda seem to be taken from a storybook of those that sell everything at a hundred in stores.
The Worst Zelda Games (Without a Doubt)
In the artistic, everything is Dantesque, but in the playable there is nowhere to take themIn the artistic, everything is Dantesque, but in the playable there is nowhere to catch them either. The complicated control that the Philips CD-i already had does not fit the 2D platformer style gameplay in which the oft-criticized Zelda II: The Adventure of Link fared a thousand times better. It is a real pain to handle both Link and Zelda in scenarios where everything is limited to going from one point to another, unsheathing the sword and killing the infinite enemies that appear. You can choose between several places to visit through a selection map, but everything is chaotic. Both games look difficult, but that’s because they’re poorly designed from start to finish.
The Wand of Gamelon proposes to handle Zelda to rescue Link, while The Faces of Evil proposes just the opposite. Both titles, in fact, are very similar, as they were developed using the same game engine, with identical technical and playable characteristics. The third game in contention, Zelda’s Adventure, was very different, and returned to the classic essence of TLOZ for NES, but without ceasing to be Dantesque. On this occasion, we opted for the aerial perspective with live-action graphics using real actors. Zelda was the protagonist of another adventure to rescue Link, and she moved from screen to screen killing enemies. Another disaster, but also huge.
The main problem is that it seemed like an amateur project (or rather it was). The voices of the characters were made by the developers themselves and the scenarios were made based on vacation photos from Hawaii. Using a graphics load higher than the internal memory of the Philips CD-i can handle makes loading between screens a chore. But worst of all is that the game itself is nonsense, just like the previous ones.
I like that things like this exist. If not, life would be more boringReleased between 1993 and 1996, these three Philips CD-i games represent one of Nintendo’s darkest chapters, and of course the worst for the Zelda video game saga. In fact, these titles are not officially recognized within the franchise. They each had less than one year of production, their characters are unrelated to other installments and were simply a miscalculation by then-president Hiroshi Yamauchi, who had to give in to an unsuccessful business deal. But in a way I like that things like that exist. If not, life would be more boring, and after all very few users had to suffer. Were you one of the lucky ones?