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The Legend of Zelda
Released in July 1987, The Legend of Zelda introduced gamers to a young boy in green who would form the basis for another classic Nintendo series. In this game, he must recover the eight pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom, so he can confront Ganon for the Triforce of Power.


Up+A warping run (Single Segment): 0:34:04 by Tom 'rdrunner' Votava

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I know that this time isn't much to write home about anymore, but before the advent of the emulator runs, this was the fastest Zelda time around by a pretty healthy margin. At the time that I posted this at TG, I claimed a cash bounty by breaking 36 minutes. The best time back then was over 37!

Too many of today's Zelda runs rely on luck these days. This path may not be the fastest (it'll never break 32), but it only requires a small handful of favorable bomb drops to work. I wasn't so lucky on this particular run, where I had to make a lot of (normally) unnecessary kills in Levels 5 and 7, looking for extra bombs. Take that problem away and I could have easily gotten down to around 33:30.

With everyone going for the sub-32 run these days, I imagine that this run won't stay up here for long, so enjoy it while you can! :)

2nd Quest run (Single Segment): 0:44:43 by Robert 'Trebor' Nobles

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After I finished my 22% game in Prime, I was trying to decide what game to run next. I had a couple ideas, but this wasn't one of them. I decided to do this game because no one wanted to run the second quest and Radix asked me. How could I possibly turn him down?

Well, here it is, a second quest run of Zelda 1 with no Up+As, in all it's glory (or lack thereof). What I dislike the most about the second quest is the enormous lack of easy money, and the need for enormous amounts of it. The only way to combat this is to win at the money making game. I had enough randomness in Prime; I certainly didn't need this. Nevertheless, I went ahead with the plan.

As for the route, most people will recognize it as the route from the TAS. There wasn't exactly a plethora of second quest runs, and the only one I could find involved the Up+A feature to get a faster time. Because of that, and the fact that it was a TAS, I really had no idea what sort of time I would get. While the general dungeon order is the exact same, I did change the key collections, which is easily the most arguable part of this run. In the end, I settled for keys I thought were easy and quick to get. Also, I obviously made it a point to pick up the Magic Sword. Even though there were only two dungeons left at that point (Level 7 and Level 9), I figured it was worth any time penalty it might take to get. Level 7 alone has three rooms full of required Blue Darknuts and a four-headed Gleeok at the end (Level 9 isn't nearly as bad with only one room of required Wizzrobes). Now, on to the run.

On the way to Level 1, I kill the Leevers to get some rupees. I need at least 10 rupees for the Money Making Game, and these guys are as good as any to get them. You can still wind up with enough if you skip them, but in my experience, the four seconds or so isn't worth all the restarts from being low on cash. Even with that, I'm a little slower than I had been in previous attempts due to a couple things. I missed the turn coming out of the Wooden Sword cave and I had to dodge the Zola's fireball. I usually make the turn, and the Leevers usually spawn in different locations so the fireball is not an issue.

Level 1 went decently. I get hit a lot by the Goriyas, but that's to be expected; they can get rid of that boomerang without warning. In killing the Red Goriyas, I needed at least one bomb drop, preferably two. I got them both. Having so many makes getting through Level 2 much easier. I also get the Boomerang. The ability to stun difficult enemies is easily worth any amount of time it takes to get (especially against Digdoggers). Ideally, I'd like to have full life going into the room with the bats guarding the staircase, but that wasn't the case in this run, so I had to make due with the Boomerang (it wasn't terribly slow). Ah, the room with the Bubbles and the Wallmasters. This is an irritating room. Sometimes, the Bubbles will give you no trouble whatsoever. Other times, they will be all over you. With that said, this time it was somewhere in the middle; I wasn't really happy, but I've had far worse so I took it. The next room is the easiest room in the entire dungeon (that has normal enemies). They always follow one of a few patterns, none of which are difficult to dodge. The only difference in the patterns is when they throw the Boomerangs. So, as long as you aren't standing in front of one, it's cake. The Aquamentus is easy as well. Just keep hitting him and he'll go down. He does very little damage, so life is rarely an issue here.

On the way to the Money Making Game, I should've avoided the Leevers. I already had more than 10 rupees, so any more was ultimately unnecessary. Speaking of the Money Making Game, I want everyone to know that it was the end of many a good run. Although the odds of winning are 33%, it never felt like it. Probably 85% of all attempts never got past this point. Thank God it wasn't any later in the run, or I would've lost all sanity. Even though I beat it this time, it still had the last laugh as I wasted close to 30 seconds (27) in the process. This is big mistake number one (even though it really wasn't my fault). Although I missed the turn coming out of the cave, the trip to Level 2 went very smoothly. If I hadn't gotten a second bomb drop in Level 1, I would have had to try to get one from a Blue Octorok on the way (or a Mummy inside). In my experience those enemies are pretty unreliable.

In Level 2, I'll only kill the Mummies in the first room in very rare circumstances (i.e. all of them get in one big group before I can make it out the top door) because they just take too long to kill otherwise. Everything goes very smoothy until I reach the Manhandla. He's a pesky little sucker to kill, and I wasted three bombs trying to do so. Because of that, it slows down the Mummy killing after getting the Flute. I would have to force at least one bomb drop anyway at this point, but I got lucky on the second to last Mummy. Again, smooth sailing until I reach the Zols. They were in perfect position for one bomb to kill them all, but I screwed that up and had to waste two more to kill them all. Fortunately, I still have two bombs left (which is the minimum I need to get me to the automatic drop in Level 8). As for the Gleeok, I took the easy way out. It's not too much slower than killing him the other way (which looks much more impressive), but it's definitely safer. Even with the safe way, I nearly die due to carelessness.

On the way to Level 6 to get the Ladder, I have to get the 100 rupee stash. It's the only one in the game, and it's a definite must. That brings me to 123, just 7 shy of what I need to get me through Level 4. I manage to get a lucky bomb drop from a Moblin in the Lost Woods, which is useful, but not necessary. It'll certainly make things easier later on. I get the Heart Container above Level 6 so that I'll have enough for the Magic Sword.

The sole purpose for going into Level 6 at this point is to get the Ladder. It seems like a long way out of the way just for one item, but it's definitely the fastest route (so many dungeons require the Ladder to complete). The first room with the Wizzrobes isn't nearly as tricky as it looks. They all follow a pattern, and it's usually the same one each time. Every once in a while, the top one will move diagonally down and to the right (cutting right into my path), which is why I hang back a little to see what he does. The room with the Bubbles and Vire is my greatest annoyance in this level. I manage to dodge the first Bubble after stunning the Vire, but then proceed to get hit by the other one on the way to the door. Aaaargh. Thank God they aren't Red Bubbles. After getting the Ladder, I take a different route to the exit so I can pick up a key. The Orange Wizzrobes are easily the most dangerous, as a hit from the beam does 4 hearts worth of damage! That's freaking insane, hence the bomb to take them both out. It took me a while to figure out how to do this, as they kept appearing in seperate spots. I found out that if you waited in the doorway for a brief second, they will always appear directly beneath you, although the distance from you may vary. The very next room can be very difficult or very easy, depending on where the Orange Wizzrobes spawn. If one spawns next to the wall below the doorway, you're in for some hurt. If one spawns anywhere else, you're good to go. Thankfully, they're more likely to appear elsewhere, which is what happened here. I switch to the Boomerang before I exit.

As it turns out, the switch to the Boomerang was unecessary. I did it for the screen directly south of old Level 6. Those Lynels can be a handful, so I had the Boomerang in case they got out of hand. Of course they cooperate this time. If I don't switch, they'll never behave like this. On the way to Level 8, I pick up the Power Bracelet and the arrow. The Power Bracelet is actually required in the second quest (Level 4) and this is definitely the best time to pick up the Arrow, as it's not a detour at all. The Peahats have a tendency to be annoying; though, they weren't here. I really enjoy the screens with the rocks, for some weird reason. I'm sure there are some damage boost to be had here, but I was enjoying my full life and didn't want to give it up. They only made me retreat on one screen, so it wasn't so bad anyway.

Ah, Level 8. One of the easiest dungeons in the game. There's nothing really hard, just incredibly annoying. The first room is a perfect example; 6 Red Bubbles. That is a recipe for disaster. After a little bit of patience, though, I made it through unscathed. If you get hit, you can take the stairs to find the corresponding Blue Bubble room. Not too big a detour, as you are placed on the other side of the Blue Goriyas two rooms up from here. The room with the Ropes didn't quite go as planned. I walked too far to the left, and so missed the Rope with the Boomerang. Because of the small delay, I got hit by the one coming from the right. It was a damage boost, so I broke even, I suppose. The next room is the Blue Goriya room I mentioned earlier, but I have to walk through them all as a reward for not getting hit by a Red Bubble (some reward, huh?). If you pay attention to when each Goriya throws its boomerang and realize they can't hit you on the return, you can just run through here like Indiana Jones. The next room is a Digdogger room, easily taken care of due to the Boomerang. I got a damage boost from a Blue Goriya in the room with all the water, but I didn't really want one. Why have both damage boosts in this dungeon come with full life? It didn't really matter, because I got hit by a bat in the next room, heh. In the room with the staircase, I had a small hangup. Those two Goriyas in the middle of the room can be very annoying because, without using two bombs on them, the only way to kill them is for them to get into the lower three 'wings' of the plus sign. They didn't seem to want to cooperate, and when I stupidly went after the heart, I stunned the last one while he was in the top wing. Gah. Oh well, better luck next time. The automatic bomb drop is a lifesaver, though. Now, for the Dodongos. If you kill a Dodongo while it is stunned from bomb smoke, you get an automatic bomb drop. However, if you get hit as you kill it like this, that automatic bomb drop goes out the window. The easiest way to stun them is to lay down two bombs in rather quick succession, making sure it eats the first one (if you're too fast, the smoke won't stun). Trying to stun a Dodongo without first having it eat a bomb takes a rediculous amount of luck. I pulled of the stun kill rather well on the first two Dodongos (Bonus! I stunned two with one bomb!); however, I got hit as I delivered the fatal blows. No automatic drop for me. That cut it pretty close as I only had two left. It all worked out, though.

Getting to Level 4 is a piece of cake, though that Lynel guarding the White Sword can be a pain. Thanks to the almighty Boomerang, he wasn't an issue.

In Level 4, I elect to get the key in the room on the left. It didn't go so bad this time, as I had my sword when I needed it. Any room with Bubbles always has the potential for trouble, though. The Digdogger got out of control, as those pesky fireball-shooting statues kicked my ass. I got a fairy after the battle, so all is well. In the dark room full of Darknuts and Bubbles, I try to use bombs as much as possible. There's an automatic drop coming up soon, so I can let loose if I choose. It's pretty funny that I had to chase the Blue Bubble around the room to get my sword back. I had enough rupees to get past the Life-or-Money guy, but I wanted some more for arrow amunition. The Zols are the perfect enemies for this. After coming up the stairs, I spawn in a room where Red Bubbles are between me and the door. This is big mistake number 2. I've never had them corner me like this. As soon as they spawned, they broke for my position and left me with very little room to move. As a result, I got hit and had to backtrack a couple rooms to get my sword back. It cost me around 25 seconds. The Digdogger boss went much much smoother than the one at the beginning of the level. In one of the weirdest dungeon layouts ever, I have to skip getting the Triforce Piece so you can get the Raft. On the way, I have to fight Darknuts, Dodongos, and Pols Voices, so it's not a walk in the park. They all went rather well, and I even got a double stun on the Dodongos. Now it's just a simple backtrack to the Triforce Piece.

Getting to Level 5 is simple. I just warp to old Level 3, and walk the rest of the way. I got hit on the way like an idiot, but get it back rather quickly. No harm no foul.

In Level 5, I choose to get a key from the room to the left of the stairs leading to the Bow. The key is easy to get, as it's a room full of bats, but getting to the staircase from all the way across the room is a little tricky. I had an open shot at getting across, but stupidly walked into an Orange Wizzrobe. Coming up the stairs spawns me in one of my least favorite rooms of the whole run, a room of six Blue Wizzrobes I have to kill. The good news is bombs can make this very easy. With well-placed bombs, all of them can be hit twice, except one, and it can be hit once. This leaves very little cleanup. The bad news is they didn't move like I wanted them to. I can't tell if I put the bomb down at the wrong time or what, but it got ugly from there. I didn't need the heart, but I just couldn't stop myself from wasting time getting it. I wouldn't quite classify this as a 'big mistake' as I still manage to kill the remaining Wizzrobes rather quickly. Going down to get the Bow is tricky because those Red Bubbles will hover around the entrance to the stairswell. I elect to pick up the key from the Blue Gohma. It doesn't take too long to get, even with a three-round fight. I had a two-rounder and even got a fairy from it. I switch to the Boomerang to make sure a Like-like doesn't bother me (turns out I didn't need it), and then run through a very tricky set of rooms with Wizzrobes and Bubbles. I was doing fine until I was swallowed up by a Like-like. You don't take damage when inside one, but you can still do damage. So, you have to be very careful when you deliver the fatal blow. You definitely don't want to get released right as an Orange Wizzrobes fires at you. The Manhandla cooperated rather well; it's pretty rare when that happens. After coming up the stairs, I use a bomb to kill the 'master' Vire. It's a pretty good way to get free bombs or hearts. In this case I needed bombs. The boss is a piece of cake with this much life and the White Sword.

To get to Level 6, I warp to old Level 7, and walk the rest of the way. There just isn't a really good way to get to Level 6. I get a bomb on the way that I didn't need, but it can't hurt.

Level 6 is simple once I get past the first couple rooms. Those Wizzrobes can really give you a beating if you're not careful. After coming up the first set of stairs, I bomb down to collect a key. Of course, the Wizzrobe spawns right on top of the key! It never fails when I'm having a decent run. I'm being very cautious on the Gleeok a couple rooms ahead because my life is starting to wane. In retrospect, I should've collected the five rupees it left behind, and you see why later. Now for another room of Red Bubbles. There have been times that I've been so concerned with the Bubbles that I've neglected to push the block to open the stairs. Thank God it didn't happen this time. All that's left is the boss. This Gohma took longer than I wanted, but at least I managed to get out without dying.

To get to Level 3, I take the warp a few screens over. I switched to the Boomerang, again, so the Lynels wouldn't be a problem. I stupidly get hit again, but life is not at all important for Level 3, the easiest level. Yet, for some strange reason, I kill a few Octoroks in front of Level 3. Go figure. I think I was starting to loose my mind at this point.

As I mentioned earler, Level 3 is a cakewalk. The Dodongos are the only thing that could even remotely give me trouble, yet without the fireball-shooting statues, they're nothing. I managed another double stun here. That means I double-stunned every Dodongo battle. That's a pretty amazing stat when you think about it. Level 3 is an interesting level because the Boss is nowhere near the Triforce piece. As far as I know, it's the only Zelda dungeon ever to do that. The room at the top of the stairs looks like it could be formidable, but with this kind of life, it's childsplay.

Before I go to level 7, I absolutely want to get the Magic Sword. The only problem is that I'm short one Heart Container. Thankfully, there's one on the way. I have to walk down a good way on the screen below Level 3 because the flute won't blow if you're too high up. Level 1 is the closest dungeon, so I have to walk the rest of the way. Having full life after getting the Heart Container is important, because the Lynel on the screen before the Sword is always at the other end. If you don't have full life, you can count on taking some damage here (or wasting time switching to the Boomerang). After getting the Sword, I warp back to Level 3, and it's just a short walk from there (at least the Octoroks are out of the way below Level 3, heh). Getting into Level 7 takes a little bit of work because you have to open it from the right side, then walk around what amounts to 4 screens to get back there.

Level 7 appears to be very difficult on the surface. With three required Blue Darknut fights, a Gohma, Manhandla, and a four-headed Gleeok, it lives up to the challenge. The Magic Sword will slightly stack the odds in your favor though. The Manhandla in this level is very manageable. If a bomb doesn't kill it, just use the Sword. Now for big mistake number three. This one is perhaps the best. In the first I enter from the bottom, I get put in a tight spot. I'm sitting on my comfortable Ladder on a river of fire waiting for the Darknuts and Bubbles to pass, killing any enemy that walks by. The last one that's in the way drops a stopwatch which is normally a good thing. Not this time. I was hoping to get the stopwatch before I got hit by the Red Bubble, but the opposite happened. I hit the Bubble, then walked right into the stopwatch. Oh yeah, Bubbles deactivate when you pick up a stopwatch, so now I don't have a sword and can't get it back. So, I need to reload the room to get the Blue Bubble working again; yet, I walk over to it first anyway. Way to go genius. Of course, when I reload the room, the Blue Bubble spawns on the other side. That's just great. When the smoke clears from this disaster, I've lost about 27 more seconds. The next room is one of the three Darknut rooms. This one also happens to have statues shooting fireballs at me. I manage rather well, then move on to a room where I have to dodge Darknuts and exit out the top. The next room is the Gohma fight, which took only two rounds. After coming up the stairs, I spawn in a room full of Darknuts that spawn between me and the door. I was hoping to get out unscathed, but failed on the home stretch. For the Life-or-Money guy a couple rooms ahead, I give my life because I don't need it (all the hard stuff is over). Besides, I'm broke anyway. This next room is another room full of Darknuts, but there is some decent cover that allows me to take them out pretty much one at a time. After coming up the stairs, the room to the left is the final Darknut room, complete with fireball-shooting statues again. There is an automatic bomb drop in this room, so I can pretty much use my bombs liberally. However, I didn't. I still don't know why. Apparently, my loss of rational brain functions continue. Oh well. The boss is the four-headed Gleeok. Not a problem, as the Magic Sword makes this boss take fewer hits than the boss of Level 2 (Wooden Sword on a two-headed Gleeok takes 16 hits, this boss with the Magic Sword takes 9).

Because Level 9 is in the very top-left corner of the map, there's no easy way to get there from here. A warp to old Level 6 appears to be the fastest way. I'm sure most of you watching are wondering why I get the 30 rupees in old Level 6. It turns out I don't need it, but I got two lucky five-rupee drops in Level 9. You may be wondering why I use so many rupees in Level 9, but you'll have to wait to find out. On the way to Level 9, I have to avoid multiple Lynels. It's very easy to get hit, so getting hit twice is no suprise to me. I manage to get two hearts back before I go in.

Almost there! All I have to do is collect the Silver Arrow and make for Gannon. Everything goes very smoothly; I get the Silver Arrow without incident and do a pretty decent job of avoiding the Red Bubbles in the next room. I made a mistake in the room past the stairs, though. For some reason, I forgot you had to bomb the North wall and tried to walk through it. The setback cost me a little bit of time and some life. I eventually got hit by a Red Bubble and had to chase the Blue Bubble around a little. The next room is the reason for the rupees. Instead of using bombs or the Sword to kill the Lamnolas, I use Silver Arrows. They work much better than I dreamed when I first thought of the idea, so I make it a point to have enough rupees to pull it off. I also get a lucky five-rupee drop. Make a note of it. Lots and lots of smooth sailing for a while, so there's nothing really to comment on; just lots of carefully planned out rooms. When I get to the Patra room, I head left to collect the Red Ring. It's not too far out of the way, and it really makes the final few rooms a cinch. I would consider skipping it if I could get here with full life, or close to it, but skipping it just isn't worth the risk with life like this. Again, I get to use the Silver Arrow strategy on the Lamnolas. Pay attention to the rupee total after I kill the second one. Yeah, it says 30. If I hadn't picked up the stash from old Level 6, I would have zero, and the lucky drop would give me enough to kill Gannon. Therefore, while I have enough at this point so that I could have skipped the stash, one piece of bad luck would've ended the run. I have no regrets there. I definitely shouldn't have collected the drop, but did anyway because I was laughing at the irony of the situation. The Patras are rather easy, as I kill them pretty quickly. Damage at this point doesn't matter, so I just go on a spree, especially on the second one. I had a little menu hiccup in the room after the stairs. I guess it was all the nervousness in seeing how close to :45 I was going to be. The Gannon battle went rather quickly, and by this point I was shaking so hard I could barely move Link.

I was so relieved when I saw the time was sub-45; that was my original goal. Of course, like any good runner, I'm not completely satisfied, so look for me to improve this run sometime. I still work on it on a daily basis, but I wanted this to get put up so I wouldn't feel like I've accomplished nothing. I know there is plenty of room for improvement, but I'm not going to begin to speculate on a lower bound for the time. Major thanks to nate for capturing the run and anything else he may have done, and also to Radix for bugging the hell out of me to get this run done (and the whole SDA thing).

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