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Flyer for “The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods”

by Matt Walker - April 27, 2010, 5:33 am PDT
Total comments: 19 Source: Independent Blog

Back in the day there was a period during which I was pretty game crazy. That being said, I still pick up a controller from time to time.

In those days, in addition to reading game magazines I used to collect the sales flyers for games that were distributed at different toy stores (although I only ever picked them up for the titles I was interested in). This happens to be one of those flyers, and it is a bit unique as promo flyers go. Usually these are distributed in tandem with the release of a new game, however.....

Flyer for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

This is a flyer for “The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods” (known in North America as A Link to the Past), released on the Super Famicom in 1991. What’s interesting about it is that it was distributed pretty well in advance of the release of the game.

Here’s a quick explanation of “The Legend of Zelda”:

“The Legend of Zelda” is a popular RPG game that was put out by Nintendo and the “Legend of Zelda” series still continues to this day.

“The Legend of Zelda” was released on the Famicom Disk System in 1986 and it’s sequel “The Adventure of Link” was released the following year. And then, after a 4 year absence, in 1991 the “Triforce of the Gods” shown in the flyer was released.

Interestingly, this flyer wasn’t distributed in promotion of the release of the new game, but rather to suggest that “since there’s still some time before the next Zelda is out, why not try out the previous “Legend of Zelda” games while you wait?”

It’s pretty rare that a company makes a flyer suggesting that gamers try out the previous game before playing the latest one!

That being the case, the upper half of the flyer displays the overworld map from the first “Legend of Zelda”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include the maps of the underworld dungeons. But it still has the locations of the dungeons, shops and the like, so it’s still pretty useful to have.

Since there was still a bit of time left before the game was going to be released, the name used on the lower half of the flyer showing game screens and explanations is simply “New Legend of Zelda” (Tentative Title). I guess they hadn’t even decided on a title yet!

I would think that would be because it had been four whole years since the last title, and back then that was a pretty long time. 1991, the year that the new Zelda was released, had still only been 12 or 13 years off from the “Space Invader Boom”. Plus the history of video games was still pretty short at that point. At that point after 4 years there were probably a good chunk of people who were unaware of the first title’s existence.

There’s also the fact that the previous “Legend of Zelda” was a Disk Sytem game (I originally wrote about the Disk System here). The Disk System was a peripheral released for the Famicom that can be most easily described as the “Famicom’s floppy disk”. The system enabled easy game saving and overwriting of game data on the disks.

Toy stores all over the country had machines called “Disk Writers” that allowed you to bring in a disk and get a get a different game written to it for 500 yen. Given that Famicom software was about 5 to 6000 yen a pop, and Super Famicom software was 8000 to 10,000 yen each, you can see just how cheap that was at the time!

You also pretty much never saw a four-year-old cartridge game still being sold at retailers, so there was something to be said of being able to bring your “Disk System” floppy in to the store and having a new game written to it.

Flyer for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

This is the instruction flyer you got when you got the new game written to your floppy.

However, in 1991 the Disk System was dying off and new software was pretty much nowhere to be found, so perhaps this was all a ploy to raise the popularity of the Disk System at that time.

Talkback

StratosApril 27, 2010

I always wished that the ability to rewrite disks would come to the States. It almost did with the N64DD, but in today's digital era I'm sure the risk of piracy would be too great.

Interesting how they were trying to boost sales of the old game like that.

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)April 27, 2010

Awesome blog Matt! Didn't realise you were in Japan way back then!

Japanese flyers are great though, I used to collect the movie ones at the cinema till my collection got a bit out of hand.
The movie ones are basically the poster on one side and a synopsis and character breakdown on the reverse side.
Considering people pay good money for (full sized) movie posters, it's awesome to get them for free!

Ian SaneApril 27, 2010

I find it interesting that here in the West the name of this game was very clearly censored so as to not have "gods" in the title, due to Nintendo's then policy about religious references.  With a lot of games from that era there has been demand for that censorship to be removed in re-releases.  Final Fantasy IV and VI have been changed in re-releases to not have the Nintendo-era censorship.  But there has never been any sort of request for Nintendo to "correct" the name of this game in later releases.  We seem content with "A Link to the Past" which is really a cheesy pun which doesn't really make sense since the game has transdimensional travel, not time travel.  It's funny because if Nintendo tried to use such a different localized name NOW, there would be some backlash.

AVApril 27, 2010

anyone feel a little disappointed this was a blog post and not news. I thought it was Wii Zelda news  :'( :'( :(

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusApril 27, 2010

Quote from: Mr.

anyone feel a little disappointed this was a blog post and not news. I thought it was Wii Zelda news  :'( :'( :(

So did I, and when I glanced at the article's picture and saw what was possibly a new old-style Zelda my heart fluttered, only to be ripped out seconds later :(

I like the title, though.

KDR_11kApril 27, 2010

So that part on the top is a map? At first glance I thought it was a crossword puzzle.

Guitar SmasherApril 27, 2010

I thought it was a calender, at first glance.

TJ SpykeApril 28, 2010

Quote from: Ian

I find it interesting that here in the West the name of this game was very clearly censored so as to not have "gods" in the title, due to Nintendo's then policy about religious references.

That's a interesting theory, but I doubt it. Video games get name changes all the time, often for no reason. The original Zelda was called The Hyrule Fantasy: The Legend of Zelda, Kirby's Adventure was Kirby of the Stars: The Story of the Fountain of Dreams, etc.

StratosApril 28, 2010

Quote from: TJ

Quote from: Ian

I find it interesting that here in the West the name of this game was very clearly censored so as to not have "gods" in the title, due to Nintendo's then policy about religious references.

That's a interesting theory, but I doubt it. Video games get name changes all the time, often for no reason. The original Zelda was called The Hyrule Fantasy: The Legend of Zelda, Kirby's Adventure was Kirby of the Stars: The Story of the Fountain of Dreams, etc.

Plus how do you explain the church in Link to the Past?

KDR_11kApril 28, 2010

It gets worse once you look at Castlevania. I believe the series is called Demon Castle in Japan.

Ian SaneApril 28, 2010

Quote:

Plus how do you explain the church in Link to the Past?


You're right.  Do they ever specifically identify it as a church?  It's called the "sanctuary" in the game.  I know from around that time period SNES games still had religious references censored.  Super Castlevania IV is still using the "boomerang".

Mop it upApril 28, 2010

The Legend of Zelda is not an RPG.

DealTechLaptopsNovember 02, 2010

The Legend of Zelda is an RPG, well almost all of them are.  The term RPG is often used in short of a turn based RPG, which The Legend of Zelda games are not, and never have been.

RPG simply means a role playing game.  It can be used to describe almost any game, but is more commonly used to describe games that such as Final Fantasy, that use magic spells, physical attacks, and use statistics to measure levels.  Most RPGs allow gamers to upgrade weapons, hit points, power of physical attacks, etc.  The Legend of Zelda games do not use a numerical format for its upgrades, special attacks, or physical attacks, but it does have all of the aspects of an RPG

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorNovember 02, 2010

Am I missing something?  Did a SpamBot just post without actually including any Spam?

I've been noticing it for a while, but http://xkcd.com/810/ is coming true.

StratosNovember 02, 2010

Quote from: UncleBob

Am I missing something?  Did a SpamBot just post without actually including any Spam?

More importantly, it actually contributed to the discussion at hand in a constructive way. It disproved Mop it Up's comment and it did so with no spelling or grammatical errors...*SHIVERS*

Mop it upNovember 02, 2010

If you take "role-playing game" at face value then almost any video game is a role-playing game because you play the role of a character. Zelda has a few elements in common with RPGs but it's still an adventure game. It doesn't have turn-based gameplay or experience points or a party of characters which are all recognized as characteristics of an RPG.

It's the lack of stat building that makes Zelda (apart from Zelda 2) not an RPG.

vuduNovember 03, 2010

Quote from: UncleBob

Am I missing something?  Did a SpamBot just post without actually including any Spam?

I think the spam is the user name itself.

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