For the #Zelda35th, I have a little story to tell.

It was 1991, and A Link to the Past was still in development in Japan. I was 15 years old, having just moved to Redmond, WA. I was a massive Nintendo fan, having played their games since 1983 when Donkey Kong was in arcades. 1/
After arriving in Redmond in 1990, I started writing a bunch of fan-mail to Nintendo of America's HQ, asking for crazy stuff, like the stats of NES Mega Man & Final Fantasy characters, to translate them into D&D characters. I never got a response, but I got a letter later... 2/
The letter was from a small User Research team, who'd bring in a bunch of kids to try out NES and GameBoy titles before they arrived on store shelves.
In a room with 20-something other kids, I'd share my thoughts. I guess they liked my feedback, because they called me back. 3/
in 1990, I was asked to one of the first 100 Americans who got to see the "Super Famicom." I tried out Super Mario Bros. 4(!), F-Zero, & Pilotwings. As a kid raised on the NES, I was *blown away* by the "Mode 7" effects.

I remember every detail. The chair, the ROM, everything 4/
I went back every few months, and was shown all sorts of things. Sometimes 3rd party developers would show us early concepts for games, like "Fireteam Rogue," and others.
Not understanding who we were talking to, we'd complain about art in Nintendo Power magazines 😅😅 5/
In 1991, I was called into a special group. Only six kids this time. We were introduced to Dan Owsen (who I later learned was a translator and overall mensch at NOA), who gave us some SNES Cartridges with Zelda ROMS on them. A Polaroid title screen was taped to the front. 😵 6/
Dan gave each of us a cartridge to play for a WEEK(!!), and we were to return at the end of the week, and explain what was frustrating or confusing. I felt like I had been given the Crown Jewels. Now, I had a lot of OPINIONS regarding Zelda. It was my favorite title. 7/
My biggest opinions were about Zelda II. I didn't understand everything that made it unappealing, but I was certain I didn't like the "grown up" Link. And the cartoon made everything much worse. All I wanted was my cute, stubby, story elf kid hero from the first game back. 8/
So, imagine my surprise and delight that in Zelda III, Link was a pink bunny when he was sent to the Dark World!

Anyway, I felt so special to have been invited to play the game.

But this story isn't as heroic as I'd like it to have been... 9/
Turns out, I was a deep failure. I never even make it out of the castle after getting Zelda out of the dungeon. That's because I never grokked how the lantern lit the torches in the hidden path behind the throne room. I never made it through. 10/
31 years later, I now understand that this was good Usability feedback! Dan added some text explaining the lantern and torches better, and no one seemed to have trouble after that. 11/
All in all, A Link to the Past has a very special place in my heart. I bought the game as soon as I could. I played the heck out of it, loving every step, every pixel. It's a game that Will always be #1 to me, even as other titles become more popular, or are just better. 12/
So, happy 35th birthday, The Legend of Zelda. You'll always be my favorite. You inspired me to make games that measured up to you. 13/13
cc @ZeldaUniverse @ZeldaInformer @ZeldaWiki @NintendoAmerica @NintendoForce @nintendolife #Usability #uxresearch @Magic_Duels
@threadreaderapp unroll please

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Dave Judgment

Dave Judgment Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @dave_judgment

24 Apr 18
I'm a big fan of the games @IntiCreatesEN publishes. Blaster Master, and lots (all?) of the Gunvolt games.

But man, Gal•Gun is suuuuuper problematic.
Short explanation of the game:
It's like an on-rails shooter like Virtua Cop or House of the Dead (insert whatever concern you have about violence here), except there's wave after wave of schoolgirls that are falling in love with "you."
As far as I can tell, this game reinforces the idea that women/girls aren't really humans, but machines whose main purpose is to be love interests for men who are apparently irresistible.
Read 7 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!