Zelda no Densetsu: The Hyrule Fantasy
The Legend of Zelda was the killer app of the Famicom Disk System. Its big draw – the large world and the ability to save progress – marked a huge advance over the comparatively simple, arcade-like games that made up most of the Famicom's early library. Zelda’s influence can be felt on many of the later titles on the platform, particularly the name entry/save game screen, which was re-used in many subsequent titles, including non-Nintendo releases. This is still a fantastic game, too – it can be vague at times, and later action-RPGs like Crystalis have better controls – but it's still a ton of fun to explore the Hyrule overworld, and the dungeons are still challenging without being frustrating. Just make sure to look up a FAQ for the few instances where necessary items are too obscure to find on your own, unless you want to burn every bush or blow up/push every rock you find. There actually aren't too many differences between the Japanese FDS release and the English cart version. The FDS game has load times, of course, though not many. You don't actually hit the Start button at the title screen, either – the opening demo simply rolls until you flip the disk over. The font is also different. The NES version changed to the typical font seen in games like Super Mario Bros., and the introduction text is still in English in both versions, even though it's awkwardly written. The title screen music sounds different due to the extra wavetable channel on the FDS, but most of the rest is the same. The major differences come with the sound effects. There are a few minor map and graphical alterations, but the only major gameplay one has to do with the enemy Pols Voice. The manual indicates that these enemies hate loud noises. This is a hint on how to beat them, at least in the Japanese version – you're supposed to yell into the built-in microphone on the second Famicom controller. Since this was missing from the NES hardware, you just bomb them instead. The "bible" item was also changed to a "book of magic." There’s also a special edition released as a contest prize by Charumera, a ramen company, which exists in extremely low quantities. While it hasn’t been verified, it’s believed that the actual game contents weren’t changed. The Japanese title translates directly to The Legend of Zelda, but includes an extra subtitle: The Hyrule Fantasy. It was re-released in cartridge format in 1994, alongside the A/V Famicom, with an added numeral "1" on the title screen and packaging. This version is basically the same as the NES cartridge release, though with Japanese text.