Compiler: Rick Bruns
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Rick Bruns's The Legend Of Zelda (NES) maps.
After Ganon, the Prince Of Darkness, seizes the Triforce of Power and kidnaps Princess Zelda, Hyrule is engulfed in chaos. As per Zelda's command, the royal nursemaid Impa searches the land for someone courageous. When she runs into trouble with Ganon's henchmen, she is rescued by the heroic Link. Link learns of the Princess, and sets off to rescue her and reassemble the Triforce of Wisdom to counter the evil of Ganon and save Hyrule.
The Legend Of Zelda on the NES is truly legendary. Developed near-simultaneously alongside Super Mario Bros. by famed Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, it is also notable for being the first home console game to include a battery for saving progress. It also came in a gold cartridge, showing that Nintendo had the utmost confidence that this was going to be something special. And indeed it is, spawning a series widely considered to be one of the best video game franchises of all time, if not the best. It is the first series to have two games get a perfect 40/40 score in Famitsu (Ocarina Of Time and The Wind Waker) - assuming that counts for anything anymore - and includes a number of beloved classics such as A Link To The Past, Link's Awakening, and Majora's Mask. The series is still going strong with Breath Of The Wild simultaneously releasing on both the Wii U and the new Nintendo Switch, and though this newest installment is noteworthy for being an open-world game, the original NES game is also open-world, in the sense that you really could explore quite a bit and tackle the dungeons in any order. And certainly for its time, such non-linearity was special.
It's almost surprising that maps for this game hadn't been honoured earlier. While we certainly have looked at a number of Zelda games here on Maps Of The Month (including a couple April Fools' jokes), the original game is special here on VGMaps.com as Rick Bruns has made a SWF (Shockwave Flash) interactive map, with which you can toggle elements on or off (such as monsters or secrets), to assist you in planning your route across Hyrule. Besides the Hyrule overworld, he has also mapped the dungeons in full. As they say, "it's dangerous to go alone", so take these maps!
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to mechaskrom's Solar Jetman (NES) maps.
As Jetman (hero of Jet Pac and Lunar Jetman), you are hunting for pieces of the Golden Warpship (though the European box art says "Warship"). To do so, you will have to traverse a dozen planets, using a small pod to maneuver through caverns, and utilizing a tow cable to collect valuables, fuel, and the pieces of the Golden Warpship and bringing them back to the mothership. The caverns, which can become increasingly maze-like and narrow as you get to farther planets, make this quite the challenging experience. As if it wasn't hard enough just knowing your way, you'll have to contend with gravity and inertia, and of course dragging heavy items around affects your flying ability. Will Jetman be able to collect and reassemble the Golden Warpship?
Compiler: zagato blackfist
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to zagato blackfist's Crystal Warriors (Game Gear) maps.
The evil Jyn are conquering the land, so Princess Arliel assembles her forces to reclaim the stolen elemental crystals and then take on the evil emperor Grym. This is the story of Crystal Warriors, a Fire Emblem-style tactical game on Sega's portable, the Game Gear.
Though we have had quite a number of epic fantasy games featured here, including those of the tactical variety, this is the first time that a Game Gear game has been recognized for the Maps Of The Month honour! Thank zagato blackfist for bringing this to our attention (as well as its Japanese-only sequel, Royal Stone (J)). zagato has also provided the stats of the units that you will encounter on Princess Arliel's quest. Plus, zagato had also noticed that the areas in each Round are actually continuous with each other, so he has also assembled a full map showing the game world in its entirety. Now that's going above and beyond!
So to recognize the effort put into mapping this gem of a game, zagato blackfist's Crystal Warriors (Game Gear) maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for January 2017.
Congratulations and thanks to the Mapmakers of 2017!