By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on June 19, 2015

It is a sad day for all of us at Sandhonker is still under treatment after his last venture into madness. As you may recall, he ventured back in time to look for a game called 'Sanitarium'. Funnily enough, it was this game that drove him over the edge and he had to be removed from the premises, for his own safety and for ours. He was last seen trying to knit a sweater from his own belly-button lint... So, here at, we're all hoping for a miracle but at the same time, fear this could take a while.

So, in light of recent events, this week's Big Red Timemachine will be brought to you by no one other than Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee herself, which is actually quite an honor. She's the head honcho, the big boss, the one in control, the leading lady... Well, don't just stand there... applaud!

But seriously, ladies and gentlemen. Please give a warm Big Red welcome to Diana, and join her as she travels back to times long past, in search of one of her all-time favorite games. Let's head back to 1986!

One day after my sixth birthday a game was launched that would eventually spark my love for gaming. It's a game that doesn't need an introduction; Everybody knows the famous tale of our hero, Link. He has to save princess Zelda and save the world of Hyrule from Ganon, a really, really evil dude. To complete this dangerous task he has to collect all eight pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom. This legendary artifact will give him the strength and will Link needs to defeat Ganon.

So off we go! Every time I hear the (8 bit) theme music of The Legend of Zelda, I am filled with a nostalgic feeling. I can see myself sitting in the living room with one of my brothers, playing this terrific game, all these years ago. With my oldest brother I drew a map of the big, big world of The Legend of Zelda. "Why would anyone draw a map of the entire world?", I can hear you think. Because, ladies and gentlemen, at that time, there was no internet to help us out with wimpy walkthroughs or forums, filled with information.

The world map consisted of 128 screens (and that’s without the dungeons), and side scrolled when you moved in a certain direction. Whenever you'd leave the screen it would scroll to the next part of the map. And every time it did, we paused the game and drew exactly what we saw on screen, as well as hidden secrets that we encountered. Yes, it was a lot of work, but it was totally worth it. We had so much fun! If you’re lucky enough to have a Wii U in your house right now, you can experience a tiny bit of what it was like by playing the Adventure Mode of Hyrule Warriors.

This game was so big in terms of game developing and it was one of the first games in which you were able the save your progress. A nice feature considering you had a big world map and nine dungeons to explore. Oh, the dungeons... some so dark that you actually needed a candle to light your way. And always a big, bad boss at the end. But victory was sweet! It felt awesome to receive an extra heart container so you had more chance of surviving the next challenge and let's not forget a piece of the elusive Triforce.

The controls were surprisingly good. At the time, all I was used to were a few crappy and difficult games with horrendous gameplay. And even if I play Legend of Zelda now (and believe me, I still play it on a regular basis), I never need to get used to the “old controls”. I completed the game once and it was really worth my time and effort. I failed so many times and am still not tired of playing it. That's how good I feel when playing this awesome game.

I have played several other Zelda games after The Legend of Zelda. Now, I don't want to come across as ignorant... but is it just me, or were they never as good as the original. Is it stupid of me to think that, though some of them were really great, they never could give me the great feeling The Legend of Zelda did? Although, I did recently buy Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds and that really brings back memories. It starts with a slightly modern version of the good old theme music. And there’s a clear difference between world and dungeons. So if you want to get as close to the original as possible, I would definitely recommend this game.

Needless to say I really love NES version of Legend of Zelda, especially the golden cassette. For me, it was the first game that was so cool, I just couldn’t stop playing it. But, next to all these fond memories of this game, it did actually have one downside. Because in the Legend of Zelda, much like another well-known Nintendo title, every time I survived the boss fight, the princess was in another castle...

February 21, 1986