The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the PastHow Long to BeatZelda

How Long is The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past?

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a celebrated game in the Zelda series, known for its engaging storyline and gameplay.

For both newcomers and returning fans, a common question often arises: How long does it take to complete this game?

In this article, we’ll delve into the typical durations for different playthrough styles, from a straightforward main story run to a thorough 100% completion. Let’s get started.

How Long is The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past?

Main Story (Casual Playthrough):

For players experiencing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for the first time and focusing primarily on the main story, on average, it would take around 15 hours to 20 hours. This includes the time it takes to navigate through the main dungeons, solve puzzles, and progress through the primary narrative.

Main Story + Some Extras:

For those players who decide to complete the main story and tackle some side quests, obtain some of the optional heart pieces, and engage in a few mini-games, the gameplay duration would be about 20 to 25 hours.

Completionists (100%):

Players who aim to achieve 100% completion—finding all heart pieces, obtaining all the bottles, securing every upgrade, and completing all side quests—can expect to invest 25 to 30 hours.

Main Story (Speedruns):

Speedrunners, who aim to complete the game as quickly as possible using a variety of strategies and exploits, have different categories for their runs.

It’s important to note that speedrunning times can drastically change as new strategies are discovered. As of writing, the world record time for A Link to the Past main story completion is 1 hour 23 minutes.

Factors that Influence Playtime

Every player’s journey through the mystical land of Hyrule is unique, shaped by personal choices, play style, and engagement level. While some adventurers might rush to rescue Princess Zelda and thwart Ganon’s plans, others may choose to revel in the rich lore and hidden corners of the map. Here’s a look at the in-game elements that can vary playtime:

  1. Player Familiarity with the Series: Players who have prior experience with other Zelda titles might find some mechanics, puzzles, or strategies more intuitive, which could potentially shorten the playtime.
  2. Dungeon Complexity: Some dungeons can be quite challenging and labyrinthine. How quickly a player can navigate these dungeons, solve their puzzles, and defeat their bosses will greatly influence the overall playtime.
  3. Use of Guides or Walkthroughs: Players using walkthroughs or guides can streamline their gameplay experience, potentially bypassing more challenging puzzles or hidden secrets that could otherwise extend playtime.
  4. Engagement with Side Quests: The game contains a variety of side quests, from collecting heart pieces to finding the hidden bottles. Depending on how deeply a player engages with these optional tasks, the playtime can be extended.
  5. Mastery of Combat: Combat proficiency plays a role in progression. Players who quickly master the game’s combat mechanics might find certain areas or bosses easier and quicker to overcome.
  6. Exploration Tendency: “A Link to the Past” boasts a rich world filled with hidden secrets. Players who enjoy exploring every nook and cranny, even beyond what’s necessary for the main quest, will likely spend more time in the game.
  7. Equipment and Upgrades: Seeking out certain powerful equipment and upgrades can make some portions of the game easier and faster, but the time spent acquiring these items might add to the overall playtime.
  8. Trial and Error: Especially for new players, some portions of the game might involve a lot of trial and error, whether it’s figuring out a boss’s weak point or navigating a particularly tricky puzzle. This can influence how long it takes to progress.
  9. Difficulty Settings: While “A Link to the Past” doesn’t have traditional difficulty settings, players can impose challenges on themselves, such as a “3-heart run,” which can influence the duration of the gameplay based on the added challenge.

By understanding these in-game factors, players can gauge how their personal gameplay style might influence the duration of their journey through “A Link to the Past.”

Criteria for 100% Completion

Achieving 100% completion requires more than just finishing the main storyline. Players must delve deep into the game, uncovering every secret, collecting every item, and conquering every challenge. Here are the key criteria to reach that coveted 100% completion:

  1. All Heart Pieces: Players must collect all the heart pieces scattered throughout Hyrule to maximize their life gauge.
  2. All Inventory Items: This includes all weapons, shields, armor, and magical items, such as the Hookshot, the Pegasus Boots, and the three Medallions.
  3. All Bottles: There are several bottles hidden throughout the game which players can use to store various potions and fairies. Every single one needs to be found.
  4. Dungeon Completion: Every main dungeon, both in the Light World and the Dark World, must be fully completed, with each dungeon’s unique item obtained and its boss defeated.
  5. Secondary Abilities and Upgrades: This entails obtaining upgrades like the tempered sword, the silver arrows, and the blue and red mail.
  6. All Optional Dungeons and Caves: Every cave, whether it hides a heart piece, an item, or a unique challenge, needs to be explored and completed.
  7. Magic and Bomb Upgrades: Players should seek out the mysterious ponds to upgrade their magic meter and increase their bomb and arrow capacities.
  8. Rescue All Maidens: Beyond Princess Zelda, players must rescue the other maidens trapped in the various dungeons of the Dark World.
  9. Defeat All Optional Bosses and Enemies: Some foes aren’t tied directly to the main narrative but still need to be conquered for 100% completion.
  10. Collect All Maps, Compasses, and Big Keys: Within each dungeon, players need to obtain its map, compass, and big key.

Achieving 100% completion in “A Link to the Past” is a testament to a player’s dedication and thorough exploration of the game. It’s a challenge that offers an even deeper appreciation of the intricate world that the developers created.

Alex Henderson

Alex Henderson, known to the online gaming community as "GameMaster", brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to the world of video games. With over 15 years of experience, Alex has worked as a game tester, programmer, and designer for several top gaming companies before deciding to share his insights and reviews with the gaming community. He specializes in RPGs and adventure games, but his love for gaming knows no genre boundaries. Alex's goal is to help gamers of all levels navigate the exciting and ever-evolving world of gaming.

Related Articles

Back to top button