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Normally I don’t do game reviews of multiple games in one post. But Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon are basically the exact same story told from two different sides. These are the Legend of Zelda CD-i games. I’m going to do the other CD-i Zelda’s Adventure in the future. But I wanted to start with these since I experienced these first.
The reason these two games are so similar is because they were developed together. The two games: Wand of Gamelon and Faces of Evil, were the first Nintendo-licensed games released on the Philips CD-i. The two games were given the relatively low budgets of approximately $600,000 each. But the development team Animation Magic, led by Dale DeSharon, decidedto develop the two games in tandem and have them share the same graphics engine to more efficiently use the budget. The animated cutscenes were created by a team of six animators from Russia who were flown to the United States for the project. And it kind of shows in comparison to other Zelda games.
The cut scenes in these two games is horrible. They are poorly animated and voice acting is misdirected, jarring, and laughable. It’s almost comical to watch as it’s just so not like other Zelda games. And controlling the game is a nightmare but considering the controller for the CD-i it’s not the worst of all the CD-i games out there. Plus you need to farm for rubies to use a good amount of the weapons/items in the games. Also the fact that these games are considered some of the worst games in the industry. The community also rejects it from the canon and Nintendo rarely acknowledges their existence and don’t include them in the timeline.
The only thing that I loved from these games is that the drawn in-game backgrounds are very pleasant to look at. Below are the maps of each game that you have to navigate through to progress in the game. The music is pretty iconic. But that’s probably because all I can think about is the song the Game Grumps came up with for Zelda: Wand of Gamelon. I can’t think of these games without that song popping up in my head. If you don’t have a console to experience these games yourself, I would seriously recommend watching them play it just so you can experience it. Here are the links for: Game Grump’s Zelda: Wand of Gamelon Playlist and Game Grump’s Link: The Faces of Evil Playlist.
Zelda:Wand of Gamelon
Zelda: Wand of Gamelon
Link: The Faces of Evil
Link: Faces of Evil
Though the plot is different in each game, they are basically the same. You fight the same enemies and go from region to region to gather items needed to get further in various areas of the game in order to reach Ganon who is defeated by each of the main characters using a specific item from the game. Zelda has to use the Wand of Gamelon in order to defeat him. Whereas, Link has to use the Book of Koridai. As far as plot in both games, they start out with news that Ganon has escaped from his prison and attacking an ally of King Harkinian. The King leaves and orders Princess Zelda to send Link if he doesn’t return in a month. In both instances, Link is bored now that the kingdom is safe. But then the games split off. In Wand of Gamelon, Link goes missing so Zelda goes to Gamelon to find Link and her father. While in The Faces of Evil, Link goes to Koridai to stop Ganon with a wizard named Gwonam. And Zelda is kidnapped some time later by Zelda. At the end of both games, the King, Princess Zelda, and Link are back together again. In Wand of Gamelon, Link is freed from a mirror and is confused what’s going on to which everyone laughs at him. While in The Faces of Evil, Link declares himself to be the victor but Zelda refuses to kiss him as a reward.
What Legend of Zelda game do you think is the worst?