After mostly disregarding what happened in the first two games, Link awakens to his uncle leaving his house. He just runs out the door, into the rainy night. Ganon has moved all items around Hyrule. You have to find all the items necessary to beat Ganon. This is your chance to be a hero. This is A Link to the Past Randomizer.
Earlier this year, a small group of programmers managed to make a program to randomize A Link to the Past. In a short time, it grew exceptionally, and the runners of this game, together with the viewers can’t be compared to other speedruns. With the ability to even change the player sprite into something else, and lower or remove the hearth beeping, runners jumped on this game.
The original game itself is one of the Nintendo classics that a lot of people played in the past. The addition of this randomizer gave a big boost in the replay value and makes the game unique every time you generate a ROM. This is what makes running, or watching the game an interesting experience. Nobody knows what you get when you open that chests. Will it be the gloves, the hammer, or just the single rupee? Even the pendants and crystals are shuffled among themselves, so the first dungeon Eastern Palace in the original game can here be a crystal instead of the green pendant. And if you try entrance shuffle, even the dungeons and caves can be at different locations than you are used to.
Since the items are randomized, there has to be a way to make sure the game is still beatable. Else you can end up with the bow behind an enemy who requires a bow to beat it. This is where logic comes into play. The most commonly used logic is the No Glitches. This logic requires no knowledge about the game and will prevent you from getting stuck anywhere. Of course, this also makes it so that you don’t have to do dark rooms without a torch. As the name says, no glitches are required, but you can use minor glitches still in progress. This is known as a sequence break. Sequence breaks can allow you to skip certain parts or items, but can also sidetrack you. Going into a dark room without a torch is known as doing a sequence break as well. It is never required to do a dark room without a torch. Experienced runners can do this, but if you are just starting out, try to avoid it.
Because of the logic of a randomizer, you don’t always have to fully clear a pendant dungeon. The pedestal, where you normally get the master sword, can have any item of the item pool. This can also be rupees. With the items randomized, you can get the items required to access the dark world early in the game. Requirements to get into the dark world are the Moon Pearl, and Either Titans Mitts or Gloves and Hammer. Or if you are unlucky, a torch, Master Sword or Cape and a sword so you can beat Agahnim1.
In the randomizer, there are three modes, known as Standard, Open and Swordless. Standard mode is the closest to the original game. You start in Link bed and see your uncle leave the house. As you make your way to the castle and your uncle, you will get the sword. Because the first chests do not need to have a torch, there are several changes made in this. You will be given a free lightcone during the escape only. This makes the game easier for those who are just starting out, as you will have a guaranteed sword. The second mode is Open mode. Here Zelda has been rescued already and you can start at the Sanctuary or Link’s house. You do not get a guaranteed sword, and might be weaponless for a long time.
And then there is Swordless mode. Imagine a sword without swords. For this, you need the alternative weapon known as the hammer. The hammer has a shorter range and a longer delay after using it, making you more vulnerable to enemies. Because Ganon can only be damaged with a sword, and some items only accessed with a sword, there have been made changes so that a hammer can be used instead. And unlike in the other two modes, Silver arrows are available in all difficulties.
Besides, the modes are the Variations. These offer new ways to play this game. The Timed Race variation has a timer counting up. There are 20 green clocks that subtract 4 minutes from the timer, 10 blue clocks that subtract 2 minutes of the timer and 10 red clocks that add 2 minutes to the timer. When racing this mode, the one who has the best time wins the game, regardless of who beats Ganon first.
OHKO (One Hit Knock Out) mode makes it so that you can’t take a hit. If you do, you die. It is this variation that altered the logic for some items, as all items should be accessible without having to take damage. There is also a timed OHKO mode, where the OHKO mode starts after the timer reaches 0. Depending on the difficulty, you have more or less time. Here you also can find clocks, which adds time to the timer. Red Clocks, however, sets your timer to 0. This only exists in Expert mode. If you find another clock after the timer reached 0, leave the OHKO mode till the timer reaches 0 again.
Triforce Hunt is a nod to the original Zelda game, where you had to find the triforce pieces. Here, instead of 8, you need to find more pieces, depending on the difficulty. Also, the difficulty decides how many pieces can be found. The only way to win this game is by collecting the required amount triforce pieces, not even beating Ganon beats the game.
Key-Sanity is the newest variation. All dungeon items are shuffled into the item pool as well, this includes all small keys for a dungeon. Keys found on enemies or under pots will stay there like in any other randomizer. In this mode, it is worth collecting maps and compasses. The overworld map no longer shows any dungeon information unless you collect that dungeon’s map. Compasses show how many chests you have checked in a dungeon after collecting it. It is important to know that in this mode, the dungeon music is randomized as well, so you can’t hear if it is a pendant or crystal dungeon by the music.
If you became interested in try this out, you are recommended to join their discord first. There are a lot of helpful people in the community who will teach you the basics. And most runners use trackers to keep a track of there items. The recommended one for beginners is Crossproduct’s tracker, which you can find on his twitch channel. You can watch several streams, tournaments and play it to get familiar with the game. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t beat a seed the first few times. It is not that easy to beat this game when first starting out, but you will get a feel for the logic, and slowly learn all item locations. Eventually, you will finish a seed, and this can take a long time for the first finished seed. For me myself, I could not finish the first 3 seeds, the 4th seed ended due to a crash. The fifth one I tried gave me a time of 4 hours. Now, if you want to run it, or want to know more, visit their official site: http://vt.alttp.run/randomizer. It has all information you need to get started.