As part of my retro gaming experience I've been playing through Zelda I, II and III. I never really had a chance to play the games as a kid so this was my chance to experience them. Zelda I was fairly fun. It was simple yet fun somehow. Zelda II was a rather poor challenging experience and frankly not particularly memorial for me. Starting on Zelda III (GBA version) I went in expecting a fun game in the same way Zelda I had been. I had played the first hour of the game sometime back and was impressed and was eager to actually finish the game.
I knew Zelda had a huge world to explore and plenty of dungeons and secrets but as I played it, I realised that the game designers had designed the game way too hard in my opinion. The rooms are way too small and often filled with invincible enemies. Touching an enemy results in an instant deduction of life and finding hearts to refill your heart meter is very hard! Part of the reason these problems exist is because the screen is much smaller compared to a television which the original SNES would have plugged into.
It wouldn't be so bad if there were set checkpoints where your health gets refilled like in Super Metroid but the fairy pools are far and few in between and aren't marked on the map.
It's a little cryptic in someplaces although there is an in game fortune teller to tell you what to do for a small fee. Its the kind of game where you are almost certain to fail the first time you play through a dungeon or need to return to the entrance to scour the main world for more health and magic potions or some special magical item to help boost your abilites. To be fair, this was probably a very forgiving game back in the day compared to some other games (like Megaman or Castlevania) but I don't think a modern gamer who grew up playing Nintendo Gamecube or Playstation 2 games would get much out of the experience. I would definitely recommend trying it out to see what an older Zelda is like and understand the roots of the series. I suspect that most modern gamers would probably give up after about 5 or 6 hours in.
You have been duly warned!