A Link to the Past was released in 1992 and acted as a killer app for the SNES in a war against the Sega Mega Drive. The game went on to sell 4.5 million copies in the USA alone, an amazing number for a game on a system which had only as many users as its competition (by contrast, the NES almost had a worldwide monopoly on the console race). The game took the series back to its roots, discarding the changes AoL had made to the series and instead expanding on the LoZ formula. However, bigger is better and ALttP was certainly bigger than its predecessors. Regarded by many as the best in the series, the game had a better storyline (or even a storyline at all), amazingly vivid graphics, tons more items, music with so much more depth and the most fantastical incarnation of Hyrule yet.
Link took the starring role in the tale, which was set a half a millennium after Ocarina of Time and a few hundred years after Twilight Princess.
On one stormy night, Link was restless. While having the most vivid dream of a Princess calling out to him, pleading for his help, his uncle was making his way to the castle on a secret rescue mission. Link woke up to find his uncle had disappeared, and went to look for him in Hyrule Castle’s sewage system. Upon finding his dying uncle, who had clearly been attacked, Link was bestowed with sword and shield. It was now his duty to save the Princess Zelda from the mysterious evil that had struck the castle. Little did anyone know how much evil he would have to contend with…
A Link to the Past was a turning point for the series. Bringing in a more established set of characters and a proper storyline, it captured the minds of millions of gamers. It was an epic quest, easily larger than the two before it. These endearing qualities have become the hallmarks of the Zelda series.