Can we stop pretending Skyward Sword was bad?
Or that BotW was anything like NES Zelda ESPECIALLY compared to this game? Open-endedness never made Zelda 1 or ESPECIALLY 2 what it was. Zelda 1 had multiple branching paths of progression, not "go anywhere whenever." Zelda 2 has contained microcosms established in a railroaded fashion. BotW really was just Japanese Skyrim after all; SS is way, WAY more akin to the NES games, especially its bosses (even if some had hugely telegraphed solutions) and levels like Ancient Cistern where you had to transgress level geography to figure out puzzle solutions. Seriously, this game was Great. Underrated imo, and fun fact, a slave to a budget crisis over the motion technology that fyi was established per press release by Nintendo itself to have interference with routers and cellular devices (Motion+ that is). Highly recommended to anyone who got themselves a Wii U and needs more games to play with backwards compatibility. Worth forming your own opinion about at least. It's got your real love story between Link and Zelda and is a known self-aware inversion of series tropes (it's why the main theme is Zelda Lullaby backwards-- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDDAXsgoc5s
The real stroke of brilliance was the draw distance filter with the impressionism-inspired effect on distant objects in FOV. Silent Hill levels of brilliance for masking a poor draw distance (read: weaker hardware). This game was amazing and another fun fact: the final product was only made in One Year. It was in dev hell for ages over the Motion+ debacle and it took Wii Sports Resort for them to have to scrap development and restart for about a third time, so they could start from scratch and still push out a game that has a ton of its own merits. Play it.