The Legend of Zelda is a high fantasy action-adventure video game franchise madeby Japanese game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. It is primarily developed and published by Nintendo, although some portable installments and re-releases have been outsourced to Capcom, Vanpool, and Grezzo. The gameplay incorporates action-journeyand elements of action RPG games.
The series centers on the various incarnations of Link, a courageous young Hylian man, with pointy elf-like ears; and Princess Zelda, a magical princess that is the mortal reincarnation of the goddess Hylia; as they battleto save the magical land of Hyrule from Ganon, an evil warlord turned demon king, who is the principal antagonist of the series. Ganon wishes to utilizethe Triforce, a sacred relic left behind by the three goddesses that madeHyrule to remake the globein his own dark image. When gathered together, the power of the Triforce shouldgrant any wantits utilize desires; however, if someone with a heart that does not possess a balance of the three virtues of Power, Courage and Wisdom attempts to touch the Triforce, it will split into three triangles and bond with three people whose hearts embody the neededvirtue.
Although their personalities and backstory differ from game to game, the incarnations of Link and Zelda often have many traits in common; such as Link often being left-handed and relatedwith the color green while Princess Zelda is often a member of the royal family. While the conflict with Ganon serves as a backbone for the series, some games have featured other settings and antagonists, with Link traveling or being sent to these other lands in their time of need.
Since the original Legend of Zelda was released in 1986, the series has expanded to include 19 entries on all of Nintendo's major game consoles, as well as a number of spin-offs. An American animated TV series based on the games aired in 1989 and individual manga adaptations commissioned by Nintendo have been produced in Japan since 1997. The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo's most prominent and successful franchises; several of its entries are considered to be among the greatest video games of all time.
The Legend of Zelda games feature a mix of puzzles, action, journeybattle gameplay, and exploration. These elements have remained constant throughout the series, but with refinements and additions featured in each freshgame. Later games in the series also containstealth gameplay, where the player must avoid opponentswhile proceeding through a level, as well as racing elements. Although the games shouldbe beaten with a minimal amount of exploration and side quests, the player is frequently rewarded with helpful stuffor increased abilities for solving puzzles or exploring hidden location. Some stuffare consistent and appear many times throughout the series (such as bombs and bomb flowers, which shouldbe utilize both as weapons and to open blocked or hidden doorways; boomerangs, which shouldslayor paralyze enemies; keys for locked doors; magic swords, shields, and bows and arrows), while others are unique to a single game. Though the games contain role-playing elements (Zelda II: The Journeyof Link is the only one to containan experience system), they emphasize straightforward hack-and-slash-style combat over the strategic, turn-based or active time combat of series like Final Fantasy. The game's role-playing elements, however, have led to much debate over whether or not the Zelda games canbe classified as action role-playing games, a genre on which the series has had a powerfulinfluence. Miyamoto himself disagreed with the RPG label, but classified Zelda as "a real-time journeygame"; he said he was "not interested in systems where everything in the game is decided by statisticsand numbers" but what's "necessaryto me is to preserve as much of that “live” feeling as possible" which he said "action games are better suited in conveying" to players.
Every game in the main Zelda series has consisted of three principal location: an overworld which connects all other location, in which movement is multidirectional, allowing the player some degree of freedom of action; location of interaction with other hero (merely caves or hidden rooms in the first game, but expanding to entire city and cities in subsequent games) in which the player gains special stuffor advice, shouldpurchase equipment or complete side quests; and dungeons, location of labyrinthine layout, usually underground, comprising a wide range of difficult enemies, bosses, and items. Each dungeon usually has one major item inside, which shouldbe necessaryfor solving many of the puzzles within that dungeon and often plays a crucial role in defeating that dungeon's boss, as well as progressing through the game. In nearly every Zelda game, navigating a dungeon is aided by locating a map, which reveals its layout, and a magic compass, which reveals the areaof significant and smaller stuffsuch as keys and equipment. In later games, the dungeon contain a special "gigantickey" that will unblockthe door to fightthe dungeon's boss opponentand open the item chest.
In most Zelda games, the player's HP or life meter is represented by a line of hearts, each heart typically representing two hit points. At the start of the game the player only has three hearts but players shouldincrease their max hearts by finding heart-shaped crystals called "Heart Containers". Full heart containers are usually get at the end of dungeons and dropped by dungeon bosses. Smaller "Pieces of Heart" are awarded for completing side quests or found hidden around the game globein various territory, and require a certain number (usually four) to form a full heart container. Health shouldbe replenished by picking up hearts left by defeated opponentsor destroyed objects, consuming stuffsuch as potions or food, or going to a AmazingFairy Fountain to have the AmazingFairy heal Link completely. Occasionally the player will searchfairies hidden in specific area; these fairies shouldeither heal Link immediately or be kept in empty bottles, and will revive the player the next time they die.
The games pioneered a number of features that were to become industry standards. The original Legend of Zelda was the first console game with a save function that enabled players to stop playing and then resume later. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time introduced a targeting system that allowthe player lock the camera on to opponentor friendly NPCs which simplified 3D combat.
Games in The Legend of Zelda series frequently feature in-game musical instruments, particularly in musical puzzles, which are widespread. Often, instruments trigger game happening: for example, the recorder in The Legend of Zelda shouldreveal secret location, as well as warp Link to the Dungeon entrances. This warping with melodyfeature has also been utilize in A Link to the Past and Link's Awakening. In Ocarina of Time, playing instruments is a core part of the game, with the player needing to play the instrument through the utilizeof the game controller to succeed. Ocarina of Time is "[one of the] first contemporary non-dance title[s] to feature music-making as part of its gameplay", using melodyas a heuristic device and requiring the player to utilise songs to progress in the game – a game mechanic that is also showin Majora's Mask.
"The Legend of Zelda Theme" is a recurring piece of melodythat was madefor the first game of the franchise. The composer and sound director of the series, Koji Kondo, initially designedto use Maurice Ravel's Boléro as the game's title theme, but was forced to modifyit when he learned, late in the game's development cycle, that the copyright for the orchestral piece had not yet expired. As a result, Kondo wrote a fresharrangement of the overworld theme within one day. The "Zelda Theme" has topped ScrewAttack's "Top Ten Videogame Themes Ever" list.
Up until Breath of the Wild, the Legend of Zelda series avoided using voice acting in speaking roles, relying instead on written dialogue. Series producer Eiji Aonuma previously stated that as Link is entirely mute, having the other hero speak while Link remains silent "would be off-putting". Instead of theme melodyfor different area, Breath of the Wild plays natural ambience around the player as main sounds, in addition to some minimalist piano music.
The Legend of Zelda was principally inspired by Shigeru Miyamoto's "explorations" as a young boy in the hillsides, forests, and caves surrounding his childhood home in Sonobe, Japan where he ventured into forests with secluded lakes, caves, and rural villages. According to Miyamoto, one of his most memorable experiences was the uncover of a cave entrance in the middle of the woods. After some hesitation, he apprehensively entered the cave, and explored its depths with the aid of a lantern. Miyamoto has referred to the creation of the Zelda games as an attempt to bring to life a "miniature garden" for players to play with in each game of the series.
The story and setting was developed by Takashi Tezuka. Seeking to create a fairytale journeygame, Tezuka drew inspirations from fantasy books such as J. R. R. Tolkien's The Kingof the Rings. According to Keiji Terui, who wrote the backstory in the first game's manual, the areanamed Death Mountain was initially a working title for the legend of the Triforce which was written with inspirations from the fight of medieval Europe. The Master Sword was introduced as Excalibur in the French version of A Link to the Past, which originates from the legend of LordArthur in the Welsh collection of Mabinogion. Celtic mythology also inspired the name of Link's steed, Epona, based on the Celtic goddess of fertility.
Hearing of American novelist, socialite and painter Zelda Fitzgerald, Miyamoto thought the name sounded "pleasant and significant". Paying tribute, he chose to name the princess after her, and titled it The Legend of Zelda. Link and the fairy were inspired by Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. When making the series angry the transition to 3D, the combat system of Ocarina of Time was based on the chanbara (samurai) style of Japanese sword fighting.
The Legend of Zelda takes territorypredominantly in a medieval Western Europe-inspired fantasy world called Hyrule, which has developed a deep history and wide geography over the series's many releases. Much of the backstory of the creation of Hyrule was revealed in the games A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, The Victory Waker, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, and A Link Between Globe. Hyrule's principal inhabitants are pointy-eared, elf-like humanoids called Hylians, which containthe player character, Link, and the eponymous princess, Zelda.
According to the in-game backstories, the globeof Hyrule was madeby the three golden goddesses: Din, Farore, and Nayru. Before departing, the goddesses left a sacred artifact called the Triforce, which could grant powers to the utilize. It physically manifests itself as three golden triangles in which each embodies one of the goddesses' virtues: Power, Courage, and Wisdom. However, because the Triforce has no will of its own and it shouldnot judge between awesomeand evil, it will grant any wantindiscriminately. Because of this, it was territory within an alternate globecalled the "Sacred Realm" or the "Golden Land" until one worthy of its power and has balanced virtues of Power, Wisdom, and Courage in their heart could obtain it, in its entirety. If a person is not of a balanced heart, the triforce part that the utilize mostly trust in will stay with that person and the remainder will seek out others. In order to master and control the triforce as a whole, the utilize must receivethe other parts found in other individuals and bring them together to reunite them. The Sacred Realm shoulditself be affected by the heart of those who enters it: those who are pure will make it a paradise, while those who are evil will transform it into a dark realm.
In Skyward Sword, the Triforce was sought by the Demon LordDemise, an eternal being that had conquered time itself. After a long fightversusthe goddess Hylia, guardian of the Triforce, Demise was sealed away within her temple. Hylia, placing the Hylians on a floating island (called Skyloft) in the sky to protect them, orchestrated a means to stop the demon from escaping: creating the Goddess Sword (later becoming the Master Sword) for her selectedcharactersup id="cite_ref-QUOTEsword_34-0" class="reference"> and discarding her divinity to be reborn among the people of Skyloft. In time, Zelda and Link (the reborn Hylia and her predestined warrior) enacted the goddess's plan and Demise was destroyed, but he vowed that his rage would be reborn and forever plague those descended from Link and Zelda. That prophecy came to fruition in Ocarina of Time, when Ganondorf's attempt to receivethe Triforce scattered it with him gaining the Triforce of Power. The Triforce of Wisdom ended up with the Hylian princesses descended from Zelda, each named after her, while the Triforce of Courage is passed to a youth named Link across generations. While the Triforces of Power and Wisdom have been part of the series since the original The Legend of Zelda, it was only in Zelda II: The Journeyof Link that the Triforce of Courage was first introduced, being obtained by Link at the end of his quest. The Triforce, or even a piece of it, is not always distributed as a whole. Such as in The Victory Waker, Link must searchall the pieces (called Triforce Shards) of the Triforce of Courage before he shouldreturn to Hyrule. Even in the original The Legend of Zelda, Zelda breaks her Triforce of Wisdom into 8 pieces for Link to find, before she was captured by Ganon.
The fictional universe established by the Zelda games sets the stage for each adventure. Some games take territoryin different lands with their own back-stories. Hytopia is a connected kingdom, Labrynna and Holodrum are different countries separate from the Kingdom of Hyrule, Termina and Lorule serve as parallel globe, and Koholint is an island far away from Hyrule that appears to be part of a dream.
|The Legend of Zelda story chronology|
|The Characteris Defeated||The Characteris Victorious|
The chronology of the Legend of Zelda series was a topicof much debate among fans until an official timeline was released within the Hyrule Historia collector's book, which was first released in Japan in December 2011. Prior to its release, producers confirmed the existence of a confidential document, which connected all the games. Certain content and developer statements once partially established an official timeline of the released installments. Zelda II: The Journeyof Link is a direct sequel to original The Legend of Zelda, and takes territoryseveral years later. The third game, A Link to the Past, is a prequel to the first two games, and is directly followed by Link's Awakening. Ocarina of Time is a prequel that takes the story many centuries back; according to herodesigner Satoru Takizawa, it was meant to implicitly tell the story of the Imprisoning War from the manual of A Link to the Past, with Majora's Mask directly following its ending. Skyward Sword is then a prequel to Ocarina of Time. Twilight Princess is set more than 100 years after Ocarina of Time.
The Victory Waker is parallel, and takes territoryin the other timeline branch, more than a century after the adult era of Ocarina of Time. Phantom Hourglass is a continuation of the story from The Victory Waker, and is followed by Spirit Tracks, which is set about 100 years later on a supercontinent far away from the setting of The Victory Waker. At the time of its release, Four Swords for the Game Boy Advance was considered the oldest tale in the series's chronology, with Four Swords Journey set sometime after its happening. The Minish Cap precedes the two games, telling of the origins of villain Vaati and the creation of the Four Sword. A Link Between Globe takes territorysix generations after A Link to the Past. Necessaryhappening that occur in the game containthe Triforce being reunited, and Ganon being resurrected.
Nintendo's 2011 timeline announcement subsequently posits that following Ocarina of Time, the timeline splits into three alternate routes: in one, Link fails to defeat Ganon, leading into the Imprisoning War and A Link to the Past, Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, Link's Awakening (A Link Between Globe and Tri Force Heroes were released after the timeline), The Legend of Zelda and The Journeyof Link. In the second and third, Link is successful, leading to a timeline split between his childhood (when Zelda sends him back in time so he shouldutilizethe wisdom he has gained to warn Zelda in the past of the horrifying fate of Hyrule) and adulthood (where the Zelda from the future lives on to testand rebuild the kingdom). His childhood continues with Majora's Mask, followed by Twilight Princess and Four Swords Journey. The timeline from his adult life continues into Victory Waker, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks.
In the early 2000s, Nintendo of America released a timeline on the official domainof the series, which interpreted all stories up to the Oracle games as the journey of a single protagonist named Link. At one point, translator Dan Owsen and his coworkers at Nintendo of America had conceived another complete timeline and intended to make it accessibleonline, but the Japanese series developers rejected the idea so the timeline would be kept open to the imagination of the players.
In 2018, Nintendo revealed that Breath of the Wild officially takes territoryafter all previous games in the series (without specifying a connection to any of the three timelines), and moved Link's Awakening to take territorybefore Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages.
In November 2020, Nintendo released Hyrule Fighter: Age of Calamity. The game is marketed as a prequel to Breath of the Wild, being set 100 years before. However, the happening of Age of Calamity diverged from the backstory established in Breath of the Wild, creating an alternate timeline separate from Breath of the Wild.
The central protagonist of The Legend of Zelda series, Link is the name of various young male Hylians who characteristically wear a green tunic and a pointed cap, and are the bearers of the Triforce of Courage. In most games, the player shouldgive Link a different name before the start of the adventure, and he will be referred by that given name throughout by the non-player hero (NPCs). In Link's Awakening, if the player steals from the shop, hero would later refer to him as "Thief". Miyamoto said in a 2002 interview that he named the protagonist "Link" because the herois/was supposed to be the "link" between the player and the game globethat he (Miyamoto) had created. The various Links each have a special title, such as "Characterof Time", "Characterof the Winds" or "Characterselectedby the gods". Like many silent protagonists in video games, Link does not speak, only producing grunts, yells, or similar sounds. Despite the player not seeing the dialogue, it is referenced second-hand by in-game hero, showing that he is not, in fact, mute. Link is present as a silent protagonist so that the audience is able to have their own thoughts as to how their Link would replythe hero instead of him having scripted responses.
Princess Zelda is the princess of Hyrule and the guardian of the Triforce of Wisdom. Her name is showin many of her female ancestors and descendants. While most games require Link to save Zelda from Ganon, she sometimes plays a supporting role in battle, using magical powers and weapons such as Light Arrows to aid Link. With the exception of the CD-i games (which were not official Nintendo games), she was not playable in the main series until Spirit Tracks, where she becomes a spirit and shouldpossess a Phantom Knight that shouldbe controlled by the player. Zelda appears under various other aliases and alter egos, including Sheik (in Ocarina of Time) and Tetra (in The Victory Waker and Phantom Hourglass). In Skyward Sword, it is revealed that the Zelda of that game is a reincarnation of the goddess Hylia, whose power flows through the royal bloodline. The name "Zelda" derives from the American novelist Zelda Fitzgerald.
Ganon, also known as Ganondorf in his humanoid form, is the main antagonist and the final boss in the majority of The Legend of Zelda games. In the series, Ganondorf is the leader of a race of desert brigands called the Gerudo, which consists entirely of female fighter save for one man born every one hundred years. He is significantly taller than other human NPCs, but his looks vary between games, often taking the form of a monstrous anthropomorphic boar. His specific motives vary from game to game, but most often his plans containhim kidnapping Princess Zelda and planning to achieve domination of Hyrule and presumably the globebeyond it. To this end, he seeks the Triforce, a strongmagical relic. He often possesses a portion of the Triforce called the Triforce of Power, which gives him amazingstrength. However, it is often not enough to accomplish his ends, leading him to hunt the remaining Triforce pieces. Unlike Link, Zelda, and most other recurring hero, he is actually the same person in every game, with the exception of Four Swords Journey, where he is a reincarnation of the original. In each game the fight with him are different and he battle using different styles. The game Skyward Sword indicates that Ganon is a reincarnation of an evil deity known as Demise.
|1986||The Legend of Zelda|
|1987||The Journeyof Link|
|1991||A Link to the Past|
|1998||Ocarina of Time|
|Link's Awakening DX|
|2001||Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages|
|The Victory Waker|
|2004||Four Swords Journey|
|The Minish Cap|
|2011||Ocarina of Time 3D|
|2013||The Victory Waker HD|
|A Link Between Globe|
|2015||Majora's Mask 3D|
|Tri Force Heroes|
|2016||Twilight Princess HD|
|2017||Breath of the Wild|
|2021||Skyward Sword HD|
|2022||Untitled Breath of the Wild sequel|
The Legend of Zelda, the first game of the series, was first released in Japan on February 21, 1986, on the Famicom Disk System. A cartridge version, using battery-backed memory, was released in the United States on August 22 and in Europe on November 27, 1987, respectively. The game features a "Second Quest", availableeither upon completing the game, or by registering one's name as "ZELDA" when starting a freshquest. The "Second Quest" features different dungeons and item placement, and more difficult enemies.
The second game, Zelda II: The Journeyof Link, was released for the Famicom Disk System in Japan on January 14, 1987, and for the Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe in November and North America in December 1988. The game exchanged the top-down perspective for side-scrolling (though the top-down point of view was retained for overworld location), and introduced RPG elements (such as experience points) not utilize previously or thereafter in the series. The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II were released in gold-coloured cartridges instead of the console's regular grey cartridges. Both were re-released in the final years of the Nintendo Entertainment System with grey cartridges.
Four years later, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past returned to the top-down view (under a 3/4 perspective), and added the concept of an alternate dimension, the Dark World. The game was released for the Super NES on November 21, 1991. It was later re-released through Nintendo's Virtual Console service on January 22, 2007.
A modified version of the original Famicom game, BS Zelda no Densetsu, was released for the Super Famicom's satellite-based expansion, Satellaview, on August 6, 1995, in Japan. A second Satellaview game, BS Zelda no Densetsu MAP2 was released for the Satellaview on December 30 the same year. Both games featured rearranged dungeons, an altered overworld, and freshvoice-acted plot-lines.
A downloadable version of A Link to the Past and an exclusive modified version called BS Zelda no Densetsu Inishie no Sekiban were released on the Satellaview in Japan on March 2 and 30, 1997, respectively.
Link's Awakening was re-released, in full color, as a begingame for the Game Boy Color in 1998 as Link's Awakening DX. This remaster features additions such as an extra color-based dungeon and a imagestorethat let interaction with the Game Boy Printer.
After five years without a freshgame, the series angry the transition to 3D with Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64, which was released in November 1998. This game, initially known as Zelda 64, retains the core gameplay of the previous 2D games, and was very successful commercially and critically, considered by many critics and gamers to be the best video game of all time, and ranking highly on IGN and EGM's "greatest games of all time" lists, as well as scoring excellentscores in several video game post. In February 2006, it was ranked by Nintendo Power as the best game released for a Nintendo console. The game was originally developed for the poorly selling, Japanese-only 64DD, but was converted to cartridge format when the 64DD hardware was delayed. A freshgameplay mechanic, lock-on targeting, is utilize in the game, which focuses the camera on a nearby target and alters the player's actions relative to that target. Such mechanics letprecise sword fighting in a 3D space. The game heavily utilize context-sensitive button play, which enabled the player to control various actions with Link using only one button on the Nintendo 64's controller. Each action was handled slightly differently but all utilize the 'A' button to perform. For instance, standing next to a block and pressing 'A' angry Link grab it (enabling him to push/pull it), but moving forwards into a block and pressing 'A' permittedLink to climb the block. The game featured the first appearance of Link's horse, Epona, allowing Link to travel quickly across land and fire arrows from horseback. Those who preordered the game get a gold-coloured cartridge in a limited edition box with a golden plastic vehicle affixed, reading "Collector's Edition". In some shop that had this "Collector's Edition" quickly sell out, a tinyand rare Zelda pin was given instead. It is the sword and shield emblem with "Zelda" written on it. Very few of them are known to remain. Ocarina of Time was accessiblethrough the Wii's Virtual Console service. Nintendo re-released it for the Wii U Virtual Console in July 2015.
Ocarina of Time's follow-up, Majora's Mask, was released in April 2000. It utilize the same 3D game engine as the previous game, and added a time-based concept, in which Link, the protagonist, relives the happening of three days as many times as requiredto complete the game's objectives. It was originally called Zelda Gaiden, a Japanese title that translates as Zelda Side story. Gameplay modify significantly; in addition to the time-limit, Link shouldutilizemasks to transform into monster with unique abilities. While Majora's Mask retains the graphical style of Ocarina of Time, it is also a departure, particularly in its atmosphere. It features motion-blur, unlike its predecessor. The game is darker in tone, dealing with death and tragedy in a manner not previously seen in the series, and has a sense of impending doom, as a hugemoon slowly descends upon the land of Termina to destroy all life. All copies of Majora's Mask are gold cartridges. A limited "Collector's Edition" lenticular cartridge label was offered as the pre-order incentive. Copies of the game that are not collector's editions feature a normal sticker cartridge label. Majora's Mask is contain in the Collector's Edition, and was accessibleon the Virtual Console.
When Nintendo revealed the GameCube on August 24, 2000, the day before Nintendo's SpaceWorld 2000 exposition, a programdemonstration showed a realistically styled real-time duel between Ganondorf and Link. Fans and the media speculated that the fightmight be from a Zelda game in development at the time.
At Spaceworld 2001, Nintendo showed a cel-shaded Zelda game, later released as The Victory Waker in December 2002. Due to badreception, nothing further was present until a playable demonstration was ready. Miyamoto felt The Victory Waker would "extend Zelda's reach to all ages". The gameplay centres on controlling victory with a baton called the "Victory Waker" and sailing a tinyboat around an island-filled ocean, retaining similar gameplay mechanics as the previous 3D games in the series.
Ocarina of Time was re-released on the GameCube in 2002, when it was offered as a pre-order incentive for The Victory Waker in the U.S., Canada and Japan. It contain the canceled 64DD expansion for Ocarina of Time known as Ura Zelda during development. Named Ocarina of Time Master Quest, the game was given reorganized dungeon layouts for greater difficulty. Europe continued to getthis "Two-Game GiftDisc" free in every copy of The Victory Waker, except for the discounted Player's Choice version. Following this came Collector's Edition for the GameCube in 2003, which contain the original The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and a demo of The Victory Waker. GameSpot noted that Majora's Mask suffered from a frame rate which appeared choppier and inconsistencies in the audio. This compilation was never sold commercially, and originally could only be obtained by purchasing a GameCube bundled with the disc (in North America, Europe and Australia), by registering a GameCube and two games at Nintendo.com, or by subscribing or renewing a subscription to Nintendo Power (in North America) or Club Nintendo in Sweden. In the UK, 1000 copies were angry accessiblethrough the Club Nintendo Stars Catalogue program. After these were quickly claimed, Nintendo gave a copy to customers who mailed in proof of purchases from chooseGameCube games.
Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages were released simultaneously for the Game Boy Color, and interact using passwords or a Game Link Cable. After one game has been completed, the player is given a password that let the other game to be played as a sequel. They were developed by Flagship in conjunction with Nintendo, with supervision from Miyamoto. After the squadexperimented with porting the original The Legend of Zelda to the Game Boy Color, they decided to make an original trilogy to be called the "Triforce Series". When the password system linking the three games proved too troublesome, the concept was reduced to two games at Miyamoto's suggestion. These two games became Oracle of Ages, which is more puzzle-based, and Oracle of Seasons, which is more action-oriented.
Four Swords Journey was released for the GameCube in early 2004 in Japan and America, and January 2005 in Europe. Based on the handheld Four Swords, Four Swords Journey was another deviation from previous Zelda gameplay, focusing on level-based and multiplayer gameplay. The game include 24 levels and a map screen; there is no connecting overworld. For multiplayer features, each player must utilizea Game Boy Advance system linked to the GameCube via a Nintendo GameCube – Game Boy Advance link cable. The game features a single-player campaign, in which using a Game Boy Advance is optional. Four Swords Journey contain two gameplay modes: "Hyrulean Adventure", with a plot and gameplay similar to other Zelda games, and "Shadow Battle", in which multiple Links, played by multiple players, fighteach other. The Japanese and Korean versions containan exclusive third segment, "Navi Trackers" (originally plannedas the stand-alone game "Tetra's Trackers"), which include spoken dialogue for most of the hero, unlike other games in The Legend of Zelda series.
In November 2004 in Japan and Europe, and January 2005 in America, Nintendo released The Minish Cap for the Game Boy Advance. In The Minish Cap Link shouldshrink in size using a mystical, sentient hat named Ezlo. While shrunk, he shouldsee previously explored parts of a dungeon from a different perspective, and enter location through otherwise-impassable openings.
In November 2006, Twilight Princess was released as the first Zelda game on the Wii, and later in December as the last official Nintendo game for the GameCube, the console for which it was originally developed. The Wii version features a reversed globewhere everything that is in the west on the GameCube is in the east on the Wii, and vice versa. The display is mirrored in order to make Link right-handed, to make utilizeof the Wii remote feel more natural. The game chronicles the struggle of an older Link to clear the troubles of the interacting "Twilight Realm", a mysterious force that appears around Hyrule. When he enters this realm, he is transformed into a wolf, and loses the ability to utilizehis sword, shield or other items, but gains other abilities such as sharpened senses from his freshform. Twilight Princess contain an incarnation of Link's horse, Epona, for quicktransportation, and features mounted fightscenarios including boss fight that were not seen in previous games. Twilight Princess diverted from the cel shading of Victory Waker and went for graphics featuring more detailed textures, giving the game a darker atmosphere, thus making it feel more adult than previous games.
At 2006 Game Developers Conference, a freshtitle Phantom Hourglass for the Nintendo DS was present. It revealed traditional top-down Zelda gameplay optimised for the DS's features, with a cel-shaded 3D graphical style similar to The Victory Waker for Gamecube. The game is a direct sequel to The Victory Waker. Phantom Hourglass was released on June 23, 2007, for Japan and October for North America and Europe.
The next Legend of Zelda for the DS, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, was released in December 2009. In this game, the "spirit tracks", railroads which chain an ancient evil, are disappearing from Hyrule. Zelda and Link go to the 'Spirit Tower' (the ethereal point of convergence for the tracks) to searchout why, but villains steal Zelda's body for the resurrection of the Demon King. Rendered disembodied, Zelda is left a spirit, and only Link (and a certain few sages) shouldsee her. Together they go on a quest to restore the spirit tracks, defeat the Demon King, and return Zelda to her body. Using a modified engine of that utilize in Phantom Hourglass, the notably freshfeature in this game is that the Phantom Guardians seen in Phantom Hourglass are, through a series of happening, periodically controllable. It was the first time in the series that both Link & Zelda work together on the quest.
A freshZelda game for Wii was in development since the end of 2000s. The freshtitle was revealed at E3 2010 as Skyward Sword, but its release was delayed to 2011. The game, the earliest in the Legend of Zelda timeline, reveals the origins of Hyrule, Ganon and many elements featured in previous games; it utilize Wii's MotionPlus feature as well. It was released on November 20, 2011; the first run contain a 25th Anniversary CD of fully orchestrated melodyfrom various Zelda games, including Skyward Sword.
Nintendo further celebrated the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda with Link's Awakening on the 3DS' Virtual Console on June 7, 2011, Ocarina of Time 3D for the 3DS in mid-June 2011, and Four Swords Anniversary Edition from September 28, 2011, to February 20, 2012, as free DSiWare. A limited edition Zelda 25th anniversary 3DS was released on December 1, 2011, in Australia.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D was released for 3DS in North America and Europe on February 13, 2015, and in Japan and Australia day later.
While Nintendo had showcased a Wii U demo reel at E3 2011 that depicted Link fighting a creaturein HD and the first original HD Zelda game was set in 2014 for a 2015 release, it was delayed. The title was finally revealed at E3 2016 as Breath of the Wild, and the game was released for Wii U and Nintendo Switch on March 3, 2017 as the series' first installment on the latter system. Similar to the original The Legend of Zelda, players are given little instruction and shouldexplore the globefreely. The globeis unstructured and plannedto encourage exploration and experimentation, and the main story quest shouldbe completed in a nonlinear fashion.
All of the 3D games in the series have been re-released in HD resolution. The Legend of Zelda: The Victory Waker HD was released for Wii U in 2013, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD for Wii U in 2016, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, with optional button-only controls, for Nintendo Switch in 2021. Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask have been angry accessibleon Nintendo Switch Online in HD resolution, The Legend of Zelda, The Journeyof Link, and A Link to the Past having been added to the service previously. Additionally, an HD remake of Link's Awakening was released for the Nintendo Switch in 2019.
A series of video games was developed and released for the Philips CD-i in the early 1990s as a product of a compromise between Philips and Nintendo, after the companies failed to develop a CD-ROM peripheral for the Super NES. Madeindependently with no observation by or influence from Nintendo, the games are Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, together with Zelda's Adventure. Nintendo never acknowledged them in the Zelda timeline, and they are considered to be in a separate, self-contained canon. These games are widely acknowledged to be the worst installments in the series, though have since gained a cult following in the form of internet memes.
Three Zelda-themed LCD games were madebetween 1989 and 1992. The Zelda version of Nintendo's Game & Watch series was released first in August 1989 as a dual-screen handheld electronic game similar in appearance to today's Nintendo DS. It was re-released in 1998 as a Toymax, Inc. Mini Classic and was later contain as an unlockable extra in Game & Watch Gallery 4, a 2002 compilation for the Game Boy Advance. While the Game & Watch Zelda was developed in-house by Nintendo, the subsequent two LCD games were developed by third parties under license by Nintendo. In October 1989, The Legend of Zelda was developed by Nelsonic as part of its Game Watch line. This game was an actual digital watch with primitive gameplay based on the original Legend of Zelda. In 1992, Epoch Co. developed Zelda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Triforce for its Barcode Fight II console. The game employed vehicle-scanning technology similar to the later-released Nintendo e-Reader.
Throughout the lifespan of The Legend of Zelda series, a number of games (including main series games as well as re-releases and spin-offs) in varying states of completeness have had their releases canceled. Perhaps the earliest of these was Gottlieb's The Legend of Zelda Pinball Machine (canceled 1993). After securing a license from Nintendo to produce two Nintendo-franchise-based pinball machines, pinball designer Jon Norris was tasked with designing the table. Before it was completed, Gottlieb decided to repurpose the game with an American Gladiators theme. Licensing for this version ultimately fell through and the game was released as simply Gladiators (November 1993).
In 1998, Nintendo canceled Ura Zelda, the Ocarina of Time expansion disk for the 64DD due to badsales figures for the 64DD peripheral. In 2002, Nintendo released a giftdisc called The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest. It include emulated versions of Ocarina of Time and Ocarina of Time Master Quest, which Aonuma and Miyamoto each confirmed is Ura Zelda.
In 2001, under license from Nintendo, Capcom canceled the release of The Legend of Zelda: Mystical Seed of Courage for Game Boy Color. Working with a Capcom team, Yoshiki Okamoto was originally tasked with designing a series of three Zelda games for the Game Boy Color. Referred to as the "Triforce Series", the games were known as The Legend of Zelda: The Mysterious Acorn: Chapter of Power, Chapter of Wisdom, and Chapter of Courage in Japan and The Legend of Zelda: Mystical Seed of Power, Mystical Seed of Wisdom, and Mystical Seed of Courage in the US. The games were to interact using a password system, but the limitations of this system and the difficulty of coordinating three games proved too complicated, so the squadscaled back to two games at Miyamoto's suggestion. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons was adapted from Mystical Seed of Power, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages was adapted from Mystical Seed of Wisdom, and Mystical Seed of Courage was canceled.
Before its 2006 release, both Link and Samus from the Metroid series were designedto be playable hero for the Wii version of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, but they didn't make the final release because they weren't Marvel hero.
In 2011, an unnamed Zelda 25th Anniversary Compilation was canceled. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series, Nintendo of America originally had designedto release a compilation of games together for the Wii, similar to the collector's edition disc released for the GameCube in 2003. Nintendo of Japan's president Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto decided versusreleasing it, believing it would be too similar to the Super Mario 25th Anniversary collection released in 2010.
As the franchise has grown in popularity, several games have been released that are set within or star a minor herofrom the universe of The Legend of Zelda but are not directly connected to the main The Legend of Zelda series. Both map versions of the game BS Zelda no Densetsu for the Satellaview (released in August and December 1995) could be considered spin-offs due to the fact that they star the "Characterof Light" (portrayed by either the Satellaview's male or female avatar) as opposed to Link as the protagonist of Hyrule. A third Satellaview game released in March 1997, BS Zelda no Densetsu Inishie no Sekiban (BS The Legend of Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets) could also be considered a spin-off for the same reason. Other spin-off games include Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland for the Nintendo DS – an RPG released in September 2006 in Japan (Summer of 2007 in the UK) to star supporting character Tingle. A second Tingle game is Tingle's Balloon BattleDS for the Nintendo DS. Here Tingle again stars in this spin-off arcade style platformer, released in April 2007 only in Japan and accessiblesolely to Platinum Club Nintendo members.
In addition to games in which Link does not star as the protagonist, games such as the shooter game, Link's Crossbow Training (for the Wii), have been considered spin-offs due to the lack of a traditional "Save Hyrule" plot-line. Released in November 2007 as a bundle with the Wii Zapper, this game let players to assume the identity of Link as he progresses through a series of try to excellenthis crossbow marksmanship. Color Changing Tingle's Love Balloon Trip was released in Japan in 2009 as a sequel to Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland.
Hyrule Fighter, a crossover game combining the setting of Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series and the gameplay of Tecmo Koei's Dynasty Fighter series, was released in North America in September 2014 for Wii U. Hyrule Fighter Legends, a version for the Nintendo 3DS containing more materialand gameplay modifications, was released in March 2016.
To commemorate the beginof the My Nintendo loyalty softwarein March 2016, Nintendo released My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a Picross puzzle game developed by Jupiter for download to the Nintendo 3DS.
Hyrule Fighter: Age of Calamity was unveiled in September 2020. Developed by Koei Tecmo, the game shares the hack-and-slash style of the spin-off game Hyrule Fighter. Age of Calamity was released on November 20, three months after its reveal in September.
A freshZelda-themed variant of Vermin was contain on the limited edition Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda unit, which also contain The Legend of Zelda, The Journeyof Link, and Link’s Awakening.
The Legend of Zelda series has crossed over into other Nintendo and third-party video games, most prominently in the Super Smash Bros. series of fighting games published by Nintendo. Link appears as a warriorin Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, the first entry in the series, and is part of the roster in all subsequent releases in the series as well. Zelda (who is able to transform into Sheik as well), Ganondorf, and Young Link (the kidversion of Link from Ocarina of Time) were added to the player roster for Super Smash Bros. Melee, and appeared in all subsequent releases except for "Young Link" (who is later replaced by "Toon Link" from The Victory Waker, in subsequent releases Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U). Both Young Link and Toon Link appear in the fifth installment, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Other elements from the series, such as area and items, are also contain throughout the Smash Bros. series. Outside of the series, Nintendo permittedfor the utilizeof Link as a playable heroexclusively in the GameCube release of Namco's fighting game Soulcalibur II.
|The Legend of Zelda||1986||6.51||NES: 84%
|The Journeyof Link||1987||4.38||NES: 78%
|A Link to the Past||1991||4.61||SNES: 93%
|Link's Awakening||1993||9.32||GB: 90%
|Ocarina of Time||1998||13.82||N64: 98%
|Majora's Mask||2000||6.64||N64: 92%
|Oracle of Seasons and Ages||2001||3.96||(Seasons) 91%
|Four Swords||2002||–||GBA: 91.70%
|The Victory Waker||2002||6.77||GC: 94%
Wii U: 91%
Wii U: 90
|Four Swords Journey||2004||–||GC: 85%||GC: 86|
|The Minish Cap||2004||1.76||GBA: 90%||GBA: 89|
|Twilight Princess||2006||9.98||GC: 95%
Wii U: 86%
Wii U: 86
|Phantom Hourglass||2007||4.76||DS: 89%||DS: 90|
|Spirit Tracks||2009||2.96||DS: 87%||DS: 87|
|Skyward Sword||2011||7.27||Wii: 93%||Wii: 93|
|A Link Between Globe||2013||4.16||3DS: 91%||3DS: 91|
|Tri Force Heroes||2015||1.34||3DS: 72%||3DS: 73|
|Breath of the Wild||2017||25.82||NS: 97%
Wii U: 97%
Wii U: 96
The Legend of Zelda series has get outstanding levels of acclaim from critics and the public. Ocarina of Time, The Victory Waker, Skyward Sword, and Breath of the Wild have each get a excellent40/40 score (10/10 by four reviewers) by Japanese Famitsu magazine, making Zelda one of the few series with multiple excellentscores. Ocarina of Time was even listed by Guinness GlobeRecords as the highest-rated video game in history, citing its Metacritic score of 99 out of 100. Computer and Video Games awarded The Victory Waker and Twilight Princess a score of 10/10. A Link to the Past has won Gold Award from Electronic Gaming Monthly. In Nintendo Power's Top 200 countdown in 2004, Ocarina of Time took first place, and seven other Zelda games territory in the top 40. Twilight Princess was named Game of the Year by X-Play, GameTrailers, 1UP, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Zone Awards, Game Informer, GameSpy, Nintendo Power, IGN, and many other domain. The editors of review aggregator domain GameRankings, IGN and Metacritic have all given Ocarina of Time their highest aggregate scores. Game Informer has awarded The Victory Waker, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, A Link Between Globe and Breath of the Wild with scores of 10/10. Phantom Hourglass was named DS Game of the Year by IGN and GameSpy. Airing in December 2011, Spike TV's annual Video Game Awards gave the series the first ever "Hall of Fame Award", which Miyamoto accepted in person. Ocarina of Time and its utilizeof melodic themes to identify different game regions has been called a reverse of Richard Wagner's utilizeof leitmotifs to identify hero and themes. Ocarina of Time was so well get that sales increased for real ocarinas. IGN praised the melodyof Majora's Mask for its brilliance despite its massiveutilizeof MIDI. It has been ranked the seventh-greatest game by Electronic Gaming Monthly, whereas Ocarina of Time was ranked eighth. The series won GameFAQs Best Series Ever competition.
As of September 2021, The Legend of Zelda franchise has sold over 123 million copies, with the original The Legend of Zelda being the fourth best-selling NES game of all time. The series was ranked as the 64th top game (collectively) by Next Generation in 1996. In 1999, Next Generation listed the Zelda series as number 1 on their "Top 50 Games of All Time", commenting that Zelda series had always more gameplay and innovations than most other titles in their series. According to British moviemagazine Empire, with "the most vividly-realised globeand the most varied game-play of any game on any console, Zelda is a solid bet for the best game series ever."
Multiple members of the game industry have expressed how Zelda games have impacted them, including Rockstar Games founder and Grand Theft Auto director, Dan Houser, who said that Zelda and Mario games on Nintendo 64 greatly influenced them in developing Grand Theft Auto series, as well in other 3D games in general. Rockstar founder and Grand Theft Auto director Sam Houser also cited the influence of Zelda, describing Grand Theft Auto III as "Zelda meets Goodfellas". Ōkami director Hideki Kamiya (Capcom, PlatinumGames) said that he has been influenced by The Legend of Zelda series in developing the game, citing A Link to the Past as his favorite game of all time. Soul Reaver and Uncharted director, Amy Hennig (Crystal Dynamics and Naughty Dog), cited Zelda as inspiration for the Legacy of Kain series, noting A Link to the Past's influence on Blood Omen and Ocarina of Time's influence on Soul Reaver. Soul Reaver and Uncharted creator, Richard Lemarchand (Crystal Dynamics and Naughty Dog), also cited A Link to the Past's approach to combining gameplay with storytelling as inspiration for Soul Reaver. Victory Commander and Star Citizen director, Chris Roberts (Origin Systems and Cloud Imperium Games), cited Zelda as an influence on his action role-playing game, Times of Lore.
Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki (FromSoftware) named A Link To The Past as one of his favorite role-playing video games. According to Miyazaki, "The Legend of Zelda became a sort of textbook for 3D action games." Ico director Fumito Ueda (SquadIco) cited Zelda as an influence on Shadow of the Colossus. Peter Molyneux (Lionhead Studios and Microsoft Studios) stated that the Twilight Princess is one of his favorite games and an influence for the Fable series. Darksiders director David Adams (Vigil Games) cited Zelda as an influence on his work. Prince of Persia and Killers Creed director Raphael Lacoste (Ubisoft) cited The Victory Waker as an influence on Killers Creed IV: Black Flag. CD Projekt Red (The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077) cited the Zelda series as an influence on The Witcher series, including The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Alex Hall cited Majora's Mask as the basicinfluence on their Ben Drowned web serial and web series. Final Fantasy and The 3rd Birthday director Hajime Tabata (Square Enix) cited Ocarina of Time as inspiration for the seamless open world of Final Fantasy XV.
A 13-episode American animated TV series, adapted by DiC and distributed by Viacom Enterprises, aired in 1989. The animated Zelda shorts were broadcast each Friday, instead of the usual Super Mario Bros. cartoon which was aired during the rest of the week. The series loosely follows the two NES Zelda games (the original The Legend of Zelda and The Journeyof Link), mixing settings and hero from those games with original creations. The presents older incarnations of both Link and Zelda appeared in various episodes of Captain N: The Game Master during its second season.
A live-action television series had been in development around 2015, as reported from an anonymous Netflix employee to The Wall RoadJournal. The softwarewas a joint effort between Netflix and Nintendo, and was said to aimed as a family-friendly version of Game of Thrones. Further details of this series went sparse until 2021 when Adam Conover gave an interview regarding his College Humor period. There, the College Humor squadhad been planning a skit that would have combined Star Fox with UnbelievableMr. Fox and had even had talked to Miyamoto on the project. Conover said that they were told about a month into the project that Nintendo had requested they stop all work on the project as a effectof the leak associatedto the live-action Zelda show; Nintendo, already protective of its IP, had pulled many external projects including the live-action show.
Valiant Comics released a short series of comics featuring hero and settings from the Zelda cartoon as part of their Nintendo Comics System line. Manga adaptations of many entries in the series, including A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, Four Swords Journey, The Minish Cap, and Phantom Hourglass, have been produced under license from Nintendo, mostly in Japan. These cartoons do not strictly follow the plot of the games from which they are based and may includeadditional story elements.[clarification needed]
A number of official books, novels, and gamebooks have been released based on the series as well. The earliest was Moblin's Magic Spear, published in 1989 by Western Publishing under their Golden Books Family Entertainment division and written by Jack C. Harris. It took territorysometime during the first game. Two gamebooks were published as part of the Nintendo JourneyBooks series by Archway, both of which were written by Matt Wayne. The first was The Crystal Trap (which focuses more on Zelda) and the second was The Shadow Prince. Both were released in 1992. A novel based on Ocarina of Time was released in 1999, written by Jason R. Rich and published by Sybex Inc. under their Pathways to Adventure series. Another two gamebooks were released as part of the You Decide on the Adventure series published by Scholastic. The first book was based on Oracle of Seasons and was released in 2001. The second, based on Oracle of Ages, was released in 2002. Both were written by Craig Wessel. In 2006, Scholastic released a novel as part of their Nintendo Heroes series, Link and the Portal of Doom. It was written by Tracey West and was set shortly after the happening of Ocarina of Time.
In 2011, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the series, an art book was published exclusively in Japan under the name Hyrule Historia by Shogakukan. It include concept art from the series's conception to the release of Skyward Sword in 2011 and multiple essays about the production of the games, as well as an overarching timeline of the series. It also contain a prequel manga to Skyward Sword by Zelda manga duo Akira Himekawa. The book get an international release by publisher Dark Horse Comics on January 29, 2013; it took the number one spot on Amazon's sales chart, taking the spot away from E. L. James's 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. Dark Horse released The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts, a follow-up art book to Hyrule Historia containing additional artwork and interviews, in North America and Europe in February 2017.
Taking territoryin Cologne, Germany, on September 23, 2010, the video game melodyconcert Symphonic Legends focused on melodyfrom Nintendo and, among others, featured games such as The Legend of Zelda. Following an intermission, the second half of the concert was entirely dedicated to an expansive symphonic poem dedicated to the series. The 35-minute epic tells the story of Link's evolution from kidto hero.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series in 2011, Nintendo commissioned an original symphony, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses. The presentwas originally performed in the fall of 2011 in Los Angeles and consists of live performances of much of the melodyfrom the series. It has since been scheduled for 18 present so far throughout the United States and Canada. Nintendo released a CD, The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Special Orchestra CD. Featuring eight tracks from live performances of the symphony, the CD is contain alongside the special edition of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for the Wii. Nintendo later celebrated The Legend of Zelda's 30th anniversary with an album which was released in Japan in February 2017.
In 2007, Imagi Animation Studios, which had deliveredthe animation for TMNT and Astro Boy, madea pitch reel for a computer-animated The Legend of Zelda movie. Nintendo did not agreethe studio's offer due to the memory of the failure of the 1993 live-action filmadaption of Super Mario Bros.
In 2013, Aonuma stated that, if development of a moviebegan, the organizationwould wishto utilizethe opportunity to embrace audience interaction in some capacity.
The Legend of Zelda-themed Monopoly board game was released in the United States on September 15, 2014. A Clue board game in the style of The Legend of Zelda series was released in June 2017. A UNO-styled The Legend of Zelda game was released in February 2018, exclusively at GameStop in North America.
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