Gamecube zelda

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The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition (Zelda / Zelda II: The Adventure of Link / Ocarina of Time / Majora's Mask)

The greatest legend in gaming! The ultimate Zelda collection!
- The Legend of Zelda: Play the game that launched the legend! With an innovative and unique game-play system, remarkably deep puzzle solving, and an epic score, the appeal of this groundbreaking classic is still going strong.
- Zelda II - The Adventure of Link: While adhering to the majestic and puzzle-solving elements of the Legend of Zelda, the second game in the series expands on the action sequences and introduces a new magic system, pushing the series in a new direction.
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Zelda moved into three dimensions with gorgeous cinematics, hordes of hostile enemies, the revolutionary targeting system, and the freedom of traveling on horseback. Ocarina of Time leaves all who play it breathless and impressed.
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The series again takes a dramatic turn from tradition as Link wanders into a three-day journey in a mysterious parallel world. Majora's Mask challenges players to don magical masks and save a town threatened to be crushed under a menacing moon.
Includes Playable Demo for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker!


The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

2002 action-adventure video game published by Nintendo

2002 video game

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker[b] is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the GameCubehome video game console. The tenth installment in The Legend of Zelda series, it was released in Japan in December 2002, in North America in March 2003, and in Europe in May 2003.

The game is set on a group of islands in a vast sea, a departure for the series. The player controls series protagonist Link as he attempts to save his sister from the sorcerer Ganon and becomes embroiled in a struggle for the Triforce, a sacred wish-granting relic. Aided by allies including pirate captain Tetra – an incarnation of Princess Zelda – and a talking boat named the King of Red Lions, Link sails the ocean, explores islands, and traverses dungeons to acquire the power necessary to defeat Ganon. Wind, which facilitates sailing, plays a prominent role and can be controlled with a magic conductor's baton called the Wind Waker.

The Wind Waker was directed by Eiji Aonuma and produced by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. Development began in 2000. It retains the basic 3D gameplay of its predecessors, Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, but the team chose to avoid the realistic graphics of previous games. Instead, they implemented a distinctive cartoon-like art style created through cel shading.

At its release, The Wind Waker received critical acclaim for its visuals, gameplay, level design, music, and story. The art direction proved divisive among players and contributed to comparatively weak sales; the game sold 4.6 million copies, far below the 7.6 million sold by Ocarina of Time. As a result, Nintendo changed directions with the next Zelda installment, the more realistically styled Twilight Princess. However, The Wind Waker's reputation improved over time, and it is now widely considered one of the greatest video games ever made. The Wind Waker originated the "Toon Link" character, and received two direct sequels for the Nintendo DS, Phantom Hourglass (2007) and Spirit Tracks (2009). A high-definition remaster, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, was released for the Wii U in September 2013.


The Wind Waker's cel-shaded art style makes use of real-time lighting and effects like depth-of-fieldblur, making the game look stylistically similar to a cartoon and setting it apart from other games in the series

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is an open world action-adventure game with role-playing elements. The control scheme is comparable to its predecessors: the player moves the protagonist Link in three dimensions from a third-person perspective.[1] Link fights with a sword and shield as well as a variety of other weapons and items. He interacts with non-player characters and objects via the action button.[2] Like the previous games, The Wind Waker features a targeting system allowing Link to "lock on" and constantly face an enemy or target.[3] A new feature is the ability to move the camera system around Link.[4] Onscreen meters track Link's health and magic; Link can expand his health meter by finding "heart containers" and container pieces in the game.[5]

The game world comprises 49 gridded sections of the "Great Sea", each containing an island or island chain. Some must be explored to continue the story, while others are optional.[6] Like all Zelda games, The Wind Waker features several dungeons—large, enclosed areas where Link fights enemies, finds items, and solves puzzles to continue. Each dungeon quest concludes with a battle against a boss, a singularly powerful enemy.[7] In addition to the main story, the game includes many sidequests, minor objectives the player can optionally complete to attain rewards. For example, Link can use the "Picto Box" – an in-game camera – to take pictures to fulfill quests.[8]

Throughout the game, Link acquires items and weapons that provide new abilities.[9] Items are often needed to reach certain areas, defeat bosses or other enemies, and advance the story. For example, the grappling hook is necessary to pass obstacles and defeat the boss in the Dragon Roost Cavern dungeon; it can then be used to enter previously inaccessible areas elsewhere. The "Tingle Tuner" is a special item allowing a second player to control the character Tingle if the system is connected to a Game Boy Advance by a link cable.[10]

Wind and sailing[edit]

A significant portion of the game is spent sailing between islands on Link's boat, the King of Red Lions. The boat's sail is driven by wind that blows across the game world in one of eight directions; a tailwind behind the boat will give it top speed, while sailing against the wind is difficult. The Great Sea features enemies and obstacles different from those found on land; additionally, some items serve new purposes while Link is aboard the King of Red Lions. The grappling hook, for example, serves as a crane for recovering sunken treasure.[11] Link explores the sea with the help of a sea chart, which can be updated with information on each square and island. Through the game, Link acquires additional charts pointing the way to treasure chests and significant locations. On land, dungeons feature similar maps.[12]

Early in the game, Link receives the Wind Waker, a baton which allows him to control the wind and harness other powers by "conducting" specific melodies. The player controls the Wind Waker by moving the joypads to change pitch and time signature. The first melody, the "Wind's Requiem", enables Link to change the wind's direction, allowing him to sail anywhere. Link can learn five other tunes for the Wind Waker, which provide abilities such as warping to other regions and turning night to day.[13]


Background and setting[edit]

Further information: Fictional chronology of The Legend of Zelda

According to The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, Nintendo's official Legend of Zelda chronology, The Wind Waker takes place in the "New World" timeline, one of several parallel timelines in which Zelda games are set following the events of Ocarina of Time. The game follows the "Adult Link" timeline, after Link, the "Hero of Time", defeats Ganon and time-travels back to his childhood. A crisis emerges when Ganon returns, but Link does not. Centuries later, the people live on islands in the Great Sea. They preserve Link's story as a legend, but his kingdom's fate is unknown. The main character, a young boy also named Link, lives on Outset Island, where boys dress in green like the Hero of Time when they come of age.[14]


While Link is celebrating his coming of age, a gigantic bird drops pirate captain Tetra into Outset Island's forest. Link rescues Tetra from monsters, but the bird carries off Link's sister Aryll. Tetra agrees to help Link find his sister, and they sail to the Forsaken Fortress, where the bird, the Helmaroc King, has been taking girls with long ears. Link finds Aryll and other kidnapped girls, but the Helmaroc King captures him and takes him to a man in black, who orders Link thrown into the sea.

Link is rescued at Windfall Island by a talking boat, the King of Red Lions, who explains that the bird's master is a returned Ganon. To defeat him, Link must find the Hero of Time's power, which requires the three Pearls of the Goddesses. Link finds Din's Pearl on Dragon Roost Island, home of the avian Rito and the dragon Valoo; Farore's Pearl in Forest Haven, home of the Great Deku Tree and the plant-like Koroks; and Nayru's Pearl with the water spirit Jabun on Outset Island. The King of Red Lions then takes Link to the Tower of the Gods, where he faces trials before descending beneath the ocean to a castle suspended in time. Here Link finds the Hero of Time's weapon, the Master Sword.

Link returns to the Forsaken Fortress. Tetra's crew arrive and rescue the girls, but Ganon easily overpowers Link and Tetra: the Master Sword has lost its power. Ganon recognizes Tetra's Triforce necklace and realizes she is the incarnation of Princess Zelda he is seeking. Link's Rito allies and Valoo save Link and Tetra from Ganon. The King of Red Lions brings the two back to the underwater realm, explaining it is the legendary kingdom of Hyrule, which the goddesses submerged long ago to contain Ganon while the people fled to the mountaintops. The King of Red Lions reveals himself to be Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, the last King of Hyrule, and Tetra is his heir, Zelda, keeper of the Triforce of Wisdom.

Tetra remains in the castle while Link and the King journey to the two sages who provided the Master Sword's power. They discover Ganon's forces murdered them both, so Link must awaken new sages: the Rito Medli and the Korok Makar. The sages restore the Master Sword, but the King learns that Ganon has abandoned the Forsaken Fortress and fears an attack. They then track down the eight shards of the missing Triforce of Courage, once kept by the Hero of Time, and the gods recognize Link as the Hero of Winds.

Link and the King return to Hyrule to discover that Ganon has captured Tetra. Link follows them to Ganon's tower, defeating Ganon's minions before Ganon overcomes him. Ganon joins Link's and Tetra's Triforce pieces with his own Triforce of Power, forming the complete Triforce, which will grant his wish to rule the world. Before he can act, the King of Hyrule appears and wishes that the Goddesses wash Ganon and Hyrule away. The King then grants Link and Tetra hope for their own future. Link and Tetra battle Ganon with the Master Sword and magical arrows as water pours around them; with the final blow, the Master Sword turns Ganon to stone. Link and Tetra rise to the surface as the King and Hyrule are submerged. After reuniting with their friends the heroes sail off to find a new land.


Game design[edit]

The Wind Wakerwas an early project developed for the GameCube

Nintendo's Zelda team initiated plans for a new game early in the development of the GameCube system, before Majora's Mask was completed for the Nintendo 64 in 2000. Eiji Aonuma, director of Majora's Mask, returned to helm the project, while Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka served as producers.[15][16] Early concepts generally followed Ocarina of Time's designs, with graphics enhanced for the new system's capabilities.[16][17] The team hastily created a brief clip of Link fighting Ganondorf for a demonstration at the 2000 Space World exposition, where Nintendo announced the GameCube. The clip resonated with fans and commentators who hoped it previewed the next Zelda game.[18][19]

The Zelda team, however, had exhausted its ideas for this style and format.[16] Aonuma hated the demo, finding it derivative of past Zelda games.[17] The team explored other directions until designer Yoshiki Haruhana created a cartoonish drawing of a young Link that caught their eye. Design manager Satoru Takizawa drew up an enemy Moblin in a similar style, and the team seized on the new gameplay and combat possibilities afforded by the stylized cartoon aesthetic. To achieve this look, they used cel shading on 3D models, giving the look of an interactive cartoon.[16][17][20][21] The developers built the game with Alias/Wavefront's Maya 3D tool and a custom game engine.[22]

With this decision, development proceeded swiftly. The team quickly decided the setting would be islands in an ocean, determining it would provide interesting visuals and mechanics in the cel-shaded style. This in turn inspired the central sailing feature.[15][16] Some features drew skepticism; for instance producers Miyamoto and Tezuka requested an explanation for the characters' exaggeratedly large eyes. The team jokingly suggested having Link shoot beams from his eyes before deciding to have him focus his gaze on significant objects nearby, giving hints to observant players about what to do next.[16][23]

Nintendo presented a demo clip of the new game at the 2001 Space World, August 23–26.[17] Response to the cel-shaded design was divided. While some attendees enjoyed the new look, there was backlash from disappointed fans who had hoped for a more realistic Zelda like the previous year's demo.[17][18][24] Critics derisively dubbed the game "Celda".[18] Miyamoto was surprised at the response and decided to limit revealing further information about the game until the team finished a playable demonstration, hoping to shift focus from the graphics to the gameplay.[25][26]

Miyamoto introduced a playable demo at the next year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on May 22–24, 2002, alongside another upcoming GameCube Zelda, Four Swords Adventures. Miyamoto encountered glitches while he attempted to demonstrate Link's new ability to use enemies' dropped weapons. However, reception was more positive than that for the Space World demo.[25] The game received the 2002 Game Critics Awards for Best Console Game at E3. IGN editor Fran Mirabella said the cartoon look "works very nicely" and that "it feels very much like Zelda".[27] The whimsical style was compared to A Link to the Past and promotional artwork from previous Zelda games. The E3 demo also introduced new features, such as the ability to connect to the Game Boy Advance and receive help from Tingle.[28] However, the art direction continued to divide audiences.[16][29]

Development continued through late 2002, with targeted release dates of December in Japan and early 2003 in North America.[30] During the final stages, two dungeons that fell behind schedule were cut and replaced with a quest to recover Triforce pieces around the Great Sea. Elements of these dungeons were recycled for later Zelda games.[17] On October 15, 2002, Nintendo revealed the game's Japanese subtitle, Kaze no Takuto (Wind Baton), to emphasize the role of wind in the game.[30] The company announced the English title, The Wind Waker, on December 2, 2002.[31] In the gap between the Japanese and North American releases, the designers reworked some segments, notably shortening the lengthy Triforce quest.[32][33]


The music in The Wind Waker was composed by Kenta Nagata, Hajime Wakai, Toru Minegishi, and Koji Kondo.[34] The sound team was significantly larger than for other contemporary projects to accommodate Nintendo's desire for a high caliber of work in the rushed development schedule.[15] Koji Kondo, the primary composer for The Legend of Zelda series, contributed to the score but did not serve as sound director.[35][36] However, the score incorporated some of his pieces from older Zelda games, modifying them to emphasize the time passed between the stories.[15]

The soundtrack is primarily environmental; it modulates between various tracks depending on location, time and other conditions.[37] Much of the score is inspired by traditional Irish music and is overall lighter and more upbeat than previous scores in the series.[38][39] The advancement of MIDI technology allowed the soundtrack to more closely approximate the sounds of real instruments than was possible in previous installments. The score features strings, winds, brass, percussion, and for the first time in the Zelda series, wordless vocals. The vocals are especially prominent in the tunes Link conducts with the Wind Waker, singing in D major.[40] Shigeru Miyamoto reportedly played the mandolin featured in the "Title Theme".[41]Scitron Digital Content released a two-disc, 133-track soundtrack album, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Original Sound Tracks, on March 19, 2003.[42]

Release and promotion[edit]

The Wind Waker was released on December 13, 2002 in Japan,[30] on March 24, 2003 in North America,[43] and on May 2, 2003 in Europe.[44] To promote the release, Nintendo offered a bonus disc as a pre-order incentive which included a GameCube port of Ocarina of Time as well as its previously unreleased expansion, Ura Zelda.[45][46]Ura Zelda, largely an adaptation of Ocarina of Time with some changes, including new dungeon challenges, had been developed for the Nintendo 64's 64DDperipheral, but was shelved when that system failed. Ura Zelda was named Ocarina of Time Master Quest in North America and Europe.[45][47][48]Ocarina of Time/Master Quest discs became popular items in their own right in North America, with some customers making and then cancelling preorders to get them. To avoid this issue in Europe, Nintendo released the item only in two-disc packages with The Wind Waker.[48]

In May 2003, Nintendo bundled The Wind Waker with limited edition GameCubes in North America and Europe.[49] On November 17 that year, Nintendo launched another promotion via a compilation disc, The Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition. The disc includes ports of the original Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Ocarina of Time, and Majora's Mask, as well as a Wind Waker demo and two featurettes. The Collector's Edition was included in another GameCube bundle and was made available to existing GameCube owners who either registered their system or subscribed to Nintendo Power.[50]


Critical reception[edit]


The Wind Waker received widespread critical acclaim.[72]Review aggregator website Metacritic calculated a score of 96/100 based on 80 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[51] It was the fourth game to receive a perfect score from the Japanese magazine Famitsu,[57][58] and additionally earned perfect scores from Computer and Video Games,[53]Game Informer,[59]Game Pro,[60]Nintendo Power,[65] and Planet GameCube.[66] It received high marks from many other reviewers as well, although it did not reach the levels of critical acclaim that had greeted Ocarina of Time.[72]

While often noting fans' ambivalence about the cel shading, critics praised the game's visuals. Reviewers likened the game to a playable cartoon,[32][53][55][56][65] with several positively comparing the animation to the films of Disney and Hayao Miyazaki.[59][60][64] In particular, critics appreciated the characters' unique expressiveness,[55][56][57][58][62] and found that the fine details and environments added richness to the game world.[32][55][56][59][62]Famitsu's reviewers wrote that the rich design brings all the game's elements together into a cohesive whole.[57][58]Electronic Gaming Monthly's reviewers found the animation quality unparalleled in games and wrote that "The Wind Waker's new look is as effective as it is unique".[55] Matt Casamassina of IGN said that though some fans hold distaste for the graphics, Nintendo's execution represented the pinnacle of the GameCube's capabilities and of cel shading technology.[32] Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot said that skepticism about the visuals was "unfounded" and wrote that the character design "adds emotional weight" to the storyline.[62] One Nintendo Power reviewer wrote that though he was initially skeptical, the visuals worked "brilliantly, framing the most enjoyable game play experience I've had since Ocarina of Time".[65]

Critics also lauded the gameplay, in particular the responsive control system, fluid combat, and puzzles.[32][55][56][59] Several reviews noted the similarity of its gameplay to that of Ocarina of Time, though they praised enhancements such as the ability to move the camera, perform counterattacks, and use enemy items.[32][62][59]IGN reassured players that beyond visual differences between The Wind Waker and Ocarina, "these two games are very much alike".[32]Game Informer wrote that the gameplay expanded upon that in its predecessors to become "far greater, deeper, and more complex",[59] while Electronic Gaming Monthly said that "Wind Waker's core gameplay is the best the series has ever had".[55] On the other hand, Edge said that while the game would awe new players, its similarity to previous Zelda games meant that veteran players may find it "'merely' brilliant."[54]Famitsu wrote that the game's user friendliness would appeal even to novice players.[57][58]IGN praised the intuitive controls, the especially interactive environment, and the variety of game actions, which "can be executed with a precision that few other games could offer".[32]GameSpot appreciated the breadth of items that can be used.[62]Electronic Gaming Monthly said that the high variety of options for progressing through fights and puzzles kept the game from ever getting boring.[55]GamePro's Star Dingo enjoyed the variety of combo attacks and puzzles, calling the game "a combination of vivid artistry and timeless gameplay".[60]

Other elements that commonly received praise include the expansive game world and level design,[32][57][58][60] especially in the dungeons.[53][54][55][56][59] The storyline also received praise;[32][55][62][65][66]Nintendo Power called the game "a masterpiece of style and storytelling".[65] Several critics lauded the score and soundtrack,[52][56][62][66] though some noted the lack of voice acting as a drawback.[32][59][61]

The game's most common criticism is the heavy emphasis on sailing, especially later in the game when Link must trek around the ocean to collect Triforce pieces.[32][52][54][55][60][61][62]GameSpot wrote that while the main quest "starts out in a very brisk manner", by the last third of the game, the "focus on sailing ... is pretty tedious".[62]Edge wrote that the sailing was "convincingly organic", but even with the warp feature, "there remains an awful lot of relatively dull seafaring activity".[54] Others complained about having to use the Wind Waker so frequently to change wind direction.[32][55] IGN wrote that using the device became "a tedious nuisance" and that the inability to skip the accompanying animation was "more bothersome still".[32] Some reviewers enjoyed the sailing; two Electronic Gaming Monthly reviewers appreciated the combat, exploration, and side quests available at sea.[55] Another common criticism was the game's comparatively low level of difficulty.[32][55][56]IGN wrote that once the player added enough hearts to Link's health meter, "he becomes nearly invincible, which is a true shortcoming as far as we concerned".[32]

Several publications named The Wind WakerGame of the Year, including GameSpot,[69]Nintendo Power,[70]GameFAQs,[67] Planet GameCube,[71] and Games magazine.[68]IGN gave it the Readers' Choice award for 2003 and named it Best Adventure Game for the GameCube.[73][74] The game was ranked 157th in Electronic Gaming Monthy’s “The Top 200 Video Games of Their Time” in 2006.[75] It received the Excellence in Visual Arts award at the 2004 Game Developers Choice Awards and was a finalist for the GDCA Game of the Year award.[76] It also won the Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction award at the 2004 Interactive Achievement Awards and received seven other nominations, including Console Game of the Year.[77]

Audience response and sales[edit]

Player response to the game remained divided over the cel-shaded design.[78] Reception was comparatively warm in Japan, where various media commonly borrow an anime aesthetic, but was much more divided in North America.[79] Some players appreciated the design and Miyamoto's vision, but others found it childish and too far removed from the more realistic designs of previous games.[29] According to Stephen Totilo of Kotaku, much of the backlash came from a contemporary anxiety that Nintendo was losing its edge by focusing on games for children, as opposed to the more mature, realistic fare developed by competitors.[80]

The Wind Waker generated the most successful pre-order campaign in Nintendo history at the time.[81] However, sales did not live up to expectations; director Aonuma noted that purchases were disappointing in both Japan and North America. Japanese sales suffered from a general decline in the video game market caused by consumers shifting away from games, a phenomenon known as "gamer drift".[82] The overall market remained strong in North America, but The Wind Waker's sales were slow there and had declined markedly by the time they reached one million.[83]The Wind Waker sold 4.6 million copies, far below the 7.6 million record set by Ocarina of Time.[84] Nintendo of America attributed the game's comparatively weak North American sales in large part to the cel-shaded graphics, which turned off many players, particularly older teenagers who made up The Legend of Zelda's traditional audience. Miyamoto further blamed a failure to introduce major innovations to excite established players or attract new ones.[82][83]


Sequels and other media[edit]

Nintendo initially planned a direct sequel for the GameCube, developed by Aonuma's Zelda team under the working title Wind Waker 2. However, The Wind Waker's underwhelming reception in North America, combined with the downturn in the Japanese video game market, convinced Aonuma that the only avenue to success would be a more realistic Zelda game that would appeal to the stronger North American market. He persuaded Miyamoto, who authorized development of a realistically styled game using The Wind Waker's engine, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Twilight Princess proved a major success for the GameCube and the newly released Wii.[82][83][85]

The Wind Waker originated the variant of the Link character named "Toon Link", who appeared in several later Nintendo games.[24]The Wind Waker received two direct sequels for the Nintendo DS handheld system. Wanting to continue The Wind Waker's story and art style, in 2007 Aonuma produced The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, which follows Link and Tetra as they explore new reaches of the Great Sea.[86][87]The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (2009) is set roughly a century later and features a new Link and Zelda, the latter a descendant of Tetra, as they traverse New Hyrule with a magical train.[88][89] Toon Link also returned in indirectly related Legend of Zelda games such as Four Swords Adventures (2004), The Minish Cap (2005), and Tri Force Heroes (2015).[24][90] He also features as a playable character in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros.crossoverfighting game series, and along with other Wind Waker characters, in the 2016 Zelda pastiche Hyrule Warriors Legends.[91][92]

Conductors of the concert tour The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses have used custom-made Wind Waker batons.[93]The Wind Waker also influenced 2017's The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which features a similarly stylized art design, but with more realistic proportions.[94]Breath of the Wild also includes species from The Wind Waker among other references, leading some fans to speculate that it follows the "Adult Timeline" established by The Wind Waker.[95]

Later reputation[edit]

The Wind Waker has continued to be acclaimed by critics. It has appeared in various lists of the best video games, including those compiled by Electronic Gaming Monthly,[96]Nintendo Power,[97][98] and IGN.[99][100][101][102]Nintendo Power named The Wind Waker the fourth best game to ever appear on a Nintendo console,[97] while Official Nintendo Magazine placed it 12th.[103]Nintendo Power listed its ending as one of the greatest in Nintendo history, due to the final battle's climax.[104]UGO listed The Wind Waker on their list of the "Top 50 Games That Belong On the 3DS".[105] In a retrospective on the GameCube, IGN named The Wind Waker the fourth best game ever released for the system.[106]Nintendo Power named The Wind Waker the second best GameCube game of all time, behind only Resident Evil 4.[107]

Later pieces have noted that The Wind Waker's divisive reputation among fans improved over time and that it has come to be seen as a classic.[17][80][108][109][110][111] Several writers have said that the game and its stylized aesthetic aged well, whereas contemporary games with more realistic graphics often became dated.[17][110][111] The graphics that initially divided opinion have become a favorite feature;[80][109] some former skeptics have written about revising their initial opinions.[108][109][110] Nintendo representatives describe this turnaround as a particularly dramatic example of the "Zelda cycle", in which fans' negative responses to Zelda games improve over time.[16] In 2013, Keza MacDonald of IGN wrote that The Wind Waker had outlived its initial reception and become "popularly considered among the very best Zeldas".[17]

Wii U version[edit]

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

In 2013, Nintendo developed a high definition re-release of The Wind Waker, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, for the Wii U. The inspiration came when staff converted elements from various games to explore the system's capabilities in planning a new Legend of Zelda installment. The developers experimented with several Zelda games, but were especially struck by how well The Wind Waker translated into high definition.[16][112][113] When the team determined it would take less than a year to remaster the entire game, Aonuma approached Miyamoto about developing it. He faced considerable reluctance from management due to players' mixed response in 2003. However, Miyamoto greenlit development as Nintendo staff were discussing the "Zelda cycle" by this time and the fact that opinions of the game had warmed over the years.[16][112] Aonuma served as producer, while Daiki Iwamoto served as director.[16]

The Wind Waker HD featured high definition graphics and improved lighting.[16] The developers made some changes to the gameplay as well: they introduced a new item, the "Swift Sail", allowing for faster sailing on the Great Sea. They also streamlined the Triforce quest, improved the Picto Box, and replaced the Tingle Tuner, which had required connectivity with a Game Boy Advance, with a Tingle Bottle item that connected to the Miiverse prior to its shutdown on November 8, 2017.[114]The Wind Waker HD was critically acclaimed; review aggregatorsMetacritic calculated a score of 90/100 based on 70 reviews.[115][116] According to Keza MacDonald, the rerelease was "near-universally hailed as a masterpiece".[17]



  1. ^One of the artworks used for the game's packaging in North America. Its original release, and later releases and releases in other regions feature different background patterns and gradients.
  2. ^Known in Japan as Zeruda no Densetsu: Kaze no Takuto (ゼルダの伝説 風のタクト, lit. The Legend of Zelda: Baton of Winds)


  1. ^The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Instruction Booklet(PDF). United States: Nintendo. 2003. pp. 8, 16. Archived(PDF) from the original on August 21, 2016.
  2. ^The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Instruction Booklet(PDF). United States: Nintendo. 2003. pp. 9, 12, 16–18. Archived(PDF) from the original on August 21, 2016.
  3. ^The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Instruction Booklet(PDF). United States: Nintendo. 2003. pp. 12, 19. Archived(PDF) from the original on August 21, 2016.
  4. ^The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Instruction Booklet(PDF). United States: Nintendo. 2003. pp. 8, 11. Archived(PDF) from the original on August 21, 2016.
  5. ^The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Instruction Booklet(PDF). United States: Nintendo. 2003. pp. 11, 28. Archived(PDF) from the original on August 21, 2016.
  6. ^Ali, Imran (September 19, 2012). Virtual Landscapes: The Modern Era (2002–2012). Zayn Creative. pp. 43–44. ISBN .
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  8. ^Otero, Jose (August 22, 2013). "The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD Offers a Definitive Experience". IGN. Archived from the original on August 22, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  9. ^The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Instruction Booklet(PDF). United States: Nintendo. 2003. pp. 20–21. Archived(PDF) from the original on August 21, 2016.
  10. ^The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Instruction Booklet(PDF). United States: Nintendo. 2003. pp. 20, 25. Archived(PDF) from the original on August 21, 2016.
  11. ^The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Instruction Booklet(PDF). United States: Nintendo. 2003. pp. 22–23. Archived(PDF) from the original on August 21, 2016.
  12. ^The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Instruction Booklet(PDF). United States: Nintendo. 2003. pp. 14–15. Archived(PDF) from the original on August 21, 2016.
  13. ^Teetsel, Sarah (August 2015). Musical Memory of the Player, Characters, and World of The Legend of Zelda Video Game Series(PDF) (Master of Music thesis). Bowling Green University. pp. 6–7, 51–67. Archived from the original on February 16, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  14. ^Thorpe, Patrick, ed. (2016). Hyrule Historia. Dark Horse Books. pp. 69, 122–129. ISBN .
  15. ^ abcd"Miyamoto and Aonuma on Zelda". IGN. Translated by Bill Trinen. December 4, 2002. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  16. ^ abcdefghijklIwata, Satoru (2013). "Iwata Asks: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD". Nintendo. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
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Nintendo GameCube
GCN Logo.png

Home console

Media used

Nintendo Gamecube Game Disc

Release date(s)
North AmericaNovember 18, 2001
JapanSeptember 14, 2001
European UnionMay 3, 2002
Commonwealth of AustraliaMay 17, 2002

Nintendo 64



The Nintendo GameCube is Nintendo's fourth home console system released outside of Japan. It is the successor to the Nintendo 64 and the predecessor to the Wii. It primarily competed with Sony's PlayStation 2 and newcomer Microsoft's Xbox. It was codenamed Dolphin during development and several GameCube games reference its codename.

The Nintendo GameCube was not very successful when compared to its competitors, only outselling former rival Sega's Dreamcast (which was discontinued in March of 2001 due to Sega's exit from the console market), with its successor, the Wii outselling its lifetime sales of 22 million in only 16 months. Furthermore, the GameCube also held the title of being Nintendo's least successful home console up until 2017, where the Wii U surpassed it with its lifetime sales of 13.56 million units.

The original model of the Wii is backwards compatible with the GameCube's Controllers, memory cards, and software titles. Later model Wiis such as the Wii Family Edition and Wii Mini have removed compatibility with GameCube peripherals and software. The Wii U is also incompatible with GameCube software, but GameCube controllers can work with the Wii U through a USB adapter, however, only Super Smash Bros. for Wii U supports the use of the accessory.

The Legend of Zelda Games

With Collector's Edition and the Game Boy Player, every game in The Legend of Zelda series up to Twilight Princess can be played on the GameCube. The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link can be played on the GameCube through Collector's Edition and through the Game Boy Player with the Classic NES versions of the games. A Link to the Past can be played through the Game Boy Player with the Game Boy Advance port of the game. Link's Awakening/Link's Awakening DX can be played through the Game Boy Player as well (as the Game Boy Advance is compatible with Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles). Ocarina of Time can be played through Master Quest and Collector's Edition. Majora's Mask can be played through the Collector's Edition as well, although sound irregularities and freezing can occur in this version. Four Swords can be played through the Game Boy Player, as can Oracle of Ages, Oracle of Seasons, and The Minish Cap. The Game & Watch title Zelda (Game & Watch) can also be played as part of Game & Watch Gallery 4.


  • If the player has a file of both The Wind Waker and the GCN version of Metal Gear Solid, in the latter game the boss character Psycho Mantis makes a cameo mention of the former game during the battle.
  • This is the Nintendo console for which the most "Zelda" titles (including re-releases) were developed.
  • The GameCube has an 18-bit color mode, which is used when hardware limitations force the use of a lower color depth. All "Zelda" games for the GameCube and Wii have made use of the hardware's 18-bit color mode.


The Original Zelda Game REMADE in 3D! - Would It Work?

The Legend of Zelda

Video game series

This article is about the video game series. For the first game in the series, see The Legend of Zelda (video game). For other uses, see The Legend of Zelda (disambiguation).

"LoZ" redirects here. For other uses, see LoZ (disambiguation).

Video game series

The Legend of Zelda[a] is a high fantasyaction-adventurevideo game franchise created by Japanese game designersShigeru 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-adventure and 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 fight to 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 use the Triforce, a sacred relic left behind by the three goddesses that created Hyrule to remake the world in his own dark image. When gathered together, the power of the Triforce can grant any wish its user 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 required virtue.

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 associated with 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, adventure/battle gameplay, and exploration. These elements have remained constant throughout the series, but with refinements and additions featured in each new game. Later games in the series also include stealth gameplay, where the player must avoid enemies while proceeding through a level, as well as racing elements. Although the games can be beaten with a minimal amount of exploration and side quests, the player is frequently rewarded with helpful items or increased abilities for solving puzzles or exploring hidden areas. Some items are consistent and appear many times throughout the series (such as bombs and bomb flowers, which can be used both as weapons and to open blocked or hidden doorways; boomerangs, which can kill or 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 Adventure of Link is the only one to include an 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 should be classified as action role-playing games, a genre on which the series has had a strong influence.[1] Miyamoto himself disagreed with the RPG label, but classified Zelda as "a real-time adventure game"; he said he was "not interested in systems where everything in the game is decided by stats and numbers" but what's "important to me is to preserve as much of that “live” feeling as possible" which he said "action games are better suited in conveying" to players.[2]

Every game in the main Zelda series has consisted of three principal areas: an overworld which connects all other areas, in which movement is multidirectional, allowing the player some degree of freedom of action; areas of interaction with other characters (merely caves or hidden rooms in the first game, but expanding to entire towns and cities in subsequent games) in which the player gains special items or advice, can purchase equipment or complete side quests; and dungeons, areas of labyrinthine layout, usually underground, comprising a wide range of difficult enemies, bosses, and items. Each dungeon usually has one major item inside, which can be essential for 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 location of significant and smaller items such as keys and equipment. In later games, the dungeon includes a special "big key" that will unlock the door to battle the dungeon's boss enemy and 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 can increase their max hearts by finding heart-shaped crystals called "Heart Containers". Full heart containers are usually received 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 world in various places, and require a certain number (usually four) to form a full heart container. Health can be replenished by picking up hearts left by defeated enemies or destroyed objects, consuming items such as potions or food, or going to a Great Fairy Fountain to have the Great Fairy heal Link completely. Occasionally the player will find fairies hidden in specific locations; these fairies can either 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 let the player lock the camera on to enemy or friendly NPCs which simplified 3D combat.


Koji Kondo, the series's original composer and current sound director, in 2007.

Games in The Legend of Zelda series frequently feature in-game musical instruments, particularly in musical puzzles, which are widespread.[3] Often, instruments trigger game events: for example, the recorder in The Legend of Zelda can reveal secret areas, as well as warp Link to the Dungeon entrances. This warping with music feature has also been used 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 use of the game controller to succeed.[4]Ocarina of Time is "[one of the] first contemporary non-dance title[s] to feature music-making as part of its gameplay",[5] using music as a heuristic device and requiring the player to utilise songs to progress in the game[6] – a game mechanic that is also present in Majora's Mask.[7]

"The Legend of Zelda Theme" is a recurring piece of music that was created for the first game of the franchise. The composer and sound director of the series, Koji Kondo, initially planned to use Maurice Ravel's Boléro as the game's title theme, but was forced to change it 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 new arrangement of the overworld theme within one day.[8] The "Zelda Theme" has topped ScrewAttack's "Top Ten Videogame Themes Ever" list.[9]

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 characters speak while Link remains silent "would be off-putting".[10] Instead of theme music for different locations, Breath of the Wild plays natural ambience around the player as main sounds, in addition to some minimalist piano music.[11]


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 discovery of a cave entrance in the middle of the woods.[12] 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.[13]

The story and setting was developed by Takashi Tezuka. Seeking to create a fairytale adventure game, Tezuka drew inspirations from fantasy books such as J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.[14][15] According to Keiji Terui, who wrote the backstory in the first game's manual, the location named Death Mountain was initially a working title for the legend of the Triforce which was written with inspirations from the battles of medieval Europe.[16] The Master Sword was introduced as Excalibur in the French version of A Link to the Past,[17] which originates from the legend of King Arthur in the Welsh collection of Mabinogion.[18]Celtic mythology also inspired the name of Link's steed, Epona, based on the Celtic goddess of fertility.[19]

Hearing of American novelist, socialite and painter Zelda Fitzgerald, Miyamoto thought the name sounded "pleasant and significant".[20] 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.[21][22]


Main article: Universe of The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda takes place predominantly in a medievalWestern Europe-inspired fantasy world called Hyrule,[23] 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 Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, and A Link Between Worlds. Hyrule's principal inhabitants are pointy-eared, elf-like humanoids called Hylians, which include the player character, Link, and the eponymous princess, Zelda.

According to the in-game backstories, the world of Hyrule was created by the three golden goddesses: Din, Farore, and Nayru.[24] Before departing, the goddesses left a sacred artifact called the Triforce, which could grant powers to the user. It physically manifests itself as three golden triangles in which each embodies one of the goddesses' virtues: Power, Courage, and Wisdom.[25] However, because the Triforce has no will of its own and it can not judge between good and evil, it will grant any wish indiscriminately.[26][27] Because of this, it was placed within an alternate world called 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 user mostly believes 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 user must get the other parts found in other individuals and bring them together to reunite them. The Sacred Realm can itself 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.[28]

In Skyward Sword, the Triforce was sought by the Demon King Demise,[29] an eternal being that had conquered time itself.[30] After a long battle against the goddess Hylia, guardian of the Triforce, Demise was sealed away within her temple.[25][31] 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 chosen hero[32] and discarding her divinity to be reborn among the people of Skyloft.[33] 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.[34] That prophecy came to fruition in Ocarina of Time, when Ganondorf's attempt to get the 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 Adventure of 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 Wind Waker, Link must find all the pieces (called Triforce Shards) of the Triforce of Courage before he can return 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 place in different lands with their own back-stories. Hytopia is a connected kingdom,[35]Labrynna and Holodrum are different countries separate from the Kingdom of Hyrule, Termina and Lorule serve as parallel worlds,[36] and Koholint is an island far away from Hyrule that appears to be part of a dream.[37]

Fictional chronology

The chronology of the Legend of Zelda series was a subject of 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.[40][41] Prior to its release, producers confirmed the existence of a confidential document, which connected all the games.[42][43] Certain materials and developer statements once partially established an official timeline of the released installments. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is a direct sequel to original The Legend of Zelda, and takes place several years later.[44][45] The third game, A Link to the Past, is a prequel to the first two games,[46][47][48] and is directly followed by Link's Awakening.[49][50]Ocarina of Time is a prequel that takes the story many centuries back; according to character designer 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.[51][52]Skyward Sword is then a prequel to Ocarina of Time.[53]Twilight Princess is set more than 100 years after Ocarina of Time.[54][55]

The Wind Waker is parallel, and takes place in the other timeline branch, more than a century after the adult era of Ocarina of Time.[54][55]Phantom Hourglass is a continuation of the story from The Wind Waker,[56] and is followed by Spirit Tracks, which is set about 100 years later on a supercontinent far away from the setting of The Wind Waker.[57] 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 Adventures set sometime after its events.[58]The Minish Cap precedes the two games, telling of the origins of villain Vaati and the creation of the Four Sword.[59]A Link Between Worlds takes place six generations after A Link to the Past. Important events that occur in the game include the Triforce being reunited, and Ganon being resurrected.[60]

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 Worlds and Tri Force Heroes were released after the timeline), The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of 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 can use the wisdom he has gained to warn the Zelda in the past of the horrifying fate of Hyrule) and adulthood (where the Zelda from the future lives on to try and rebuild the kingdom). His childhood continues with Majora's Mask, followed by Twilight Princess and Four Swords Adventures. The timeline from his adult life continues into Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks.

In the early 2000s, Nintendo of America released a timeline on the official website of the series, which interpreted all stories up to the Oracle games as the adventures of a single protagonist named Link.[61] At one point, translator Dan Owsen and his coworkers at Nintendo of America had conceived another complete timeline and intended to make it available online, but the Japanese series developers rejected the idea so the timeline would be kept open to the imagination of the players.[62]

In 2018, Nintendo revealed that Breath of the Wild officially takes place after all previous games in the series (without specifying a connection to any of the three timelines), and moved Link's Awakening to take place before Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages.[39]

In November 2020, Nintendo released Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. The game is marketed as a prequel to Breath of the Wild, being set 100 years before.[63] However, the events of Age of Calamity diverged from the backstory established in Breath of the Wild, creating an alternate timeline separate from Breath of the Wild.[64]


See also: Characters in The Legend of Zelda series


Main article: Link (The Legend of Zelda)

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 can give Link a different name before the start of the adventure, and he will be referred by that given name throughout by the non-player characters (NPCs). In Link's Awakening, if the player steals from the shop, characters would later refer to him as "Thief". Miyamoto said in a 2002 interview that he named the protagonist "Link" because the character is/was supposed to be the "link" between the player and the game world that he (Miyamoto) had created. The various Links each have a special title, such as "Hero of Time", "Hero of the Winds" or "Hero chosen by 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 characters, showing that he is not, in fact, mute. Link is shown as a silent protagonist so that the audience is able to have their own thoughts as to how their Link would answer the characters instead of him having scripted responses.

Princess Zelda

Main article: Princess Zelda

Princess Zelda is the princess of Hyrule and the guardian of the Triforce of Wisdom. Her name is present in 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 can possess a Phantom Knight that can be controlled by the player. Zelda appears under various other aliases and alter egos, including Sheik (in Ocarina of Time) and Tetra (in The Wind 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.[65]


Main article: Ganon

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 warriors 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 include him kidnapping Princess Zelda and planning to achieve domination of Hyrule and presumably the world beyond it. To this end, he seeks the Triforce, a powerful magical relic. He often possesses a portion of the Triforce called the Triforce of Power, which gives him great strength. 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 characters, he is actually the same person in every game, with the exception of Four Swords Adventures, where he is a reincarnation of the original. In each game the battles with him are different and he fights using different styles. The game Skyward Sword indicates that Ganon is a reincarnation of an evil deity known as Demise.


2D origins (1986–1998)

The first Legend of Zeldagame appeared on the Famicom Disk Systemin 1986. It was later converted into a cartridge game for the American NES.

The Legend of Zelda, the first game of the series, was first released in Japan on February 21, 1986, on the Famicom Disk System.[66] 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", accessible either upon completing the game, or by registering one's name as "ZELDA" when starting a new quest. The "Second Quest" features different dungeons and item placement, and more difficult enemies.[67]

The second game, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, was released for the Famicom Disk System in Japan on January 14, 1987,[66] 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 areas), and introduced RPG elements (such as experience points) not used 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.[66] It was later re-released through Nintendo's Virtual Console service on January 22, 2007. In addition, both this game (unchanged, except for being converted into a downloadable format)[68] and an exclusive "loosely based" sequel (which used the same game engine) called BS Zelda no Densetsu Inishie no Sekiban[69] were released on the Satellaview in Japan on March 2 and 30, 1997, respectively.

In 1994, near the end of the Famicom's lifespan, the original Famicom game was re-released in cartridge format.[70] A modified version, 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 new voice-acted plot-lines.[71]

The next game, Link's Awakening, is the first Zelda for Nintendo's Game Boyhandheld, and the first set outside Hyrule and to exclude Princess Zelda. It was released in 1993, and re-released, in full color, as a launch game for the Game Boy Color in 1998 as Link's Awakening DX. This re-release features additions such as an extra color-based dungeon and a photo shop that allows interaction with the Game Boy Printer.

Transition to 3D (1998–2002)

After five years without a new game, the series made 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. It is considered by many critics and gamers to be the best video game of all time, and ranks highly on IGN and EGM's "greatest games of all time" lists, as well as scoring perfect scores in several video game publications.[72] In February 2006, it was ranked by Nintendo Power as the best game released for a Nintendo console.[73] The game was originally developed for the poorly selling, Japanese-only 64DD, but was converted to cartridge format when the 64DD hardware was delayed.[74] A new gameplay mechanic, lock-on targeting (called "Z-targeting" as that is the controller button used), is used in the game, which focuses the camera on a nearby target and alters the player's actions relative to that target.[75] Such mechanics allow precise sword fighting in a 3D space. The game heavily uses context-sensitive button play, which enabled the player to control various actions with Link using only one button on the Nintendo 64's game pad. Each action was handled slightly differently but all used the 'A' button to perform. For instance, standing next to a block and pressing 'A' made Link grab it (enabling him to push/pull it), but moving forwards into a block and pressing 'A' allowed Link to climb the block. The 'B' button was used only as an attack button. 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 received a gold-coloured cartridge in a limited edition box with a golden plastic card affixed, reading "Collector's Edition".[76] In some stores that had this "Collector's Edition" quickly sell out, a small and 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 re-released on the GameCube in 2002, when it was offered as a pre-order incentive for The Wind Waker in the U.S., Canada and Japan.[77] Europe continued to receive it free in every copy of The Wind Waker, except for the discounted Player's Choice version. It includes the canceled 64DD expansion for Ocarina of Time known as Ura Zelda. Named Ocarina of Time Master Quest, the game was given reorganized dungeon layouts for greater difficulty.[77]Ocarina of Time is part of the Collector's Edition for the GameCube in 2003.[78] It was available through the Wii's Virtual Console service.[79] In 2011, Nintendo released a new version of the game in stereoscopic 3D for the Nintendo 3DS, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. Nintendo re-released it for the Wii U Virtual Console in July 2015.[80]

Ocarina of Time's follow-up, Majora's Mask, was released in April 2000. It uses the same 3Dgame engine as the previous game,[81] and added a time-based concept, in which Link, the protagonist, relives the events of three days as many times as needed to complete the game's objectives. It was originally called Zelda Gaiden,[82] a Japanese title that translates as Zelda Side story. Gameplay changed significantly; in addition to the time-limit, Link can use masks to transform into creatures 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,[81] dealing with death and tragedy in a manner not previously seen in the series, and has a sense of impending doom, as a large moon 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 included in the Collector's Edition,[78] and was available on the Virtual Console.

When Nintendo revealed the GameCube on August 24, 2000, the day before Nintendo's SpaceWorld 2000 exposition,[83] a software demonstration showed a realistically styled real-time duel between Ganondorf and Link. Fans and the media speculated that the battle might be from a Zelda game in development at the time.[84] At Spaceworld 2001, Nintendo showed a cel-shadedZelda game, later released as The Wind Waker in December 2002. Due to poor reception, nothing further was shown until a playable demonstration was ready. Miyamoto felt The Wind Waker would "extend Zelda's reach to all ages".[85][86] The gameplay centres on controlling wind with a baton called the "Wind Waker" and sailing a small boat around an island-filled ocean, retaining similar gameplay mechanics as the previous 3D games in the series.

Following the release of The Wind Waker came The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition, which included the original The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and a demo of The Wind Waker. GameSpot noted that Majora's Mask suffered from a frame rate which appeared choppier and inconsistencies in the audio.[87] This compilation was never sold commercially, and originally could only be obtained by purchasing a GameCube bundled with the disc[88][89] (in North America, Europe and Australia), by registering a GameCube and two games at,[88] or by subscribing or renewing a subscription to Nintendo Power (in North America) or Club Nintendo in Sweden.[88] In the UK, 1000 copies were made available through the Club Nintendo Stars Catalogue program.[89] After these were quickly claimed, Nintendo gave a copy to customers who mailed in proof of purchases from select GameCube games.[89]

Further 2D games and introduction of multiplayer (2001–2005)

Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages were released simultaneously for the Game Boy Color, and interact using passwords[90] or a Game Link Cable.[91] After one game has been completed, the player is given a password that allows the other game to be played as a sequel.[90] They were developed by Flagship in conjunction with Nintendo, with supervision from Miyamoto. After the team experimented with porting the original The Legend of Zelda to the Game Boy Color, they decided to make an original trilogy[92] to be called the "Triforce Series".[93] When the password system linking the three games proved too troublesome, the concept was reduced to two games at Miyamoto's suggestion.[94] These two games became Oracle of Ages, which is more puzzle-based, and Oracle of Seasons, which is more action-oriented.[95]

A Link to the Past was re-released for the Game Boy Advance in 2002 on a cartridge with Four Swords,[66] the first multiplayer Zelda.

Four Swords Adventures 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 Adventures was another deviation from previous Zelda gameplay, focusing on level-based and multiplayer gameplay. The game contains 24 levels and a map screen; there is no connecting overworld. For multiplayer features, each player must use a 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 Adventures includes 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, battle each other. The Japanese and Korean versions include an exclusive third segment, "Navi Trackers" (originally designed as the stand-alone game "Tetra's Trackers"), which contains spoken dialogue for most of the characters, 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 can shrink in size using a mystical, sentient hat named Ezlo. While shrunk, he can see previously explored parts of a dungeon from a different perspective, and enter areas through otherwise-impassable openings.

Motion- and touch-based swordplay (2006–2011)

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 world where 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 use of 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 use his sword, shield or other items, but gains other abilities such as sharpened senses from his new form. Twilight Princess includes an incarnation of Link's horse, Epona, for fast transportation, and features mounted battle scenarios including boss battles that were not seen in previous games. Twilight Princess diverted from the cel shading of Wind 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 new title Phantom Hourglass for the Nintendo DS was shown. It revealed traditional top-down Zelda gameplay optimised for the DS's features, with a cel-shaded 3D graphical style similar to The Wind Waker for Gamecube. The game is a direct sequel to The Wind Waker.[96]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 find out 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) can see 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 used in Phantom Hourglass, the notably new feature in this game is that the Phantom Guardians seen in Phantom Hourglass are, through a series of events, periodically controllable. It was the first time in the series that both Link & Zelda work together on the quest.

Nintendo showcased a Wii U demo reel at E3 2011 that depicted Link fighting a monster in HD.[97]

A new Zelda game for Wii was in development since the end of 2000s.[98] The new title was revealed at E3 2010 as Skyward Sword, but its release was delayed to 2011.[99] The game, the earliest in the Legend of Zelda timeline, reveals the origins of Hyrule, Ganon and many elements featured in previous games; it uses Wii's MotionPlus feature as well. It was released on November 20, 2011; the first run included a 25th Anniversary CD of fully orchestrated music from various Zelda games, including Skyward Sword.

Final handheld-exclusive releases (2011–2015)

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[100] 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.[101]

In 2013, Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for the Nintendo 3DS, which takes place in the same setting as A Link to the Past.[102][103]

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, a cooperative multiplayer game, was released for the 3DS in October 2015.[104]

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.

HD era (2013–present)

A number of HD remasters have been released, which include The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD for Wii U in 2013, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD for Wii U in 2016,[105] a remake of Link's Awakening for the Nintendo Switch in 2019,[106][107] and an HD remaster of Skyward Sword with optional button-only controls for Nintendo Switch in 2021.[108]

The first original HD Zelda game was delayed several times, finally revealing its title at E3 2016 as Breath of the Wild, and was released for Wii U and Nintendo Switch on March 3, 2017 as the series' first installment on the latter system.[109][110][111][112] A sequel was announced during the Nintendo DirectE3 2019 presentation on June 11,[113] set for release in 2022.[114]

The Legend of Zelda, The Adventure of Link, and A Link to the Past have been made available on Nintendo Switch Online, with Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask to follow as part of an "Expansion Pack" for the service.

Other games

CD-i games

Main article: CD-i games from The Legend of Zelda series

The Zeldagames for the Philips CD-iare infamous for their poor quality and are not canon.

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. Created independently 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.[115]

LCD games

Main article: LCD games from The Legend of Zelda series

Three Zelda-themed LCD games were created between 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 included 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 Battler II console. The game employed card-scanning technology similar to the later-released Nintendo e-Reader.

Canceled games

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).[116]

In 1998, Nintendo canceled Ura Zelda, the Ocarina of Time expansion disk for the 64DD[117] due to poor sales figures for the 64DD peripheral.[118] In 2002, Nintendo released a bonus disc called The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest.[117] It contains emulated versions of Ocarina of Time and Ocarina of Time Master Quest, which Aonuma and Miyamoto each confirmed is Ura Zelda.[118][119]

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.[120] Referred to as the "Triforce Series",[121] the games were known as The Legend of Zelda: The Mysterious Acorn: Chapter of Power, Chapter of Wisdom, and Chapter of Courage in Japan[122] and The Legend of Zelda: Mystical Seed of Power, Mystical Seed of Wisdom, and Mystical Seed of Courage in the US.[123] The games were to interact using a password system,[121] but the limitations of this system and the difficulty of coordinating three games proved too complicated, so the team scaled back to two games at Miyamoto's suggestion.[124][125]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.[121]

Before its 2006 release, both Link and Samus from the Metroid series were planned to be playable characters for the Wii version of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, but they didn't make the final release because they weren't Marvel characters.[126]

In 2011, an unnamed Zelda 25th Anniversary Compilation was canceled. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series, Nintendo of America originally had planned to 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 against releasing it, believing it would be too similar to the Super Mario 25th Anniversary collection released in 2010.[127]

Spin-off games

As the franchise has grown in popularity, several games have been released that are set within or star a minor character from 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 "Hero of 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 Fight DS for the Nintendo DS. Here Tingle again stars in this spin-off arcade style platformer, released in April 2007 only in Japan and available solely 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 allows players to assume the identity of Link as he progresses through a series of tests to perfect his 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 Warriors, a crossover game combining the setting of Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series and the gameplay of Tecmo Koei's Dynasty Warriors series, was released in North America in September 2014 for Wii U. Hyrule Warriors Legends, a version for the Nintendo 3DS containing more content and gameplay modifications, was released in March 2016.

To commemorate the launch of the My Nintendo loyalty program in March 2016, Nintendo released My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a Picrosspuzzle game developed by Jupiter for download to the Nintendo 3DS.[128][129]

Cadence of Hyrule, developed by Brace Yourself Games and released on June 13, 2019, is an officially licensed crossover of Zelda with Crypt of the NecroDancer.[130]

Hyrule Warriors: 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 Warriors.[131]Age of Calamity was released on November 20, three months after its reveal in September.[132][63]


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 fighter in 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 child version 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 Wind 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 locations and items, are also included throughout the Smash Bros. series. Outside of the series, Nintendo allowed for the use of Link as a playable character exclusively in the GameCube release of Namco's fighting game Soulcalibur II.[133]

  • Link, using a design based on Skyward Sword, appears as a playable character in Mario Kart 8 via downloadable content (DLC), along with a "Hyrule Circuit" racetrack themed on The Legend of Zelda series.[134] The first pack is named after the series. In a post-launch update for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Link and his vehicle received alternate styles based on Breath of the Wild.[135]
  • In Sonic Lost World, a DLC stage based on The Legend of Zelda series was released in March 2014, named "The Legend of Zelda Zone". It was built around the core gameplay mechanics of Sonic Lost World, with some elements from the Zelda series, including a heart-based vitality meter, rupee collection, and a miniature dungeon to explore.[136]

Reception and legacy

The Legend of Zelda series has received outstanding levels of acclaim from critics and the public. Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, Skyward Sword, and Breath of the Wild have each received a perfect 40/40 score (10/10 by four reviewers) by Japanese Famitsu magazine,[201][202] making Zelda one of the few series with multiple perfect scores. Ocarina of Time was even listed by Guinness World Records as the highest-rated video game in history, citing its Metacritic score of 99 out of 100.[203]Computer and Video Games awarded The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess a score of 10/10.[204][205]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 placed in the top 40.[206]Twilight Princess was named Game of the Year by X-Play, GameTrailers, 1UP, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Spacey Awards, Game Informer, GameSpy, Nintendo Power, IGN, and many other websites. The editors of review aggregator websites GameRankings, IGN and Metacritic have all given Ocarina of Time their highest aggregate scores.[207]Game Informer has awarded The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, A Link Between Worlds and Breath of the Wild with scores of 10/10. Phantom Hourglass was named DS Game of the Year by IGN and GameSpy.[208][209] 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.[210]Ocarina of Time and its use of melodic themes to identify different game regions has been called a reverse of Richard Wagner's use of leitmotifs to identify characters and themes.[211]Ocarina of Time was so well received that sales increased for real ocarinas.[212]IGN praised the music of Majora's Mask for its brilliance despite its heavy use of MIDI. It has been ranked the seventh-greatest game by Electronic Gaming Monthly, whereas Ocarina of Time was ranked eighth.[213][214] The series won GameFAQs Best Series Ever competition.[215]

As of March 2021[update], The Legend of Zelda franchise has sold over 118 million copies,[n 7][224][225] with the original The Legend of Zelda being the fourth best-selling NES game of all time.[226][227] The series was ranked as the 64th top game (collectively) by Next Generation in 1996.[228] 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.[229] According to British film magazine Empire, with "the most vividly-realised world and the most varied game-play of any game on any console, Zelda is a solid bet for the best game series ever."[230]


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.[231] Rockstar founder and Grand Theft Auto director Sam Houser also cited the influence of Zelda, describing Grand Theft Auto III as "Zelda meets Goodfellas".[232]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.[233]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.[234]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.[235]Wing 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.[236]

Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki (FromSoftware) named A Link To The Past as one of his favorite role-playing video games.[237] According to Miyazaki, "The Legend of Zelda became a sort of textbook for 3D action games."[238]Ico director Fumito Ueda (Team Ico) cited Zelda as an influence on Shadow of the Colossus.[239]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.[240]Darksiders director David Adams (Vigil Games) cited Zelda as an influence on his work.[241]Prince of Persia and Assassin's Creed director Raphael Lacoste (Ubisoft) cited The Wind Waker as an influence on Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.[242]CD Projekt Red (The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077) cited the Zelda series as an influence on The Witcher series, including The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.[243]Alex Hall cited Majora's Mask as the primary influence on their Ben Drownedweb serial and web series.[244]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.[245]

Other media

Main article: List of The Legend of Zelda media

TV series

Main article: The Legend of Zelda (TV series)

A 13-episode American animated TV series, adapted by DiC and distributed by Viacom Enterprises, aired in 1989.[246] 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.[247][248] The series loosely follows the two NES Zelda games (the original The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link), mixing settings and characters from those games with original creations.[249] The show's older incarnations of both Link and Zelda appeared in various episodes of Captain N: The Game Master during its second season.[250]

A live-action television series had been in development around 2015, as reported from an anonymous Netflix employee to The Wall Street Journal. The program was a joint effort between Netflix and Nintendo, and was said to aimed as a family-friendly version of Game of Thrones.[251] Further details of this series went sparse until 2021 when Adam Conover gave an interview regarding his College Humor period. There, the College Humor team had been planning a skit that would have combined Star Fox with Fantastic Mr. 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 result of the leak related to the live-action Zelda show; Nintendo, already protective of its IP, had pulled many external projects including the live-action show.[252]

Print media

Valiant Comics released a short series of comics featuring characters 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 Adventures, 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 contain additional 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 place sometime during the first game. Two gamebooks were published as part of the Nintendo Adventure Books 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 events 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 contains 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 includes a prequel manga to Skyward Sword by Zelda manga duo Akira Himekawa. The book received an international release by publisher Dark Horse Comics on January 29, 2013;[253] 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.[254] Dark Horse released The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts, a follow-up art book to Hyrule Historia containing additional artwork and interviews,[255][256] in North America and Europe in February 2017.[257]


Taking place in Cologne, Germany, on September 23, 2010, the video game music concert Symphonic Legends focused on music from 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 child to hero.[258][259]

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series in 2011, Nintendo commissioned an original symphony, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses. The show was originally performed in the fall of 2011 in Los Angeles and consists of live performances of much of the music from the series.[260] It has since been scheduled for 18 shows so far throughout the United States and Canada.[260][261] 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 included 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.[262]

Potential films

In 2007, Imagi Animation Studios, which had provided the animation for TMNT and Astro Boy, created a pitch reel for a computer-animated The Legend of Zelda movie. Nintendo did not accept the studio's offer due to the memory of the failure of the 1993 live-action movie adaption of Super Mario Bros.[263]

In 2013, Aonuma stated that, if development of a film began, the company would want to use the opportunity to embrace audience interaction in some capacity.[264][265]

Board games

The Legend of Zelda-themed Monopoly board game was released in the United States on September 15, 2014.[266] A Clue board game in the style of The Legend of Zelda series was released in June 2017.[267] A UNO-styled The Legend of Zelda game was released in February 2018, exclusively at GameStop in North America.[268]


  1. ^Known in Japan as Zelda no Densetsu (Japanese: ゼルダの伝説, Hepburn: Zeruda no Densetsu, lit. "Legend of Zelda").
  2. ^Total sales with GameCube sales subtracted.
Group n
  1. ^Link's Awakening sales breakdown:
  2. ^Ocarina of Time sales breakdown:
  3. ^Majora's Mask sales breakdown:
  4. ^The Wind Waker sales breakdown:
  5. ^Twilight Princess sales breakdown:
  6. ^Breath of the Wild sales breakdown:
  7. ^The Legend of Zelda series: [223]


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  24. ^

Zelda gamecube

It turns out to be quite good to be a director of a department store. The funniest thing is when, hoping for leniency when handing over the money, he leads the investigators to his garage - will they appreciate my joke. I estimated it - 32 thousand. The amount is simply awesome for these times.

Four Zelda Games in One: Zelda Collector's Edition

Catching my eyes, the girl smiled, with the edges of her lips, barely noticeable, but something more was read in her eyes. The alcohol in my head and the cheeky, laid-back look of this girl did their job, and after just a couple of. Minutes I went to her with two Cuba Libre cocktails, having previously asked the bartender to pour a double portion of Bacardi rum into one of them.

Now discussing:

A decent pool of secretions had already gathered under Petra, gleaming in the rays of muted light. Natalie took the second glass. And handed it to the groom. She sat him down in a chair opposite her fixed, love-hungry wife.

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