25 Years of The Legend of Zelda

legend of zelda 25 years

Twenty five years ago today, Nintendo introduced us to Link, a green-suited, sword-wielding adventurer in the land of Hyrule. Debuting on the Nintendo Entertainment System, The Legend of Zelda focused on exploration and freedom as opposed to constraining players to a linear progression like other games on the system. As with all of Shigeru Miyamoto’s creations, Zelda was inspired by aspects of his personal life, in this case his boyhood spent traversing caves and forests.

Over the past twenty-five years, players have guided Link on quests to rescue the titular Princess of the series, restore order to Hyrule, travel through time, even stop the moon from obliterating the world. The breadth of experiences available in the catalog of Zelda games is unparalled, and it’s easy to see why Link and Zelda are cherished characters in the hearts of gamers everywhere.

Since Link and Zelda have been a part of our gaming lives for so long, I thought this would be a great opportunity to share what we love most about The Legend of Zelda. What were your favorite games, and what aspect did you like most about the series? We all know that my favorite title is Majora’s Mask, but I’d have to say that the music is something I consistently enjoy about Zelda. Whether it’s the stirring notes of the Overworld Theme, the somber tones of the Song of Storms or the upbeat tempo of Gerudo Valley, the songs in Zelda have always stuck with me and are some of my favorite soundtracks in gaming.

What about you guys? Go ahead and share your Zelda recollections!

Image by Serbis

Written by

mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

7 thoughts on “25 Years of The Legend of Zelda”

  1. Ocarina of Time is, without doubt, one of the best video game memories I’ll ever have. I got it as a birthday present in 2003 knowing nothing about the Zelda games, and it blew my mind.

    The story, sound, characters, dungeons – everything was phenomenal. Now that its been a few years since I’ve touched it (and I don’t have the game memorized like the back of my hand) I think it might just be time to pick it up again.

    Majora’s Mask was also really really good with surprisingly complex game-play, but after the more mature feel of OoT with adult Link and whatnot, MM felt a little too fantastical and childish in comparison.

  2. What do I love most about Zelda? To be honest I’m not entirely sure but this may help me find a way to articulate it.
    The music is certainly fantastic and is integral to creating the games great atmosphere. The whole impact of having to “save the world” is really reinforced by the grand, sweeping epics composed for the series.
    While it has been bettered in recent years, the exploration and interaction with the world and its characters is still very well done. The constant upgrading of your equipment and abilities, and the unique combinations you use them in, make solving the dungeons’ puzzles so satisfying.
    And that is a great part of the Zelda series. Puzzles. Not enough games have them anymore. Uncharted throws in a a couple per game which are great but too few. Ratchet and Clank also have puzzles, but they are platforming based and lack the complexity of Zelda’s puzzles.
    Combat and boss battles are also great fun. The boss battles add that classic gaming feel to the series but they improve with each iteration adding something fresh to the games even though we’ve been exposed to the concept for so long. The combat itself is also so visceral and combine the reaction based gameplay (as of Wind Waker it has been enhanced significantly: *A* – dodge – hit enemy; such a simple thing changes it entirely. Twilight Princess added the new combos and special moves bringing variety at a consistent pace of progression through the game).
    To finish, my fave games are Twilight Princess and Wind Waker. Ocarina was excellent, but over time I’ve experienced leaps and bounds in the games that it pales in comparison. I’ve yet to play Majora’s Mask.

  3. A Link To The Past in my SNES days was the only iteration I ever played of the game. I went to a local vintage-game shop to pick it up again months back but it was over $50 because everyone wants it. So, I played it on an emulator, and I can’t believe how HARD it is. How the hell did I figure out what to do when I was 6 and 7 years old? I finished it then, but admittedly needed a walkthrough a few times to finish it this time.

    Either way, awesome game, great memories.

  4. Man, I gotta go replay some Zeldas! It’s the feeling of the open world that keeps me playing even after 8 completions. Plus, the music is ingrained into my soul. Ocarina of Time is my favorite because Nostalgia is a clingy stalker, but she’s cute, so…um…yeah. Majora’s Mask has a creepy but still very well executed atmosphere. It’s definitely as potent now that I’m older as it was freaky back when I was a kid.

  5. Ocarina of Time was the game that got me into games, so I’m gonna have to say Ocarina of Time is definitely my fav.

  6. Dang, I remember waiting my turn at some department store as a 7 year old kid, fingers crossed that the kid in front of me would hurry up and die before my mom was done shopping so I could experience firsthand the amazingness of The Legend of Zelda in all its 8-bit glory. Hoping the next chapter brings back some of the Ocarina of Time/Majora’s Mask magic, as Twilight Princess just seemed to be missing something for me.

  7. I also loved Ocarina of Time, and was thrilled with how original Majora’s Mask was. Twilight Princess was also an excellent entry. However, those games don’t stand up so well to the test of time, in my opinion anyway. Maybe Majora’s Mask does, but I tried OoT recently and couldn’t get into it, and I have no desire to go through Twiight Princess again, especially with the dragging “Link as a Wolf” areas.

    However, the game that stands up incredibly is SNES’s A Link to the Past, something I’ve played several times and it has never lost its charm. Oddly enough, I’d also put Minish Cap in that list. And an honorable mention to The Adventures of Link, (although that might be because, as many times as I’ve played it, I can never beat it) and Four Swords, the GameCube entry you could play with friends and use your GBA as a controller.

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