What’s up everybody! Today we’re going to talk about the games in The Legend of Zelda series.
The Legend of Zelda, created by Shigeru Miyamoto, the video game creator of the Mario, Star Fox, Pikmin, and F-Zero franchises, is a very popular fantasy/puzzle/roleplaying/action game, and has sold millions around the world. I’m gonna give you a quick breakdown of every game.
The Legend of Zelda- The Legend of Zelda was the first in the series of fourteen and counting. Released in U.S. in 1987, the game was a bestseller, and an instant classic. The story starts when the evil Ganon and his army invade the kingdom of Hyrule. He gets the triforce of power, which bestows his strength. Zelda, the princess, splits another part of the triforce, the triforce of wisdom, into eight pieces, to keep it out of Ganons hands, and hides them in deep, difficult dungeons filled of puzzles, traps, and monsters. Impa, Zelda’s caretaker, runs away, but is surrounded by Ganons monsters. Link, a young boy drives them off. Impa then tells Link to find the eight pieces of the triforce of wisdom, so he can fight Ganon and save Hyrule and Zelda. He goes to eight dungeoons, collects the fragments, and finds tools to help him on his quest, such as a boomerang, bow and arrows, ect. He then goes into Ganons castle using the Triforce of Wisdom. Link and Ganon fight, and Link eventually kills him with a silver arrow he found. Once Ganon is dead, Link picks up the Triforce of Power from his ashes, rescues Princess Zelda, and returns the Triforces.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link- Released in the U.S. in 1988, Zelda II was a completely different game than it’s predecessor. The game features a sidescrolling, 2D game, much like the early Super Mario Bros. games. It also had an experience level, which raised as you defeated more monsters. The experience points eventually reward him with stamina, magic spells, and better attacks. Each categorie has eight upgrades, and once all eight have been reached, Link gets an extra life, which has never been done since. The Adventure of Link is definitely the oddball in the series. The storyline starts after The Legend of Zelda. Link notices the mark of Hyrule’s crest on his left hand. He finds Impa to figure out what it is. Impa takes him to a door in the castle that has been closed for hundreds of years. When he puts his hand over the door, it opens, revealing a room with a girl laying on a table, sleeping. It is Zelda. It turns out that many years ago, a princess named Zelda, was put under a sleeping spell by her brothers friend because she didn’t tell him where the three gold triangles, Hyrule’s crest. Her brother then puts her in a locked room, hoping someday somebody could save her, and makes it so every girl born in the royal family would be named Zelda, in remembrance. Link finds out from Impa that the mark on his hand means he has been chosen to wake her. He recieves a treasure chest with six jewels, which each must be placed in a different palace in Hyrule to open the Great Palace, which holds the Triforce of Courage, which can wake Zelda. Link goes off to put the jewels in their palace. Ganon’s followers, at the same time, are trying to kill Link so they can spill his blood on Ganon’s ashes, to make him come back to life. Link finally opens the Great Palace, in which he has to fight a shadow, known as Link’s shadow. He goes back to Hyrule’s castle with the Triforce of Courage, and puts all three Triforces together, and gets to make a wish. After his wish, Zelda awakes.
A Link to the Past- A Link to the Past did very well, like the other two games. Released in 1992, A Link to the Past was said to be ther prequel to the original two games, although after it’s release, there has been much speculation on it. The game was much like the first game in many ways. It featured a overhead view, which made the game a little easier to play. In the beginning, Link recieves a telepathic message from Zelda, who is locked in the dungeon of the castle. Link’s uncle is ready for battle when Link wakes up, and he’s going to the castle. Link follows him secretly, and finds him injured at Hyrule castle. He tells Link to save the princess, and gives him a sword and shield. He finds Zelda, and they leave through a secret passageway that leads to a sanctuary. A man there tells Link Agahnim, an evil wizard who has taken control, is going to break a hundreds of years old seal that imprisoned Ganon. He is in the Dark World, which he made after using the triforce to make the Sacred Realm the Dark World. To break the seal, Agatnim must place the Seven Sages’ (the ones who made the seal) in the Dark World. The only way to defeat Agahnim is by using the Master Sword. He must collect three magic pendants and rest them by the resting place of the Master Sword. After he does that he gets the sword. He is immediately informed by Zelda telephatically that the Hyrule soldiers have arrived at the sanctuary. By the time he gets there, he learns from a dying man that Zelda has been thrown in the Dark World in Hyrule Castle. Link beats Agahnim, but is sent to the Dark World at the same time. Link then must save the seven descendants of the seven sages from seven dungeons. After that, Link fights and defeats Agahnim again, but when he’s dead, Ganon rises from his body, and flies away in the shape of a bat to the Pyramid of Power. After Link defeats him, he touches the Triforce, and Hyrule is restored.
Link’s Awakening- Released in 1993, Link’s Awakening was a very different game than the rest of the series. It was the first on a handheld console (the gameboy), and was the first game without Ganon or the triforce or even Hyrule. The game takes place in Koholint Island, where Link is stuck on, after his ship is damaged in a storm. He must travel through dungeons and fight monsters to get all eight instruments to awaken the Wind Fish, who is sleeping inside of a shell and can rescue him. For such a small island, there is a lot of ground to cover in very mixed terrains, along with hidden paths and other secret stuff. In the end, Link collects all of the instruments, and plays the Ballad of the Wind Fish. He then enters the wind fish’s nightmare, where he fights several enemies from his past, including Ganon. He then plays the same song, and he and the fish wake up from the nightmare. Link is back on his ship, and if you didn’t lose a life the entire game, the wind fish is shown flying. Link’s Awakening did very well, and was a good game due to the fact that the developers didn’t follow their normal recipe for success. The game is shown on many top 100 lists, but the following game was to be the highest point in the Zelda franchise.
Ocarina of Time- Released in 1998, Ocarina of Time was a groundbreaking game, and also the transition into 3D graphics for Zelda. It won several awards, was the Nintendo 64’s bestselling game, and is featured at the top of almost any game critic’s top ten list (usually in first), and is often considered the best game of all time. With remakes, rereleases, and even sequels, Ocarina of Time is definitely the high point in the Zelda franchise. The game took place in Hyrule, and begins when Navi, Link’s fairy, awakens him from a nightmare, in which he pictured a shadowy figure (Ganon) chasing a young girl (Zelda) on horseback. He is brought to The Great Deku Tree, who is near death. Link goes through a dungeon inside of him, breaks a curse, but can’t do anything else. The Great Deku Tree gives Link the spiritual stone of the forest, and tells him of the man who put a curse on him, trying to conquer Hyrule. He sends Link to the castle to talk to Zelda, after which the tree dies. Link meets Zelda, who also has dreamed about Ganon, the Gerudo King of Thieves, and his plan to steal the triforce and rule Hyrule. Link is asked to collect the three stones (he has one already), so he can enter the holy realm and take the triforce before Ganon. He then goes to the Gorons, and after a dungeon collects another stone. The third was found at the Zoras’, after yet another dungeon. He then goes back to the castle, where his dream about Ganon chasing Zelda comes true. She throws the ocarina into the river. After Link gets it, she teaches him the Song of Time, which he uses to enter the sacred realm. He gets the Master Sword, but Ganon, who had followed him, gets the triforce. Link falls asleep, only to be woken seven years later, by Rauru, one of the Seven Sages who protected the triforce. He had preserved Link until he was old enough to use the sword and defeat Ganon. The Sages can put Ganon in the Sacred Realm, but five of the sages lost their memory of theirself being a sage. Link must go through dungeons to find rid the temple of the monsters and darkness, so the sage can be awaken, and is helped by a mysterious stranger, named Sheik. After that is done, Sheik tells Link she is a sage, and also Zelda. She tells Link that because Ganon’s heart was unbalanced, the triforce split into three. He kept the Triforce of Power, Zelda got the Triforce of Wisdom, and Link, the Triforce of Courage by destiny. She gives Link silver arrows, which he can use to defeat Ganon. She is then captured by Ganon, and put in a tower in the castle. With the sages’ help, he breaks into the castle, and gets to the top, where he fights and defeats Ganon, and saves the Princess Zelda. Ganon is imprisoned in the Sacred Realm, where he vows to take revenge on their descendants (he still has the triforce of power). Zelda then sends Link seven years into the past using the ocarina, so that he can live his childhood.
Majora’s Mask- In 2000, Majora’s Mask was released. In this game, Skull Kid steals Majora’s Mask. Underneath it’s evil power, he causes the moon to crash into Terminia in three days. The major difference between this game and The Ocarina of Time is the fact that Link must use masks, which transform him into different characters. Another difference is that the game revolves around a 3 day schedule, which greatly affects the game, but the masks are the major, and one of the more major, changes because each character has different moves. The game takes place in a land called Termina, which is like Hyrule. The game starts right after The Ocarina of Time. Link is riding on Epona, when Skull Kid steals her and the Ocarina, runs into a cave, and turns Link into a Deku Scrub. Tatl, a fairy, says he will help him. They follow him, and meet a salesman, who says he will help Link if he gets the Ocarina and Majora’s Mask. He follows Skull Kid into a town, where he learns the moon will crash in three days. At the end of three days, he goes against him, and retrieves the Ocarina, which he uses to go back to the beginning. He goes back to the salesman, who helps him learn the song to change him to a human. He then goes to four dungeons, which each hold one of the giants that can stop the moon. Once they’re collected, Link calls them, and they stop the moon. The mask, which only possesses the wearer and makes him do want the mask wants, then flies away and lands on the moon. Link then travels there, and defeats the mask. The game is called the darkest and saddest of all the Zelda games, but is still very great, but a little harder than usual.
Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages- Released in 2000 for the Gameboy Color, these two games released in the same year were very different from the rest of the series, but still did very well. They have a complicated linked storyline, in which both have kidnappings. The ending can only be played when both games are played, and you enter the password in the sequel. These games are much like Pokemon, in which they release two games that are hugely the same, with small differences, and playing both unlocks things. I won’t go into much detail about the games, but just know how it is different, because it isn’t meant to be one of the major games in the series.
The Wind Waker- Released in 2003, The Wind Waker was yet again a very different kind of game, with a different world, different characters, a different style and feel to it, and it looks way different! Still, it is a good game, and is on the gamecube. It’s set on a group of islands, and underneath are the remains of Hyrule from The Ocarina of Time. Link lives with his sister and grandfather. When he is old enough, he gets to wear the clothes like those that the Hero of Time wore (Link), hundreds of ago. He looks through a telescope, and sees a bird carrying a girl, and he goes to the forest to see. He rescues Tetra, a pirate, but his grandfather is then captured. The two travel to the Forsaken Fortress to get him back. He goes in, but is kicked out. A talking boat tells him that Ganon controlls the fortress. He goes to collect three pearls, takes them to a set of islands, and opens a way to get to Hyrule. He finds the master sword, awakening all the evil. He gets back up to the surface, and goes into the fortress. He makes his way to Ganon, but is defeated with ease. Him taking the sword made it vulnerable to evil. After being rescued, they find the king who gives them a triangle, or a piece to the triforce. When combined with Tetra’s, she becomes Zelda and the sword’s power is returned. He then goes on many quests to find the third piece of the triforce. He finally finds it, and it goes inside of him. This makes him the Hero of WInds. He goes to Ganon’s Tower in Hyrule, where Ganon is. He said that the three of them fixed the triforce, and whoever touches it can make a wish. Before touching it, the king touches it and wishes that the evil be washed away, and Link and Tetra safe. Ganon and Link then fight, and Link wins. Link and Tetra then float to the top in a bubble.
Four Swords Adventure- Released in 2004 for the gamecube, the game was a multiplayer game, which four can play through the adventure, and there are a couple of minigames. I’m not going to go into much detail, though.
The Minish Cap- Released for the gameboy advance in 2004, The Minish Cap is another very different game. It was very good looking, especially compared to most games on the platform. Link has a talking cap named Ezlo who can shrink Link to the size of another race called Picori. Link is sent by the king to seek the help of the Picori (who can only be seen by kids) after Zelda is petrified by Vaati. He saves the hat who used to be a Picori, along with Vaati. In fact, Vaati was his apprentence. He became corrupted, stole a wish-granting hat made by Ezlo, and turns him into a hat using his new sorcerer powers. Link rescues four artifacts, and uses them to turn the Picori blade into the four sword. Vaati takes over Hyrule castle, an Link battles him in his many forms. Link wins, gives Zelda the hat, and she wishes everything back to normal.
Twilight Princess- Released in 2006 for the Gamecube ant the Wii, Twilight Princess is without a doubt one of the greatest Zelda games ever. Monsters attack Link’s village, and children are kidnapped. When Link approaches Twilight, he is turned into a wolf. He meets Midna, the princess of twilight, and together they escape the dungeons and go to the top of Hyrule Castle, where they meet Zelda. You find out Midna is looking for the fused shadows, which she can use to defeat Zant and save her kingdom. They go to the Forest Temple, Goron Mines, and Lakebed Temple. They also rescue the kids along the way. They also restore the light spirits, that were turned into twilight along with the area around it. This allows Link to be in human form in the area. Zant takes the fused shadows, and then puts a black crystal in Link’s head, forcing him to stay in wolf form. He also shows the light of one of the spirits to Midna, and she weakens. Link takes Midna back to Zelda, who removes the crystal and sacrifices herself to keep Midna alive. They head back to the forest to get the Master Sword. It pushes the crystal out of him, and They can now use it to change Link’s form freely. They go into the desert, and the Arbiter’s Grounds temple, to get to the Mirror of Twilight so they can enter Twilight and defeat Zant, but they find that it is broken and missing. The sages guarding it say that they bannished Ganondorf into it when he attacked, and may be the source of Zant’s new powers. They then spread the mirror pieces accross Hyrule. Link then goes to the Snowpeak Ruins, the Temple of Time, and Oocca’s City in the Sky to get the fragments, and put them together. They then enter twilight. They go through the level there, and depower Zant using Midna’s fused shadows. They go back to Hyrule Castle and used the shadows to break into it’s barrier. They go throught yet another level, and go against Ganondorf who has captured Princess Zelda. Link wins, and peace returns to Hyrule. The game is beautiful, and has a huge world free to explore filled with side quests, collectables, enemies, mini-games, and everything you’d ever want from a Zelda game. Also, on the Wii, you can swing your sword and use your shield using the remotes, although it felt kind of tacked on, but I’m sure they’ll get it right next time.
Well, I’ll do the Phantom Hourglass later, but that’s about it. You are probably wondering what’s next… Well, a new game is in the works, and the masterminds that brought you Twilight Princess and the Phantom Hourglass have teamed up to release a new game for the Wii. I believe that this game is going to be spectacular, and may even be compatible with Wii Motion Plus, or maybe even something else, but who knows? We’re just going to have to wait and see.