The Legend of Zelda Series
With the release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword this Sunday, it seemed like a good time to start an article on the Legend of Zelda series. This article will be a work in progress with more games continually added so check back every so often to see what's up. For now we're focusing on the first 3 games on the series.
With close to 20 entries in the series, seeing how the games fit together gets very confusing, especially when the developers contradict themselves on what happens and when. Link, Zelda, and Ganon are reborn time and again to do what they do best: stop evil, get kidnapped, and try to destroy the world respectively. Read the summaries to get familiiar with these earlier adventures, we'll update the article as more consoles with Zelda titles are added to the site.
The Legend of Zelda
February 21, 1986
The original Legend of Zelda was a bit of a gamble for now famous game designer Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros.). The game was inspired by earlier titles like Adventure and was set in an open world that the player could explore looking for clues on what to do next. Miyamoto was worried that players would get frustrated without a clear direction in mind and a set path of what to do next, but was surprised when the game was a critical and commercial success. 25 years later it is still recognized as one of the best games of all time.
The game introduces Link, a young boy tasked with recovering the 8 pieces of the Triforce of wisdom and saving Princess Zelda who has been captured by the evil Ganon after he has invaded Hyrule Kingdom and stole the Triforce of power.
Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link
January 14, 1987
With the success of the original title, development on Zelda 2 was underway, however Miyamoto did not want to simply create the same game again. He wanted to make something new and very different. Few team members from the original game returned, and the new team was asked to think creatively to bring a new Zelda experience to players. The result is a side scrolling action RPG that is a radical departure from the original Zelda and, despite the commercial success at the time, is known as the black sheep of the series. Despite that, the players who did enjoy the game ended up finding a deep and engaging experience that makes it one of the most memorable in the series to them.
The game features Link returning from the first title to stop Ganon's followers from reviving him and also gather the Triforce of courage which will allow him to awaken a sleeping Princess Zelda who has been slumbering for centuries.
The story takes place several years after the events of The Legend of Zelda, and surprisingly the game is the last game in the series as every later iteration of the has taken place before The Legend of Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
November 21, 1991
Still considered by many to be the best game in the series and one of the best games of all time, the first SNES entry in the series is one that defined many features for the series moving forward. Taking place long before the original two titles the game it is also the first instance of Nintendo using the characters as figures that are reborn throughout history, a tough concept for fans at the time to grasp. This Link is not the same as the Link from the first two games. It’s the same for Ganon and Zelda, but his quest is the timeless conflict... stop Ganon, save Zelda!