The Interesting History of Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda franchise from Nintendo is one of the most enduring and storied in video game history. While that longevity is noteworthy in and of itself, Zelda stands out due to Nintendo’s unwavering commitment to excellence. 

Even though certain games shine brighter than others, there has never been a terrible mainline Zelda game in nearly 30 years. It’s very impressive. 

Nintendo does not appear to be interested in modifying some of Zelda’s most recognizable visual aspects. Link, green tunic and all, is still Link. However, except for a few essential icons, the business appears to be willing to alter Zelda’s visual identity regularly. 

Almost every Zelda game is readily recognizable because of its visuals alone, ranging from 2D to 3D and back, from pixels to 3D, toon Link, and back to reality. 

The Legend of Zelda (1987)

The original Zelda game is played to pay homage to the classic 90s video game! In The Legend of Zelda, the player can explore the vast overworld as a young boy, defeat monsters, explore dungeons, and save Princess Zelda from Ganon’s clutches.

The Legend of Zelda is a legendary Nintendo Entertainment System action-adventure game from 1986. (NES). The original Zelda game offers action-packed vintage combat in which you control a young boy named Link as he seeks for the first time to restore peace to the land of Hyrule. 

It is the game that started it all, and that’s where most of the series’ elements came from. You can get to practically any dungeon in this open-world game that does not require a raft.

Zelda II: The Adventures of Link (1988)

Zelda II had little resemblance to the original. Zelda II included side-scrolling portions within a bigger world map rather than the top-down view of the prior game. A strategic fighting system and additional RPG components, such as an experience points system, magic spells, and greater interaction with non-player characters, were also included in the game. 

By defeating foes, Link gets experience points to increase his attack, magic, and life points in this entry of the series.

A Link to the Past (1991)

Thanks to the capabilities of the still-new SNES, A Link to the Past returned to the iconic overhead Zelda perspective, but with significantly more personality and detail. However, gamers are still perplexed as to why Nintendo gave Link pink hair. Is it the brim of his hat, or is it something else? The discussion continues.

Links’ Awakening (1993)

To fit on the Game Boy, Link’s Awakening had to go monochrome, but don’t be misled by the lack of color – this was yet another genuinely delightful Zelda adventure with an exceptionally memorable closing scene.

Ocarina of Time (1998)

The massive 3D visuals of Ocarina of Time may appear antiquated by today’s standards, but they were jaw-dropping at the time. Ocarina of Time also marks a watershed moment in Zelda visuals, establishing a new benchmark for console Zelda games.

Link’s Awakening DX (1998)

Nintendo released Link’s Awakening DX, a colorful recreation of the monochrome original, the same year Ocarina of Time was released. DX contains a new color-based dungeon, which is a wonderful touch.

Majora’s Mask (2000)

Majora’s Mask set itself apart from Ocarina of Time by having a far more gloomy graphical style. Nintendo also took advantage of the N64’s 4MB Expansion Pak to add some extra 3D detail.

Oracle of Ages and Seasons (2001)

Despite being produced by Capcom, Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons on the Game Boy Color maintained the 2D Zelda charm.

The Wind Waker (2003)

Wind Waker’s toon shading, arguably the visual high point of a franchise full of high points, was met with mixed reviews at first. Gamers have grown to love the style’s timeless nature and how expressive it allowed Nintendo to create Link’s facial features over time.

Four Swords Adventures (2004)

Nintendo’s underappreciated co-op multiplayer Zelda primarily imitated A Link to the Past’s style while adding a slew of graphical frills that would have been impossible on 16-bit technology.

The Minish Cap (2005)

Zelda’s 3D console adventures continued to improve in detail, while the 2D handheld releases followed suit.

Twilight Princess (2006)

Nintendo moved away from Wind Waker’s stylized “toon” aesthetics in Twilight Princess, opting for a more realistic look. Some people preferred the more mature approach, while others lamented the loss of Wind Waker’s charm.

Phantom Hourglass (2007)

Thankfully for Toon Link lovers, Nintendo would bring the art style back in Phantom Hourglass for the Nintendo DS a year later.

Skyward Sword (2011)

Skyward Sword, released in 2011, attempts a visual balance between the notion of Wind Waker and the darker, more realistic look of Twilight Princess.

A Link Between Worlds (2013)

Nintendo’s upcoming Zelda adventure, A Link Between Worlds, harkens explicitly back to A Link to the Past’s style while updating it with 3D visuals that make innovative use of the 3DS.

Third generation games

The first game in the series, The Legend of Zelda, was released in Japan in 1986 and the United States and Europe in 1987. It took advantage of the cartridge’s battery-backed memory to save progress. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, launched in July 1988, replaced the top-down perspective with a side-scrolling one.

Fourth-generation games

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, released four years later, returned to the top-down view and added the concept of another dimension to explore – the Dark World. In 1991, the game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was published. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was the first Zelda game for the Game Boy, and it was also the first to take place outside of Hyrule and without Princess Zelda.

Fifth-generation games

With the release of Ocarina of Time in November 1998, the franchise made the shift to 3D after yet another sabbatical. This game, formerly known as Zelda 64, kept the fundamental gameplay of the previous 2D games and became one of the most commercially and critically successful games of all time.

Sixth and seventh-generation games

A software demonstration depicted a realistically designed real-time duel between Ganondorf and Link when Nintendo unveiled the Nintendo GameCube on August 24, 2000. The battle was rumored to be from a Zelda game in development by fans and the media. 

Four Swords Adventures for the GameCube was the next game in the series, and it was released in the first half of 2004 in Japan and America and in January 2005 in Europe.

Hyrulean Adventure and Shadow Battle are two games in one in Four Swords Adventures.

Eighth generation games

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was released on the Nintendo 3DS in November 2013 as a sequel to A Link to the Past. Nintendo announced a Wii U spinoff game, Hyrule Warriors, on December 18, 2013. On August 14, 2014, Hyrule Warriors will be released in Japan.

Nintendo debuted the first trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo, confirming a 2015 release date. The release date was later moved back to 2016, with the possibility of a 2016 release. It has currently been postponed till 2017.

Final Word

In the timeline, key events from the past 34 years are described. Fifteen different game versions have left their mark on gaming history. The Legend of Zelda has always been more than a video game. A significant number of peripheral items, in addition to cartoon and comic works, drew a large number of non-game players. 

There were over a hundred global tour concerts. We have reason to anticipate that a work of such importance to the video gaming industry will shine even brighter in the future.