The lights are on
Are you ready to feel old? Here it comes: The Legend of Zelda was released in Japan 25 years ago today. If you first became acquainted with the series through Ocarina of Time, that number probably didn't make you flinch. If, on the other hand, you remember reading about the game in the Nintendo Fun Club newsletter before it hit stores in the U.S., well, you're old. Congrats!
While the game didn't come over to North America until the end of August in 1987, it seems silly to ignore today's milestone. With that in mind, let's share a few stories about the series. Since I'm already here, I'll start things off.
When I was a kid, I was a rabid Nintendo fan. I practically memorized the contents of each Nintendo newsletter, and this Legend of Zelda thing sounded particularly interesting. It came in a freaking gold cartridge, for crying out loud! It's hard to understand this now, but games didn't have firm release dates back then. Retailers may have known when a particular game was going to be arriving in stores, but even if they did, it didn't occur to them to pass that information along to customers. People hadn't been trained to anticipate new releases the way we do now, either. The most reliable way you'd know if a game was out was by seeing it on a shelf. Lame.
Anyway, I knew that I had to get the Legend of Zelda as soon as I read about it in the newsletter. For the next few months, I started calling the only place that sold games in my small town and asked if it was in stock. I did this every day for months. Some days, I would call in the morning and in the evening, in case they got a shipment after I called the first time. Yes, I was a little obsessed. OK, I was a huge freaking nerd. After a while, they started recognizing my voice, and it was clear that they were tired of this dumb kid pestering them. I didn't care.
Eventually, my family went on a road trip, and we went to a huge (at the time) mall. There it was, at Kay Bee Toys. I remember it costing $53 after taxes, which was outrageously expensive at the time. I didn't care though. The next few days were torture, since my NES was home. I did pore over the map and instruction manual though. I remember being a little put off by the swastika-shaped dungeon. When I finally got home, it was everything I had hoped for and more.
Over the years, the Legend of Zelda games have gotten a little formulaic, but I still have a soft spot for that series. Link's Awakening is one of my all-time favorite games, and I'll go to my grave saying that Majora's Mask is far superior to Ocarina of Time.
That's my long-winded way of saying, "Happy birthday, Zelda!" Your turn.
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Yes. Happ birthday Zelda. I remember the first one i ever played was the oracle of time on My Gameboy...Ahhh good times.
just got a rom on the phone. am playing it again right now!
I remember reading about Zelda before it came out. I was excited and it was one of the first games I ever bought. I think I played it over a dozen times. I used to fiddle with names and I made my name Zelda one time, not knowing that it was a cheat code. That was an intense experience!
I've long been a Zelda fan, but the last couple entries have felt kind of flat. Here's hoping that the next installment is fulfilling.
Majora's Mask is far superior to Ocarina of Time.
I STRONGLY agree with you! Majoras Mask was AMAZING. Ocarina of Time was great. On that note....I thouroughly enjoyed Windwaker. The game introduced some fresh ideas and added some cool powers to links arsenal. Twilight Princess was good. The graphics and dungeons were done VERY well IMO. Skyward Sword......well, I guess we will ALL discover Link's newest adventure together......if we all own a Wii.....which unfortunately I don't own. Happy 25th Link!
Actually finding a dungeon. It took awhile but the reward was immense. That or constantly switching screens to build up a huge supply of rupees for the blue ring.
zelda II was done so differently it was bad
Being too young (but not that young) to remember the good ol' NES and N64 days, my first REAL Zelda game that i really got into was Twilight Princess. I know it sounds lame that my first was not the best, and i didn't really count the GameBoy remake of 4 Swords (i believe it was). But still, after TP, i was hooked for good. Soon i got Phantom Hourglass, and i downloaded Ocarina of Time on the Virtual Console on the Wii, and i fell in love with Zelda. Now is the time i wish i was born 15 years earlier, so i could really appreciate the classics today.
I wonder if nintendo will release some sort of special 25th anniversary package for the legend of zelda?
This is one of my most embarrassing moments as a gamer but I was very young at the time. I was given the original Zelda as a gift but since I was very young, maybe like 3 or 4, the game was too complex for me and my parents (or whoever gave it to me) returned it. I had a brand new copy of the original Zelda and it was returned! It took me some years to realize what a huge mistake that was. A few years later I got Zelda II for my birthday and kept it. I eventually went back and bought a used copy of the original Zelda, but it came with no box or manual. I had played it elsewhere in the meanwhile and had decided to get my own copy. On to Super NES. I remember Link to the Past being one of my first games on that system and I also remember getting stuck in the Dark Palace for a long time (in kid time, it probably wasn't very long at all) because I didn't see a wall at the bottom of the screen in some room I could bomb. I then wanted to play Link's Awakening on Gameboy but I didn't own a Gameboy so I had to borrow the Gameboy along with Link's Awakening in order to play it. Then came the long wait for the next game in the series. When I first saw Ocarina of Time in 3D in magazines my jaw probably dropped to the floor. That was the Zelda game that I most anticipated. When the official release date was announced I started counting down the days. It came out the Wednesday before a Thanksgiving weekend so I skipped school on that Wednesday since it was only a half-day and I played it all weekend. Out of all the games I have ever played, Ocarina was the game that made me the happiest once I finally popped it in and began to play it. As I grew older there wasn't anything significant about the next few releases, but I did get them on release date. For Twilight Princess however, I waited all night at Best Buy to buy the Wii on release date just so I could play Twilight Princess right away. All in all, I love the Zelda games. Happy Birthday!
Ocarina of Time is my favorite game of all time. First Zelda I played as a kid. Ganondorf gave me nightmares. Still almost have that game memorized.
A Link to the Past. Those dungeons were insane. Especially when they would give you one less key then there were doors. *** that was hard.
Happy 25th Birthday LoZ! I'll never forget the first game of it I played: Link's Awakening, which got me interested in A Link to the Past and made me the fan I am today.
Oh, I completely agree that Majora's Mask is better than Ocarina of Time! It's actually my favorite Zelda game!