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.
Email the author Jeff Cork, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
I really liked Zelda II, but man it was hard to beat.
Wind Waker, imo of course, was the best. I've played through all of them at least once, and Wind Waker has them beat by a long shot at least for me. The cell shading was awesome and the music and sounds of the game were just breathtaking. I listen to the soundtrack all the time. I have all the games on my modded wii, but Wind Waker was definitely the best.
The first time I ever played a Legend of Zelda game was Link's Awakening for the original game boy. That doesn't mean I'm that old, though. My family went on a trip to Grayling, MI in 2000 or 2001, and I got the GBA and a few games at a yard sale. I think I was about 7 or 8 years old at the time. Happy birthday, Zelda!
First Zelda Game I Played Was The Original The Legend Of Zelda For The Nes, It Was A Great Groundbreaking Game I Still Remember All the Secrets, Hidden Locations, Old Man With The Swords, Gold Cartridge And The Second World With Mixed Up Levels. Zelda A Link To The Past Is Also One Of My Favorites. Thank You Nintendo For All The Great Zelda Games Over The Years And Many More To Come
I remember playing the first one at my cousin's house and not liking it. I never played a Zelda title since.
Happy B- Day Thx for all your titles. Windwaker the one that got me into the series and for all the grand memories in my childhood.
way to many memories..... How about starting every playthrough the same way? Ocarina, getting all the equipment and clearing the deku tree in under an hour. Majora's mask, escaping the deku mask, saving the bomb lady, getting the bombers notebook, and a few heart pieces, all finishing up by getting that sweet bunny hood, which shall be worn for the rest of the game.
And whooping boss tail with the fierce deity mask of course.
The original Legend of Zelda was the first game I ever played on NES. I wall hooked from the start.
im glad this series has been around for a long time i love retro games! i was around the sega vs nintendo days and when i watched my bros playing ocarina of time i was blown away by it and when they were done i would grab a stick pretending it was the master sword and attack everything with it. those were the glory days :D CHEERS!!!
"The Minish Cap" on GBA is in my top 3 Zelda games of all-time. It doesn't seem like very many (if any) people have mentioned the title. If you have a GBA laying around you should pick up a copy, it won't disappoint.
Jeff has recited Blasphemy. We must stone, burn, waterboard, mutilate, then shoot him repeatedly until he admits that Ocarina of Time was superior.
When we got our Nintendo, it must have been in 1987 or 88. It had been around a few years. We had three games, Super Mario Bros, Duck Hunt, and The legend of Zelda. I really can't put into words how obsessed I was with the world of Zelda.
The drawings in the original manual of Link buying things from the merchant, hiding in the dungeon hall, standing over Hyrule, etc. I used to sit and copy them when I was 8 years old with pens and crayons. I used to walk around the forest on my grandmother's 6 acres with a home made trash can lid shield and sword and boomerang I bought at Toys R Us, having my little sister throw rocks at me to block with my shield.
I love the formula of Zelda games. To me, the formula should be adhered to, and the world and detailed immersive aspects of it are what should be improved. More realistic but stylized caves, forests, and landscapes. Real orchestral music. Flora and fauna.
To me the all time best Zelda titles were Link to the Past and Ocarina for nostalgia, with Wind Waker and Twilight Princess for over all better games in details.
I remember when wind waker came out and I stopped playing altogether. I don't even know why I'm posting this on here. I honestly DON'T care.
Nintendo Power had an awesome comic series for both Link's Adventure and Link to the Past. I still prefer Link to the Past, fantastic music and the introduction of a LOT of the modern Zelda sub weapons.
Link to the Past. Nuff said. :D
Still probably the greatest game ever. The original Zelda turned me on to video games and launched a great franchise.
I wonder if Nintendo will release some collectibles like they did last year for Mario.
My first experience with Zelda was at a very young age. In fact if memory serves me correctly The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was the first video game I ever played. Unfortunately it was at a friend's house and I didn't have any consoles at the time because my parents were cheap and made me play outside.
Then the N64 came out. Yes. My mom, being a huge hockey fan bought me NHL 98 but I wanted Ocarina of Time. So, I did all the chores I could possibly think of until she finally caved in and bought it for me. I was the happiest little eight year old there ever was. I played that game for hours upon hours, days upon days. Constantly restarting the game once I got to the Water Temple because I hated it so much. But in doing that I found so many secrets and heart pieces that after about a month I decided to push onward.
For some reason I was a stupid little kid and couldn't beat the final temple so I called my friend over and we beat it together. It was a glorious day. Ever since then I have tried my hardest to play every Zelda game there has been from Link's Awakening to Twilight Princess, only missing the DS ones because I never had one.
Now with Ocarina coming to the 3DS I have a reason to buy one and finally beat the game by myself almost 13 years later.
7th grade I remember going to KB Toys because I was looking for a new game for my N64. I asked the employee for advice and he showed me Zelda:Ocarina of Time. At the time I hadn't heard of it but he said it was the only reason he got a 64. I got it and the rest is history. To this day Ocarina of Time is my all time favorite game. Oh and I'll never forget my excitement when the commercials for Majora's Mask came out. Happy Birthday Zelda!
The first Zelda was Ocarina of Time (I would pronounce it Ocarani) and I haven't put it down since, due to the fact I can't admite defeat and can't pass the water temple