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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I remeber booting up Ocarina of Time and just immediately falling in love with it. I'm pretty sure I was playing for like 8 hours straight. That game really hit the right chord with me that few games have since. LoZ is one of those series that has that power.
Happy Birthday Zelda, wow it's been that long and all the memories of this game it was quite a tough game.
At the time the first Zelda game released I was still living under my parent's roof and playing Gradius. I really wanted this new Zelda game, but they wouldn't buy it until I beat Gradius. At the time I was actually going to beat the game they were gone, and I knew I needed proof. I paused the game and set up the VCR to record me playing the game, which I tested and it worked. I did then beat the game, and told them when they got home. I showed them the recording and got Zelda the very next day.
Wow 25 years already, but at least they are fond memories. I can't rmember if I got Zelda: Link's Awakaning or A Link to the Past first. Never the less both where awesome and helped fuel my fanboyhood and general appreciaion for video games. Here's to you Zelda, happy birthday.
Wait, are we celebrating Link's or Zelda's?
Sure, I may have been introduced to Zelda through Ocarina of Time... but That game introduced me to gaming. That was the first game I ever beat, the first game I actually tried with. I wouldn't be on this site right now if not for Ocarina of Time.
Happy 25th Legend of Zelda. Can't wait for Skyward Sword.
And yet, after 25 years, Link still hasn't managed to say anything more than just a "yahhh!" as if he had just been kicked in the groin by Zelda.
Happy Birthday Legend of Zelda!!!!! I'm so glad I've had the privilege to play some of the games in this franchise(OOT FTW!!!!). This franchise is probably my favorite in gaming too :) Keep bringing the goods!
I'm ashamed to admit, but I didn't take an interest in any Zelda game until I picked up Wind Waker. Since then, I've been hooked to Zelda.
Watching my cousin run through the original was what pretty much got me off mario and onto every other game I ever played. Zelda was an education in what else was out there for a gamer.
My first zelda experiences were watching family members play. The first games I played for myself were the Oracle games. Zelda is one of the best, and ages incredibly well.
I never played any Link games in their entirety... blame my parents for getting me a Sega and savings me from a lifetime of relentless Nintendo nostalgia
I love Zelda games so much I have never finished one. This is because I don't want the game to end. I play the game all the way to the final boss and then turn off...
I think perhaps it may be time to pull out all my various Zelda games and finally beat Ganandorf.
Happy birthday, Zelda!
My first copy of the original Zelda had something wrong with it and the save function was messed up. Meaning, I had to leave my NES running all the time. It was so worth it. Eventually, I got a new copy, but I still remember spending a whole weekend playing.
Link to the Past is still one of my favorite games of all time.