The Legend Of Zelda series just got 30 years old in 2016. With almost 20 main games, several spin-offs and remakes under its belt, it’s time that we look back at the series. We start from the very first NES game back in 1986-1987 and continue through the more recently released Breath Of The Wild in 2017. But, I won’t do this alone. I think it would be more fun that we look at this series from different angles. That’s why I won’t go too much in depth on each game in this article but other bloggers will. This article will serve as a hub. So, you can go on an adventure through various interesting blogs and maybe discover new authors and blogs to follow! I hope you are ready since here we go!
The lovely logo for this project is created by ZoeF.
In case you have never played a Zelda game, let me explain what this game series is about. The Legend Of Zelda is a game series developed by Nintendo and is the brainchild of Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka.
In almost each Zelda game, you must go on a quest to save a kingdom from destruction. In your quest, you meet different characters and go through various dungeons to get stronger. Each Zelda game has its own gimmick that makes the game stand out on its own. For example, in one game you have transformation masks and in another game, you ride throughout the kingdom on a train.
Each Zelda game takes the player on a journey throughout a game filled with action, adventure, puzzles and much more. It’s hard to explain what makes a Zelda game a Zelda game.
There are various elements that always return in almost each Zelda game. There is always a kingdom or kingdom to save. At the end of each game, you have a big boss battle against the big bad that is threatening the land. You go through dungeons to acquire new items and/or abilities to get stronger. You also go on a journey on your own, sometimes with a companion that helps you throughout the adventure.
If we would cover everything in this retrospective, we wouldn’t be able to ever finish this series. Since there are comic books, tv-series, concerts and so much more. That’s why we decided in this retrospective to focus only on the main series.
But hey, if we explained the Zelda series, we would be here all day. So, it’s time to look at the first game! Let’s get this retrospective started! Little note about the release years, I took the earliest release date, which is in most cases the Japanese release date.
Enough stalling, it’s time to hear what other writers have to say about the Zelda games. Let’s start with the beginning and let’s start with the first Zelda game!
1986 – The Legend Of Zelda (NES)
The first game in the series! So, in this article, you can read the memories of Tim with the first Zelda game.
Something that is very special about the first game is that there were broadcasted sequels of this game. You can read more about it here, BS Zelda.
1987 – The Legend Of Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link (NES)
Creating a sequel isn’t easy. You can go in two different routes. One route is to create something so similar to appeal to the old fans. The other route is to create something completely new to try to draw in new fans.
In this game, they chose the 2nd option. They tried something new with the Zelda formula, but how did it go? Well, Jess will tell you all about it in her article about Zelda II.
1991 – The Legend Of Zelda – A Link To The Past (SNES)
In the article from the Well Red Mage, we learn about his experience with the Link to the Past games. He also talks about why the Zelda series has been able to survive for so long.
If you wonder if “A Link Between Worlds” was the first sequel to this game, well you are mistaken. The first sequel to this game is Zelda – The Ancient Stone Tables.
At first, I played the version on the Gameboy. I only played the DX version a few years ago, when it got released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop.
In the DX version, you have one additional dungeon, playing around with the colors that the Gameboy Color provided. But, in the article that OverThinker wrote, you can read about some interesting facts about this game. Things I didn’t even know. So, I’m quite sure you will learn a lot from this article!
The CD-I is such a strange console. Due to a failed partnership, Philips acquired the rights to some famous Nintendo IP’s. So, Philips created these three infamous games.
What happened? Are these games as bad as everyone says or do they have redeemable qualities? In Jess’ article about these three games, you will find it out. In her article, she takes a more in-depth look at these three games.
While we decided to focus on the main series Zelda games, we decided that the CDi-games should be included in this retrospective.
1998 – The Legend Of Zelda – Ocarina Of Time (N64)
Something I would love to add is the fact that this game got a port to Gamecube. In that version, we also got Master Quest. A more difficult version of the main quest. But the master quest was absent from the Wii, Wii U Virtual Console ports. Shame really.
On LaterLevels, you can read a very enjoyable article with a view of the experiences that Kim had with this game and her stepson. It’s a very enjoyable read.
2000 – The Legend Of Zelda – Majora’s Mask (N64)
As a kid, I didn’t have an N64. I was so jealous of my friend who had one and was able to play this game. I had to emulate it back in the day.
Thankfully, I own the game now on Virtual Console and the 3DS remake. That’s why I love reading stories like Zach wrote about his childhood experiences with the game.
It’s a really heartfelt article and a great read. You wouldn’t be met with a terrible fate if you read this! Seriously, I think it would be a shame if you didn’t read this article.
So, in 2001 we got the first Zelda games developed by Capcom. Did they do a good job or did they fail? Well, AdventureRules and NekoJonez will tell you in their articles. The work of taking a look at these two games is split right in two, just like how the Oracles games split the Zelda formula right into two games.
2002 – The Legend Of Zelda – Four Swords (GBA)
2004 – The Legend Of Zelda – Four Sword Adventures (GameCube)
Personally, I own a copy of the GBA cart with Four Swords, but never got the chance to play it. I have downloaded the DSi/3DS eShop edition of the game. So, it’s quite interesting to read how these two titles play. Since these two titles are the only titles I haven’t really beaten nor really played in the Zelda series. That’s why I have to thank Jessica so much for writing this article. It combines the three games in the Four Sword subseries. Enjoy the read!
2004 – The Legend Of Zelda – The Minish Cap (GBA)
The first time I played The Minish Cap was a rental. Today, I own the game twice. I have a boxed cartridge version and I got the game again on the 3DS with the ambassador’s program.
OverThinkerY took a look at this game and talks about the history and impact of this game. It’s a great read! For those who didn’t know, this game is also made by Capcom just like the Oracle games.
So, I urge you to take a look at the article he wrote. Let’s fuse those Kingstones!
2002 – The Legend Of Zelda – The Wind Waker (GameCube)
When the Gamecube got presented to us, we got a very interesting tech demo at SpaceWorld 2000. Yet, not too long after, the art style of the Wind Waker got revealed.
That’s the story everybody knows about the development of the Wind Waker. So we shouldn’t focus on things you already know.
Lpgardian created an article where he talks about why he thinks that the Wind Waker is one of the best Zelda games ever. He talks about why he loves this game and what exactly he loves and enjoys it.
There are more reasons why you should read this article. Besides talking about his experiences, it’s also a nicely written review of the game.
So, go ahead and give it a read. It’s a great article!
2006 – The Legend Of Zelda – Twilight Princess (Gamecube – Wii)
Reading about personal memories about a game is always fun to me. And this is what you can expect from the article that Jessica wrote about Twilight Princess.
In this article, she compares the place of this game in the timeline, how the game compares to other games.
What I love the most about her article is that she talks about how the game impacted her emotionally.
I have to admit myself, I haven’t finished this game yet. But, I have to agree with a lot of things that Jessica mentioned in this article. The dungeons in this game are amazing. This game was one of the sole reasons I bought a Nintendo Wii.
So, what are you waiting for? Go and take a look at Jessica’s article about Twilight Princess since it’s a great read!
2007 – The Legend Of Zelda – Phantom Hourglass (DS)
So, 2007 came around and we got a sequel to the Wind Waker. Now, I have a lot of great memories with this game; I invited Takuto to tell his memories.
The memories he shares in his article are quite relatable. I remember another frustration with this game. There is this part where you need to stamp something on a map. You have to do something with your DS in order for it to work. I have spent too long to figure that out. In any case, I highly recommend that you read the article since Takuto shares his memories about the game in the first part…
2009 – The Legend Of Zelda – Spirit Tracks (DS)
… and in the 2nd part of the article, he takes you on another journey through Hyrule. When he wrote that this game has one of the best soundtracks in the series, I had to listen to the soundtrack again. To be fair, he makes a very good argument.
So, I hope you have your boarding passes ready since in the 2nd part that Takuto wrote is quite an enjoyable read. He compares it to Phantom Hourglass and talks about his own memories.
Also, Takuto, I feel the same way about these games as you said at the end of your article buddy!
2011 – The Legend Of Zelda – Skyward Sword (Wii)
Skyward Sword was a title that got a lot of praise and a lot of hate from the community. Personally, I enjoy the game to an extent. Thankfully, the AmbiGamer is here to tell her opinion of the game while having a great analysis of the game.
Something really interesting was that she also took a break from playing the game before finishing it. I did the same thing. Twice to be honest.
I still remember the first “leaked” images of this game. Like their one where you saw Link’s back and mysterious blue creature in the foreground. That creature turned out to be Fi, a new version of Navi in my opinion.
But I have introduced this article enough, it’s time for you to read the AmbiGamer’s article about this game.
2013 – The Legend Of Zelda – A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
In 2013, we got a spiritual successor to Link to the Past on the 3DS. It’s called A Link Between Worlds. And in this title, OverThinker gives you a sort of review of the game while he points out the most interesting facts of this game.
The article he wrote is an interesting analysis of the game.
If you are curious what the opinion of OverThinkerY is about this game, you should take a look. But, you should take a look anyway, since he is a great writer.
2015 – The Legend Of Zelda – Triforce Heroes (3DS)
Usually, you can find different recipes from Breath of The Wild on Sheikah Plate’s blog, but she is a big Zelda fan, like me.
She wrote an excellent article on Triforce Heroes. In the article, you will be able to read her own opinion on the game, the development history and much more.
The article is written like she is having a presentation on a stage or talking to you about the game. That makes this article so enjoyable to read.
So, what are you waiting for! I urge you to read about one of the only multiplayer Zelda games!
2017 – The Legend Of Zelda – Breath Of The Wild (Wii U – Switch)
I still remember how disappointed I was each time I heard that this game was delayed. Thankfully, in March 2017 we got the latest entry in the Zelda series.
The name is Breath of the Wild. At first, I was rather hesitant since it changed so many things about the Zelda formula. I can get quite attached to gameplay so I can get disappointed when a sequel changes too much.
But, that’s enough about me. Now, I want to introduce you to my blogging friend Killer Robotics.
In his article, you will find his memories and experiences with the game. He also talks about how this game changed the Zelda formula and what stands out to him the most.
So, I highly recommend that you read KillerRobotics article to learn more about his opinion on the game. It’s a worthwhile read!
Word of thanks and wrapping up
So, now that we reached the end of the hub article, I want to thank every blogger that helped in this project. This article was one of the biggest projects I have ever done.
This project was so much fun to do and I can’t wait to hear what you think! Any feedback is welcome since we might do this project again with a different game series. But keep in mind, creating a series like this, is a huge undertaking and requires a lot of work.
I also want to thank you, the readers! Thank you for supporting us. Thanks to you, we get to do things like this and create more content to entertain you guys and girls. This wouldn’t be possible if nobody read our articles. This made this project totally worth working on! I hope you discovered some new blogs for you to follow since everybody who helped in this project is all great writers and deserves more people following them!
Thank you for reading this article and I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed working on this! I hope to be able to welcome you in another article on my blog but until then, have a great rest of your day and take care!
Just to close off this article, these are the Twitter links of the people who helped to write an article or helped to make this project a reality! And in no particular order, I want to thank everybody.
NekoJonez, Tim Bledsoe, Jessica Allaweh Erin Brown, Chris (OverThinkerY), Adventure Rules, LaterLevels, The AmbiGamer, Zach The Darklegend Auld, Qudduws Lpgardian Campbell, Takuto Anime Cafe, Killer Robitics, The Well Red Mage & SheikahPlate