The Legend of Zelda has been around since 1986, beginning with the classic game that started off the epic video game series we all love today. Starring Link, the hero who must save Hyrule from the forces of evil, many Zelda games are among gamers’ most beloved video games of all time.
For as long as The Legend of Zelda has been around in the gaming world, there’s quite a lot of interesting history about the series, from its early development to obscure titles you may not know about. Let’s jump right into fun facts you absolutely need to know about The Legend of Zelda.
10/10 Shares Creator With Super Mario
The Legend of Zelda is one of many iconic series created by Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto, who also created Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, and Pikmin. Miyamoto’s creativity paved the way for video games to rise as a popular source of entertainment, a legacy that The Legend of Zelda gets to be a part of today.
While Miyamoto isn’t as directly involved in the Zelda series now a days, he still has strong opinions about the series. Apparently, he found Navi annoying like the rest of us, and hated Wind Waker’s cartoony style.
9/10 The Meaning Of “Link”
The choice to name The Legend of Zelda’s protagonist “Link” has multiple meanings. Since The Legend of Zelda is based on the medieval era, Link’s name serves as a symbol of the way the game connects — or “links” — the past to the present. This was Miyamoto’s initial intention.
However, that’s not the only thing Link’s name represents. It’s also intended to “link” the character in the game with you, the player. Link’s design also emphasizes this connection through his lack of spoken dialogue, as well as the ability to change his name in many Zelda games.
8/10 The Legend Of Zelda Title Theme’s Miraculous Origins
The original Legend of Zelda opening theme was simply a pre-existing song: Ravel’s Bolero. However, even though Bolero was an older piece of music, it still fell within copyright law. Right as the game was nearly finished, Miyamoto and composer Koji Kondo realized they couldn’t use Ravel’s song.
So, in a last-minute burst of effort, Kondo simply composed a new opening song based on music he’d written for the game. He accomplished this overnight! Considering what a classic piece of video game music Zelda’s opening theme now is, this is quite the miracle.
7/10 Triforce Development
In the first Legend of Zelda game, the Triforce didn’t include three pieces. Only the Triforce of Power, wielded by Ganon as usual, and the Triforce of Wisdom, hidden by Princess Zelda and sought by Link, appear in the game.
However, it wasn’t long until the Triforce of Courage was added into the game’s lore to complete the three-part Triforce we know today. Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link revolves around finding the Triforce of Courage. Since then, the symbol has appeared in all Zelda games, though it is not always significant to the game’s story.
6/10 Hyrule’s Mythology
Just like the Triforce, the mythology of Hyrule evolved over the earliest games. The goddess’ role in the shaping of Hyrule and the creation of the Triforce wasn’t introduced to the series until A Link to the Past. Before then, the first two games contained subtle allusions to the real-world religion of Christianity.
The references to the Christian religion are subtle, contained largely to the Cross symbol that appears in the first legend of Zelda game and Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link. While A Link to the Past does introduce the lore of the goddesses and Hyrule’s invented religion, that game also has a few holdover Christian references too.
5/10 The Zelda Timeline Debate
The timeline of The Legend of Zelda, or where each of the games fit in chronological order, is an on-going debate. The Hyrule Historia presents the first “definitive” timeline, only for it to be revised in the subsequent official Zelda Encyclopedia. These contradictory details, partnered with Breath of the Wild’s ability to fit in at the end of any of the three timeline branches, calls into question the validity of a set Zelda timeline.
Complicating matters, the series’ developers, Miyamoto in particular, want to focus on making each new game a good story over thinking through how it fits neatly into the timeline. So, it seems the Zelda timeline is best left up to the interpretation of individual players.
4/10 Zelda Isn’t In Every Game
Despite bearing the name “The Legend of Zelda,” Princess Zelda doesn’t even appear in every game. She is not in Link’s Awakening or in Tri Force Heroes, though both games do contain a small reference to her. She’s also not involved in Majora’s Mask, appearing only in a flashback of Ocarina of Time.
Even though Zelda doesn’t appear in every game, she does play a significance role in the series as a whole. She is by far Nintendo’s most involved princess and one of their strongest female characters.
3/10 Tingle Has His Own Spin-Off Games
While Tingle is one of the most frightening characters in The Legend of Zelda series, he did manage to land a series of spin-off games for the Nintendo DS. While the first one, Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland, was released in both Japan and Eastern Europe, the others were only released in Japan.
One is a remake of Balloon Fight for the NES, only with Tingle, called Tingle’s Balloon Fight. The other is Ripened Tingle’s Balloon Trip of Love. These strange spin-off games are not considered canon.
2/10 Cut Sheikah Game
Once upon a time, Retro Studios, one of Nintendo’s developers, pitched and prototyped a Sheikah RPG spin-off game in the mid-2000s. It’s unsure why the project was ultimately cut, as the concept sounded fairly intriguing, especially for Zelda fans.
The intended game would’ve followed the last of the Sheikah and revealed how the Master Sword came to be. Interestingly, the plot of the Master Sword’s origins was recycled in Skyward Sword, though it’s unclear if the cut spin-off’s story was intentionally reused or not.
1/10 Speedrunning Records
Speedrunning The Legend of Zelda games is a fun, exciting challenge with an active community. From discovering and sharing warp glitches to attempting to beat the game the old-fashioned way as fast as possible, there are a lot of tricks to mastering the perfect Zelda speed run.
Believe it or not, the shortest you can beat a Zelda game in is a minute in a half. This is the Any Percent record for A Link to the Past, using an intense glitch in the game. CamelCreator has held this record for several years. The longest speedrun in the Zelda series goes to Breath of the Wild (no surprise there). For a 100 percent extended run, the fastest times come in at just under 20 hours.
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