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The Legend of Zelda is a fantasy adventure video game series published by Nintendo. The games revolve around the playable hero, Link. In many of the games, Link is tasked with rescuing Princess Zelda from the main antagonist, Ganon.
The Legend of Zelda (shown below, left), created by Japanese game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) on February 1st, 1986. The game was unique in that it allowed the player to explore an open world and save their progress without the use of a password. A sequel, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (shown below, right) was released in Japan for the NES on January 14th, 1987 and in North America seven months later.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (shown below, left) was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in Japan on November 21st, 1991 and in North America the following year. On June 6th, 1993, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (shown below, right) was released for the Game Boy 8-bit handheld device in Japan and in North America several months later in August.
On November 21st, 1998, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time(shown below, left), initially known as Zelda 64, was released for the Nintendo 64 (N64) console, the first of the series with 3D graphics, a target lock combat system and context-sensitive button commands. On April 27th, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (shown below, right) was released for the N64, in which the player uses various masks which can transform Link into different beings.
The Gameboy Color games The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages were simultaneously released on February 27th, 2001. On December 13th, 2002, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (shown below, left) was released for the Nintendo GameCube, in which the player sails a boat across the ocean to travel to different islands and explore dungeons. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (shown below, right) was released on March 18th, 2004, in which the player battles the evil doppelganger Shadow Link.
It eventually became one of Nintendo’s longest running series, counting nearly 20 games in main series since its conception (excluding the spin-off games and third party releases). Febuary 21st, 2011 marked the 25th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda franchise, in which Nintendo announced a worldwide Orchestra to celebrate.
The games in the series have been critically acclaimed, especially The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64, which many reviewers and fans state as the best game with the series. Majora’s Mask, developed a cult fan following, due to the dark mood and feeling of the game. As of November 9th, 2011, nearly all of the games have received Metacritic scores of 80 or above, with the exception of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, which is considered by many as the Black sheep of the franchise. The series has gone on to inspire many other games, including Okami, Darksiders and World of Warcraft.
The series has garnered a significant online following, with two wiki sites dedicated to the game. Several fan-sites have been launched, including Zelda Universe, which specializes in news from the series, and Zelda Dungeon, which specializes in Zelda-related news, walkthroughs and cheats for the games. The Legend of Zelda also has a large presence on many sites, including 4chan’s /v/ (videogames) board and Tumblr.
Many fans have created games, videos and webcomics based on the series. The first modified version of Ocarina of Time was “Zelda’s Birthday”, in which Link oversleeps and forgets about Zelda’s birthday and searches for a presents. Other popular games include “The Legend of The Princess”, a side scrolling action game, and “The Legend of Zelda: Parellel Worlds”, a modified version of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
The Legend of Neil
One of the most successful web series is the Legend of Neil, an adult three season online series, hosted by Atom.com. The series follows Neil, who is sucked into the world of The Legend of Zelda while playing the game. The first episode was a four-minute YouTube video posted in 2007.
Navi / Hey! Listen!
Navi is Link’s partner in the game Ocarina of Time, who is known for repeatedly saying “Hey! Listen!” during the game.
CD-i Legend of Zelda
The CD-I Zelda games are a series of infamous Zelda games released for the Phillips CD-I, The most popular ones being the first two games, Faces of Evil and Wand of Gamelon. They are well-known for their poorly animated cutscenes, which are often used in Youtube Poops.
Ben Drowned is a popular creepypasta based off a haunted copy of The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask. The story is popular on 4chan’s /x/ board, and is often associated with the line “You shouldn’t have done that.”
It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This.
“It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This.” is a image macro meme originating from the first Legend of Zelda game. The catchphrase is commonly used in images where a person receives a certain object from another person.
Well Excuse me Princess!
Well Excuse Me Princess is the catchphrase of Link in the Nintendo licensed Zelda cartoon, which was shown as part of the Super Mario Brother Super Show. The phrase is often used as a response to being complained against or disagreed with.
I Am Error
I am Error is a line said by an NPC in the game Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link. There has been much speculation to the purpose of the line, with many fans assuming it was a mistake made by the translators.
Tingle is a recurring character from the Zelda series. He is a 35 year old man, who has spent his life in search of “Forest Fairies”, and often mistakes Link for one. Despite having a cult following in Japan and being the star of his own spin-off series, he is widely hated within the western audience, because of his weird looks and general annoyance. He is also the star of fan game Kakashi: The Search for Tingle.