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LEGEND AND TRUTH


The Legend of Zelda Series

There has been a Legend of Zelda video game on every major Nintendo platform, and with good reason. The series, an adventure/RPG series, is awesome.

The Legend of Zelda started out on the original Nintendo system. Unlike Nintendo games like Super Mario Brothers, Zelda gave the player some choice in where to go, limited choice on when to do certain things, and a world that didn't force you to move only up and to the right. The game introduced players to Link of Hyrule and his quest to find the eight missing pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom, defeat Ganon, who has stolen the Triforce of Wisdom, and rescue Princess Zelda.

The original LoZ game was followed by Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, a game completely different from all the other Zelda games in style. In it, Ganon has placed a curse on Zelda, and to wake her up from her enchanted sleep, Link must recover the Triforce of Courage. To get the Triforce, he has to first find various crystals.

After the Super Nintendo came out, a Zelda game was released for it titled A Link to the Past. The game gives much more depth to the Zelda legend, basically redefining and enhancing the story and characters with a different Link and a different Zelda. It's currently my favorite game in the series.

Link's Awakening was released for the Gameboy. It takes place sometime after A Link to the Past. In it, Link is on a boat when a terrible storm strikes, and he wakes up sometime later on a strange island. On the island, he encounters Maron, a girl who resembles Princess Zelda. He learns in order to leave the island, he must awaken the Wind Fish by finding various musical instruments scattered about the land. An enhanced Gameboy Color version was called Link's Awakening DX, and it had some color, a new dungeon, and had some extra features.

With the arrival of the Nintendo 64, two games were made for that platform. The first was Ocarina of Time in which a new Link must manipulate the forces of time in order to save Hyrule from Ganon. The second game, Majora's Mask, was a sequential sequel (but unrelated storywise) to Ocarina of Time where Link must travel through time in order to prevent the moon from crashing into a parallel world and destroying it.

Two Gameboy Color games, Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, were released later. The games are related, and in order to unlock all the secrets and items, you have to link them.


The Story

Our silent hero is Link, who from game to game is either a teenager or a young boy. He lives in the world of Hyrule. Depending on the game, he either grows up with his uncle (A Link to the Past) or in the woods believing he's an elf (Ocarina of Time). In most of the games, he's a young man, since only recently in the N64 games did Link ever appear as a child (and get voice effects).

In most of the games, Link's main goal is to save the Princess Zelda from the demi-human Ganon (Ganondorf) by gaining a Triforce. Early on, there are two Triforces, the Triforce of Power (which Ganon has) and the Triforce of Wisdom (which Zelda always has). In the second game, the Triforce of Courage is what Link is after and which eventually comes to be associated with him. Apparently the three Triforces also make the whole Triforce; when whole, it rants the inner most desire of the user. In the later 'Link must rescue Zelda' games, Link also has to gain possession of the Master Sword, the sword that only the chosen hero can use, and the Silver Arrows, which are the only things that can stun Ganon.

The first Gameboy game and Majora's Mask are side stories so they don't revolve around rescuing Zelda. The Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages are also side quests that mention Zelda but don't center around rescuing her.


Other Zelda Adventures

Link has also appeared in at least one other Nintendo game, but the only one I can think of offhand is Super Smash Brothers. He's a playable character in that fighting game, which has many famous Nintendo characters as players. Both Link and Shiek appear in Super Smash Brothers Melee for the Nintendo Gamecube.

Sometime during the release of A Link to the Past, Nintendo Power released a colored comic series based on the game. The comic series was primarily for North America.

Beside the games, in the late 80s there was an American Zelda cartoon series that showed every Friday on the Super Mario Brothers Super Show. It ran for 13 episodes. The TV series was very different from the game, which is to be expected since the early games had pretty limited character development (read: none). Zelda was pretty kick-ass, she was strong and could fight for herself, and she had an attitude. While Link wasn't exactly dorky, as he could obviously kick ass, too, but he had a thing for Zelda, which she didn't like. He called her "Princess" and tried to kiss her in every episode, and in every episode she refused or he somehow got screwed over.

Link and Zelda also appeared in two episodes of the Nintendo cartoon series (early 90s), Captain N. Their looks were somewhat modified- Link was a bit.. uh, darker and sturdier and had jealousy problems, and Zelda's costume showed off a lot more midriff for some reason. In their first appearance, Link and Zelda two had to team up with Kevin and Gameboy to stop Ganon from being revived. =) In the other episode, King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard stole two of the three Triforces, so Link, Zelda, Kevin, and Lana went to retrieve them.

There was also a short comic series released by Nintendo in the early 90s. There were only a couple of issues of it, and in it, Link looked scrawny, short, and dorky =)

In Japan, there have been a ton of Zelda comic books by different artists ever since the first Zelda game was released in Japan. I know of at least three completely unrelated series, but I'm sure there have been more.


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