On February 21, 2021, the gaming world celebrated the 35th anniversary of Link, Zelda, and Ganon, as Nintendo created one of the most successful video game franchises across all continents.
The first edition was titled The Legend of Zelda and was available first on the Famicom Disk System in Japan, then ported to the more classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) we got to use and love when we were children.
The Legend of Zelda was a precursor in many fields, effectively mixing different genres, such as adventure, action, and role-playing games while letting the player chooses which dungeon he would like to do first. Indeed, the game was notoriously difficult to understand at first, because of all the freedom that was given as soon as you pressed the Start button. Thankfully, Nintendo came up with a detailed guide that would explain the players where to fetch certain items and the recommended path to follow should you wish to experience the game in normal difficulty.
While more recent iterations of Zelda have become good at telling the story, the first edition of the game did not have much in terms of back story, unless you chose to read the various literature around the subject.
You would start the game as Link, a young Hylian characterized by his green tunic and a pointed cap. A lot of confusion still exists to this date; as the game was titled The Legend of Zelda, many players thought that the main character’s name was Zelda instead of Link. We’d like to clear that confusion and remind our readers that Zelda is indeed the name of the princess you are supposed to save in each iteration of the series while Link is the hero in a green outfit.
Very early in the game, it becomes evident that you will need to prepare yourself to engage in battle with various enemies, from crab-looking creatures spitting rocks to more complex stone statues chasing you when you walk too close to them.
Fortunately, you receive a sword from a kind-hearted man who gave birth to a popular Internet meme by saying “IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE! TAKE THIS”. Your equipment list will only grow after you complete the first dungeons and explore the world of Hyrule. In the end, turning left or right did not matter; it was the excitement of discovering new places that drove players to explore each corner of the map.
Further games in the franchise helped us understand a bit more of the backstory and the reasons why we traveled the world to rescue the princess, a common theme in video games (the plumber Mario comes to mind).
In the world of Hyrule, three Goddesses, by the names of Din, Farore, and Nayru, created everything that exists before departing to some other places. A sacred artifact, called the Triforce, was left behind as a reminder of their work. It is said that whoever puts his hands on the golden triangle would receive unlimited powers whether to achieve good if your heart is pure or achieve evil if you are rid with corruption.
This duality between good and evil has been a core functionality for the entire franchise, and a driving force for millions of players to save the princess, yet again, from the greed and corruption of the world.
Thank you for 35 years of adventure, Link; we can’t wait to see what the future holds!