On February 21st 1986, a legend was born. A legend that continued on to this day. We celebrate the birth of The Legend of Zelda!
Zelda was and is one of the most influental video game series of all time. Back in 1986 however, it was just this fun little game nobody and their moms were able to beat. Unimaginable today, but back in “teh dayz” Zelda was hard.
Like most of the time in the 80ies, the US and EU releases were drastically different than the japanese releases. While Zelda 1 only was made much, much harder, zelda 2 (from 1988) even got revamped dungeons and bosses.
The first Zelda game introduced us to so many staples the series is known for today. Green clad hero Link, a mere child back then, saved princess Zelda of Hyrule from the evil Ganon (mistranslated Gannon back then) by finding the eight pieces of the Triforce (of wisdom, as we later learned). He as set on his quest by Impa (an old lady back then) and aided by Bombs, Bow and Arrows (that cost rupees to fire), the Boomerang, the raft for sailing (yep) heart containers, fairies, a candle, dungeon maps, an overworld, rings, old people that lived in caves and of course various outfit and weapon upgrades.
Everything we know and love today was already there. Heck, even the monsters and bosses we know from todays games were introduced there. Gohma, Stalfos, Lanmola, Moblins, Octocrocks… All of them appeared in Zelda for the NES.
But also Zelda 2, the “black sheep” of the franchise, had its fabulous moments. It introduced us to the complete Triforce, gave us an adult Link for the first (an only) time before Ocarina of Time, introduced us to names like Saria, Rauru or Mido, it gave us the magic system (that was removed in newer games) gave Link various new sword techniques and featured one of the most kickass temple themes of all time (that was never again re-visited by Nintendo, sans Smash Bros.) along Dark Link.
So here we are, 25 years later, and Zelda is still around and kicking some butt. This year sees the release of Skyward Sword aswell as Ocarina of Time 3D and I am sure, Nintendo has some surprises in store for us.