One of gaming’s most enduring and inspiring franchises, Zelda, turns 25 years old today. On Feb. 21, 1986 Nintendo released the original Legend of Zelda on the Famicom (NES) in Japan. On that day, gamers got their first chance to pick up the Master Sword and kill Octoroks on an epic quest to save Princess Zelda from the clutches of the evil beast, Ganon.
Since it’s inception, the series has been a consistent best-seller around the world, with its 17 installments selling more than 59 million copies.
With the exception of three Zelda games released by Phillips for its CD-i system in the early 1990s, every Legend of Zelda game has been a critical and commercial success thanks to the series’ constant ability to reinvent itself using new art styles and gameplay. However, it’s focus on adventure, exploration, and unique puzzle-solving has continually remained intact. Every Zelda game’s story also ties in with the complete legend of the series, though creator Shigeru Miyamoto and director Eiji Aunoma have continually refused to share the complete timeline of the series.
Currently, Nintendo is working on a new game in the series, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii), and a 3D remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the 3DS. Skyward Sword is said to release sometime later this year and is said to be one of Nintendo’s largest departures yet for the series, offering more motion control and new types of gameplay.
What is your favorite Zelda game?