News Article

The Legend of Zelda is 25 Years Old Today

Posted by James Newton

Hard to believe

25 years ago this very day, the very first Legend of Zelda game on NES hit Japan, starting one of the most-loved gaming series of all time.

Recently, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata discussed the possibility of a Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary collection, though there have been no announced plans to celebrate Link's special day in the manner similar to last year's Super Mario Bros. 25th Anniversary.

Link, Nintendo Life tips its floppy green hat to you. Here's to another 25 years of Triforces, dungeons, ancient resurrected evils and being so hungry you could eat an Octorok.

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User Comments (72)

James

#1

James said:

The first Zelda game I ever played was... I think it was Oracle of Seasons on GameBoy Color, and I loved it. Then I moved onto Oracle of Ages, Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time, Four Swords... the list goes on.

odd69

#2

odd69 said:

Id like to see a modern remake of the classic Zelda, in High Def and updated audio

Noire

#3

Noire said:

Happy anniversary, Zelda~ I may be down on the series now, but that doesn't mean you don't hold a very special place in my heart. For at the very least a Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time, cheers to Zelda, and may it continue to be a flagship series that spawns some new and exciting sequels. :3

suburban_sensei

#4

suburban_sensei said:

@odd69 - You should really check out 3D Dot Game Heroes for PS3. It is basically the original Zelda by design, and everything is made out of little cubes/pixels, it's a really great game.

Anyways, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ZELDA!

Link79

#5

Link79 said:

For me it all started with A Link to the past. That's the game that hooked me to the series for life. To celebrate everybody should go play it again.
Now I patiently wait for Skyward Sword.

TheLonelyGamer

#6

TheLonelyGamer said:

Ah, happy anniversary, Zelda! A Link to the Past was my first Zelda game, it was also one of the first games I've ever played.

shinesprite

#7

shinesprite said:

Happy Birthday Link, Gannon, and Zelda. You got me hooked with OOT, and I've been a fan since. I look forward to both the adventures to come, and those I missed the first time. Long live Hyrule!

Kevin

#8

Kevin said:

I started off with the original and will be celebrating the anniversary today by playing the original. Happy 25th!

jesao

#10

jesao said:

The question is: is Four Swords worth it without the requisite 4 x GBA's / link cables / (willing) friends?

First one I got was Zelda II. I had never heard of it before, but the cartridge was gold. Gold! Admittedly I wasn't the most informed videogame purchaser, back in the days before t'interweb & Nintendolife, etc. (though Super Play was awesome)

UNC5052

#11

UNC5052 said:

@4 I have 3D Dot game heroes, and it is awesome. It is kind of a mix between the original Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past in my opinion.

SuperPeach

#12

SuperPeach said:

Happy anniversary Zelda! My first Zelda was Wind Waker, I had no idea what Zelda would be like at the time but it sounded interesting so I gave it a try. After playing it WW became my favorite game ever for a bit. It was the only Zelda game I ever played for awhile, now I'm actually playing through Link to the Past for the first time ever. Good times.

Cipher

#14

Cipher said:

We're getting Ocarina of Time 3D and Skyward Sword this year, which to me is all I need to celebrate the 25th anniversary. No doubt I'll be pulling out some other Zelda game soon as well, haven't played one in ages.

Spoony_Tech

#17

Spoony_Tech said:

Ah my favorite series. I've had so many great moments with you growing up. I've played ever one and loved them all. Some more then others mind you but when a Zelda game comes out it gets all my attention. From the very first to the very last. I've had countless hours of gamer bliss. Here's hoping for another great game coming out for next CHRISTmas.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#19

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Pound for pound the greatest gaming series of all time really. Thats by any producer or dev..

My first was Link to the Past I believe. My fav Ocarina and Twilight ;-)

SilverBaretta

#20

SilverBaretta said:

Oh, Legend of Zelda. My true gamer love. Where has the time gone? I can remember when we first met as if it was yesterday. The N64 was taking over my life. Ocarina of Time was the one game I knew all my friends had. I popped that sucker in and played the dickens out of it. Granted, with my younger thought pattern, puzzles were just barely solvable in my brain, but I persevered. Everyone else had become an adult already and were off to really start saving the world. I was nothing but a child, however, a speck just running around aimlessly. That is, until I got a guide that blasted me hours into the game in a fraction of the time, and before I knew it, that Master Sword was in my hands. I was so proud, even if I had technically cheated. Ever since then your wonderful adventures have carved a section in my heart I will never let go. Thanks for that, and I wish the series and Nintendo best luck with whatever great experiences lie in the future. :)

motang

#23

motang said:

Hmmm, I wonder if we are going to get another rom dump on a Wii disc for $50? :)

Mike1

#24

Mike1 said:

Happy Birthday Link, thanks for all the memories over the years!!!

Rockmirth

#25

Rockmirth said:

gratz link and zelda (ganon) and i hope to see another 25 years of epicnes!
for the collection i want zelda original and link LA (my first zelda game) and a Midna mini game cuss shes awesome!

pixelman

#26

pixelman said:

lol, kinda ironic that Faxanadu -- a riff of the black sheep of the Zelda franchise -- came out today.

RYBlast

#27

RYBlast said:

They should make another Zelda Collector's Edition but with Wind Waker and Four Swords Adventure and a demo of Skyward Sword.

warioswoods

#29

warioswoods said:

I'm not sure any game can recapture the sense of mystery and wonder I felt for the original Legend of Zelda, one of the first video games I ever played through. I didn't even have the concept of a dungeon or boss battle yet, so each event was entirely new and surprising when I stumbled upon it.

RetroWarrior

#30

RetroWarrior said:

"A Link to the Past" on the SNES was my first Zelda game. For me, it is still the best video game of all time.
I'm sure that Nintendo will celebrate this anniversary. But I don't really think that we'll see a collection like "Super Mario All-Stars". I'm also looking forward to "Skyward Sword".

Happy Birthday, Link and Zelda!

CrimsonMoonMist

#31

CrimsonMoonMist said:

While i didn't buy the Mario aniversary edition since it had pretty much nothing new. I'd probably have to buy the Zelda one just based on how much the series means to me.

My first Zelda game was A Link to the Past,
it was also the first game i got outside of the one that came with the console.

zezhyrule

#32

zezhyrule said:

Man I loved Majora's Mask when I first popped it in. Not only my first Zelda game, but pretty sure it was my first 3D game at least that I played. Too bad I had no idea what to do for at least the first year I had the game :P

PiribroH

#33

PiribroH said:

My first own Zelda game was Oracle of Seasons on GameBoy Color. I loved that game and I have enjoyed every Zelda game that has been released. Now I'm excited to see how Skyward Sword turns out to be.

Splat

#34

Splat said:

The first non Mario game I remember really getting in to as a kid and the gold cartridge was super sweet. :)

bezerker99

#35

bezerker99 said:

I got The Legend of Zelda for NES back in 1987. I was 10. It changed my life forever. It's still my favorite of them all to play...even now.

3DS

#36

3DS said:

i celebrated by watching Scott Pilgrim vs the world which has music from a link game

MasterGraveheart

#38

MasterGraveheart said:

Happy birthday, Link! If you can keep Zelda from being abducted or put under a sleeping spell or locked in a crystal or turned evil, you two will have some REAL celebrating to do. ;)

As for me, I'm playing some Zelda myself today, all day... I'm finally gonna beat Spirit Tracks.

Pastry

#40

Pastry said:

My favorite Zeldas are the CDi games.... because of those beautiful cutscenes.... and gameplay.

LunarJade

#42

LunarJade said:

My first Zelda game was OoT.
I remember I had gone to the store wanting to buy a new video game. I only had a couple of others and had spent a long time saving up for the N64.

Then I saw OoT in the display case. I had no idea if it was a good game or not. I really hadn't done much gaming and hadn't done any research.
I bought the game based off the fact that the name seemed familiar to a cartoon I had enjoyed way back but couldn't remember any details of.

I was even confused because I had thought the name of the main character must have been Zelda... but I was certain the main character was a boy in green and that Zelda was a girls name.
I bought it anyway. I was hooked. I played the game through three times in a row before really giving it a rest and moving onto something else.

Victoria

#43

Victoria said:

As someone who actually played Zelda when it came out, stories like these always make me feel so old! :)

BlackShyGuy

#44

BlackShyGuy said:

Being 21, years old myself, Link is like a big brother to me. Happy 25th big bro! Who else wants to be part of the family?

zeldaman

#45

zeldaman said:

If they do make an anniversary game i don’t care what is on it i am getting it

MeloMan

#47

MeloMan said:

3rd NES game I ever owned was the original LoZ, all thanks to my big bro who brought home this "mysterious" game. I literally played that game for hours on end. I'm so used to the series that I get the next installment without even thinking about it, despite reviews, despite critics, despite graphics, you name it. There will ALWAYS be a Zelda game in my house.

MeloMan

#48

MeloMan said:

... And I too have always wondered why there's a rapier in the title screen... gotta love those game flaws :D

And why is the Triforce not golden and chipped? :(

MR_SUPREME69

#49

MR_SUPREME69 said:

Happy Birthday Zelda!! Hey Nintendo even though the collection for Mario wasnt stellar can we have one for Zelda

FluttershyGuy

#51

FluttershyGuy said:

Happy birthday, Zelda! Got the original just over 23 years ago. My grandparents got it for me at Lionels Playworld in Colorado Springs. Wish I had the receipt, as according to my grandmother, it was over $100!!! So, gold cartridge may as well have been made of gold!

Can genuinely say playing it for the first time and working on finishing it was one of those magical life experiences you never forget! I had the best time just reading the instruction booklet and looking at the enclosed map! They were so elaborate and detailed, it contributed to the feeling that you were doing something epic! I remember playing it for the first time, I simply had fun exploring (or: running around getting killed by enemies stronger than me because I explored TOO FAR). Not sure what kind of bill I ran up calling Nintendo's hint line (as I don't think the modern Internet was yet even a dirty thought in Al Gore's mind).

When I finally got to the room before Ganon (or Gannon as he was back then), I wouldn't go in to face him for the longest time. Between the hype and shadowy illustrations in the instruction book suggesting him as several times bigger than Link, and the roars you hear when in the vicinity of the boss' room, I was TERRIFIED of seeing him! Scared to bloody death. Expected him to fill the whole screen or something. Then I go in and he's this pig-thing not even as big as the multi-headed dragon??? A little disappointing. But, to quote Shinra from Final Fantasy X-2, I was just a kid. I got the scare I expected from Gannon when I saw Medusa in Kid Icarus. ;)

After I beat him (first game I "finished"), I REALLY ran up the long-distance phone bill on the second quest! Unforgettable time, unforgettable game!

Iggy

#54

Iggy said:

Happy birthday to a great franchise! My first Zelda game was back when it came to the gba Zelda: ALTTP which is an amazing game to this day.

Robo-goose

#56

Robo-goose said:

Ha, I remember seeing Ocarina of Time for the first time on a Christmas morning. When I woke up, my older brother had already started playing it, and I watched in complete awe as he was running along the long/skinny bridges in Kokiri Village. Man, those were good times.

aaronsullivan

#57

aaronsullivan said:

Stole the original from a friend's house once when I was home sick. I gave it back, of course, and nobody really cared, but I suppose I did enter his home when no one was there, went into his bedroom uninvited, took the game, walked back home and started playing. All, while I was sick at home. lol.

Classic game. Waiting for the day Zelda has another true Ocarina moment. Happy to play the other games in the meantime. :)

SwerdMurd

#58

SwerdMurd said:

still play the original at least once a year. Never managed to beat the 3-heart challenge--maybe I'll make an attempt again next time I play?

Capt_N

#59

Capt_N said:

Awesome series! :)

Recently d/led Z2 a few weeks ago, since I never owned(as in ownership)/played it before, & I'm getting the hang of it. It's the VC I'm currently playing(alongside Mario Party 2, which I just finished/unlocked Driver's Ed. I don't remember if I beat/unlock it 100% originally when I owned the MP2 cart, but I did now.). I'm currently up to the point, I believe where the next item I acquire is the raft? Very fun, but I can see why most everyone dislikes Zelda 2, as the difficulty is something to get used to; Correction. you have to get used to it. & it can be a bit annoying @ times, since being even only incrementally careless, & not watching your step will be a regretful mistake.

Tar

#60

Tar said:

I didn't pick up the Mario 25th game, but if a Zelda one comes out, I might. I hope most of them end up on the 3DS virtual console.

Retrogamer88

#61

Retrogamer88 said:

i am now going to go play the legend of zelda on my NES in honor of its 25th birthday and all you ppl who have a special place for this game in your hearts

Quazzaazazazaazaza

#62

Quazzaazazazaazaza said:

Happy birthday, Link!
Man I love this series. I first saw Link when my big brother played OoT on the N64 and WW on the gamecube. Back then, I was too young to actually play, so I just watched. Then, I got TP for christmas in 2007, and I loved it. I went and bought wind waker, the collector's edition, and Phantom Hourglass, and played all of them. Now, three years and seven Zelda games later, I am a zelda addict. I can't wait for skyward sword!!!

Deviant_Mugen

#63

Deviant_Mugen said:

Happy 25th, Zelda series! Though I've never played any of the 2D outings, I greatly enjoy the 3D ones, except Spirit Tracks (which I've yet to play, unfortunately). I can't wait until Skyward Sword, and I'll definitely look into playing some of the 2D iterations sometime...

(Can't wait for Metroid's 25th...)

RedYoshi999

#66

RedYoshi999 said:

Happy anniversary Zelda! I'm playing Master Quest at the moment so beating that will be my celebration. Looking forward to OOT 3D and Skyward Sword too!

WolfRamHeart

#67

WolfRamHeart said:

Happy 25th Birthday Zelda and Link!:)

My favorite Zelda game has always been A Link to the Past but I actually love all of the Zelda games(except the CD-i games, yuck). I can't believe that it has already been 25 years, I was only 8 years old when I played the first Zelda game. Now, I will be looking forward to playing The Skyward Sword on the Wii as well as Ocarina of Time and Link's Awakening on the 3DS. 25 years and still going strong. Zelda, you (Octo)rock!:D

NintyMan

#68

NintyMan said:

Happy birthday, Link! I've only played four of the Zelda games and never completed them, but I hope to change that with Ocarina of Time someday. I wish I played this series when I was younger.

Retro_Gamer

#69

Retro_Gamer said:

Was kind of expecting something for Zelda this Monday, but I suppose all the Zelda games are already released on Virtual Console. At least a 25th Anniversary video would of been neat.

Zach

#71

Zach said:

My first games were SMB/Duck Hunt, Mickey Mousecapade and Zelda II. The gold cartridge, too. So many fond memories. Happy birthday!

FluttershyGuy

#72

FluttershyGuy said:

@Zach Kaplan
Waiting for Zelda II about drove a young boy crazy! With them hyping it up in Nintendo Power, then Nintendo delaying it for the umpteenth time, I was in bad shape, LOL! I drove stores absolutely nuts (and myself) calling to see if it was in! Persistence paid off, though. The first shipments were in short supply because of the good ole chip shortage, but I found one to buy at a game rental store and snatched it up! It and original Zelda shine just as goldenly (if that's a word) as ever! :)

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