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Weirdness: Zelda Answers Rejected on Jeopardy, Hearts are Broken

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

What a mean show

Jeopardy! is a popular quiz show in the U.S. Heck, there's even a Jeopardy! game for the Wii U, which is one in the eye for anyone that says there aren't enough games for the system; its iconic jingle and tense battles over thousands of dollars are typical game show fare.

Yet Nintendo fans may object to a recent bit of pedantry that cost two competitors a chance of winning. The following question was posed:

The title Princess of this game, which launched a best-selling franchise, was named for F.Scott Fitzgerald's wife.

Two contestants simply wrote "What is Zelda", but both were denied, with just the plucky young chap that wrote "What is The Legend of Zelda" winning the day. Over pedantic or fair enough? You decide.

Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip.

[via kotaku.com]

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User Comments (124)

Donjwolf

#1

Donjwolf said:

I think it was fair. The answer called for the title of the -game-, not the title of the -princess.- 'Zelda' is not the title of the game, but 'The Legend of Zelda' is.

Retro_on_theGo

#4

Retro_on_theGo said:

Either answer should have been fine, no? The question is clearly asking for Princess Zelda's name not the game series's name.

lunarkitty

#5

lunarkitty said:

Fair.. they knew the name of the wife (lots of people do) but not the title of the series. Guy who did know, deserves to win.

Retro_on_theGo Nah - "the title of this game"

Donjwolf

#6

Donjwolf said:

@Retro_on_theGo,

What? The answer clearly said 'The title Princess of this game,' with -this game- being the keyword. It wasn't asking for the name of the princess.

Rafie

#7

Rafie said:

@Retro_on_theGo No it was fair. They asked for the title of the "game", not the name of the princess. (which is within the name of the game anyway.)

Robo-goose

#11

Robo-goose said:

I read the question in a way that made me believe that they were asking for Princess Zelda's name, rather than the game series. I bet they made the same mistake as me.

Chris720

#12

Chris720 said:

I keep reading it as they want the name of the Princess, not the game series. If the question was: "The title of the game that launched a best-selling franchise, was named after F.Scott Fitzgerald's wife."

Now that makes sense to me.

retro_player_22

#13

retro_player_22 said:

@Donjwolf
Either way I don't see how all their answers are wrong though considering they both wrote "What is Zelda?" and not "Who is Zelda?" meaning they both knew it was hinting at the game franchise and not the woman. Also a few Legend of Zelda games doesn't even had the phrase "The Legend" in the title (example: Zelda for the Game and Watch and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link).

rjejr

#14

rjejr said:

@Robo-goose - I think they knew it was the game name, not the Princess, or else the question/answer would have read "WHO is Zelda?". Not what.

SuperMinusWorld

#17

SuperMinusWorld said:

Unfair. It clearly asks for "The title Princess of this game" which would be Zelda. The princess' name is not 'Legend of Zelda'.

SheldonRandoms

#18

SheldonRandoms said:

So F.Scott Fitzgerald's wife's name is The Legend of Zelda, as in The Legend of Zelda, with The Legend part in it?

I'll never fully understand these game shows about what there truly asking.

GeminiSaint

#19

GeminiSaint said:

They were asking for the title of the game that launched the franchise. Or, in other words, the first game in the series. Namely "The Legend Of Zelda" for NES.

Jayvir

#20

Jayvir said:

Considering all three contestants said "WHAT is _____" instead of "WHO is ____", it's pretty obvious that they knew they were asking for the series title.

Donjwolf

#21

Donjwolf said:

@SuperMinusWorld,

Reread it again. It says, "the title princess of this game was named after so-and-so's wife."

The keyword is the bit in bold. It's asking for the name of the game, not the princess. I can see how people can get confused though.

Donjwolf

#22

Donjwolf said:

@Jayvir,

True, but it looks like two of them didn't know the full title of the game, and therefore lost. They're probably not gamers themselves, or don't know much about Nintendo franchises.

Knuckles

#23

Knuckles said:

I actually watched that episode last night, and my video game history credibility at my house was put on the line.

After a few seconds, I calmly say "What is The Legend of Zelda", and wait for Alex to address the TV players. After the person on the far right answered Zelda incorrectly, I knew I had it right, and was confirmed by the winner on the far left.

My family said it wasn't fair, the other two answered Zelda, and I used the same argument used here, if they wanted "Zelda" they would have asked for Fitzgerald's wife's name.

I felt like if I didn't get the question correct, I would be a shame to gamers everywhere.

Xiao_Pai

#25

Xiao_Pai said:

Man I thought this was about something worse, or whatever. Honestly the question...er, answer...
...>_>
....The Questswer does kinda confuse me at first (I kinda figured they were asking for Zelda's name and not the game itself)...so I dunno. English is my worse class in education anyways. I'm a math dude, lol

aaronsullivan

#27

aaronsullivan said:

Yep, fair. Otherwise you would only have to know the name of Fitzgerald's wife and the spirit of the question would be lost. :) Glad someone got it right! In fact, I wonder if the middle guy knew of the game. I felt like the bearded guy felt slighted which means he may have known of the game series, but I couldn't read the middle guy on the issue.

Einherjar

#28

Einherjar said:

Yep, i also vote for fair. Its the name of the franchise and thats what was asked. If asked about the the first game starring the famous plumber brothers you cant just say "Its Mario". It would be "Mario Bros"

Prof_Elvin_Gadd

#29

Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

It was fair. Zelda was the name of F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife, but they weren't asking for that. They were asking for the title of the game, which is "The Legend of Zelda".

Jayvir

#30

Jayvir said:

@Donjwolf Absolutely. My comment was more aimed to the people who were saying they were confused by the question and they were thinking they wanted the character's name. If they were looking for the character name, they would have answered "Who is Zelda" instead of "What is Zelda". They understood the question, but just gaffed on the actual franchise name

WaxxyOne

#31

WaxxyOne said:

Just saying Zelda is a common way to abbreviate the name of the franchise, so this one's kind of a tough call. If the answer had been "Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope" and somebody had written down "Star Wars" I feel like they would have given them the points. (I know the analogy's not perfect since the franchise is named Star Wars in this case, but it's the best I could come up with!)

The thing that splits the decision for me is that F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife's name is also Zelda, so simply writing Zelda doesn't prove that you know the name of the game series.

MasterGraveheart

#33

MasterGraveheart said:

I don't think it's very fair, considering that the second game wasn't called "The Legend of Zelda II," but rather just "Zelda II." I think this was a very, very cheap way to take the responses and both should have been accepted.

PuzzleMaster7

#34

PuzzleMaster7 said:

After I re-read the question several times, it started to make more sense, especially when you took out the words between the commas. However, I still believe that it could have been worded better.

WaxxyOne

#35

WaxxyOne said:

@aaronsullivan The guy on the right might have felt slighted, but he wasn't going to win anyway. If all 3 were given credit for their answers, the middle guy would have won the one on the right still would have ended up in 3rd place.

Also, to people confused about the structure of the question, pay attention:

"The title princess of this game, which launched a best-selling franchise, was named for F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife."

The answer does not ask for the wife's name or the princess' name. It asks for "this game", specifically "The Legend of Zelda" which is the full title of the first game in the franchise. The answer is intended to be the response to the question "What is The Legend of Zelda (the NES game)?" Yes, it's confusing to see it backwards. What are you gonna do.

If the right question was "Who is (Princess) Zelda?" than the answer would have been "This princess, the title character a famous video game franchise, was named for F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife."

WaxxyOne

#36

WaxxyOne said:

@MasterGraveheart They didn't ask for the second game in the franchise. The answer specifically mentions the game which launched the best-selling franchise. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link did not launch the franchise.

onex

#37

onex said:

Anyone who watches Jeopardy can tell you that their answers are deliberately tricky, yet grammatically sound.
"The title princess of this game" is all worded that way for a reason. If they were asking for just her name, the answer would have went something like, "The title Princess, which launched a best-selling game franchise, was named for F.Scott Fitzgerald's wife."

Shane904

#38

Shane904 said:

I think the guy who got it right deserved it - pretty clear it was asking about the game, not Link's dear princess.

ajcismo

#39

ajcismo said:

This reminded me of the Cheers where Cliff goes on Jeopardy. "Who are 3 people who have never been in my kitchen?"

tsm7

#40

tsm7 said:

Eh, after rereading the question I could see how it was asking for the full title of the game and not the name of the princess. However, they definitely could have worded it better.

Jukilum

#41

Jukilum said:

@WaxxyOne Saying Star Wars instead of Star Wars Episode IV would likely be acceptable in that situation because that's what it was originally called. They added the episode number and subtitle after the fact.

WiiULoveSquid

#42

WiiULoveSquid said:

You're kidding yourselves if you don't think Trebek anticipated shutting down the very expected and half-keen answer of simply "Zelda".

Nico07

#43

Nico07 said:

@Donjwolf I agree, the question asked for the "Title" of the game. The clue was who the princess was named after. The question was fair.

DestinyMan

#45

DestinyMan said:

This is a case of the question not being worded well. While it might appear to be asking for the name of the princess, it really is asking for the title of the game series. "Title" implies the game series, but right after that comes "princess" which implies Princess Zelda. After the comma comes "which" and that refers to a non-personal word. If it was "who" instead of "which" then it would be asking for the princess's name. If it was asking for Princess Zelda's name, the question would've been "The name of the princess in this game, who launched a best-selling franchise, was named for F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife."

This was supposed to be a trick question for an otherwise simple video game question.

Jayvir

#46

Jayvir said:

Once again, if the contestants were intending to give a name instead of a franchise title, they would have worded it "WHO is Zelda" instead of "What is Zelda". They weren't confused by the question, they likely just didn't know the franchise.

GabCormier

#47

GabCormier said:

I really don't get the: "What is". Do you have to say it? (I know **** about jeopardy :(

ACK

#48

ACK said:

Wordplay and trickery are all part of the the game in Jeopardy!... All contestants know full well of the rigid conditions going in. Of course it's fair.

TenEighty

#51

TenEighty said:

It clearly asked for the name of the titled princess, not the game or franchise. Her name is not "The Legend of Zelda", it's just Zelda.

KAHN

#52

KAHN said:

@Kyloctopus the question says
"The title Princess of this game, which launched a best-selling franchise, was named for F.Scott Fitzgerald's wife."

BulbasaurusRex

#53

BulbasaurusRex said:

@GabCormier Yes, you do. They'll disallow it if you don't answer in the form of a question. The gimmick is that they give you the "answers" and you have to provide the "questions." Therefore, the clues are always worded in statements, usually asking for "this" so-and-so.

@TenEighty What clue are you looking at? It's clearly asking for "this game," otherwise it would've read "this title princess." Besides, using "title" as an adjective just means her name is contained somewhere in the title.

Morphbug

#54

Morphbug said:

It's quite clear that they're asking about the name of the game that started a successful franchise and whose title princess was named after Mr. Fitzgerald's wife.

sinalefa

#55

sinalefa said:

"...Hearts are Broken"

So does that mean that there are pieces of heart everywhere?

evanescent_hero

#58

evanescent_hero said:

The franchise and the first game are known as "The Legend of Zelda." Zelda II is an anomaly; every single other Zelda game is known as The Legend of Zelda. The entire sentence is important. The princess herself didn't launch a bestselling franchise, the game named after her did. The question is not asking for the name of the princess if you read it; it's just saying that the game is named after her, and she's named after F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife Zelda.

If the question was asking for "Super Mario Bros.," would "Mario" be accepted? If it was asking for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," would "Buffy" be accepted? I don't think shorthands like that would be okay, so why should "Zelda" be accepted when the answer was "The Legend of Zelda"?

TheKachoMan

#59

TheKachoMan said:

My wife says the key is "this game" in the answer, and I agree. The answer was slightly tricky in it's phrasing but the question is "What is/was The Legend of Zelda?"

Zach

#60

Zach said:

If they just wanted "Zelda" they could have just asked for the name of F Scott Fitzgerald's wife.

darklinkinfinite

#61

darklinkinfinite said:

@WaxxyOne To be fair, the movie was originally just titled Star Wars. No one knew it would become a success or that sequels would be made. Episode IV: A New Hope was only added during later theatrical releases (one of Lucas' first changes to the movies) after the movie became successful enough to guarantee sequels.

JoostinOnline

#62

JoostinOnline said:

Something about the wording (i.e. mentioning a mans wife, the word Princess", etc.) makes it sound like they are asking for the title of the "Princess" in the best selling franchise. If you break it down and read it carefully, it's clear what they are actually asking for. But it's a very confusing question.

KiwiPanda

#64

KiwiPanda said:

As others have said, I see it as fair. The fact about Zelda is no more than a hint. If it were asking about the princess, it would've included "this princess," not "the princess of this game." It's talking about the game, not Zelda.
Then again, it could've been worded better :P

Sir_Deadly

#65

Sir_Deadly said:

Hmm that is kinda confusing , its ask for the princesses name and not the actual franchise as I read it. The questions on the show are a bit tricky.

Klinny

#67

Klinny said:

When you read it, it's a little confusing, and seems to ask for the Princess' name. However, when you watch the video, the host clearly emphasizes the phrase "of this game" so I think it was pretty clear. And, as others have mentioned, if they had misunderstood the question they probably would have written "Who is Zelda".

I agree that it was fair, as Zelda is the name of F.Scott Fitzgerald's wife, so "Zelda" as an answer doesn't demonstrate that you know the name of the game.

nocode

#68

nocode said:

The show was right to deny them, its clearly looking for the name of the game, but they could have worded it better. Perhaps...

"This game, which launched a best-selling franchise, includes a princess named after F.Scott Fitzgerald's wife.

Tindre

#70

Tindre said:

I feel so sorry for the guy in the right, he had the wiiidest smile ever, and he knew the answer, but then was let down and lost all his cash.. aww.

MasterGraveheart

#71

MasterGraveheart said:

@WaxxyOne What I'm saying though is that Zelda was the only series name given to Zelda II, there was no "Legend of" there. Therefore, I feel that both answers should have been acceptable, especially since Nintendo themselves consistently refer to it as the "Zelda franchise."

DdFixen

#72

DdFixen said:

I think it was unfair. Or rather, the answer was way to easy to misinterpret. I probably would've said just "Zelda" myself, because to me it's sounds more like they're looking for her name, rather than the whole The Legend of Zelda series'.

Relias

#77

Relias said:

The title Princess of this game

Key words the princess of this game.. not just the princess.. so actually it was very fair..

RQuinain

#78

RQuinain said:

Would have loved it if the question was "the main protagonist of this series named for F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife"... that would have really loved with people. ;P

GamerZack7

#79

GamerZack7 said:

@retro_player_22: True, but they were asking for the name of the game that started the entire franchise. ;)

Personally, I think that's entirely reasonable. In many game shows details are crucial, and Jeopardy! seems to be the type of show that needs answers to be specific. I don't know if other questions need such accurate answers since I've never watched it. The only show I've watched that accepts incomplete answers is Weakest Link.

bngrybt

#80

bngrybt said:

Jeopardy is like that. I've seen a person get a question wrong for saying Budweiser instead of Bud Light. You have to be very specific.

ACK

#82

ACK said:

If anyone thinks the producers weren't grinning from ear-to-ear, you're kidding yourself.

The question was worded perfectly because it induced the most interesting, dramatic result. The fact that we are discussing the particulars of a daytime game-show only emphasizes this.

Tasuki

#83

Tasuki said:

Nope they got the question wrong, cause it asked for the title of the game. The title is technically The Legend of Zelda but alot of people just call it Zelda for short but Jeopardy you have to be specific with your answers. Heck they will even count it wrong if you say the correct answer but dont phrase it in a question.

Tasuki

#84

Tasuki said:

When the guys answered wrong they should have added the Zelda death noise as their heads lowered in shame.

ToxieDogg

#86

ToxieDogg said:

Typical gameshow trick, to catch out contestants who don't read the question properly. And it worked ;)

It was totally fair. Only the winner answered the question correctly. The other answers could have been taken to be hinting at any game in the series whereas the question specifically asked for the name of the game which actually launched the franchise.

slidecage

#87

slidecage said:

i want to get on that show and have a major lead and on the final answer right down

screw you alex :)

just to see the look on his face (doubt it would ever make it on the air)

BlatantlyHeroic

#88

BlatantlyHeroic said:

Incorrect. Most fans of the series would just call it Zelda, thus making Zelda the correct answer, and since Zelda II is considered cannon, that also confirms that Zelda is the correct answer. I win.

Tasuki

#89

Tasuki said:

They should have had him say his name backwards and send him back to his home dimension. ;)

GamerZack7

#90

GamerZack7 said:

If anybody has a problem with the host, they can find a way to make him say his name backwards.

Squid

#91

Squid said:

No, that's totally fair. Take a good look at the sentence if you think it wasn't fair. And the question was asking for the name of the first game that launched the best-selling series. The two guys were incorrect. "Zelda" is not the name of the first game. Totally fair.

@The_Joker: Ah, no. Those two guys were wrong. :P

wombatkidd

#92

wombatkidd said:

Nobody who watches the show regularly would call this unfair. They word things like that to trip you up deliberately. It's part of the game. Them's the breaks.

MadAdam81

#93

MadAdam81 said:

The Legend Of Zelda is the name of the game, and only the full answers are accepted in gameshows (or the full question in this case), no nicknames or shortened answers allowed.
If it was a local trivia night event, "Zelda" might be acceptable, but in a show like Jeopardy, there would he an outrage if "Zelda" was accepted.

Dizzard

#95

Dizzard said:

@Donjwolf I initially thought they were asking for the princesses name too though. Although on second look I realized they were asking for the game....you wouldn't really have that much time to make sure. It could have been made clearer.

AtomicToaster

#96

AtomicToaster said:

Except one game is called Zelda II: The Adventure of Link so I don't the issue in calling the series "Zelda".

yuwarite

#97

yuwarite said:

The question was worded a bit confusingly, it should have been: "This game, which launched a best-selling franchise, of which the titular Princess was named for F.Scott Fitzgerald's wife"... Or something like that.

yuwarite

#98

yuwarite said:

I think all 3 men knew the name of the series, but the wording of the question confused the 2 who just wrote "Zelda". Given that it's a game show, and you have a short time to answer, it's an easy mistake to make.

Constantinople

#100

Constantinople said:

Simple matter. They are asking for a specific game - it can be assumed by the question that it's talking about the flagship game. The flagship game is titled The Legend of Zelda. I would say that if they were asking for the Franchise's name, then Zelda would be appropriate, because (next to noone) calls the franchise "The Legend of Zelda", but I at least commonly distinguish the first game from the others by calling it, and it solely, The Legend of Zelda, while calling Zelda 2 Zelda 2, Link's Awakening Link's Awakening, and so on and so forth.

kyuubikid213

#102

kyuubikid213 said:

And since they put "this game" in the question, they needed to put the title there. Sadly, Zelda isn't the official, full title of the series. Fans of Jeopardy know how specific the responses need to be and while every now and then, the players get some slack, Final Jeopardy rarely sees such leniency.

ToxieDogg

#103

ToxieDogg said:

@AtomicToaster The original game which launched the franchise isn't just called 'Zelda' though, and that's what the question was asking for.

It'd be like if they asked a question about Call Of Duty....most people call it 'CoD' but 'What is Call Of Duty' would be the only correct answer, not 'What is CoD'....that could be alluding to fish or something :D

'What is Zelda' is much too vague of an answer. It could have been a reference to the character from the old Terrahawks TV show, Robin Williams' daughter, anything. ;)

dyopri

#106

dyopri said:

he asked - "the title PRINCESS of this game.." So Yeah Zelda should have been enough.. confusing question though.

could the answer have been -"who is Zelda?"

Shambo

#107

Shambo said:

What wouldn't be fair, is when two contestants with half an answer, each get an equal 'correct' as the one with the full answer.

I understand that it must be painful, but they simply must accept that the question was clearly to give the name of the game series, not just the title princess.

Shambo

#108

Shambo said:

@dyopri 'of this GAME' clearly points to the game. If the question was 'The main character of this game is named like some sort of connection.', the answer wouldn't be 'Link', it'd still be 'the Legend of Zelda'.

KingMike

#110

KingMike said:

If Zelda had been the desired answer, I wonder if they'd have rejected the other two contestants for writing "what is" over "who is".
I mean, I saw once where they took some money away from a guy because they realized he earlier PRONOUNCED an answer wrong. :P

shyoff

#111

shyoff said:

Sorry i dont know english because isnt my native language. Got some issues with the language:
The question was: "The title princess of this game wich launched a best selling franchise, was named for F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife"
1. "The title princess of this game" What this means alone? The tile princess or the titlee of this game (in wich case, what is the word princess doing in the sentence??)
2. "launched a best selling franchise" Clearly speaking about the game.
3. "was named for F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife" Who or What was named, a princess or the game? :S, in wich case is the game, WHAT THE F**** is the word princess doing in the whole question, i just dont undertand what significative meaning can contibute the word "princess" to the sentence.

I just feel confused:

"The title plumber of this game wich launched a best selling franchise, was named for a estate developer in Tukwila, Washington."

PortgasDLuigi

#113

PortgasDLuigi said:

"The title princess of THIS GAME." The question is asking for the name of the game, not the princess. The correct answer should be The Legend of Zelda. I'm just happy there was a Zelda question on Jeopardy.

edcomics

#114

edcomics said:

The game (or franchise) is often referred to simply as "Zelda," much as Super Mario Bros. is referred to as "Mario." Both contestants wrote "WHAT is Zelda?" as opposed to "WHO is Zelda." So they knew what they were talking about. It's possible the judges mistook their answers as referencing the name, as opposed to the game.

In the strictest sense, "The Legend of Zelda" is the correct answer. Still... I'm sure "Zelda" would have been close enough for the Family Feud judges. Oh well. The look on the first guy's face as he was told he was wrong. Oh man. Brutal.

TotalHenshin

#118

TotalHenshin said:

Anybody who actually watches Jeopardy knows that the sought question to the answers always center around "this ___"

Shambo

#119

Shambo said:

@shyoff @DdFixen Not to offend anyone, but I think properly interpreting the questions is part of the challenge. True, this question could -given the tense circumstances- easily be misread, but the only correct interpretation leads to the answer 'The Legend of Zelda'.

Prof_Clayton

#120

Prof_Clayton said:

@Knuckles I did nearly the same thing as you did, although I almost thought of Mario. The wording of the question confused me as I watched it, and as I reread in the last few seconds I realized the series was named after her, therefore Zelda.
Overall, the question could have been worded better.

Marioman64

#123

Marioman64 said:

@DarkEdi the sentence can also be written: "The title Princess was named for F.Scott Fitzgerald's wife in this game, which launched a best-selling franchise"
"in -this- game"

Pod

#124

Pod said:

Well that's Jeopardy!, they wouldn't accept only the popularly known word from a movie title either.

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