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The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

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The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

Post by SlySonji™ on Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:10 am



Overview

The Legend of Zelda games feature a mixture of puzzles, action, adventure/battle gameplay, and exploration. These elements have remained constant throughout the series, but with refinements and additions featured in each new game. The player is frequently rewarded for solving puzzles or exploring areas. Most Zelda games involve locating and exploring dungeons, in which puzzles are solved and enemies fought, then defeating the dungeon's boss. Each dungeon usually has one major item inside, which is usually essential for solving many of the puzzles in that dungeon and often plays a crucial role in defeating that dungeon's boss. Some items are consistent and appear many times throughout the series, while others are unique to a single game. The series also consists of stealth gameplay, where the player must avoid enemies while proceeding through a level, as well as racing elements.




Chronology

Though the chronology of the Legend of Zelda series is subject to much debate among fans, numerous materials and developer statements have partially established an official timeline of the released installments. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is a direct sequel to the original The Legend of Zelda and takes place several years later. The third game, A Link to the Past, is a prequel to the first two titles and is followed by Link's Awakening. Ocarina of Time is also a prequel, taking the story many centuries back and implicitly telling the Imprisoning War from the manual of A Link to the Past. The ending of this game caused the timeline to split, with the child era leading into the direct sequel Majora's Mask, and Twilight Princess set more than 100 years later. The Wind Waker is parallel and takes place in the other timeline branch, more than a century after the adult era of Ocarina of Time. Phantom Hourglass is a continuation of Link's and Tetra's story, followed by Spirit Tracks about 100 years later. Skyward Sword will be a prequel again, taking place before Ocarina of Time. At the time of its release, Four Swords for the Game Boy Advance was considered the oldest tale in the series' chronology, with Four Swords Adventures set sometime after its events. The Minish Cap precedes the two games, telling the story of Vaati and the Four Sword's birth. There have been no statements about the placement of the Oracle titles, or about which timeline branch some of the earlier installments are meant to be set in.

Inspiration

The Legend of Zelda was principally inspired by Shigeru Miyamoto's explorations as a young boy in the hillsides surrounding his childhood home in Kyoto, Japan where he ventured into forests with secluded lakes, caves, and rural villages. According to Miyamoto, one of his most memorable experiences was the discovery of a cave entrance in the middle of the woods. After some hesitation, he apprehensively entered the cave, and explored its depths with the aid of a lantern. Miyamoto has referred to the creation of the Zelda games as an attempt to bring to life a "miniature garden" for players to play with in each game of the series.

Hearing of American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife Zelda, Miyamoto thought the name sounded "pleasant and significant". Paying tribute, he chose to name the princess after her, and titled his creation The Legend of Zelda.






Games

The Legend of Zelda, the first game of the series, was first released in Japan on February 21, 1986, on the Famicom Disk System. A cartridge version, using battery-backed memory, was released in the United States on August 22, 1987, and Europe on November 27, 1987. The game features a "Second Quest", accessible on completing the game, or by registering your name as "ZELDA" when starting a new quest, in which dungeons and item placement are different, and enemies are more difficult for the player to defeat.[30] In 1994, near the end of the Famicom's lifespan, the game was rereleased in cartridge format.[31] A modified version, BS Zelda no Densetsu, was released for the Super Famicom's satellite-based expansion, Satellaview, on August 6, 1995, in Japan. A second Satellaview title, BS Zelda no Densetsu MAP2 was released for the Satellaview on December 30, 1995. Both titles featured rearranged dungeons, an altered overworld, and new voice-acted plot-lines.[32]

The second game, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, was released for the Famicom Disk System in Japan in January 1987, and for the Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe in November 1988 and North America in December 1988. The game exchanged the top-down perspective for side-scrolling (though the top-down point of view was retained for overworld areas), and introduced RPG elements (such as experience points) not used in The Legend of Zelda. The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II were released in gold-colored game cartridges instead of the console's regular gray cartridges. Both were rereleased in the final years of the Nintendo Entertainment System with gray cartridges.

Four years later, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past returned to the top-down view (under a 3/4 perspective), and added the concept of an alternate dimension, the Dark World. The game was released for the SNES in 1991. It was later rereleased for the Game Boy Advance on December 9, 2002, in North America, on a cartridge with Four Swords, the first multiplayer Zelda, and then through Nintendo's Virtual Console service on January 22, 2007. In addition, both this game (unchanged, except for being converted into a downloadable format)[33] and an exclusive "loosely-based" sequel (which used the same game engine) called BS Zelda no Densetsu Inishie no Sekiban[34] were released on the Satellaview in Japan on March 2, 1997, and March 30, 1997, respectively.
A young boy holding onto a rope while it is raining
Link in the opening cutscene of Link's Awakening DX

The next game, Link's Awakening, is the first Zelda for Nintendo's Game Boy handheld, and the first set outside Hyrule and to exclude Princess Zelda. It was rereleased, in full color, as a launch title for the Game Boy Color in 1998 as Link's Awakening DX with some additional features, including an extra color-based dungeon and a photo shop that allows interaction with the Game Boy Printer.

After another hiatus, the series made the transition to 3D with Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64, which was released in November 1998. This game, initially known as Zelda 64, retains the core gameplay of the previous 2D games, and was very successful commercially and critically. It ranks highly on IGN and EGM's "greatest games of all time" lists, and scored perfect scores in several video game publications.[35] In February 2006, it was ranked by Nintendo Power as the best game released for a Nintendo console.[36] The game was originally developed for the poorly-selling, Japanese-only Nintendo 64DD, but was ported to cartridge format when the 64DD hardware was delayed.[37] A new gameplay mechanic, lock-on targeting, is used in the game, which focuses the camera on a nearby target and alters the player's actions relative to that target.[38] Such mechanics allow precise sword fighting in a 3D space. The game also heavily used context-sensitive button play, which enabled the player to control various actions with Link using only one button on the Nintendo 64's game pad. Each action was handled slightly differently but all used the 'A' button to perform. For instance standing next to a block and pressing 'A' made Link grab it (enabling him to push/pull it), but moving forwards into a block and pressing 'A' allowed Link to climb the block. Or if you stood next to something which you could pick up, you pressed 'A' to pick it up, and to drop it back down to the floor you simply pressed 'A' again (and if you pressed 'A' while moving Link threw whatever he was holding). Those who preordered the game received a gold-colored cartridge in a limited edition box with a golden plastic card affixed, reading "Collector's Edition".[39]
A young boy holds a sword in a dungeon lit by a candle
Ocarina of Time, the first 3D-styled game of the franchise

Ocarina of Time was rereleased on the Nintendo GameCube in 2002, when it was offered as a pre-order incentive for The Wind Waker in the U.S., Canada and Japan.[40] Europe continues to receive it free in every copy of The Wind Waker, except for the discounted Player's Choice version. It includes a previously unreleased 64DD expansion known as Ura Zelda in Japan and Ocarina of Time Master Quest in North America.[40] Ocarina of Time was included as part of Collector's Edition for the GameCube in 2003.[41] It is now available through the Wii's Virtual Console service.[42]

Ocarina of Time's follow-up, Majora's Mask, was released in November 2000. It uses the same 3D game engine as the previous game,[43] and added a time-based concept, in which Link, the protagonist, relives the events of three days as many times as needed to complete the game's objectives. It was originally called Zelda Gaiden,[44] a Japanese title that translates as Zelda Side story. Gameplay changed significantly; in addition to the time-limit, Link can use masks to transform into creatures with unique abilities. While Majora's Mask retains the graphical style of Ocarina of Time, it is also a departure, particularly in its atmosphere. It also features motion-blur, unlike its predecessor. The game is darker,[43] dealing with death and tragedy in a manner not previously seen in the series, and has a sense of impending doom, as a large moon slowly descends upon the land of Termina. All copies of Majora's Mask are gold cartridges. A "Limited Collector's Edition" lenticular cartridge label was offered as the pre-order incentive. Copies of the game that were not collector's editions featured a regular sticker cartridge label. Majora's Mask is now available on the Virtual Console.

The next two games, Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, were released simultaneously for the Game Boy Color, and interact using passwords[45] or a Game Link Cable.[46] After one game has been completed, the player is given a password that allows the other game to be played as a sequel.[45] They were developed by Flagship in conjunction with Nintendo, with supervision from Miyamoto. After the team experimented with porting the original The Legend of Zelda to the Game Boy Color, they decided to make an original trilogy[47] to be called the "Triforce Series".[48] When the password system linking the three games proved too troublesome, the concept was reduced to two games at Miyamoto's suggestion.[49] These two games became Oracle of Ages, which is more puzzle-based, and Oracle of Seasons, which is more action-oriented.[50]
A young boy and a young girl are on a pirate ship; one of its sails with the Jolly Roger is in the background.
The cel-shaded art-style of The Wind Waker

When Nintendo revealed the Nintendo GameCube on August 24, 2000, the day before Nintendo's SpaceWorld 2000 exposition,[51] a software demonstration showed a realistically styled real-time duel between Ganondorf and Link. Fans and the media speculated that the battle might be from a Zelda game in development.[52] At Spaceworld 2001 Nintendo showed a cel-shaded Zelda title, later released as The Wind Waker, which Miyamoto felt would "extend Zelda's reach to all ages".[53] The media reported that Zelda was shifting to a younger audience, to Miyamoto's surprise.[54] Nothing further was shown until a playable demonstration was ready. The gameplay centers on controlling wind with a baton called the "Wind Waker" and sailing a small boat around an island-filled ocean, retaining similar gameplay mechanics as the previous 3D games in the series.[citation needed]

Following the release of The Wind Waker came The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition, which included the original The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and a demo of The Wind Waker. Gamespot noted that Majora's Mask suffered from a frame rate which appeared choppier and inconsistencies in the audio.[55] This compilation was never sold commercially, and originally could only be obtained by purchasing a GameCube bundled with the disc,[56][57] (in North America, Europe and Australia), by registering a GameCube and two games at Nintendo.com,[56] or by subscribing or renewing a subscription to Nintendo Power (in North America) or Club Nintendo in Sweden.[56] In the UK, 1000 copies were made available through the Club Nintendo Stars Catalogue program.[57] After these were quickly claimed, Nintendo gave a copy to customers who mailed in proof of purchases from select Nintendo GameCube games.[57]

The next game released in the series was Four Swords Adventures for the GameCube, which was released in early 2004 in Japan and America, and January 2005 in Europe. Based on the handheld Four Swords, Four Swords Adventures was another deviation from previous Zelda gameplay, focusing on level-based and multiplayer gameplay. The game contains 24 levels and a map screen; there is no connecting overworld. For multiplayer features, each player must use a Game Boy Advance system linked to the Nintendo GameCube via a Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance cable. The game also features a single-player campaign, in which using a Game Boy Advance is optional.

Four Swords Adventures includes two gameplay modes: "Hyrulean Adventure", with a plot and gameplay similar to other Zelda games, and "Shadow Battle", in which multiple Links, played by multiple players, battle each other. The Japanese version includes an exclusive third segment, "Navi Trackers" (originally designed as the stand-alone game "Tetra's Trackers"), which contains spoken dialog for most of the characters, unlike other games in The Legend of Zelda series.
A man is on a horse. In the foreground, an imp rides a wolf.
Concept art of Twilight Princess

In November 2004 in Japan and Europe, and January 2005 in America, Nintendo released The Minish Cap for the Game Boy Advance. In The Minish Cap Link can shrink in size using a mystical, sentient hat named Ezlo. While shrunk, he can see previously explored parts of a dungeon from a different perspective, and enter areas through otherwise-impassable openings.

In November 2006, Twilight Princess was released as the first Zelda game on the Wii, and later, in December 2006, on the Nintendo GameCube, the console for which it was originally developed. The Wii version features a reversed world; everything that is in the west on the GameCube is in the east on the Wii, and vice versa (The game was mirrored in order to make Link right-handed to make use of the Wii remote feel more natural). The game chronicles the struggle of an older Link to clear the troubles of the interacting "Twilight Realm", a mysterious force that appears around Hyrule. When he enters this realm, he is transformed into a wolf, changing the gameplay. Twilight Princess also features horseback transportation and mounted battle scenarios, including boss battles.

At the 2006 Game Developers Conference, a trailer for Phantom Hourglass for the Nintendo DS was shown. It revealed traditional top-down Zelda gameplay optimized for the DS' features, with a cel-shaded graphical style similar to The Wind Waker. At E3 2006, Nintendo confirmed the game's status as a direct sequel to The Wind Waker,[58] and released an extensive playable demo, including a multiplayer mode with "capture the flag" elements. Phantom Hourglass was released on June 23, 2007, in Japan, October 1, 2007, in North America and October 19, 2007, in Europe.

The next Legend of Zelda for the DS, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, was released December 7, 2009, in North America and December 11, 2009, in the UK. In this game, the 'spirit tracks', railroads which chain an ancient evil, are disappearing from Hyrule. Zelda and Link go to the 'Spirit Tower' (the ethereal point of convergence for the tracks) to find out why. But villains steal Zelda's body for the resurrection of the Demon King. Rendered disembodied, Zelda is left a spirit, and only Link (and a certain few sages) can see her. Together they go on a quest to restore the spirit tracks, defeat the Demon King, and return Zelda to her body.
Using a modified engine of that used in Phantom Hourglass, the notably new feature in this game is that the Phantom Guardians seen in Phantom Hourglass are, through a series of events, periodically controllable.


NOW THANK WIKIPEDIA AND DISCUSS FUCKING ZELDA!

Other LoZ games include:

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (DX)
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages



Last edited by SlySonji™ on Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:27 am; edited 5 times in total
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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

Post by TRF on Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:12 am

WTF is Legend of Zelda?

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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

Post by chobo500 on Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:12 am

TRF, please tell me you're joking.

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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

Post by TRF on Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:25 am

I added to your poll and voted for A Link to the Past, even though it's actually a tie between A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time.

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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

Post by SlySonji™ on Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:26 am

TRF wrote:I added to your poll and voted for A Link to the Past, even though it's actually a tie between A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time.

I tried adding all of those but it wouldn't let me. Anyways, thanks.

I plan on doing this with other major franchises.
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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

Post by Zillah on Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:36 am

If you didn't vote OoT, you really need to burn.

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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

Post by Ezio Auditore on Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:37 am

WIND WAKER FTW! TOON LINK RULES!


I do agree OoT is amazing. However, I thought Wind Waker was more fun to play.
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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

Post by SlySonji™ on Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:42 am

Zillah wrote:If you didn't vote OoT, you really need to burn.

Majora's Mask was FAR superior.
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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

Post by chobo500 on Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:07 am

I can't pick. I love all the Zelda games that are out. But if I had to pick one, it would have to be Either Wind Waker or OoT.

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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

Post by solidstudios on Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:24 am

either OoT or Majora's Mask. All of them are good. Majora's Mask and OoT just stick out to me
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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

Post by igame on Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:32 am

Miyamoto did say that he is still trying to top OoT
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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

Post by TRF on Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:56 am

igame wrote:Miyamoto did say that he is still trying to top OoT
He must feel like a failure then. Laughing

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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

Post by Stoney on Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:27 pm

SlySonji™️ wrote:
Zillah wrote:If you didn't vote OoT, you really need to burn.

Majora's Mask was FAR superior.

You're dead to me. :reaper:
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Re: The Legend of Zelda: The Official Thread

Post by Epzaos on Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:34 pm

Wind Waker is my favorite.
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