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  • As the legend goes, the world was created by three Goddesses.

  • Together, they also created the Triforce,

  • a magical object that would grant a wish

  • to anyone who possessed all three of the Goddesses' virtues.

  • However, should there be an improper balance of these virtues,

  • the Triforce would be split.

  • Throughout time, only a select few

  • have wielded the individual powers granted by the Triforce;

  • Ganondorf,

  • a dark lord seeking to overthrow the kingdom of Hyrule,

  • has long possessed the Triforce of power.

  • Zelda, the noble princess of Hyrule,

  • wields the Triforce of wisdom.

  • And Link,

  • a brave young hero,

  • bears the mark of the Triforce of courage.

  • Only by reuniting the pieces

  • could the ultimate power of the Triforce be obtained.

  • In pursuit of ultimate power, and in defense against it,

  • many battles has been fought between these characters of good and evil.

  • The legend itself has spawned many adventures across multiple timelines

  • in an attempt to cover them all!

  • This is the evolution of The Legend of Zelda!

  • Let's start at the very beginning.

  • Shigeru Miyamoto,

  • a name that is no doubt familiar to Nintendo fans,

  • created a few small indie franchises,

  • such as Donkey Kong,

  • Mario,

  • and the Legend of Zelda.

  • I'm of course kidding,

  • these are some of the best-selling and most loved franchises in the world!

  • When Miyamoto was a child, he loved adventures.

  • He spent days exploring and discovering things as he went.

  • One day he came upon a cave, and, after days of hesitation,

  • went inside with just a small lantern.

  • These adventures inspired Miyamoto to create The Legend of Zelda,

  • a franchise which largely takes place in the fantasy kingdom of Hyrule.

  • The name of the series was a bold choice,

  • considering the chief protagonist and playable character

  • is actually Link, not Zelda.

  • I'm sure a few of you will say: “Wait what?! That boy is not Zelda??”

  • No, that is Link.

  • Link is modelled after Peter Pan,

  • Miyamoto confirmed it in an interview, adding he was a big fan of Disney.

  • I mean it's fairy obvious

  • Okay, I'll let myself out.

  • It also helped that distinctive features,

  • such as a long green hat and pointy ears,

  • made Link stand out in early games of the series

  • when graphics were very limited.

  • Throughout the years, Zelda games have been spread in multiple timelines.

  • It's fair to say that Miyamoto probably didn't envision

  • The Legend of Zelda becoming the mammoth franchise that it is today.

  • After all, there have been 19 major releases,

  • with one more on the way.

  • Now though, let's dust off the cartridges

  • and go back in time to when our adventure first began!

  • The original Legend of Zelda,

  • the game that started it all, was released in February 1986.

  • It could be played on the Famicom in Japan,

  • and more than a year later, on the NES in the rest of the world

  • The groundbreaking new game invited players to play as a boy named Link,

  • in an action adventure title.

  • Link must defeat Ganon to save princess Zelda

  • and become the Hero of Hyrule.

  • The gameplay was revolutionary, pioneering many features

  • that would later become industry standards.

  • It was completely different

  • compared to the linear gameplay of games like Mario Brothers.

  • The Legend of Zelda gave you choices,

  • allowed players to explore both overworld and dungeon sections freely,

  • providing you had the necessary items required for some areas.

  • This variety and freedom to take different paths

  • separated it from other games at the time.

  • It was also the first console game with the ability

  • to save one's progress and resume playing later.

  • Funnily enough, if we go through the entire timeline of the Zelda games,

  • we find the original Legend of Zelda almost at the end.

  • Despite this, it was the one that introduced

  • the main characters, setting and lore that would come to be loved

  • and appreciated by many for years to come.

  • Upon completing the game, players also unlocked a more difficult 'Second Quest'.

  • While the idea of a trickier replay wasn't anything new,

  • the fact that areas and items were rearranged,

  • offering different levels to complete,

  • was innovative.

  • The Legend of Zelda was extremely well-received by fans and critics.

  • It went on to sell more than 6.5 million copies worldwide,

  • making it the 5th highest-selling game on the NES.

  • FUN FACT:

  • Did you know that the iconic main theme music

  • was created in a single night?

  • Nintendo's composer, Koji Kondo,

  • initially wanted to use the song 'Bolero',

  • but developers discovered that the song was still under copyright.

  • Kondo therefore came up with his own tune,

  • although it is seemingly still heavily inspired by Bolero.

  • In 1987, 'Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link' arrived as a sequel to the original.

  • It picked up the story only a few years after the first game.

  • The now 16-year-old Link notices a strange mark on the back of his hand.

  • According to Impa, this means that he is the hero chosen to awaken Zelda,

  • who has fallen under a sleeping spell.

  • To awaken her he needs the Triforce.

  • The Adventure of Link came with

  • significant changes to the gameplay and visuals.

  • It introduced a levelling up system,

  • and combined a top down view with side-scrolling action.

  • The combat system was more challenging.

  • This time the enemies could actually fight,

  • whereas in the first, it felt more like the enemies were obstacles.

  • And for those of you who hate the game,

  • you're probably just tired of hearing Ganon laugh.

  • Zelda 2 did not reach the heights of the first game in terms of sales,

  • but it still sold 4.4 million copies on the NES,

  • placing it 8th among the best-selling games for the console.

  • 'The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past' came in 1991.

  • It was released on the Super Famicom in Japan

  • and the SNES in the rest of the world.

  • Due to the success of previous Zelda games

  • Nintendo was able to invest a substantial amount.

  • This led to a remarkably expansive world with a Light and Dark World.

  • The concept of two different worlds offered gamers the chance to explore

  • familiar yet varied environments.

  • Locations such as Hyrule Castle turned into the Pyramid of Power.

  • A Link to the Past returned to the overhead view

  • and gameplay style of the original Legend of Zelda.

  • However, graphical upgrades brought about by the SNES

  • meant that players benefitted from more detailed scenery

  • and beautiful colors.

  • A Link to the Past is a prequel to the original two Zelda games.

  • The story is more elaborate than the first two.

  • Yet again, Link is on an epic adventure,

  • exploring dungeons, fighting enemies all to save Zelda and Hyrule,

  • for a short while anyways

  • This Zelda was groundbreaking for its time.

  • It had many puzzles which worked really well in the game.

  • The all-important Master Sword was introduced

  • And it had amazing dungeons, story, music and enemies.

  • Many still regard it as one of the greatest games ever.

  • A Link to the Past became a huge success,

  • selling over 4.6 million copies worldwide,

  • placing it 7th on the list of most-sold SNES games.

  • 'Link's Awakening' is the first entry in the series

  • to release on a handheld in 1993.

  • It was released on the Game Boy.

  • Link's Awakening was quite unique

  • in that it was one of the few games in the franchise

  • not to take place in Hyrule,

  • or to feature the princess Zelda or indeed the Triforce relic.

  • The story does continue after A Link in the Past.

  • After Link saved Hyrule,

  • he went on a journey to sail across the oceans

  • and came in a rough storm.

  • Lighting struck and everything turned dark.

  • Link found himself stranded on an island.

  • Before Link can escape from the Island he has to go through another adventure.

  • The game was loved, but it lacked something

  • That's right, it lacked color,

  • that's why Nintendo made Link's Awakening in color for the Game Boy Color.

  • Both versions were a massive success.

  • The original sold 3.8 million copies

  • and the color version sold another 2.2 million.

  • While I won't cover all Zelda game remakes,

  • I will feature the remake of Link's Awakening

  • that came in 2019 for the Nintendo Switch.

  • It is a fantastic remake that keeps its charm

  • while having the visuals of Playmobil.

  • Link's Awakening also introduced a character more powerful than Ganon!

  • The shopkeeper when you steal something.

  • After an agonizing 5-year wait, came 'Ocarina of Time' in 1998.

  • It was released on the Nintendo 64.

  • Making use of the N64's graphics capabilities,

  • Ocarina of Time led the transition to 3D gameplay,

  • which was an important evolution in the franchise.

  • It also introduced a targeting system that allowed players to lock onto enemies.

  • Character models were far more realistic and detailed,

  • plus there were many more side quests and items to collect.

  • Ocarina of time takes place before all the previous games in the series.

  • In the story Link has a fairy companion named Navi.

  • Players traveled through different realms and time periods

  • on a mission to stop Ganondorf

  • from obtaining and using the Triforce's ultimate power.

  • In the child world, things are fun and happy

  • and then you become an adult and everything sucks.

  • It's almost like real life!

  • After the Ocarina of Time,

  • the timeline splits into three branches in which Zelda games take place.

  • There is a timeline where the Hero of Time is defeated and the Hero is triumphant

  • in the Child and Adult Era timelines..

  • At the end of the Ocarina of Time,

  • Zelda sends Link back in time to be a kid again.

  • That's why there is a Child Era besides the Adult Era.

  • While the 3D graphics noticeably aged compared to the newer Zelda games,

  • these graphics were actually groundbreaking for its time

  • and helped shape the way 3D games were made moving forward.

  • Despite its graphics, it's still an amazing game to play,

  • even after 22 years.

  • Ocarina of Time has earned a wide recognition

  • as one of the best video games of all time.

  • Nintendo sold a whopping 7.6 million copies,

  • placing it 4th on the list of most-sold N64 games.

  • FUN FACT:

  • Nintendo planned to make an expansion for the Ocarina of Time, named 'Ura Zelda'.

  • However, it was designed for the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive,

  • that was due to commercial failure, only released in Japan.

  • Nintendo scrapped the release of Ura Zelda

  • and instead used parts of the expansion for the Ocarina of Time Master Quest.

  • Only two years after the release of Ocarina of Time,

  • came Majora's Mask in the year 2000.

  • Nintendo has been known for the innovative takes on the Zelda formula,

  • to keep Zelda fresh.

  • Love it or hate it,

  • Majora's Mask is one of those different takes,

  • in which Link is in a search for his fairy Navi,

  • whom he lost at the end of Ocarina of Time.

  • In search of Navi, Link finds Termina,

  • a land which is under threat of destruction

  • from a giant falling moon.

  • Majora's Mask is a sequel of Ocarina of Time

  • and is the first Zelda game in the Child Era timeline.

  • The story is very dark and creepy,

  • so it's good that they rated it E for:

  • Everything is terrifying.

  • The graphics and gameplay are almost similar to its predecessor,

  • but that doesn't stop the game from being original.

  • The 3-day system, the ability to change into different beings using various masks

  • and the dark, but beautiful, story make this an incredible Zelda game.

  • Majora's Mask had the impossible task of

  • living up to the expectations of Ocarina of Time,

  • which sold 7.6 million copies.

  • Majora's Mask however only sold 3.4 million copies.

  • By the way, Emberlab has made an incredible animation about Majora's Mask!

  • Just imagine if they made a full movie with this quality!

  • I would highly recommend giving the video a watch!

  • The link is in the description!

  • 'Oracle of Ages' and 'Oracle of Seasons' are two Legend of Zelda games

  • that were released in 2001.

  • Both saw life on the Game Boy Color

  • and have different stories that happen in the timeline after Link's Awakening.

  • In Oracle of Ages, Link has the Harp of Ages,

  • which he can use to travel between the past and present,

  • while in the Oracle of Seasons, Link has the Rod of the Seasons,

  • which he can use to solve puzzles and change the seasons.

  • Both games also had a different focus:

  • Oracle of Ages focuses more on puzzles,

  • while Oracle of Seasons focuses more on action.

  • The games basically copied the controls, graphics and sounds from Link's Awakening

  • and although they weren't revolutionary games in the Zelda series,