The Legend of Zelda was created by the same video game developer as Super Mario Bros and Donkey Kong… need we say more? Since its debut in 1986, The Legend of Zelda has proved immensely popular, and Hyrule has proved a huge tourist attraction in the gaming world. But sometimes, you just want to know more. Check out these things you didn’t know about The Legend of Zelda…
The game was inspired by Miyamoto’s childhood
The Legend of Zelda’s game developer is famous for taking inspiration from his own life and inputting them into his games – and Zelda is no exception. The ideas for this game stemmed from Miyamoto’s childhood experiences wandering around the countryside. Miyamoto even stumbled across a cave system, which he (very bravely, may we add) decided to investigate with just a lantern on his person – this is why Link always carries a lantern. Oooh.
The game concept
Because of Miyamoto’s childhood experiences, he wanted to base the game on exploration and completion, rather than achieving a high score. He even said that he wanted to allow gamers to have ‘a miniature garden that they can put inside their drawer.’ Aww, thanks, Miyamoto.
Have you ever thought – why ‘Zelda?’ Well, it turns out that this name wasn’t just something that Miyamoto randomly plucked from thin air, but actually had meaning to it. Zelda was named after Zelda Fitzgerald, the author. and wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Apparently, Miyamoto loved her work and thought the name to be very ‘pleasant.’
Robin Williams liked the name too
The beloved late actor and comedian, Robin Williams was a huge Legend of Zelda fan… so much so that he named his daughter after the game! Zelda Williams was born in 1989 and named after Princess Zelda. How cool is that? Williams was such a huge fan that after his death, thousands of fans petitioned for him to be memorialized in the Nintendo game. Watch this space…
The original prototype
Die-hard Legend of Zelda fans will do anything to come away with authentic and original Zelda products. In 2012, the prototype Legend of Zelda copy was sold to an eager buyer for $55,000 on Ebay. Well, if you have the money…
When the game was first released, the Japanese version of the game had a different name. This is because the Japanese production company though that the name was deceiving – because, after all, Zelda is not the main character. So, the game was originally called The Hyrule Fantasy. Although this made more sense, it was deemed very generic so is now known as The Legend of Zelda worldwide.
Link is a lefty
All of the Zelda games (apart from one) share a common aspect. Link is left-handed. Although this isn’t a bad thing – no offense, people who really are left-handed – video game characters are notorious for being right-handed. The only time Link is not left-handed is in the Nintendo Wii version of Twilight Princess, as most people hold the Wii remote in their right hands.
The Legend of Zelda is known for being chronologically all over the place. In fact, the first Zelda game is actually one of the last in the series, if you’re looking at the chronological order. If you want to add even more confusion to the mix, the first two games take place in an alternative universe… yeah, we’re confused too.
The Peter Pan Link
It’s thought that the character of Link was inspired by Walt Disney Company’s Peter Pan character. With his green tunic, pointy ears and fairy friends, it’s no wonder the two have been Linked. Miyamoto has previously stated that his creative team often turn to Disney characters for inspiration.
There’s a secret room
In the Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past game, there exists a secret room holding the name of a Zelda fan. The (now extinct) Nintendo Power magazine once held a competition to put a fan’s name into the game, and the winner was Chris Houlihan. If you find the secret room, you will see his name…
Apparently people like Tingle!
We know. We can’t believe it either. American gamers absolutely despise Tingle and feel he’s a bit too upbeat for The Legend of Zelda. But Tingle is hugely popular in Japan and even stars in his own games. Errr…what do they see that we don’t? (Sorry, Tingle. It’s nothing personally. Well, it kinda is).
The Legend of Zelda has often been wrongly accused of being anti-semitic, because of the fact that the map slightly resembles a Swastika (according to some people). But, the map is actually the wrong way round to be a Swastika, and the symbol originally represents strength and compassion…so we’re not persuaded. They’re all good.
A Legend of Zelda Cereal?! What?! Take our money! Unfortunately, the cereal is not around anymore. Probably due to the fact that the sugar content in the cereal was through the roof… but, it’s still pretty cool. Can we just have the box….?
The Zelda Theme Tunes
Koji Kondo has worked on every single Zelda game and has produced all of the Zelda theme tunes from the first Legend of Zelda to Skyward Sword. This is one talented guy, need an apprentice, Kondo? Please?
The Chu Chu voices
We all know who the Chu Chu’s are. But did you know that their voices are made from the voices of two men arguing? Granted, it doesn’t really sound like that, but producers have said that the recordings of two men arguing are sped up and reversed to create the sounds of the Chu Chu. Oooh, knowledge.
So it turns out that your biggest enemy in the Legend of Zelda games is the Octoroks. I know, we didn’t believe it either. But the Octorok is the only enemy that has appeared in every single Legend of Zelda game. Who cares about Ganondorf when you have Octoroks around?
Here’s a fun fact for you – the Triforce is the symbol of a real-life Japanese clan. How cool is that?! Apparently, the Hojo clan’s historical family symbol is exactly the same as the Triforce, leading to speculation that the Triforce was based on this.
Talon and Ingo are a bit familiar…
If you’ve ever looked at Tango and Ingo and thought that they looked familiar…well, you’re onto something. Apparently, these two farm-hands are homages to Mario and Luigi from Super Mario Bros. and they do look very similar. But they’re more like middle-aged and balding homages, but homages nonetheless.
A few more dungeons
The Legend of Zelda already has its fair share of dungeons and small spaces, but Miyamoto wanted more. The original idea of Zelda had dungeons at the core of it, and creators wanted its gamers to be able to create and share the dungeons that they create. Somehow, we don’t think that would quite have the same effect…
The Legend of Zelda has always been popular because of the character of Link and being able to see him as you play. Creators once toyed with the idea of introducing first-person gaming. But, thankfully, they decided not to go ahead as they knew gamers loved to see Link. Yeah, you’re darn right.
The female link
In two Legend of Zelda games (Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask), Link is voiced by a woman. His famous ‘hyaaaaaah!’ is the product of famous voice actress Fujiko Takimoto. In the other games, he is voiced by a man.
Twin Peaks inspiration
I know what you’re all asking yourself – Twin Peaks? The TV show? Apparently, the concept of Link’s Awakening was inspired by Twin Peaks, as the program has deep and distinctive character, which is what the game’s creator wanted. Fair enough.
In the original game, Link acquires his sword from an old man in a cave. However, the game wasn’t designed like this. Miyamoto originally gave Link a sword from the beginning of the game, but Miyamoto got fed up with testers saying they didn’t understand the game, so decided to get the character to find the sword. Because that makes it… easier?
The hit time
There is a person out there in the world who has completed the whole of the original Legend of Zelda game in under 30 minutes – 28 minutes and 50 seconds to be exact. Impressive. Finishing it this quickly does require you to exploit a glitch, though… and a heck of a lot of patience.
America or no-America?
Yes, the unspeakable may have happened. Nintendo almost decided against releasing the original Legend of Zelda game out to the American world. *gasp* Nintendo didn’t think that American gamers would find it interesting or have the patience to complete the game. Oh, how wrong they were…
Legend has it that there was a haunted copy of Majora’s Mask out there for the world to see. Apparently, this game was second-hand and contained a saved file that was called ‘Ben Drowned’ which would play eerie music and exhibit strange glitches in the matrix. Creeeeeepy.
Link the Samurai
Errr, Link doesn’t look like a Samurai? Okay, no he doesn’t – not with that shield. But according to The Legend of Zelda creators, Link’s fighting and combat style were based on the fighting styles of Samurai warriors. Hyaaaaah!