Nintendo’s Zelda is still legendary after 25 years

Oct. 05, 2011 | 5:41 p.m.

This year is a silver anniversary for video-game royalty: It was a week after Valentine’s Day in 1986 that gamers fell in love with a fictional princess named Zelda and her noble (and playable) protector, Link, with their debut in the Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda.

First released in Japan on Feb. 21, 1986, the game’s creator Shigeru Miyamoto liked the name of American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, calling it “pleasant and significant.”

Significant enough that the game is still going strong with a new release, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, scheduled for Nov. 20.  Miyamoto has praised Skyward Sword, saying “All the ideas created in the past 25 years are in this game.”

That could be a reason that two Zeldas (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition) have already been introduced this year, with Skyward Sword in the batter’s box.

In terms of the gameplay, Skyward Sword combines most of the elements that make the Wii a unique gaming console and controller.  If you’ve played Wii Resort, this one game combines sword-fighting, archery and flying games that are packaged in Resort as separate activities. This version is the first in the series to use Nintendo’s Wii MotionPlus controller, making sword strikes and general movements more precise and fluid. There were some complaints about a lag, but it wasn’t apparent to this wannabe gamer.

Looking a bit like watercolors, the images have a cartoonish palette, and though not as detailed or sharp as some of the upcoming games that people are clamoring for (Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Batman: Arkham City or even Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3), they are well-suited for the tale that’s being told.

We also got to sample a few other Nintendo games: Kirby’s Return to Dream Land (Wii, Oct. 24), Super Mario 3D Land (3DS, Nov. 13) and Mario Kart 7 (3DS, Dec. 4). All of the titles have a nostalgic feel to them, with a twist of newness. Kirby is back to inhaling foes and obstacles (but with a four-player option), Mario is traversing dangerous lands and going down pipes for gold coins (though with ink-spitting plants and other baddies in a 3-D world with 3-D pitfalls), and King Koopa, Luigi and the rest are zooming around race courses in vehicles that now include underwater propellers and hang-gliding additions.

Sites such as IGN, KotakuThe Stylus and more are praising the new Zelda release, and with the recent slide in sales, Nintendo and the industry are looking for it, and the other new games, to do well.

— Jevon Phillips


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12 Responses to Nintendo’s Zelda is still legendary after 25 years

  1. Jay says:

    As an epic story full of surprises, I think this game will be better than twilight princess, maybe on par with ocarina of time, hopefully better, but we will have to see. Game play wise skyward sword will probably be the best yet, but I hope the story and environments are more epic than previous zelda games.

  2. curt says:

    I've never like Nintendo's games because they were just too cartoonish for me.

  3. Miyamoto says:

    thank you

  4. Paul says:

    am getting that game or MW3 I CHOSE BOTH

  5. silentleft4lol says:


  6. Scyphir says:

    "Imma let you finish, but Ocarina of Time was the best Legend of Zelda of all time. Of all time!"

    I don't understand… Yeah, OoT was a pretty good game, but I think Twilight Princess had a little more of everything. I really like the realistic and dark graphical style of TP, but I'm really looking forward to playing Skyward Sword. I've already paid for it in full, they just need to release it so I can pick it up.

  7. Casino_Queen says:

    I have been a fan of Zelda since the first game. I have followed most of the games that were released over the years, and I have yet to play a game that was bad. I am sure that with Zelda: Skyward Sword, the Zelda franchise can still uphold its high standards. And I know it will be good, since all major video game sites and publications have lauded the game, and given it the highest praises. I can't wait to play it!

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