Gamer Girl Musings: Zelda 30th Anniversary


by Jaime Whittaker (@JaimeW912)

Hello, Gamer Nerds! As you all know I play a variety of games, but one game that has been with me since childhood and remains to this day is The Legend of Zelda series. So of course I wanted to pay homage to this epic saga by listing every Zelda game for you including those really obscure non-canon/could be canon games.

February 21, 1986 – The Legend of Zelda

The one that started it all! This was one of the first non-side scrolling games I can remember playing when I was younger and it was quite advanced for its time! The formula used in this game was so successful it became more widely used in successors.

1988 – Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Much like the sequel to Super Mario Bros, the second game in the Zelda series kind of jumped the shark abandoning the concept of its predecessor. Link doesn’t even collect rupees! This game is considered by many the “Black Sheep” of the Zelda series. Although it’s not a great game, it’s still one that deserves consideration.

1991 The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Of all the classic Zelda games, this one has to be my favorite! This sequel returns to the top-down view used in the original Zelda, with the improved graphics of the SNES. I just loved the way this game played. It is by far one of my favorite video games of all time…no lie.

1993 The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

This was one of the first games I can remember playing on my brother’s Game Boy. It is also the first Zelda game to take place outside of Hyrule.

1998 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

If I were to pick one Zelda game that is my favorite in the series of all time….it’s this. The series went on hiatus for a little while but this was a fantastic reintroduction to Zelda and the first Zelda game in the 3D Era. There is so much to love about this game: The music, the characters, the quests, the combat, collecting all the things, the Water Temple….oh come on it really wasn’t that hard!

2000 The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

This game uses the same type of 3D engine as OOT but there is the added element of battling the clock. There were mixed reactions to this game. Personally I loved it, but it wasn’t the deep, emotional, heartfelt kind of love I have for OOT or A Link to the Past…it’s more of the kind of love I have for pie. When I see it I can’t wait to dive in, savor it, devour it…but after I’ve had too much of it I kinda feel sick to my stomach. Mmm pie…..where was I?

2001 Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons

These games were released simultaneously on the Game Boy Color. After one game is completed, the player is given a password to play the other as a sequel. A third proposed sequel called Mystical Seed of Courage was cancelled. Oracle of Ages is more puzzle based, whereas Oracle of Seasons is more action based.


2002 The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords

This was the first multi-player Zelda game and it was released on the Game Boy Advance along with A Link to the Past. For the Zelda 25th Anniversary there was briefly an Anniversary Edition available for free download on both Nintendo DSi and Nintendo 3DS. This special edition features a single player mode.


2002 The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

This was a cell-shaded Zelda game that Miyamoto felt could extend Zelda’s reach to all ages. In this game the player controls the wind with a magical baton called the “Wind Waker” and sails a boat around. Originally released on the GameCube, it was later re-released for Wii U as Wind Waker HD.

2004 The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

Released for the GameCube, this game was based on the handheld Four Swords focusing on multi player gameplay. Each player uses a Game Boy Advance that is linked to the GameCube via a GBA-GCN cable. There is also a single player campaign available on the Game Boy Advance.


2004 The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of this game before researching for this article. Apparently Link has the ability to shrink with the aid of a mystical hat named Ezlo, and can see previously explored parts of a dungeon from a different perspective. This also gives him the ability to enter new areas that had otherwise impassable openings.


2006 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Ooh this game is pretty! Although this game was originally supposed to be a GameCube only title, it instead arrived as the first Zelda game for the Wii. This game is set hundreds of years after Majora’s Mask. We see a mature Link (much like we saw Link that had traveled to the future in OOT) on a mission as the descendant of the Hero of Time to rid Hyrule of the Twilight Realm. Link can transform into a wolf!

2007 The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Released on Nintendo DS, this game recalls the cell-shading graphics of TWW and was confirmed as a direct sequel to The Wind Waker.


2007 Link’s Crossbow Training

It is unclear whether or not this game is canon with the rest of the series but we’ll let that slide…this was the first Wii exclusive title, bundled with the Wii Zapper. There is not really a plot to this game, it’s more of a first person archery game that just happens to feature Link.


2009 The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

The next Nintendo DS title taking place 100 years after Phantom Hourglass. Once again this game features cell-shading and also includes new songs as well as a few songs returning from Phantom Hourglass.


2011 The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

In this 16th installment released on the Wii, Link lives in Skyloft, afloat high above Hyrule. The gameplay depends heavily upon the use of the Wii Motion Plus which allows players to feel more a part of the gameplay, and having more control over Link.

2013 A Link Between Worlds

Released on the Nintendo 3DS, this game takes place in the same world as A Link to the Past and is a direct sequel to the SNES game, taking place hundreds of years later. Instead of finding items in dungeons, Link can rent or buy items from Ravio. This means that dungeons can be completed in almost any order. Link also has the ability to turn into a painting.


2014 Hyrule Warriors

This Wii U game combines the action of Dynasty Warriors with The Legend of Zelda. This is a spin-off game, so it should not really be considered canon with the series.

There were also several games that could be considered ambiguously canon, while others are completely non-canon:

2006 Freshly Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland (Nintendo DS)

2007 Tingle’s Balloon Fight DS (Nintendo DS)

2009 Ripened Tingle’s Balloon Trip of Love (Nintendo DS)

1993 Link: The Faces of Evil (Phillips CD-i)

1993 Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon (Phillips CD-i)

1994 Zelda’s Adventure (Phillips CD-i)

Currently The Legend of Zelda is the working title for the upcoming action-adventure game in development for the Wii U (Though there is speculation that it may be held off until the next Nintendo system is released). This game is set for an initial release date sometime this year! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this indeed happens because I am hungry for a new Zelda game. Take a look at the trailer that was released at E3 2014

I hope you have enjoyed this celebration of such an epic Anniversary for The Legend of Zelda. I hope that Nintendo continues to release more great Zelda games. Perhaps more games in which Zelda is at the forefront rather than playing the damsel in distress a la Hyrule Warriors.

Stay Nerdy, my friends!


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