The Legend of Zelda (series)
The Legend of Zelda series (logo)
Caption The logo for The Legend of Zelda video game series.
Developer Nintendo
Publisher Nintendo
Platform of origin NES
Genre Action-adventure
Creator Shigeru Miyamoto
The Legend of Zelda series is a collection of hugely popular and highly rated fantasy-adventure video games created by Shigeru Miyamoto and produced by Nintendo. Since the first video game release in 1986-7 the franchise has become one of the highest rated franchises in video gaming history with 47 million units sold across 12 official titles. the series is known for cerating the action-adventure genre of video games.

Series Gameplay

The Legend of Zelda games feature a mixture of puzzles, action, adventure/battle gameplay, exploration, and questing. These elements have remained constant throughout the series, but with refinements and additions featured in each new game. Later games in the series also include stealth gameplay, where the player must avoid enemies while proceeding through a level, as well as racing elements. Although the games can be beaten with a minimal amount of exploration and side quests, the player is frequently rewarded for solving puzzles or exploring hidden areas with helpful items or increased abilities. Some items are consistent and appear many times throughout the series, such as bombs, which can be used both as weapons and to open blocked or hidden doorways, boomerangs, which can kill or paralyze enemies, keys for locked doors, magic swords, shields, and bows and arrows, while others are unique to a single game. Though the games contain many role-playing elements (Zelda II was also the only one to include an experience system), they emphasise straightforward hack and slash-style combat over the strategic, turn-based or active time combat of games like Final Fantasy. The game's role-playing elements, however, have led to much debate over whether or not the Zelda games should be classified as action role-playing games, a genre on which the series had a strong influence.[1] Every game in the main Zelda series has consisted of three principal areas: an overworld in which movement is multidirectional, allowing the player some degree of freedom of action; areas of interaction with other characters (merely caves or hidden rooms in the first game, but expanding to entire towns and cities in subsequent games) in which the player gains special items or advice; and dungeons, areas of labyrinthine layout, usually underground, comprising a wide range of difficult enemies, bosses, and items. 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 as well as progressing through the game. In nearly every Zelda game, navigating a dungeon is aided by locating a map, which reveals its layout, and a magic compass, which reveals the location of significant and smaller items such as keys and equipment. In later games, the series also included a special 'big key', that would unlock the door to battle the dungeon's boss enemy. In most Zelda games, the player's life meter is represented as a line of hearts. The life meter is replenished a number of different ways, including picking up hearts left by some defeated enemies, fairies or springs located in specific locations, or using an item such as a potion. Most games feature "heart containers" or "a piece of heart" as the prize for defeating the final boss of a dungeon and also for completing certain side quests; heart containers extend the life meter by one heart, and four pieces of heart (five in the case of Twilight Princess) do the same as a heart container. Both will completely replenish your health. The games pioneered a number of features that were to become industry standards. The original Legend of Zelda was the first console game with a save function that enabled players to stop playing and then resume later. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time introduced a targeting system that simplified 3D combat.


Set in the fictional land of Hyrule, each game tells the story of how a seemingly ordinary young boy/teenager (Link) overcomes a vast array of challenges to defeat the evil Ganondorf, who has intentions of ruling the
TLOZ Timeline

Nintendo's official Zelda timeline.

whole land of Hyrule. The series is well known for its beautiful and varied locations as well as interesting characters and races and diverse game play as the player is not forced to follow the plot line outright. If they wish they can play one of the many mini-games or follow a sub-plot.

The first game was first released for the Famicom's Disk System peripheral in Japan on February 21st, 1986. Due to the Famicom console only being available within Japan, a worldwide release was saved for the NES with American and European releases on August 22, 1987 and November 27, 1987 respectively.

With the exception of the first two games, all Zelda titles start with The Legend of Zelda: (followed by a different sub-title here). As of 17th June 2007, there have been 12 official titles released. These are:

Console Games






Wii U:

Portable Games



  • Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland The first of 3 spinoff games of Tingle for the Nintendo DS that was released in September 2007. (This game is only in Japan and Europe)
  • Tingle's Balloon Fight DS is second game in the Tingle spinoff series that was only made available to Club Nintendo members in Japan. It was released in 2007, supposedly as a sequel to Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland. It's very similar to the original Balloon Fight game for the NES, but it has several differences as well.                                                                                                              
  • Ripened Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love was released in Japan in August 2009, and was not released overseas. Similar to Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, the game starts with an ordinary, 35-year-old man. While he watches a sales program on television, the man learns of a book that is deemed to make its readers popular amongst the ladies. He orders the book, but he gets sucked into the world of a picture book when he opens it and transforms into Tingle. He learns that the only way to get out of the book is to dance with the princess of this world, which is the main goal of the game.
  • Zelda (Game & Watch)
  • The Legend of Zelda Game Watch

External Links