The Legend of Zelda Is 35 Years Old

What was your earliest memory of The Legend of Zelda?
IMAGE Taner Muhlis Karaguzel

Way before I learned to read or write or press buttons on the console, I already fell in love watching the highly pixelated elf-like character from The Legend of Zelda. As a four-year-old, I was captivated by Link, the game’s hero, played by my uncle who spent hours at night finishing the many levels with his friends. 

The Legend of Zelda launched on February 21, 1986, to worldwide success. It was played on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). At the time, Filipinos were undergoing a very tumultuous political transition that would culminate in the People Power Revolution a day later. 

Link’s adventures were inspired by Nintendo’s top game developer Shigeru Miyamoto's childhood explorations of the hillsides, forests, and caves in Sonobe, Japan. 

According to GameSpot, Miyamoto wanted to take simple survival and high-scoring gameplay to another level by adding narratives or stories. He borrowed concepts from English lore (elves, dungeons, and castles) and modified them using his own childhood experience. 

Zelda, along with Super Mario Bros., revolutionized the gaming world by popularizing a concept previously unknown to players. The game was no longer about obtaining the highest score (e.g. Space Invaders, Galaga, Pac-Man), but completing the game or finishing its story.

The Main Characters

Many people confused the main character Link with Princess Zelda because of the title of the game. Link is the young male Hylian (elf-like race) who is the game’s protagonist. He wields a short sword and a shield. He is the bearer of the Triforce of Courage, an ancient artifact bestowed by the gods to the Hylians. Link does not speak, but only grunts and yells. This has become his signature personality throughout the franchise. 


Princess Zelda is the guardian of the Triforce of Wisdom. In most versions of the game, Link is required to save Zelda. She is the epitome of a damsel in distress. 

Ganon is the main antagonist in The Legend of Zelda. In almost every game, Ganon kidnaps Princess Zelda. He possesses the Triforce of Power, making him a formidable enemy with unmatched strength. 

Nintendo Teases Zelda Remaster?

In a post on its website, Nintendo teased a new description for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

“Take to the skies, draw your sword, and experience the earliest story in the Legend of Zelda series. Join Link in his high-flying quest to save Zelda, a childhood friend who must confront her destiny. Soar between floating islands and descend to the treacherous surface world in this updated HD version of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.”

Eagle-eyed fans were quick to notice the changes in the description and were wondering whether Nintendo is planning to remake the title.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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