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The legend of Zelda

With a live-action 'Zelda' film announced for 2024, it's time to take a look at this legendary video game and its adaptations. We'll see the story of Princess Zelda, the hero Link, the big bad Ganon and the kingdom of Hyrule, as we've come to know them in video games from The Legend of Zelda on the NES to the Switch, via Nintendo's Wii.

The protagonist is Link

While most of today's Nintendo-geeks, both experienced and budding, are well aware of this, there was a time when it wasn't so obvious. The general public only discovered 'Zelda' video games on consoles that were not yet very advanced, as Nintendo's famous Famicon was not yet widely available in Europe.

So when you pick up a Game & Watch from the 1980s called "The Legend of Zelda" and spend all your time pressing buttons so that a hero can kill nasty skeletons, especially if you're a child, you're liable to get confused.

So to put everything back in place in this fantastic universe created by Shigeru Miyamoto: the playable protagonist is called Link. With his pointy ears and green clothes, he looks like an elf... or Peter Pan. In fact, it was the latter that inspired Miyamoto to create a hero making the transition from childhood to adulthood. Above all, he is an ordinary individual, an orphan with no particular social status, with whom all players can identify.

Triangular mayhem in the kingdom of Hyrule

The stories take place in the fictional kingdom of Hyrule, a sort of medieval-fantasy. Gamers first came across it in 1986 on Famicon, then in 1987 on the NES, the Nintendo Entertainment System. Unlike the linear flow of a Super Mario game, in Zelda players can freely explore a map of the kingdom and decide where to send Link.

While the kingdom changes from game to game, the basic elements are the dungeons and the people. The dominant people are the Hylians, from whom the king and father of Princess Zelda is descended. According to legend, the world was created by three fairy goddesses who also gave it the Triforce.

The Triforce is a sacred relic made up of three triangles, each representing the power of one of the fairy goddesses: strength, wisdom and courage. Anyone in possession of the Triforce can have all their desires fulfilled.

Of course, the fairy goddesses didn't leave the Triforce alone. They created the goddess Hylia to protect it. But after a failed and bloody attempt to seize it, led by the Avatar of the Void, Hylia decided to reincarnate as a mortal... Princess Zelda.

Indeed, only a mortal can use the Triforce. And to protect Zelda, another mortal was chosen: Link. It's worth noting that his sword was made by Hylia, and goes by the name of Master Sword.

The huge success of Ocarina of Time

While in the second half of the 1990s Sega and its hero Sonic completely missed the 3D boat, Nintendo and its N64 console managed to survive in the face of the huge success of Sony and its Playstation.

Nintendo owed its survival to just a few titles: Super Mario 64, Goldeneye 64, and... The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Universally acclaimed, and having sold nearly 8 million copies, this game was the first episode in the "Zelda" saga. In it, we discover that the Void Avatar has been reincarnated as Ganondorf, who tricks Link into collecting the three Triforce Stones and opening the Holy Realm. Ganondorf then reigns over the world while Link is plunged into a seven-year sleep.

Link possesses the Ocarina of Time, given to him by Zelda when he fled. Thanks to this magical instrument, he can move to the temples of the wise men who can help him stop Ganondorf. At the end of his quest, aided by the fairy Navi and the horse Epona, he discovers that the Triforce had broken into three elements, and that each of the main characters holds one: Ganondorf, Zelda and himself. With Zelda's help, Link manages to defeat Ganondorf, who transforms into the even more evil Ganon. Thanks to the wise men, Ganon is sent into the infernal void... but the story doesn't end there. Three different timelines branch off from it, giving rise to three different sequel games:

  • A Link to the Past, followed by Link's Awakening
  • Majora's Mask, followed by Twilight Princess
  • The Wind Waker

Waiting for the film

Explore the legendary world of Zelda with Shop For Geek. Iconic games such as "Breath of the Wild," "Twilight Princess," "Majora's Mask," and "Ocarina of Time" transport you through the kingdom of Hyrule, filled with mysterious dungeons and enchanted forests. Play as Link on his quest to save Princess Zelda and thwart the evil plans of Ganon. Immerse yourself in Nintendo's rich and captivating universe, where adventure awaits you at every turn. Experience Hyrule like never before on your Nintendo Switch and get ready to live The Legend of Zelda.

If you love Zelda and its world, you'll know that Shigeru Miyamoto is producing a live-action film due for release in 2024. It will be a Nintendo-Sony co-production, directed by Wes Ball.

In the meantime, you can stock up on accessories from the Zelda franchise at Shop For Geek. You can also bet on the cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Ansel Elgort, Tom Holland... or a reunion of the actors from "Dune": Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya?