The Escapist is Celebrating 30 Years of The Legend of Zelda - Update

The Escapist is Celebrating 30 Years of The Legend of Zelda - Update

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Thirty years ago yesterday, a young hero in a green tunic raised his first sword and went on his first adventure. It was dangerous, and he was alone. The journey ended up being a lengthy one, spanning three decades, inspiring countless clones, and revolutionizing the ways in which we view gameplay and narrative alike in video games. Over the course of this week, The Escapist will be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda.

Here's our schedule:

On Monday we took a look back at the past 30 years with The Hero that Went Alone - Celebrating 30 Years of Link.

On Tuesday, we brazenly ranked the top 10 games, against our better judgement.

Wednesday came in swinging with a look at the Evolution of Link - How Hyrule's Hero Changed Over 30 Years.

Thursday brings a look at the ten most memorable characters from the series.

On Friday, we're looking at the impact that The Legend of Zelda had on video games, and the ways in which it changed the industry forever.

In addition, we've attached a poll right here for you all to weigh in for a special Reader's Choice article - we'll be doing a separate ranking of the games based on your votes and feedback. Don't forget to hit the comments and let us know why you voted the way you did - and check back at the end of the week to see if your comment was used in our coverage!

We may also have some additional surprises mixed in throughout the week, but you'll only know if you check back in each day. Happy 30th Birthday, The Legend of Zelda!

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My ranking is like this:

Twilight Princess > Ocarina of Time = Majora's Mask > Skyward Sword > Wind Waker.

When it comes to the 3D games at least.

The 2D top down games very in quality from Great to at best OK.

I like the first Zelda on the NES and A Link to the Past equally.

Maybe should have used a different picture for the news feed, at first glance I thought the same article had been posted twice

On topic I'd have to say Link to the Past was the best Zelda game

A Link to the Past all the way for me!

Folks, share your experiences. WHY were they great games? Give us an anecdote or two. The poll will tell us your favorites, but the anecdotes will be a fun complement to the results.

Maybe it's a bit of an odd choice, but Link's Awakening, by far. Naturally it lacked the gameplay and mechanics of later and even earlier games, but it just struck me as being rather profound. And somehow darker than Majora's Mask, in some ways.

Only 4 votes for Wind Waker? I call blasphemy.

Majora's Mask takes the top spot for me. No other Zelda game, and very few games in general, have ever managed such an effective atmosphere and sense of discovery. It really felt like I was exploring a world, one that was slowly falling apart as the prospect of destruction literally loomed over it. We are often told to save the world in video games, but this one makes you want to save it more than almost any other game, and not only save it but fix what is wrong. I know I am not the only one who made sure to get as close as possible to a perfect time loop before finally defeating Majora.

Wind Waker gets an honorable mention for being easily the most beautiful and stylish Zelda game, for having the best iteration of Link, Zelda herself, and by far the best iteration of Ganondorf. His short speech about the winds of Hyrule is great, you get the feeling that these are his own conclusions about his actions in OOT, an unimaginably old soul considering the foolishness of the flaws that still consume him. I also like how Link is consistently shown to be naive to the point of foolishness. He clearly does not understand a word Ganondorf says.

John Keefer:
Folks, share your experiences. WHY were they great games? Give us an anecdote or two. The poll will tell us your favorites, but the anecdotes will be a fun complement to the results.

Oh, you want anecdotes? Fine! I'll give you anecdotes!

Notwithstanding that I've only played seven games in the series to completion, but fine, let's go:

7) Phantom Hourglass

This is in the realm of "okay." Not "bad," not "good," just "okay." And a lot of that can be boiled down to the control scheme (not unplayable, but still awkward and sometimes silly with the blow mechanic), the villain (Bellum is easily the weakest villain I've encountered in the series), and Linebeck, while likable enough, is a character we've seen in fiction a dozen times. Linebeck is...fine. Jolene is fine. Ormus is fine. A lot of the game is just...fine.

That's not to say it's without its bright spots. The ghost ship dungeon is particuarly memorable, the stylus is used to great effect for some items (e.g. the bow and boomerang), and there's that boss that you have to fight when seeing things from its point of view. The fairy spirits had great gameplay effects, and Ciela is easily the best fairy companion in the series. Also, despite what some have said, I didn't find the Temple of the Ocean King that frustrating. There's a lot to like in Phantom Hourglass, but it doesn't reach the heights of other games for me.

6) A Link to the Past

Ugh, I'm going to get a lot of flak for this. No, I don't think ALttP is a bad game. I just think it's "okay." It's fine. Gameplay is fine. It's hard too. I had some fun while playing it. But there's two things that keep me from enjoying it as much as other games, and that's the story and characters. Or rather, the lack of it/them. On the character front, there's Link, who barely receives any characterization at all, and...who else? I mean, characters are present, sure, but we don't really get to know any of them. Not Zelda, not Sarashalska, not Ganon, not Agaheim. The maidens exist purely to be saved. And as for story...well, it has a story, sure, but a very vanilla one. Link must get the three pendants, then get the Master Sword. Link fights Agaheim after Zelda is kidnapped. After this, the story basically stops as you're left to save the maidens. Oh sure, you get lore tidbits, but it's not really a progression of narrative. There's also the fact that the dungeons feel interchangable, whereas in OoT each one felt distinct.

Maybe I'm being unfair. But the point is, of all the Zelda games I've played, ALttP is easily the least story-focused, to the point where it detracted from the experience for me. It's certainly a series milestone, but it's not one I enjoy that much, even if the gameplay is solid.

5) The Minish Cap

The Minish Cap is wearing LttP's influences on its sleeve. Replace Agaheim with Vaati, replace the Master Sword with the Four Sword, replace the Dark World with going down to the picori's level, replace Link and Zelda with...Link and Zelda, replace one Hyrule map with a very similar map, replace the Hyrule castle theme with a similar Hyrule castle theme and...yeah. People point out the similarities between ALttP and OoT, and point out that A Link Between Worlds (which I haven't played), but IMO, Minish Cap is a game that also takes great inspiration from its forebear. Like I said, while I don't particuarly like A Link to the Past, I do accept it as being a turning point for the series. That said, I do feel that Minish Cap is superior. Or at the least, it's a game I like more.

For starters, Hyrule feels far more like a world here than in ALttP. Hyrule Castle Town feels alive, far more than Kakariko Village does, and the picori have their own culture, whereas the monsters of the Dark World...well, you had the whole 'inner self' thing going on, but I enjoyed my time with the picori more. I liked shrinking more than doing the world shift as well. But where Minish Cap surpasses its forebear is in regards to its characters. Both Links have similar tasks, but Ezlo being present makes a world of difference. He's not my favorite companion, but at least Link has company on his adventure, and Ezlo does have a history with Vaati. History that's probably revealed a bit too soon, as is Vaati's possession of the king, but it's welcome nonetheless. Vaati is also more interesting than Agaheim, both in terms of character, and as a boss. The final dungeon is very memorable in regards to the mechanics of the four Links, and likewise, the other dungeons do have clear themes.

If Minish Cap has a weakness, it's its length. But I do feel that Minish Cap does succeed A Link to the Past, taking the best elements of its gameplay, while also being strong in plot and taking elements that began in Ocarina of Time (e.g. the dungeon theme idea). Finally, there's the game's theme. Every game on this list from now will have a theme ascribed to it, and this is one of the series's greatest strengths. For MC, the theme is "kindness is its own reward." A very basic theme, but it does shine through, from the picori to Ezlo, to arguably even Link. Vaati is selfish, and both he and the world pay for that. The Lorerunner has elaborated on the themes of Zelda better than I ever could, but at the end of the day, MC is a solid, and, IMO, underlooked entry in the series.

4) Majora's Mask

This is a weird one. Back in the day, I barely cared about Majora's Mask. Yeah, I beat it, and enjoyed it, but it was no Ocarina of Time. Since then, the game seems to have picked up its own following, some claiming it to surpass Ocarina of Time, others calling it the strongest entry in the series. If anything, this poll speaks for itself. Personally, I do like the game, and watching Lorerunner's rumination on Majora's Mask did increase my opinion of it. However, while I like the game, it's still easily the weakest 3D Zelda that I've played. And if anything, it's the inverse of A Link to the Past. Majora's Mask shines when it comes to theme and setting, but the three day cycle is its Achilles heel. Everything in the game is rushed. Oh sure, there's the time loop, but every other Zelda game that I've played, to one extent or another, has given me time to explore at my own pace. Majora's Mask allows exploration, but again, you're on a time limit. There's only four dungeons, which is fine, Minish Cap had only a few dungeons as well, but the thing is, Majora's gameplay feels more along the lines of "sidequests, plus a few dungeons," whereas most other gaves have had "dungeons, and a few sidequests." For me, I prefer the latter. I got all the masks, but only out of a sense of obligation. Unlike Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask felt like a chore to me, and once I finished it, I had little desire to play it again. Granted, the masks themselves are fun to use, especially the species-based ones, but to get all the masks in the game...just too much effort.

So, fine, I don't like the gameplay much, what about the story? Well, here's the thing. In terms of plot, Majora's Mask is very simple. Link must save Termina, Skull Kid is possessed, Link must awaken the giants, yay. There's no real revelation or plot twist, like Ganondorf getting the Triforce in OoT, or Zant's true nature being revealed in Twilight Princess. That's not to say it lacks meat, given yes, this game has lots of potential sub-text. I get that. I've seen a lot of theories on Majora's Mask, and people discussing its theme. I give it credit for that. It's #4 on this list for a reason. However, lots of Zelda games have themes and sub-text. Lots of Zelda games have narrative depth. Majora's Mask gets credit for them, but it doesn't hold a monopoly, and I feel that while people harp on Majora, other Zelda games tend to be overlooked for having similar amounts of thematic depth. And there's the theme itself. Again, personal opinion, but if I had to sum up Majora's theme in one word, it would be "nihilism." The sense that none of this matters. That the little people are irrelevant. They'll do the same thing day after day with no deviation, because they're bound to the same cycle. That maybe this world isn't even worth saving, because what is Termina but an echo of Hyrule? Majora's Mask has a theme unlike any other in the series (in my experience), and while that may be a good thing, I can't help but feel that it feels...off. Like it's a black sheep. That it's OoT 2.0 in a lot of ways. Sometimes a different theme and tone work (e.g. I actually applaud the Star Wars prequels for being different in tone and feel to the OT), but with Majora's Mask...like I said, something just doesn't click when I think about the game. Apart from Phantom Hourglass, every game on this list shows a key stage of the overall legend, but you could cut out Majora's Mask and lose nothing from the overall timeline.

So yes, I do like the game. It does take the #4 spot. But the next three Zeldas are all 3D, and all very close. Majora? It easily exists outside that clique for me.

3) Ocarina of Time

Ah, Ocarina of Time. First Zelda game I played. Called by some to be the best in the series, some even the best game of all time. Others say it's overrated, that it's aged terribly, that Sequelitis was right and it signalled a shift in the series for the worst. As for me...well, it's not the best game in the series, or the best of all time (hint, the best game of all time is #1 on this list). But it's still a damn good one. And why? Well, do I have to explain it?

Fine, let's play. Ocarina of Time was when the series entered the 3D space. Ocarina of Time built on A Link to the Past, and made the world alive. Ocarina of Time gave us characters that we cared about. It started the idea of dungeons being built around themes. Ocarina of Time gave us Ganondorf, and showed us how that man became Ganon. Ocarina of Time's narrative introduced actual plot twists, character development, and is, IMO, a tragedy. Ocarina of Time is the story of how a boy saves the land, yet loses his childhood in the process. Ocarina of Time, not surprisingly, has the theme of "time." How times changes people. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Ocarina of Time is the story of a boy who is forced to grow up too fast - time goes ever onwards, yet one must cherish their childhood as well. I mentioned above that Majora's Mask is praised for its sub-text, but IMO, Ocarina of Time has plenty of sub-text as well, and manages to tell it through a longer, better developed plot.

Is the game perfect? No. The overworld feels a bit empty at times. Plus, the next two games on this list do surpass OoT in some key ways that I feel in the end, put them above it. But OoT is without a doubt the basis on which those games were built. It brought Zelda into the 3D space, it was the start of proper characterization and plot, and clear theme. I do admit that Link's Awakening might have started some of these things beforehand, but in the scope of my knowledge, OoT absolutely takes the no. 3 spot.

2) Twilight Princess

Twilight Princess gets some flak, and I can understand why. Of all the 3D Zeldas that I've played, this is easily the most linear. Some also say that's not as innovative as other titles that came before it. Concerning those comments, I do agree that this is a fairly linear game compared to others, but I don't think a lack of innovation should be held as an inherent negative. That, and I do feel that the game innovates in a key area, but we'll get to that. This is my #2 Legend of Zelda game. Back in the day, I declared to a friend that "you know what? I think this might be better than Ocarina of Time." Much, much later, my current conclusion is that while OoT is undoubtedly more groundbreaking and influential on the series, TP's strengths do, in the end, make it the superior game.

For starters, the combat. This is TP's shining beacon as far as gameplay goes, and it's easily the best Zelda game I've played in regards to the combat aspect. Both on Epona and on foot, Link's a master of the sword. It's fitting that the game ends in a sword duel against Ganondorf, while OoT fought against Ganon. The Ganon fight is big and new, but the swordsplay, while smaller, is far more intricate. Some have criticized TP for its combat focus, but for me, it's easily one of its strengths.

Second of all, there's characters. In terms of theme, Twilight Princess is a bit more simple than other games. I'd sum up its theme as "shades of grey," or, fittingly, "twilight." The dark is not inherently evil, light is not inherently benevolent. Midna sums up both, how she's harmed by the light spirit (unintentionally), yet despite being a twilii, she's an ally and friend to Link. Oh, and there's Midna herself. Easily the best companion the series has ever seen. I know I'm not the only one who felt frantic when she was exposed to the light spirit, as we sprinted around in wolf form with her on Link's back. When I first encountered her, I hated the little git, but when this happened, I was left to ask, "wait, when did I start caring this much?" To this day, I can't answer, but god damn was the shift executed brilliantly. And Midna aside, the other characters aren't sloches either, whether they be Link himself, the resistance members, the yetis, or heck, Zant. Yes, Zant. I think he's a great villain because he's revealed as a simpering wreck, not in spite of it. Oh, and the Hero's Shade. 'Nuff said.

Twilight Princess doesn't have the same thematic depth as Ocarina of Time, nor is it as open to exploration. However, its combat, characters, overall tone, and writing, do make it the superior game in my eyes.

1) The Wind Waker

The best Legend of Zelda game ever made. For me, personally, the best game of all time. Go figure that when it came out I was put off by the toon Link, played it for a bit (up to the forest temple), then gave up. A few years ago, I went back. And didn't stop until the end. So why do I love this game so much?

Well, first, let's go over the drawbacks. In terms of plot, in isolation, the game is fairly simple. Not as simple as Majora's, in that we do get plot development and twists, but it doesn't get as intricate as OoT or TP. Likewise, the combat. While decent, it's not as intricate as in Twilight Princess. It has memorable characters, but not as many as other games. Daphanes is fine, but he's no Midna. Aryll is a delight, but the closeness isn't as close as, say, Saria. Makar and Medlii are fine as sages, but they don't have the same punch as the OoT ones. But it's all good enough. Because the Wind Waker excels in two key areas that I feel push it above every other game in the series - exploration, and theme. The Great Sea is a goldmine, ranging from monsters, to treasure, to charting islands. Wind Waker made me want to explore more than any other Zelda game. Even after I got the ability to teleport between islands, I still sailed them because I just couldn't get enough of it. I even loved fishing out the Triforce pieces because it gave me an excuse to keep sailing. Wind Waker is, IMO, the most exploration-focused Zelda game that's been released. 2D fans will probably cry foul, but sorry, walking around Hyrule as a sprite doesn't compare to using a boat.

And then there's theme. Wind Waker's theme is, ultimately, "letting go." Literally everything in the game that leads up to Ganondorf is built upon this idea. Both Ganondorf and Daphanes want Hyrule back for different reasons. Ganondorf is dismissive of the ocean. He asks, what could they accomplish? He compares the islands to leaves. He claims, perhaps correctly, that the goddesses betrayed their people. They 'saved' them by destroying the old world. It helps that Ganondorf is at his most interesting and sympathetic in this game. And yet...he's wrong. Everything, EVERYTHING in the Wind Waker shows him to be wrong about the world. The Wind Waker has a world that feels alive, whether it be creatures in the sea, Windfall, or the koroks revegetating the islands. Wind Waker shows a Link (also the most interesting and expressive that he's ever been) succeeding despite conspicuously NOT being related to OoT Link. It's been said that a good work will ask "can this world be saved?" while a great work will ask "does this world deserve saving?" Wind Waker puts forward a different question - does this world NEED saving?" And the answer is...no. Hyrule is flooded. Ganondorf snaps. Daphanes just gives up and accepts his fate, leaving it to Link and Tetra (who conspicuously returns to being Tetra, NOT Zelda, by the end of the game) to find a new land. The Wind Waker ends with Link, Tetra, and the pirates sailing south from Outset, whereas up until this point in the game, you couldn't sail south from the island as it was the limits of the overworld. The Wind Waker is based around the wind, and that's exactly what its theme means. The wind brushes over you, for a moment, then is gone. You can never capture it again. Just like Hyrule. The world has moved on. The world suffered because Ganondorf, and arguably Daphanes, couldn't let go. In many ways, the Wind Waker feels like the opposite to Majora's Mask. Majora's Mask showed a world where the little people didn't matter. That they were peons in a time cycle, fated to do the same thing over and over. Wind Waker celebrates those people, Link included. Shows them moving on. Living. Remembering the past, but not being bound to it.

That's why the Wind Waker is not only the best Legend of Zelda game, but to me, the best game of all time.

So, um, yeah. There's your anecdotes. 0_0

Your first Zelda will always be the best. I have too many fond memories of playing "Link's Awakening" to not vote for it.

Fhqwhgod:
Your first Zelda will always be the best. I have too many fond memories of playing "Link's Awakening" to not vote for it.

I understand the sentiment... but it's not always true. The original 8-bit Legend of Zelda was my first, I do still love it, but I was blown away by how awesome LttP was and loved it even more. And was equally amazed with what was done with OoT. That's what I voted for. In a series I love almost all installments of, I think OoT was the most important in it's time and place in videogame history.

Im going to be in the minority here but

Links awakening > Wind waker > majoras mask > Link to the past > Ocarina of time

Links awakening is the first game i ever played, so nostalgia may be coloring my perception a bit but its honestly nearly flawless in my opinion. the areas where all interesting and the sense of exploration you got with each new item was great, the characters where interesting and about as fleshed out as technology allowed, the story line was interesting and also different from other zeldas and it had this weird tone about it that was perfect for a dream scape, oh and the water dungeon didnt suck (that was eagle tower.)

I loved the Oracle games, makes me wish they would remake them and make the planned third they were going to make.
Labryna and Holodrim were both great places to explore. Every item has a purpose, right up to the end. That kinda pissed me off in Twilight Princess (don't get me wrong I like Twilight Princess). The Spinner, Ball and Chain and Control Rod were seldom used outside the dungeons they were found in.

A Link to the Past is my favorite of the Legend of Zelda series.

I didn't own an SNES, having chosen the Genesis as my console during the 90's, despite having started with and still loving the Nintendo line. Still, one summer, I happened to rent an SNES (good old video rental stores) and A Link to the Past so I could finally play it. After about a year of hearing about it from friends from the other side of the console wars, I had my chance.

I put the game in, turned on the system and proceeded to manhandle the crap out of that game. I believe I finished it in about 5 hours, but in those 5 hours I had the time of my life. I felt somewhat immersed in the game, having a Nintendo Power subscription, I also had the comic series that NP printed by chapter. So having read those comics over and over, playing through the game gave me a sense of playing through the comics and having my own adventure with Link.

It was really magical, I was only maybe 12 or so and it might have been just 5 hours or so of playing start to finish but damn it if I didn't feel like I'd played longer. I had a few days left on the rental so I played through again and again. To this day, despite knowing the map and boss fights by rote memory, I can still play A Link to the Past and enjoy myself for a few hours, transporting myself back to that place in my mind where I adventure with the dude in green tights to the Dark World and back.

Its not just nostalgia, the game overall is well crafted. I've not found one piece that didn't work well in it mechanically, the graphics are beautiful for an SNES era game and the aesthetic still holds up to me. I get that a lot of my love is nostalgic but there really is so much story contained within a few bits of text and a lot more show-don't-tell moments. The boy in the forest with the flute, meeting the transformed people in the Dark World, even defeating Agahnim and finding out for the first time there's more going on... I felt connected to the happenings, to the world. It was really the first game that pulled me in like a book. The imagination of Hyrule and the Dark World beyond just the images on the screen attracted me, inspired a lot of my later D&D campaign encounters and such.

Overall my favorite Legend of Zelda for so many reasons, and some are nostalgic true but there's a certain level of that which goes into all of our favorites I believe. I'm sure there are some who started with Ocarina of Time, some who started with Twilight Princess and I'd almost guarantee those are their favorites. For me, even though I started with the first game, A Link to the Past will always be super-special in my heart.

These are my top three

Ocarina of Time (funny how I only played that game when it came along with Wind Waker, I just find it so spellbound compared to WW)

Link to the Past (the first Loz I started with)

Twilight Pincess is tie with Wind Waker in third place (it was still a great game).

Skyward Sword is at the bottom of my list (however I wil lsay it has the best Zelda in the franchise).

1. Majora's Mask had the most personality and so it holds the top place in my heart, I actually felt invested in the lives of the NPCs, very few games can accomplish such a thing. It's also the creepiest in terms of atmosphere and strays from the series formula of rescuing Zelda and fighting Ganon.

2. Wind Waker is beautiful and the world felt very large and open, Skyward Sword tried to get the same sense of exploration, but it just can't hold a candle to Wind Waker in this aspect. This game also smashed my expectations of what it was going to be, I wasn't buying the art direction from the trailers but the game is stunning.

3. Twilight Princess
I love this game for the same reasons I love Majora's Mask but to a lesser degree, I particularly love Midna and the whole game play aspect with Wolf Link, the story themes dealing with light and dark and the atmosphere again.

Honorable mentions...
-Ocarina of Time
I guess I should give OOT credit somewhere on this list, without it establishing that formula, I wouldn't have Majora's Mask or Twilight Princess to break it, this game for better or worse defines the series as it is now, I just feel like everything it's accomplished, some later game has done better, which is why it ranks below the others.

-Skyward Sword
It tried, it has the best version of Zelda and a nice story and set up for a great world, it's a shame there's not much reason to explore the sky, the surface feels segmented and the whole thing gets so repetitive in the end. It coulda had class. It coulda been a contender. I'm sad it couldn't live up to that.

-Link's Awakening
My first so it gets a mention. There was something about this game that memorized me back when I got it from a Pokemon card trade, it was something about the world and the characters and the mysterious wind fish, if I hadn't played it first, I wouldn't have picked up the others. In retrospect, I tend to remember this game much more fondly than people who started with a Link to the Past, probably for the same reason that they remember that game so fondly.

So I never had a console, until we had borrowed a Wii for one summer, with Twilight Princess on it.
It was my first Zelda game, and I liked it a lot. Wasn't too light, nor too dark, had good gameplay, decent graphics, etc.. And Dungeons were a lot of fun.
Maybe it was a little bit too long. I basically did nothing the whole day but play Zelda, and it still took me more than a week.

After that I tried other Zeldas, and I could not get into them. Zelda 1 is too random and too hard, Zelda 3 I lost my way, and Ocarina of time has aged quite a lot, especially graphics-wise, if you don't have the nostalgia.

Still, I like the concept a lot, and love it in other games. Am not fond of the repeating story, though.

Still more evidence that suggests we will have a new game, but Valve still nie ... One thing is sure, we have not finished to hear of Half-Life 3 and of Steam VR!

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This was a hard choice. I LOVED Link to the Past when it came out and it may even be the game I played most on my SNES. I beat it 2 or 3 times I think. But I spent hours on it just looking for stuff. I did the same thing for Legend of Zelda where you go around using your candle on every single bush 1 at a time. I spent so much time on those two games it is ridiculous.

However, I voted for OoT, a game I don't think I ever beat. I That game was my first "farted around so much I forgot to beat the game" game. I spent a lot of time fishing, horseback riding, and looking for secrets that I forgot to beat the game. I also actually gave a crap about the story more in OoT and remember being impressed by the idea of having Link age in the game. I still like that aspect as not many games do stuff like that.

Now, admittedly, the only games I have played after OoT was Majora's mask and Twilight Princess a little and didn't care for either. For Majora's mask it was probably because the story made no sense and everything was different from previous incarnations. I couldnt figure out what was going on the whole time I was playing and soon quit caring as a result. For Twilight Princess, I found the little wolf girl thing more annoying than Navi - and Navi annoys the crap out of me. I probably need to play through more but so far my limited experiences leave me liking OoT the best.

links awakening- was my FIRST ever video game and is imo still one of the best intro to video games with its steady difficulty curve over 8 dungeons

season/ages- still holds a place in my heart for keeping the same dungeon and wold map as links awakening. on top of the addition to rings that changed up ability's like decreased charge time on the charge swing to non gameplay tidbits suck as changin link into an octorock, moblin, and a zelda2 link sprite

majoras mask- well what can i say, a way to feel a looming dread over your head til you reset the clock and having that repeat the whole game gives way to bringing resolve to one's self to truly see the value in the world you are trying to save

a link to the past- such a unique way to go about progression in that you are able to choose which dungeon to explore while still having a recommended order, but not mandatory. having not been able to play it on the snes i am thankful it got rreleased onto the GBA with a bonus dungeon parallel to the 4swords world

twilight princess- the best sidekick in zelda history i have ever experienced more so than most other protagonists in their own game. the ability to transform into my favorite animal at will also brings me such excitement. special shoutout to the best theme in the game "Midna's Lament", for whenever i hear that song i only have one thought in my mind. "save midna".

 

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