The adventures of Link in the land of Hyrule so far.. The first, simply titled Legend of Zelda is a simple but obviously special affair. Zelda II, The Adventure of Link came out just a year later. Zelda III, A Link to the Past introduced most of the gameplay elements that are now instantly recognisable to any seasoned player. Taking place over an extensive world, its key feature was the dark alternative realm, previously inaccessable places would become available in the dark world, opening up new places, people and items to be discovered.
Zelda IV, Link's Awakening wasn't such an advanced leap as the previous title, something remedied with the later DX release which added a new dungeon, the usage of colour throughout and a photo shop with the ability to print out photo's.
Universally acclaimed as being one of the greatest, if not the greatest video games of all time, Ocarina of Time was well worth the several year wait. The familiar trading sequence here involved the use of masks, which were to form a large part of the premise of the next game.
Coming so soon after, many expected Majora's Mask to be a good, but shallow experience. Billed as it was as a side story to the Ocarina of Time, and worst still, not even developed by Shigeru Miyamoto. Those fears were unfounded, at the heart of the game, it once again uses time. Rather than taking a macro, lifetime spanning approach, it took the micro, minutes and hours approach. Probably one of the most beautiful games ever.
Originally envisioned to come out as three parts, Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages now see's the latest adventure scaled to two parts. No matter, taking the proven formula of Nintendos other great franchise, Pokemon, these two games combine and form a greater whole.
With the November 18th, 2001 release of Nintedo's newest gaming console, the Gamecube, is the certainty of a new Zelda game on the horizon. Legend of Zelda, a tentative title for the game, brings back the old-school Zelda 2-like look to the game. Many game enthusiastis expected the new game to be a venture into ultra-realisim, but Nintendo is going cartoon. Link and his universe takes on a 2D, cardboard cutout look with exaggerated facial expression, and bright colors that remind some of 1980s fashion sense. The game looks much more like something from Cartoon Network's Samuri Jack than a venture into 128mb realism. Nintendo - maker of mostly non-violent, character driven games- claims the move is to make games more like gaming, as opposed to an alternative reality. They stand behind the somewhat controversial look for the Zelda franchise, and many analyst say that it isn't all about realism, but about gameplay. Gamers couldn't agree more.