When The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild picked up a whole host of awards for Best Game of 2017, that result was particularly impressive as that game is part of a series that is more than 30 years old. More precisely, today it is 36 years old.
The first Zelda game was made in parallel with Super Mario Bros. and shared with him some similarities in gameplay design, such as moving away from the concept of collecting as many points as possible while playing. But where Mario was linear, Zelda was an open game and offered players the concept of exploring nature, that is, the experience of adventure. The game's designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, opted for this approach inspired by his nature wanderings around Kyoto.
The theme of the game in which Knight Link must find eight fragments of wisdom to save Princess Zelda was inspired by European medieval conflicts, but Zelda was named after Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The game began with the cult sentence in the first cave “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this! ” That sentence later became an internet meme that is still widely used today. In essence, the main character Link was deliberately designed without a rich background story, just to coincide with the development of the player's self-confidence through the game.
Interestingly, Nintendo did not have high hopes for Zelda's success at first. They first launched the game only on the Japanese market, but the result there led them to give the game to the European and American audiences a year later. Zelda became the first NES game to sell a million copies.
A marketing campaign worth as much as five million dollars was prepared for the launch on the American market, which was a record amount for the terms at the time. In addition to TV commercials, Zelda watches, toys, cereal flakes, etc. were also produced.
The Legend of Zelda series has received dozens of sequels, spin-off games, and several remakes. Just like the original, these games are considered top achievements in their genre. The original, on the other hand, remains in memory as the first game that, due to its length and nonlinearity, sought new methods of recording progress, so the game came on a special cassette that allowed recording the position internally on the console itself.