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Xtreme Classix - Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda
Legendary, indeed. One of the most popular and longest-running fantasy game series ever, The Legend of Zelda has inspired millions of gamers all over the world. Great Zelda titles have appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo, and Game Boy, as well as N64, and even today's systems. Beloved characters like Link and Zelda, as well as our favorite enemies like Gohma, Dodongo, and the big guy, Gannon himself, will live on in our hearts (and hopefully in continued updates of the series) forever.

Classic NES Series: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (Gameboy Advance)


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Legend of Zelda NES Screenshot 1
Legend of Zelda (NES)
A long, long time ago the World was in an age of Chaos. In the middle of this chaos, in a little kingdom in the land of Hyrule, a legend was being handed down from generation to generation, the legend of the "Triforce"; golden triangles possessing mystical powers.

One day, an evil army attacked this peaceful little kingdom and stole the Triforce of Power. This army was led by Gannon, the powerful Prince of Darkness who sought to plunge the World into fear and darkness under his rule. Fearing his wicked rule, Zelda, the princess of this kingdom, split up the Triforce of Wisdom into eight fragments and hid them throughout the realm to save the last remaining Triforce from the clutches of the evil Gannon. At the same time, she commanded her most trustworthy nursemaid, Impa, to secretly escape into the land and go find a man with enough courage to destroy the evil Gannon. Upon hearing this, Gannon grew angry, imprisoned the princess, and sent out a party in search of Impa.

Braving forests and mountains, Impa fled for her life from her pursuers. As she reached the very limit of her energy she found herself surrounded by Gannon's evil henchmen. Cornered! What could she do? ... But wait!

All was not lost. A young lad appeared. He skillfully drove off Gannon's henchmen, and saved Impa from a fate worse than death. His name was Link. During his travels he had come across Impa and Gannon's henchmen. Impa told Link the whole story of the princess Zelda and the evil Gannon. Burning with a sense of justice, Link resolved to save Zelda, but Gannon was a powerful opponent. He held the Triforce of Power. And so, in order to fight off Gannon, Link had to bring the scattered eight fragments of the Triforce of Wisdom together to rebuild the mystical Triangle.

If he couldn't do this, there would be no chance Link could fight his way into Death Mountain where Gannon lived. Can Link really destroy Gannon and save the Princess Zelda? Only your skill can answer that question. Good luck. Use the Triforce wisely.
--From the NES Legend of Zelda instruction manual.

You don't know how many times I read this "magical" story as a child. I used to pretend I really was this Link character. The Legend of Zelda was the first installment in one of the biggest video game sagas ever. If you have never played this game, you've probably played one of the later installments. If you've never played any Legend of Zelda game, just leave now. I say that because I know the number of people that are going to be looking at this page AND have never played a Legend of Zelda game is too small to worry about. That's how popular this video game series is.

This game started it all for the adventure/rpg genre. With two different quests, it had plenty of gameplay time. There was also a good replay value, with the ability to go in any direction you want. It was one of the first games to be open-ended in that there were several different ways to go. For example, did you know that you can have the White Sword before you even enter the first level? If you've never played this game, kick yourself, then pay homage to the king of adventure/rpg by clicking the Play Now button.


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Legend of Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link NES Screenshot 1
Legend of Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link (NES)
At the end of a fierce fight, Link overthrew Ganon, took back the Triforce and rescued Princess Zelda. However, is it all really finished? Many seasons have passed since then.

One day a strange mark, exactly like the crest of the kingdom, appeared on the back of Link's hand as he approached his 16th birthday. The worried Link, went to Impa, Princess Zelda's nursemaid who was shocked and frightened when she saw the birthmark. When she regained her composure, she took Link to the North Castle. There was a door in the North Castle called "the door that does not open." Only the descendants of the Impa family who served the king knew how to open the door. Impa took Link's left hand and pressed the back of it against the door. There was a sound of a lock falling open, the door slowly creaked open and there on an altar in the middle of the room lay a beautiful woman.

"Here lies the Princess Zelda." Impa began to speak calmly. "Link, the time has come when I must tell you the legend of Zelda handed down in Hyrule. It is said that long ago, when Hyrule was one country, a great ruler maintained the peace in Hyrule using the Triforce. However, the king too was a child of man and he died. Then, the prince of the kingdom should have become king and inherited everything, but he could inherit the Triforce only in part. The Prince searched everywhere for the missing parts, but could not find them. Then, a magician close to the king brought him some unexpected news. Before he died, the king had said something about the Triforce to only the younger sister of the prince, Princess Zelda. The prince immediately questioned the princess, but she wouldn't tell him anything. After the prince, the magician threatened to put the princess into an eternal sleep if she did not talk, but even still, she said nothing.

"In his anger, the magician tried to cast a spell on the princess. The surprised prince tried to stop him, but the magician fought off the prince and went on chanting the spell. Then, when the spell was finally cast, Princess Zelda fell on that spot and entered a sleep from which she might never awake. At the same time, the magician also fell down and breathed his last.

"In his grief, the prince placed the princess in this room. He hoped that someday she would come back to life. So that this tragedy would never be forgotten, he ordered every female child born into the royal household should be given the name Zelda."

From the stand next to the alter where Princess Zelda lay in a deep sleep, Impa took the six crystals and a scroll with the same crest and handed them to Link. "For generations, my family has been handed down these things which have been set aside for a time when a great king will come. They are written in ancient script that no one can read now. But you who have the crest may be able to read it. It is said that the key to uniting the Triforce is hidden there. Now it is time for you to read it."

This was written on the Scroll.
"You who'll control the Triforce of the future. I shall hand down to you the secrets of the Triforce. There are three kinds of Triforce - Power, Wisdom, and Courage. When these three are brought together, the Triforce will share its maximum power. Of the three, I have left Power and Wisdom in the kingdom. But the Triforce of Courage I have hidden for a reason.

"The Triforce of Courage is hidden in the Great Palace in the Valley of Death on the largest island in Hyrule. However, to enter you must first fight the guardians and undo the 'binding force.' When you have defeated the guardians, which I made to prevent enemies from invading the six palaces in Hyrule, set a crystal in the forehead of the statue you find. When you have set crystals in all of the statues in the six palaces, the 'binding force' placed on the Valley of Death will be removed and you will be able to enter the great palace. There you must fight the last guardian. And you can obtain the Triforce only by defeating that guardian. There's nothing to fear. You are the one to get the Triforce. You are the beacon of hope for Hyrule."

Impa implored Link, who raised his head slowly after reading the scroll. "The magic spell cast upon the Princess Zelda is sure to be broken if the Triforce is used. Please, Link. Unite the Triforce and save the princess. And bring back peace to Hyrule."
--From the NES Legend of Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link instruction manual.

This is the second installment in the Legend of Zelda mega series. This game had a few big differences from its older brother. The main difference was the side scrolling combat scenes. It was an overhead view until you went into a town, dungeon, or battle. This game was also a little closer to an RPG than its predecessor. It required a lot more talking to people and listening to rumors to find out what to do next. This game also introduced Link to using magic, which has been included in almost every other game in the series. The graphics looked a little better than the the original. The music wasn't as pleasant as the first game, but the sound effects were better. This definitely a must play for any adventure/rpg or Zelda fan.


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Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Super Nintendo Screenshot 1
Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Super Nintendo)
The Legends of Hyrule

To set the stage for this adventure of the legendary Hero of Hyrule, it will be informative to delve into the Triforce myth, an ancient epic about the creation of the world that is still believed in the land of Hyrule. Every culture has such myths and theories about the creation of their worlds, and it can be beneficial and entertaining to examine them in detail, for they often affect the present day social structure. The legends say the mythical gods of Hyrule had as their chosen people the Hylia. These ancient people left scrolls that are the primary source of the legends.

The Creation Of Hyrule

According to the Hylian scrolls, the mythical gods descended from a distant nebula to the world and created order and life. The God of Power dyed the mountains red with fire and created land. The God of Wisdom created science and wizardry and brought order to nature. And the God of Courage, through justice and vigor, created life - the animals that crawl the land and the birds that soar in the sky. After the gods had finsihed their work, they left the world, but not before creating a symbol of their strength, a golden triangle known as the Triforce. A small but powerful portion of the essence of the gods was held in this mighty artifact, which was to guide the intelligent life on the world of Hyrule.

Although it was an inanimate object, the Triforce had the power to bestow three titles which gave the person who received them great powers: "The Forger of Strength", "The Keeper of Knowledge", and "The Juror of Courage". From its hiding place in the so-called Golden Land where the Gods placed it, the Triforce beckoned people from the outside world to seek it in the hope that someone worthy of these titles would find it.

With their magic infused blood, the Hylian people were endowed with psychic powers and skill in wizardry. It was also said that their long, pointed ears enabled them to hear special messages from the gods, so they were heldin high esteem by many people in Hyrule. Their descendants settled in various parts of the world and passed on their knowledge and magical lore to all people. But in its passing, the lore was often distorted or lost altogether.

Gates To The Golden Land

In Hyrule, there are many Hylian buildings which are mentioned repeatedly in the legends. These buildings, which now lie in ruin, pale shadows of their former splendor, are closely tied to the Triforce. Some were even said to house the Triforce...

If it were only a symbol of the gods, the Triforce would be coveted by many. But a verse from the Book of Mudora (a collection of Hylian legends and lore) made the Triforce even more desirable:

In a realm beyond sight, The Sky shines gold, not blue. There, the Triorce's might Makes mortal dreams come true.

Many aggressively searched for the wish-granting Triforce, but no one, not even the Hylian sages, was sure of its location; the knowledge had been lost over time. Some said the Triforce lay under the desert, others said it was in the cemetary in the shadow of Death Mountain, but no one ever found it. That yearning for the Triforce soon turned to lust for power, which in turn led to the spilling of blood. Soon the only motive left among those searching for the Triforce was pure greed.

One day, quite by accident, a gate to the Golden Land of the Triforce was opened by a gang of thieves skilled in the black arts. This land was like no other. In the gathering twilight, the Triforce shone from its resting place high above the world. In a long running battle, the leader of the thieves fought his way past his followers in a lust for the Golden Power. After vanquishing his own followers, the leader stood triumphant over the Triforce and grasped it with his blood- stained hands. He heard a whispered voice: "If thou has a strong desire or dream, wish for it..." And in reply, the roaring laughter of the brigand leader echoed across time and space and even reached the far-off land of Hyrule. The name of this king of thieves is Ganondorf Dragmire, but he is known by his alias, Mandrag Ganon, which means Ganon of the Enchanted Thieves.

The Imprisoning War

I do not know what Ganon wished for from the Triforce. However, in time evil power begain to flow from the Golden Land and greedy men were drawn there to become members of Ganon's army. Black clouds permanently darkened the sky, and many disasters beset Hyrule. The lord of Hyrule sent for the Seven Wise Men and the Knights Of Hyrule, and ordered them to seal the enterance to the Golden Land.

The Triforce, being an inanimate object, cannot judge between good and evil. Therefore, it could not know that Ganon's wishes were evil; it merely granted them. Suspecting that Ganon's power was based on the Triforce's magic, the people of Hyrule forged a sword resistant to magic which could repulse even powers granted by the Triforce. This mighty weapon became known as the blade of evil's bane, or the Master Sword. It was so powerful that only one who was pure of heart and strong of body could wield it. As the Seven Wise Men searched for a valient person to take up the Master Sword, Ganon's evil army swarmed from the tainted Golden Land into Hyrule and attacked the castle. The wise men and the Knights Of Hyrule combined forces to wage war on this evil horde.

The Knights took the full brunt of the fierce attack, and although they fought courageously many a brave soul was lost that day, However, their lives were not lost in vain, for they bought precious time for the Seven Wise Men to magically seal ganon in the Golden land. All of Hyrule rejoiced at the victory that upheld peace and order over Ganon's evil and chaos. Thsi war, which had claimed many lives, became known as the Imprisoning War in stories told in later centuries.

The Coming of The Wizard

Many centuries have passed since the Imprisoning War. The land of Hyrule healed its wounds and the people lived in peace for a long time. Memories of the vicious Imprisoning War faded over the generations...

So it is no surprise that no one was prepared for the new disasters that have recently struck Hyrule. Pestilence and drought, uncontrollable even by magic, revaged the land. The king of Hyrule, after counsel with his sages, ordered an investigation of the Imprisoned Dark World (as the Golden land had come to be knowsn) but the wise men's seal was apparently intact. he offered rewards for anyone who could find the source of these troubles. In answer to these summons a stranger named Agahnim came and quelled the disasters witha previously unseen form of magic. As a reward, the king gave him a new position as chief advisor and heir to the Seven masses proclaimed him their hero. Peace had returned to Hyrule... or had it?

Of late, rumors have traveled their whispering path with alarming frequency. Rumors saying Agahnim now rules the country with his magic... Rumors of strange magical experiments in the castle tower at night... The people of Hyrule were gripped by dread.

One night, a girl's voice awakens you from your sleep.

She telepathically pleads.

You jump out of bed not knowing whether the voice was part of a dream or reality. Upon leaving your bed, you find your uncle, who should be fast asleep at this time, preparing to go out, girded for battle.

"I'll be back by moring," he says as he departs. "Don't leave the house."

You watch him leave with the family sword in hand and shield on arm. This night is like no other... Who is Zelda? Where had your uncle gone and for what reason?

And so, on an ill-fated night, a new chapter in the legend of Hyrule's hero begins- a new chapter in The Legend of Zelda!

Your Quest As The Legendary Hero

The Golden land of the Triforce has becoe a Dark World corrupted by Ganon's evil wishes. However, this is not enough for Ganon; he also wants to make Hyrule, the Light World, his own. To do this, he needs to break the Seal Of The Seven Wise Men.

But he cannot do this with his power alone. He must also use the life force of the descendants of the Seven Wise Men. With Agahnim the wizard as his pawn, this is about to become a reality (thus the late night experiments in the castle tower...).

You, as the legendary Hero of Hyrule, must enter the Dark World on a quest to save the maidens that Agahnim has sent there. The aim of the game is to solve the many mysteries and adventures that await you along the way to rescuing the maidens, defeating Ganon, and returning peace to Hyrule.

--From the Super Nintendo Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past instruction manual.

This installment in the Zelda series was my favorite. Nintendo took it back to the original overhead view and upped the graphics. The game played a lot like the first one except it was a lot longer and there were a whole bunch of little sub quests you could complete, but that weren't mandatory to beat the game. A Link to the Past really did clear the way for all other Zelda games. If haven't tried this one, get on it right now.


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Legend of Zelda: Four Swords (Gameboy Advance)


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Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Gameboy Screenshot 1
Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Gameboy)
PROLOGUE
Though you fulfilled the Hyrulian prophecy of the Legendary Hero and destroyed the evil tyrant Ganon, the land of Hyrule enjoyed only a precarious peace. "Who knows what threats may arise from Ganon's ashes?" the restless people murmured as they knitted their brows and shook their heads. Ever vigilant, you decided to journey away from Hyrule on a quest for enlightenment, in search of wisdom that would make you better able to withstand the next threat. Suddenly a squall struck your ship, and though you valiantly fought the waves, a lightning bolt reduced your ship to splinters. Your world faded to black as you sank into the darkness of the storm-tossed sea with the remains of your craft.
But in the cold darkness of the deep, you heard a comforting voice that reminded you of home. It was the voice of Princess Zelda!

"You're going to be all right!" the voice said. "What a relief!"

You opened your eyes to find Princess Zelda standing over you - or was it?! Actually, it turned out to be a woman named Marin. She explained that you had drifted with the wreckage of your ship to the shores of Koholint Island. This mysterious island was unique for the gigantic egg which crowned its central mountain. It was said that a mythical creature, the Wind Fish, lay asleep inside the egg.
You set out in search of your sword and other gear that might have washed up on the beach with you. As you stood in the surf with your recovered sword, a strange owl suddenly appeared and hooted this riddle:
"Awaken the Wind Fish and all will be answered."

"What is the Wind Fish?" you wonder... And what did its awakening portend? Your most mysterious adventure yet, following the riddle of the Wind Fish through the uncharted island of Koholint, is about to unfold.
--From the Gameboy Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening instruction manual.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is the first Zelda game to grace the Game Boy (not the first handheld Zelda though, for there was the Game and Watch Zelda). Link's Awakening showed how big an adventure could be on the little Game Boy . Link's Awakening (and it's color counterpart) is the only Nintendo-made Game Boy Zelda.


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Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX Gameboy Color Screenshot 1
Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (Gameboy Color)
Though you fulfilled the Hyrulian prophecy of the Legendary Hero and destroyed the evil tyrant Ganon, the land of Hyrule enjoyed only a precarious peace. Ever vigilant, you decided to journey away from Hyrule on a quest for enlightenment. Suddenly a squall struck your ship, and though you valiantly fought the waves, a lightning bolt reduced your ship to splinters. Your world faded to black as you sink into the darkness of the storm-tossed sea with the remains of your craft.

You opened your eyes to find Princess Zelda standing over you - or was it?! Actually, it turned out to be a woman named Marin. She explained that you had drifted with the wreckage of your ship to the shores of Koholint Island. This mysterious island was unique for the gigantic egg which crowned its central mountain. It was said that a mythical creature, the Wind Fish, lay asleep inside the egg.
You set out in search of your sword and other gear that might have washed up on the beach with you. As you stood in the surf with your recovered sword, a strange owl suddenly appeared and hooted this riddle:
"Awaken the Wind Fish and all will be answered."

"What is the Wind Fish?" you wonder... And what did its awakening portend? Your most mysterious adventure yet, following the riddle of the Wind Fish through the uncharted island of Koholint, is about to unfold.
--From the Gameboy Color Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX instruction manual.

The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening DX is a colorized re-release of the original Game Boy Zelda game. Changes include a photographer that takes printable pictures, a new dungeon, and two new colored tunics.


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Legend of Zelda: Oracle Of Ages Gameboy Color Screenshot 1
Legend of Zelda: Oracle Of Ages (Gameboy Color)
Link awoke one day to find himself deep in a strange forest. As he started to walk through the woods, he heard cries for help coming from just up ahead of him. Link hurried toward the voice, only to find a group of monsters surrounding the woman who was screaming. When the monsters saw Link, they immediately fled.

The woman who was being attacked was none other than Impa, nurse to Hyrule's Princess Zelda. Impa said she had come to the forest to search for a singer named Nayru.

As they traveled even deeper into the forest, they found a young woman singing. Invited to sit by the group of animals that listened to the girl's song, Link joined in the circle and let the beautiful song fill his ears and penetrate his heart. This was surely Nayru, the singer Impa was searching for. Just then, Impa erupted in a cackling laugh.

"Nayru! Oracle of Ages! I, Veran, Sorceress of Shadows, shall make you my own!"

The shadow that called itself Veran began swooping about the forest before flying straight into the body of the frightened singer. A blinding light shone forth from Nayru's body.

"Now the power of the Oracle of Ages is mine! I can travel through time at will! Now a new age shall begin -- an age of shadows!" And with that, Veran and Nayru vanished.

Nayru was actually the Oracle of Ages who controlled time in this land of Labrynna. When the oracle was kidnapped, the flow of time in Labrynna was distorted, and strange things began to happen. Before vanishing, Veran said, "When the past changes, so does the present." Her plan was to travel to the past and gather power from the sorrows of the people of Labrynna so that she could create her age of shadows.

Will Link be able to free Nayru from Veran's evil clutches? Such is the quest that Link must now undertake.
--From the Gameboy Color Legend of Zelda: Oracle Of Ages instruction manual.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages is a very entertaining game. The graphics were very easy on the eyes, and the use of color was extraordinary. I also like the traditional music on the overland. This game is worth a good many hours of your time, so give it a try.


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Legend of Zelda: Oracle Of Seasons Gameboy Color Screenshot 1
Legend of Zelda: Oracle Of Seasons (Gameboy Color)
When Link awoke, he found himself in a forest he had never seen. Confused, he looked around blankly at the unfamiliar surroundings. He heard pleasant music and laughing voices echoing from deep within the woods. Link followed the inviting voices until he came upon a traveling troupe of actors. He was immediately struck by the beauty of a young woman who was dancing about in circles. When the girl noticed Link, she smiled brightly and called to him.

"Welcome to Holodrum. I am Din, the dancer," she said with glee. "Would you like to dance with me? Don't be shy. It will be more fun if we dance together." She took him by the hand, and he reluctantly began to dance. Unfortunately, this blissful moment did not last long. The sky suddenly went dark, and there was a loud crash of thunder, followed by a resounding, thunderous voice.

"I've found you, Din! You can't deceive me by disguising yourself as a dancer. I am Onox, General of Darkness! Now reveal yourself, Oracle of Seasons!"

Link was blown back by the tornado as he struggled against its awesome force, and Din was swept away in the wind...
--From the Gameboy Color Legend of Zelda: Oracle Of Seasons instruction manual.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons was released at the same time as Oracle of Ages. They were aptly named the Oracle Series. They played almost exactly the same with a different Oracle kidnapped in the storyline. The graphics reminded a lot of A Link to the Past. In this game the boss you fight in level one is same as the boss from level one in the first Legend of Zelda. He's a dragon that shoots three fireballs at a time and you have to hit him in the head. I like the tribute paid to the roots. I also like the train puzzles that are placed throughout the game. I don't think I need to tell you that the Legend of Zelda series is one of the biggest and best in the industry. If you haven't played this game, just remember, you can't go wrong if it's called The Legend of Zelda.


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Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap Gameboy Advance Screenshot 1
Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (Gameboy Advance)
Probably the newest Zelda game we will see on CC, unless any newer Nintendo consoles are added. The story starts by telling you a legend of Hyrule: "A long, long time ago... When the world was on the verge of being swallowed by shadow... The tiny Picori appeared from the sky, bringing the hero of men a sword and golden light. With wisdom and courage, the hero drove out the darkness. When peace had been restored, the people enshrined that blade with care." However, the blade was broken by an evil mage believing that it would give him ultimate power. As Zelda tried to stop him, she got cursed and turned to stone, despite Link's efforts to protect her.

New features include a roll action button new to the handheld versions of Zelda, and on a much bigger scale you can shrink to the size of the Minish, opening new areas and making the overworld seem much larger than it does in the map.


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