Created by Shigeru Miyamoto, The Legend of Zelda has grown to become one of the most critically acclaimed game series of all time despite repeating the same formula OVER AGAIN AND OVER AGAIN AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN
One day while (sleeping/herding goats/sleeping) Link is approached by a (fairy/whiny female NPC/whiny child NPC) that demand him to do something seemingly ordinary. While performing this task, everything goes to shit and after a series of unfortunate events Link finds that he can (transform into something/play music/time travel). He then finds out he must use this power to clear three (dungeons/dungeons/dungeons) in order to obtain the power to defeat antagonist (Ganondorf/Ganon/Vaati). Link is crushed when this power does not work, and he must go and clear four to five more (dungeons/dungeons/dungeons). After doing this he approaches (Ganondorf/Ganon/Vaati) at (Hyrule castle turned into evil Hyrule Castle/the top of some landmark/an alternate dimension). Link wins the battle and (Ganondorf/Ganon/Vaati) is (fatally stabbed/sealed away into an alternate dimension/just kind of destroyed) and everything works out great.
Link - The series' protagonist. Every Zelda game features a different Link (with several exceptions) but there are similarities between the different Links. In every single game he wears the same green pointy hat and tunic, and in every game he goes through the journey of a lifetime without opening his mouth once (other than to scream or moan). Actually I take that back, sometimes our hero does speak! In The Adventure of Link he says "I found a mirror under the table." and in The Wind Waker Link shouts "Come on!" at a possessed statue. Watch out uh...Gilbert Godfried?
This is the manliest picture of him I could find.
Princess Zelda - Named Zelda because Shigeru Miyamoto had a hard on for Zelda Fitzgerald, this princess has a habit of getting involved in some crazy shit that renders her helpless. That is, until Link comes to her rescue! Actually though, most of the time Zelda will be secretly doing something awesome while pretending to be locked up. She's taken the role of a mentor to Link in the form of a ninja, she's secretly been a pirate her entire life, and at almost every final boss she steps in and helps by shooting arrows or screaming every time you take a hit. Also, she is somewhat unattractive.
Ganondorf - The very definition of badass. He was originally the king of a race known as the Gerudo. The Gerudos were all female, with the exception of a male who was born every hundred years (how did the dude get conceived if everyone was a gir-fuck it). This man would become the king of the Gerudos, and Ganondorf just happened to be that man. However, he had his eyes set on a much higher prize, and he went out and challenged the Gods to a fight or something. Turns out Ganondorf had a piece of the sacred Triforce, so he won and ruled Hyrule. Link somehow stopped him though, and during this process he transformed into a giant pig and was banished to an alternate universe. He still comes back periodically, but every single time Link kicks his ass WITH ONE EXCEPTION. Link was apparently counting Cuccos naked or some shit, so the Gods flooded Hyrule (killing everyone) to stop him. Needless to say, not even this stopped him and soon he was out wrecking havok once again.
Somehow, a teen in white tights can take this.
Hylians - Human-like people.
Gorons - Rock-like people.
The best part of Twilight Princess is when you have to grab his rocky nipples and throw him to the ground.
Zora - Fish-like people.
Link's "wife". That's not a joke.
Deku - Plant-like people.
"Plants shoot their nuts at humans, right guys?"
Kokiri - Elf-like people.
BOY HE SURE DOES LOOK LIKE THE PROTAGONIST I WONDER IF THERE IS A CORRELATION
Rito - Bird-like people.
He's sad because he is the prince of all he knows. Spoiled shit.
Oocca - JESUS CHRIST KILL IT WITH FIRE
HOLY SHITTLEFUCKING BALLS
The Legend of Zelda -The first in the series, this game blew the collective minds of gamers everywhere by introducing the save feature. This new and revolutionary technology allowed you to save your game exactly the way it was! Before then, to keep your game progress you could either write down a 25 character code, or you could just leave your NES on and pray your brother doesn't use the power cord as a noose for hanging himself. While it was revolutionary back then, playing it today typically results in either "Oh hey, I remember this from my youth!" to "WHAT THE FUCK WHERE IS EVERYTHING WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO" due to the fact the game gives you no instructions at any point other than Engrish fragments such as "DODONGO DISLIKES SMOKE".
pssssstttt, that means "use bombs"
The Adventure of Link - One of the original Zelda's most distinguishing features was its overhead camera perspective, which gave it the illusion of being in 3D. Of course, Nintendo decided to fuck with this for the sequel. Other then travelling through the overworld (fancy video game terminology for "place with towns and shit in it") the entire game was a 2D side-scroller! Other then this blunder though, the game was pretty good. It added many additions like NPCs (non-player characters) for Link to interact with, experience points, and (somewhat cryptic) instructions on what you needed to do during the game! Also this is one of the very few games where Link talks, while ransacking a stranger's home he proudly exclaims "I found a mirror under the table." Link then gives the mirror to a prostitute who, off camera, rewards him with a private action of some sort inside of her throbbing home.
The game also introduced Dark Link, who is very popular for some reason.
A Link to the Past - Now in my opinion, this is where the era of "GOD FUCKING DAMNIT WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO BE DOING" Zelda games ended, and the era of "Hey, this is a really good game! I am enjoying myself!" began. A Link to the Past (because the character is named Link and it takes place in the past) featured the return of the top down perspective, a substantial story, and the start of awesome Zelda puzzles that take days of scrutinizing every last pixel in a desperate attempt to find the solution. Oh as it turns out, you just needed to light those torches to make a treasure chest appear. God damnit.
He doesn't kill you, he just knocks you back down to the start of the dungeon!
Link's Awakening - So let's say you live in 1993, and your only source of happiness is your copy of A Link to the Past on the Super Nintendo. However, you reach a critical life point. A famous rock band (not going to discriminate, let's just call them "Hurl Jam") offers you to tour around the country with them! In return for your presence, Hurl Jam will pay you one hundred million dollars. Oh god, where will your happiness come from now? Luckily, Nintendo had this exact situation in mind when they created Link's Awakening. It is essentially ALTTP except portable, except of course with a new story, gameplay elements, and other things of that ilk. Everyone loved it.
Quit clowning around!
Ocarina of Time - Quickly now, what's one thing my dick and this game have in common? If you guessed "They both took a beloved 2D game franchise and brought it into three dimensions, earning the near universal praise of critics and fans alike" then you are wrong. Actually my dick is named the "Cockarina of Time" and if you blow into itHEY LISTEN HEY LISTEN HEY LISTEN HEY LISTEN HEY LISTEN HEY LISTEN HEY LISTEN HEY LISTEN HEY LISTEN HEY LISTEN HEY LISTEN HEY LISTEN HEY -Oh, I'm very sorry! The only thing I really remember about that game is how annoying Navi the fairy was. Seriously, I can't even remember who the main character was. It was Zelda, right?
Majora's Mask - This game ran on the same engine as Ocarina of Time, and it also used the same character models for half the cast. How did Nintendo get away with this? Well, the game takes place in a parallel universe of course! Classic. Regardess of this, It's still regarded as the darkest and creepiest and game in the series, mostly due to there being a wide variety of scary things that don't make any sense.. The moon is about to crash into the Earth and you only have three days to stop it! Also Link has the ability to transform into other characters with the aid of masks, and every time he puts one on HE SCREAMS TWO OCTIVES LOWER THAN NORMAL AND SHITS HIS PANTS AS HIS FACE CONTOURS INTO SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Needless to say, children everywhere loved this. Oh, and at one point there were pirates who ate babies!
This is what you're up against.
Oracle of Ages/Oracle of Seasons - Meh. Two Gameboy Color games that were developed by Capcom and released at the same time in order to make a dickfeatheringly high ammount of money. In one game Link can time travel, and in the other he can change seasons. The games played like A Link to the Past, only terrible.
Oh fucking boy.
The Wind Waker - "OMG GUYZ THIS GAME IS THE SUXXZORZZZ CUZ OF THE GRAFICKS ITS LIEK TEH NINTENDO GAYCUBE LOL" That's what a majority of responses to this game were when it was first announced...because the game resembled a cartoon, of course! This proves my long standing belief that fanboys are not capable of rational thought. I mean come on, cartoons are awesome! What isn't awesome though, is virtual sailing. Nintendo apparently never picked up on this, and half of the game was spent sailing to faraway destinations in an endless blue sea. The game made up for this by having one of the coolest final battles ever though. I won't spoil it for you, but I will say that the battle was a swordfight between Link and Ganondorf at the bottom of the ocean and Ganondorf ends up getting stabbed in the face.
Four Swords Adventures - Fuck this game. Fuck it so hard. They literally removed everything awesome about Zelda (exploration, open world, not sucking ass) and replaced it with a dumbed down bullshit party game you and four of your friends can play! Oh, and to play each of you needs to have a Game Boy Advance and a Link Cable (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) in order to control your character. Fuck this game.
The only thing this game is good at is not being good.
The Minish Cap - As a child, I always had these strange fantasies about being shrunken down to a smaller size and being completely dependent on friends. I also had a weird fear of someone becoming a giant (not doing anything bad, just becoming) but whatever. Anyway, somehow Nintendo realized my childhood and loosely transformed it into a Zelda game! In The Minish Cap, Link can shrink himself to a tiny size to hang out with a race of tiny people known as Picori. Although it was made by the same jerks who made Oracle of Ages/Oracle of Seasons, this game was actually good. Not good enough to be the best game ever, but good enough to NOT BE USED AS TOILET PAPER BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING BULLSHIT.
Twilight Princess - When this was first announced back in 2004, the entire world was ecstatic. It was a realistic Zelda with a mature Link! Finally, the true successor to Ocarina of Time! I was incredibly excited, so naturally I went out and purchased a Gamecube solely to play this game. For two agonizing years, I waited. I watched every single trailer at least 100 times, and I memorized every single screenshot. At last, the time of release was upon me! Except there was sort of a delay. At the last minute, Nintendo decided to make the game a launch title for the Wii, and push back the Gamecube version for a week or so. This meant that if I wanted to play Twilight Princess as soon as possible (WHICH I FUCKING DID) I would have to buy a brand new console, SOMETHING THAT I ALREADY DID ONCE FOR THIS GAME. Refusing to succum to Nintendo's bullshit. I waited. After literally the longest period of my life, THE GAME WAS FINALLY MINE. Turns out Twilight Princess was somewhat underwhelming. The game really just seemed like a hollow shell of Ocarina, rehashing the same set-up and game mechanics with a new coat of paint. There was still some stuff I really liked, but as a whole Twilight Princess showed that the Zelda series needs something new if it's going to stay strong. Oh, and the Wii version of Princess was a mirror image of the Gamecube original. Right was left and left was right. Why did they do this? So Link would be right handed in the Wii version! That is the fucking stupidest thing anyone has ever done in the history of everything.
This must be the Gamecube version.
Phantom Hourglass - I never played this game, but I heard it was great. It's the sequel to The Wind Waker and it has touch screen controls or something. I got nothing.
Also there was an octopus boss?
Spirit Tracks - Remember how every man, woman, and child hated the saling in The Wind Waker? And how they hated the fact that the sailing in Phantom Hourglass was controlled by creating a path and watching your ship traverse it at a rate of 2 nautical miles every fifty years? Well Nintendo heard these complaints, took a step back, and said "Can make this even worse?" In Spirit Tracks, you can't control where you go. The world is comprised of preditermined train tracks, and you use these tracks to get around the least interesting overworld yet. When you're not watching a cartoon train barely chug along an open field, you're doing the same old puzzles with the same old game progression, alebeit with minor improvements.
And I do mean minor.
Skyward Sword - The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the latest installment in the Zelda franchise. The game utilizes the Wii Motion Plus peripheral to allow true 1:1 sword combat. This new control style completely changes combat, making the way that which you must defeat enemies a puzzle in itself. Skyward Sword will also change the traditional Zelda flow of "go through field to dungeon, leave dungeon for field, clear dungeon, repeat" that has been in the series since time began. Storywise, the game is about the origins of the Master Sword and thus takes place before any other game in the series.
Holy shit. There isn't even anything funny to say. The sheer thought of this game is enough to send my dick straight into the sun. I'm so excited about this game that I spent fourty dollars on a Skyward Sword t shirt given out at E3, and I'm going to frame it in a sports jersey case and pray to it by candlelight. If this game were a girl, her name would be Boobie McPerfect and my sole purpose in life would be to smell the air around her and rummage through her garbage just because it's hers.
What I'm saying is, I'm really excited about this game.
The graphics alone are enough of a reason to get a tat-AIGHDFKFGDASFGBAKB I WANT THIS GAME
Nintendo has never released an official timeline for the series. As you can imagine, this has caused mass hysteria within the Zelda community. Almost every fan has their own idea on how all of the games fit together, and debates wage for hundreds of pages regarding if The Minish Cap is the first in the series because "IT'S WHERE LINK GETS HIS HAT LOLLOLOLOLOLOL!" I too, have my own timeline theory:
If you really wanna get into the world of Zelda Timeline theories, check this out. Good luck.