The Legend of Zelda Games

The Legend of Zelda series has sold over 52 million copies since the release of the first game, The Legend of Zelda, and continues to be successful worldwide. The series consists of fourteen official games on all of Nintendo's major consoles, as well as several spin-offs. 

The Legend of Zelda

Release Date: July 1987

System: Classic NES

Recover the Shattered Pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom and Rescue Princess Zelda.

Ganon, the King of Evil, breaks free from the Dark World and captures Hyrule's beloved Princess Zelda. Before she is caught, Zelda manages to shatter the Triforce of Wisdom and scatter its eight pieces throughout Hyrule. Link swears to recover the Triforce pieces and rescue Princess Zelda from Ganon's clutches.

The Legend of Zelda's plot is largely described in backstory given in the short, in-game prologue and instruction booklet. The game's setting, Hyrule, was engulfed in chaos after an army led by Ganon, the Prince of Darkness, invaded the kingdom and secured the Triforce of Power, a magical artifact bestowing great strength. Hyrule's Princess Zelda split one of the artifact's pieces, the Triforce of Wisdom, into eight fragments, hiding them in secret dungeons throughout the land to prevent Ganon acquiring them.

According to the manual, Impa, an old woman, is surrounded by Ganon's henchmen when a youth, Link, repels them. Impa then tells him of Hyrule's plight. Link resolves to save Zelda, but to fight Ganon he has to find and reassemble the scattered fragments of the Triforce.

During the course of the game, Link locates the eight underground labyrinths and retrieves the Triforce fragments from guardian monsters. Along the way, he gets many items and upgrades to aid him. With the Triforce of Wisdom, Link is able to infiltrate Ganon's fortress on Death Mountain. He confronts Ganon, destroying him with a Silver Arrow found inside Death Mountain. Link gets the Triforce of Power from Ganon's ashes and returns both pieces of the Triforce to Princess Zelda, whom he releases from a nearby cell. According to Zelda's words, peace then returns to Hyrule.

A "symbol of courage, strength and wisdom", Link was designed by Miyamoto as a coming-of-age motif for players to identify with: he begins the game an ordinary boy but strengthens to triumph over the ultimate evil.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Release Date: December 1988

System: Classic NES

Replace Six Shards of the Magical Crystal and Wake Princess Zelda from Her Unnatural Slumber.

A mysterious sorcerer places a curse on Princess Zelda, causing her to drift into an eternal sleep. Link discovers that the sorcerer has fled to the ancient ruin of the Great Palace, and learns that the only way to break the seal on the palace gate is to replace the shards of a Magic Crystal.

Shortly after the events of The Legend of Zelda, Link notices a strange mark on the back of his left hand, exactly like the crest of Hyrule. He seeks out Impa, who responds by taking Link to the North Castle, where a door has been magically sealed for generations. Impa places the back of Link's left hand on the door, and it opens, revealing a sleeping maiden. Impa tells Link that the maiden is Zelda, the princess of Hyrule from long ago, and the origin of the "Legend of Zelda." Zelda's brother had tried to force her into telling their recently deceased father's secrets concerning the last of three sacred golden triangle treasures of his kingdom, known collectively as the Triforce. Princess Zelda refused to reveal its location, and the prince's wizard friend, in anger, tried to strike her down with a spell. Zelda fell under a powerful sleeping spell, but it also resulted in the wizard's own death. The prince, unable to reverse the spell, had his sister placed in the castle tower, in the hope that she would one day be awakened. He decreed that females born to the royal family from that point on would be named Zelda, in remembrance of this tragedy.

Impa says that the mark on Link's hand means that he is the chosen hero to awaken Zelda. She gives Link a chest containing six crystals and ancient writings that only a great future king of Hyrule can read. Link can read it and it indicates that each crystal needs to be placed in a different palace in Hyrule. This will open the way to the Great Palace, which contains the Triforce of Courage. This, combined with the other two parts, has the power to awaken the enchanted Zelda. Taking the crystals, Link sets out to restore them to their palaces. Meanwhile, the followers of Ganon are seeking to kill Link; sprinkling his blood on Ganon’s ashes would bring Ganon back to life.

Ultimately, Link restores the crystals to the six palaces, and with the crystals in place, the entrance to the Great Palace is opened. After venturing deep inside, Link is made to battle a shadowy doppelgänger of himself known as Link's Shadow. Link then claims the Triforce of Courage and returns to Zelda. The three triangles unite into the collective Triforce, and Link's wish awakens Zelda.

A Link To The Past

Release Date: April 1992

System: Super NES

Enter Ganon's Dark Tower and Attempt to Seal Him within the Dark World Forever.

An evil sorcerer named Agahnim gains control of Hyrule and uses his power to free Ganon from his prison in the Dark World. After rescuing Princess Zelda from Agahnim's grasp, Link frees the descendents of the Seven Sages and strengthens the magical seals designed to keep Ganon safely locked away.

According to the text on the back of the game's packaging (US version), A Link to the Past precedes the events of the NES games The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link. This was contradicted by a 1998 interview with Zeldacreator Shigeru Miyamoto (English translation), in which he stated: "Ocarina of Time is the first story, then the originalThe Legend of Zelda, then Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and finally A Link to the Past."

At the beginning of A Link to the Past, a young boy named Link is awakened by a telepathic message from Princess Zelda, who says that she is locked in the dungeon of Hyrule Castle. As the message closes, Link finds his uncle ready for battle, telling Link to remain in bed. After his uncle leaves, however, Link ignores his uncle's command and follows him to Hyrule Castle. When he arrives, he finds his uncle seriously wounded. Link's uncle tells Link to rescue Princess Zelda from her prison, giving him a sword and shield. After his uncle passes out, Link navigates the castle and rescues Zelda from her cell, and the two escape into a secret passage through the sewers that leads to a sanctuary.

Link is told by a man in the sanctuary that Agahnim, a wizard who has usurped the throne, is planning to break a seal made hundreds of years ago by the Seven Sages. The seal was placed to imprison a dark wizard named Ganon in the Dark World, which was once the Sacred Realm before Ganon invaded, obtained the legendary Triforce and used its power to turn the realm into a land of darkness. Agahnim intends to break the seal by sending the descendants of the Seven Sages who made the seal into the Dark World. The only thing that can defeat him is the Master Sword, a sword forged to combat evil. To prove that he is worthy to wield it, Link needs three magic pendants. After retrieving the pendants, Link takes them to the resting place of the Master Sword. As Link draws the sword from its pedestal, Zelda telepathically calls him to the Sanctuary, informing him that soldiers of Hyrule Castle have arrived. Link arrives at the Sanctuary moments after the soldiers have vacated, where he learns from the dying man that Zelda has been taken to Hyrule Castle. Link goes to rescue her but arrives too late; Agahnim sends Zelda to the Dark World. Link then defeats Agahnim in battle but is subsequently also sent to the Dark World.

To save Hyrule, Link is required to rescue the seven descendants of the Seven Sages from dungeons scattered across the Dark World. Once the seven maidens are freed, they use their power to break the barrier around Ganon's Tower, where Link faces Agahnim again. After Link battles Agahnim for a second time, Ganon rises up from Agahnim's body, turns into a bat, and flies away. Link chases him, finally confronting him inside the Pyramid of Power in the Dark World. After a battle resulting in Ganon's demise, Link touches the Triforce and restores Hyrule to how it was before Ganon intervened.

Link's Awakening

Release Date: August 1993

System: Game Boy

Recover Eight Instruments of the Sirens to Wake the Wind Fish and Bring Peace to Koholint Island.

During a sailing voyage, Link becomes hopelessly sidetracked and finds himself shipwrecked on Koholint Island. While on the island, Link helps its many inhabitants by recovering the eight Instruments of the Sirens and waking the Wind Fish.

After the events of A Link to the Past, Link travels abroad to train to combat further threats. After a storm destroys his boat at sea, he awakens on Koholint Island,and is taken to the house of a kind man named Tarin and his daughter Marin. Marin is fascinated by Link and the outside world across the sea, and tells Link wistfully that she would like to one day travel across the sea. After recovering his sword from Koholint's beaches, a mysterious owl tells Link that in order to return home, he must awaken the guardian of Koholint—the Wind Fish  who is dreaming in a giant egg on top of Tal Tal Mountain and can only be woken by gathering and playing the eight instruments of the Sirens. Throughout Koholint Island, nightmare creatures attempt to obstruct Link’s quest to awaken the Wind Fish as they wish to rule his dreamworld.

After collecting all eight instruments from the eight dungeons across Koholint, Link climbs to the top of the Tal Tal Mountain range and plays the Ballad of the Wind Fish with all eight instruments. This causes the egg where the Wind Fish sleeps to break open, and Link enters to face off against the Shadows, Nightmare that take the form of Ganon and other enemies from Link's past, culminating in a battle with Dethl, a cyclopean dual-tentacled Shadow. After Link successfully defeats Dethl, he plays the Ballad of the Wind Fish and both Link and the Wind Fish awaken; Koholint Island and all its inhabitants slowly disappear. Link finds himself lying on driftwood in the middle of the ocean, with the Wind Fish flying overhead. If the player did not lose any lives during the game, a winged Marin is shown flying after the ending credits finish.

Ocarina of Time

Release Date: November 1998

System: Nintendo 64

Gather the Power of the Seven Sages and Seal Ganondorf in the Dark World Forever.

As a young boy, Link is tricked by Ganondorf, the King of the Gerudo Thieves. The evil human uses Link to gain access to the Sacred Realm, where he places his tainted hands on Triforce and transforms the beautiful Hyrulean landscape into a barren wasteland. Link is determined to fix the problems he helped to create, so with the help of Rauru he travels through time gathering the powers of the Seven Sages.

The events of Ocarina of Time take place before those of the first four games and are set in the fictional kingdom of Hyrule, the setting of most Zelda games. Hyrule Field serves as a central hub connected to several outlying areas with diverse topography. Most of these areas are populated by the races of Hyrule: Hylians, Kokiri, Gorons, Zoras and Gerudo.

The game opens as the fairy Navi awakens Link from a nightmare, in which Link is seen on a stormy night as a man on horseback, Ganondorf, chases Princess Zelda, who is being escorted also on horseback by Impa. Navi brings Link to the guardian of Link's village, the Great Deku Tree, who is cursed and near death. Link breaks the curse, but cannot stop the tree from withering. The Deku Tree tells Link a "wicked man of the desert" has cursed him and seeks to conquer the land of Hyrule and that Link must stop him. Before dying, the Great Deku Tree gives Link the spiritual stone of the forest, the Kokiri's Emerald, and sends him to Hyrule Castle to speak with the princess of destiny, Zelda.

At Hyrule Castle, Link meets Princess Zelda, who has been having dreams about the future of Hyrule and foresaw Link's arrival. She believes Ganondorf, the Gerudo King of Thieves, is seeking the Triforce, a holy relic in the Sacred Realm that gives its holder god-like power. Zelda's description of Ganondorf matches that of the man who killed the Great Deku Tree. Zelda asks Link to obtain the three Spiritual Stones, one of which he already possesses, so that he might enter the Sacred Realm and claim the Triforce before Ganondorf reaches it. Link goes to Goron City, where he meets Darunia, the leader of the Goron race. After Link kills King Dodongo, the boss of Dodongo's Cavern, Darunia gives him the Goron's Ruby, symbolizing brotherhood. Link next obtains the Zora's Sapphire from the Zora Princess, Ruto, after rescuing her from the belly of Lord Jabu-Jabu (a whale-like creature sacred to the Zoras).

Link returns to the castle, where Ganondorf is pursuing Zelda on horseback, as in his nightmare at the start of the game. Spotting Link, Zelda throws the Ocarina of Time into the castle moat and telepathically teaches Link the "Song of Time". After Ganondorf rides off, Link retrieves the Ocarina and uses the song together with the Spiritual Stones to open the door to the Sacred Realm. Through the door, Link finds the Master Sword, a legendary sword forged to fight evil. As he pulls the Master Sword from its pedestal, Ganondorf appears, having followed Link into the Sacred Realm, and claims the Triforce.

Seven years later, an older Link awakens in a distant room known as the Chamber of Sages and is met by Rauru, the ancient Sage of Light and one of the seven sages who protect the location of the Triforce. Rauru informs Link that his spirit was sealed for seven years until he was old enough to wield the Master Sword and defeat Ganondorf. The seven sages can imprison Ganondorf in the Sacred Realm; however, five of the seven sages are unaware of their identities after Ganondorf transformed Hyrule into a land of darkness. Link returns to Hyrule and is met by the mysterious Sheik, who guides Link to rid five temples of Ganondorf's monsters, allowing the power of the temples to awaken the sages.

After awakening five sages, Sheik is revealed to be Princess Zelda and the Sage of Time. She tells Link that Ganondorf's heart is unbalanced, causing the Triforce to split into three pieces, as predicted in an ancient prophecy. Ganondorf kept the Triforce of Power, while the other two chosen by destiny carry the remaining pieces: Zelda gained the Triforce of Wisdom and Link obtained the Triforce of Courage. After Zelda bestows Link with the magical Light Arrows, Ganondorf traps Zelda in a magical crystal and takes her to his tower. The remaining six sages help Link enter the tower, where he battles and defeats Ganondorf, thereby freeing Zelda. After escaping the collapsing castle, Link is trapped in the castle area by a ring of fire and forced to battle Ganondorf once again; this time, using the power of the Triforce of Power, he transforms from his human form into a boar-like monster named Ganon. After fighting Ganon without his sword, Link eventually retrieves it, and, with the aid of Zelda's paralyzing light, delivers the final blow, which defeats Ganon. The seven sages trap Ganondorf in the Sacred Realm; still holding the Triforce of Power, Ganondorf vows to take revenge on their descendants. Zelda uses the Ocarina of Time to send Link to his original time to live his childhood. The game ends with Link and Zelda looking at each other in the castle garden.

Majora's Mask

Release Date: October 2000

System: Nintendo 64

Solve the Mystery of Majora's Mask and Stop the Moon from Crashing into Termina.

Thrown into a parallel world by the mischievous actions of a possessed Skull Kid, Link finds a land in grave danger. The dark power of a relic called Majora's Mask has wreaked havoc on the citizens of Termina, but their most urgent problem is a suicidal moon crashing toward the world. Link has only 72 hours to find a way to stop its descent.

Majora's Mask begins with Link riding his horse, Epona, through the Lost Woods after the events of Ocarina of Time. A masked Skull Kid and his fairy friends, Tatl and Tael, steal Epona and the Ocarina of Time from Link and run to a dark cave. Link follows, and the Skull Kid turns him into a Deku Scrub. The Skull Kid runs away with Tael, abandoning Tatl. Upset over the betrayal, Tatl agrees to help Link return to normal.

Link follows the Skull Kid through the cave to Clock Tower in Termina. There he meets the Happy Mask Salesman, who says he can help Link if he retrieves the Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask from the Skull Kid. Link and Tatl exit the Clock Tower in the center of Clock Town, which is preparing for the Carnival of Time. Link learns that the moon will crash into Termina in three days. He confronts the Skull Kid and Tael at midnight of the third day at the top of Clock Tower. He cannot take the mask, but he retrieves the Ocarina of Time and plays the Song of Time, which sends him back in time to the moment he first arrived in Termina.

The Happy Mask Salesman teaches Link the Song of Healing, which returns Link to his human form and leaves him with the Deku Mask. He then tells Link that Majora's Mask grants its wielder's wishes, but possesses them with an evil, apocalyptic power. The ancient ones, fearing catastrophe, "sealed the Mask in shadow forever" to prevent its misuse. This tribe vanished and the origin and nature of the Mask was lost. The Skull Kid, possessed by Majora's Mask, is responsible for the moon threatening to destroy Termina.

Link travels between Woodfall, Snowhead, the Great Bay, and Ikana Canyon. He enters a dungeon in each, defeating a boss that gives Link the power of one of the Four Giants that can save Termina. Once all four bosses are defeated, Link calls the Giants, who halt the moon's passage towards Termina. Majora's Mask rises from the Skull Kid and enters the moon. With the help of Tatl, Link follows and defeats Majora's Mask. The Four Giants return to their sleep and Tatl and Tael reunite with the freed Skull Kid. The Happy Mask Salesman takes Majora's Mask, stating it has been purified of its evil power. Link rides away on Epona as the Carnival of Time begins. The game ends with a post-credits scene depicting a drawing on a tree stump of Link, Tatl, Tael, the Skull Kid and the Four Giants. As this picture is shown, a snippet of "Saria's Song" plays briefly in the background.

Oracle of Ages

Release Date: May 2001

System: Game Boy

Warping Through the Folds of Time, Link Faces One of his Most Perilous Quests Ever.

Using the legendary power of the Triforce, Link travels to a distant land known as Labrynna where Veran, the Sorceress of Shadows, has developed a scheme to alter Labrynna's past. Through trickery and deceit, Veran harnesses the power of Nayru, the Oracle of Ages, and travels 400 years into the past. Before the Sorceress of Shadows can complete her dark mission, Link must use the Harp of Ages to save the day.

As with Seasons, the Triforce calls out to Link. Link is transported to a forest in the land of Labrynna, where he hears screaming. In a clearing, Link finds a woman encircled by monsters. When the monsters see Link, they scatter in all directions. The woman is Princess Zelda's nurse, Impa, who asks Link to help her find a singer in the forest. Continuing through the forest, the two find Nayru, a young woman with blue hair singing on a tree stump, surrounded by forest creatures. A shadow emerges from Impa and reveals itself as Veran, Sorceress of Shadows. Veran soars into Nayru's body and possesses her. Nayru was the Oracle of Ages; her abduction causes a disruption in the time flow of Labrynna.

Link receives a sword from Impa and makes his way to the Maku Tree in Lynna City, the capital of Labrynna. The Maku Tree is killed in the past on Veran's orders; Link uses a time portal to travel to the past to prevent this. The Maku Tree tells Link he will need the eight Essences of Time to defeat Veran. Link sets out to retrieve the eight Essences, hidden in eight dungeons throughout Labrynna's past and present. After getting the sixth Essence, Link is told he has the opportunity to save Nayru. He invades Queen Ambi's castle and removes Veran's spirit from Nayru, but Veran then possesses Queen Ambi. Link gathers the remaining Essences and brings them to the Maku Tree, who uses them to create a Huge Maku Seed that allows Link to enter Veran's Black Tower. Link ascends the tower and defeats Veran. He rescues Queen Ambi, and Nayru tells him that all has returned to normal. Twinrova, watching the scene remotely, states that Veran has lit the Flame of Sorrow.

Oracle of Seasons

Release Date: May 2001

System: Game Boy

Twisting Nature and Altering the Seasons, Link Faces One of his Most Mind-Bending Quests Ever.

After magically transporting to a vast world called Holodrum, Link witnesses a power-hungry general named Onox summon a mighty storm and kidnap the Oracle of Seasons -- a beautiful dancer named Din. Onox uses Din's power to hurl the forces of nature into chaos, so it's up to Link to restore peace to the land.

Seasons begins as the Triforce calls out to Link from within Hyrule Castle. Link approaches it, and is transported to a dark forest where he encounters a traveling group led by a dancer named Din. After Din welcomes Link to Holodrum, the sky becomes covered in black clouds. A voice from the clouds calls Din the Oracle of Seasons and refers to himself as Onox, General of Darkness. A funnel cloud drops from the sky, taking Din into its dark heights. As the tornado dissipates, the seasons of Holodrum fall into disarray and change rapidly.

Din's attendant, Impa, tells Link that they were headed for Hyrule; she instructs him to see the Maku Tree in Horon Village, the capital of Holodrum. Link finds a sword in a cave and makes his way to the tree. The Maku Tree tells Link he will need the eight Essences of Nature and gives him the Gnarled Key, which unlocks the dungeon holding the first Essence. Link retrieves the eight Essences, hidden in eight dungeons throughout Holodrum and Subrosia, and brings them to the Maku Tree. The Maku Tree uses them to create a Huge Maku Seed, a sacred seed that cleanses evil, which allows Link to enter Onox's castle. Link enters the castle and defeats Onox. He rescues Din, who tells him that he is now a true hero and must face a new trial soon. Twinrova, watching the scene remotely, states that the Flame of Destruction has been powered by the havoc Onox has wrought.

The Wind Waker

Release Date: March 2003

System: Nintendo Gamecube

Set Sail for Adventure and Help Link Restore Peace to the Great Sea.

Emotions hit a fever pitch when Link witnesses his sister being snatched up by a giant bird. Embarking on an epic voyage to locate his sister, Link unravels a great mystery and learns to harness the power of the wind to propel his sailboat from island to island.

Set 100 years after the events of Ocarina of TimeThe Wind Waker places the hero Link in a sea scattered with several islands, which necessitates frequent sailing and naval combat. Link lives with his grandmother and younger sister Aryll on Outset Island, one of the few inhabited islands of the Great Sea. The people of the Great Sea pass down a legend of a prosperous kingdom with a hidden golden power. Ganon found and stole this power, using it to spread darkness until a boy dressed in green sealed the evil with the Blade of Evil's Bane. The boy became known as the Hero of Time, and passed into legend. One day, the sealed evil began to return, but the Hero of Time did not reappear. The inhabitants of the Great Sea are unsure of the kingdom's fate, but it is clear that this legend is the story of Ocarina of Time.

When boys of Outset Island come of age, they are customarily dressed in green like the Hero of Time. The elders hope to instill the courage of the Hero in the children. It is Link's birthday as The Wind Waker opens, and he receives the familiar green tunic and hat. Aryll's present to Link is permission to use her telescope; as he looks through it, he spots a large bird carrying a girl to a nearby forest. After retrieving a sword, Link sets out to investigate. Link rescues the girl, only to have Aryll kidnapped by the same bird as it returns. The girl rescued in the forest is Tetra, captain of a pirate ship. At Link's request, they sail to the Forsaken Fortress, where a mysterious figure is holding Aryll and several other girls. Following an unsuccessful raid, Link is thrown from the fortress. A talking boat called the King of Red Lions rescues Link, and tells him that the master of the Forsaken Fortress is Ganon, the evil of legend.

The King of Red Lions gives Link the Wind Waker, a baton able to control the wind and move it in all directions, and instructs Link to sail the Great Sea in search of the three Goddesses' pearls. Link retrieves the pearls and takes them to the three Triangle Islands, causing the Tower of the Gods to rise from the sea. After battling Gohdan in the tower to prove his worth, Link sails into a ring of light and is taken beneath the waters to Hyrule Castle, overrun with enemies and frozen in time. Link descends a hidden staircase and finds the Master Sword, the evil-repelling blade used by the Hero of Time to seal Ganondorf. By removing the sword, Link awakens the castle and all enemies inside. He destroys the enemies and returns to the surface.

With the Master Sword in hand, Link returns to the Forsaken Fortress and joins Tetra and the pirates. He frees Aryll and the other captives and slays the Helmaroc King, the bird that captured Aryll, but is easily overpowered by Ganondorf. Ganondorf tells Link that taking the Master Sword has fully lifted the seal, unbinding his full power; furthermore, the Master Sword has lost its own power to repel evil. Ganondorf lifts Tetra by the neck, and notices that she is wearing a fragment of the Triforce of Wisdom as a necklace. As he calls her Princess Zelda, two Rito that Link helped while finding the Goddesses' Pearls rescue Link and Tetra, and the dragon Valoo sets the entire fortress ablaze.

Link and Tetra sail back to the castle at the bottom of the sea and descend the staircase, where they meet Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, the King of Hyrule and the voice of the King of Red Lions. He tells Link and Tetra that the prayers of the people in the legend were answered—the gods sealed Ganondorf and all of Hyrule with him by flooding the kingdom with a torrential rainstorm, ordering those chosen to take refuge on the mountaintops, revealing that the islands of the Great Sea are the tallest points of the now-flooded Hyrule. The King combines a piece of the Triforce of Wisdom with the fragment in Tetra's necklace, causing her to transform into the traditional appearance of Princess Zelda. The King then discovers that the cause of the Master Sword's loss of power was the assassination of the Sages of Earth and Wind. Link plays the Earth God's Lyric to Medli and the Wind God's Aria to Makar, awakening in them the knowledge that they are new Sages of Earth and Wind. Their prayers restore the full power of the Master Sword.

Link goes on a variety of quests to find and decode eight Triforce charts that mark the locations of the pieces of the Triforce of Courage. Link raises the pieces from the sea and restores the Triforce of Courage, which dwells inside Link, marking him as the Hero of Winds.

With the restored Master Sword and the Triforce of Courage, Link returns once more to Hyrule Castle, where Zelda disappears before him. Link breaks through the barrier beyond Hyrule Castle and enters Ganon's Tower. Ganondorf reveals himself to Link, claiming that Link is the reborn Hero of Time and that fate has allowed him to bring the Triforce together again, just as he had with the Hero of Time. The three Triforces are extracted from Ganondorf, Link, and Zelda and combine to form the complete Triforce. As who ever touches the complete Triforce gets their wish granted, Ganondorf demands that the gods expose Hyrule to the sun once more, under his control. Before he can reach the Triforce, however, King Daphnes suddenly appears and touches the Triforce. He asks the gods of the Triforce to give Link and Zelda a future and to wash away Hyrule and Ganondorf. The Triforce splits apart and the ocean above begins to pour down all around the tower.

Knowing that the King has just ensured his own destruction, Ganondorf laughs and begins battling Link. Zelda assists by using Link's bow and shooting Ganondorf with Light Arrows. Once Ganondorf is stunned, Link plunges the Master Sword into Ganondorf's head, turning him to stone. Link and Zelda float to the surface in a bubble, leaving Ganondorf and the king to be buried underwater with Hyrule. Link and Zelda, now in the form of Tetra, sail away on the pirate ship and the now-lifeless King of Red Lions in search of a new land with the wind as their guide. These events are immediately followed in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.

Four Swords Adventures

Release Date: June 2004

System: Nintendo Gamecube

Four Swords Adventures is Now a Player's Choice Title!

To thwart the vile forces of a wind demon known as Vaati, legendary hero Link turns to the mystical power of the Four Sword to split himself into four colored copies of himself. The four heroes embark on a quest that takes them through enemy-infested lands and puzzle-plagued dungeons crawling with the classic Zelda gameplay.

The game begins with the land of Hyrule in a state of fear because of strange happenings that have occurred recently. On a stormy night, Princess Zelda and the shrine maidens fear that the reason for these events is that Vaati's seal is weakening. She summons Link and brings him to the castle so he can protect her and the other maidens while they open the portal to the Four Sword Sanctuary. When they do, however, a shadowy figure appears from the portal. This figure was Shadow Link, who then kidnapped the shrine maidens and sealed them in crystals. Link follows him to the sanctuary where he retrieves the Four Sword to destroy this doppelganger. The Four Sword is a magical sword that splits the wielder into four clones of himself. Vaati is once again released and wreaks havoc on the once peaceful kingdom.

As Link wanders the overworld of Hyrule Field on his quest to restore peace to Hyrule, he learns that the creation of his evil counterpart and the release of Vaati is only a small part in an insidious plot to take control of Hyrule. Things complicate as the dimension of the Dark World appears and people are being abducted throughout Hyrule. Link learns that not only have the knights of Hyrule mysteriously disappeared, but evil versions of them have been creating havoc. The castle has been taken over and monsters are appearing everywhere.

It is revealed later in the game that the true villain is Ganon, King of Darkness. He has stolen a powerful trident and used it to take control of parts of Hyrule. He stole the dark mirror and used it to create Shadow Link and then sent him to kidnap the shrine maidens and trick Link into releasing Vaati. In order to gain as much power as possible and build up his army, Ganon wants to take control of the shrine maidens' power as well as abducting people and sending them into the Dark World where they would become part of his army. Vaati unknowingly furthered his plans by creating monsters to add to his army. It is revealed that the knights of Hyrule were murdered by Ganon and their souls were trapped in the Dark World where they became creatures of Darkness. Link eventually saves the shrine maidens, retrieves the Dark Mirror, destroys Shadow Link and Vaati, and faces Ganon in an ultimate showdown. Link defeats Ganon and seals him firmly in the Four Sword. Peace returns to Hyrule and the people celebrate as all traces of the evil that plagued Hyrule are vanquished.

The Minish Cap

Release Date: January 2005

System: Gamboy Advance

Discover the Magic of the Minish Cap!

The King of Hyrule is sending Link on an incredible quest that will take him to places he's never imagined. Using the power of a special hat called the Minish Cap, Link can shrink and explore the magical world of the Minish -- tiny people who live just beneath his feet!

The plot of The Minish Cap focuses on the backstory of Vaati and the Four Sword, which were important elements of Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures. The Picori, also called Minish, are a race of tiny creatures that bestowed a young boy with a green garment, a sword, and a shining golden light many years before the game is set. There are three types of Minish: Town, Forest, and Mountain.

The quests begins when Link is chosen by the king of Hyrule to seek the help of the Picori after Vaati had petrified Princess Zelda. Link was chosen because only children can see the Picori. On the voyage he rescues Ezlo, a strange being resembling a green cap with a bird-like head, who joins him and can make Link shrink to the size of the Minish. Although it is not revealed at first, he and Vaati were once Minish (Picori)—Ezlo a renowned sage and craftsman and Vaati his apprentice. Vaati became corrupted by the madness and hatred of men and took a magic hat Ezlo had made for the humans in Hyrule. The hat grants any wish made by the bearer, and Vaati wished to become a powerful sorcerer. He then turned his old master, who had tried to stop him, into a hat. With the help of Ezlo, Link retrieves the four elemental artifacts and uses them to restore the Picori Blade to the Four Sword, capable of defeating Vaati.

After Link restores the Four Sword, Vaati turns Hyrule Castle into Dark Hyrule Castle—the final dungeon in the game. Link fights Vaati just before he can drain Zelda of all her Light Force. Link defeats Vaati after engaging in a fight that consists of Vaati changing forms. When Link and Zelda flee from the collapsing castle, they meet Vaati as he again changes form for the final battle of the game. After the battle, Ezlo returns to his original form. He finds the cap of wishes he created and gives it to Zelda, granting her a wish. The cursed people are cured and the castle is turned back to normal. The hat overflows with the power of life and disappears. Ezlo gives Link a new hat and tells him that he enjoyed traveling with him, then leaves just as the Minish world closes.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Release Date: November 2006

System: Wii

The story begins with Link, the protagonist, working as a ranch hand in Ordon Village. One day, the village is attacked by monsters, who carry off the village’s children. Link pursues the attackers, but encounters a wall of Twilight. A shadow beast pulls him beyond the wall, where he is transformed into a wolf and imprisoned. He is later released by an imp named Midna, who guides Link toPrincess Zelda. She explains that Zant, the king of the Twili, has defeated the Light Spirits and conquered Hyrule. In order to restore Hyrule, Link must first restore the Light Spirits. As he restores them, the Light Spirits return Link to human form, and he also helps Midna retrieve the Fused Shadows, relics that contain powerful magic, and Midna helps Link find Ordon Village’s children. After Link restores the Light Spirits and Midna has the Fused Shadows, Zant attacks them; he takes the Fused Shadows, turns Link back into a wolf, and mortally wounds Midna. Link brings Midna to Zelda. Zelda tells Link that he needs the Master Sword to be restored to human form, then heals Midna before vanishing mysteriously. After Link is returned to human form, Midna leads him to the Mirror of Twilight, the only known gateway between the Twilight Realm and Hyrule.

Once Link and Midna reach the Mirror of Twilight, they discover that Zant has broken it. The sages there explain that Zant tried to destroy it, but he was unable to do so; only the true ruler of the Twili can destroy the Mirror of Twilight. They also tell them that a century ago, they banished a dark wizard named Ganondorf to the Twilight Realm. Link and Midna set out to retrieve the missing shards of the Mirror. They use the repaired mirror to open a portal to the Twilight Realm. Before they enter, Midna and the sages tell Link that Midna is the true ruler of the Twili; Zant changed her into an imp after he usurped her. In the Twilight Realm, Zant informs Link and Midna that his god, Ganondorf, granted him great power, on the condition that he use it to conquer Hyrule. After Link defeats Zant, Midna recovers the Fused Shadows and uses them to kill Zant.

Back in Hyrule, Link and Midna find Ganondorf in Hyrule Castle, with Zelda suspended above his head. After Link defeats Ganondorf, he and Midna help Zelda to her feet. Ganondorf then revives, and Midna teleports Link and Zelda outside the castle so she can finish off Ganondorf. Link and Zelda watch as the castle is obliterated. Moments later, Ganondorf appears before them on horseback, grasping Midna’s helmet. Link mounts his horse and continues the battle on horseback. During the battle, Ganondorf is knocked off his horse, and the battle continues on foot. Eventually, Link plunges his sword into Ganondorf’s chest. Moments later, Ganondorf dies. The Light Spirits are seen reviving Midna, who was restored to her Twili form after Ganondorf’s death. After a tearful goodbye, Midna uses the Mirror of Twilight to return home. As she goes through the portal, she destroys the Mirror, severing the last known link between Hyrule and the Twilight Realm.

Phantom Hourglass

Release Date: October 2007

System: Nintendo DS

The story follows Link and Tetra, who live in a flood-covered Hyrule called the Great Sea. Traveling on Tetra's pirate ship, the pair discover a ghost ship. Immediately after Tetra boards the ship, she screams for help. While Link attempts to follow her, he slips and falls into the ocean. Washed ashore on an island, Link is awakened by Ciela, a fairy. Exploring the island, Link finds the Phantom Hourglass, filled with the Sands of Hours, and meets an old man named Oshus, who wants to help Link find the Ghost Ship and reunite with Tetra. To aid him in his quest, Link enlists the help of Captain Linebeck and his ship, the S.S. Linebeck, which Link, Ciela, and Linebeck use to visit islands.

After scouring the Great Sea, Link learns that he must use maps and clues hidden in the Temple of the Ocean King to find the Spirits of Courage, Wisdom, and Power, which in turn will help him locate the Ghost Ship. With the help of the Phantom Hourglass, Link finds the Spirits of Wisdom and Power. When Link asks Oshus where to find the Spirit of Courage, Oshus explains that it is in fact Ciela, after which she transforms into her true form. Now in possession of the three Spirits, Link, along with Ciela and Oshus, locate the Ghost Ship and find Tetra onboard, who has been turned to stone. While Link determines how to save Tetra, Oshus reveals that he is the Ocean King and that he and Ciela had to change their appearances to hide from Bellum, a life-eating monster that Link must destroy to save Tetra. Oshus also mentions that Bellum was the one who created the Ghost Ship and trapped Tetra in a statue, and that he has taken residence deep in the Temple.

To defeat Bellum, Link learns that he must forge the Phantom Sword from three unique, "pure" metals located on nearby islands. After collecting and using the metals to forge the Phantom Sword, Link descends to the bottom level of the Temple to face Bellum. After intense fighting, Link appears to defeat Bellum, and Tetra is freed from her statue. After Link and Tetra hurry back to the S.S. Linebeck to find Oshus, Bellum emerges and sinks the ship, capturing Link and Tetra in the process. Link continues to fight Bellum, eventually defeating it, saving Tetra and Linebeck, and releasing the sand from the Phantom Hourglass back into the sea. Oshus, now in his true form as a Blue Whale, departs with the Spirits of Power, Wisdom and Courage, and Tetra and Link teleport back onto Tetra's pirate ship, where its crew tells them that only ten minutes had passed since the pair left the ship, insisting that their journey was a dream. However, Link still possesses the now-empty Phantom Hourglass, and sees Linebeck's ship on the horizon.

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Hiromichi Mori profile image

Hiromichi Mori 2 years ago from Mililani Town, Hawaii

Ah yes, the epic Legend of Zelda series. Brings back so many fond memories. :) My personal favorites are the original Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past.

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