ゼルダの伝説 The Hyrule Fantasy © 1986 Nintendo Company, Limited.
(Zelda no Densetsu - The Hyrule Fantasy)
Zelda no Densetsu is an action/adventure game by Nintendo. Do we still need to present Shigeru Miyamoto's Zelda no Densetsu ? For anyone who has been hiding under a rock or living in a cave for the past twenty years, here's a short introduction to this milestone in video gaming history. A long time ago, in the kingdom of Hyrule, the legend of the magical Triforce of wisdom was told from generation to generation. Alas, one day, the evil Ganon plot to steal this immense source of power. In a desperate attempt to save the kingdom, princess Zelda has no choice but to split up the Triforce into eight pieces and to hide them throughout the country. Before she finds herself kidnaped and imprisoned, she sends her bravest friend, the nursemaid Impa, to find a warrior courageous enough to defeat Ganon. Link, a valiant young boy, happens to be the chosen one and he soon embarks on a long quest to defeat Ganon and to rescue princess Zelda. The game is displayed through an top-down view and offers a balance of adventure, exploration and action. Unlike most of the Role Playing games of the time, fights are not random based and are instead tightly and seamlessly integrated with the gameplay. Furthermore, Link doesn't level up - instead, new weapons and items (such as shields, swords, bombs, boomerangs, bows, heart containers and so forth) increase his strength and skills as he progresses through his journey. This first episode definitively paves the way to the Zelda series as we know it, and it follows the simple gameplay formula rightfully quoted in the Family Computer Expo Catalog printed in 1994 : "the one who should mature is not the character but the player". The world of Hyrule is also surprisingly large for a game released in 1986 and Link's journey requires him to travel through the remotest places of the overworld and explore the treacherous dungeons from the underworld. Players diligent enough to complete the game will also unlock a more difficult and different Second Quest featuring tougher enemies and rearranged dungeons.