Today, 21st of February of 2012 marks the 26th anniversary of one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, The Legend of Zelda. Join us in our tribute!
After 26 years, over 15 main games (and that’s not even counting remakes), and even more guest appearances in titles such as Super Smash Bros or Soul Calibur, The Legend of Zelda has consolidated itself as one of the most recognizable names in the whole gaming universe, a member of the pantheon of greats along the likes of Super Mario Bros, Final Fantasy or Castlevania, to name some titles that debuted on the NES and have remained with us ever since. We sort of missed the 25th anniversary, but we couldn’t let the opportunity pass to tribute one of the staff’s favorite series ever. It’s just that the games have been so consistently good, addictive and replayable that we always find something else to say about them.
Since the franchise started in the 8-bit days, Link and Zelda have seen many incarnations in 2 and 3D, with different aesthetics, lighter or darker tones, but always ready for adventure, and to do whatever it takes to protect Hyrule, the land they inhabit, or wherever they are currently at. The story is pretty much the same in every game: a forgotten evil of the past awakens and it’s up to both characters to acquire something in order to face this new old enemy. Still, besides the incredible games, what we like the most about the franchise is how devoted the community is, always tributing the series in incredible ways. Join us while we recap some of our favorite productions.
We don’t actually mean the games Nintendo produced (all of which have ranged from pretty good to “oh my god, experiences like this are the reason I play games to begin with”), but actually fan productions, reimagination and trailers of games. Here, these are some great examples.
Legend Of Zelda Remaster For Smartphones
If pixel art and 8-bits happen to not really be your thing, how about you check out this re-imagination of the first Legend of Zelda game for the NES, created by a fan, and with fantastic updated graphs that run smoothly on smartphones? Check out the Zelda Remastered for Smartphones article.
Marriage Proposal With Legend Of Zelda Hack
Some fans got romantic besides adventurous, and one of them even proposed to his gamer girlfriend by hacking the original Legend of Zelda game with a marriage proposal. Isn’t that the cutest?
The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword Reimagined
The last proper entry in the Zelda series was Skyward Sword, one of the ultimate Wii titles, and entries in the franchise ever, but some people just can’t get over the classics. For that very special crowd, a fan re-imagined Skyward Sword as a Gameboy title, with the aesthetic of Link’s Awakening. Check it out here.
Fan-made Trailer For Legend Of Zelda: The Lost Oracle
Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link remains the only “pure” platforming entry in the series. A fan thought that it’d be nice to go to that format for a change, and created a trailer where Legend of Zelda meets aesthetics and gameplay similar to the indie hit Limbo, and the product is so good that we wish it was real. Enjoy the Lost Oracle Trailer here.
Zelda Gear, Clothes & Tattoos
Our love for the franchise encompasses more than just games, and sometimes we just need to carry insignias all over our clothes, or even skin to show our love. These are some of our favorite productions.
“I Saved Hyrule And All I Got Was This Awesome T-Shirt”
This is ideal for those who want to carry the Hero of Time’s colors. Fans of Zelda, as soon as we find a cool dress or Sheik outfit, we’ll let you know. In the meanwhile, here’s the Link T-Shirt.
Collection Of Zelda Tattoos
If you love the franchise so much you want it on your skin, check out this collection where 13 Zelda Fans Show Off Their Tattoos for some inspiration, or try to compete with The Most Complete Legend Of Zelda Tattoo Yet.
Zelda Triforce Lamp
This is for those who believe firmly in the three goddesses and want the Triforce to light their way, in a very literal way. May the Triforce Light Your Way: Zelda Triforce Lamp.
Zelda World Map Beer Pong Table
“Hey, Walyou! You’re speaking of celebrating an anniversary, but haven’t invited us a drink yet, what’s wrong with you?”. You’re right, and we’re sorry, so we’ll correct it with the Glossy Legend Of Zelda World Map Beer Pong Table.
The Legend of Zelda has always had a stellar soundtrack, and it’s theme is one of the most recognizable themes in the gaming universe. Be honest, now, we’re pretty sure you’ve caught yourself humming it time and time again. These are some of our favorite versions.
Zelda Theme With Wine Glasses
Yay, more alcohol! This time around, the Zelda Theme gets an interpretation made exclusively out of Wine Glasses.
Legend Of Zelda Theme Performed On Marimbas
The Marimba is one of the most under-rated instruments ever. If you doubt how cool it sounds, check out this version of the Legend of Zelda Theme Performed on Marimba.
Ocarina From Zelda In Its Full Glory
For those who are more of a DIY type of guys and girls, maybe you’d rather play the songs yourselves, and no instrument would fit the beautiful music of the series better than an ocarina. Here’s the Ocarina From Zelda In Its Full Glory!
The Legend Of Zelda Theme Interpreted in Ipads
Never let technology get in the way of art! Use it to enhance it instead, like this fan did when he recreated the Legend of Zelda Theme in Ipad.
Legend Of Zelda Elementary School Music Video
If besides the music you’d like to watch a full blown interpretation with cosplay and acting, here’s the Legend of Zelda Elementary School Music Video: Epic And Cute.
Poor Link… even though he’s the main character in the series, his name is nowhere to be found in the titles, for the most part. Oh well, at least he gets some representation in a lot of really cool figurines.
Although criticized when it first came out, the cute cell-shaded Link from “Windwaker” and its sequels has grown to become a fan-favorite that got a very nice tribute as the Munny Link.
There’s nothing wrong with the cute cell-shaded versions, but most fans tend to prefer the Adult Link version which made its debut in Ocarina of Time. In this cool collection released officially by Nintendo, we can see him battling Dark Link, one of the toughest battles in the game. Click here to see A Dark Link (To The Past).
Zelda Chess Set
This chess set is special for many reasons. Our favorite thing about it is that Zelda finally gets to be the most important and kickass piece. Hell yes! Checkmate, Ganondorf!
While technically not a figurine, this is creative enough to have earned it’s place here. Check out the Link Balloon created by a fan.
Zelda Treasure Chest
Your eyes do not deceive you, this is an actual chest inspired by the art of the franchise. The best part? It even plays the new item sound every time you open it!
Miscellaneous Zelda Tributes
A lot of cool stuff we’ve covered wouldn’t really fit elsewhere in this list, but we still wanted to share it with you. Enjoy some of these pieces of random awesomeness.
Link’s Rejected Companions
We have to give it to Nintendo… people complain about Link’s companions (particularly Navi, the poor thing), but do you guys realize how much worse it could have been? Check out Hey! Listen! Rejected Companions For Link [Comic].
Legend Of Zelda NES Case Mod
We’re sorry, Super Mario Bros, but the original Legend of Zelda is our favorite game on the NES, and if we have to choose one game to tribute with a case mod, it will be this one, the Legend Of Zelda NES Case Mod.
Zelda Stop Motion Animation
Stop motion is an incredible form of art, and we’re glad to see that some fan took the time to adapt the Legend of Zelda to this format. Head over to Stop Motion Zelda On Paper Gives The Genre A Unique Twist to see the actual video.
Awesome Nintendo Wii Legend Of Zelda Paintjob
We love the NES because of nostalgia, but if you really think about it, basically every title worth anything at all can be played in the Wii, which in addition to its fantastic catalogue makes it one of the greatest consoles of all time. The best only deserves the best, so here’s the Awesome Nintendo Wii Legend Of Zelda Paintjob.