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The Legend of Zelda (game)

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This article is about the game. For information about the series, see The Legend of Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda
The Hyrule Fantasy: Zeruda no Densetsu
Developer(s): Nintendo R&D4
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform: Famicom Disk System, NES
Category: Action-adventure
Players: 1
Predecessor: N/A
Successor: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Release dates
N. America: August 22, 1987 (NES)
Japan: February 21, 1986 (FDS)
Europe: November 15, 1987 (NES)
Australia: December 7, 2006 (VC)
S. Korea: March 31, 2009 (VC)
USK: 0
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The Legend of Zelda is an adventure game originally released as a launch title for the Famicom Disk System in Japan in 1986 and later released for the standard Nintendo Entertainment System hardware in other regions the next year. As the first installment of The Legend of Zelda series, this game was given a direct sequel, titled Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, also released for the NES/Famicom Disk System in 1987/1988.

Original NES copies of the game at retail were packaged with a partial map of the game's overworld and a strategy guide.


Nintendo eShop

Experience the original smash-hit adventure on the NES! Ganon, the King of Evil, has broken free of the Dark World and has captured Hyrule's beloved Princess Zelda. But, before she was caught, Zelda managed to shatter the Triforce of Wisdom and scatter its eight pieces throughout Hyrule. You begin your adventure by finding a small wooden sword in a dark cave. Then, as you grow in stature, experience, and strength, so do your weapons. Help Link collect the captured pieces of the Triforce, rescue the princess, and thwart Ganon's evil plans!


Many years ago, the Prince of Darkness Ganon and his minions invaded the land of Hyrule and stole the Triforce of Power. Fearing Ganon's rule, Princess Zelda breaks the Triforce of Wisdom into eight pieces to keep him from obtaining it before being captured. She then sent out her nursemaid Impa to find one with the courage to defeat Ganon, though Ganon sends out his minions to stop her. As she is surrounded, however, a boy named Link appears and drives off the monsters. After Impa tells him the story, Link sets out on a quest to obtain the pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom, defeat Ganon and save Zelda[1]


The Legend of Zelda is a top-down adventure game in which players control Link, journeying around the land of Hyrule. Players can go to each of the eight dungeons in any order, in which players must solve puzzles to collect items or upgrades for Link, reach and defeat the boss and collect one of the eight fragments of the Triforce of Wisdom. After clearing the eight dungeons players can access the ninth level to fight Ganon. On the overworld are a number of hidden areas in which players can find Rupees for money, items or shops to buy items, and Heart Containers to increase health.

The Legend of Zelda is one of the earliest NES games to have a save feature via battery backup, allowing players to save their game when they game over, or at any point by pausing and pressing up and A with a second controller. After clearing the game, the player has the option to play "Second Quest", a more difficult game in which the dungeons are redesigned and enemies are stronger.

Technical details

Technical details
Media: Famicom Disk System Disk Card
NES Game Pak
Game Boy Advance Game Pak
Digital download (Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U)
Download size: Wii: 22 blocks
3DS: 47 blocks
Wii U: 65.4 MB
Supported features: Off-TV Play (Wii U)
Input / compatible controllers: NES/FDS: NES Controller / Famicom Controller
GBA: Game Boy Advance
Wii: Wii Remote, Classic Controller, Nintendo GameCube Controller
3DS: Nintendo 3DS
Wii U: Wii U GamePad, Wii U Pro Controller, Classic Controller, Wii Remote (+ Nunchuk)

Other releases

Title Cover art Platform Release date(s) Notes
THE HYRULE FANTASY ゼルダの伝説 1 (The Hyrule Fantasy: Zeruda no Densetsu 1) Family Computer JP: 1994 A re-release of the game in Japan for the Famicom cartridge format, using a slightly modified version of the NES cartridge version of the game.
The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition Nintendo GameCube NA/JP/EU: 2003
AUS: 2004
A collection of ports of four previous The Legend of Zelda titles, including this one.
Classic NES Series: The Legend of Zelda / Famicom Mini: Zeruda no Densetsu Game Boy Advance 2004 A direct port of the game released for Game Boy Advance.
The Legend of Zelda Wii (Virtual Console) WW: 2006
KR: 2009
A direct port of the game released as a digital download on the Wii Shop Channel.
The Legend of Zelda Nintendo 3DS (Virtual Console) Ambassadors: 2011

JP: 2011
WW: 2012

A direct port of the game released as a digital download on the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS, allowing for special emulator features.
The Legend of Zelda Wii U (Virtual Console) 2013 A direct port of the game released as a digital download on the Nintendo eShop for Wii U, while allowing players to use special emulator features.

External links


The Legend of Zelda series logo
Main series

The Legend of Zelda (Classic NES Series) • The Adventure of Link (Classic NES Series) • A Link to the Past • Link's Awakening (DX • Nintendo Switch) • Ocarina of Time (Master Quest • 3D) • Majora's Mask (3D) • Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons • The Wind Waker (HD) • Four Swords (Anniversary Edition) • Four Swords Adventures • The Minish Cap • Twilight Princess (HD) • Phantom Hourglass • Spirit Tracks • Skyward Sword (HD) • A Link Between Worlds • Tri Force Heroes • Breath of the Wild • Tears of the Kingdom • Echoes of Wisdom

Other games
BS-X games BS The Legend of Zelda • The Ancient Stone Tablets • Triforce of the Gods
Tingle games Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland • Ripened Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love • Tingle's Balloon Fight DS • Dekisugi Tingle Pack
Other games
Picross games Picross NP Vol. 5 • My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Unreleased games / demos Mystical Seed of Courage • Retro Studios prototype • Tingle horror game • Zelda HD Experience
The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia • The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts • The Legend of Zelda: Encyclopedia • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Explorer's Guide
Related NIWA Wiki: Zelda Wiki icon English Zelda Wiki icon • Zeldapendium icon German Zeldapendium icon
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Main series
Main games

Super Smash Bros. • Melee • Brawl • for Nintendo 3DS / for Wii U • Ultimate


Smash Controller

Masterpiece games
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Super Mario Bros. • Ice Climber • The Legend of Zelda • Kid Icarus • Kirby's Adventure • Super Metroid • Star Fox 64 • Mystery of the Emblem** • EarthBound** • Donkey Kong* • Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA)* • F-Zero* • Ocarina of Time*
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Super Mario Bros. • Wrecking Crew • Balloon Fight • Metroid • Kid Icarus • The Legend of Zelda • Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream* • Donkey Kong • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link • Mega Man 2 • Dr. Mario* • Super Mario World • F-Zero • Pilotwings • Yoshi* • Kirby's Dream Land • Super Mario Kart • Kirby's Adventure* • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels • Pac-Man • Super Metroid • EarthBound* • Kirby Super Star
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