Zelda Games Used to be a Rare Thing

Illustration for article titled Zelda Games Used to be a Rare Thing

Because they don't count the CDi Zelda games, and because they count the repeatedly re-released Ocarina of Time twice, Nintendo promotes a worldview in which 17 [1] Zelda games have been released in the past 25 years.


I'm fine with that.

But I didn't notice until I was looking at Nintendo's new Zelda history chart today that in the first half of our quarter century of Zelda we only had five Zelda games. In the second 12 1/2 years of the Zelda era, we've had a dozen more.

Are we fine with that?

Illustration for article titled Zelda Games Used to be a Rare Thing

People do love their Zelda, and I'm an admitted Zelda outlier. I prefer Majora's Mask to Ocarina; Spirit Tracks to Phantom Hourglass. I have a hunch that, if I were to go back and play them, I'd prefer Minish Cap to A Link to... oh, who am I kidding? I'm not that much of a contrarian.

How odd (and commercially comprehensible) it is that in 25 years, Zeldas have gone from being rarities to being an annual cascade. But if weirdos like me are going to like the Zeldas a lot of other people are going to say were the weak ones, maybe we need that many to keep folks (those with my refined tastes and those without) happy.


Looking at Nintendo's Zelda history chart, a few other things stand out to me that I also never noticed until now:

1) He stopped using what looks like a Christian shield a long time ago.

2) He changed his hair color.

3) The Zelda releases are slowing down a tad lately, so maybe new ones are going to be rarities again. (Aside from this year sort of being a two-release Zelda year, of course.)


Want more Zeldas? Less?

[1] *Nintendo's Zelda history chart may show 16 spots, but the keen observer will notice that Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages share a spot.



I would prefer less Zeldas, mostly so Nintendo actually has some time to sit there and think of new ideas.

It would be a nice start if they would go to the effort of more varied settings, like in Link's Awakening, Majora's Mask, and Wind Waker.

Seriously, the original Legend of Zelda, then Link to the Past, then Ocarina of Time, then Twilight Princess are all just do-overs of the same basic story setup. I give Link to the Past credit because it fleshed it out so much, and OoT transferred it to 3D for the first time, but I give no credit to Twilight Princess at all.

And most of the new items in Twilight Princess were garbage with incredibly narrow uses. Like the Spinner, which just latched you onto a rail, and basically wasn't used outside of the dungeon you get it. Or the Rod of Dominion, which is used in the dungeon you get it in, and then in some generic overworld puzzles to get some treasure chests.

I think I've reached the point where I just hate the Zelda fanbase. Look guys, I think you've had enough games where Ganon/Ganondorf wants Triforce, Zelda kidnapped/in danger, Hyrule oppressed, blah blah blah. Yet they never seem to tire of it, so Nintendo releases Twilight Princess or OoT 3D and people just lap it up.