We are all lucky to live in the heavily gaming world of today. We have a vast collection of games to choose and play. Most of the games have too much in common; however, there is one game that truly sticks out from them all, and that is the beloved The Legend of Zelda. The Legend of Zelda has 5 traits that truly make it the most different series of them all.
5) The People
Like any good adventure game, some sort of race(s) of people exist. Usually, you’re given a history of the people and their struggles. Then you meet individuals, learn their personal story, fall in love or hate, and they just add a lot to your adventure. The Legend of Zelda is no exception to this rule. In fact, the unique characters you meet in The Legend of Zelda series make it so much more unique than any other game. One of my favorite characters is Tetra from The Wind Waker. Most princesses you save are weak and feeble, but not Tetra. She is a feared pirate of the sea!
Who can forget The Legend of Zelda’s famous Tingle? There isn’t a character in any game that can match up to Tingle’s randomness and flat out weirdness. Who could think of a 35 year old, short, fairy wannabe character? I know there are a fair amount of fans that dislike him, but I am fond of his comical and fun personality. The characters you meet add uniqueness to The Legend of Zelda.
4) The Items
The Legend of Zelda is one of the rare game series that have a real purpose for the random items you collect. In most adventure games you either collect items just for fun, or to make the game easier. However, The Legend of Zelda has a real purpose for the items you collect. Not only do the items make the game play easier, but you simply can’t beat the game without them.
One of the most famous items you need to complete The Legend of Zelda is bombs. I can remember first playing through a The Legend of Zelda game, finding cracked walls, and then blowing them up to see what was behind them. Who doesn’t like to look behind a mysterious, explode-able wall? From the original The Legend of Zelda to Skyward Sword, Link needs those explosive and useful items. The items add a real purpose to The Legend of Zelda.
3) The Overworld
One of the major things Miyamoto wanted to bring to the video gaming world is exploration. He visualized a world where the gamer can walk around and explore. Hyrule was able to accomplish this goal with a bang. The first thing I remember doing when I played The Legend of Zelda was exploring. Back in the day, NES games were 2D scrolling games with only one direction. The Legend of Zelda broke this rule with full free roaming exploring!
One of my favorite experiences of exploring Hyrule was in The Wind Waker. I know it wasn’t officially Hyrule, but the mystery of each new island kept me busy for hours. When you were sailing around and exploring, you first got a glimpse of a shadow in the distance. As you got closer and closer, it became clearer, and that built more anticipation. Then when you finally made it to shore and were able to walk around, you found a puzzle that required the use of items and a good mind. Hyrule was able to add vastness to The Legend of Zelda.
2) The puzzles
Who can forget The Legend of Zelda’s trademark puzzles? No other game can bring unique people, useful items, a vast world, and bind them altogether using puzzles. This is what makes The Legend of Zelda so popular, and drives fans insane over playing it. The Legend of Zelda’s puzzles are most unique, as you have to use a combination of the previous points to beat them. You are able to talk to people to get tips and hints and use special items to finish that final tricky part, and when you are all done, you can even explore Hyrule for more puzzles!
Any game can have simple dungeons in which you fight baddies, earn experience points, etc. to get through, but The Legend of Zelda takes it further. Nothing makes you feel more accomplished than really having to work hard to defeat a dungeon. The Legend of Zelda’s themed dungeons allow you to think of the dungeon as a whole. Once you pick up the basic idea, you can use that knowledge and learn more to fully complete the dungeon. The puzzles add a real feeling of accomplishment to The Legend of Zelda.
The single most important person to bring all this together is our lovable Link. Without him we couldn’t meet people, use items, explore, or solve puzzles. He is the glue that binds The Legend of Zelda together as a whole game, and he does an excellent job. I wouldn’t replace him for anything. For over 20 years, he has filled this role with greatness. His looks changed mildly from game to game, but the traditional green tunic, shield, and sword make him so great.
Most other games like to change up their main character from game to game, but The Legend of Zelda doesn’t. I wouldn’t change this because it just works. I know it can mess things up when it comes to timeline theories, but I’m old fashioned. “If it works, then don’t fix it,” is a famous quote of mine, and I very much agree that it works with The Legend of Zelda. Link adds tradition to The Legend of Zelda.