With E3 — the gaming industry’s equivalent to Christmas morning — just around the corner, I can’t help but reminisce on some of my favorite moments from throughout the years. The Legend of Zelda in particular has a storied history of leaving its mark at the event. From 2004’s Twilight Princess unveiling to the 2011 orchestral showcase that preceded Nintendo’s Skyward Sword presentation, the series has a knack for turning legions of adults misty-eyed.

Although watching Nintendo’s press conferences from home is often stirring enough, I got the opportunity to experience that raw enthusiasm firsthand at E3 2016. Prior to the event itself, many questioned the big N’s decision to forego a traditional showcase and instead feature only one game. I mean, it’s the new Zelda title, but come on, you can’t just coast along an entire E3 with one game, right?

I was lucky to have barely squeezed in line for Breath of the Wild’s gameplay demo during the first day of the show, as all hopes of getting another shot at playing the game were dashed the following two days. Once word had spread — once everyone knew that this game was the real deal — it was chaos. As soon as the LA Convention Center doors opened that second day, it seemed as though everyone among the tens of thousands of attendees rushed straight toward the Zelda booth. Within just a couple of minutes, the line had been filled up for the entire day. I’d never seen anything like it.

I can’t forget E3 2014 either, though, as Nintendo single-handedly earned a free pass for the next several years from me with its unveiling of Hyrule Warriors.  As someone who had been begging for Zelda’s answer to The Avengers for years — the kind of crossover  title whose premise had previously been reserved for fan-fiction — I was over the moon when they showed off playable versions of Midna, Impa, and Zelda in action.

What about you, though? Which Zelda moments from E3s past stick out to you the most? Let us know in the comments below!

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