Last year we published results from a massive Zelda fan survey conducted by our good friend Max Nichols. This was an interesting survey with nearly 6000 responses from two different Zelda communities. However, as they say things change and as we gain more followers every year the results are bound to show differences. I decided earlier this year to run a similar survey every year moving forward, measuring changes in certain answers and adding new questions to fit with new situations. Of course as this was a survey only conducted among the Zelda Informer community so we asked some additional ZI related questions to help us out on our own end – but it’s the results of the Zelda related questions that so many are going to find endearing.

The survey was taken by 9,461 people (over 9000!), though not all of them saw it to completion. In total, 6,603 completed the entirety of the survey, however we counted all people who participated as far as they could go as their responses are not any less relevant. This survey was conducted here at the site and through all of our social media profiles over the course of several months. What I’ll do now is post the results of the survey and make notes when needed since sometimes things can be a bit confusing at first glance. You can make of this information what you will – we surely could create several editorials based upon this information. There are a lot of really interesting nuggets to be had.

Survey Results

Fairly basic first question. Was almost surprised this wasn’t 100%. For those curious, 40 said no while 124 said unsure.

Despite this survey only being conducted at Zelda Informer, we attracted a lot of folks that weren’t necessarily fans of our us.

As you can see, a majority of our viewers and participants are adults. Roughly 75% of the participants were over 18.

No surprise, most of the participants were male, although females had a strong presence as well. We included the other and prefer not to answer responses chiefly to cover all bases. This was an anonymous survey, so we can’t know who anyone who filled it out is.

Seems like an irrelevant question, but we wanted to see how many felt they were fans of the series compared to how many people consider themselves gamers. There is a decent difference in responses to this one compared to the last.

This question was just to get some background on the voters experience with video game consoles. The names are cut off for some, so from left to right it goes Odyssey (any version), Intellivsion, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Gemini, NES, Sega Master System, Atari 7800, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, Lynx, NeoGeo, Sega Game Gear, SNES, Philip’s CD-i, Atari Jaguar, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Sega Saturn, Virtual Boy, PlayStation, Sega Nomad, N64, Game Boy Color, Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, PSP, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita, Wii U, Playstation 4, Xbox One.

No surprise, Nintendo systems dominated the most owned listings. Interestingly enough, only the Wii was owned by 90% or more of the voters. Xbox and PlayStation had strong showings as well, likely a representation of the the general age group of the voters.

Just gathering more background on consumer habits. A lot of folks own more than one console per generation.

This reflects our average age group very well. All the top games people started with came during a period where most of us at the time were probably kids. Even the 7% for Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker was 10 years or more back, likely making those that started with them adults today. You can also see a theme here – the most popular selling entries are the ones people started with. No surprises.

While some names are cut off, you should be able to make out most of these. The least played Zelda game from the main series is Four Swords followed by Four Swords Adventures followed by Four Swords and Oracle of Ages. The most played games are Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and Twilight Princess. It should be noted that Tri Force Heroes was not released yet when this survey was conducted, so it won’t be fully counted until next year.

Again, things are cut off a bit but you can make most of these games out. This is also where things get interesting. While Majora’s Mask is one of the top 3 played games, The Wind Waker was actually beaten by a higher percentage of participants. Interestingly enough, Majora’s Mask was beaten by the same percentage of people who beat Four Swords, one of the least played games. You can make a lot of other interesting observations between the played and beaten game charts.

100%ing a game is not something everyone likes doing, as you can see that no game crosses the 50% threshold. What i find interesting on this list is that while Ocarina of Time 3D has been out longer and beaten by more people, Majora’s Mask 3D has actually been 100%ed more.

The most interesting thing I see here is that setting aside remakes, A Link Between Worlds is the most favored handheld game.

There is a lot of information to process here. In general, most Zelda games are rated pretty highly by those that played them.

Now this one is interesting. Story is clearly the most important aspect for many, which is interesting since the series wasn’t founded on story. Exploration being second is more obvious, but not all the Zelda games focus on it. Characters are also apparently more important than Puzzles, which is more im

portant than Combat. World Building falls in last place. This may explain some of the rift between the developers and the fans. Shikata has stated that puzzles are one of the most important aspects of the series and Eiji Aonuma and his team have focused more on gameplay elements over everything else. It appears if adults are to be more satisfied by future titles, they need a ton of exploration (Zelda U seems to be hitting on this), but also tell a really good story with interesting characters.

It’s no surprise Twilight Princess ranks so high. What is surprising however is that Zelda U’s art style ranks really high as well. Has it potentially reached that happy medium Skyward Sword tried to achieve?

This one surprised me a little. Often talk of voice acting gets met with heavy backlash, but only 26% of participants are actually opposed to it. This sounds like Nintendo could definitely try it out with most willing to accept it.

Noting this is about a Zelda game starring a girl and not a female Link, it’s interesting seeing that most people would play it.

Now here in lies where the controversy really stands. While a majority don’t seem to mind it, 40% are vehemently opposed to Link having a gender option.

There are some that feel the series should start anew in a sense – break free from the timeline. However, 47% of fans are opposed to such an idea. This could be a tough sell if it ever comes to pass.

It would seem that freedom is something most Zelda fans desire, though they’d like some nudges in the right direction.

No surprises. Spin offs appeal to a smaller crowds than typical games.

It appears standard controls are probably the best way to go to appease most, but the other options have their fans.

3D is vastly more popular than any other style, though most are good with any of them.

This was a bit unexpected, but in general most of the Zelda fan base seems to at least vaguely care about the Timeline.

No surprise Dungeons is #1, but it is interesting that many would like to see all the various ways used combined into a single experience.

This data is obviously not up to date with Tri Force Heroes, but this will be an interesting point to track next year in comparison.

We know the game is currently slated for 2016. Still, I don’t see many changing their 2017 predictions. Delays happen. Interesting so many are confident in a first half the year release, though.

This is almost an unfair question to the NX, as we don’t even know what it is. Redoing this question next year after we know some details about may change more minds. Will be interesting tracking this again in 2016.

Twilight Princess’s world really left an impression it appears.

The follow questions and answers relate to Zelda Informer. Nintendo, if you’re reading this you can safely ignore the following questions and responses.

No surprises here, other than the wiki responses. We’ll have to really focus on improving it over time.

We’re happy to report that some of these desires have been addressed, at least partially. We’ve reduced the number of ads and made them no longer break our mobile layout, we’ve released a brand new layout that works flawlessly on mobile (as far as were aware, at least), our daily debates have gotten a lot more engagement lately, suggestion we improved topics… and our walkthroughs quality has increased. We still have a ways to go for other things desired here, but we’ll get there some day.

We’ve actually nixed the idea of patreon, though we haven’t abandoned the idea entirely of letting folks “subscribe” to ZI, giving them access to a layout built specifically to not have ads in it. We obviously are not fond of ads in general, but we recognize that we can’t continue to do what we do as well as we do without it. In fact, without income I probably couldn’t afford the time to work on ZI, even though I love this site so much. We’re still exploring options on this, but for now nothing is changing.

That’s a Wrap

As we promised from the get go, we’ll be sending this post off to Nintendo. We obviously can’t guarantee they will read it, but we sincerely hope they do. They love fan feedback, even if they don’t always take it to heart. The goal of this new yearly survey is purely informational. You are free to use the information from this poll to create any sort of analytical based work you please at any other outlet that you please. We simply ask that you source the information back to this post. We’ll see you again next year for the 2016 Ultimate Zelda Survey. Banner art is by Anubis2kx.

Prior Ultimate Fan Surveys:

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