The Legend of Zelda (Japanese: ゼルダの伝説 Hepburn: Zeruda no Densetsu?) is a high-fantasy action-adventure video game series created by Japanese game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. It is primarily developed and published by Nintendo, although some portable installments have been outsourced to Capcom, Vanpool, and Grezzo. The series’ gameplay incorporates elements of action, adventure, and puzzle-solving games.
The series centers on Link, the playable character and chief protagonist. Link is often given the task of rescuing Princess Zelda and the kingdom of Hyrule from Ganon, who is the principal antagonist of the series; however, other settings and antagonists have appeared in several titles. The games’ plots commonly involve a relic known as the Triforce, a set of three omnipotent golden triangles. The protagonist in each game is usually not the same incarnation of Link, but a few exceptions exist.
Since the original The Legend of Zelda was released in 1986, the series has expanded to include 18 entries on all of Nintendo’s major game consoles, as well as a number of spin-offs. An American animated TV series based on the games aired in 1989 and individual manga adaptations commissioned by Nintendo have been produced in Japan since 1997. The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo’s most prominent and successful franchises, selling over 75 million copies as of 2016.
Princess Zelda (Character)
Princess Zelda is the princess of Hyrule and the guardian of the Triforce of Wisdom. Her name is present in many of her female ancestors and descendants. While most titles require Link to save Zelda from Ganon, she sometimes plays a supporting role in battle, using magical powers and weapons such as Light Arrows to aid Link. With the exception of the CD-i games (which were not official Nintendo games), she was not playable in the main series until Spirit Tracks, where she becomes a spirit and can possess a Phantom Knight that can be controlled by the player. Zelda appears under various other aliases and alter egos, including Sheik (in Ocarina of Time) and Tetra (in The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass). In Skyward Sword, it is revealed that the Zelda of that game is a reincarnation of the goddess Hylia, whose power flows through the royal bloodline. Shigeru Miyamoto used the name “Zelda” from American novelist Zelda Fitzgerald.