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The Legend of Zelda series
Link, the series' protagonist
The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo's most famous series, and one of the longest running series. A Zelda game has appeared on every Nintendo console, an accomplishment shared only with Mario. The games are adventure games that focus primarily on puzzle soving and exploration. The only game to radically break from the normal style was Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, which was a sidescrolling game with experience points typical of most Role-Playing Games. Actually, all titles in the series feature every (Japanese) role-playing element except for experience points.

The games generally revolve around a young adventurer, Link, and his quest to save the land from an evil force (usually Ganon). Traditionally Link would fight his nemesis Ganon at the end, and have to save Princess Zelda at some point. In modern games, Zelda has become less of a damsel in distress and has taken a more active role in fighting evil.

Featured guide
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is an action-adventure game that returns the series to its roots with gameplay resembling the first The Legend of Zelda, while introducing new staples to the series. Link travels through many varied dungeons in his quest to restore order to Hyrule.
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Zelda Wiki
a Legend of Zelda encyclopedia that anyone can edit

Main series titles[edit]

Original title Localized title Year Systems and remakes
ゼルダの伝説 The Hyrule Fantasy
Legend of Zelda: The Hyrule Fantasy
The Legend of Zelda 1986 Globe.svg NES
Flag of Japan.svg SNES (BS The Legend of Zelda; fan translation)
リンクの冒険
Link's Adventure
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link 1987 Globe.svg NES
ゼルダの伝説 神々のトライフォース
Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 1991 Globe.svg SNES, GBA (within Four Swords)
Flag of Japan.svg SNES (BS Ancient Stone Tablets; fan translation)
ゼルダの伝説 夢をみる島
Legend of Zelda: Dream Island
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening 1993 Globe.svg GB, GBC (Deluxe)
ゼルダの伝説 時のオカリナ
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 1998 Globe.svg N64, NGC & 3DS (Master Quest)
ゼルダの伝説 ムジュラの仮面
Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 2000 Globe.svg N64, 3DS
ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 ~大地の章~
Legend of Zelda: Mysterious Seeds ~Chapter of Time Space~
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages 2001 Globe.svg GBC
ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 ~時空の章~
Legend of Zelda: Mysterious Seeds ~Chapter of Earth~
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons 2001 Globe.svg GBC
ゼルダの伝説 4つの剣
Legend of Zelda: Four Swords
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords 2002 Globe.svg GBA
ゼルダの伝説 風のタクト
Legend of Zelda: Tact of Wind
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker 2003 Globe.svg NGC, Wii U
ゼルダの伝説 4つの剣+
Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Plus
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures 2004 Globe.svg NGC
ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎのぼうし
Legend of Zelda: Mysterious Cap
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap 2005 Globe.svg GBA
ゼルダの伝説 トワイライトプリンセス
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2006 Globe.svg NGC, Wii, Wii U
ゼルダの伝説 夢幻の砂時計
Legend of Zelda: Illusion Hourglass
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass 2007 Globe.svg NDS
ゼルダの伝説 大地の汽笛
Legend of Zelda: Train Whistle of the Wide World
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 2009 Globe.svg NDS
ゼルダの伝説 スカイウォードソード
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 2012 Globe.svg Wii
ゼルダの伝説 神々のトライフォース2
Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods 2
The Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds 2013 Globe.svg 3DS
ゼルダの伝説 トライフォース3銃士
Legend of Zelda: The Three Triforce Musketeers
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes 2015 Globe.svg 3DS

Timelines[edit]

Original timeline[edit]

  • Official name: Hyrule's decline and the last hero

The first four legends of Zelda belong to the same timeline, without any doubt:

After that, the 5th Legend of Zelda (Ocarina of Time) openly contradicted the story of Link's childhood as told in the 3rd one. It created a continuity problem, thus setting the base for a different timeline.

Years later, more games belonging to this first timeline were released:

Central timeline[edit]

  • Official names:
    • Legend of the gods and the hero of time (up to the events of Ocarina of Time)
    • The dark world and the hero's descendants (after the events of Ocarina of Time)
    • Child era (after the events of Ocarina of Time)

In 1998, the 5th Legend of Zelda created a chronology problem that received an official answer only thirteen years later, in 2011. With Ocarina of Time, the chronology of the various legends of Zelda splits in three: the #Last hero timeline above, this "central" timeline, and the #New world timeline below.

The following legends belong to this central timeline, before and after the "three-fork":

  • Legends featuring the magical Ocarina:
    • 5. Ocarina of Time: it tells how the desert raider Ganondorf turned into the monstruous Ganon.
    • 6. Majora's Mask: a direct sequel to the 5th Legend of Zelda.
  • Legends featuring the Four Sword and Vaati:
  • 12. Twilight Princess: set after Majora's Mask.
  • 15. Skyward Sword: set before Ocarina of Time and The Minish Cap.

New world timeline[edit]

  • Official names:
    • The hero of wind and a new world
    • Adult era

In 2003, the 9th Legend of Zelda ("The Wind Waker") openly contradicted both the 3rd and 5th legends of Zelda about the childhood of Link and the origins of Ganondorf. It was the start of a new timeline.

Future timeline[edit]

The 18th Legend of Zelda (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) is officially set long, long after all known legends. In fact, it includes references to all the three timelines above.

  1. Prequel = sequel (released later) taking place in a previous time.