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This is the first game in the The Legend of Zelda series. For other games in the series see the The Legend of Zelda category.

Box artwork for The Legend of Zelda.
Box artwork for The Legend of Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda
Developer(s)Nintendo EAD
Year released1986
System(s)Family Computer Disk System, NES, Game Boy Advance, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Nintendo Switch
Followed byZelda II: The Adventure of Link
SeriesThe Legend of Zelda
Japanese titleゼルダの伝説 or The Hyrule Fantasy: Zeruda no Densetsu
Designer(s)Shigeru Miyamoto
Koji Kondo
Takashi Tezuka
Toshihiko Nakago
ModesSingle player
Rating(s)CERO All agesESRB EveryonePEGI Ages 7+OFLC General
Neoseeker Related Pages
LinksThe Legend of Zelda at
The Legend of Zelda ChannelSearchSearch
Independent wikis with more information:

The Legend of Zelda is a groundbreaking action-adventure game developed by Shigeru Miyamoto. It was initially released in Japan for the Nintendo Famicom Disk System in February 21, 1986, where it propelled sales of the add-on to the core Famicom system. It was the fourth best-selling Famicom game released in 1986, selling approximately 1,690,000 copies in its lifetime. It was translated and brought to America one year later and proceeded to have the same influential effect on sales of the NES. In America, it was released as a cartridge, and was one of the first games ever to employ a battery backed up memory chip inside-which allowed players to save their progress, even after power to the system had been turned off. It is the first game in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series, whose games have a tremendous following to this day.

The game has been re-released in several formats over the years. In 1994, Nintendo released the game in cartridge format for the first time in Japan, towards the end of the Famicom's lifetime. In 1999, it was remade by fans to MS-DOS (and later Windows) as Zelda Classic, containing an editor. In 2003, the game was released for the Nintendo GameCube as part of The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition. In 2004, the game was released for the Game Boy Advance as part of the Classic NES Series. In 2006, the game was announced to be one of the first Wii Virtual Console titles. In 2011, it was available for download through the Nintendo eShop for use with the 3DS Virtual Console. In 2013, the eShop release was made available to the Wii U Virtual Console.


Long, long ago... the world was in the age of chaos.

Among this chaos, in the tranquil Kingdom of Hyrule, the legend of the Triforce – golden artifacts possessing untold mystical powers – was handed down over generations.

One day, a dark army attacked the peaceful kingdom and seized the Triforce of Power. This army was led by Ganon, a powerful warlock bent on reigning over a dynasty of fear and darkness. Fearing his nefarious designs on the throne, Zelda, the princess of Hyrule, split the Triforce of Wisdom into eight fragments and scattered them throughout the realm to keep them out of Ganon's reach. She then commanded her trustworthy nursemaid, Impa, to flee the castle and seek a champion with the courage to battle Ganon. Ganon, infuriated by the news of Impa's escape, imprisoned the princess and ordered a horde of henchmen to hunt down the elderly nursemaid.

Desperately running through forests and mountains, Impa eventually found herself surrounded by Ganon's underlings. She was certain all hope was lost, but a young lad appeared and saved her from a fate worse than death. The boy revealed that his name was Link. Grateful for his assistance, Impa told young Link the story of Princess Zelda's predicament and Ganon's vile grip on the kingdom. Upon hearing this heart-wrenching tale, Link vowed to save Zelda—but he knew that as long as Ganon held the Triforce of Power, he was a fearsome foe that would not be easily defeated. In order to vanquish him, Link would have to collect the scattered Triforce fragments and fuse them into the Triforce of Wisdom. Without the Triforce of Wisdom, Link would have no hope of slaying Ganon. Will Link fight his way to Death Mountain, destroy Ganon, and save Princess Zelda? Only you can determine the fate of Hyrule.

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