Happy 30th Birthday 'Legend of Zelda!' Here Are 30 Facts About The High-Fantasy Adventure Game

By Jan Dizon | Feb 22, 2016 03:38 AM EST

Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda franchise is the world's most popular video game next to Super Mario. Link is probably one of the gaming world's most recognizable heroes after the portly moustached plumber.

For the game's 30th anniversary on Feb. 21, 2016, here are 30 fun facts you might not have known about Shigeru Miyamoto's green, wooden sword-wielding, time-traveling, ocarina-playing hero.

1. Link's Sword

Link gets his wooden sword from an old man in the original game, but this was not included in the plot until much later in development. Originally, Link starts out with the cheap weapon already in his inventory but early game testers were confused with what to do with it.

2. Link Is A Lefty!

Well, at least most of the time, he is. The sword fighting hero was infamously turned into a righty in the Wii version of Twilight Princess because most gamers hold the Wiimote in their right hands.

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3. Which Is Which Zelda

Although she is mostly remembered as the Princess of Hyrule, Zelda has also had other characterizations. Zelda has also been portrayed as a ninja, a pirate, and as Link's childhood best friend.

4. Zelda Is F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife

Not just a fun tidbit for literary geeks, but gaming geeks also know that the character of Zelda was inspired by the wife of "The Great Gatsby" author, Zelda. Hence the same names.

5. Zelda Williams

Speaking of namesakes, the late actor Robin Williams was such a fan of the games that he even named his daughter after the character.

6. Robin Williams Scene

In fact, Williams was such a fan of the game that he wanted to sign on to play the voice on Ganondorf. The scene was, unfortunately, cut from the game and never filmed.

7. Link Speaks

Link has only ever spoken twice in the game. The first was when he says "Come on!" in Wind Waker and "Giddy up!" when he rides his horse, Epona, in The Twilight Princess.

8. I'm Zelda

If you enter your name as Zelda at the start of the original game, you can unlock a hidden level with new dungeons to explore that non-Zeldas can't access.

9. The Chris Houlihan Room

Another secret area to look for is the "Chris Houlihan Room" named after a lucky gamer who got to be immortalized in A Link to The Past after winning a contest sponsored by Nintendo Power. Subsequent versions of the game, however, remove Chris' name and simply refer to it as "Top Secret Room."

10. The Almost-Precursor To Minecraft

Originally, The Legend of Zelda was to be distributed on floppy discs to take advantage of the extra storage for users to design and create their own levels to save and share. But the idea was scrapped when Nintendo decided to go with cartridges instead.

11. Links' Link

Twilight Princess is the first ever Zelda game where two Links interact with each other. Thanks to the game's time-traveling themes, the Hero Shade is also the Hero of Time, the savior in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.

12. Time-traveling Links

Confused yet? The time paradox gets even more loopy when you consider that the first ever Legend of Zelda game is actually the last chronologically. It takes place in an alternate time dimension where Link was unable to defeat Ganon in Ocarina of Time.

13. Back Alley Back Story

If you don't quite know why Ganondorf and the king have so much conflict between them, find a back alley in Castle Town in Ocarina of Time and you'll find a dying soldier who will tell you all the details.

14. No Cheaters!

Nintendo dislikes cheating devices like GameShark. They even left an easter egg in Ocarina of Time of a shark trapped in a cage at the bottom of a lake.

15. Arwings Attack!

Also, if you enter a GameShark cheat code in Ocarina of Time, Arwings will immediately flock and attack you. Get the hint: No cheaters!

16. Gaming Glitch

That being said, you can actually beat the entire original game in half an hour just like Lackattack24. But you'd have to take advantage of a glitch in the game to do it.

17. Dungeon Protests

Jewish groups in the U.S. wanted to protest the original game's release because one of the dungeons was in the form of a swastika.

18. Zelda Dungeons

Other dungeon shapes in the original game could also be arranged to spell out Z-E-L-D-A.

19. Series Regular

Though the series bears the name of the Princess of Hyrule, Link is actually the character who has appeared in every single title of the video game franchise. Him and Octorok.

20. This Is Not The Link You're Looking For

In Wind Waker, however, the little boy who looks like Link is actually not him but a reincarnation of our hero.

21. What's In A Name

Nintendo's official stance on Link's name is that he is a link between the game and the players. However, the game plays with time travel and alternate universes also hint that Link is also THE link between all these worlds and eras to the past and future.

22. The Disney Connection

Link's green outfit was inspired by Disney's "Peter Pan".

23. Linked To "Twin Peaks"

The Legend of Zelda may be completely different from of off-kilter world of "Twin Peaks," created by David Lynch. But Link's Awakening was reportedly inspired by the series which featured memorable characters in a small community.

24. Gardening Game

The Legend of Zelda was inspired by nature. At the time, games like Donkey Kong and Super Mario Brothers were popular - where the game was all about beating the bad guys to save the princess. But Miyamoto wanted the game to allow gamers to indulge more in exploration just like he used to do in the woods outside his home when he was a child - making it a garden they could wander through that could fit in their gaming drawer.

25. Not In America

Because the original game pushed so many boundaries when it came to gaming, creators were reluctant to release it in the U.S. But they did and The Hyrule Fantasy was renamed to The Legend of Zelda.

26. No More Microphone

Another change from the original Japanese game was the exclusion of the microphone from game play. The U.S. versions of the console did not include a microphone so the Pols Voice rabbit ghost which is found in several dungeons had to be dealt with more traditionally rather than with the innovative use of making noise into the microphone to defeat it.

27. The Triforce Symbol

The three triangles in a triangle of the Triforce and present in every single Zelda game was inspired by a traditional Japanese emblem used by the Hōjō clan in Japan's 13th-14th century. It was called the Mitsuuroko or "the Three Dragon Scales."

28. The Music That Almost Wasn't

By now, Koji Kondo's score has become synonymous with The Legend of Zelda, however it almost wasn't to be. Originally, the creators wanted to use Ravel's Boléro as the game's theme but couldn't afford the rights.

29. High-Tech Fantasy

Originally, the Triforce pieces which Link collects were supposed to be micro-chips. Playing in even further to the theme of time travel and linking the high-fantasy of the past with a high-tech far future.

30. Down Voted

According to The Facts Site, "Navi, Link's companion in Ocarina of Time, has been voted the most annoying companion in gaming history."

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