Cary’s 25th Anniversary Zelda Blog!

In honor of The Legend of Zelda’s 25th Anniversary, and the release of Skyward Sword, here a special tribute blog with some of my Zelda favorites.

Cary’s Top 4 Favorite Zelda Games

Why 4? Well, maybe it’s in honor of Four Swords. Or maybe because I was too lazy to think of a definitive five. I’ll let you decide.

Link’s Awakening (GBC)

Before this game, I wasn’t very impressed with the old black and white (and green) Game Boy. Link’s Awakening was the first game to make me realize there was a market in handheld gaming. So it was an ‘awakening’ for me, too. I also liked how you could do nearly everything you could in the SNES Link to the Past, except in a more compact form. Every square inch of the game felt like it had a purpose. No wasted space. Other treats for me included a unique story, neat island setting, and a more lighthearted feel to the game. If you have a 3DS, you can download this one, and I highly recommend it.

The Legend of Zelda (NES)

It wasn’t Mario that sold me on buying a NES, but Zelda. What impressed me most about the first Zelda game is that you could save and come back to it later (without passwords). That was unheard of back then. I also like the nonlinear feel of the first game. With a few exceptions, you could tackle any dungeon you wanted. I wish recent Zelda games would let you do that, but I can understand why they don’t. And like Pac-Man, NES Zelda is a game I never get tired of playing.

Link to the Past (SNES)

Since the SNES was so vastly superior to the NES, nearly every scene in Link to the Past was memorable. Running in the rain at the beginning, saving Zelda first instead of last, and then finally making it out of the castle sewers and opening the doors at the church to a sunny sky and an orchestra version of the classic overworld theme. That’s a gaming moment right there. Plus it was nice to see Zelda go back to its roots after Zelda 2’s departure. And you know, nearly every puzzle in the dungeons here has been reused and revisited as the basis for the puzzles in even the modern Zelda games.

Four Swords Adventures (GameCube)

I know some may not consider this a TRUE Zelda game, but it’s my blog and I don’t care and I say it is. Even though it was cumbersome with the GBA and link cables, Four Swords is one of the most fun I’ve had with a multiplayer game. I wish that Nintendo would revisit the idea with a Four Swords sequel on the 3DS; although I am glad they let you download the GBA one for free with added content!

Honorable Mentions:

You might’ve noticed that all my favorite Zelda games are 2-D and top down viewed. That’s how I like my Zeldas. But the 3-D ones aren’t bad either. I’m one of the fans of Wind Waker’s art style, and always have been. Spirit Tracks was fun, too, as you could play as Zelda (sort of), and the train was like having your own miniature locomotive to play with. And yes, I do like Ocarina of Time like everyone else does, too. Oracle of Seasons/Ages was also great, but they just felt like extensions of Link’s Awakening.

Cary’s Top 4 Least Favorite Zelda Games

OK, before I get started with this list, I wanted to make something clear. I don’t HATE these games. They’re not bad at all. They are just my least favorite of the bunch for one reason or another. And no I’m not counting the CDi Zelda games. I never played them and Nintendo doesn’t seem to count them either (for good reason, probably).

Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link (NES)

I know a lot of people like this one the best, so please don’t get mad at me. As I said earlier, I like my Zeldas to be top down viewed in 2-D. So the sidescrolling approach was not appealing to me. It was like Mario with a sword. Plus it was too darn hard. But even though I didn’t enjoy playing it, I did, however, enjoy watching my friend play and helping him navigate back in the day.

Majora’s Mask (N64)

Here’s another one that a lot of people like the best. And I can understand why. It’s by far the darkest Zelda game out there. Seeing Young Link writhe in pain when he puts on a mask and transforms still creeps me out! I just didn’t like some of the design choices in this one with the whole time limit thing. I will say that even though there are only four dungeons, they are some of the cleverest and best designed Zelda dungeons out there. You thought the Water Temple in Ocarina was hard? Wait’ll you try the Water Temple in this one!

Twilight Princess (Wii)

Again, not a bad game at all. It’s just that some parts, especially near the beginning, were tedious at best and horrible at worst. Plus, usually graphics don’t bother me, but the visuals in this game were so brown and muddy and smeary that it made it hard sometimes to see where you can walk! I’m SO glad that Skyward Sword went with a more colorful approach. Plus, TP didn’t really do anything much better than Ocarina.

Minish Cap (GBA)

Yes this game was fun, and I liked how the story explained the origins of the Four Sword. But I beat the game in a weekend. I don’t mind short, easy games, but you shouldn’t be able to beat a Zelda game that quickly. Plus I was disappointed that Link’s Awakening was a better game even though Minish Cap was on a superior console. But maybe I should give Minish Cap another chance?

Cary’s Top 4 Favorite Zelda Characters

Over the years, Zelda games have brought us some memorable characters. Here’s my favorites.

Princess Zelda

Peach just lets Bowser kidnap her every time without putting up much of a fight (except in some cases like the Paper Marios). But Zelda always DOES something important before being captured. She’s a ninja in Ocarina, fights with you in spirit in Spirit Tracks, and even sacrifices her own life energy to save Midna in Twilight Princess. Heck, even in the first Zelda game, she’s the one who split the Triforce into 8 pieces so Ganon couldn’t get to them. Miyamoto said himself that he chose the name Zelda because it sounded like a strong name to match a strong woman, and I appreciate that. She was even cool in the cartoon. Plus, in Twilight Princess, Zelda was kind of pretty, too. For a video game character anyway. In a future game, I wish they would let you play as Zelda instead of Link. Don’t you think that would be a neat idea?

Princess Agatha

She’s further proof that there is lead in the Hyrulian water system. When you collect golden bugs, you give them to her and she gives you goodies in return. But she’s just so WEIRD about it. She’s hosting a dancing ball for these bugs, and makes up songs for each one. She’s clearly insane. And if you leave her house without giving her all your bugs, she’ll growl and mutter under her breath “I know you still have bugs.” Creepy!


Everyone hates this guy, but I think he’s hilarious. He’s so disturbing, but like a train wreck, you can’t keep your eyes off him. In Japan, he even starred in a couple of DS games I wish I could play. Well, OK, I DO NOT want to play the Tingle dating game. But the other two look neat. One is a remake of Balloon Fight (or Balloon Kid) with Tingle in it. It’s the other one that I REALLY want to play. It’s called Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland, and it even has dungeons and everything. But your goal is to amass a huge sum of money, so it’s like Zelda meets Wario Land. Nintendo brought this game over to Europe, so I know there is an English version. I’m just not as familiar with how to import games from Europe rather than Japan.

Pig Monster Ganon

I never really liked Ganondorf as a green guy. Blue Pig Monster Ganon is cooler and meaner and scarier. I’m always happy to see them make reference to Pig Monster Ganon in the final boss fights, which they usually do.

Honorable Mentions:

There are lots of other neat characters, too. In the old games, Zelda’s attendant Impa was an old lady, but in Ocarina, she was a strong bodyguard-like woman, which I thought was cool. The guy who ran the mini-games with the puppets in Wind Waker was pretty insanely funny. And the blue-haired lady who ran mini-games in Ocarina cracked me up because she was always falling asleep. Midna was also cool in both forms. I loved the expression on Link’s face when Midna transformed at the end of Twilight Princess. It looked like he was thinking, “Duuuuuuuhhhh…girl.”

Well that’s all I feel like talking about Zelda for now. In the comments section, let me know YOUR favorite Zelda games, least favorites, and your best characters, too. Or just make fun of my choices, I don’t care. Can’t wait to play Skyward Sword! Later! –Cary

7 Responses to “Cary’s 25th Anniversary Zelda Blog!”

  1. Great article! I liked reminiscing over the old Zelda games.

    Link’s Awakening is far and away my favorite. I think it managed to capture the sense that you had a lot of license with your time — with the depth of the side quests and hidden items/experiences, you never had to head straight to the next dungeon. I’ve still never played a game as much or as thoroughly as this one.

    My second favorite(s) are the Oracle games — I think because, like you said, they feel like extensions of Link’s Awakening, and I simply wanted more of it. They’re also creative with their weapons & items — there’re still a few weapons in those games that have yet to appear in any other games (seeds & seed shooter? rings?). Plus I still think they have the best music out of any of the games. I’d love to see a new Zelda game that caught some of the medieval feel that these two games have.

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