The Legend of Zelda Memories

The Legend of Zelda Memories

Reflect on your adventures in Hyrule

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Round Tables on

Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda franchise has been around a long time so let's share our favourite memories about this remarkable series.

Photo of A.J.'s The Legend of Zelda game collection
So many amazing Zelda games...

The Legend of Zelda A.J.

My fondest memories of The Legend of Zelda series are of the very first NES game. I was about 5 years old when I was introduced to it and it captured my imagination unlike anything else. The fact that you simply begin the game with little explanation then it's up to you to figure out where to go or what to do next offered a level of freedom that I've never experienced in a video game. Then, learning secrets from my schoolmates, siblings, and Nintendo Power magazine took the adventure to new heights as every found item, mastered dungeon, and discovered area felt amazing. I was so obsessed with it that I made my own sword and shield out of wood and painted the shield similar to Link's. The Legend of Zelda series has expanded in some astounding ways yet my heart will always be with the original.

A.J.'s profile The Legend of Zelda vs. The Adventure of Link
Photo of The Legend of Zelda for NES with map and instructions
That map sure was handy when I was a kid!

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time RC

It was autumn 1998 and I could think of nothing except for playing the upcoming Ocarina of Time. It was nearly all I talked about and I'm sure my family was sick of hearing me jabber on about how realistic it looked and how fun it was going to be to ride my horse around Hyrule. On the day it released, I was sad because I was still saving up money to buy it. I had also been to our local video game rental place that day but all of their copies were already claimed. It didn't look like I would be saving the day as Link any time soon...

That night, I was in my room and my dad called out to me. When I walked into the living room, he said that there was a package for me. I scurried over to our front porch and saw a gigantic box so I dragged it inside and asked my parents "What is it?" and they apparently had no idea. So, I opened this large box to find it completely filled with packing peanuts and paper. I dug around inside and found nothing so I looked at my parents and informed them "It looks like it's empty!" then they said "Oh, no; I'm sure there is something in there." As they said that, I looked down and saw a golden Nintendo 64 game box; it was Ocarina of Time! I'm sure I yelled out something unintelligible and then grabbed the box. My mom had picked it up for me on her way home from work and they decided to play this trick on me so I thanked my parents profusely and then proceeded to play Ocarina of Time late into the night.

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time screenshot
These Cuccos are durable little critters, aren't they?

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Trey

Warning: early-game plot spoiler for A Link to the Past ahead!

Throughout my years of gaming, The Legend of Zelda is probably the biggest franchise that I've had the least exposure to. It wasn't a series that my parents ever bought for me and I didn't actually play my first Zelda game until I was about 12. In the nearly 20 years since, I've played almost every Zelda game ever produced although I haven't beaten every one of them yet. There have been plenty of moments that blew me away and are forever burned into my memory. From the death of Link's uncle in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past to my first look at Hyrule in Breath of the Wild, the number of times the franchise widened my eyes with wonder and put a smile on my face are too numerous to count. However, there is one moment that stands out above all others and it's relatively small.

The first Legend of Zelda game that I ever played dedicatedly was The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. As such, it contains many of my favorite moments but oddly enough, the one that really sucked me in was the opening title screen. To those who may not remember, The Wind Waker opens with a shot of the ocean before slowly zooming in on the island Link calls home then pans to him looking out to the sea. The camera then turns and begins going out to the sea itself, giving us an idea of its vastness; all the while playing an incredible song that will never leave your head. Everything about this opening fully engrossed me in the world I was about to explore. It's bright, colorful, magical, and full of optimism despite the things you will eventually encounter. Also, the music puts you in the headspace that you are about to go on a magnificent adventure and it makes me smile every time I hear it.

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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Mary

I remember playing The Wind Waker HD on Wii U. It took advantage of the Wii U GamePad in a number of clever ways such as providing easy access to your inventory and allowing you to control the bow with the gyroscope. This is something that I actually miss with Switch; the ability to play a game on the big screen and have an extra peripheral in your hands with a screen on it to make the gameplay more immersive. Also, the graphics are very colourful which made every new island that I visited a delight to explore.

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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker screenshot
Link always looks surprised whenever he uses his baton

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Alex

Warning: major plot spoilers for Skyward Sword ahead!

I played most of the Zelda games and the series is filled with stunning locations, clever puzzles, cool dungeons, and much more. So, it's hard to choose a favorite moment but it's probably when I finished Skyward Sword in 2012. The ending had such a strong impact on me as having finally defeated Demise, the demon king (a visually-stunning fight, by the way); I watched Link reunite with Zelda then say goodbye to his buddy Fi and Zelda say bye to her friend Impa only to reunite in the future. Heck, even watching Groose celebrate was heartwarming. I had so much fun playing Skyward Sword and I remember thinking it was the best Zelda game of all time. Flying around the sky on your Loftwing was awesome, the sword combat was on-point thanks to Wii Motion Plus, and I still prefer its visual style over all the other Zelda games. The Lanayru Mining Facility is probably my favorite Zelda dungeon, too, because of its puzzles and technology.

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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword screenshot
Answering anything other than Great! would be mean...

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Ross

My first time playing Breath of the Wild, I was so blown away by the atmosphere that I wanted to live in its world for as long as possible. Knowing that if I beat the game, it would be over; I tried to play it to 100% completion. My favorite surprise was finding Eventide Island which triggers a challenge that requires you to do a short quest without any gear. I feel strongly that this moment perfectly encapsulates everything I love about Breath of the Wild as there I was, sailing around while trying to find all the shrines and Korok Seeds when I stumbled upon this strange quest that was unlike anything else in the game. It required me to change how I played and I loved that challenge despite how many times I had to retry. I recently watched a streamer beat the entire challenge without stepping foot on the island which just goes to show how much freedom and possibility Breath of the Wild offers. I don't have a lot of experience with The Legend of Zelda series but I still think about that challenge sometimes and it always makes me want to play it again.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild screenshot
What adventures await Link and his trusty steed?

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For now, what is your favourite memory of The Legend of Zelda series? Let us know in the comments below!

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