Legend of Zelda series
Group DescriptionLegend of Zelda (often referred to as simply Zelda) is a series of games by Nintendo that traditionally combine action-based gameplay with puzzle-solving and light role-playing elements. The games are set in a magical, medieval fantasy-like land of Hyrule, and for the most part feature at least three recurrent characters: the protagonist, a young boy named Link; the titular princess Zelda, whose rescue is usually the goal of the game; and the antagonist, an evil magician known as Ganon or Ganondorf.
The first game in the series, The Legend of Zelda (1986), was notable for adding extensive exploration and problem-solving in a vast game world to the action genre. The game was instrumental in paving the path for the birth of the so-called "action-adventures", and also influenced the development of action role-playing games. Further installments followed and expanded upon its formula. Early games usually had a top-down perspective (with the notable exception of the side-scrolling The Adventure of Link (1987), which also was the only game with true RPG elements in the series); later, Ocarina of Time (1998) made a shift to 3D for the series.
Zelda games are known for their character management, which lends a RPG-like flavor to the games. Link can equip weapons and armor, buy and sell items, visit towns, and talk to non-player characters. Link's abilities can be enhanced, and attributes raised; this is done by finding specific items that affect these attributes or by advancing the plot rather than by gathering experience points and leveling up.
Dungeons in Zelda games commonly contain various traps that the player has to overcome by using Link's items and abilities, in a light puzzle-solving fashion. The games often contain many secrets and optional areas, which may bestow benefits upon the protagonist but are not required to discover in order to complete the game.
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Front cover for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Front cover for The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
Front cover for The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
Front cover for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Front cover for The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition
Screenshot from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Screenshot from The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
Screenshot from The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
Screenshot from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
Screenshot from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past/Four Swords