Game Informer Magazine (Issue #138, Oct. 2004) named it one of the "Top 25 Most Influential Games of All Time".
It was named #5 out of 200 of the "Greatest Games of Their Time" by EGM Issue #200 (Feb. 2006).
The Legend of Zelda was popular enough to have a breakfast cereal based on the game called the "Nintendo Cereal System" and was co-packaged with Super Mario Bros. cereal. The sweetened corn bits were in the shape of Link, Link's shield, boomerang, key, and a heart.
The Legend of Zelda was popular enough to have a TV cartoon based on it in the late 1980s-early 1990s. It was part of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, and aired only on Fridays during its original run in the US.
The instruction manual says that Pols Voice -- an enemy in the game that looked like a ghost with large rabbit ears -- "hates loud noises", although the flute item has no effect on it. This text actually refers to a microphone which was built into the Famicom's controller, but was not included in the NES; blowing or shouting into the microphone killed these creatures.
In the United States, The Legend of Zelda
was the first NES cartridge to include a battery-backed save feature.
Famicom Disk System
In Japan, The Legend of Zelda
was the first original game released for the Famicom Disk System add-on, being the only launch title not previously released on cartridge. The Japanese cartridge version was not released until 1994, and was the very last first-party Famicom release. As there had been three sequels produced in the meantime, the cartridge version was titled The Legend of Zelda 1
to avoid confusion.
One of the settings of the Windows version allows you to change the title screen to the NES version.Information also contributed by FinalGMR and LepricahnsGold.
The Legend of Zelda was created by Shigeru Miyamoto, who also created Mario and Donkey Kong.
Link was named as such because of Shigeru Miyamoto's desire to "link" the player and the character together.
Zelda was named as such when Miyamoto learned that F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife was named Zelda. Feeling that the name was appropriate, the princess was named Zelda.
A modified version of the game, complete with updated graphics, a smaller overworld, and completely different dungeons was released in 1995 for the Satellaview, the Super Famicom's (Japanese Super Nintendo) Japanese-only satellite-based add-on.
Called BS Zelda (the 'BS' standing for Broadcast Satellaview), several sources from Japan allude to this as being intended as a "third quest", much like the second quest accessed via the secret code.
When the game was 'rebroadcast' in 1996, Nintendo changed the map layout again. This revision apparently had a smaller broadcast audience than before, and is known only as "~map2~". This second map could again be thought of as a "fourth quest". Additionally, Link was replaced by the Satellaview mascots: A boy who wore a backwards baseball cap, and a girl who had red hair.
The Legend of Zelda was the first NES cartridge was released with a shiny gold colored plating, breaking away from the usual gray color.
Since its release, Legend of Zelda has sold eight million units.
The Legend of Zelda was voted #1 in the Top 100 Games of All Time poll published by Game Informer Magazine (Issue 100, August 2001). Zelda edged out the original Super Mario Bros. to finish on top.