1001 Video GamesThe NES version of The Legend of Zelda appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
CartoonThe 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.
CartridgeThe Legend of Zelda was the first NES cartridge was released with a shiny gold colored plating, breaking away from the usual gray color.
CerealThe 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.
- 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.
Famicom Disk SystemIn 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
InnovationsIn the United States, The Legend of Zelda was the first NES cartridge to include a battery-backed save feature.
MicrophoneThe 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.
SalesAs of 2004, Legend of Zelda has sold eight million units.
Version differencesA 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.
- Electronic Gaming Monthly
- February 2006 (Issue #200) - #5 on the "Greatest Games of Their Time" list
- Game Informer
- August 2001 (Issue #100) - #1 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
- October 2004 (Issue #138) - One of the "Top 25 Most Influential Games of All Time"
- 2001 – #10 Top Game of All Time