This Day in Video Game History – August 22nd, 1987 – The Legend of Zelda Released

It was the start of what would be one of Nintendo’s most iconic video game series, and it all began, in the United States at least, on August 22nd, 1987.

Developed by Nintendo and released in Japan in 1986, the Legend of Zelda follows the adventures of Link. Link aims to rescue Princess Zelda and collect the fragments of the mystical Triforce while on a quest to defeat the villainous Ganon.

the legend of zelda box

Developed by Nintendo and released in Japan in 1986, the Legend of Zelda follows the adventures of Link. Link aims to rescue Princess Zelda and collect the fragments of the mystical Triforce while on a quest to defeat the villainous Ganon. Courtesy: Nintendo

The game employed a top-down perspective and the player guided link through scrolling screens to find items, solve puzzles, trek through dungeons and defeat enemies.

In Japan, the game was released on the Famicom Disc System, but in the US, it was released as a regular cartridge on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was the first game on a major video game console to employ a battery for saving data.

The Legend of Zelda would see a sequel on the original Nintendo, and later became a full-fledged series, spawning several acclaimed sequels such as The Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64.

the legend of zelda gameplay

An example of gameplay inside a dungeon in the original The Legend of Zelda. Courtesy: Nintendo

The series continues to this day, with Zelda releases in the works for both the WiiU and 3DS consoles.

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