The Legend of Zelda (video game)

From West Elmira Computers Museum
The Legend of Zelda
Developer Nintendo R&D4
Publisher Nintendo
Systems FDS, Game & Watch, GameCube, GBA, 3DS, NES, NES Classic Edition, Wii, Wii U
Released Famicom Disk System
JP: February 21, 1986
Nintendo Entertainment System
NA: July 1987
NA (Animal Crossing): December 14, 2001
NA (Collector's Edition): November 17, 2003
Game Boy Advance
JP: February 14, 2004
JP (Virtual Console): December 2, 2006
Nintendo 3DS
JP (Virtual Console): December 22, 2011
Wii U
JP (Virtual Console): August 28, 2013
NES Classic Edition
NA: November 10, 2016
Nintendo Switch
WW (Nintendo Switch Online): October 10, 2018
Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda
WW: November 12, 2021
Added to
GameCube (Animal Crossing): January 20, 2003
GameCube (Collector's Edition): December 25, 2003
NES Classic Edition: June 22, 2017
Famicom Mini: August 10, 2017
G&W: The Legend of Zelda: November 29, 2021

The Legend of Zelda was first released for the Family Computer Disk System by Nintendo in 1986. It started one of Nintendo's most popular series, The Legend of Zelda series. As such, it was brought to most of Nintendo's subsequent systems, either as ports or through emulation.


Zelda, the princess of the Kingdom of Hyrule, heard that an army was coming to steal the Triforce of Wisdom, so she broke it into eight pieces and scattered them throughout Hyrule to keep its power from the army's leader, Ganon.

Ganon kidnapped Princess Zelda, however, a young man named Link learned what had happened from Zelda's maid, Impa, and set out to restore the Triforce of Wisdom and to rescue Zelda.


The Legend of Zelda was directed and designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. Miyamoto produced the game and Tezuka wrote the story and script.

Versions of the game

As one of Nintendo's most popular titles, The Legend of Zelda has been brought to many different systems, both through traditional game ports and through emulation.

It was first released for the Family Computer Disk System in 1986. It then was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. Next, it was released on cartridge for the Family Computer in 1994 as Hyrule Fantasy: The Legend of Zelda 1.

The Legend of Zelda was included as an unlockable item in the 2002 GameCube game, Animal Crossing. It can be unlocked in all regions with a code entered using an Action Replay device.

The game was then released on the GameCube in 2003 as part of The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition and was ported to the Game Boy Advance as part of the Classic NES Series in 2004. An emulated version of the NES version was released for the Virtual Console on Wii in 2006. It was released on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in 2011, and on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2013.

The Legend of Zelda was also included as one of the 30 games in the NES Classic Edition miniature video game console, that emulated NES games and resembled a miniature NES, in 2016.

It was included in 2018 as part of the NES games for the Switch Online service. A version of the NES game with several powerups enabled from the beginning was released as The Legend of Zelda: Living the Life of Luxury! was also included as part of the NES games for the Switch Online service.

The NES version was included in Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda, which was released worldwide in 2021.