The Legend of Zelda

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The Legend of Zelda
DeveloperNintendo R&D4
SystemsFDS, NES, GameCube, GBA, Wii, 3DS, Wii U, NES Classic Edition
ReleasedFDS: February 21, 1986
NES: July 1987
GC Animal Crossing: December 14, 2001
GC Collector's Edition: November 17, 2003
GBA: February 14, 2004
Wii Virtual Console: December 2, 2006
3DS Virtual Console: December 22, 2011
Wii U Virtual Console: August 28, 2013
NES CE: November 10, 2016
Switch Online: October 10, 2018
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

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.