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ENGL 3110C Week 2 The Influence of "The Legend of Zelda" as a Video Game Franchise


Many of us have experienced the thrill of exploration and heroism during our childhood. We would embark on imaginary adventures, envisioning ourselves as heroes in our own world. This sense of heroism and the desire to help others remains within us, regardless of how life has shaped us. This essay argues that “The Legend of Zelda” video game franchise embodies this inner heroism and is undoubtedly the best video game series to date.

Origins and Concept:

The initial concept for “The Legend of Zelda” came from the imagination of Shigeru Miyamoto, who drew inspiration from his experiences exploring the Kyoto countryside. Miyamoto’s adventures in bamboo forests and mountainsides as a child shaped the world of “The Legend of Zelda,” which he created as an adult in the form of the 1986 classic (Sheff, 1993). With the rise of video games as a new form of entertainment, Miyamoto introduced Link, the elfish-looking hero, who became the unexpected hero the world needed.

A World of Exploration:

What sets “The Legend of Zelda” apart is the expansive and immersive world of Hyrule, the iconic setting in each game. This fantastical yet familiar world mirrors our own, with diverse landscapes such as forests, deserts, mountains, and oceans. Each area is intricately crafted with unique races and cultures (Gombos et al., 2016). From the Gorons in the mountains to the Zora in the waters, Hyrule’s inhabitants contribute to the depth and richness of the world. As players control Link, they become explorers, uncovering the secrets and mysteries hidden in each corner of Hyrule.

ENGL 3110C Week 2 The Influence of “The Legend of Zelda” as a Video Game Franchise

Becoming the Hero:

One of the most captivating aspects of “The Legend of Zelda” is the player’s ability to assume the role of Link, the silent and strong warrior. Inspired by the story of Peter Pan, players guide Link through the world of Hyrule, making decisions and forming personal relationships with other characters (Audureau, 2012). The player becomes the legendary “Hero of Time,” choosing to wield the sword and shield to stand up against the forces of evil. With each new game, players have the opportunity to experience a new version of Link, making each playthrough a unique and personal journey (Gombos et al., 2016). ENGL 3110C Week 2 The Influence of “The Legend of Zelda” as a Video Game Franchise

Advancements in Quality and Technology:

Throughout its history, “The Legend of Zelda” series has evolved, embracing advancements in technology to create more immersive and epic tales of heroism. From its humble beginnings as a 2D pixelated adventure, the series has transformed into a three-dimensional world, allowing players to traverse lands on horseback, sail across vast oceans, and even take to the skies (Gombos et al., 2016). These advancements serve to immerse players further into the world of Hyrule, enabling them to truly feel like the heroes that the realm needs.

Impact and Influence:

“The Legend of Zelda” has left an indelible mark on the world of video games and storytelling. Over its 37-year history, the franchise has taken players on unimaginable adventures and provided a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Each achievement and triumph in the games is not only attributed to Link but to the players themselves. By invoking the inner hero within each of us, “The Legend of Zelda” inspires players to explore, overcome challenges, and bring light to the darkness around them. It continues to be a beacon of inspiration for future generations of gamers and storytellers (Finnegan, 2016).


“The Legend of Zelda” stands as an exceptional video game franchise, representing the essence of heroism and exploration. ENGL 3110C Week 2 The Influence of “The Legend of Zelda” as a Video Game Franchise


Audureau, W. (2012, November 1). Miyamoto, La Wii U et le secret de la Triforce. Gamekult. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from https://www.gamekult.com/actualite/miyamoto-la-wii-u- Et-le-secret-de-la-triforce105550.html Finnegan, L. (2016, February 27). How the legend of zelda changed video games. The Escapist. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from https://www.escapistmagazine.com/how-the-legend-of- zelda-changed-video-games/ Gombos, M., Moriki, T., Plechl, H., Sivasubramanian, K., Tanner, A., Thomas, J., & Himekawa, A. (2016). The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia. Dark Horse Books. Sheff, D. (1993). Game over: Nintendo’s Battel to dominate an industry. Hodder & Stoughton.

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