Why The Legend of Zelda Endures
Posted Aug 26, 2018 by JordanH
The Legend of Zelda endures because of its simple storyline, unique graphical style in each game, innovative gameplay, and of course its fantasy elements.
The storyline in The Legend of Zelda has always been the same in every game (albeit with a slight change in character in certain games): Princess Zelda is captured by the evil Ganon, and only Link can save the day. But it endures. The idea that the gamer has to overcome the evil monster while saving the damsel in distress is many people's fantasy. To overcome the odds and prove you are capable of such feats is what drives many to keep purchasing Zelda titles. And no matter how many times a story is told in this way, it never gets tiring. This is because the formula works.
The graphical style is also unique to each game. From the top-down view of the classics to the cell-shaded ones of The Wind Waker, each Zelda game is instantly recognizable. This means replay factor is massively appealing to gamers, especially when nostalgia is involved. It's why games such as Call of Duty are so easily replaced and forgotten by fans: aside from the improvement of graphics quality, the style is still the same.
The Legend of Zelda is not like that. Each game's unique style adds to the individuality of it. This, in turn, means the game lives longer with the player. Which game do you think will live longer in your heart? A generic shooting game, or a game that has been designed with such care that you could instantly recognize it, with that recognition flooding the gamer with a multitude of emotions and memories from playing that game.
It would be a sin not to mention the new gameplay elements a Zelda game has always introduced. Whether it be in the form of new items, a new way to play the game (motion controls), an introduction to a new character, or a combination of all three, The Legend of Zelda has always stayed fresh.
Take, for example, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. It introduced motion controls, something that had only been half-implemented in Twilight Princess. It opened up new ways to use your sword, especially for puzzles, and it changed the way you could aim with the bow and arrow.
The Wind Waker introduced a new way of exploring: sailing. Although many were unsure of this at first, it became something many grew to love. Like the graphical style, particular gameplay elements are forever associated with a particular game, making each game unique to the series, securing its place in many a gamer's hearts.
And finally, the fantasy elements. Imagine being a child and playing in the woods. Now imagine there are dragons and fairies and other fantasy elements, and it now turns into a world of magic and happiness. That is what The Legend of Zelda does, and always has done: provide the gamer with that sense of wonder that makes you forget your problems and pulls you into a world you desire to live in. It truly is a wonderful thing.
This is why The Legend of Zelda endures.