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Zelda Toys

The Legend of Zelda 30th Anniversary – Celebrate with Us

February 21, 2016, marks the 30-year anniversary of the Japanese release of The Legend of Zelda. We here at Retrovolve are longtime fans of the franchise, and we wanted to find a fitting way to celebrate such a milestone with our staff and readers. So we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite Zelda-related things we’ve published and we thought it’d be fun to share those. You’ll find them below in no particular order. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Is a Beautiful, Profound Masterpiece Josh Wirtanen explains why he thinks The Wind Waker is one of the best video games ever made, looking at the art, story, and emotional impact of the game. Read it here. A Link to the Past and the Mystery of Link’s Missing Pants Mandi Odoerfer explores the instruction manual art of the Zelda series to get to the bottom of a strange mystery: Where are Link’s pants?…
famicom controller ii

The Japanese Version of The Legend of Zelda Used Voice Commands

When comparing the NES and Famicom versions of The Legend of Zelda, you’ll notice all kinds of little differences. In the North American version, the Zora sprite was more defined, making them much easier to find and fight. The Japanese version had much clearer hints, and wasn’t afraid to use words like “kill.” But while edits like these are par for the course, the Famicom version included some features that made localization a real challenge. While the Famicom’s first-player controller was fairly similar to its American counterpart, the second-player controller had a completely unique feature: a built-in microphone. It functioned similarly to the microphone on the Nintendo DS; it could pick up sounds and would react when it was blown into. …
Retrovolve - A Link to the Past

How a French Version of A Link to the Past Improved My Relationship with My Fiancée

When I first moved in with my fiancée, she lived in a small, two-bedroom apartment that just fit her and her kids, so we had to move some things around to make room for my stuff. This is how we happened upon an SNES and some games she had forgotten she’d had. Most of the games were clearance-bin fodder, but one of them was the French version of Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It played perfectly fine on a North-American SNES; the text was just was written entirely in French. By that point in my life, I knew the story of A Link to the Past well enough that I didn’t need to read any of the text, and I also didn’t have an English copy of the game.…
pantless link

A Link to the Past and the Mystery of Link’s Missing Pants

Long ago, in the halcyon days of pixels and wired controllers, an instruction manual was a treasure. Within its pages, you could discover tantalizing tidbits of backstory, admire beautiful character art, and pick up all kinds of useful gameplay tips. But while perusing these manuals was often a joy, they occasionally revealed more of a character than anyone wanted to see. In the instruction manual for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Link wears a tunic, and nothing more. There are no flesh-colored leggings, no modesty-protecting shorts, and no attempts to keep undergarments covered. Whether he’s smashing a pot, swinging a sword, or simply sitting under a tree, he consistently throws caution to the wind. An aversion to dungarees is a strange trait for an adventurer, but what really makes Link stand out is his exhibitionism.…
Links Awakening

The 3DS Lets Me Play Link’s Awakening Without Wasting Piles of AA Batteries

I’ve always had a very special place in my heart reserved exclusively for my admiration for The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. I spent an enormous chunk of time back in 1998 (or was it 1999?) playing it on a Game Boy Color I borrowed off some kid whose mother dated my dad for a bit. However, I never got to finish Link’s Awakening, and that fact has haunted me for over 15 years now. See, I never got an AC adapter with the Game Boy I borrowed, so I was draining AA batteries at a rapid rate. Since I was only working a couple days a month at that point in my life (and still bouncing between my mom’s place and my dad’s place), I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on batteries.…
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Is a Beautiful, Profound Masterpiece

There are certain video games that are considered canon by many, titles that anyone who writes about video games should feel some obligation to fawn over. These are revolutionaries, the heavy hitters that really meant something to both the games industry and the gaming community, the standouts that left a lasting impression. I try to play as many of these as I can, and, for the most part, I tend to really enjoy them. There’s been one longstanding exception to this rule for me, however: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This is baffling and frustrating for me. I adore the Legend of Zelda series, and I respect Ocarina of Time for all of the revolutionary things it did for gaming as a medium.…
Zelda Wii U Field

IGN Has Called Every Mainline, 3D Zelda Title the Best Zelda Game Ever Made

I’m not always comfortable trying to predict whether an upcoming video game will be any good, especially if it’s something we know very little about. I learned my embarrassing little lesson with a game called Brink, which I paid very close attention to, watching and re-watching every trailer and gameplay video as they came out. This was being published by Bethesda, and all the videos looked awesome. How could it not be fantastic? I was salivating over Brink right up until launch, when I picked it up and put it back down just a couple hours later with a disappointed frown upon my face. And I don’t think I need to remind you about how disappointing Aliens: Colonial Marines was after all the hype it received in the months leading up to its completely disastrous release.…
The Legend of Zelda

8-Bit Memories: A Look Back at a Simpler Time

I’ve said in the past that I hate modern gaming. I’m slowly coming to realize that that’s not technically true. What I hate is the triple-A-style shooter and the “throw every type of gameplay into the game in hopes of getting a broad demographic” thought process behind so many of them. Over the years, video games have gotten more complex, which has allowed for some amazing feats. That doesn’t always mean they’re better, though. And sometimes, you just want to sit back with something simple. There’s a certain joy in many of the old, retro-style games that’s hard to match with today’s gaming. Games like Shovel Knight and DuckTales Remastered work hard to re-create it, and they do an admirable job of it.…
A Link to the Past

The Lore of The Legend of Zelda – Why Ignoring It Is Missing Out

When I was a child, there were three games I played for hours on end. Super Mario Bros., Mega Man, and The Legend of Zelda. The Mario franchise has stabilized into a familiar rut that it’ll never get out of, Mega Man as we knew it no longer exists except in a Kickstarter dream, and The Legend of Zelda has devolved away from the interesting, exploratory game it once was. I’m going somewhere with this. I promise. The thing about The Legend of Zelda is that it contains more background lore than any other Nintendo franchise. While one could argue that stuff from the Mario RPG games such as Legend of the Seven Stars and the Paper Mario series contain lore that should be used, by and large Nintendo doesn’t treat those games as mainstream releases.…
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Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
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Pokemon Nintendo Power
Nintendo Power Predicted a “Pokémon Trade War” in 1998