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The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda was the first game of the Legend of Zelda series of video games, made by Nintendo under the direction of game creator Shigeru Miyamoto. It was released on the Japanese Famicom system in 1985 and its western equivalent the NES in 1986. The music was composed by Koji Kondo.

The game is set in the earliest incarnation of the land of Hyrule and revolves around a young Hylian named Link, who must rescue Princess Zelda from the clasps of the villain Ganon by collecting eight pieces of an item known as the Triforce. The game features a mixture of action, exploration and puzzles and was very successful commercially. It was unusual in that its cartridge featured a battery that allowed the player to save his progress across multiple sessions with the game.


The nine labyrinths that a player must traverse to complete the game each have the shape of an easily recognizable object (eagle, lion's head, snake, etc.) which make them easier for the astute gamer to navigate. The third labyrinth has the shape of what appears to North American audiences as a mirror-image of a swastika. This shape is actually a "manji", which is a Buddhist symbol of good fortune. In Japan, where this game was initially released, swastikas and similar shapes are relatively benign, which explains why a symbol so offensive to many Western audiences could be included. In the United States, there were surprisingly few complaints about the "manji", but years later, when Pokemon became popular in the United States, Nintendo was forced to alter one of the cards due to complaints regarding a "manji".