A Link to the Past: read our best Zelda features

A few years shy of its 30th anniversary, this week marks the twenty-eighth anniversary of The Legend of Zelda’s US release. For many of us, this was a gateway game that revealed the amazing potential of the medium; for others (bitter Sega fans?) it is a benchmark series against which we compare others. It’s not just a historical emblem, but it contains its own canon full of myth, lore, characters, and timelines. Put simply, The Legend of Zelda is important.

We return to Link and Zelda’s world again and again, both in play and in our discussion of games. The series stays with you, pulls you back in for another playthrough and another look . It is a link between worlds of player experiences (pun intended). It is familiar and comforting. Our triforce stickers and tattoos, the ocarina lessons – these aren’t mere fan tributes, they are maintaining that link.

We’ve also maintained that link in Five out of Ten. A Zelda game has been mentioned, at the very least, in eight of our fourteen issues (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, and 13 to be exact!), and a focal point of five essays. While we’d naturally encourage you to read the whole back catalogue, we’d like to take this moment to celebrate – to stay the link – our Zelda features, in order of appearance:

Year One

Issue 4 – Julian Williams – Only in Dreams: Who is dreaming in Link’s Awakening: the character, or the player?

Issue 5 – Lana Polansky – Empty Vessels: We think of game characters as blank slates, but they are lenses with personality through which we interpret their worlds.

Year Two

Issue 6 – Maddy Myers – The Heroine of Time: What should Princess Zelda’s real Legend be?

Issue 9 – Alan Williamson – The Temple of Time: Learning to embrace the worship of nostalgia with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Issue 11 – Denis Farr – Hylian Death Rituals: Link is the Hero with a Thousand Faces, his soul bound in a cycle of eternal heroism.

This week, we’ll be sharing clips from each of these wonderful articles and discussing all things Zelda on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. As a special treat, we’re also making one article available free. You can read it (or better yet, download the beautifully designed PDF version) right here. We’re excited to share more with you throughout the week and we hope you’ll join us in conversation!