In The Legend of Zelda, Link usually serves as the hero, but Zelda has gotten to be Link’s hero before – it’s just in games most fans haven’t played.
By Austin King
Published Mar 29, 2021
The Legend of Zelda series is known for its hero, Link, and its princess, Zelda. Traditionally, this means players control Link and go on a quest to save Zelda (and the rest of the world). However, there are actually a couple of games where Zelda serves as the hero and has to rescue Link instead. It’s just that most fans have never played these Zelda games before.
Fans have wanted Zelda to become a playable character in a mainline game for a while now. So far, Nintendo hasn’t delivered, although she’s been playable in spin-offs like Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. And while Zelda has been rumored to become playable in Breath of the Wild 2, that seems more like a pipe dream than a reality. For whatever reasons, it just doesn’t seem like Nintendo is ready to make Zelda the playable hero that so many fans want her to be.
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However, Zelda has actually been the playable protagonist in multiple games before – it’s just in two games that most fans haven’t played. In 1993, Zelda: Wand of Gamelon released for Phillips CD-i, a platform that was far from a success. Two years later, in 1995, a follow-up called?Zelda’s Adventure also released on CD-i. While both games have been maligned by the people who played them, they were ahead of their time in at least one respect: they let players control Zelda and had her rescuing Link and saving the world from Ganon herself.
In Wand of Gamelon, both Zelda’s king father and Link vanish, leaving Zelda to look for them and save the world. It was a pretty clever reversal in an otherwise unmemorable game. Its follow-up, Zelda’s Adventure,?gave Zelda a hero’s sword and shield and sent her on a quest to save Link (and the realm) from the evil Ganon, essentially flipping Zelda’s and Link’s roles in the game.
Admittedly, neither game is all that great. These two, and Link: The Faces of Evil, released on the Phillips CD-i because of a licensing deal the company had with Nintendo. Other than spawning a lot of memes, they aren’t remembered by most fans for much. However, given that two of the CD-i titles let Zelda be the hero, they’re worth remembering for more than just the memes. The Wand of Gamelon even has a fan-made remake, offering fans a chance to experience the game in HD.
For anyone interested in the history of The Legend of Zelda, or who just want to see Zelda be the hero, these two games were ahead of their time. Both Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon and Zelda’s Adventure let Zelda rescue Link and save the day herself – something Nintendo hasn’t been willing to do so far.
Next: What Legend of Zelda Games Aren’t On Nintendo Consoles (& Why)
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About The Author
(1081 Articles Published)
Austin King is an author of several books and hosts the Dragon Quest FM and JRPGs & Me podcasts. You can find him on Twitter @DragonQuaustin.
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