The best gaming innovations from the Zelda series

The Legend of Zelda has been one of Nintendo’s largest franchises since its debut in 1986. More than three and a half decades later, it remains one of the most innovative series in the gaming industry due to its unique ability to reinvent itself with each new installment.

RELATED: The Best Games You Can Play If You Liked Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Nor are these innovations simply small tweaks here and there. They were seismic tremors that were felt throughout the gaming world. The Legend of Zeldais now considered the gold standard in the action RPG world and one of the biggest and most influential Nintendo franchises of all time.


5 Puzzles and Bosses

before zelda, games didn’t really require much thought when it came to defeating the villains. Just plain old hacking and slashing did the trick. Many games of this era were also pretty basic in terms of what a player should do. The games were incredibly linear. Seeing a game that threw players straight into the mix without much explanation was a surprise to say the least.

The focus on puzzles and dungeons to reach the Great Evils was also unique for the time. Bosses presented a different challenge for players. In order to beat bosses, players had to use strategy. The legend ofZelda: A Link to the Past only strengthened this further. Entire castles are puzzles, and bosses provide mini-puzzles. Many modern games continue to follow this example to offer players more challenges and provide layered content. It’s a fad that will never die because it just works so well.

4 memory and ram

Old game systems did not require save points in the game. Games were usually judged by the high scores, which showed not only skill but also survival level and playing time. And they would disappear just as quickly. When the Nintendo Entertainment System was released, high scores were still a thing, but games were slowly getting longer. However, very few games made use of the in-game save feature. Most would instead have codes that players would have to dig out of a magazine to return to certain levels, rather than repeating the whole game to get there.

RELATED: The Complete Chronological Order of Legend Of Zelda Games

But in 1986 The Legend of Zelda was one of the first games to allow players to save in-game, which was just unheard of. How did the developers do it? They increased the storage and RAM on the game cartridge. At the time, many questioned the functionality of such an endeavor, but sometimes the unthinkable leads to the best results.

3 Lock-On Trigger

When the Nintendo 64 came out, games had aiming features but no lock-on combat features. The Z Trigger was a magical thing for Nintendo fans and gamers. Especially when the lock-on system was first used The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It was an important upgrade for close and long-range combat in video games. It was such a success that other games started incorporating lock-on features into their own combat systems.

The system has become so widespread in console games that players are now seeing advances in those advances. Earlier pistol and later Red Dead Redemption‘sFast train systems come to mind. Honestly, that’s just scratching the primer on a surface that contains a lot of layers. Fans and gamers would probably find fewer shooters and melee games without these features than the exact opposite. That’s how big it is.

2 In the game camera

There were no cameras in the game before Playstation and Nintendo 64 came out. However, even then they were often bulky and left a lot to be desired. The technology wasn’t there yet. Therefore, most games would simply avoid it. then The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time came out. Back then it was perfection. It was top notch.

RELATED: The biggest innovations for open-world gaming

It may seem dated from today’s perspective, but considering the competition at the time, it was groundbreaking. It was slick and didn’t work against the player in casual or combat. It might have been a bit weird when fishing, but it wasn’t bad. The cinematic focus that happens when you backflip, sideflip, or saber-jump forward and “HIYAAAH!” was fantastic too. It just gave the players a great feeling.

1 open worlds

In 1986, video games were mostly incredibly linear and platform-heavy, at least until The Legend of Zelda. Players weren’t just dropped in the middle of Hyrule with no idea where to go next, but the destination could have been anywhere. It wasn’t technically the first open-world game, but it was one of the first to have mainstream success. Of course, this wasn’t the only time Nintendo delivered innovations when it comes to open worlds.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was amazing not only because of its beautifully rendered open world experience. Right off the bat, players can march to Ganondorf’s castle and attempt to take him down without completing any of the Guardian Missions. Also, they don’t have to search for Link’s memories or get the Master Sword. It’s all optional. Even with read dead and Grand Theft Auto, There’s still a story linearity. Things need to be done to continue the game or open an area. BOTW is one of the first major titles to sidestep all of that and really make an open world feel completely open.

MORE: The best Nintendo open world games The best gaming innovations from the Zelda series


TaraSubramaniam is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. TaraSubramaniam joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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