The introduction of The Adventure of Link speaks of the legend of Zelda, a legend that has been passed down in Hyrule.[98] According to that legend, well before the events of The Legend of Zelda, Hyrule was a prosperous land ruled by a king who had two children, an unnamed prince and Princess Zelda. The King maintained peace in Hyrule using the Triforce; however, he passed away, and although the prince should have received the Triforce in full, he only received a part of it.[99] The prince frantically searched in vain everywhere for the remaining piece, but then a wizard came to the Prince and tells him that his younger sister, Zelda, knows the location of the mystical object.[100] The prince demands that Zelda turn the information over to him, but Zelda refuses and, in a rage, the wizard puts Zelda into an eternal sleep, with him dying in the process.[101] Overcome with grief, the prince seals his sleeping sister in the North Palace and orders that all female descendants of the Hylian monarchy are to be named Zelda.[41]
Near the beginning of The Wind Waker, Link saves a young pirate girl named Tetra after the Helmaroc King drops her into the nearby forest on Outset Island. After the bird kidnaps Link's sister Aryll, Tetra and her pirates bring Link to the Forsaken Fortress to rescue her. During the race for Nayru's Pearl, Link runs into Tetra at Windfall Island, where he steals the bombs from her pirate ship. Tetra allows Link until morning before she comes after him and Jabun. Link meets Tetra one last time, at the Forsaken Fortress, where she saves his sister and warns him of the Helmaroc King. She then attempts to save Link during his confrontation with Ganondorf. Her blows are easily deflected and Ganondorf strikes back, grabbing Tetra by the neck. Before he can do anything to her, his Triforce resonates, showing him that he has finally found Princess Zelda, with Tetra confused by Ganondorf's words.
The first game to feature courses from previous games was Mario Kart: Super Circuit, which contained all of the tracks from the original SNES game. Starting with Mario Kart DS, each entry in the series has featured 16 "nitro" original courses and 16 "retro" tracks drawn from previous titles, spread across four cups each. The four "nitro" cups ― the Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, Star Cup, and Special Cup ― have been recurring cups throughout the entire series, while the "retro" cups from the more recent installments are the Shell Cup, Banana Cup, Leaf Cup, and Lightning Cup. As the player progresses through the cups, each is ostensibly more difficult than the one before it. In Mario Kart 8, 16 additional tracks are available across two downloadable packages, eight for each package downloaded, including seven retro courses, four original courses, and five courses based on other Nintendo franchises, namely Excitebike, F-Zero, The Legend of Zelda, and Animal Crossing.
In addition to eight iconic Mega Man X titles, both Mega Man X Legacy Collection and Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 come with an armory of new features. Test your Maverick-hunting skills in the new X Challenge mode, which pits players against two deadly bosses in a series of two-on-one battles. Think you can take down the slippery Chill Penguin and hulking Frost Walrus simultaneously? Give it your best shot! Additionally, Mega Man X Legacy Collection includes a huge museum filled with rare production art, catalogs of classic merchandise, a playlist of nostalgic commercials, and more. The collection also includes an animated a prequel film starring the origins of Mega Man X villain, Sigma.
When Nintendo revealed the GameCube on August 24, 2000, the day before Nintendo's SpaceWorld 2000 exposition,[79] a software demonstration showed a realistically styled real-time duel between Ganondorf and Link. Fans and the media speculated that the battle might be from a Zelda game in development.[80] At Spaceworld 2001, Nintendo showed a cel-shaded Zelda game, later released as The Wind Waker in December 2002. Due to poor reception, nothing further was shown until a playable demonstration was ready. Miyamoto felt The Wind Waker would "extend Zelda's reach to all ages".[81][82] The gameplay centres on controlling wind with a baton called the "Wind Waker" and sailing a small boat around an island-filled ocean, retaining similar gameplay mechanics as the previous 3D games in the series.
The best known and widely used battle system is the Active Time Battle pseudo-turn-based system introduced in Final Fantasy IV where characters can perform an action when their ATB gauge is full. The fill rate is affected by stats, status effects, abilities used and other factors requiring the player to be economical with time. Many games feature a variant of this system. As an early example, Final Fantasy XII uses the Active Dimension Battle system to determine the rate at which characters will perform actions input through menus or the gambit system; there are no random encounters, and the player can move the character around the field and must be within the range of the enemy they are using their skill on.
A series of video games was developed and released for the Philips CD-i in the early 1990s as a product of a compromise between Philips and Nintendo, after the companies failed to develop a CD-ROM peripheral for the Super NES. Created independently with no observation by or influence from Nintendo, the games are Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, together with Zelda's Adventure. Nintendo never acknowledged them in the Zelda timeline, and they are considered to be in a separate, self-contained canon. These games are widely acknowledged to be the worst installments in the series.[102]
Taking a temporary divergence, Final Fantasy XI used the PlayStation 2's online capabilities as an MMORPG.[124] Initially released for the PlayStation 2 with a PC port arriving six months later, Final Fantasy XI was also released on the Xbox 360 nearly four years after its original release in Japan.[125] This was the first Final Fantasy game to use a free rotating camera. Final Fantasy XII was released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 and uses only half as many polygons as Final Fantasy X, in exchange for more advanced textures and lighting.[126][127] It also retains the freely rotating camera from Final Fantasy XI. Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIV both make use of Crystal Tools, a middleware engine developed by Square Enix.[128][129]
Link's adventures around the kingdom of Hyrule with Princess Zelda are not just restricted to the console at home. In 1989 there was an American animated series which was based on the first games and over time received a cult following. Since then, comics, books and other Zelda fan merch have become well-loved and have helped the series to become so well known. Most notably is the storybook "Hyrule Historia" which was released in 2011 for the series' 25th anniversary and offers a taste of Nintendo's successful story and their fascinating world.
Three main installments, as well as one online game, were published for the PlayStation 2 (PS2).[15][16][17] Final Fantasy X (2001) introduced full 3D areas and voice acting to the series, and was the first to spawn a direct video game sequel (Final Fantasy X-2, published in 2003).[18][19] The first massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in the series, Final Fantasy XI, was released on the PS2 and PC in 2002, and later on the Xbox 360.[20][21] It introduced real-time battles instead of random encounters.[21] Final Fantasy XII, published in 2006, also includes real-time battles in large, interconnected playfields.[22][23] The game is also the first in the main series to utilize a world used in a previous game, namely the land of Ivalice, which had previously featured in Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story.[24]
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