In 2011, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the series, an art book was published exclusively in Japan under the name Hyrule Historia by Shogakukan. It contains concept art from the series's conception to the release of Skyward Sword in 2011 and multiple essays about the production of the games, as well as an overarching timeline of the series. It also includes a prequel manga to Skyward Sword by Zelda manga duo Akira Himekawa. The book received an international release by publisher Dark Horse Comics on January 29, 2013; it took the number one spot on Amazon's sales chart, taking the spot away from E. L. James's 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. Dark Horse released The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts, a follow-up art book to Hyrule Historia containing additional artwork and interviews, in North America on February 21, 2017, and in Europe on February 23, 2017.
The PlayStation console saw the release of three main Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy VII (1997) moved away from the two-dimensional (2D) graphics used in the first six games to three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics; the game features polygonal characters on pre-rendered backgrounds. It also introduced a more modern setting, a style that was carried over to the next game. It was also the second in the series to be released in Europe, with the first being Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. Final Fantasy VIII was published in 1999, and was the first to consistently use realistically proportioned characters and feature a vocal piece as its theme music. Final Fantasy IX, released in 2000, returned to the series' roots by revisiting a more traditional Final Fantasy setting rather than the more modern worlds of VII and VIII.
Mega Man does have some notable flaws, however: While Mega Man has a good amount of attacks with good knockback, the majority of his kill moves are considered situational, difficult to set up, or and/or are easy to punish. As such, he has a more difficult time killing than other characters and it requires good reads to successfully finish off opponents. Characters that have a move that either reflects projectiles or can nullify them (such as Fox or Lady Palutena) can also prove to be an annoyance for him due to his over-reliance on projectiles to combo opponents and bait reactions and it can render his Forward Smash (one of his better kill moves) unreliable, though this can be worked around by firing the Mega Buster twice at a time, and most reflectors are punishable if baited and he can still grab them. Although Mega Man can effectively zone opponents at medium ranges with the Mega Buster, most of his other moves are fairly laggy or gimmicky and his only reliable tool in close range is his grab, and as such faster characters (such as Greninja or Captain Falcon) can bypass his zoning more easily and put work on him in closer ranges and due to his above average weight and falling speed, Mega Man is somewhat easy for these characters to combo once they get in, assuming that they have any combo potential.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System Super Mario Kart was the first entry in the series, released for the SNES in 1992. The game has a total of eight playable characters who, when computer-controlled, use special power-up items specific to each character (such as eggs for Yoshi). The twenty tracks in this game, based on locations in Super Mario World (such as Donut Plains), are all short in length compared to other tracks in the series; thus, they are raced in five laps instead of the usual three. Whereas most other playable characters have reappeared in all later entries in the series, Koopa Troopa has only returned intermittently, and Donkey Kong Jr. would never again be used as a playable character, except for two Mario Tennis games. Unlike other games in the series, Super Mario Kart allows players only a limited number of lives, which are lost whenever a racer loses and is "ranked out". A notable aspect of the game's presentation is its use of the SNES's Mode 7 graphics technology, which allows for free rotation and scaling of planes to give a three-dimensional appearance.
Custom 2 Plant Barrier 3% (circling), 4.2% (thrown) Mega Man summons flower petal-shaped units that orbit around him. The petals are more durable than the Leaf Shield, as they do not disappear when hit and deal slightly more damage when thrown, but they move slightly slower and have less range when thrown. The move is based on Plant Man's weapon from Mega Man 6.
With only Link able to see her, Zelda helps him obtain a sword before the two make their way Tower of Spirits. There, Anjean tells the duo that Zelda's body contains a sacred power and that Cole took it in order to serve as a vessel for the Demon King, Malladus. Learning that she can inhabit Phantoms to aid Link, Zelda proceeds to help him restore the tracks and the Tower of Spirits to its former glory.
Game Boy Advance Mario Kart: Super Circuit for Game Boy Advance, developed by Intelligent Systems, was released in 2001 as the first Mario Kart title for a handheld console. It retains the traditional elements of Mario Kart established by its predecessors; however, it is not without its new additions. Mario Kart: Super Circuit is the first entry in the series to feature unlockable retro tracks from a previous installment (in its case, the Super Mario Kart tracks). It is also the first installment where, in addition to the usual trophy, the player is also awarded with a ranking based on their performance. During a linked VS mode with only one cartridge, players can only choose from the four SNES Mushroom Cup courses, and must play as a Yoshi of a specific color. If all players have a cartridge, all racers and courses are available. This is the first Mario Kart game to have a feature that allows players to swap ghost data, in its case via the use of the GBA's Link Cable.
But there was a lot to like about Skyward Sword, too. The game's impressionist painting aesthetic, its memorable Skyloft village, the fantastically over-the-top villain Ghirahim and scene-stealing Groose. Skyward Sword really embraced its placement as the first Zelda game chronologically, and it revelled in providing Easter eggs and lore-heavy moments to retroactively insert itself as a prequel to later instalments.
Zelda was the young matriarch of Hyrule until its invasion by Zant, the Twilight King, to whom she surrendered in order to prevent the death of her people. Subsequently, she is imprisoned inside a tower in Hyrule Castle, although unlike her people, she does not become a spirit under the influence of the Twilight (possibly due to her implied possession of the Triforce of Wisdom). It is here that she meets Link, transformed into a wolf by the Twilight's power, though their conversation is cut short due to the arrival of her guard.
Princess Zelda returns as a playable character in the fifth installment of Super Smash Bros. Her appearance is now based on her design from A Link Between Worlds, since Masahiro Sakurai and the developers felt her Breath of the Wild incarnation was more suited to research than combat. In the Japanese trailer, however, it lists the basis of her appearance as being Triforce of the Gods, or A Link to the Past. Her move set is largely the same as previous games with some adjustments. However, Zelda's Final Smash has changed from the Light Arrow to the Triforce of Wisdom, which will trap opponents inside the titular Triforce piece for huge damage.
For the first time (not counting the non-canonical Phillips CD-i games), it is possible to play as Zelda herself as Link aids the princess to escape the castle. Afterward, Link, Zelda, and Alfonzo attempt to escape via train, but the train crashes due to the tracks disappearing beneath them. Chancellor Cole then appears to attack Zelda and take her body, which he hopes to use to revive the Demon King Malladus; however, Zelda's spirit escapes and returns to Hyrule Castle. There, she meets with Link, now the only one who can see her, to continue their way to the Tower of Spirits, where Zelda learns she can inhabit Phantoms to aid Link. After this, she and Link begin their journey to restore the Spirit Tracks leading to the Tower of Spirits to fortify the Malladus's prison and thus prevent the resurrection of the Demon King.
Like the Super Mario series, the Mario Kart series has achieved successful sales with over 100 million copies sold in total. Super Mario Kart has sold 8.76 million copies and is the fourth best-selling game on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System console. Mario Kart 64 is the second-bestselling game for the Nintendo 64 (behind Super Mario 64), selling a total of 9.87 million copies.Mario Kart: Double Dash has sold 6.96 million copies. It is the second best-selling game on the GameCube (next to Super Smash Bros. Melee). Mario Kart Wii has achieved highly successful numbers, selling a total of 37.10 million copies. It is the best-selling installment in the series and is the second best-selling game for the Wii (next to Wii Sports). Mario Kart 8, released for the Wii U, has shipped 1.2 million copies in North America and Europe combined on its first few days since launch, which was the console's fastest-selling game until the record was beaten by Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. It sold a total of 8.42 million copies and is the Wii U's best-selling game. In contrast, the enhanced port for the Nintendo Switch system, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, has sold 459,000 units in the United States in one day of its launch, making it the fastest-selling game in the series to date. Deluxe sold a total of 10.35 million copies worldwide, outperforming the original Wii U version, and is the second-bestselling Nintendo Switch game of all time (behind Super Mario Odyssey). Both versions sold a combined total of 18.77 million copies
The Legends series concluded with only two main games and a spin-off starring mainstay antagonist Tron Bonne before being discontinued. Unlike Battle Network and Zero, the final game in the series does not resolve the storyline. A continuation to the Legends series has become an oft-requested game among many Capcom and Mega Man fans. A third game was once under development for the Nintendo 3DS, but on July 17, 2011, Capcom cancelled the project saying it did not meet certain requirements. This decision was met with criticism from fans and gaming news outlets.