The UK games trade shares its favourite Legend of Zelda moments including GAME's Ian Shepherd, Capcom's David Reeves, Ubisoft's Murray Pannell and more.
"Thinking back on my first playthrough of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time brings to mind a number of moments that left me in awe. From the first time I entered the Great Deku Tree as a small child to much later in the game when I leapt to freedom with Epona to escape from Lon Lon Ranch; rarely has a game captured so many charmed and emotive moments in a single experience.
"However, one moment stands out for me as one of the greatest in the history of video games. When I entered the Temple of Time to take hold of the Master Sword and left seven years later as the fully grown Hero of Time, words failed me for the first time ever whilst playing a game. As I took in the ruin and devastation that surrounded me where once a bustling and vibrant town market had stood, it occurred to me then that this game was something special. It is no surprise at all that the Zelda franchise celebrates its 25th birthday when it is able to conjure up remarkable moments like this."
Murray Pannell, UK Marketing Director, Ubisoft
"Zelda is a series full of moments – picking just one is close to impossible. But the descent into ancient Hyrule on the sea bed of Wind Waker’s brave new world is, for me, one of the most beautiful moments in gaming. When Hyrule Castle reanimates, rescued from its suspended animation when Link once again pulls the Master Sword from the stone, the sea comes rushing in, and in the end it’s all swept away – something that seemed to signal a new beginning for the Zelda series whilst also paying touching tribute to its iconic motifs."
Keza MacDonald, UK Editor, IGN
"So many to choose from but for me I think it would have to be the first time that you get Epona in Twilight Princess and take a ride out over the fields. There’s not many games that get horses that right."
Jon Rooke, UK Marketing Director, THQ
"My favourite Zelda moment has to be the release of Ocarina of Time on the N64. I was working at HMV Birmingham High Street at the time, and not only was the game one of the greatest home console releases of all time, but is was a huge sales success. It came out late in December 1998, and I remember selling out all copies at £60. There was a huge shortfall in supply and I reckon we could have sold it for £100 and still sold out. What a game."
Andrew Thompson, Head of Games, Asda
"My favourite Zelda experience has – like many old fogey gamers – been watching my kids play Ocarina of Time on 3DS so many years after I played it on the N64. Proof positive that great game design is timeless.
Ian Shepherd, CEO, GAME Group
"Personally I think the use of ‘Legend’ in its title couldn’t be a more appropriate word to describe this game. For me Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64 will always be my favourite version, though I never could quite nail Zelda’s Lullaby. Here’s to another 25 years."
Laura Yates, Marketing Games Planner, HMV
"Nabbing Epona from Lon Lon Ranch as grown-up Link remains my favourite moment. Like being thrown the keys to your grandad’s battered old Fiesta, the horse represented unfettered freedom and the ability to easily explore the game world. Leaping the fence and giving a figurative two fingers to the corrupt ranchmaster was a real air-punching moment. Few moments in games have felt so immediately liberating."
Steve Hogarty, Deputy Editor, Official Nintendo Magazine
"My lasting memory of Zelda, and it is true to this day, is that despite having worked on the other side of the fence at PlayStation and now at Capcom, there was always this massive anticipation of everybody waiting to buy the next version. Everything stopped for Zelda. The Legend lives."
David Reeves, Chief Operating Officer, Capcom
"Zelda is the original RPG, and is one of the longest-standing brands in the history of games – you don’t survive that long, pushing towards 20 releases, without consistent sales. Retail continues to have faith in the brand, and with that sales history, who wouldn’t? I‘m confident that Skyward Sword will be in high demand this Christmas. Every pre-order campaign and release is my favourite Zelda time for me."
Max Butler, General Manager, Advantage Distribution
"I came late to the party… 18 years ago when I clocked on as staff writer on unofficial Nintendo magazine Total. I got my hands on the Game Boy game Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening. A little game that looked simple, but I discovered was epic."
James Binns, Head of Edge International, Future
"My favourite Zelda moment is the first time I walked around Clock Town on the third night of Majora’s Mask. The third night basically repeated Ocarina’s trick of showing you a world you’d failed to save, but on a more intimate scale. There’s a kind of darkly surreal carnival atmosphere, with the citizens drowning their sorrows in the Milk Bar, and the soldiers outside staring up at the moon’s grinning face. It captured a fairy-tale horror."
Craig Owens, Games Editor, Edge
"As I sat down for the Nintendo E3 Conference in 2004 I was unaware that Nintendo were just about to unleash the best E3 presentation I’ve ever seen with Twilight Princess being the centrepiece – Miyamoto being the surprise on stage guest, donned with the Master Sword and shield. The fabulous action packed trailer and all the whooping and hollering from the crowd – it’s my favourite Zelda moment of all time."
Craig McNicol, Managing Director, Koch Media
"In recent years I’ve played through Zelda with my kids – from Twilight backwards to Ocarina – and came to admire what amazing games they are, but at the time they were released I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about."
Jon Burton, Founder, Traveller’s Tales
"Zelda’s most memorable moment is found in its greatest game: Wind Waker. It’s when Link retrieves the Master Sword and the black and white underworld, frozen in time, comes vividly to life with a flood of colour. The artistic highpoint in the most strikingly beautiful game I’ve played."
Johnny Minkley, Editor, Eurogamer TV