The Legend of Zelda series has had a large impact on the video game industry. Subsequently, references to elements from the Legend of Zelda series have surfaced in other video games, ranging from oblique shout-outs to the appearances of actual characters.
In video games
While in the ship's kitchen, when Junpei inspects the appetizer plates for the first time, a short conversation ensues in which Junpei says "Well excuuuse me, princess!" to Lotus. This is most likely a reference to Link's infamous line from the Legend of Zelda animated series.
The Triforce, Fused Shadow (called "Midna's Mask"), Majora's Mask and the Master Sword make appearances as furniture or headgear. Additionally, when clicked the Triforce separates and reassembles, and the Master Sword plays the "secret found" jingle. The Hero's Clothes and Hero's Cap resemble Link's clothes and hat, respectively. Clothes resembling those worn by Anju and Kafei can also be obtained. When Katrina, the fortune teller, comes to town or is visited in the city, the Triforce design can be seen in her tent on the wall, and a triangular pattern on the rug. She also makes a reference to Nayru if the player character wears the Hero's Cap or Hero's Clothes.
In the Nintendo GameCube versions, the sailor Gulliver often tells tales about his journeys at sea. In one story he states "When I fought the sea snakes at Pinnacle Rock! Wait a minute... That wasn't me!", in an obvious reference to The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
A clothing item, the Bunny Hood appears in these games, but it may or may not be a cameo, due to it not resembling the Bunny Hood in Ocarina of Time at all.
In Doubutsu no Mori, Doubutsu no Mori +, Animal Crossing, and Doubutsu no Mori e+, it's possible to collect NES Games as furniture items and actually play them. One of the secret games is The Legend of Zelda, which is only obtainable in Animal Crossing through the use of Action Replay codes.
Sometimes villagers talk about "a boy in a far off land land, who wears green, and knocks things out of the air with a boomerang". This is probably a reference to Link. When the player catches a loach, the in-game description reads, "I caught a loach! You don't suppose it's Hylian, do you?" When opening another villager's or player's drawer, it will sometimes say on-screen "You found 100 Rupees! But you can't use it here." This is a reference to the currency of the Zelda series.
Another Code series
Trace Memory, the North American version of Another Code: Two Memories, features a small reference to The Legend of Zelda. In the library is a book named The Legend of Zelda Chronology, possibly as a reference to the Legend of Zelda series' uncertain timeline.
A similar reference is found in the sequel, Another Code: R. During a conversation between the characters Ashley and Matthew, Ashley says "It's dangerous to go alone. What if something happens to you?". This most likely refers to the famous words of the Old Man at the beginning of The Legend of Zelda.
A character called Crazy Tracy appears in this game. She is believed to be a reference to the character of the same name in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. To further this theory she has a picture of Link and Mario on the wall of her mansion.
In the village of Arni, a Triforce appears on the floor of the basement in the Fisherman's Hut.
One of the weapons, the Ice Sword, bears strong resemblance to artwork of the Master Sword in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Additionally, there is a hidden boomerang that somewhat bears a resemblance to the boomerangs found in Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, albeit missing the gem in the center.
The playable song "Zelda no Densetsu Medley" is based on the Zelda series and is a combination of many of the songs from the series.
Dawn of War II: Retribution
When an Imperial Guardsman squad receives a weapon upgrade, they may state the famous line "It's dangerous to go alone, take this".
In Donkey Kong Country 2, Link appears as one of "Cranky's Video Game Heroes". Specifically, Link holds the third place in the rankings for most DK Coins gathered.
In Donkey Kong Country 3, when asking Bazaar the Bear about Baron K. Roolenstein's castle without paying, he mentions something about a cheeky boy called Link who was also looking for the castle earlier.
Many songs from the Zelda series are featured in the game Donkey Konga and its sequels. A slot machine mode which features pictures of characters from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is also featured in Donkey Konga.
Link appears at the finishing line of course five.
In Fable III, among the many tombstones in Mourningwood reads one that says "It's dangerous to go alone. Take this.", a clear reference to the famous words of the Old Man. The hero's dog will also bark signaling that treasure can be dug up at the grave, unearthing a toy sword, which is made of wood, much like the Wooden Sword.
The name "Zelda" also appears as a randomly generated name for non-player characters, however, the characters themselves may not actually resemble Zelda.
In Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo, a sword called the Master Sword appears. The game was released shortly after A Link to the Past. The Master Sword appears again in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 and the remake of Monshō no Nazo.
In the iOS, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation and PlayStation Portable versions of the original Final Fantasy, a gravestone in Elfheim reads "Here lies Link." It is commonly believed that the grave is a reference to Link as the resident of the village with long ears and green tunics similar to the Hero's Clothes. In the NES version, the gravestone says "Here lies Erdrick 837 - 866. R. I. P.", a character from the Dragon Quest series, rather than Link.
In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, a blue sword titled Master Sword can be found. It is one of the most powerful swords in the game and is thought to be a reference to legendary blade from Zelda mythos.
In Find Mii, Link's hat and hair is made available as headwear upon the completion of Mirage Tower during the first playthrough of the game. The sequel, Find Mii 2, includes a hat based on Epona, as well as one based on the Triforce.
Game & Watch: Zelda is featured as a playable game. It is the last game that can be unlocked and can only be unlocked by acquiring a high amount of stars earned from playing other games. The game was very different to its original due to the different screen size of the Game Boy Advance. The bottom screen was reduced. Its height is about ⅔ that of the original screen, but it is almost twice its length.
In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, a sprite of Link has been found in unused data of the game. Hacking is the only way to make him appear. He replaces Felix's sprite in the overworld. Due to it being unfinished data, the sprite is slightly glitchy. As soon as Link starts walking, he will remain in his walking animations even if he comes to a full stop, but will automatically stand still as soon as the player presses A to open up the menu. It is unknown what purpose Link would play in the the game, but it was most likely intended to be just a cameo appearance.
On Sunshine Island, there is a character named Gannon, who shares many physical characteristics with Ganon.
It is commonly thought that the green cap and blue sword that Kirby receives after swallowing a sword enemy are a reference to Link and the Master Sword. Kirby also wields a sword simply called "Master" in a battle against an enemy called "Dark Mind". Kirby is sometimes required to draw the Triforce on the Paint Panic mini-game in Kirby: Canvas Curse.
In Kirby Super Star, Kirby and Blade Knight (as well as Meta Knight and Sword Knight in the game's Nintendo DS remake) can use the Sword Beam attack when at full health (in Kirby's case, only while using the Sword ability), much like in many games in the Zelda series. Other variations of sword beam are seen in the series as well. Kirby Super Star also contains a valuable item called the Triforce, which can be found in the Great Cave Offensive.
The Underworld Gatekeeper boss has a Triforce symbol on it.
One of the many weapons the players can find is known as the "Sword of Masters", an homage to the Master Sword. It is located in an area that is extremely similar to the grove where the Master Sword is found in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It can fire a sword beam when the user is at full health, and uses a sound effect reminiscent of the one from A Link to the Past.
In Super Mario Bros. 3, Mario can obtain an item known as the Warp Whistle, which both looks and sounds like the Recorder (also called the Whistle) from The Legend of Zelda. As in The Legend of Zelda, when played, the Warp Whistle summons a whirlwind that warps Mario to a different world.
In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Link can be found sleeping in the inn in Rose Town. If Mario approaches Link, the secret jingle from the Legend of Zelda series will play.
In Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, there is an item known as the "Great Force", which is represented by a golden triangle, evoking the image of the Triforce. Also after the tutorial on using hammers in combat, the Hammerhead Bros get into an argument, and while they are heading back the way they came one of them states "Well Exuuuuuuuuse Me!", a likely reference to the Legend of Zelda animated series.
In Super Paper Mario the character named Mimi will ask Mario to pay for her vases when broken just like Mila's Father from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Interestingly she will not accept coins and wants octagonal gems called Rubees, an obvious reference to Rupees, the currency of the Zelda series. Also, when Fracktail was zapped by Dimentio, he says "I AM ERROR," which is a quote by Error in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
In Super Mario 3D Land, Level 5-2 contains elements from The Legend of Zelda for NES, even including the "Item Found" sound effect. When the level's numbers are flipped, it becomes apparent that its placement is a reference to the 25th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda series.
If the player has save data for The Wind Waker on their memory card, the character Psycho Mantis will make a reference to the game.
The concept of light/dark duality in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is commonly compared to that of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. In fact, Retro Studios was assisted by the creators of A Link to the Past.
If the player has save data for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on their Wii, and they have the Ship Bumper Stickers unlocked in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, then the emblem present on Link's Hylian Shield and in various parts of Hyrule will appear on top of Samus Aran's Gunship.
In Metroid: Other M, there are several green-colored glowing insects in various areas of the Bottle Ship that bear a great deal of resemblance to fairies in the Legend of Zelda series. They also share the same purpose; guiding Samus to a powerup. Concept art for the Skultera features a drawing with their mouths open, saying "Buy something will ya!"
In the second episode of the game the titular main character thinks the line "Well excuuuse me princess!", in a reference to Link's oft-used catchphrase from the Legend of Zelda animated series.
In Pokemon Stadium 2, several home video consoles are seen. Interestingly all of them contain a Legend of Zelda game in the cartridge slot (The Legend of Zelda is in the NES, A Link to the Past is in the SNES and Ocarina of Time is in the Nintendo 64).
Link appears as a playable character in the Nintendo GameCube version of this game. The game features many of Link's Swords and Shields as well as a Bow, Boomerang and Bombs. It also makes reference to an Ocarina and Hyrule in his character info.
Link appears as a playable character in Super Smash Bros.. Princess Zelda, Ganondorf and Young Link appear along side Link in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Young Link is replaced by Toon Link in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Many other Zelda-themed elements can be found in these games including items, stages, enemies, NPCs, stickers and trophies.
The Hero's Outfit, which resembles the green tunic and hat worn by Link, is a craftable and equipable item in the game. Also, there is a sword in the game called the "Night's Edge" and it is possibly a reference to the Four Sword particularly because the four swords used to make this are green (Blade of Grass), red (Fiery Greatsword), blue (Muramasa), and purple (Light's Bane), the same colors of the split Links.
If the player successfully completes a B type game at level 9, many Nintendo characters appear, playing various instruments. Among them is Link playing his Recorder.
On the DS version of Tetris, there is a game mode dedicated to Link. The game mode is like the Zelda series in a way that it it is highly based on puzzle solving. Music from the Zelda series also appears in this mode.
Several mini-games in the series are based on games in the Legend of Zelda series: a game based on the original The Legend of Zelda, in which the player must guide Link into a cave, bypassing patrolling enemies and obstacles; a game involving the use of the Deku Leaf to transport Link to the Forbidden Woods in The Wind Waker; removing the Master Sword from its pedestal in Ocarina of Time; conducting Link and several other characters to play Nintendo music using their instruments; and slashing ChuChus in Phantom Hourglass. Music, sound effects, and stamps of characters from throughout the series are also commonly used.
Blizzard pays homage to The Legend of Zelda in World of Warcraft through an NPC gnome named Linken. Located in Un'Goro crater, he shows a resemblance to classic Link and gives the player various quests to recover his memory after finding his equipment on a wrecked raft. The rewards include items resembling the Master Sword and boomerang. Finally, the quests are titled "It's Dangerous to Go Alone" and "It's a Secret to Everybody", both of which are quotes from the original The Legend of Zelda. Other items and pieces of dialogue found during this quest are references to The Legend of Zelda, as well. Also found in Un'Goro Crater is a large reptilian creature named Dadanga whose owner claims that she doesn't like smoke (another quote from the first game and an obvious reference to Dodongos).
The Triforce appears on a rock in the Temple of the Damned.
One of the music tracks available in Jam Sessions and Mii Maestro is The Legend of Zelda's Overworld theme. In Pitch Perfect, the answer to the question 'Which tune fits the feeling 'I found a pot of gold!' ?' is the Found Item theme. The end pose for the NES horn involves the Mii lifting it above their head in a similar way to Link finding an item, and an image of the Triforce coming out of the horn.
Cameos in the series
There are other appearances within The Legend of Zelda series.
In several houses, there is a picture of Mario on the wall.
Several Chain Chomps from the Mario series appear as enemies.
The Top Secret Room is "owned" by the real person, Chris Houlihan, who won a Nintendo Power contest in the early 1990s. He was rewarded by making an in-game appearance where he telepathically communicates with Link.
The theme that plays in Great Fairy Fountains is similar to the World 3 Map theme from Super Mario Brothers 3.
The character Tarin looks and acts very like Mario from the Mario series.
Many enemies from the Mario series also make appearances. A Chain-Chomp called Bow-Wow even plays the role as an ally. They include:
|Anti-Kirby||Kirby Kirby's Dream Land|
|Blooper||Blooper Super Mario Bros.|
|Bob-omb||Bob-omb Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panikku (Super Mario Bros. 2 outside Japan)|
|Boo Buddy||Boo Super Mario Bros. 3|
|Bow-Wow||Chain Chomps Super Mario Bros. 3|
|Cheep-Cheep||Cheep-Cheep Super Mario Bros.|
|Goomba||Goomba Super Mario Bros.|
|Hardhat Beetle||Buzzy Beetle Super Mario Bros.|
|Hot Head||Hothead Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panikku (Super Mario Bros. 2 outside Japan)|
|Mask-Mimic||Shy Guy Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panikku (Super Mario Bros. 2 outside Japan)|
|Piranha Plant||Piranha Plant Super Mario Bros.|
|Pokey||Pokey Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panikku (Super Mario Bros. 2 outside Japan)|
|Sea Urchin||Urchin Super Mario World|
|Spark||Spark Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panikku (Super Mario Bros. 2 outside Japan)|
|Spiked Beetle||Spiny Mario Bros.|
|Thwimp||Thwimp Super Mario World|
|Thwomp||Thwomp Super Mario Bros. 3|
Once Link enters the Castle Courtyard, where he can talk to Princess Zelda, he can look in the right window. Here, it is possible to see pictures of Mario, Princess Peach, Luigi, Bowser and Yoshi hanging on the wall. In the 3DS remake, those pictures are no longer there, but are instead replaced by a scene with Warp Pipes and ? Blocks.
In the river beneath the Clock Tower are a several pieces of algae that look like Nintendo 64 controllers.
Several characters from Ocarina of Time who are based on characters outside of the Zelda universe reappear in this game.
In the mask subscreen, the line of masks Keaton Mask, Bremen Mask, Don Gero's Mask, Bunny Hood, and Mask of Scents looks like the Star Fox characters Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Slippy Toad, Peppy Hare, and Pigma Dengar. It is unknown if this is intentional or merely a coincidence. The way in which Link obtains the masks also appear similar to the personalities and back stories of the Star Fox characters.
Like in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, enemies from the Mario series appear, although to a lesser extent.
Mr. Write from Link's Awakening makes another appearance in Oracle of Seasons.
A trading item in Oracle of Seasons, the Cuccodex, is a reference to the Pokédex in the Pokémon series.
Chain Chomps appear again as a usable item.
The Tingle Tuner, an item used to connect the Game Boy to the Nintendo GameCube is nearly identical to a Game Boy Advance. An application on the Tingle Tuner is the Hand-Me down Tingle Tuner, which appears to be either a classic Game Boy or a Game Boy Color.
Dr. Left (like Mr. Write) is based on Dr. Wright from Sim City.
Fyer, the man who runs Fyer and Falbi's Watertop Land of Fantastication, has a picture of an enemy from the Mario series called a Banzai Bill on his shirt. Also, if Lake Hylia is looked at from Gerudo Desert, some of the rock formations look like Yoshi's head.
In other media
The Nintendo Monopoly board game uses several characters from the Zelda series along with many other Nintendo characters to represent streets in the game. Link, Princess Zelda and Ganondorf are represented on Pennsylvania Avenue, North Carolina Avenue, and Pacific Avenue respectively. Images from various Zelda games can also be seen on the background of the board.
|Link (x4) · Princess Zelda · Vaati|
—Full list of characters
|Deguchitato · Derazoru · Gouen · Vaati|
|Chambers of Insight · Sea of Trees · Talus Cave · Death Mountain · Vaati's Palace · Hero's Trial · Realm of Memories|
—Full list of locations
|Bomb · Boomerang · Bow · Bow-Wow · Four Sword · Shield|
|Armor Seed · Fairy · Gnat Hat · Heart · Heart Container · Magnetic Glove · Pegasus Boots · Razor Seed · Roc's Cape · Rupee · Pegasus Seed · Small Key|
|Golden Key · Hero's Key · Medal of Courage · Silver Key|
| Ezlo · King Daltus · Link · Princess Zelda · Smith · Vaati|
—Full list of characters
|Big Green ChuChu · Gleerok · Mazaal · Big Octorok · Gyorg Pair · Vaati Reborn · Vaati Transfigured · Vaati's Wrath|
| Castor Wilds · Cloud Tops · Eastern Hills · Hyrule Town · Lake Hylia · Lon Lon Ranch · Minish Woods · Mount Crenel · Mt. Crenel's Base · North Hyrule Field · Royal Valley · South Hyrule Field · Trilby Highlands · Veil Falls · Western Wood · Wind Ruins|
|Deepwood Shrine · Cave of Flames · Fortress of Winds · Temple of Droplets · Royal Crypt · Palace of Winds · Dark Hyrule Castle|
|Smith's Sword · White Sword · Four Sword · Small Shield · Mirror Shield · Bombs · Boomerang · Bow · Cane of Pacci · Gust Jar|
|Bottle · Flame Lantern · Flippers · Grip Ring · Mole Mitts · Ocarina of Wind · Power Bracelets · Roc's Cape|
|Elements · Kinstones · Tiger Scrolls|
|Deku · Fairy · Goron · Human · Hylian · Minish · Wind Tribe|
|Bellum · Ciela · Linebeck · Link · Ocean King · Oshus · Tetra|
—Full list of characters
|Blaaz · Cyclok · Crayk · Diabolical Cubus Sisters · Dongorongo · Gleeok · Eox · Bellum · Ghost Ship · Bellumbeck|
|Bannan Island · Cannon Island · Goron Island · Harrow Island · Isle of Ember · Isle of Frost · Isle of Gust · Isle of Ruins · Isle of the Dead · Mercay Island · Molida Island · Zauz's Island|
—Full list of locations
|Temple of Fire · Temple of Wind · Temple of Courage · Ghost Ship · Goron Temple · Temple of Ice · Mutoh's Temple · Temple of the Ocean King|
|Oshus's Sword · Wooden Shield · Boomerang · Bombs · Bow · Bombchus · Grappling Hook · Hammer · Phantom Sword · Shovel · Fishing Rod|
|Leaf · Neri · Ciela · Pure Metals · Phantom Hourglass · Spirit Gem|
|Anouki · Deity · Fairy · Gerudo · Goron · Human · Hylian · Yook|