February 21, 2011 marked the 25th anniversary of the The Legend of Zelda series, commemorating the Japanese release of the original The Legend of Zelda. This was celebrated with a series of game releases as well as special events throughout the course of 2011, most of which were announced during the E3 2011 Nintendo conference. The logo for the Zelda 25th birthday was revealed during the 2011 Game Developers Conference, where Nintendo announced that they had special plans prepared for the anniversary, mentioning that it would be handled differently than the Mario anniversary.
The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary events
Nintendo E3 2011 Conference Opening
The Nintendo E3 2011 conference opened with a special tribute to the franchise, consisting of a highlight reel of previous Zelda games, starting with the original The Legend of Zelda, all accompanied by a live orchestra and choir. The clip also showed a new Skyward Sword trailer. Shigeru Miyamoto then asked the orchestra to play some of the classic songs from the series, such as the Fairy Fountain medley, the jingle when a puzzle is solved, as well as the music played when a Treasure Chest is opened.
The Legend of Zelda Symphony Worldwide Concerts
A The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony performed concerts worldwide. It made its first performance in Tokyo on October 10, 2011 and later in Los Angeles on October 21, 2011. On October 25, 2011, the Zelda Symphony made its only performance in Europe, in London. In 2012, the symphony returned for a number of performances in North America, in a tour named The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses. The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Special Orchestra CD, with music from the concerts, was also released in conjunction with the Special Edition of Skyward Sword.
Official The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Website
The official The Legend of Zelda 25 Anniversary Website was also launched. The site includes: a brief history of all the Zelda games, details about the Make Your Own Zelda Flipnote contest (including a sample animated video made by Nintendo), wallpaper downloads of various Zelda games illustrations, details on The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony, a video of the Zelda Symphony performing at E3 2011, and links to the Ocarina of Time 3D and Link's Awakening DX websites.
Events at GamesCom 2011
At the 2011 GamesCom convention in Cologne, Germany, Nintendo organized the The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary flashmob cosplay gathering, inviting fans of the series to show up as their favorite Zelda characters. The first 111 cosplayers were awarded a goodie bag, including a limited edition t-shirt and a can of Deku Nuts.
Nintendo also host The Legend of Zelda Quiz, where three players tested their knowledge of The Legend of Zelda series for a chance to win one of three exclusive prizes: the Twilight Princess golden Link and Epona figurine, or a Zelda 25th anniversary Treasure Chest replica filled with extra merchandise.
The Zelda Room
In honor of the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo of America created a Zelda-themed room at their headquarters in Redwood City, CA. The room, designed by I-am-8-bit, contains several Zelda-related aspects, such as a Treasure Chest on the floor containing Masks, bottled Fairies on top of desks, and Rupees placed on couches. The walls are painted with different themes, such as Hyrule Field with Hyrule Castle in the background, as well as the Master Sword resting in the forest with the Moon looming over.
"25 Years of..." Videos
To celebrate the Legend of Zelda's 25th anniversary, Nintendo released several series of videos, all of which showcase a certain aspect of the games that have made the series unique. Some of them include "25 Years of Wisdom", "25 Years of Power", "25 Years of Romance?", and "25 Years of Music."
- Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Skyward Sword, the only main series Zelda game created specifically for the Wii, was released on November 2011 worldwide. The game itself includes a reference to the series' 25th anniversary, which is when Owlan mentions during the Wing Ceremony opening that this year's ceremony is special since it is also the 25th anniversary of the Knight Academy.
Skyward Sword Bundle
Upon its North American release, a special edition Skyward Sword bundle was available at the price of $69.99. The bundle included a copy of Skyward Sword, as well as a gold Wii Remote Plus. Additionally, a limited edition CD, featuring music from The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert, was also packaged alongside all early purchases of the standard and special edition copies of Skyward Sword.
Skyward Sword Comic
- Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Krahulik)
On November 15, 2011, Nintendo announced that they had commissioned Penny Arcade to release a five-page comic loosely based on Skyward Sword. According to the artist Gabe, Nintendo did not want Link to have an internal monologue, so the comic is told from Gaepora's perspective on how it must feel to have his daughter Zelda kidnapped while solely depending on Link to save her.
Additional Game Releases
Beside Skyward Sword Nintendo also announced each of their current generation consoles would see a release of a Zelda game.
Link's Awakening DX
- Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX
It was announced at Nintendo's E3 Press Conference by Shigeru Miyamoto that Link's Awakening DX would become available that day, June 7, 2011, for the Nintendo 3DS eShop. The price for the game is $5.99 in the United States, $9AU in Australia, and £5.40 in the United Kingdom.
Ocarina of Time 3D
- Main articles: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Official Soundtrack
The Nintendo 3DS remake of the critically acclaimed Nintendo 64 Zelda game was released in June 2011: Japan's release date was June 16, 2011, followed by the European release date on June 17 and finally released in the U.S. on June 19, 2011.
As part of the Zelda 25th anniversary, Nintendo announced during their E3 2011 conference that anyone who registered their copy of Ocarina of Time 3D in Club Nintendo would be receiving the official soundtrack of the game for free. However, the giveaway was only available for residents of the United States and Canada, and the offer started on June 19, 2011, which is when the game was released in North America.
Four Swords Anniversary Edition
- Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition
Zelda HD Experience
- Main article: Zelda HD Experience
The Zelda HD Experience is a short cinematic unveiled during Nintendo's E3 2011 conference. Although the demo lead fans to speculate that Nintendo was developing a Zelda title for the Wii U, it was later revealed to have been designed to help demonstrate the console's graphical capabilities and control scheme.
Cameo in Super Mario 3D Land
The Nintendo 3DS Super Mario title pays homage to The Legend of Zelda series by including a top-perspective level that is in the style of the dungeons found in the original The Legend of Zelda game, full of enemies that Link usually encounters. In that same level, when Mario lights up all of the torches in a room, the tune that plays whenever Link solves a puzzle or uncovers a secret can be heard. Additionally, the level is 5-2 (the number 25 backwards).
Zelda 25th Anniversary Nintendo 3DS
As part of a bundle for the 2011 Holidays, a special, limited-edition Cosmo Black Nintendo 3DS marked with the Royal Crest comes bundled with Ocarina of Time 3D. The Nintendo 3DS includes other special markings, such as the Goddess's Harp and the Ocarina of Time in each of its corners. The bundle is sold at the price of $199.99 in the United States.
Zelda Trump playing cards
- Main article: The Legend of Zelda Trump
In early December 2011, Nintendo of Japan released the Zelda Trump playing cards, a set of playing cards featuring art from four of the games from the series.
Zelda 25th Anniversary Club Nintendo posters
For its Club Nintendo program, Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Australia offered its members a set of three exclusive, high-quality embossed/foiled Zelda 25th Anniversary posters.
Zelda 25th Anniversary-themed Nintendo points cards
In late 2011, Nintendo offered three special Zelda-themed Nintendo points cards, which could be used to purchase online content for the Wii, Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo DSi. Only in Japan, the points cards were actual plastic cards, while the other regions just printed the code on a cardboard card.
- Main article: Hyrule Historia
On December 21, 2011, Nintendo of Japan released the Zelda encyclopedia Hyrule Historia, a 274-page book containing never-before-seen concept artworks of the game as well as the entire history of Hyrule.
|Flipnote Studio Animation|
|Time lapse of The Zelda Room|
|Developer Thank You Video|
|25 Years of Humor|
|25 Years of Music|
|25 Years of Wisdom|
|25 Years of Secrets|
|25 Years of Romance?|
|25 Years of Races|
- "At this point that's all we're going to say. We're not going to give any clues as to what that celebration might be. All I can tell you is that it's going to be different to what we did with Mario. But it will be just as special." — Zelda 25th anniversary will be special - Nintendo; retrieved June 10, 2011, Official Nintendo Magazine.
- Official Zelda Symphony Website
- The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Website
- The Legend of Zelda Room - Blog, Nintendo World Report.
- "Also confirmed is this: Skyward Sword will be released during this year’s holiday season and a special golden Zelda Wii remote will be available." — Skyward Sword confirmed for this Holiday Season!; retrieved June 7, 2011, Zelda Universe.
- "Today is a special day for many reasons, but it is also the 25th anniversary of our fine institution." — Owlan (Skyward Sword)
- "The limited-edition gold controller bundle for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will be offered at a suggested retail price of $69.99. The game will also be sold separately at a suggested retail price of $49.99, though the gold controller will only be available as part of the special bundle. As an additional 25th anniversary treat for fans who purchase the game early, every copy in the initial production, whether sold by itself or as a part of the limited-edition bundle, will come with a free CD featuring select orchestral arrangements of iconic music spanning the history of the franchise which will be performed at The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert performances in October 2011" — The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Bundle Highlights a Golden Autumn for Nintendo Games; retrieved Aug. 29 2011, Go Nintendo.
- Penny Arcade - Skyward Sword, Penny Arcade.
- "When we first sat down to write this project we had a hard time. Link doesn't speak and Nintendo didn't want him to even have an internal monologue. So the narration had to come from someplace else. After we started playing through the game we discovered what a cool character Gaepora was. He is Zelda's father and as Dads ourselves, we tried to immagine [sic] what all of this must be like for him. His daughter is missing and the only person who can save her is this kid? It seemed like an interesting angle to us and I think the final product is a cool look inside the mind of someone you might just skip over otherwise." — Penny Arcade - Zelda page 2, Penny Arcade.
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Available Today on 3DS eShop, Kotaku.
- / Ocarina of Time 3D Teaser Site (Japanese)
- A 3D glasses-free spring ahead for all - Nintendo - News
- "Nintendo of America's just confirmed Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D will release on 3DS on June 19 in the US." — , CVG; retrieved Apr. 12 2011.
- "[Four Swords] will be available for free in the 3DS and DSi shops between September 28, 2011 and February 20, 2012." — Four Swords Anniversary Edition: release date and new levels, Zelda Universe, published September 13th, 2011.
- "As part of the demo for the newly named Wii U home console, Nintendo showed off some very impressive-looking footage of a possible future Zelda game. The graphics look too stylized to be a simple port of Skyward Sword, but too simple for a re-release of Twilight Princess or any other recent games. It's unknown whether this footage is a simple tech demo, put together to show off what the Wii U is capable of, or footage for a Zelda game we could be seeing in future." — Wii U Zelda: Tech demo or new game?, Zelda Universe.
- "The footage shows a battle between Link and Queen Gohma, as well as a quick shot of the Wii U's touchscreen controller being utilized as an item screen. [...] It's been confirmed from various sources that this is indeed a tech demo to show off the amazing graphics of the Wii U. No new Zelda game has been announced for the Wii U (yet?)" — Wii U Zelda: Tech demo or new game?, Zelda Universe.
- , Siliconera.