The episode's title card
September 8, 1989
"The Ringer" is the first episode of The Legend of Zelda TV series. It was broadcast in the United States and Canada on September 8, 1989.
- See also: Episode transcript
Link reluctantly gets out of bed, complaining about his "boring" life in North Castle and reminiscing about the days when he would roam the world and constantly fight monsters. He looks out the window and sees Princess Zelda in a nearby balcony and whistles at her. Annoyed, Zelda leaves and shortly after, a Moblin sneaks behind Link and attacks him while more Moblins come into his room. One of the minions tries to steal the Triforce of Wisdom in Link's room, but the young hero manages to defeat them and sends them back to Ganon's Evil Jar. Link then notices that one of the Moblins dropped a Magic Bow, and stores it in his pocket before Zelda knocks on his door. After the young hero tries to kiss her, Zelda greets him with a smack to his cheek for having whistled at her before. Link then tells her of the Moblins that attacked him earlier, and the princess notices that this was the third attack by Ganon in the same month. Much to Link's dismay, Zelda orders Link to stay in his room and guard to Triforce while she goes off to judge the Magician's Contest.
Meanwhile, in the Underworld, Ganon punishes the Moblins and concludes that if he wants the Triforce of Wisdom, he will have to get it himself. He begins his plans to spoil the Magician's Contest by appearing in cognito: since his teleportation powers are limited in the "upper world," he disguises four Stalfos in robes and makes them carry him on a platform. Ganon eventually arrives to North Castle and asks to be let in the contest. When Zelda asks him if he is an amateur magician, the evil wizard answers by making a bird appear out of his hands, which the princess approves of but asks that he wait his turn. Zelda continues to judge the contest while Ganon makes the bird turn into an Ache and orders it to go see who is guarding the Triforce of Wisdom. The Ache, having seen Link and Spryte next to the Triforce, later comes back to Ganon and informs him that the young hero is guarding the sacred relic. When one of the magicians makes a lizard appear on Zelda's hand, Ganon uses his magic to turn the lizard into a fire-breathing dragon that promptly turns towards the princess, causing her to scream in fear. Link hears Zelda's scream and rushes down from his room to help the princess. Although the young hero tries to defend himself from the dragon's fire using his Magical Shield, the flame is too strong. In order to make an opening for Link's attacks, Zelda throws a nearby plate in his direction, and the young hero fires several sword beams at it which reflect back at the dragon, promptly defeating it. However, Zelda and Link soon learn that the dragon was just a diversion and Ganon had managed to steal the Triforce of Wisdom.
Princess Zelda quickly grabs a seed that was sitting on a nearby table and asks one of the magicians from the contest to use their growing spell, causing the seed to immediately grow into a giant tree. The princess then ties a rope around the tip of the tree, and after Link and Zelda climb on top of it, Link snaps the rope with his sword so that the two are launched out of the castle. Zelda falls on top of Link, who tries to get her to kiss him, but Zelda pushes him away and warns him that Ganon is coming. Although Ganon is quickly approaching a secret Underworld entrance, Link zaps one of the Stalfos carrying the evil wizard, resulting in Ganon falling over, who commands his minions to attack the young duo while he calls for reinforcements. Link gives Zelda the Magic Bow that he found earlier, and when he sees that more Stalfos are coming from the Underworld entrance, he takes his belt off and ties it around both him and Zelda to fight back-to-back. The pair easily defeats the Stalfos together, and when there is only one Stalfos left, it takes out a bomb from underneath its chest and throws it at Link and Zelda; however, the young hero blocks it with his sword and zaps the foe. Ganon attempts to make a quick getaway with the Triforce of Wisdom in hand, but Link uses the bomb that the Stalfos threw at him and knocks it back at Ganon, causing the Triforce to be knocked from his hands.
With the Triforce of Wisdom now safe, Link tells Zelda that he will not get the belt off around them until she kisses him. Just as they are about to kiss, Spryte comes in and interrupts them, using her magic to get the belt off. The episode ends with Ganon inside the Evil Jar threatening that Link and Zelda will pay for what they have done.
- The cartoon series establishes that Link's entire inventory is actually shrunk inside his magic pouch. When Link is fighting the dragon, he pulls a miniaturized shield from the pouch, which then grows to normal size.
- This episode marks the only time the Triforce of Power speaks.
- "Yuck, another beautiful day in the magical kingdom of Hyrule. Boring place. I used to roam the world, fighting monsters and sleeping in mud. A hero's life! Now look at me, living in a castle, sleeping in a bed...aren't I sweet? Yuck!" — Link (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 [x])
- "Hey it's been fun, but the other customers are getting impatient." Guys, it's been a blast, but you're going home. And tell Ganon that if he really wants this triforce, he'll have to get it himself. Ok, that's better!" — Link (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 [x])
- "Don't you ever whistle at me again!" — Princess Zelda (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "About ten seconds ago, about 15 of them. Armed to the teeth! Naturally, I fought them off, risking my life to save the Triforce and your kingdom." — Princess Zelda (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Anyway, this is the third attack by Ganon this month. We'll have to be on our guard." — Princess Zelda (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Aw, princess, it's too nice a day!" — Link (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "By "we", of course I mean you. Stay here today and guard the Triforce. [...] Don't argue. The Triforce must be guarded. And I'm already late to judge the Magician's Contest." — Princess Zelda (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Obviously, if I want the Triforce of Wisdom, I'm going to have to get it myself. There is a contests of amateur magicians in Hyrule today. I shall enter that contest! [...] Since my teleportation powers are limited in the upper world, I'll have to travel in style." — Ganon (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "My name is not important. I merely wish to enter this contest." — Ganon (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Fine, wait your turn." — Princess Zelda (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Quickly, fly to the tower if anyone guards the Triforce of Wisdom." — Ganon (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "It's guarded by Link." — Ache (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Whoa! Toasty! [...] Can't...get a clear zap!" — Link (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Link! Get ready!" — Link (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Hah! The Triforce of Wisdom! Mine, at last!" — Ganon (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Quick, your growing spell!" — Princess Zelda (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Ta-da! Saved your life again. Kiss me." — Link (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Look out! It's Ganon!" — Zelda (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Get them now while I call for reinforcements!" — Ganon (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "A measly three Stalfos? Hah! Take this, princess." — Link (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Back-to-back, princess! Fast!" — Link (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "But I have the Triforce! You have lost! Hyrule is mine!" — Ganon (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Not yet, Ganon!" — Link (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Hey! Knock it off, you two! [...] Oh, I see. The belt's stuck. Here, I'll fix that." — Spryte (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )
- "Wait until I get out of here, Zelda and Link. You'll pay for this!" — Ganon (The Legend of Zelda TV Series, Episode 1 )