The early games on the Nintendo Entertainment System that were actually developed by Nintendo would often involve the saving of a princess, with Princess Peach and Princess Zelda always needing to be rescued from the forces of villainy.
Times haven't changed that much, as Bowser keeps stealing Princess Peach and the knock-off versions of Ganondorf keep pinching Princess Zelda.
Princess Zelda has often had to deal with higher stakes than her counterpart in the Mushroom Kingdom, as the villains in The Legend of Zelda series often want to take over the land in a much more vicious way than Bowser.
The Legend of Zelda series is named after Princess Zelda, even though she has rarely been a playable character. The reason why she gets top billing over Link is due to the fact that Shigeru Miyamoto liked the name so much. He first encountered it when learning about Zelda Fitzgerald, who was the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerlad, a former President of the United States of America.
Princess Zelda may not be the main character in The Legend of Zelda series, but she has left a tremendous impact on the world of video games, to the point where her fame has matched that of Link.
We are here today to learn the secrets of the most famous princess in the history of video games - from the technical issues that prevented her from turning to Sheik, to the slow fighting style that has kept her out of tournaments.
Here are Twenty Weird Things About Zelda’s Body Fans Forget!
20 The Nintendo 3DS Prevented Zelda From Turning Into Sheik
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it was possible for some characters to switch in the middle of battle. The Pokémon Trainer was able to switch between his three Pokémon at any time, while Samus could transform into Zero Suit Samus (and vice-versa) using their Final Smash.
Princess Zelda could transform into Sheik (and vice-versa) by pressing down+B, which activates the Transform move. This move debuted in Super Smash Bros. Melee but dissapeared in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U.
The reason why transforming characters/moves were dropped from Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U was due to the limitations of the Nintendo 3DS hardware. Masahiro Sakurai wanted both versions of the game to be the same and characters transforming mid-battle was too taxing on the 3DS, so transforming was removed from the game. This change meant that Princess Zelda and Sheik became seperate characters.
19 Princess Zelda Had A Voice Actor Long Before Breath Of The Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the first game in the series to include voice acting, so long as you ignore the terrible Legend of Zelda games that appeared on the Philips CD-i, which are officially non-canon.
One of the reasons why it took so long for The Legend of Zelda series to include full voice acting was due to the hardware limitations, as Nintendo didn't move to a disc-based medium until the GameCube.
There was an add-on for the Super Nintendo called the Satellaview which allowed for one-way communication through a satellite connection. There were a few unique Legend of Zelda games that appeared on this peripheral, one of which included voice acting. BS The Legend of Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets would feature live voice acting that appeared during certain scenes. These moments included dialogue for Princess Zelda, who would ask the player for help.
18 Zelda's Clothes Were Used To Cover Up The Protagonist Of Fatal Frame: Maiden Of Black Water
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water was a horror game for the Wii U that was known for its extreme levels of fan service, which affected both the human protagonist and the ghosts that pursued her. It was kind of hard to take the bad spirits seriously when they wore revealing kimonos.
The Japanese version of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water included a few outfits that were considered too risque for the international audience. These were replaced with Princess Zelda's dress and Samus Aran's zero suit outfit.
17 Zelda Has The Blood Of A Goddess
The Legend of Zelda's timeline was once a major point of contention for fans, with some arguing that all of the games took place in the same timeline, while others claimed that the games took place in alternate timelines.
The truth was revealed in the Hyrule Historia guide, where the timeline was split into three by the events of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
The current starting point of the timeline is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, where it is revealed that the bloodline of the Hyrule royal family is descended from the goddess Hylia, who was reborn as the first Princess Zelda. This means that members of the Hyrule royal family are members of a divine bloodline, though it's possible that this has become diluted over time.
16 Never Appears In Link's Awakening, Even Though She's In The Title
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is one of the most depressing games in the series, as it ends with Link adrift in the ocean after waking up from a dream in which he was on an adventure. The fate of this Link has yet to be revealed, but things aren't looking up for the doomed hero of Hyrule.
Link spends all of his time in Link's Awakening trapped on an island which takes place within his mind.
The fact that Link's Awakening doesn't take place in Hyrule means that Princess Zelda never actually appears in the game, even though her name is still in the title.
15 A Bizarre Version Of Zelda Appeared In Tingle's Video Game
Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland is a bizarre game, which is fitting when you consider that Tingle is the protagonist. The game is all about acquiring rupees and spending them on services.
One of the ways in which you can earn money in Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland is through playing scratchcards, which are given out by Madame Scratchcard.
The only appearance that Princess Zelda makes in Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland is as one of the icons that you can see on the scratchcards.
14 She Once Possessed Two Pieces Of The Triforce
The Triforce is usually split into three pieces, with Ganondorf possessing the Triforce of Power, Link possessing the Triforce of Courage, and Princess Zelda possessing the Triforce of Wisdom.
In The Legend of Zelda comics that were released by Valiant Comics, there was an issue where Link stole the Triforce of Power from Ganondorf and became corrupted by its influence. He tried to steal the Triforce of Wisdom from Princess Zelda, but the Triforce of Courage abandoned him and joined with Princess Zelda, making her the bearer of two pieces of the Triforce.
13 A Lot Of Fates Await Zelda In One Of The Nintendo Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Novels
Anyone who has played a choose-your-own-adventure novel (such as the Fighting Fantasy series) knows how brutal they can be. All it takes is one wrong decision and your plucky adventurer has met a terrible fate.
There are several gamebooks that were released by Nintendo in the '90s that take place in the world of The Legend of Zelda, one of which starred Princess Zelda.
In The Crystal Trap, Princess Zelda has to save Link by going on an adventure of her own. This journey comes with a few horrible fates, such as being overcome by devils, deceived by a wizzrrobe, watching Link be turned to stone, being trapped in a pit with a broken ankle, and being crushed by walls that are closing in.
12 Zelda Has Had Several Live-Action Appearances
There have been a lot of rumors over the years about a Legend of Zelda live-action TV series being developed, with the most recent happening a few years ago when several news outlets reported on rumors that Netflix was ready to enter production on one.
The rumors of a live-action Legend of Zelda TV show have so far been proven false, but there have been a few real-life actresses who have portrayed Princess Zelda. Zelda's Adventure live-action cutscenes for the Philips CD-i featured several which starred Princess Zelda. There is also the infamous Japanese commercial for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which was heavily inspired by Michael Jackson's music videos. This commercial also featured a live-action version of Princess Zelda.
11 A Poorly Translated Line Led Many To Believe That Zelda Was Link's Sister
At the beginning of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Link must take up his uncle's sword and save Princess Zelda from her prison cell. The final line spoken by Link's uncle is "Zelda is your..." before he passes away.
This line led to a lot of fan speculation about what the uncle was going to say next, with the most prominent theory being that he was going to say "sister".
It has since been revealed that this line was the result of a poor translation and that he was originally supposed to say "Y-you are the princess’… …" suggesting that the next words would be "last hope" or something to that effect.
10 The Balance Of The Triforce Means That Zelda Can Never Be Male
When the first trailers for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild were released, there was a lot of fan speculation that the latest incarnation of Link was female, due to his androgynous design.
Eiji Aonuma gave a ridiculous reason as to why Link has to be male and Princess Zelda has to be female. He claimed that the balance of the Triforce requires Princess Zelda to be female, which means that Link has to be male.
This line of thinking makes no sense and ignores the possibility of a game where a female Link has to save Prince Zelda, as there is no reason why the Zelda name can't be used for either gender in the world of Hyrule.
9 Nina Williams From Tekken Once Sported The Princess Zelda Outfit
It has become a common occurrence for major third-party titles that appear on Nintendo consoles to receive exclusive content related to prominent first-party Nintendo characters. This has most recently happened with the Nintendo Switch port of Diablo III, which will receive a Ganondorf outfit.
The Wii U port of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 received several outfits based on The Legend of Zelda series, with Princess Zelda's dress being an option for Nina Williams.
8 Robin Williams Named His Daughter After Princess Zelda
Robin Williams was a huge fan of tabletop games and video games. He was a big World of Warcraft fan and even received an in-game memorial after he passed away. You can tell that Robin Williams was a huge fan of gaming as he named his daughter after Princess Zelda.
Robin Williams and Marsha Garces played through The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time during her pregnancy and the version of Princess Zelda that appeared in that game inspired the name of their daughter. When The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D was released, both Robin Williams and Zelda Williams appeared in the commercial together.
7 A Glitch In Hyrule Warriors Allows You To Hear Zelda Singing
One of the recurring songs that have appeared in The Legend of Zelda series is "Zelda's Lullaby", which debuted in A Link to the Past and has shown up in various different forms across the different Legend of Zelda titles.
There is an unused variant of "Zelda's Lullaby" that is hidden in the files of Hyrule Warriors, which is hummed by Princess Zelda herself.
It used to be possible to hear this song through the use of glitches, but this has since been patched out of the game.
6 Zelda Was The First Character To Use A Gun In The Series
The fans of The Legend of Zelda series have often wondered what a game set in the present day or the future would look like. There have been a few instances of technology progressing in Hyrule (such as the trains in Spirit Tracks) but the series still seems buried in a medieval fantasy era.
The first character in The Legend of Zelda series to use a gun was Tetra, who was the Zelda of The Wind Waker version of Hyrule. The flintlock pistol that she uses was the first kind of personal firearm ever seen in the series.
5 Toon Zelda & Toon Shiek Almost Appeared In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. Brawl was intended to have more characters than what appeared in the game, with the likes of Dr. Mario, Mewtwo, and Roy set to reappear as playable characters, while Dixie Kong would join the series for the first time.
Two of the incomplete newcomers that still have data within the files of Super Smash Bros. Brawl are Toon Zelda and Toon Sheik, which means that we missed out on Wind Waker inspired versions of both characters.
It's unknown why Toon Zelda & Toon Sheik were cut, though the most likely reason was due to the strict time restraints that the development team was under.
4 Zelda Once Slew Her Own Clone
One of the recurring jokes in The Legend of Zelda animated series involving Link asking for a kiss from Princess Zelda and being rebuffed. In the episode called "Doppelganger", Ganon makes a clone of Princess Zelda who captures the original and takes her place. This clone is way into kissing Link, which is what causes him to suspect her true nature.
When Link is trying to determine which of the two Zelda's is the real one, he tries to get a kissing contest going. The villainous Zelda is up for it, which perturbs the original so much that she grabs Link's sword and blasts her clone out of existence.
3 There Were Once Two Princess Zeldas In Existence
One of three timelines of The Legend Zelda series was created by Ganondorf defeating Link at the end of Ocarina of Time, which resulted in an age of darkness and destruction. This was the era of the early Legend of Zelda titles, which explains why Hyrule is so barren.
This era of Hyrule also has two Princess Zeldas - the first is the one saved at the end of the original game, while the second is the one that was put into a magical coma centuries earlier and needs the power of the Triforce in order to be awakened.
2 All Female Members Of The Royal Family Of Hyrule Have To Be Named Zelda
The reason why there are so many Princess Zeldas in the Hyrule royal family is related to the sleeping Princess Zelda from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
A former Prince of Hyrule once argued with his sister over information concerning the Triforce. This led to her being put into an endless magical coma by a villainous wizard, who was the one had placed such misguided thoughts into the Prince's mind in the first place.
The Prince was so distraught over what he had done that he decreed that all females born into the Hyrule royal family must be named Zelda, in honor of his sister who was lost to him.
1 Zelda Has Always Been Bad In Smash Bros. (While Sheik Has Always Been Amazing)
One of the most desired aspects of any fighting game character is speed, as the ability to move faster than your opponent can be unstoppable in the right hands. It's for this reason that Sheik has often placed high in Super Smash Bros. tier lists, with the Super Smash. Bros Melee version of the character being noted for her high combo potential, while the most recent Super Smash Bros. game gave her some of the fastest moves in the game.
Princess Zelda has fared far worse on the tier lists, due to the fact that her playstyle is the opposite of Sheik's, as she is slow and relies on ranged attacks. The poor mobility of Princess Zelda has made her a poor choice in a game full of fluid fighters like Fox McCloud and Prince Marth.