The Legend of Zelda: The Evolution of Link from the Very Beginning

When the first The Legend of Zelda game was released back in 1986, few would have dared to dream about just what an iconic franchise the game and its characters would become. 21 years later and after numerous further editions in the franchise, the latest installment in the series, Breath of the Wild, still had millions the world over waited with bated breath, and is now being hailed as one of the greatest games of all time.

The Legend of Zelda’s enduring popularity has spanned just about every evolution and change that gaming has undergone, from the comparatively basic Nintendo Entertainment System which relied upon the player’s imagination to fill in the blanks, through to the 3D revolution of the mid-90s with Ocarina of Time and finally to the being the flagship launch title of Nintendo’s latest innovation, the Switch. Along the way, Zelda has also become a cornerstone of Nintendo’s various handheld consoles, culminating with the recent remakes of the older 3D titles for the 3DS.

Perhaps the greatest testament to the series and its enduring popularity is the fact it has changed so little; although game mechanics have improved and the top-down nature of the games has been fazed out, the core principles remain the same. Among those is Link, the series’ protagonist who, despite graphical enhancements and makeovers over the years, remains the same embodiment of the selfless, everyman hero that he was in the very first game.

This infographic charts how his look has changed across the years.

Click on the photo for full size

Infographic provided by Console Deals

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