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The Legend of Zelda is the game that started it all. It was primarily created by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. All the basic building blocks of what we know as Zelda today came from this game. The Triforce (only two pieces in this game, Wisdom and Power), Link, Princess Zelda, and Ganon. Playing this game is one of my fondest childhood memories. To this day I can't remember how I discovered all the secrets without online FAQs or the hallowed NES Game Atlas.

The game was originally developed for the Famicom Disk System (FDS), a Japanese version of the NES (Famicom in Japan) that used custom floppy disks instead of solid-state cartridges. The rewritable nature of the FDS allowed you to save your progress in the game. However, because the US did not have a disk version of the NES, the cartridge-based Zelda used a small battery to power the memory that saved your game.

Another interesting aspect of this game was the second quest. After beating the first quest, or entering your name as "ZELDA" when starting a new game, a totally new second quest is available. The overworld is mostly the same, with a few minor differences. However, every dungeon except level 1 has changed locations. The dungeons are also far more difficult. The second quest also introduced game mechanics not seen in the first quest, such as being able to walk through walls in a dungeon. So essentially, players got two games in one. The totally different second quest so far has not been duplicated in any other Zelda game.

English Title: The Legend of Zelda
Japanese Title: ゼルダの伝説 [Zeruda no Densetsu] (The Legend of Zelda)

Release Dates:
Japan (FDS): Feb 21st, 1986
US (NES): August 22nd, 1987
Europe (NES): November 27th, 1987


  • This is the entire Zelda I instruction manual scanned in JPG format, so you can see how the original manual looked.
  • This is the entire instruction manual from Zelda I formatted in handy HTML for your convenience.
  • These are codes used to modify (cheat) the game. These codes can be used on most emulators as well.
  • This is a complete walkthrough that I wrote from scratch, I hope this helps you if you get stuck. It includes detailed maps of every level.
  • The same as above, only for the second quest.