ALL the Zeldas (pt. 1)


Last week, I completed a longtime personal goal. I can now say I’ve beaten all the mainline Zelda games!

How do I define “mainline Zelda”? More or less, anything in the Hyrule Historia, plus BotW which wasn’t released when the book came out. This doesn’t include the CD-i games, nor any of the spinoff games such as Hyrule Warriors or Link’s Crossbow Training. It also doesn’t include the games that require you to have friends to play…

How do I define “beaten”? I played through the entire main story, no hacks, cheats, anything, and beat the boss. Not necessarily 100%, but in several cases, yes.

I wanted to sit down and write about the games a little bit.

Zelda 1

I think this was the first Zelda game I ever played. My dad had an NES and the classic gold cartridge of Zelda 1. I have …fond? memories of stumbling around Hyrule and dying a lot.

I ended up revisiting the game on Switch Online and played through it to completion. I 100% this one. Overall, I enjoyed playing it, although the controls felt real clunky.

Zelda 2: AoL

The black sheep of the Zelda family. Played it early on and had no clue what was going on. Revisited on Switch Online, and played through with lots of help from rewind functionality. As a Zelda game, not good. As an old-school action RPG…just go play a Final Fantasy game.


Another game that I played relatively early on (I had the remake for GBA), but I only beat it with the advent of Switch Online. Since that point, though, I’ve played through it probably 3 or 4 times vanilla, and twice that many randomizer runs. It’s just such a neat world and concept. It definitely set trends for future Zelda games to come.

If I had to pick one complaint, it’s the controls. The sword never quite does what I want it to, and the shield’s hitbox is wonky at the best of times.


This was the first Zelda game that I beat. I had the DX version on GBC, and played it a TON as a kid. A lot of that was fumbling around because I was too ~young~ noobish to figure things out, but still.

Switch remake

When the remake was announced for Switch, to say I was stoked would be an understatement. I got this game right before going camping for the weekend. Like a nerd, I brought my switch and a giant portable charger. I spent probably 20 hours over the course of the weekend thoroughly enjoying the game. The graphics are understandably polarizing, but I thought they were a nice compromise to maintain the 2.5D angle of the original while still modernizing/updating.

I’m a bit disappointed in the “dungeon builder”. It could have been so much more, but it wasn’t really worth diving into.


I played through this in its entirety on N64. My dad and I would take turns playing (on separate files, of course). He beat it before I did. What can I say about Ocarina that hasn’t been said? It’s a masterpiece. The story, the visuals, the wide open landscape? All wonderful for the time.

When my fiancée wanted to play through OoT, we got her the 3DS remake. I haven’t played it, but she played through it in her entirety and loved it.


This is actually what I’m working on now. I’d never played it, but now’s the time. I grabbed an HD texture pack and am playing through it on my computer. Have only just begun, but I’m so excited.


Unpopular opinion: I don’t care for Majora’s Mask. This was actually the final Zelda game I needed to beat. I had the gold holo N64 cartridge as a kid (well, I still do). I made it as far as getting the Zora mask when I gave up.

I’ve never been a fan of games or parts of games that make you feel rushed. So given that this is “Not Enough Time, The Game (TM)” – you can understand why it’s not my favorite.


When I realized that I had only a single game left to play, I committed to going back to Termina and finishing things up. I thought about pulling out my N64 cartridge and finishing it off. But it had been so long, I’d forgotten exactly where I was and what needed doing. So, I whipped out the 3DS remake we’d bought for my fiancée (who also never finished it).

I ground hard on this over the course of a couple of weeks. I’m somewhat ashamed to say I resorted to guides on occasion, just because I felt I lacked sufficient time to really explore. It’s a shame, really, since there is so much to explore in the land of Termina.

I finally did it. This was definitely not a game I 100%, but I did it nonetheless.

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