The Legend of Zelda

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Title Screen

The Legend of Zelda

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: NES
Released in JP: February 21, 1986 (FDS),
February 19, 1994 (NES)
Released in US: August 22, 1987
Released in EU: November 15, 1987


EnemyIcon.png This game has unused enemies.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page
ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article
PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

The Legend of Zelda features Link on a quest to save Zelda from the evil Gannon (sic!). On his way, he gets no help at all, except for the Old Man who gives him a random stick he picked up somewhere (plus some vague hints), and is on his own in the vast land of Hyrule.

Contents

Unused Enemy Values

Monster modifier: 0350

  • 18 - Strong enemy that resembles Digdogger, only completely graphically corrupted
  • 26 - Nothing? (Puff of smoke) (may be replacement data for cleared-out rooms)
  • 29 - Nothing? (Puff of smoke) (may be replacement data for cleared-out rooms)
  • 42 - Gleeok with one head.

Unused Spawn Type

Via the use of world scrambler codes, you can force enemies to spawn from an unused configuration; all the enemies will rush out from a single cloud of smoke.

Revision Differences

Hmmm...
To do:
Other differences?


Title Screen

PRG0 PRG1
It's not trademarked, I can use it for whatever I want! Oh no!

The PRG1 version adds a trademark symbol to the title screen.

Save Option Screen

PRG0 PRG1
It's empty, but surely nothing could corrupt my save data Oh no!

The PRG1 release of the game adds a small warning to the continue / save / retry screen.

Version Differences

Detailing the changes between the Famicom Disk System, Nintendo Entertainment System and Famicom cartridge versions of the game.

Title Screen

FDS NES
Put in Side B already Zelda1-title.png

The original Japanese title is "The Hyrule Fantasy - The Legend of Zelda." The NES version removed "The Hyrule Fantasy" from the title, and "The Legend of" took its place; the Disk Side B message was replaced with "Push Start Button."

They didn't really keep the numbered titles going, did they

The Japanese re-release on cartridge changed the title to "The Legend of Zelda 1." The graphics were repositioned to accommodate for the longer title. The copyright information was updated, and again, the Disk Side B message was replaced with "Push Start Button."

Prologue

FDS NES / Famicom cart
One of many legends Not just A legend, THE legend

The title of the story was changed from "Legend of Zelda" to "The Legend of Zelda."

FDS NES
Bibles can create magical fire Magic? That's blasphemous

For the NES release of the game, the Bible was renamed "Book of Magic." The English text for the items is blue in the Japanese version; in the NES version, the text is white.

ZeldaBookNES.png

The Japanese re-release on cartridge keeps the NES name change, but the Katakana text still says "Bible."

FDS / Famicom cart NES
FDS Zelda Sheet Of Paper.png NES Zelda Sheet Of Paper.png

The sheet of paper Link is holding was slightly modified for the NES, and the spacing between text and the Triforce was also reduced.

Erase File and Font

FDS NES
FDS Zelda KILL MODE.png NES Zelda ELIMINATION MODE.png

For the NES release of the game, Kill Mode was renamed Elimination Mode. The alphabetical characters in the FDS version were also changed from a thinner, unique font, to the common font used in many other NES games.

Loading Screen

Please Wait

When you change disk sides or save your progress in the FDS version, a loading message appears in Katakana text, translated to "Please Wait".

Text

FDS / Famicom cart NES
Right-aligned Centered

All the dialogue text appears right-aligned in the Japanese versions. In the NES version, it appears centered, and the space between rows was changed in order to fit three rows of text instead of two.

Game Over Menu

FDS Famicom cart
Retry doesn't mean what you think it means The 2P trick makes this easier

The Game Over menu options are spaced further apart in the Famicom cart version.

You picked something!

The NES and Famicom cart versions' text flashes when you select something. This does not happen in the original game.

Zora

FDS NES / Famicom cart
Stealthy! More visible

A black outline was added around the Zora sprite to make it more visible. The eyes and mouth were also redrawn.

Pols Voice

File:ZeldaFDSPolsVoiceFinal.png In both the original FDS version and the Japanese re-release on cartridge, Pols Voice is invulnerable to arrows, but instead it's extra-vulnerable to the Famicom's built-in microphone feature. As the NES system lacked this feature, it was instead given a weakness to arrows. Besides this weakness, they can also be defeated the hard way with the sword in all versions of the game. Some support for the Famicom Microphone remains in the NES version, however, as using an emulator with the microphone ability enabled will also work.

Map Changes

Two dungeon rooms in the game have additional enemies in the NES and Famicom cart version.

FDS NES / Famicom cart
Waltz in and grab it Suddenly, weak enemies!

Eight Keese were added to this otherwise empty room of Level 4 - 1st Quest.

FDS NES / Famicom cart
I'm glad there are no bat-like creatures in this room Damn it!

And again, there are eight Keese added to this room of Level 5 - 1st Quest.

Ending

FDS NES
FDS Zelda Ending.png Nes Zelda Ending.png

In the FDS version, after Zelda thanks Link, they hold up the Triforces of Power and Wisdom, and the frame starts to flash; they both disappear just before the rest of the text starts to appear under them. In the NES version they don't disappear until the frame starts to scroll to reveal the staff credits.


Other Differences:

  • The FDS version has short loading times when you start the game or whenever you enter or walk out of a dungeon.
  • There is far less slowdown in the FDS version compared to the NES and Famicom re-release.

Audio Differences

Music

  • The Title Theme and Ending Theme is richer in their compositions in the FDS version, due to the use of the system's wavetable sound channel.
  • The tune that plays on the Game Over screen uses the wavetable sound channel as well, making it sound a little bit different. Also, whenever you move the cursor on the screen it resets the musical loop for some reason, this is not the case on the NES and Famicom re-release.
  • The now famous success chime that is heard whenever you solve a puzzle or find one of the many secrets in the game sounds a little bit different in the FDS version due to the wavetable sound channel.
  • In the FDS version, there is no success chime when pushing those blocks that open the doors in the dungeons. (It's a little odd as it was in place in the FDS-prototype version of the game and then again in the NES and Famicom re-release versions.)
  • The music in level 9 has more bass beats before the rest of the tune begins. In the NES and Famicom re-release, it proceeds straight into the melody.

Sound Effects

The FDS version utilizes the system's wavetable sound channel for many sound effects as well:

  • The sound the bosses make that is heard whenever you are close or inside their rooms, is a lot different. The volume of the sound is also a little bit lower outside the lair, whereas it has the same volume no matter if you are outside or inside their room in the cart-versions.
  • All the bosses and mini-bosses make a screaming sound when they take damage.
  • The sound effect for doors opening and closing is different.
  • The sound effect for Link's Sword Beam is different.
  • The sound of the Flute is different.
  • The sound effect when Link take damage is a little different.
  • When Link dies, there's more a series of sound effects as opposed to the little theme that is heard in the NES and Famicom re-release.
  • The sound effect when Bombs detonate is different.
  • The sound effect heard when picking up hearts and keys is different.
  • The sound effect when moving the cursor on the File Select screen, the Inventory or the Game Over screen is different. (The cursor on the Game Over screen was given its own sound in the NES and Famicom re-release, the same audio as when a projectile hits Link's shield.)

2003 Version

The game was re-released for the GameCube in 2003, the Game Boy Advance in 2004, and the Wii Virtual Console in 2007. The ports are all altered with a new translation, in an attempt to reduce the amount of Engrish. This altered version of the game, oddly enough, didn't make the cut when the game was released to Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors.

Story

Famicom / NES 2003 Version
Zelda story NES.png Zelda story GCN.png
Famicom / NES 2003 Version
MANY YEARS AGO PRINCE
DARKNESS "GANNON" STOLE
ONE OF THE TRIFORCE WITH
POWER. PRINCESS ZELDA
HAD ONE OF THE TRIFORCE
WITH WISDOM. SHE DIVIDED
IT INTO "8"UNITS TO HIDE
IT FROM "GANNON" BEFORE
SHE WAS CAPTURED.
GO FIND THE "8"UNITS
"LINK" TO SAVE HER.
LONG AGO, GANON, PRINCE
OF DARKNESS, STOLE THE
TRIFORCE OF POWER.
PRINCESS ZELDA OF HYRULE
BROKE THE TRIFORCE OF
WISDOM INTO EIGHT PIECES
AND HID THEM FROM GANON
BEFORE SHE WAS KIDNAPPED
BY GANON'S MINIONS.
LINK, YOU MUST FIND THE
PIECES AND SAVE ZELDA.

Treasures

Famicom / NES 2003 Version
ALL OF TREASURES ALL TREASURES
Famicom / NES 2003 Version
RUPY RUPEE
Famicom / NES 2003 Version
5 RUPIES 5 RUPEES

Dialogue

NES 2003 Version
LET'S PLAY MONEY
MAKING GAME.
LET'S PLAY A
MONEY-MAKING GAME!
NES 2003 Version
SECRET IS IN THE TREE
AT THE DEAD-END.
A SECRET IS IN THE
TREE AT THE DEAD-END.
NES 2003 Version
PAY ME FOR THE DOOR
REPAIR CHARGE.
PAY ME FOR THE
DOOR REPAIR.
NES 2003 Version
DIGDOGGER HATES
CERTAIN KIND OF SOUND.
DIGDOGGER HATES
CERTAIN KINDS OF SOUND.
NES 2003 Version
SECRET POWER IS SAID
TO BE IN THE ARROW.
A SECRET POWER IS SAID
TO BE IN THE ARROW.
NES 2003 Version
ONES WHO DOES NOT HAVE
TRIFORCE CAN'T GO IN.
ONES WHO DO NOT HAVE
TRIFORCE CAN'T ENTER.
NES 2003 Version
EYES OF SKULL
HAS A SECRET.
THE EYES OF THE SKULL
HAVE SECRETS.
NES 2003 Version
SOUTH OF ARROW MARK
HIDES A SECRET.
SOUTH OF THE ARROW
MARK HIDES A SECRET.
NES 2003 Version
FINALLY,
PEACE RETURNS TO HYRULE.
THIS ENDS THE STORY.
FINALLY,
PEACE RETURNS TO HYRULE.
THE END.

PAUSE text

In the GBA and GameCube versions, when the game is paused, a small, black box that says "PAUSE" appears. This does not occur in the NES / Famicom cart or FDS versions.

Japanese Re-release

The game was also re-released in Japan on GameCube in 2004, and later, on the Game Boy Advance and Wii Virtual Console. The Japanese re-release was instead in the form of the FDS version; the port was treated with the same re-written intro as seen in the international re-release along with an updated copyright.

It is a faithful port of the original Famicom Disk System version, but at least one weird audio glitch can be heard in the dungeons:

  • The sound the bosses make that is heard whenever you are close or inside the lair has the same volume no matter if you are outside or inside their rooms. This is not how it was heard in the original FDS version, where the volume was a little bit lower when you were outside them.