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2016 - A Year of Themes - July - Legend of Zelda
While there is sometimes discussion about how RPG-ish they really are, we will finally be looking at the Legend of Zelda games this month. Dating back to the original NES classic, there have been eighteen official games released on 11 consoles over 30 years, with Breath of the Wind on a new console next year. This is not including the CD-i or Game and Watch games, which are barely games and certainly not canon. The games themselves have had varying degrees of traditional RPG components to them, often changing from title to title, but all have a sense of adventure and exploration to them. While the protagonist of each game is named Link, this is not the same character from game to game, but different people (in most cases) each named Link. There has been an official timeline released to clarify the connections between the games, but the short version is that Ocarina of Time is the pivotal game in the series, from which three separate timelines branch.
Being a SEGA kid growing up, I missed out on most of the Zelda titles over the years. The original was the first game I actually bought for the NES (having received other games as gifts), and I enjoyed the sequel as well before taking an extended break from Nintendo consoles until the Wii. I have gone back to get a handful of these games, through the power of remasters and the Virtual Console, but I have a large pool to choose from if I want to clear one of two off of my backlog. I will certainly make a quick runthrough of the original, which I can 100% in a few hours from memory (the Second Quest is still brutal, though). I will try to go after one of the others that I haven't gotten too as well. I did try Link's Awakening a while back and found it pretty unbearable, though, so I'm hoping for better from whichever game I do decide on.
Whichever timeline you choose to go down, make sure you grab your Master Sword and Triforce to accompany you. Enjoy!