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Lesser Known Zelda Games

Majora's Cat

How about that
Sep 3, 2010
This thread is dedicated to DARK MASTER, a good friend and the one whose interest in Rare Zeldas inspired me to learn more write about those lesser known and underappreciated Zelda games.

There comes a time in every Zelda enthusiast’s fandom where one must learn and enrich others about those games that were left in the dark, hidden away almost never to be seen again. Spin-offs of the franchise usually aren’t met with much praise by less hardcore fans of the series, but for those of us who love everything that has the slightest bit to do with Zelda, learning about the unknown is an exciting prospect. So without further ado, I present a few stand-out Rare Zeldas, lesser known Zelda games and those unpopular Zeldas that I found to be horrific.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures - the Multiplayer Experience

I’d like to start out this overview with a Main Zelda. Below is my quote from a thread I made awhile back. I thought that my comments on FSA at the time are appropriate for this discussion.

FSA is one of two console Zeldas I have yet to own. Four Swords Adventures garnered generally favorable reviews from critics - and an 84.58% score on GameRankings. This would be a very good score if compared to an average game - but Zelda games are certainly not average. FSA is the lowest-scoring original release the series has offered (similar to Metroid: Other M). Zelda games may be the highest-rated game series of all time - but with one small blemish. Even if FSA isn't as favorable as other Zeldas, I still think it should be given a shot. If it's a Zelda, it can't be bad (unless it's one of the CD-i games - those were terrible).
I plan on purchasing Four Swords Adventures, and I want to know what you think about the strange design of the game. The levels and the addition of only holding one item at a time may have some purist Zelda fans foaming at their mouths. But remember this - many fans want the series to make another full-fledged 2D Zelda experience (not like the 2.5D DS Zeldas). FSA was the last hurrah to 2D Zelda on a major home console, and I believe people should at least talk about FSA a little bit in the Modern Games section.

The last bit sums up what I’m thinking now. Although I don’t particularly like the gameplay or much about the game in general, the way the game strays off the beaten park is one of the things that makes FSA feel so magical. Four Swords Adventures is different. I’d compare the game to a rare food, one that is rather unknown and unheard of. A delicacy, maybe, but a delicacy that doesn’t taste as good as... say... spaghetti or another more well known and delicious food. Trying something that’s a bit of your comfort zone is like playing Four Swords Adventures. While many gameplay mechanics of classic 2D Zelda games remains intact, many conveniences of those very games are gone. Now Link can carry only one item at a time. What happened to his all-carrying pockets? Well, it looks like he can no longer hold a humongous inventory in his pockets (or wherever he stuffs his belongings).


The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest - Bigger and Badder

The famed Ocarina of Time’s full potential was realized when Master Quest was released on the GameCube, coupled with a copy of the original OoT. Nintendo first intended to create an expansion of Ocarina of Time called “Ura Zelda”. This expansion to the game was to be released on the N64DD (an add-on to the original N64). Ura Zelda was supposed to be a souped-up Ocarina of Time. Unfortunately, though, the add-on was not a commercial success in Japan. A few years later, after the release of the next Nintendo console (the GameCube), Ocarina of Time Master Quest was released, bundled with the original game. Master Quest is the spiritual successor of Ura Zelda and finally, after a long wait, fans got what was supposed to be released several years before.

The dungeons were modified to be more challenging than the original game, but the storyline wasn’t the slightest bit affected by the upped difficulty. Many fans find it funny that the infamous Water Temple and all its hair-pulling glory was actually downgraded and made easier. Go figure. For instance, those annoying clam-looking enemies no longer appeared in the central room. This was probably done to eradicate some of the tediousness of enemies and have the player focus more on the puzzles. Although the game was released on the GC, the graphics weren’t very much revamped. There’s literally little to no difference in the visuals other than the changes made in dungeons.

The game garnered favorable reviews, but didn’t even come close to reaching OoT’s star status. While still a critical success, it wasn’t one on the scale of the average Zelda game. Master Quest is still not to be missed and a necessary part of any OoT fanboy/fangirl’s collection.

CD-i Games - the Worst of the Zeldas

No offense to DARK MASTER, but... the CD-i games were just horrific in my opinion. According to the critics, most gamers and fans of the Zelda franchise, the CD-i games were some of the worst games to ever enter the gaming world. Many hardcore fans of the Zelda series disagree, but it’s probably because they refuse to believe that a video game with the Zelda title can be so terrible. The Philips CD-i Zelda games are very real, folks. The games have already been forgotten by Nintendo and I can understand why. Better to just forget about those terrible memories.


The budgets for the Wand of Gamelon, Zelda’s Adventure and the Faces of Evil were very low. In fact, all the backgrounds in each game was hand-drawn. Graphics weren’t very up-to-date, and cutscenes were incredibly cheesy, annoying and hated by many (well, not everyone. Those cutscenes were quite popular for YouTube poops and many lines from the games have become funny internet memes). But the not everything is bad in Philips CD-i land - at least we were able to get many funny moments out of the cutscenes and gameplay. To this day, the CD-i Zeldas will either be remembered as terrible (but incredibly amusing) games or as extremely underappreciated games.

A few examples of how the games were received are provided below. [1]

IGN referred to the games' cutscenes as "infamous" and "cheesy"; other reviewers called them "bizarre" and "an absolute joke".

Danny Cowan of1UP.comcalled Zelda's Adventure "unplayable" due to the jerky frame rate, unresponsive controls and long load times.

Nintendo rarely acknowledges the CD-i games, and claimed in 2003 that if a player owned a Game Boy Player and the GameCube compilation of Zelda known as The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition, that player could play every Zelda game in existence up to that point on the GameCube

Even with all the hate, many dedicated fans persist and continue to play these very rare Zelda games. Although Nintendo would rather forget of the strange Philips CD-i Zeldas cooked up in Animal Magic and Viridis’ labs, we the players will never forget and continue to keep the CD-i games alive.

Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland - More Love for Tingle < 3

Not much is known about Tingle’s great adventure. The object of the game is to build a tower in a spring to the west of Tingle’s house by feeding rupees into the tower. Gameplay mechanics were drastically different, but Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland still retained that familiar dungeon layout. Uncle Rupee is the main antagonist of the story, not Ganondorf. He promises Tingle a paradise called Rupeeland if he continues to give rupees to the spring west of his house. Little does he know that Uncle Rupee is deceiving him, causing Tingle to fight him in the end. The game only received a 66.25% on GameRankings, making it one of the lowest-scoring Zelda spin-offs. Still, the game is cute and charming but was unfortunately only released in Japan and Europe.

Link’s Crossbow Training - the One and Only Zelda Shooter

Link’s Crossbow Training was less than a critical success, but actually sold more copies than Twilight Princess, the main Zelda that it was borrowing set pieces from. While the game only scored 68% on GameRankings and 70% on Metacritic, Link’s first crossbow adventure was still able to sway casual gamers with the Wii Zapper peripheral. Talk about marketing.

Many gamers complained about the game being too easy and short. Instead of being like a traditional Zelda game, Link’s Crossbow Training is more like an easy-to-develop Wii shooter like the one that came in Wii Play. Actually, think of it as the shooting game in Wii Play with a glossy Twilight Princess overcoat. The game was still surprisingly successful and should only be purchased for fun, not for an actual gaming experience.

Anyway, I hoped you all enjoyed this overview of the more memorable Rare Zeldas and underrated Zelda games. Feel free discuss what your favorite Rare Zeldas are and which Zelda games you feel are underappreciated but should have more exposure.

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Hylian Knight

Green Armored Menace
Sep 28, 2010
I've actually played the Cd-i game Wand of Gamelon at my Bro-in-law and found it fun but and few memorable moments but not one I would want to play again.


Jul 26, 2010
I played the CD-i games for entertainment. I couldn't beat them of course, but they were hilarious. I remember having sleep overs and laughing about the messed up things in it. Some of my friends actually thought that that's what Zelda was in general. They should be played if you want a good laugh or being scared for life.


Keyblade Master
I played the CD-i games for entertainment. I couldn't beat them of course, but they were hilarious. I remember having sleep overs and laughing about the messed up things in it. Some of my friends actually thought that that's what Zelda was in general. They should be played if you want a good laugh or being scared for life.

Guess I won't play them then. I do not want to take the chance of being scared for life.


Sage of Tales
I was able to borrow OoT Master Quest from a friend and play it. I remember being in the shoutbox here one evening describing it - "Wonderfully hard." Difficult, but in a way that makes a good, fun nitty-gritty challenge. "Only true heroes shall survive" as the box art reads.

I was surprised to see no word put in for Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons. They seem to be kind of rare to come by these days. The (same friend as above) who gifted me those games took great pains to procure Seasons for me, which was a Christmas present. I don't see too much in the way of "creative fandom" (fan art and fan fiction) for these games, and it seems like not a lot fans of the "major" Zelda games have played them. I enjoyed them quite a lot, myself.

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