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By the way, why is Zelda called Zelda?

By the way, why is Zelda called Zelda?

The Legend of Zelda could have been called The Legend of Link. But a conversation between Shigeru Miyamoto and someone in charge of marketing resulted in the license finding its final name.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild therefore, it will have a sequel on Switch. If you’ve been following the video game news, this phrase shouldn’t get you out of your seat. In fact there is two years we know Nintendo’s intention to bring new adventures to its characters and, through them, to male and female players. However, the game will not be available until 2022.

Obviously, there is still a lot of mystery surrounding the title: if Nintendo was presented at E3 2021 new game images, allowing to have a short description of weapons and powers that will be possible to manipulate in this next work, the Japanese publisher is careful not to say too much. Honestly, we don’t even know the title of the video game yet, which is simply described as a “sequence of”.

Zelda
Princess Zelda, in Breath of the wild. // Source: Nintendo

These little dungeons around the real name of Breath of the Wild 2 (his current nickname, for lack of a better term) is indeed a good occasion to bring up a completely different topic, apparently remote, but related to the identity of the licensee. Fans of this license are certainly already knowledgeable and inexhaustible on this topic, but perhaps others will miss it.

Why the heck is the heroine of the game called Zelda? Where does this name come from? And above all, what prompted Nintendo to highlight this heroine in the title of the game, despite the fact that there is another equally central character, in the person of Link, and who is also the character we control in the different episodes? In short, why don’t we play? The Legend of Link ?

The answers to these questions can be found in an official Nintendo book, published in Japan in 2011 and in France in 2016 by Soleil Manga editions. The book, baptized The Legend of Zelda – Hyrule Story, in fact contains a preface signed by Shigeru Miyamoto, the famous video game creator and producer; we not only owe him Zelda, but also Mario, Donkey kong, Pikmin, or Star fox.

The influence of an American writer

Whoever became Nintendo’s creative manager reveals in Hyrule History that the name of the video game was influenced by an American novelist, Zelda Fitzgerald, who lived during the first half of the 20th century. Seduced by the sounds of Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto was able to complete the title with which he had already begun to imagine ” The legend of … »(« … No Densetsu », in Japanese).

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« The title of the game […] it was not found immediately. It is true that, from the beginning, I wanted a game that started with The Legend of…, but I had a lot of difficulty figuring out what to put in the place of these three ellipses. “He says. However, it was during an exchange with a marketing person, who suggested that she accompany the game with a storybook, that Zelda’s name came to the table.

Zelda_Fitzgerald_circa_1919_Retouched
Zelda Fitzgerald, in 1919. // Source: Public domain

It was not Shigeru Miyamoto who mentioned the name of the writer at the beginning, but his interlocutor: ” In the United States there is a very famous woman, the wife of a writer, who calls herself Zelda. What do you think of this name to name this young princess of eternal beauty? “If this storybook didn’t catch your eye, the author’s name hit the mark.

Shigeru Miyamoto admits to having been ” immediately seduced By Zelda and they asked her, with all Japanese courtesy, if it was possible that she kept this name to baptize her heroine. The response, of course, has been positive. ” Thus was born the title ‘The Legend of Zelda’ », The interested party concludes: by an unlikely discussion about a work that never saw the light.

For the record, the notoriety of this license was such that parents were sometimes influenced by this game, more than by the writer, to baptize their daughter Zelda. The most famous case is that of Robin Williams’ daughter, Zelda. The two also lent themselves to the game in an announcement announcing the release of the remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on Nintendo 3DS, in 2011.

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The American actor had a certain passion for video games and computers. Within a behind the scenes video of this commercial, the actor explained that when his first wife was pregnant with Zelda, who was born in 1989, he sometimes played Zelda. At that time, two games had already been released, with The legend of Zelda (July 1987 in the US) AND Zelda II: Link’s Adventure (late 1988 in the US).

So what about Link? Why does the hero of the license have this name? Again, there is an explanation, but it is definitely more realistic: Shigeru Miyamoto explains, in Hyrule History, to have kept this name ” because I was hoping it would serve as a link. In fact, its function was to connect the energies scattered throughout the world and create links beyond the ages. ».

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