* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaI The Legend of Zelda]] (1986)
* [[YMMV/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink The Adventure of Link]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening Link's Awakening]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker The Wind Waker]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords Four Swords]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwordsAdventures Four Swords Adventures]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap The Minish Cap]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass Phantom Hourglass]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks Spirit Tracks]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds A Link Between Worlds]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaTriForceHeroes Tri Force Heroes]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaWiiU Zelda Wii U]]
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* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaManga The manga]]
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* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaAnimated The animated series]]
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* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaCDiGames The CDi games]]
* [[YMMV/HyruleWarriors Hyrule Warriors]]
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* YMMV/FreshlyPickedTinglesRosyRupeeland
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!!Tropes across media

* AmericansHateTingle: The {{Trope Namer|s}}, thanks to Tingle's debut in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask''.
* [[AwesomeBosses/VideoGames Awesome Bosses]]: Has its [[AwesomeBosses/TheLegendOfZelda own page]]. Some of the best boss battles in video game history come from this series.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: Has its [[AwesomeMusic/TheLegendOfZelda own page as well]]. The series has given some of the most iconic tunes in gaming for good reason.
* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Link is pretty heavily subject to this, as he's a HeroicMime that the [[EscapistCharacter player is meant to be free to project their own personality onto]], while at the same time he shows some broad, yet distinctive personality traits informed by his actions and the animation (both facial expressions and BodyLanguage)[[note]]This trend started with the 3D Zelda games, specially ''The Wind Waker'', and has grown ever since[[/note]]. Mix these two elements together and you have a recipe for having almost as many interpretations of Link as people who have played the series.
* AnimationAgeGhetto: Possibly due to this trope, the "cartoonish" games in the series get lower sales and less attention outside of the core ''Zelda'' fanbase than the "realistic" games.
* AuthorsSavingThrow: From ''Skyward Sword'' onwards there's the "Hero Mode". A higher-difficulty mode where enemies inflict double damage and there are no healing items such as hearts, meaning the player has no choice but to rely on healing potions only. This mode was obviously created for veteran fans and skilled players who considered [[ItsEasySoItSucks the franchise had become way too easy]] since the N64 games, to the point it was detrimental to the experience for them.
* BrokenBase:
** One of the biggest, yet most subtle divides in the fandom comes from the idea of what makes a Zelda game... a Zelda game! The franchise has become more and more multi-faceted over the years, and thus different people may like it for completely different reasons. Sometimes, even for completely incompatible reasons when it comes to arguing, thus creating long debates, if not down right FlameWars. The most recurrent ones seems to be the exploration component, the puzzle solving (especially in the dungeons), and the lore. But there are also plenty of people who will mention the art style, the story telling, the atmosphere, or even the combat system, especially the boss fights. There's even a fair share of fans who think the answer is "all of the above", and thus there is no point in trying to single out just one aspect and call it THE "Zelda secret".
** Every single entry of the series ever since ''Ocarina of Time'' (if not even earlier than that) has received accusations of ItsTheSameSoItSucks and TheyChangedItNowItSucks ''[[DoubleStandard at the same time]]''. One second you find a comment trashing the game for not changing the Zelda formula at all, demeaning its new features as "gimmicks", and the next second you find another one that trashes it because those "gimmicks" are new features that totally change (and ruin) the Zelda formula. [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee]] even managed to do both in one review, bashing ''Skyward Sword'' for being formulaic, then for not holding to its own formulas.
** The fans are divided on whether CelShading or [[RealIsBrown "realism"]] is better for the series.
** Fans and critics frequently argue about which game in the series is the best, often escalating to arguments where (insert game X here) is dismissed as "absolute crap" while (insert game Y here) is objectively the greatest game of all time. This is despite the fact that almost all major ''Zelda'' games are loved by critics and well-received with the general public.
** A smaller faction: which is better, the N64 version of ''Ocarina of Time'' or ''Ocarina of Time 3D''?
** Link is one of the most popular characters in gaming, but some fans [[HypeBacklash believe that he gets more attention than he deserves]]. He is [[SacredCow constantly voted and argued by fans to be the greatest and most popular Nintendo character]] and occasionally the best video game character in general, frequently receiving nothing but excessive praise and no criticism and making him appear similar to an overhyped MartyStu to quite a few fans[[note]]especially those who enjoy or prefer Nintendo's other characters, but even some Link fans feel this way[[/note]]. ''Ocarina of Time'' itself suffers from a very similar reaction, and is often seen as synonymous with Link's own popularity.
* CompleteMonster: [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Zant]] and [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds Yuga]]. Ganondorf escapes this due to having his sympathetic qualities exposed in ''The Wind Waker''.
* ContestedSequel: ANY of the console games that follow up on ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'', there's no arguing against it. ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'' has even become this ''before it was even released!''
* CriticalDissonance:
** According to critics, the series has stayed ''very'' strong throughout its entire lifespan. You wouldn't know this from all the fan complaints about new titles in the series, especially ''Skyward Sword''.
** ''VideoGame/HyruleWarriors'' has gotten middling reviews akin to a LicensedGame, and nowhere near the stellar reviews of the rest of the series. ''Zelda'' fans, however, adore it.
* DieForOurShip: Anything that threatens the possibility of a Link/Zelda pairing is violently purged. Zelda herself can suffer this when other choices are available. (''Ocarina of Time'', ''Twilight Princess'')
* DorkAge: The CD-i games. Their sting wasn't numbed at all by the fact that Nintendo took its sweet time developing ''Ocarina of Time'', so there were five years between 1993 and 1998 when no Zelda games except for those were being released.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Sheik]], [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker Tetra, King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule]], [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap Ezlo]], [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Midna]], [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass Linebeck]], [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks Byrne]], [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Groose]], [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds Ravio, Hilda]]; basically, any character who a) has a major secret in their backstory that changes the player's perception of them and/or b) experiences CharacterDevelopment.
** On the villains' side, we have Dark Link, who has appeared in all of four games and yet is one of the most popular characters. Also, Vaati, villain of all ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords Four Sword]]''-related games. ''Many'' fans want him to make an appearance in a main console game. Then there's Ghirahim of ''Skyward Sword'', who's possibly the ''CAMPIEST'' ''Zelda'' villain in existence. Majora from ''Majora's Mask'' is also fondly remembered for being a Nightmare Inducing KnightOfCerebus that took CreepyAwesome UpToEleven and for being the first villain in the franchise that didn't need Ganon in any way, shape or from whatsoever.
** [[VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink I AM ERROR.]]
** [[AmericansHateTingle In Japan]], Tingle falls under this, getting no less than two of his own games.
** Malon has quite a fan following to her name. As far as female ''Zelda'' characters go, she was probably second in popularity to Zelda before ''Twilight Princess'' came out, and Malon's popularity could be considered more impressive given her much smaller role in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' compared to Midna's role in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]''. She probably got even more popular after ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'', in which the game's Link is a rancher, leading to many to theorize that she and the Hero of Time got together.
** Of the Links, Toon Link has a disproportionate amount of popularity among the fandom due to the perception that he displays more character than any other Link. So much so, that he was a separate character from the primary link in ''Super Smash Bros Brawl.''
** [[VideoGame/HyruleWarriors Cia]]. None other of the villains has ever been so [[TragicVillain sympathetic]], while looking [[MissFanservice that good]]. Her CoDragons [[DragonKnight Volga]] and [[EvilSorcerer Wizzro]] are pretty popular too (Volga is also pretty [[MrFanservice easy on the eyes]], despite his TwentyFourHourArmor).
* EpilepticTrees: The timeline alone is a ''big'' piece of fanon madness. Before ''[[AllThereInTheManual Hyrule Historia]]'' came out to explain it, it was impossible to find a web site or forums of the series (either fan or otherwise) that did NOT have at least one big article and/or open thread discussing this issue at large, with big, crazy theories to boot. And ''after'' it came out, it didn't die. It just evolved into discussing the points that were left ambiguous, debating about the contradictions between the artbook, [[FlipFlopOfGod the interviews to Miyamoto and Aonuma]] and the games themselves, tiding up the remaining loose ends, or trying to give alternate interpretations to [[FanDislikedExplanation the explanations that were deemed unsatisfactory]]. Especially crazy because Nintendo put an explicit MST3KMantra disclaimer in the very same official timeline, explaining that the development team, for the most part, thinks about gameplay first and story later. But fans still treat this topic as SeriousBusiness. In [[VideoGame/AnotherCode Trace Memory]] you can find a book in the mansion's library that explains the entire Zelda timeline. [[{{Troll}} But you can't read it]] (Keep in mind this game was made long before the Historia was even in concept and the Zelda Timeline was at its most confusing)
* EscapistCharacter: Part of Link's popularity as a character stems from this and how players can, in addition to wishing they were him, largely project their own personality (or an otherwise desired, idealized personality) onto him as he's a HeroicMime.
* EvilIsCool: Ganon(dorf) is one of Nintendo's coolest and most well-loved villains in all his forms, and is fondly remembered by fans for his overwhelming power, Machiavellian evil schemes, and excellent boss fights.
* FanDislikedExplanation:
** As explained in Hyrule Historia (a guidebook about the franchise by Nintendo), there is a third timeline that also split from [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]. The problem is that it is based on an event that didn't happen anywhere in the game: [[spoiler:{{The hero d|ies}}ying]]. And no, Game Overs do not count.
** Since the timeline was an endless fountain of EpilepticTrees for over a decade, many fans disliked those explanations which [[{{Jossed}} invalidated their own theories]].
* FandomRivalry: In general, the fanbases for the different games in the series are at odds on matters like gameplay, plot, and aesthetics. One of the most notable rivalries is ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker Wind Waker]]''-[[ForTheCelOfIt style]] fans vs. ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]''-[[RealIsBrown style]] fans due to how drastically different the games look.
* {{Fanon}}: The series is one of the most prolific sources of inspiration for fanfiction.
* FanPreferredCouple: Technically [[NoHuggingNoKissing the vast majority of them]], especially Link[=/=]Zelda, though there's been an exception or two over the years.
* FanWank: The endless, '''endless''' confusion over "the timeline," something officially confirmed, but NEVER officially explained. Even after ''[[AllThereInTheManual Hyrule Historia]]'' explained it all, it's still going, even if discussing different points (See EpilepticTrees above).
* FriendlyFandoms: With ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'', due to both franchises being Nintendo's most famous "serious" series with games considered among Nintendo's best; there are a ton of fan theories about Samus being descended from Link himself. That said, sometimes the fandoms get into arguments over whether Link or Samus is a cooler protagonist, or whether Nintendo's best game of all time is a ''Zelda'' game or a ''Metroid'' game (usually ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'' or ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'').
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: While wildly popular elsewhere, the ''Zelda'' franchise isn't ''quite'' as popular in its native Japan (but still popular).
* GoddamnedBats: An early example, though Keese and Fire Keese are hardly the only ones.
* HilariousInHindsight: In [[VideoGame/AnotherCode Trace Memory]] as a joke, or even Nintendo outright trolling. This game was made back when the Zelda-Timeline was very confusing and all over the place. The protagonist Ashley can find a book in the library. "The Legend of Zelda Timeline" but you aren't allowed to read it. Cue almost a decade later, the Hyrule Historia is released, which might as well have been that exact book.
* HypeBacklash: Due to the series' and its characters' widespread SacredCow treatment, some people are quick to label popular ''Zelda'' games and characters as "overrated". On many sites, most infamously Website/GameFAQs and Dorkly, ''Zelda'' games and characters frequently dominate gaming- or Nintendo-related popularity polls and consequently bring up this trope. Even one-shot characters such as Midna or Skull Kid, or games that aren't near-universally praised such as ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass'', can end up outperforming more famous/iconic characters and more lauded games, respectively. Zelda Informer even has [[http://www.zeldainformer.com/news/why_the_legend_of_zelda_series_is_completely_overrated_and_thats_okay#.VS0nVvnF_Rs an article]] on the alleged "overratedness" of the franchise, acknowledging that the excessive hype is unhealthy for the franchise and that it is "simply praised for its name's sake".
* IAmNotShazam: The main character is Link. The girl is Zelda. Daring to say otherwise will [[FandomBerserkButton get you a lot of ire]] on forums.
* IronWoobie: Link. Even when he [[EarnYourHappyEnding earns his happy ending]], the nature of the [[EternalHero cycle he's trapped in]] means he'll be back for another round with [[AsLongAsThereIsEvil the forces of Evil]].
* ItsEasySoItSucks: A common complaint about entries after the N64 era among veteran fans, specially those who grew up with the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI first]] [[VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink three]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast games]].
* LGBTFanbase: In addition to causing StupidSexyFlanders moments in straight fans, a gay magazine voted Link as the hottest video game character of all time. As an older {{Hunk}}, Ganondorf also has a following in the {{Bara}} community.
* LauncherOfAThousandShips: Go to ff.net and see how many ship fics you can find that don't involve Link.
* LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt: Ganondorf is apparently KilledOffForReal once or twice a decade. By this stage, we know better.
* MagnificentBastard:
** Ganondorf has gotten [[HijackedByGanon very skilled]] at making his enemies do all his work for him over his career.
** [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds Yuga]] managed to [[spoiler: ''hijack Ganon.'']]
* MemeticBadass:
** Link, renowned as one of Nintendo's most {{Badass}} characters. The guy can throw around stone pillars like they were cardboard at the end of ''Ocarina of Time''!
** [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Groose]], who even thinks of ''himself'' as this.
** Ganondorf, for being a NighInvulnerable KnightOfCerebus RatedMForManly GeniusBruiser in all his appearances and for frequently ''succeeding'' in his evil schemes (granted, Link stops him later, but only ''afterwards''). It helps that ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' makes him an [[MightyGlacier even harder-hitting]] MovesetClone of [[Franchise/FZero Captain Falcon]], who's already considered Nintendo's answer to Creator/ChuckNorris.[[note]]However, his slowness, controversial moveset and generally low tier standing in ''Smash'' can also make his incarnation there a MemeticLoser [[BrokenBase depending on the fan]].[[/note]]
* MemeticLoser: Tingle is a 35 year-old man who dresses in a green onesie and wishes to become a fairy. He's meant to be a ManChild and is loved by the Japanese fanbase... But the Western fanbase love to loathe him. When you have a trope called "AmericansHateTingle" named after you, you know you're a memetic loser.
* MemeticMolester:
** Tingle and Ghirahim.
** Redeads, in particular the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]] and [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]] versions.
* MemeticMutation: [[Memes/TheLegendOfZelda Too many to list]].
* NostalgiaFilter: ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' [[ToughActToFollow tends to be used as a measuring stick]], by both the fandom and professional critics, to judge [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask the]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker sequels]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess that]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword followed]]. This led to each game getting some form of [[ItsTheSameNowItSucks It's the Same]] / [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks Changed, Now It Sucks]] criticism. This even extended to ''its own remake'', where most of the negative criticism was due to the lack of new features rather than the nature of the game itself.
* OlderThanTheyThink: The completed Triforce is actually the emblem of the Japanese [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C5%8Dj%C5%8D_clan Hojo clan]], which has been around in various forms since at least the 12th century.
* OneTruePairing: Link and Zelda. This pairing has been since the very beginning and is still on top. The only other pairing that comes even close would be Link/Midna, but has the disadvantage of appearing in only one game that feels more like an exception, rather than a norm. Plus, in recent years Nintendo seems to be playing up the romance angle in their relationship, going as far as heavily inferring a ReincarnationRomance (downright confirming it in VideoGame/HyruleWarriors. Even if this game is not canon, there are heavy hints in the main series as well, so it fits the meta-narrative).
* ProtagonistTitleFallacy: Poor Link is one of, if not THE best known example of this trope in the entire video game medium, to the point of MemeticMutation ("What if Zelda was a girl?"). Ever since the first game in the franchise, newcomers tend to think "Zelda" is the name of the green-clothed hero.
* SacredCow:
** The series, as well as its protagonist Link, are unanimously praised and loved by the gaming community [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff in the west]] - even more than ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'', Nintendo's own flagship series and one that's sold many more games than ''Zelda'' and other franchises by a huge margin.
** While the core fanbase is [[BrokenBase split]] as to the overall quality of each game, three in particular - ''A Link to the Past'', ''Ocarina of Time'' and ''Majora's Mask'' - are treated as this and adamantly defended from any sort of criticism, although this raises accusations of SeinfeldIsUnfunny and HypeBacklash.
* ScapegoatCreator: A lot of fans blame Eiji Aonuma, the current main producer of the series, of every single thing that is supposedly wrong with the series nowadays. Of course, when they see something that goes right for them, then they praise Miyamoto for it.
* TheScrappy: [[StopHelpingMe Navi, Kaepora Gaebora, Fi]], [[{{Manchild}} Tingle]] ([[AmericansHateTingle to Americans fans]]) and Ralph from the ''Oracle'' games.
* SequelDisplacement: Most of the series' current fans came in after ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' and it was surprisingly common to see ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'' referred to as "Zelda 2," even though the '''real''' Zelda II was made ten years before ''Ocarina''.
* {{Shipping}}: A rabbit hole that runs too deep to get into detail here. Long story short, many fans ''really'' like to argue about Link's perfect mate, both in the series as a whole and on a game-to-game basis[[note]]as in, for example, people who like LinkXZelda in the franchise, and people who like LinkXMidna in ''Twilight Princess'' specifically[[/note]]. Ironically enough, even people who ''don't'' like the idea of shipping in the series tend to be just as passionate about Link ''not'' to be paired up with anyone as people who do want to see him paired up.
* SidetrackedByTheGoldSaucer: Each game is bound to have at least one sidequest or minigame that completely distracts from the main story. In fact, some games make the story seem like a minor annoyance than a matter of importance in the game.
* TastesLikeDiabetes: Some fans feel this way about the series, particularly the Toon Link and Classic Link games, believing that it needs to be mature and gritty to be any good, though the [[SurpriseCreepy actual]] [[VileVillainSaccharineShow content]] is a different matter entirely. ''Twilight Princess'' was a conscious effort to avert this trope after said Toon Link games.
%%* ThatOneLevel
* ViewerGenderConfusion: Inexperienced players have been known to mistake [[IAmNotShazam Link]] for a girl. This became HilariousInHindsight after [[DistaffCounterpart Linkle]] was announced.
* VindicatedByHistory: Actually a recurring element, to the point where the process has been nicknamed the "Zelda Cycle". Since ''Majora's Mask'', every time a new console game is released, it's immediately panned by what seems to be most fans, while the previous title (which also was mercilessly panned when it came out) is suddenly praised as a master piece.[[note]]Should be noted that the "Zelda Cycle" theory is heavily disputed within the fanbase. Many fans argue that there isn't such thing. Just people with different opinions expressing it at different times.[[/note]]
** The cycle seems to [[AvertedTrope have stopped]] with ''Skyward Sword'', though. Although it still has its fair share of fans, the general consensus after 5 years is still that it's one of the weakest entries in the franchise, while its follow up, ''A Link Between Worlds'', was praised both by most critics and fans from day one.
* WriterCopOut: The addition of the "Link is Defeated" timeline is seen this way by many, since it turns that part of the timeline into a "WhatIf" scenario instead of having a stronger explanation involving legitimate and certain events that lead up to the defeat. And it opens up the question of why there aren't other timelines created by "Game Overs" in games of the series other than ''Ocarina of Time''.
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