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Trivia / The Legend of Zelda CD-i Games

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  • Creator Killer: The publicity fallout from the quality of the CD-i games did the exact opposite of what Philips wanted. Instead of reviving interest, the games turned the console into instant Snark Bait and led to its demise in the market, which cost Philips close to a billion dollars.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Nintendo refuses to acknowledge these games at all as part of the Zelda series due their poor reception and being made entirely by an outside company against their will.
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  • Executive Meddling: This article suggests that Philips required CD-i games to contain FMVs in order to show off the capabilities of the system.
  • Fan Nickname
    • King's retainer - Fari
      • Also "The Spaniard", because of his looks.
    • The baker - George
    • As well as some less used ones, like Ushrom for the Wand of Gamelon shopkeep.
    • Gwonam is sometimes referred to as "Squadallah Guy".
    • The games themselves are collectively known as the "Unholy Triforce."
  • Genre-Killer: Faces of Evil and Wand of Gamelon — plus Zelda II's reputation as the Oddball in the Series — basically killed any chance of there being any further side-scrolling Legend of Zelda games. Since then, the nearest thing we've gotten to any further side-scrolling entries has been in the story modes of the Super Smash Bros. series.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Like Hotel Mario, no re-releases have been made of this game, not even on the Virtual Console; understandable, since Nintendo and the Zelda fanbase regard the series as an Old Shame and want nothing to do with it. The CD-i is also notoriously difficult to emulate, so curious players are all but forced to shell out lots of money on the secondhand market to play the games for themselves, which doesn't help their reputation at all.
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  • Name's the Same: Link: The Faces of Evil is not to be confused with The Face of Evil.
  • No Budget: According to some of the developers who had a hand in making the games, the games had an extremely tight budget of $600,000 per game, which lead to several things:
    • All animations were outsourced to a group of Russian animators because hiring animators from the United States would be too expensive (American animators were generally paid more compared to other animators during the early 1990s).
      • Moreover, because this was the early Nineties, the Internet just barely existed at all, so it just wasn't practical to simply outsource the work, as it would've been nigh impossible to coordinate with them. So the developers had to literally take half a dozen people from Saint Pete, stick them into a Boston apartment-turned-office and make them churn out animation for half a year. Naturally, the developers had to hire on the cheap, so these weren't the best animators in the first place, and to add insult to injury, they were specialized in a traditional pen-and-paper style and never touched a Video Game in their life.
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    • Voice actors were hired by people who were in union groups, or actors on the cheap.
    • The development team were only given one year to finish making the games.
  • Old Shame: Nintendo quickly regretted trying to strike any kind of deal with Philips, pulling the plug as soon as humanly possible; Nintendo employees had no hand in the development of the games. To that end Nintendo has made it very very clear that the CD-i games have absolutely no place in the official Zelda history whatsoever, aside from the occasional mocking in their old magazine, Nintendo Power. It's gotten to the point where the magazine's preview for Spirit Tracks claimed that that game was the first time you could play as Zelda. In fact, she's the player character in two of these.
    • This is understandable, from both Shigeru Miyamoto and also from a Japanese POV; it was not a good idea allowing a Western studio to mess with one of Nintendo's core franchises without Nintendo's supervision. (especially in that time, taking into account all the mess regarding the SNES CD add-on plus the Super Mario Bros. movie, which led to a no-movie mandate from Nintendo.) That said, Cadence of Hyrule has since shown that Nintendo has become open to outsourcing the series to western studios - albeit one held in high regard and presumably with some actual supervision.
    • Hyrule Historia and The Legend of Zelda: Encyclopedia detail every game and spinoff up until their respective releases note , as well as every cameo and guest appearance the characters have made in other works, and even game advertisements and minor references to the series in other games. But guess what three games are completely absent from these books.
  • Recursive Adaptation: Link's obsession with getting a kiss from Zelda, and the portrayal of the King of Hyrule as a maniacal fat man and having the name "Harkinian", suggest that the developers had the cartoon in mind rather than the games.
  • What Could Have Been: In one cutscene in Wand of Gamelon, Zelda is seen wearing the same outfit she wore in the Legend of Zelda cartoon. It's highly likely that, at one time, the game was meant to tie into the cartoon.
    • According to a dev on Zelda's Adventure, the producers were in talks with Echo & the Bunnymen to do music for the game.

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