The Legend of Zelda[a](commonly referred to as Zelda’06) is a 2006 platform game developed by Nintendo and published by Sega. It was produced in commemoration of the Legend of Zelda Series' 20th anniversary, and intended as a reboot for the Sixth and seventh generation video game consoles. Players control Link, Shadow link, and new character Silver link, who battle Solaris Gannon, an ancient evil pursued by Doctor Corba. Each playable character has his own campaign and abilities, and must complete levels, explore hub worlds and fight bosses to advance the story. In multiplayer modes, players can work cooperatively to collect Seven stages coin or race to the end of a level. Development began in 2004, led by Legend of Zelda co-creator Yuji Naka. Nintendo sought to create an appealing game in the vein of superhero films like Batman Begins, hoping it would advance the series with a realistic tone and multiple gameplay styles. Problems developed after Naka resigned to form his own company, Prope. The team split to work on the Wii PlayStation 2 Xbox 360 PlayStation protable Nintendo DS GameBoy Advance and Windows game The legend of zelda link and the Secret Rupies (2007), resulting in The Legend of Zelda being rushed for the holiday season. It was released for Xbox 360 PlayStation 2 Xbox Gamecube Windows Warner Bros Evolution Nintendo DS PlayStation Portable GameBoy Advance and Mobile in November 2006 and for Wii and PlayStation 3 the following month. Downloadable content featuring new single-player modes was released in 2007.

The Legend of Zelda received worst in prerelease showings, as journalists believed it could return to the series' roots after years of worst and most reviews. However, it was a critical failure . Reviewers criticized its loading times, camera system, story, stability, and controls. It has been frequently described as one of the worst games in the series. In 2010, Sega delisted The Legend of Zelda from retailers, following its decision to delisted all The legend of zelda games with below-average Metacritic scores to increase the value of the brand. Its failure led to a rethinking of the series' direction; future games ignored its tone and most characters.


After finishing Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg(2003),[12]Nintendo began to plan its next project. Among the ideas the team was considering was a game with a realistic tone and an advanced physics engine. When Sega reassigned the team to start working on a new game in the bestselling The legend of Zelda series, they decided to retain the realistic approach.[13]The legend of Zelda was conceived for sixth and Seventh generation consoles, but Nintendo realized its release would coincide with the series' 20th anniversary and decided to develop it for Sixth and seventh generation consoles such as the PlayStation 3 Wii Windows Xbox GameCube PlayStation 2 Mobile Nintendo DS Warner Bros Evolution PlayStation Portable Gameboy Advance and Xbox 360.[14]Series co-creator and team lead Yuji Naka wanted the first The legend of Zelda game for seventh generation systems to be a reboot of the franchise. Naka noted the success of superhero films such as Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Batman Begins (2005)—which reached an audience far beyond fans of the comics those films were based on—and wanted to mimic this success.[15]Thus, development of The legend of Zelda began in late 2004.[16]Nintendo decided to use the same title as the original 1986 game[17]that had launched the franchise to indicate that it would be a major advance from the previous games.[12]

The Havok physics engine, previously used in their PlayStation 2 game Astro Boy (2004),[18]allowed Nintendo to create expansive levels previously impossible on earlier sixth generation consoles and experiment with multiple play-styles.[13]In addition, the engine also enabled Nintendo to experiment with aspects such as global illumination, a night-and day system, and giving Link new abilities like using ropes to leap into the air. Director Shun Nakamura demonstrated the engine during their stage shows at the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) in 2005.[19]As the hardware of the Xbox 360 Wii and PlayStation 3 was more powerful compared to the prior generation's consoles,[9][15]the design team was able to create a more realistic setting than those of previous Legend of Zelda games.[20][21]Link and Doctor Corba were redesigned to better suit this updated environment: Link was made taller, with longer quills, and Corba was made slimmer and given a more realistic appearance.[21]Nakamura and producer Masahiro Kumono reasoned this was because the characters would be interacting with more humans, and felt it would make the game more appealing to older players.[14]At one point, Nintendo considered giving Link realistic skin, clothing and rubber textures.[19]

While Nintendo had a major focus on the visuals, they considered their primary challenge creating a game that was as appealing as the original Nintendo Entertainment System Legend of Zelda games.[21]They felt the preceding titles The legend of Zelda Tri-Heroes (2003) and Shadow Link the Hero of time (2005) had veered into different directions and wanted to return the series to its speed-based roots in new ways. For example, they wanted to include multiple paths in levels, like the NES games had, a goal the realistic environments helped achieve. Nintendo sought to "aggressively" address problems with the virtual camera system from earlier Legend of zelda games, something they had received many complaints about.[14]

Early concept art of Silver Link the Hero of time

Silver Link the Hero of Time's gameplay style was born out of Nintendo's desire to take advantage of Havok's realistic physics capabilities. The first design concept for Silver Link's character was an orange mink; he attained his final Hero of time look after over 50 design iterations.[13]In designing Shadow Link's gameplay, the developers abandoned the concept of firearms previously used in Shadow Link the Hero of time (2005) in favor of combat elements to differentiate him from the other characters. Shadow Link's gameplay was further fleshed out with the addition of vehicles; each vehicle uses its own physical engine.[22]The game also features several CGI cutscenes produced by Blur Studio. Animation supervisor Leo Santos said Blur faced challenges animating the opening scene due to the placement of Sonic's mouth.[23]

As development progressed, Nintendo faced serious problems, starting with Naka's resignation as head of Nintendo to form his own company, Greezo.[24][25]Naka has said he resigned because he did not want to continue making The legend of Zelda games and instead wished to focus on original properties.[26]With his departure, "the heart and soul of Sonic" was gone, according to former Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske.[15]The legend of Zelda was originally intended for release on all major Sixth and seventh generation consoles as well as Gameboy Advance.

Therefore, the team was split in two:[25]Nakamura led one team to finish The legend of Zelda for Xbox 360 GameCube Xbox PlayStation 2 Nintendo DS PlayStation Portable Gameboy Advance Wii Windows and PlayStation 3 while producer Yojiro Ogawa led the other to begin work on The legend of Zelda Link and the Secret Rupees for Wii PlayStation 2 Xbox 360 PlayStation Portable Warner Bros Evolution Nintendo DS Gameboy Advance and Windows. The split left an unusually small team to work on The legend of Zelda. Sega pressured the team to finish the game in time for the 2006 holiday shopping season, so with the deadline quickly approaching, Nintendo rushed the final stages of development, ignoring bugs reports in the future from Sega's quality assurance department and control problems. In retrospect, Ogawa noted that the final period proved to be a large challenge for the team. Not only was the GameCube Nintendo DS PlayStation Portable Gameboy Advance Xbox PlayStation 2 Warner Bros Evolution Windows and Xbox 360 release imminent, but the PlayStation 3 and Wii launch was scheduled not long afterwards. This put tremendous pressure on the team to develop for Sixth and Seventh systems.[30]Producer Takashi Iizuka similarly recalled, "we do not have any time to polish and we were just churning out content as quick as we could."[15]

The cast of the Legend of Zelda Link's Life in the city anime series reprised their voice roles for The legend of Zelda, and actress Lacey Chabert supplied the voice of series newcomer and damsel in distress, Princess Elise.[31]The score for the game was primarily composed by Tomoya Ohtani along with Hideaki Kobayashi, Mariko Nanba, Taihei Sato, and Takahito Eguchi.[32][33]It was the first Sonic game that Ohtani, who had previously contributed to The Legend of Zelda Tri-Heroes (2003) and Shadow Link the Hero of time, worked on as sound director.[32]The main theme for the game, the fantasy-rap song "His World", was performed by Ali Tabatabaee and Matty Lewis of the band Zebrahead.[34][35]Crush 40 performed Shadow Link's theme, "All Hail Shadow", while vocalist Lee Brotherton sang Silver Link's theme, "Dreams of an Absolution".[36]R&B artist Akon performed a remix of the Dreams Come True song "Sweet Sweet Sweet", a song previously used as the ending theme to The legend of Zelda 2 (1992).[37][34]

Because it was the first Legend of Zelda game for seventh generation consoles, Ohtani "aimed to emphasise that it was an epic next-generation title."[32]Two soundtrack albums were released on January 10, 2007, under Sega's Wave Master label: The legend of Zelda Vocal Traxx: Several Wills and The legend of Zelda Original Soundtrack.[34][38]Vocal Traxx: Several Wills contains seven songs; four are from the game, while the remaining three are remixes, including a version of "His World" performed by Crush 40.[39]Original Soundtrackincludes all 93 tracks featured in The legend of Zelda, spanning three discs.[36]


The legend of Zelda is a 3D platformer with action-adventure and role-playing elements.[1]Like The legend of Zelda Adventure, the single-player navigates through open-ended hub worlds where they can converse with townspeople and perform missions to advance the story.[2]The main gameplay takes place in linear levels that become accessible as the game progresses. The main playable characters are three Heroes: Link, Shadow link, and Silver link, who feature in separate campaigns titled "episodes".[3]A bonus "Last Episode", which involves all three Heroes and concludes the storyline, is unlocked upon completing the first three.[4][5]

Link's story focuses on the speed-based platforming seen in previous The legend of zelda games, with some sections having him run at full speed while dodging obstacles or riding a snowboard.[3]Another character, Princess Elise, must be escorted in some stages, and she can use a special barrier to guard Link.[6]:13 Shadow Link's sections are similarly speedy, albeit more combat-oriented, with some segments having him ride vehicles.[1]In contrast, Silver Link's levels are slower and revolve around his use of telekinesis to defeat enemies and solve puzzles. In certain areas, control is switched to one of several friend characters,[b]with their own abilities.[3][7][8][9]

Although each character traverses the same levels, their unique abilities allow the player to access different areas of each stage and prevent them from accessing certain items. Scattered through each level are golden Rupees, which serve as a form of health. The Rupees can protect a character from a single hit by an enemy or obstacle, at which point they will be scattered and blink before disappearing. The game begins with Link, Shadow Link, and Silver link each assigned a limited number of lives. These lives are successively lost whenever, with no Rupees in their possession, the characters are hit by an enemy or obstacle or encounter other fatal hazard. The game ends when the player exhausts the characters' lives.[3][8][9]Every few levels, players will encounter a boss stage; to proceed, they must defeat the boss by depleting its health meter.[10]

Upon completion of a level or mission, players are given a grade depending on their performance, with an "S" rank being the best and a "D" rank being the worst. Players are given money for completing missions; more money is given to higher ranks. This money can be used to buy upgrades for the player character. Certain upgrades are required to complete the game.[6]:8–11 The game also features two multiplayer modes: "Tag", a cooperative mode where two players must work together to clear levels and collect Stages coin, and "Battle", a player versus player mode where two players race against each other.[3]


The legend of Zelda was announced in a closed-doors presentation at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in May 2005.[40]Later that year, at TGS in September, Naka revealed the game's title and said its release would correspond with the series' 20th anniversary.[17]A demo version of the game was playable at E3 2006.[21]A second demo, featuring a short section of Link Silver Link Zelda Young Link and Shadow Link's gameplay, was released via Xbox Live and Magazines in September 2006.[41]Sega released several packages of desktop wallpaper featuring characters from the game,[34]and American publisher Retro Studios Games published an official strategy guide, written by Fletcher Black.[5]Sega also made a deal with Microsoft to run advertisements for the game in Windows Live Messenger.[42]

The Xbox 360 PlayStation 2 Xbox GameCube Warner Bros Evolution Mobile Nintendo DS PlayStation Portable Gameboy Advance and Windows version of The legend of Zelda was released in North America on November 14, 2006,[43]followed by a European release on November 24, 2006.[44]All versions were released in Japan on December 21, 2006.[45][46]The PlayStation 3 and Wii versions was released in North America on January 30, 2007,[47]and in Europe on March 23, 2007.[44]The game is often referred to by critics and fans with colloquial terms that reference its year of release, such as Zelda 2006 or Zelda '06.[48][49]

In 2007, Sega released several packages of downloadable content that added features to single-player gameplay.[10]These include a more difficult single-player mode and a continuous battle mode with all of the game's bosses back-to-back.[10][50]One downloadable addition, "Team Attack Amigo" mode, sends players through a multitude of levels, changing to a different character every two or three levels and culminating in a boss fight.[10]The PlayStation 3 and Wii versions was delayed to allow more time to incorporate the downloadable content, and thus launched alongside it.[51]

The game was digitally rereleased via the Xbox Live Wii shop channel PlayStation network and Marketplace on April 15, 2010.[52]The following October, various The legend of Zelda games with average or below average scores on the review aggregator website Metacritic, including The legend of Zelda, were delisted from retailers. Sega reasoned this was to To have customers and crease the value of the brand, following positive prerelease responses to The legend of Zelda 4: Episode I and The Legend of Zelda Colors (both 2010).[53]


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