A photo of The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia, a large blue hardcover book with a golden triforce on the cover.

The ABCs of The Legend of Zelda

A few months ago, I wrote a post titled “The ABCs of Writing.” Today, I’d like to give you a rundown of another one of my favorite things, The Legend of Zelda in a similar manner – for those of you unfamiliar with the video game franchise, think of this as a quick introduction to the games (no spoilers, I promise). If you’re a Zelda fan like me, I hope you’ll find this to be a fun and entertaining look at the elements that make our favorite games what they are.

A is for Arrows

A staple for any adventurer, arrows allow you to attack your enemies from afar and solve puzzles in dungeons. They also come in other varieties, such as fire, ice, electric, and others.

B is for Ballad of the Goddess

This tune comprises the main theme of Skyward Sword, but more than that, it also contains an Easter egg for a classic Zelda melody. It’s also just a really good track on its own.

C is for Cucco

Cuccos are Hyrule’s version of chickens, but if you whack your sword at one enough times, it’ll summon its friends and utterly destroy you. The Cuccos are not to be messed with.

D is for Dungeon

Dungeons comprise the main puzzles in Zelda games, often culminating in an intense boss fight against one of Ganondorf’s minions. These puzzles range from simple to tricky to frustrating, so prepare yourself for a lot of thinking.

E is for Epona

Link’s trusted steed appears throughout the Zelda franchise, and she’s become an iconic figure. The two share a special connection, allowing Link to summon her just by playing a song.

F is for Fairy

These rare creatures will restore your health if you find one in the wild, but you can also capture them in a bottle to revive you after you’ve died in battle. A handy way to prevent lost progress!

G is for Ganondorf

AKA Ganon, this Gerudo man has a thirst for power and wants to re-create Hyrule in his image. His evil knows no bounds, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to gain ultimate power – the Triforce.

H is for Hyrule

Hyrule is the land where your adventure takes place (most of the time). Its geography varies, including arid deserts, hot volcanoes, dense forests, sparkling waterfalls, and wide plains.

I is for Impa

As a member of the Sheikah tribe, Impa is Princess Zelda’s guardian and protector, and often serves as a guide for Link in his journey. And, unlike most mentor characters, she never seems to die…

J is for Jumping

In The Legend of Zelda, Link can wear magic clothes to breathe underwater and carry dozens of weapons in his nonexistent pockets, but he can’t jump (except in Breath of the Wild, that is). It’s just too much for the Legendary Hero.

K is for Kakariko Village

Although this village has been located in various regions throughout Hyrule’s long history, it has always remained a safe haven for travelers. It’s a lively town where you can stock up on supplies and take a break from your adventures.

L is for Link

The Legendary Hero, the one chosen to wield the Master Sword and end Ganondorf’s evil plans. Often clad in a green tunic and an oddly-shaped hat, Link is the holder of the Triforce of Courage and a perpetually late sleeper.

M is for Master Sword

The Blade of Evil’s Bane is the most iconic item in Link’s arsenal. Far more than just an impressive weapon, the sword is also imbued with the power to repel the forces of evil.

N is for Navi

Hey, Listen! Navi is your fairy guide throughout Ocarina of Time and her constant, high-pitched chatter will get on your nerves. If only you could release her like you do with the other fairies…

O is for Ocarina

This potato-like wind instrument is the focal point in a couple of Zelda games, the most notable being Ocarina of Time. By playing certain melodies on the ocarina, Link can travel through time, summon a rainstorm, and even teleport.

P is for Potion

Healing items aren’t always readily available in the wild, so you need to be prepared. Potions (which can be purchased or made with materials), restore health, stamina, and magic power, so they come in handy in a pinch.

Q is for Quest

In any given Zelda game, there’s a main quest, but there are other quests you encounter along the way, such as rounding up Cuccos or delivering specific items. Take some time to help our your fellow Hylians!

R is for Rupee

Rupees are the gem-like currency in Zelda games. Their color indicates their value – gold ones are worth a whopping 300 Rupees. You can often find them by cutting down grass with your sword.

S is for Sheikah

A secretive tribe in Hyrule, not much is known about the Sheikah. They are the chosen guardians of the goddess Hylia, and their ancient technology is highly advanced. They are also the founders of Kakariko Village.

T is for Triforce

Three, actually: the Triforce of Wisdom, the Triforce of Power, and the Triforce of Courage. When brought together to create the full Triforce, these pieces allow people to obtain power from the gods and receive anything they wish for.

U is for Upgrading

As you progress in your journey, you need better weapons. You trade in your wooden shield for a metal one and get a hookshot with a longer range. Some of these upgrades are easier to obtain than others, but they are always important in any quest.

V is for Volcano

Death Mountain (yes, that’s really what it’s called) is a volcano in Hyrule, and it’s home to the Gorons, a race of rock like creatures who can live in such an extreme climate. Be careful while travelling through this dangerous area!

W is for Wind Waker

The Zelda series is filled with magical musical instruments, but the strangest is the Wind Waker, a conductor’s baton that allows the user to play songs that can manipulate the world around them. I’m still not sure where the heavenly choir comes from every time you use it, though.

X is for eXploration

What would be the point of an expansive world if you didn’t explore it? From its inception, the series has encouraged exploration with very little hand-holding. Of course, the world has grown a lot since then, but one thing remains the same: Hyrule is a land meant to be explored.

Y is for Yiga
(Look, there aren’t many “Y” things, okay?)

In Breath of the Wild, the Yiga clan consists of former Shiekah members who defected and pledged their allegiance to the forces of evil. While they are skilled warriors, they also have a strange affinity for bananas.

Z is for Zelda

This princess is more than just a damsel in distress – she’s a powerful heroine that can hold her own in battle. In recent games, Princess Zelda has become more of a three-dimensional character, with her own strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. As the holder of the Triforce of Wisdom, she’s a ruler you don’t want to cross.

Zelda fans, what would you add to this list? Is there anything I left out, or something I should’ve explained better? Let me know in the comments!

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