The Legend of Zelda in Popular Culture

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As a long-running and critically acclaimed series, The Legend of Zelda series has been referenced numerous times within various forms of media and has become a large part of popular culture. This page covers notable homages, parodies and references, not just in other video games but in television and movies. This page does not include official cameos and crossovers within other Nintendo games or officially licensed third party appearances. Please visit Cameos of The Legend of Zelda for examples of these.

Video Games

3D Dot Game Heroes
This game is about bringing back the 8-bit nostalgia, and shows many hints from many popular games, especially for The Legend of Zelda. Many of the Zelda similarities include:
The overworld is very similar, it has many areas such as towns, dungeons, a lost forest, a castle, and a mountain area where rocks bounce while falling.
If the chicken gets hit a many times, they will get mad and bring back up.
The enemies resemble the Armos, Darknuts, Gibdos, Moblins, Keese, Lynels, Like likes, Octoroks, Stalfos, Tektikes, Zols, Wizzrobes, Patras, and a Ganon with extra arms, all in 3D pixels.
The sword will shoot beams is the health is at its max.
If a character breaks into a secret cave, he can either be rewarded or fined. An old man even says "It is a secret to everyone".
A fairy will join the hero's party.
One of their characters is called Moyomoto, who is brother to Wigy. This is a reference to the Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto.
The fight with the Dark Bishop Fuelle is very similar to the boss fight with Agunima in Oracle of Seasons.
The final boss name is Onyx, similar to Onox. Onyx is also a dragon, much like Onox's true form.
Many dungeons and puzzles are the same, but in 3D.
999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
In the kitchen, Lotus criticizes Junpei for being unable to identify an appetizer plate and its use. Junpei responds with "Well, excuuuuuuse me, princess."
Bioshock Infinite
Elizabeth says, "It's dangerous to go alone," to Booker.[citation needed]
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Rupee-shaped trophy in Call of Duty: Ghosts
A glass trophy shaped as a Rupee can be found in the game. It reads, "Awarded for: Most Bushes Cut and Pots Smashed."
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
At one point in the game, it mentions a Great "Dekuh" which was "the most gorgeous tree in the forest" and its "magical power protected the forest from the attacks of dark creatures," obviously a reference to the Great Deku Tree.
Dark Sector
The creators of the game have stated they have been heavily influenced by The Legend of Zelda games, and that they drew inspiration from the puzzles and pacing throughout the series.[1]
DragonFable
One quest involves collecting the four pieces of the Quadforce. One piece is found outside Linken's house. The Quadforce is like the Triforce and the boss of the quest is Gananana, a name which sounds similar to Ganon, and the rewards are a dagger, sword and staff of eye-rule, which sounds like Hyrule. The rarest price which can only be sold for 250 gold is Ocarina of Thyme.
The famous original The Legend of Zelda phrase in Epic Mickey
Epic Mickey
Beluga Billy mentions the famous It's dangerous to go alone! Take this original The Legend of Zelda phrase when he gives an item to Mickey.
Fable III
In the Morning Wood Graveyard, one of the tombstones has an inscription of the famous original The Legend of Zelda quote: "It's dangerous to go alone, take this." If the player digs up the grave, they will obtain a toy sword.
Final Fantasy I & II Dawn of Souls
If the main character reads a certain tombstone in Final Fantasy I it reads "Here Lies Link." It is in the town of elves, Elfheim, near what could be called the bottom of the map. The original US localization for Final Fantasy I was done by Nintendo of America and this tombstone was changed to read "Here lies Erdrick" referring to the legendary hero from the Dragon Quest series. Subsequent ports and remakes changed the reference back to Link.
The Zelda-themed car
Forza Motorsport 5
A Zelda-themed car can be found in the game. It features the Royal Crest and Link from The Wind Waker.
I'm O.K. - A Murder Simulator
Some of the opponents wear shirts with the Triforce on it.
Infinity Blade III
There is a mission named "EXPLORE - A LINK TO THE PAST".
League of Legends
An item called the Trinity Force, a reference to the Triforce and often abbreviated as such by players, can be bought in-game.
The Triforce from N+
N+
One of the levels is designed as a large Triforce.
Neverwinter Nights
A boss found in the game is called Ganon.
Ōkami
Although Okami does not contain a direct reference, director Hideki Kamiya admits he has been influenced by The Legend of Zelda series while developing the PlayStation 2 title, which was also adapted for the Wii in 2008.[2] Coincidentally, both Ōkami and Twilight Princess feature a wolf as a playable character, with Amaterasu and Wolf Link, respectively.
In the Ponc'tan area, the houses' doors show a symbol identical to that of Kokiri's Emerald.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All
In part 4-1 of the second case in Justice For All, Phoenix utters the line "Well, excuuuse me, Princess," a reference to The Legend of Zelda cartoon series.
Pocket God
The Retro Skin Pack allows you to change the Spear to the "Legend of Ooga Sword." The design is very similar to the Master Sword.
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
Flora's shawl has an image of a Triforce on it, which can be seen in the opening scene.
Skullgirls
One of Parasoul's Egrets will occasionally say "Well, excuuuuse me, princess!" when being summoned, in direct reference to The Legend of Zelda animated series.
One of Robo-Fortune's quotes when the player loses due to a time-out is "I AM ERROR", referencing Error of The Adventure of Link.
Slingo Mystery 2
Players come across a table with several masks on it, one of which is Majora's Mask.
Spyro: A Hero's Tail
When Spyro finds the ball gadget the professor mentions Gold Skulltula Tokens and Pieces of Heart.
Terraria
Players can create a set of vanity items called the Hero's Clothes which look very similar to Link's iconic tunic. The set is made of three parts: Hero's Hat, Shirt and Pants. The clothes do not affect the player's stats in any way.
The Binding of Isaac
The I AM ERROR character
This indie game by Edmund McMillen of Team Meat is an isometric dungeon crawler heavily influenced by the original Legend of Zelda. The most notable influence graphic-wise is the HUD, which closely mimics the design and style of the one in Zelda.
Multiple items in the game are references to items in the first Legend of Zelda. Among them are Hearts, Bombs, and Keys, but there are also items that function the same and resemble the Compass, Map, and Stepladder.
Several enemies behave similarly to enemies from The Legend of Zelda. Some of these enemies behave the same as Ropes and Darknuts. The bosses Chub, C. H. A. D., and the Carrion Queen have the same weakness as Dodongo. The boss Pin is inspired from Lanmolas in its attack patterns, and the boss Scolex seems to be inspired from both Lanmolas and Moldorm, as it will burrow underground, and its only weakness is its tail.[3]
There is a slim chance, when using the telepills, that it will take the protagonist to a secret room. The room contains a character who says "I AM ERROR."[4]
In some endings of the game, the protagonist will open a treasure chest, and take out an item. he will then hold the item up high, exactly like the the Zelda series, while the "Item Get!" theme will play.[5]
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
If you talk to Farkus after he turns into a werewolf in Dustman's Cairn, you can ask if all the Companions have that ability. He will say that only members of The Circle can turn into werewolves and that "It's a secret to everybody."
The Longest Journey
The keyholes on the communication statues on the Island of Alais have a symbol that resembles the Triforce.
Temple of the Damned Triforce.gif
The stones in the Temple of the Damned
The Simpsons Game
When the player reaches the level "Enter the Cheatrix," Lisa yells "I hope I get to meet Zelda...ZELDA," while small hearts are falling from pipes.
VVVVVV
The screen containing the first shiny trinket of the first level is named "It's a Secret to Nobody".
Warcraft II
In Warcraft II and its expansion, one can see the Triforce in one of the stones of the Temple of the Damned.
Warcraft III
In Warcraft III and the expansion, if the player clicks a "Druid of the Claw" enough times he will say "Can't ... stop ... DANCING!" possibly in reference to Darunia (with music in the background somewhat like "Saria's Song").
World of Warcraft
Linken in World of Warcraft
A long quest chain is available in the zone Un'Goro Crater which heavily references The Legend of Zelda series.
It begins when the player locates a stranded raft (a reference to Link's Awakening) in Un'Goro Crater, which starts the quest "It's a Secret to Everybody." The player must then find a bag nearby it, containing a Curled Map Parchment, a Large Compass, a Lion-headed Key, and a Faded Photograph. The photograph shows a picture of a pair of gnomes dressed similarly to Zelda and Link, standing in front of a ruined castle. The player then has to find the gnome dressed as Link in the photo, named Linken, who is located at a camp in the zone, to continue.
Further down the quest-line, the player is tasked with stealing a plant from a gnoll named Miblon Snarltooth. Miblon will respond with "Grumble grumble" if he is spoken to. To distract Miblon to steal the plant, the player must purchase a Bait item from a nearby dwarf, who will sell it to the main character with the quote, "Buy something, will ya?" Both quotes, and the ability of meat to distract monsters, are a reference to the first Zelda.
Near the end of the quest-line, the player must summon a water elemental named Aquementas to do a task for them, in reference to the dragon Aquamentus.
The end of the quest chain, named "It's Dangerous to Go Alone," involves the player slaying a fire elemental and taking the Golden Flame it was guarding back to Linken. The Golden Flame resembles a golden triangle, and Linken says it is "dangerous in the hands of those with an evil heart." The rewards for completing this quest are Linken's Sword of Mastery, Linken's Boomerang, and the Spirit of Aquementas.
There is a kodo in Un'Goro Crater named Dadanga, and its owner says it "dislikes smoke." A reference to the first game, when a man says "DODONGO DISLIKES SMOKE."
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
In the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm expansion pack, Linken reappears as a guest party member at Sethria's Roost in Mount Hyjal. He rides a brown horse resembling Epona. Linken also says some of Link's quotes, "Excuuuse me, princess!" and "Oh boy! I'm so hungry I could eat a fire elemental!" Patch 4.3 revamped the Darkmoon Faire and added a three headed Hydra named Gleok in the Darkmoon Faire Zoo as a reference to Gleeok.
The Stick of Truth
One of the costumes bears a resemblance to Link, and includes a green cap with blond hair and a green tunic. A sword that resembles the Master Sword can also be purchased.

Television and Movies

Catscratch
In the episode "Zombie Party a Go-Go," Zelda's Lullaby is played both times that Waffle is ridiculed by Mr. Blik. The episode may be found here.
Robot Chicken
A Zelda parody is shown in Robot Chicken's episode 5 from season 3. Link goes to free Zelda with excitement after killing Ganon. Zelda, on the other hand, is bored and states that this is the eighth time she has been rescued. She gives Link eight Rupees and goes away.
Code Monkeys
In the first episode in "the Waz's" office, Majora's Mask can be seen on the wall.
Drawn Together
In the animated TV series Drawn Together, the character of Xandir’s girlfriend is largely based on Zelda, voiced by Cree Summer. From the episode Gay Bash, she was Xandir's girlfriend before he came out of the closet. The evil Lord Slashstab used to capture her for no reason, leading to Xandir's never-ending quest to save her. She seems to be a terrible homophobe, refusing to allow Xandir to rescue her once he informs her he is gay, even though at the time she was being lowered into a pit of megacobras in Lord Slashstab's castle.
Xandir's appearance is also based on the Zelda series. Xandir has blond hair, blue eyes, pointed ears, and green clothing, much like Link.
How I Met Your Mother
In the final episode of the seventh season, Marshall Eriksen gets drunk and attempts to use an ATM. Instead of the ATM information, he imagines scenes from The Legend of Zelda on the screen.
Mad
In the episode "Gaming’s Next Top Princess," Zelda appeared as one of the contestants with Peach and Samus. She later had a modeling picture with Ganondorf as Sheik. Also, in the episode "Minute to Flynn It," Link appeared on the head of Clu when his head malfunctioned.
Phineas and Ferb
In the episode "Bowl-R-Rama Drama," fanfare music sounds every time Baljeet holds the "World's Most Pointless Records" book over his head, similarly to how Link raises every new item he finds. Also, in some episodes like "S'Winter" or "We Call it Maze," the Triforce can be seen in the background.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
At the beginning of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the movie plays the Great Fairy Fountain theme song and, later on, it plays the chime from when Link obtains an item.
South Park
In the second episode of the "Imaginationland" trilogy, when the wall breaks away and the bad imaginary characters charge out to cause havoc, Link, who is one of the good imaginary characters, can be seen running away within a second.
Ganondorf can also be spotted in the third episode of the same trilogy, during the war of the good imaginary characters versus the bad imaginary characters.
In the "Black Friday" trilogy, Kenny dons Princess Zelda's dress from Twilight Princess and assumes the name Princess Kenny.
Steven's bedroom with a copy of The Wind Waker
Steven Universe
Steven, the titular character of the Cartoon Network series Steven Universe, owns several Nintendo consoles, including a Nintendo GameCube with a copy of The Wind Waker. In the episode Winter Forecast a Bottle of Milk that resembles the Bottles from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask can be seen on a shelf in the background of one scene. In the episode Rose's Scabbard Steven sings a slowed down version of the Chest Opening jingle when pulling his mothers sword from his pet lions magic mane. Series creator, Rebecca Sugar, stated that the music in Steven Universe is influenced by video games, including Ocarina of Time.[6]
A background Pony based on Link in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
In Episode 11 of Season 6, Flutter Brutter, a background Pony resembling Link can be seen pulling a cart of Rupees while in the town of Ponyville. He sports Link's signature hat, with a deep brown coat and light blond mane and tail. His Cutie Mark resembles an incomplete Heart Container. He also has a white mark trailing down the front of his face, giving him an appearance similar to Epona's.
Teen Titans Go!
The character Starfire appears in a video game called "Starfire's Quest: The Legend of the Legendary Quest" when each Titan enters their own game.[clarification needed] The game features several references to The Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past.[7]
In the episode "Knowledge", Raven gives Starfire a pendant containing multiple symbols, one of which is the Triforce.
The Kids in the Hall
In the fifth episode of Season 5, Gavin (played by Bruce McCulloch) wears a green cap like the one Link commonly wears.
The Powerpuff Girls
In the episode "Child Fearing," there was a character who resembles Link. The character was not officially announced as Link, but it has many of Link's key features, as well as what looks like a Fairy. The character was in a game, controlled by the Mayor of Townsville. The Mayor made the character slash his sword, get smashed by giant brick squares twice, run into walls, and kill the creature which looks like a Fairy. Afterward, the Mayor gets a "start over?," in which the screen zooms out of the game, and the viewers can clearly see that the character was in fact in a game, as well as the Mayor holding what looks like a Nintendo 64 controller.
The Amazing World of Gumball
The Tale of Zelmore is a video game parody of The Legend of Zelda series which appeared twice: it first appeared in "The Flakers," being played by Darwin and Anais. In "The Promise," Gumball and Darwin express excitement for its sequel. When Gumball takes the disc out to play the game, he holds it up in the same fashion Link does when he finds an item in a chest. He also hums the same tune.
Gravity Falls
In "Dungeons, Dungeons and More Dungeons", Grunkle Stan swats a fairy on his back, which says "Hey. Look. Listen," referencing Navi's infamous calls to Link in Ocarina of Time.
Best Friends Whenever
In the episode "Time To Rob and Slam", when the show's main characters Cyd and Shelby watch Barry's favorite movie "Spark Dynamo", a white Triforce is shown in the background near the end of the episode.
Rick and Morty
In the episode "Total Rickall", a flashback scene shows Rick running into the family's living room holding an limited edition A Link Between Worlds Nintendo 3DS XL, claiming he bought it at Wal-Mart at a cheap price and could sell it at a more expensive cost.
Supergirl
In the episode "Childish Things", a person is seen dressed up as Link at the National City Toy Convention.

Web Media

CollegeHumor
At a sketch called "Peach and Zelda Catch Up," both Peach and Zelda are in a café reunited after a long time talking about their frustrations, while admitting that they actually enjoy being kidnapped.[8]
Homestar Runner
A large number of references have been made by Homestar Runner. A list can be found on the Homestar Runner Wiki.
Homestuck
"Guru-Gurusprite"
The webcomic Homestuck makes several references to the Zelda series:
  • Just before John Egbert launches into the sky to help his friend, Jade, play Sburb, Vriska messages him via Pesterchum and demands that he changes his attire, insulting his taste in fashion. John agrees to change his clothes, but rejects the idea of discarding his current pair, claiming to be like Link and comparing his power over wind to being like the Wind Waker.[9]
  • In the playable flash segment, ">[S] GET UP JOHN, THIS IS NO TIME FOR SLUMBER.," two references to The Legend of Zelda can be seen. By hitting AltGr+T, a small window appears asking for a trickster code, which is 024913. Following the code being entered, John Egbert's appearance changes to resemble Link from Twilight Princess and his hammer is replaced with the Master Sword. Alongside John is a Tier 2 Prototyped Sprite of Guru Guru which serves no purpose other than to accompany John.
Problem Sleuth
When the titular character retrieves the "Chronoscope of Axial Conjugation" from the Cathedral of Syndetic Ascension, Problem Sleuth assumes Link's famous pose while a Triforce appears in the background. Shortly thereafter, this scene is obstructed by text pointing out how "lame" of a parody it is.
Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series
In the episode "Massively Multiplayer Online Children's Card Game," Yugi, Joey, and Mokuba find a fairy that repeats the infamous "Hey! Listen!" over and over. Later, Joey activates the Ocarina of Time, immediately followed by the beginning of "Saria's Song."

Cultural influence

  • The band Showbread have expressed devout appreciation for the series in several ways. They came onstage to The Wind Waker intro music during their Reptilian Empire Tour in 2006. Three members of the band can be seen wearing matching Triforce rings in their music video for mouth like a magazine.
  • Joe Pleiman created a song parody of the main Zelda theme. It was recorded by his band "The Rabbit Joint" for their 1998 album of the same name. The song is commonly falsely attributed to System of a Down.
  • Robin Williams named his daughter "Zelda" because Zelda is his favorite video game series. When his wife had been pregnant with their daughter they had been playing Ocarina of Time constantly and both had decided they would name their daughter after Princess Zelda.[10]
  • On the XM channel, 80s on 8, The Legend of Zelda theme is occasionally put in the background.

Gallery

References

  1. "Well, we loved the camera in Resident Evil 4, and it's a really well paced game too so that was a really huge influence. The other major influence for Dark Secktor was Zelda, for the puzzles and for another example of great pacing. Those are the main ones, although there are loads of smaller touches from other games in there." —Josh Austin (Interview: Sinister, gory and influenced by Zelda)
  2. "I really wanted [Twilight Princess] to have regal aura, because Zelda was what were aspiring to." —Hideki Kamiya (Okami Creator Disappointed with Twilight Princess Visuals)
  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LezfNVYfFWs
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCoEkXN0uB8
  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBdupSUQ0Wo
  6. Interview: Steven Universe Creator Rebecca Sugar, YouTube, published June 6, 2014.
  7. Starfire in Legend of Zelda - Teen Titans Go!, YouTube, published April 24, 2015, retrieved May 10, 2015.
  8. Peach and Zelda Catch Up, CollegeHumor, published January 11, 2011, retrieved April 25, 2015.
  9. "EB: ok, anyway, i will make a new suit, but i am not ditching my ectosuit!!!
    EB: it is so sweet, i look like link, if zelda was a quest about an elf scientist.
    EB: i am the wind waker. it's me."
    — Andrew Hussie, ==>, MS Paint Adventures.
  10. Robin Williams and daughter Zelda talk about their love for Ocarina of Time, YouTube, published Jun 15, 2011.