Zelda (game)

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Game Information
Release date: August 26, 1989
1998 (Mini Classics)
Character: Link
Range: Multi Screen

The Zelda Game & Watch (model number ZL-65) is a multi-screen Game & Watch system developed by Nintendo and released in North America in August 1989. Its gameplay was heavily inspired by Zelda II: Adventure of Link on NES, and it featured an original story described on the manual. This game is one of the more obscure releases in the series. Unlike the other LCD games, this was made by Nintendo and appeared on a Nintendo platform. The handheld console would be Nintendo's penultimate release before the release of the Game Boy (the last being Mario the Juggler).

It is a stand-alone "system" pre-loaded with the single game. It has dual screens (similar to the Nintendo DS), with the bottom screen used for normal battles, and the top screen to show inventory, as well as the map, and to show the upper part of the bosses.


Eight unruly dragons are creating havoc in the world. After they kidnap Princess Zelda, it is up to Link to defeat them and rescue the princess. The dragons have imprisoned Zelda behind a seal that requires all 8 pieces of the triforce to unlock. After defeating each dragon, Link gains one piece of the Triforce. The complete game can be unlocked in Game & Watch Gallery 4 for the Game Boy Advance.

Note: Information is from the Game Manual.

"The havoc caused by eight fierce dragons is increasing day by day. These dragons have refused to live in piece with man and are fighting against him to rule the world. Now that your sweetheart Princess Zelda has been kidnapped by the evil dragons, you have resolved to destroy the dragons."


Note: Information is from the Game Manual.

Link: The hero of the game. He risks his life and fights to rescue Princess Zelda. Link can perform a sword beam attack when his life meter is full (five hearts). The sword beam always hits the Goblin and generally makes the fight much easier.

Princess Zelda: Link's sweetheart who was kidnapped by the dragons and locked inside a deep dungeon.


The enemies in the game consist of Moblins, which must be defeated by stabbing them repeatedly. They attack at Link by throwing spears, which can be blocked by Link not attacking, thus keeping his shield forward; Ghinis, which launch attacks at Link from behind (which can be blocked by stabbing, placing his shield behind you), and one to four Stalfos, which stand underneath Link and try to swing their swords up at him. (they can be avoided by simply moving out of the way).

The boss of each dungeon is a dragon that has two attacks: slashing Link with its tail; or breathing fireballs at him. Link must dodge the fireballs and slash at its tail to defeat the dragon. This is the only area were Link can use the Tomahawk.


Items are obtained from defeating Moblins. They will drop the item once they are defeated. The different items are as follows:

  • Recovery Heart: This classic Legend of Zelda item which recovers one heart.
  • Water of Life: Automatically used when Link has zero hearts, reviving him with full health. Essentially a bottle full of auto-life potion. This fills Link's health up to five hearts, allowing Link to shoot beams from his sword.
  • Map: Shows you the layout of the dungeon.
  • Tomahawk: This weapon is only used in boss battles. It is automatically equipped when Link enters one, and works in the same way as the sword. Its only difference is that it does more damage.

2nd Quest[edit]

Following the common patters of Game & Watch consoles, Zelda features a Game B which is slightly more integrated than others. After the ending scene where Zelda is rescued, if the player presses the attack button the Second Quest will start. The Second Quest has quicker enemies and the player's score from the previous game is carried over.


The controls are as follows:

  • Left/Right: Move in the direction of the button pressed.
  • Up: Go up a staircase.
  • Down: Use the "Water of Life" (above).
  • Attack: Attack with whatever weapon Link is using.

Ports and re-releases[edit]

Zelda (Mini Classics)[edit]

In 1998, Toymax Inc. was licensed to make the Mini Classics series, keychain-sized remakes of the Game & Watch series, one of them being Zelda. It has a significantly smaller screen size. This keychain version, along with Oil Panic and Donkey Kong, was only released in Europe. By as early as 2007, Stadlbauer and It's Outrageous! began distributing the Mini Classics version in select locations within the United States, using art from A Link to the Past and Four Swords Adventures.

Zelda in Game & Watch Gallery 4[edit]

In October 2002, Nintendo included a port of the game as a hidden unlockable extra in Game & Watch Gallery 4 for the Game Boy Advance. This Zelda minigame is the most difficult to unlock, requiring the player to have beaten all other games (and to have earned all 160 stars). Due to limitations of the GBA hardware, the visuals were changed. To fit everything on-screen at once, the screen where the action is not taking place is reduced to about two-thirds of that of the original height.


Addressing the Watch part of the Game & Watch series, Zelda features an in-built alarm coupled with the actual game itself. When the alarm went off, an old lady with a bell would appear on screen.


The Multiscreen system resembles the modern Nintendo DS to the point that some devoted fans have painted their NDS systems to look like the original Zelda G&W Multiscreen platform.

The Sub Screen: The sub screen doubles as an inventory screen and boss arena, featuring Zelda's prison in the upper left. It also houses the player's Triforce area, dungeon map and items list. On the right half of the screen is the area that boss battles with the eight evil dragons take place.

The Main Screen: The lower of the two screens consists of Link, the enemies, Link's health meter, the enemies' health meter, and the old lady who sounds the system's alarm. This is where you will be looking most since the main action occurs here, much to the difference of the NDS where the main screen is on top.

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