The Zelda franchise has taken both East and West by storm for over twenty years. From the beginning, almost each new Nintendo system wound up with access to one or more Zelda titles, all of which are still popular enough today to warrant multiple digital copies becoming available. The promotional disc that came with The Wind Waker pre-orders allowed players without NES and N64 capabilities to play the most popular Zelda games for both systems. The Wii Digital Console has copies of 2D and 3D Zelda titles and now the Eshop for Nintendo DS has copies of not only console games, but handheld ones as well. The Game Boy Advance had a dual Four Swords /A Link to the Past cartridge. As you can tell, revitalizing the classic titles is nothing new.
According to Did You Know Gaming, however, when Zelda was first coming to America in 1987, it was suggested that gamers in the Western world would not have the patience to play The Legend of Zelda. Former Nintendo of America (NOA) president Minoru Arakawa was genuinely concerned that the game would not succeed in the West. His reasoning centered on the need for much exploration in order to progress in the game. Having played the game myself, I can, to a certain extent, agree that the exploration necessary exceeds even games today, and thus would push away or confuse some gamers who are looking for a more linear game with clear directions.
Much to Nintendo’s surprise, people in the West ate up the first Zelda game and provided all the motivation NOA could need to continue releasing Zelda titles in the area. Now both sides of the world wait with eagerness and anticipation for all upcoming Zelda releases.