Did you know that back in the 1980s, Nintendo released official board games based off of the Zelda series both in Japan and the rest of the world? Nowadays, many fans would consider this a dream come true, as the Zelda franchise is largely limited to the games themselves, lacking many of the outside elements that other popular titles often receive. Read on to learn more about these RPG-like board games and see the amazing details of their gameplay and appearance.
In 1986, Japanese fans were treated to Hyrule Fantasy (which was also the Japanese name for the very first Zelda game for Nintendo), which featured a version of the world map from The Legend of Zelda. Separate tiles simulated dungeons, numerous cards represented friends and foes, and colored plastic figures acted as the playable characters. The game can currently be purchased on eBay for $499.95 USD–expensive, yes, but by this point it’s become a coveted collectible.
The rest of the world got a different game two years later through Milton Bradley. The game’s board emulated the actual console game’s top-down perspective, containing six “rooms,” each of which featured a different environment found in The Legend of Zelda (eg. desert, grassland, et cetera). Working in a manner similar to a table-top RPG, the game came with dice which were rolled to decide whether the player would face a random foe or get a random item, and players could even fight bosses or gain extra heart containers, just like in the original console title.
Sure, this version of the game was simple compared to most table-top board games, but it was designed for children, after all. Most series nowadays receive special editions of games that have already been made (such as special editions of Monopoly), but these two games were truly unique, and are a testament to how much faith Nintendo had in the young series. You can view many more close-ups of the 1986 game at its eBay selling page.
Would you be interested if Nintendo brought board games like these back to the market, or are board games based off of a video game series best left to the ’80s, along with shoulder pads, mullets, and poofy leg warmers?