A mix of Zelda and RPG elements

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.

The board emulates the map from the console game

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.

Rings and sword galore!

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?

Source:  Kotaku.
  • ChainofTermina

    I want it.

  • I wish Nintendo had the board game rereleased for the 25th Anniversary and made it available everywhere.

  • matthewzfan

    I wish Nintendo did like Action Figures, Zelda Legos, Zelda board games, and other stuff I can't think of. It would be awesome!

  • bastian

    I had the one released in America when I was a kid… and I I cut it into pieces to create a Zelda/HeroQuest crossover game. 🙁 Regret.

    • Zachattack8888

      I probably would've done the same exact thing as you! xD
      HeroQuest is a magnificent game too.

  • Keimori

    Everytime I hit the store I see Mario Mechandise of all kinds, Sonic Mechandise, Halo, Pokemon, Even Assassins creed! but not one spec of zelda stuff! Sure its out there, but not everone can afford custom First-4-Figgures or to import stuff from japan, Once i was lucky enough to find a tin of mints shaped like the Links Sheild…thats it, thats the most I've seen in stores.
    Sad too, I'd realy love to expand my zelda collection beyond just the games and guides, and that lovely poster set.

  • Zachattack8888

    I remember searching for Zelda stuff on ebay when I was but a wee lad and seeing this. I drooled at the very first glimpse of the picture and I remember begging my mom to get it for me but the $200 some dollars it was worth was much too steep 10 years ago. Seeing this again on this site has reawakened my hunger to get this!! Too bad it's gone up $300… xD
    (Totally worth it though)

  • Mike

    This has inspired me to create my own Zelda board game. I am thinking along the lines of a hexagonal tile game where tiles can be arranged to any configuration. A core game with generic dungeons and basic elements would be central and expansions that could include upgraded dungeons (like a master quest) could be added to create an even more immerse gameplay would make it perfect for the hardcore gamers. The setup could enable the player to play any map from any Zelda game. Imagine playing alone or with others on Hyrule as you design it.

  • wolfin

    hi new here and i agree make an loz boredgame yourself the old games were nice I just want an loz boredgame that is fun interactive and multiplayer
    sorry for any misspelling