“No! No! No! Just call it ‘Legend of ZELDA’. That oughta piss ’em off!”
Hyrule, circa. 1985 – Nintendo is no stranger to pissing people off. Nintendo has, at least since the 80’s, consisted wholly of a sadistic group of small angry hobbits trapped in Japanese bodies, evident by such things as the Water Temple in the Ocarina of Time, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, and the release of the Wii U.
When they’re not busy shitting on their own fanbase by ordering DMCA take-downs against their own fans for projects they’ve spent years working on, kiboshing monetization efforts of streamers playing their games on the Internet, or consistently falling short on hot console launches to abet prolonged demand, they like to take cracks at their own characters.
We enter the story of a young boy destined to save the same land – Hyrule – over and over again by generally the same evil entity. From inception, Nintendo thought it would be a funny prank to pull on “those stupid Americans” when they came up with this brainy scheme: let’s take a future RPG classic, and name it after the princess that only makes an appearance in the very end of the game, and serves no other purpose than to personify an end-game objective.
This might seem fitting, given the nature of fairy tale stories. After all, Snow White sure isn’t named after the prince. Then it hits you like a sack of bricks – in Japan, the game is named ‘Hyrule Fantasy: The Legend of Zelda’.
So what does it all mean?
Some believe the answer lies in shoddy translation or blatant miscommunication that was common in the pre-Google Translate stone-age of the 80s. Others see it as appropriate naming, as Link saves Zelda or some incarnation of the royal bloodline, and then of course, there’s the notion that Shigeru Miyamoto wanted to name the game “Legend of ___”, and chose Zelda, as he liked the name.
But, thanks to the Internet, the “real truth” is out there…
…and that truth is: Nintendo just likes to piss everyone off, like the try-hard class clown that annoys everyone for the sake of his own entertainment.