The Legend of Zelda was released on February 21, 1986 by Nintendo who also developed the game. The Legend of Zelda is an isomorphic role playing game.

The Legend of Zelda combines action, adventure and role playing together.

The player starts off with a shield but soon a sword is available for more action. The game movement is isometric.

Throughout the game, various characters aid the player by giving or selling equipment and clues. These people can be found in caves scattered throughout the overworld; some are readily accessible, while others are hidden behind obstacles such as rocks, trees, and waterfalls.

The game has 9 underground dungeons that have to be entered. Creatures are battled and slowly the player can reach the dungeons and enter new parts of the game.

Each dungeon has a part of the eight pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom. Then once all of the pieces are gathered, the 9th dungeon can be entered to rescue Zelda. The entrances of the three highest-level dungeons are hidden. Link can freely wander the overworld, finding and buying items at any point. This flexibility enables unusual ways of playing the game.

Once the game was done, a second session with new dungeon locations/layouts, different item placements, and stronger enemies starts up.

This game sold over 6.5 million copies giving Nintendo reason enough for more games using Zelda as the franchise. The game was, by far, the best selling title for the NES console.