Cartoon Spin-Offs: The good, the bad and the WTF!?

The Legend of Zelda | 1989, 13 episodes

What’s it all about?
Pig-faced wizard villain Ganon is desperate to join all the pieces of the powerful Tri-Force together and use it to rule the land of Hyrule. It's up to Link and Princess Zelda to make sure this dastardly plan never comes to fruition. So, when the heroic team aren't spring-cleaning the castle (they get real dusty) or rescuing King Harkinian (who carelessly gets himself captured twice in 13 episodes), they spend their time mostly thwarting Ganon’s plans to capture the - frankly inferiorly guarded - Tri-Force of Wisdom. There's an irony in there somewhere, we're sure.

But it’s not all about the Tri-Force. Link's obviously raging hormones compels him to try and secure a kiss from Princess Z at every possible opportunity. Luckily, any potential intimacy is always reliably cut-short by some comical mishap. God knows we never would have recovered from Link trying to cop a sneaky grope.

The sexually frustrated hero does score a kiss after rescuing a dark-haired maiden in one episode, although as a result he turns into a frog. As you can probably guess, this cartoon was not entirely like the games.

Does it do the game justice?
The cartoon starts strongly enough - the recognisable theme, Zelda, Link and the Hyrule Kingdom are all present, but after watching the 45 second intro – which is a short version of what’s about to happen over and over for the next 13 episodes – it's apparent that any similarities end when the 'action' proper begins.

Making Link an angsty teen is either a stroke of genius or an act of heresy, depending on  how seriously you take your Nintendorkness. He stops just short of being a sex pest. We’re not saying that we wouldn’t be narked if we’d just saved the same princesses skinny ass for the nth time and all we got was a hug, but saying things like “Looking good princess, especially from this angle” while staring down her top from a high tower isn’t going to help Link get sexy cuddles.

And we don't know where Link's "Excuuuuuuse me, Princess!" catchphrase comes from, but despite his insistence on repeating it like a retarded parrot, it's definitely one of his most endearing features. Especially when you see every utterance spliced together in the movie below.

Would we watch it today?
For kooky laughs, yeah. And as an amusing curio it's the kind of thing that Zelda fans should seek out. Actually, scratch that - unless you're a real Hyrule headcase, all you really need to see is the 'Excuuuuuuse me, Princess!' compilation movie above. In retrospect, that's probably the best one minute 48 seconds that the cartoon has to offer.

What can we learn from the series?
If you’re ever entrusted with keeping a piece of the Tri-Force safe from the clutches of evil, don’t put it in plain view at the top of a high tower.

Watch episode one below.

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  • JosefMotley - January 7, 2010 11:52 p.m.

    i can't believe you didn't mention that in the opening sequence of one of the mario cartoons, he picks up a star... and turns into fire flower mario. research, anyone? and weirdly enough sex pest cartoon link just reminds me of zidane and dagger's creepy relationship in FF9
  • walrusthewill - July 19, 2009 11:13 p.m.

    first and only son good aticle, i watched the street fighter one BISSOONNN!!

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