Nintendo of America
In the 1980s, giving popular video games their own animated series was all the rage. It wasn’t long before a cartoon version of the hit Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda joined their ranks. Zelda shared time with two giants of the video game world, Mario and Luigi, as part of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! The fifteen minute Zelda segments replaced the usual Super Mario Bros. cartoon during the Friday broadcast of the daily half-hour show.
In The Legend of Zelda, Princess Zelda of Hyrule and her adventuresome friend Link kept a powerful magical artifact called the Triforce of Wisdom safe from the clutches of the evil wizard Ganon and his minions. Ganon already possessed another magical item called the Triforce of Power, and sought the Triforce of Wisdom because controlling both would give him the power to rule the land forever.
In large part, Link agreed to guard the Triforce of Wisdom as a means to gain favor with the princess. Despite Zelda’s rebuffs, Link remained committed in his never-ending quest for a kiss. A fairy-princess named Spryte, who sometimes assisted Link and Zelda, thought she was a better match for Link, but the brash young hero couldn’t look past her three inch height.
The series ran for a total of thirteen episodes. While the Mario Brothers went on to star in the 1990 series The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, followed up by Super Mario World in 1991, The Legend of Zelda didn’t prove popular enough to carry over into the new show formats.