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Link looks out on the wilderness of Hyrule from a cliffside in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Introducing Zeldathon, a year of Zelda stories

Re-reviews, rabbit holes, op-eds, and more to coincide with Tears of the Kingdom’s release year

Image: Nintendo
Mike Mahardy leads game criticism and curation at Polygon as senior editor, reviews. He has been covering entertainment professionally for more than 10 years.

In 1950s Japan, a young Shigeru Miyamoto, while exploring the countryside surrounding Kyoto, happened upon a cave. After some hesitation, he returned with a lantern and ventured inside. The rest, as they say, is history.

In 2023, Polygon is embarking on a Zeldathon. Join us on our journey through The Legend of Zelda series, from the original 1986 game to the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and beyond.

That singular act of childhood curiosity became the kernel for The Legend of Zelda, a series about exploring strange worlds and their even stranger depths. It helped propel Miyamoto, along with the likes of Eiji Aonuma, Koji Kondo, and Yoshiaki Koizumi, to video game stardom. It has influenced everything from action-adventure titles to role-playing games to open-world epics. It has, in no small way, built video games as we know them.

To coincide with the impending May release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Polygon is launching Zeldathon, a weekly series that will explore the franchise from every angle we can find. We’ll revisit the older games, point you toward the best places to play them, explore the series’ ongoing influence on the video games of today, and, in keeping with Miyamoto’s curious spirit, go down any rabbit holes we stumble upon in the process.

We’re kicking things off with our first story next week. We’ll then publish new stories every week in the lead-up to Tears of the Kingdom’s release, and every week after that. So grab a lantern, fill those empty jars, and join us on this adventure.