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Which legend is actually "the" legend of Zelda? Is each game its own legend? Is the never ending battle between good (Link) and evil (Ganondorf) the legend of Zelda? I think there are certain recurring themes in each games (3 Goddesses creating the world, creating the triforce to protect the people, triforce breaking up, or something like that). Is that the legend? Or is the legend on going and will encompass all the games that will be released in the future?

Which legend exactly is the Legend of Zelda? Is this even specified in canon?

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  • Out-of-universe answer: I'd say when they came up with that name, there was only one game in the franchise, and they had no plans yet to make any more, and didn't really think of that. Because the first game was so successful, it spawned many sequels, and by then the name was already set so they stuck with it. (Even in the games where Zelda herself never makes an appearance.) Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 14:09
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    It's possible you are overthinking this. The characters and the adventures they have are legendary. It's not necessary to think of it in terms of: "exactly which legend is THE legend?" The series and its lore have evolved over the years and will continue to evolve. To strictly define exactly one story line as "the legend" would be to place an unnecessary sense of limitation on it, and only make it harder for the franchise to grow and redefine itself in years to come. It need not be quite so literal. (That said, Princess Ada's answer is a good answer.)
    – Mentalist
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 1:28
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    @Mentalist in which case, "Or is the legend on going and will encompass all the games that will be released in the future?" is the right answer. If you have enough points to back it up you can post it as an answer so we can upvote.
    – user13267
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 4:28

1 Answer 1

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The phrase "The Legend of Zelda" has been used in-universe at least once in the series, in the manual for Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Here it refers to a story explaining why there are so many Princess Zeldas.

Link, the time has come when I must tell you the legend of Zelda handed down in Hyrule. It is said that a long ago, when Hyrule was one country, a great ruler maintained the peace in Hyrule using the Triforce. However, the King too was a child of man and he died. Then, the prince of the kingdom should have become king and inherited everything, but he could inherit the Triforce only in part. The Prince searched everywhere for the missing parts, but could not find them. Then, a magician close to the king brought him some unexpected news. Before he died, the king had said something about the Triforce to only the younger sister of the prince, Princess Zelda. The prince immediately questioned the princess, but she wouldn’t tell him anything. After the prince, the magician threatened to put the princess into an eternal sleep if she did not talk, but even still, she said nothing.

In his anger, the magician tried to cast a magic spell on the princess. The surprised prince tried to stop him, but the magician fought off the prince and went on chanting the spell. Then, when the spell was finally cast, Princess Zelda fell on that spot and entered asleep from which she might never awake. At the same time, the magician also fell down and breathed his last.

In his grief, the prince placed the princess in this room. He hoped that someday she would come back to life. So that this tragedy would never be forgotten, he ordered that every female child born into the royal household be given the name Zelda.

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    "...entered asleep from which..." I presume that's just a typo in copying and not the original text. Though who knows...
    – FreeMan
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 16:20
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    Man, it's a good thing the royal family only seems to produce one daughter per generation. Imagine the confusion in that one generation where the queen gives birth to girl triplets and names them all Zelda. Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 22:38
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    PDFs of the manuals of many old Nintendo games in six languages are hosted at nintendo.co.jp. "A sleep" is correctly spaced in the PDF.
    – benrg
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 22:53
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    Here's zelda 2: link to the manual nintendo.co.jp/clv/manuals/en/pdf/CLV-P-NAASE.pdf
    – user13267
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 10:34
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    The quotes are on page 8
    – user13267
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 10:36

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