September 30, 2023

The six-year wait is over for PC game fans around the world as Nintendo releases the latest installment in the saga.

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The six-year wait has come to an end for Zelda fans around the world with Nintendo’s release of the highly anticipated next installment of its 40-year-old gaming saga.

The series about the exploits of Princess Zelda and the elf-like warrior Link has sold 125 million copies worldwide since its first edition in 1986.

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But his main focus this year will be to boost the Japanese gaming giant’s profits and extend the life of its Switch console, which experts say is in decline after seven years on the shelves.

In Paris, late-night fans lined up to applaud the store’s opening. They poured in – some with Link toys or elf ears – to snap up the latest installment in the saga, Tears of the Kingdom.

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“I’m actually going crazy because we’ve been waiting for this game for six years,” Taylor Megira, 19, told AFP news agency as he waited his turn.

“When Breath of the Wild came out, it was a real revolution in the gaming world,” he added, referring to the 2017 release of the saga.

“Knowing there’s a sequel coming out in an hour or less is incredible, it just makes me so happy.”

Videos circulating online received millions of views ahead of release, and the game was expected to be “the biggest contributor to Nintendo’s sales this year,” said Serkan Toto, analyst at Kantan Games.

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However, launching the franchise in the 1980s was something of a gamble for the company, then best known for Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros.

The first episode, The Legend of Zelda, plunged gamers into an unknown universe with little to no instructions.

Creator Shigeru Miyamoto, who also gave life to Mario, was inspired by his childhood explorations of the Japanese countryside to suggest a landscape with forests, lakes, caves and mountains.

“The scale of the game was huge at a time when most games ended in an hour or two,” said Kiyoshi Tane, an author who specializes in video game history.

“It was kind of a pioneer of what open world games would become.”

The first Zelda hit the market a few months after Super Mario Bros, but the two games were far apart on the gaming spectrum.

While Mario runs from left to right across various platforms, Zelda “encourages the player to explore, discover and map their world and solve its challenges,” said Mark Brown, who analyzes game design on his YouTube channel.

It was a hit from the start and pushed the boundaries of game design over the next 20 years.

The 1998 release of Ocarina of Time pioneered a system that allowed players to aim correctly in 3D.

However, by the early 2010s, sales of the game had plummeted.

Nintendo wanted to increase the appeal of the game, but they only managed to create editions that didn’t satisfy anyone.

Hardcore fans withdrew and its popularity waned.

“The development team sensed a crisis,” Katsuhiko Hayashi, a spokesman for the Famitsu Group, which publishes the trade magazine Famitsu, told AFP.

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The designers rethought the game’s fundamentals, eventually creating 2017’s Breath of the Wild, which launched with the Switch and has since become the best-selling version of Zelda.

“This game set the bar high for the open world action-adventure genre, and Zelda is still at the top,” said Hayashi.

Despite its success and the enduring popularity of other Nintendo franchises, demonstrated by this year’s hit The Super Mario Bros. Movie, the company forecast a 21% fall in net income for the year on Tuesday.

However, Charles-Louis Planade, an analyst at Midcap Partners, believes that Tears of the Kingdom could be “the best-selling game in history,” with revenue approaching $1 billion.

In Paris, student Emily Sastre said she “couldn’t pass up the chance to have it” immediately after her release.

“I grew up with it. It was the first game I had on my very first console,” said the 18-year-old.

“I’ve been looking forward to it ever since this sequel was announced.”