The Legend of Zelda – Episode Reviews
It’s time now to give a review to the 13 official episodes of The Legend of Zelda cartoon series. Only airing in 1989 and promptly ending with the start of the new Mario cartoon, Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, these episodes none the less provided fun storylines and great entertainment value in all.
I also made a video of these episode reviews. Also, while the Zelda cartoon ended after only one season Link and Zelda made four return appearances later in Captain N: The Game Master. But on with the reviews.
- In the pilot episode Ganon attempts to steal the Triforce of Wisdom by disguising as a contender in an amateur wizards’ contest held at the castle.
The first episode is actually very impressive. It set the format for much of the rest of the series but the great animation quality, sharp humour and one of the nearest close-calls to a kiss between Link and Zelda all contribute to an extremely entertaining episode. I rate this one a solid 4/5.
Highlight moment: The tree-catapult scene.
Lowpoint: Ganon tries to show off his boxing skills.
- It’s spring cleaning time and Link pretends to be sick in order to get off from doing any work. Ganon has a plot up his sleeve. He makes Spryte’s magic overly powerful and causes enough commotion to distract everyone away from the Triforce.
A classic episode plot but I really have to say that Link actually letting his own laziness endanger the safety of the kingdom is a reckless move to say the least. Spryte is the star of the episode for me as far as I’m concerned. Link also battles Gohma so over-all this is definitely a worth-while episode. I give it a 3/5.
Highlight moment: Link gets defeated by a pair of mops.
Lowpoint: “Is that what you call a royal flush.”
The White Knight
- Link gets upstaged by the handsome but vain Prince Facade. Even worse, Zelda falls head over heels for the prince which causes Link to reduce to some desperate measures to get her attention.
A classic episode with loads of comedy and action, plus a really rewarding finale with a guest-appearance by the Zora. Plus, we see Link getting humiliated a lot and he also takes a bath in this episode. Lot’s of fun things to see here so it definitely deserves 4½/5.
Highlight moment: Link, Armos and Octorock fighting over a rupee.
Lowpoint: C’mon! He wont even hop in the mud for a princess?
Kiss N Tell
- Link and Zelda save a beautiful maiden from the Gleeok. When she kisses Link he turns into a humanoid frog. Link searches for a way to change himself back to normal and as it turns out, the only cure is a kiss from a princess.
A really cute episode. I especially love it how Spryte freaks out because Link will essentially eat up anything with wings that fly around him. The ending has a nice twist to it and in all it’s a worth-while episode. I rate it a solid 4/5.
Highlight moment: The finale
Lowpoint: Link really doesn’t know how to control his jumping.
Sing for the Unicorn
- Ganon uses a unicorn to capture King Harkinian. Link and Zelda must save him before Ganon drops him into a bottomless pit. On their way they run into a ninja-like warrior.
Sing for the Unicorn started a bizarre phase in the series where Zelda was more willing to actually give Link a kiss but they always got interrupted before it happened. On a general level of action, peril and animation quality this is by far the best episode in the entire series. Even the plotline with its original characters works well. I have always loved this episode and I have to award a full score of 5/5 as well as the title of the best episode in the series.
Highlight moment: Link gets saved by a pile of hay.
Lowpoint: What lowpoint?
That Sinking Feeling
- Link and Zelda are out on a picnic which gets ruined by a Tectite attack. Zelda gets so pissed that she decides to attack Ganon with the Triforce and settle things once and for all. But as they leave Hyrule Castle its drawn underground by a magical magnet.
Possibly the biggest miss-mash of an episode in the series. On one hand it has an excellent action-scene at the very beginning but the premise for this episode is just incredibly dumb. Yet we have Zelda using the power of the Triforce for the first time, a wizard’s duel between her and Ganon, as well as a rare appearance by a Darknut. So it has its dumb points but it also has plenty of funny stuff to make it feel worth while and entertaining. I think it deserves a 2½/5, but it could have done a much better job with the story.
Highlight moment: Zelda throws herself on Link at the very beginning.
Lowpoint: The magnet… ’nuff said.
- Ganon sends Zelda a magical mirror which creates an evil duplicate of her. Link rushes in as the Moblins are about to steal the Triforce and the mirror is broken, leaving the Evil Zelda behind.
This is just a really juicy setup for an episode, even if it is a clichéd one. The Evil Zelda is just really hot and to Link’s credit he actually catches on to what’s happening. Plus the animation on the episode isn’t half bad and the episode surprised me by being much smarter than its premise would have indicated. Definitely worth a watch: 3/5.
Highlight moment: Link organises a kissing contest to find out which is the real Zelda.
Lowpoint: Ganon’s innitial plan of the day – Attack Hyrule Castle… with one Moblin and two boomerangs.
- A group of Keese blow up the Triforce into three pieces in order to take it back to Ganon. Link only manages to stop one of them but is able to zap the two others. Link and Zelda then head to the Underworld to find the other pieces.
This is another miss-mash episode. The premise isn’t bad this time around but the quality of the animation is a little erratic, but not bad however. It has some fairly memorable moments, such as Link fighting the Aquamentus. If the animation quality was a little better I’d be willing to give it a full 3, but for now it will have to settle for 2½/5. An okay episode but which didn’t really bring anything new to the plate.
Highlight moment: “Woo-hoo! Flame surfing!!”
Lowpoint: Link apparently wears heart-shape boxers.
Stinging a Stinger
- Link saves an old peddler from a gang of muggers and is rewarded with a new sword. Unfortunately it turns out the muggers were only playing along to the peddler’s scheme and Link winds up with a worthless piece of junk. Link and Zelda get captured by Ganon and when the same merchant tries to get Ganon to buy the sword he too is imprisoned.
This episode isn’t worth many hoorahs. I felt the acting by the supporting cast was pretty pathetic, the setup is kinda silly anyway and what’s worse is that they day is saved with the help of insects. This episode is really lacking anything substantially funny or interesting, besides a return appearance by the Gohma. For the few gags that are actually funny this episode’s not really worth it: 1/5.
Highlight moment: Zelda’s reaction to Link’s kiss proposal after their battle with the Gohma.
Lowpoint: “You mean, like bugs and stuff!?”
A Hitch in the Works
- Link is once again trying to skip doing chores around the castle and asks the court wizard, Doof, to make him a robot Moblin so that he can save Zelda and take the rest of the day off. However, actual Moblins capture her and having overheard Link’s scheme she doesn’t fight back and is given an obedience collar by Ganon that makes her want to marry him.
This is a good episode if you watch it for the laughs. There’s plenty of silly and dumb moments to make you laugh but equally there’s so much ridiculousness that the episode doesn’t really rise above the standard stock of cartoons. If you’re bored give it a peek: 2½/5.
Highlight moment: Link does a… er, bomb jump?
Lowpoint: Ganon wants to marry Zelda? Since when!?
Fairies in the Spring
- King Harkinian is building a water-park in Hyrule but his workers get attacked by monsters. Link and Zelda try to get to the bottom of things. The King gets captured and Link and Zelda have to then go on a rescue mission.
This is not only hands down the dumbest premise for an episode in the series, it’s also the worst episode on the overall, which is a shame because it’s the only one where Ganon isn’t the main villain. Too many bad puns and jokes, so-and-so animation and the entire cast in swimwear. If you watch it for laughs you might like it, but even I have problems watching this so I’m only giving it a 1/5.
Highlight moment: The underwater scenes were actually pretty good.
Lowpoint: Zelda berates Link for stepping on a flower.
The Missing Link
- Ganon attacks Hyrule Castle with the intent of capturing Zelda with his new magic staff. However, the bolt of magic gets deflected, hits Link and separates his soul from his body. Link and Zelda then go off to try and retrieve Link’s body from the Evil Jar in Ganon’s lair.
One of my favorite episodes. With Link as a spirit he has to help Zelda overcome the enemies and explain how to use his sword. This could have potentially been the best episode in the series and in my view this, if any episode, would have been the time for Link and Zelda to finally kiss but instead the episode ends on a stupid gag which isn’t even that funny. So, great episode but a bad ending – I’m still giving it a 4½/5.
Highlight moment: Pink tidal wave of death!
Lowpoint: Link reveals Zelda’s hiding place by acting like a moron.
Moblins are Revolting
The Moblins and Gorayas have gotten tired of being bossed around by Ganon. When Ganon tests a new magic bubble on one of the Moblins he seizes the moment and traps Ganon in the impenetrable bubble and shoves him down a bottomless pit. The monsters all break out from the Evil Jar and mount an assault on Hyrule Castle which goes wrong very quickly.
The last episode of the series was definitely made for laughs and in that it’s actually pretty good. One great thing is that we get an appearance by practically every monster from the series as they make their sorry attempts at invading Hyrule castle. It’s also fun seeing how Ganon finds a solution to his own predicament. Over-all a worthwhile episode but one that offers little more than a lot of good laughs: 3/5
Highlight moment: The Moblin who reveals to Link and Zelda what’s going on.
Lowpoint: Ganon tells the monster to clean his lair up… with their tongues. *ick*