The Legend of Zelda: The Animated Series was bad, but as with any nostalgia-ridden guilty pleasure, we still find entertainment in the strangest and silliest things.
While the series is to be commended for giving fans of the video game so many easter eggs they’d need the play-time of Ocarina of Time to find them all, the overall translation of game to cartoon was poor. The animation was sloppy, Link was kind of an ass (and a total creep), and there were so many one-liners they overpowered the action sequences.
Looking back, here are a list of episodes that weren’t too cringe-worthy to sit down and watch again.
This episode completely and truly prepares you for what you’re about to watch. Hearing Link repeatedly say his catchphrase, “excuuuuuuuse me, Princess,” gets you ready for him saying it no less than two times per episode — probably followed shortly after him asking Zelda to kiss him, and her either vehemently refusing because of reasons. Or, say agrees, but something gets in the way.
Outside of those, there are dragons, Ganon the boar-head, acrobatics, and full-heart blasts from Links sword. For the most part, the first episode covers what you’ll encounter going forward and that’s good enough reason as any to sit down and watch it.
‘The White Knight’
A Prince Charming character with an even worse name, Prince Façade, stars in this episode, sweeping Zelda off of her feet and making Link jealous. It’s a cliché plot, but it’s a treat to actually see monsters give out Rupees, and watch Link attempt to dress up as a Prince – which is actually quite funny unlike many of the others jokes that fall short through the entirety of the series.
‘The Missing Link
Zelda really comes alive in this episode. Her character is one of the great things about the show, even swooping in to save Link on more than one occasion. That wasn’t really seen in animation a ton back in the 80s. So, having a badass princess that fights off three-headed dragons with fruit is pretty cool.
In this episode, Zelda journeys to the Underworld in order to save Link’s body that was separated from his sprit. She borrows his sword, as his ghostly shadow trails behind her, and faces off against many a stalfo and moblin.
The Triforce of Wisdom breaks apart in the beginning of the episode. With it being split into three pieces, we watch our characters track the pieces down, which is especially entertaining because we’re able to explore the Underworld even further.
‘Fairies in the Spring’
The adventure in this episode is a refreshing departure from Ganon trying to steal the Triforce of Wisdom. This is the only episode where he’s not the main villain. Also, the water monsters that pop up are even a little more menacing than the usual mass of minions we see. This is mostly because we actually don’t know where they came from.
Link still says his catchphrase way too often and incessantly asks for a kiss, but even the premise is different. King Harkinian wants to build a water park, but a monster keeps appearing to hinder the development. It sounds like the start of a Scooby-Doo episode… and it even plays out like one as Link and Zelda try to figure out the mystery of what these monsters are.