The Legend of Zelda has had a big impact on the gaming world, from simple things like Z-targeting to bigger things like being part of the move to 3D. The series launched in 1987 (America) with the original The Legend of Zelda for the NES. The world of Hyrule was vast, just waiting to be explored and conquered. It was unlike anything people had seen. This is where it all began. The game offered so many things that entranced gamers. Unless you read the instruction booklet, the game's story was pretty much left untouched. What the game gave, however, was excellent gameplay. The combat was great, the exploration was unreal. It truly offered the experience of being that hero, wielding that sword. The non-linearity of the game allowed you to explore the world in whatever way you wanted, with no guide. You could do the dungeons out of order. You could even go up against most of the world without getting your sword. And when you finished, you could do it all over again with the second quest. That game launched the series that would not only significantly impact the gaming world, but the series that was a big part of peoples childhoods. My first Zelda game was Ocarina of Time, the game that many people hold as not only the best Zelda game ever, but the best game ever. Although I don't share that sentiment, I will say that OoT had a big impact on my entrance into the world of Zelda, and into the world of games as a whole. Ocarina of Time was a big step for the series, as it took Zelda into 3D much the same way Mario 64 did. I was almost four when Ocarina came out, though I didn't play it until I was about six. I remember the first time I stepped out of Kokiri Forest into Hyrule Field. I'd never seen such a wide open world before; the only other game I'd really played at that point was Super Mario Bros. I couldn't wait to go out and explore and see what the world beyond the forest had to offer. Though it gave me a lot of fun times, it also provided me an escape. Whenever I came home from school, that's what I wanted to do: play Zelda. I think, for many people around the world, Zelda was the ultimate gaming experience. And though I haven't played it yet, from all the talk around here about it, I see Skyward Sword filling that spot quite well. So tell me, how has Zelda impacted you? Do you have any stories where Zelda played a big part in your life?