Shigeru Miyamoto, ever the humble duck, has admitted that he did not think The Legend of Zelda would ever go mainstream. He said the early titles were “plain” and didn’t do much to grab attention. Of course, the legions of fans that it created said otherwise.
“When I was making The Legend of Zelda, it was very plain,” laughs the impish designer. “I didn’t think that genre would be seen as something so mainstream. I really didn’t expect the response I got when I first made The Legend of Zelda. A world of swords and magic really wasn’t considered mainstream at the time.
He compared Zelda‘s “plain” nature to upcoming 3DS title Steel Divers, which he believes will be a sleeper hit: “When I said they’re both plain, I only meant it in the sense that they’re not attention-grabbers. I believe they’re the same in the way that they’re both something fun. It’s just a matter of presentation to get more people interested in it. I think the original themes are relatively plain for most of the games.”
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — the original Legend of Zelda ain’t that great. I think it is somewhat plain and wasn’t that well paced, either. However, one cannot deny the influence of the game, and how it shaped future action-adventure titles — not to mention the series of amazing titles it would later spawn.