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Zelda: These 4 Games Allow You To Play As Hyrule's Resident Princess

Despite what the series' title suggests, players control Link, not Zelda, in "The Legend of Zelda." However, there are some exceptions. Four "The Legend of Zelda" games break all the rules by letting gamers play as Princess Zelda. Some of these games feature Zelda as the main protagonist while others feature her as an unlockable bonus character.

Unfortunately, however, these games vary wildly in quality. One game in particular, "Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon," is so notoriously bad that it is the subject of countless internet memes. On the other side of the coin, another game that features Zelda as a playable character, "Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity," was popular among critics. Still, all of these Zelda titles are worth checking out for anyone who is a fan of "The Legend of Zelda" franchise, or anyone new to the series who is interested in how the character of Zelda has evolved over the years. Here's every "The Legend of Zelda" game that lets players control Hyrule's resident princess.

Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon

Gamers won't find "Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon" on a Nintendo console. Developed by Animation Magic, this unique title was released on the Phillips CD-i, making it one of only three "Legend of Zelda" games released on non-Nintendo hardware. But that's not the only thing special about "Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon."

"Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon" is a side-scrolling platformer similar to "The Legend of Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link." But instead of playing as Link, gamers take control of Zelda for what was the first time ever. Like Link, Zelda uses her sword and shield alongside her big bag of equipment to take down foes in "Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon." Oddly though, the enemies in this game are different from the rest of the series. Zelda strangely fights all types of real-world animals, from alligators to dinosaurs.

Fans of the series will best remember "Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon" as "The Legend of Zelda" game with the wacky animated cutscenes. The game's odd character designs and unintentionally hilarious dialog makes "Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon" the most memeable "The Legend of Zelda" game in the series. Although maybe out of shame or embarrassment, Nintendo doesn't consider this game to be canon in the timeline. However, it may still be worth playing just for the cutscenes alone.

Zelda's Adventure

"Zelda's Adventure" is yet another black sheep CD-i title in the series. This one, however, was developed by Viridis and released in 1995. "Zelda's Adventure" is notable for being the second game in the series where players take control of Zelda. But apart from that similarity, "Zelda's Adventure" differs greatly from "Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon."

Unlike the other two Zelda CD-i games, "Zelda's Adventure" is not a sidescroller. Instead, it features top-down gameplay, similar to the original "The Legend of Zelda" for the NES. The gameplay consists of players moving from screen to screen, battling strange creatures. And like in other "The Legend of Zelda" games, Zelda finds tools to help in her quest, such as a ladder for making it over chasms.

This "The Legend of Zelda" CD-i game, however, does not feature cartoon cutscenes like the rest. Instead, it uses real actor footage that is digitally added in, making for yet another thing that adds to the weirdness of this entry in "The Legend of Zelda" series.

Hyrule Warriors

"Hyrule Warriors" is a Wii U spin-off title developed by a couple of different studios under the supervision of Nintendo and released in 2014. The game functions essentially the same as a "Dynasty Warriors" game, with players tasked with hacking and slashing their way through battlefields with dozens, if not hundreds, of enemies. And like in every "Dynasty Warriors" game, there are many heroes to choose from to fit any player's style.

One of the notable playable characters in "Hyrule Warriors" is Princess Zelda. Zelda wields a rapier and her iconic Bow of Light to dispatch foes in large numbers. Players can also play as her alter ego, Sheikah Warrior. She also plays a substantial role in the story, taking on a fighting position to help Link and the gang retake her kingdom. Although she's not the singular focus of the narrative, fans of the character undoubtedly were happy to see Zelda return as a playable character in a modern "Legend of Zelda" title to redeem her from the awful CD-i games.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

"Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity" is the sequel to "Hyrule Warriors," released for the Switch in 2020. Being a sequel, it shares the same style of combat and overall gameplay as its predecessor. Its story, however, is very different. "Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity" takes place in the world of "Breath of the Wild" in an alternate timeline. And the Zelda from "Breath of the Wild" is present and, most importantly, playable.

In "Age of Calamity," Zelda is not wearing her iconic pink dress. Instead, she is geared up in her quilted blue blouse from "Breath of the Wild." She also has "Breath of the Wild" abilities and is able to use the same abilities Link did in that title. For example, Zelda can use Stasis, Remote Bomb, Magnesis, and Cryonis. She also has access to Sheikah Runes, allowing her to summon powerful mechs to fight alongside her.

Unfortunately for "Ocarina of Time" fans, however, Zelda's Sheik persona is not featured in "Age of Calamity." Still, those who enjoy the Zelda featured in "Breath of the Wild" and "Tears of the Kingdom" have plenty to enjoy in "Age of Calamity."