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The Handheld Zelda Game You Likely Never Played

The Legend of Zelda's Link has headed into battle with his trusty Master Sword and went on to save the kingdom of Hyrule across numerous games on nearly every Nintendo platform. Since 1987, Nintendo has prospered thanks to the smashing success of The Legend of Zelda's entertaining adventures.

While some gamers can say they've played all the major Zelda games, such as A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening, Ocarina of Time, and Breath of the Wild, only the most devout series fanatics can say they've played the most obscure entries. There's one Zelda game that you may have missed and possibly had no clue even existed right up until this point. And what's even crazier is the fact that it isn't a home console rendition of Link's well-traveled journeys — it actually released as a Nintendo Game & Watch title.

Link once made his home on a Game & Watch device

Zelda for the Game & Watch was a multi-screen rendition of Link's early adventures that launched in 1989. As a Game & Watch title, this miniature journey came preloaded on a device that featured two screens and sported a clamshell design (not unlike some Nintendo handhelds that came later). The top half of the game's screen was used to showcase Link's inventory, map, and the upper part of each boss' body. The bottom half of the screen, meanwhile, showed Link moving across the screen to confront regular enemies.

The main gameplay mechanics this entry focused on were very similar to the ones seen in Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link. Link's Game & Watch spin-off game saw him navigating through eight dungeons from a 2D perspective while fighting off tons of foes in a bid to obtain the eight shards of the Triforce of Wisdom. Link had the power to heal himself with an item called the Water of Life, and could dish out big damage to anyone that crossed him with a Sword Beam attack. After beating the initial quest in this handheld Zelda game, it would give players the chance to hop into another quest with an increased challenge level (Link's enemies could move at a much quicker pace in this mode).

Years later, the Zelda Game & Watch was reissued as a part of the Nintendo Mini Classics LCD games line. It also was included as a part of the Game Boy Advance's Game & Watch Gallery 4 compilation. Zelda for the Game & Watch is quite notable for being one of the final Game & Watch handheld releases. Perhaps if you find the right garage sale or eBay listing, you can still check this one out.