The Legend of Zelda is a video game franchise created by Japanese video game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka and mainly developed and published by Nintendo. The universe of the Legend of Zelda series consists of various lands, the most predominant being Hyrule. The franchise is set within a fantasy world reminiscent of medieval Europe which consists of several recurring locations, races and creatures. The most prominent race in the series are the Hylians, a humanoid race with elfin features identifiable by their long, pointed ears. The series' lore contains a creation myth, several fictional alphabets, the most prominent being Hylian, and a fictional universal currency, the rupee. Most games in The Legend of Zelda series follow a similar storyline, which involves the protagonist Link battling monsters to save Princess Zelda and defeat a villain, which is often the series' main antagonist, Ganon. Nintendo developed the series' lore into a timeline that spans thousands of years across its history.
Hyrule was created as the original setting for The Legend of Zelda and has remained the main environment for successive games in the series. Inspired by dungeon crawlers, Miyamoto and Tezuka developed a high fantasy world in the form of a 2D map filled with monsters, puzzles and dungeons. Hyrule transitioned to a 3D environment with the development of Ocarina of Time. For Breath of the Wild, released in 2017, Nintendo developed Hyrule into a seamless open world. Since the launch of the original game, the series has been a commercial and critical success and introduced landmark innovations in world design that have influenced numerous developers in the video game industry.

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