Princess Zelda is a character in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda video game series. She was created by Shigeru Miyamoto for the original 1986 game The Legend of Zelda. As one of the central characters in the series, she has appeared in the majority of the games in various incarnations. Zelda is the elf-like Hylian princess of the kingdom of Hyrule, an associate of the series protagonist Link, and bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom.
Zelda's role has often been that of a damsel in distress or donor who assists Link. In many games, she is captured by the antagonist Ganon, necessitating Link to come to her rescue. In several games she is one of the Sages whose heroism is essential to defeating Ganon; in others, like Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker, she adopts alternative personas to take a more active role in the story. In Skyward Sword, she is established as the mortal reincarnation of the goddess Hylia, which gives her incarnations a range of magical powers.
Zelda has been described as one of the most recognisable princesses in video gaming. She has appeared in branded merchandise, comics and manga, and an animated television series. In addition to The Legend of Zelda series, she has appeared as a playable character in a number of spin-off games and other game series, including Hyrule Warriors, Cadence of Hyrule and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. She also appears as a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series. Critics have responded positively to her development into a strong female character and have listed her as one of the greatest female video game characters of all time.

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