The First Zelda Game Where Zelda Was The Protagonist Was Absolutely Bonkers

Chances are, you've never played Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon and frankly, you're much better off for it. That's because it's widely considered to be the worst Zelda title – and simply one of the worst games, period – of all time. Part of the reason you may not have heard of the game is that the console it was on was an obscure disaster.  

The Philips CD-i was an early '90s CD player/gaming console hybrid with some laughable '90s internet capabilities. Think "you've got mail."

Both the system and the game were failures, which is a shame because The Wand of Gamelon is one of the few games in which Zelda is the protagonist. The Legend of Zelda series may feature some questionable logic at times, but this game is riddled with mind-boggling creative decisions. Here is all the insanely wacky stuff from Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon that you just have to see.


  • It's Considered One Of The Worst Games Of All Time

    According to the game's wiki, Electronic Gaming Monthly has rated it the sixth worst game of all time, and G4's Filter once dubbed it the worst ever. Most Zelda fans don't even consider it canon, and even fewer fans are aware of its existence, which is probably for the best.

  • The Combat Is A Nightmare

    In The Wand of Gamelon, Zelda is vulnerable. Due to the poor design of the game, players would often find themselves swarmed by enemies from all sides – from the left, the right, and even from above – making it impossible to effectively defend. Plus, her hitbox was much too large, making it that much easier for those dragon monster things to hit her.

  • Zelda Refuses To Be Controlled

    Zelda's just a bit too stubborn in this game. Video games 101: It should not be difficult to control your avatar. Unfortunately, in The Wand of Gamelon, it is. Jumping is inconsistent, sometimes sending you twice as high as others with seemingly no rhyme or reason, and interacting with certain things require an action menu that, in trying to navigate, will often result in an unintentional jump.

  • Good Luck With Navigation

    The artwork of the game is interesting but ultimately problematic. The painted backgrounds look nice, but they make it nearly impossible to glean what is and is not part of the platform. You might find yourself trapped on a screen for hours until you eventually come to the infuriating realization that you're supposed to jump through that quaint window in the corner. 

  • It Was Made For A Failed Video Game System That Cost The Company $1 Billion

    It Was Made For A Failed Video Game System That Cost The Company $1 Billion
    Photo: Evan-Amos / Wikimedia Commoncs / Public Domain

    The Philips CD-i is, essentially, a gaming console that doubled as a beefed up CD player. It was developed in the mid-'80s and released in 1991. It was one of the first gaming systems with Internet connectivity, but the console was ahead of its time as reliable Internet connectivity (especially that required for gaming) wasn't yet readily available. 

    The other part of the problem was that it was a CD player first, and a gaming console second. It sold one million units in total and cost Philips $1 billion.

  • The Voiced NPCs Berate Players

    Developer Animation Magic was a little overzealous when they were handed the (1991) processing power of the CD-i, so they implemented voices for the non-playable characters. The characters just kind of pop up and scream at you, making it more of a jumpy horror game than was probably intended.