When it comes to iconic spin-offs, The Legend of Zelda has been given a raw deal.
Mario is known for go-karting, parties, and those times he participated in the Olympics with a blue hedgehog. Link is known for those two times where he experienced the horrors of war in the Hyrule Warriors games.
Most of the many Zelda spin-offs have been completely forgotten, they've been so forgotten that many would assume Zelda never even had that many spin-offs to begin with.
The thing is when a franchise lasts as long as The Legend of Zelda a lot of weird spin-offs are going to be made.
There are a couple of reasons that many people don’t know about a lot of the weird The Legend of Zelda games. A lot of them are Japanese exclusives, and a lot of them aren’t very good. That’s not to say they’re all bad, there are some great weird The Legend of Zelda spin-offs that can stand toe-to-toe with a lot of the main series titles.
The real question when it comes to these spin-offs is where do they fit on the Zelda timeline?
Zelda is a part of the Vertical Multi Screen series of Game & Watch systems, a series that would later inspire the Nintendo DS. Interestingly it's the first portable Zelda game, predating Link's Awakening by around four years.
The game is pretty advanced for Game & Watch standards and involves you climbing a tower to rescue Zelda. On each floor, you are confronted by a goblin who you must defeat to progress. When trying to slay the goblin you will have to avoid stalfos and ghosts.
Every few floors you will have to fight a dragon which serves as a boss, beat the dragon and you get a piece of the Triforce. Once you have eight pieces of the Triforce you rescue Zelda and win.
Zelda is one of the better Game & Watch games out there and it's a shame that this isn't a part of the upcoming The Legend of Zelda Game & Watch.
The game was later re-released on Game & Watch Gallery 4, a collection of Game & Watch games for the Game Boy Advanced so at least 2002 Nintendo remembered that this game existed.