UPDATE 12TH MAY: Two hours it took me to read through all of your memories! I've laughed, I've wiped away a tear or two (which feels appropriate), and I've been reminded of many happy memories of my own. If anyone ever asks you why people play games, point them to this comments thread. I hope someone from Nintendo sees the memories their series has helped create.
Here, you've reminded me of the power games have to connect parents and children, then, years later, when those children grow up, the power they have to share the connection all over again - and Zelda is one of those series that's been around long enough to span it. I adored CaptainTrips' memory of narrating Zelda games to their young child in place of a bedtime story.
You've also reminded me how cheeky we can be as kids who are eager to play games. More than one of you managed to hoodwink your parents and get to Christmas presents early. Tat_Sun and their brother even managed to finish Ocarina of Time before Christmas Day! Respect.
Most of all, though, you've reminded me how games can help people through difficult times, and how sometimes they're the crutch we can lean on when life weighs us down. It's for this reason I chose the winner: Azamo_Zero. Their account of struggling with severe asthma and ending up in hospital, and while there discovering A Link to the Past on a SNES - then likening their recovery to Link's increasing power - really touched me. Thank you so much for sharing it - the Nintendo eShop codes will shortly be on their way.
Again, thank you so much everyone who shared memories here, particularly Ninginja, Roos-V, kingbelly, Ryan Steel, DakeyrasUK. But shout out also to HipstersTears, its_crayg_not_creg, Radiohedgefund (great name by the way), ukaskew37, PhilipY, Peter Allen, kfnk, sallycinnamon21, Bretty, Billy Barrington, domoslaf, RandomNadirGenerator, Gaiduku, WithLove&Squalor, dreamgirl, and Lexx87.
Have a wonderful weekend with Zelda, everybody!
ORIGINAL STORY 10TH MAY: We were so encouraged by the response to the Star Wars Jedi: Survivor giveaway recently, we've decided to do another one, and this time for the game of the moment, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
It's the same deal: we'd like to hear your favourite Zelda gaming memory in the comments below, and if yours is the one we end up liking the most, you'll win a copy of the game. Well, we'll give you some voucher codes for the Nintendo eShop so you can buy and download the game there. But we can only do this for people from Europe because of geographical eShop code restrictions, so you'll have to be in Europe for it to work.
A winner will be chosen on Friday 12th May, which is launch day for Tears of the Kingdom, which means you'll be able to get the game the day it comes out and not have to worry about waiting for delivery.
So which memory to choose? I can't write it for you! But Zelda stretches back decades as a gaming series so I'm sure there's something you can pick out. The memory that's wedged in my head about Zelda revolves around a friend I had at junior school (they're still a friend, by the way!). They were enraptured by A Link to the Past on SNES, and talked about it so much and so consistently, they eventually inspired me to play it. And, yeah, it was alright I suppose...
Just kidding! It was, of course, great. And every time I'd discover something new in the game, I'd think of my friend Paul, beaming from ear to ear, and I'd rush to school to tell him about it (it was his copy of the game I was playing). Happy memories indeed.
That's all you need to know, really. If you're stuck for inspiration, look at the Star Wars comments to see the kinds of stories people shared there. And good luck - I can't wait to see what you have to share!