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access_time August 30, 2014 at 9:53 AM in Features by Charlie Grammer

Gamebusters myth 30: Legend of Zelda creators are a bunch of Nazis

Welcome to another entry in the Gamebusters feature, where I track down gaming myths and attempt to debunk them. Of course some of the myths turn out to be true, so I end up proving them instead, and there is the rare myth that I can not find any supportive evidence or proof that the myth in question is, in actuality, a myth. In these rare cases, I deem the case to be a myth because of the lack of proof, although I keep an eye out and will update any accordingly.

This week, we’ll be taking a look at the classic Legend of Zelda game. The myth surrounding this title is simple enough: The game creators are a bunch of Nazis. Proponents of the theory argue that it is fact because of Japan’s decision to ally with Nazi Germany back in World War II.

Were the Legend of Zelda developers really Nazis?

Were the Legend of Zelda developers really Nazis?

But why would they think that means the creators of the highly popular Legend of Zelda are Nazis? Simply because of Japan’s choice of allies back in the WW II days? The answer, as it turns out, is no. They point to the game’s third dungeon (pictured above), which they claim is in the shape of the Nazi symbol, the Swastika.

Myth or fact? This one is merely a myth. While the dungeon is indeed shaped as pictured above, it is not a Nazi Swastika, but rather a Manji, as the game’s third dungeon is named. A Manji, for those unaware, is a Buddhist symbol that represents universal harmony and the balance of opposites.  You can compare the dungeon with the Nazi Swastika yourself below:


As you can see, there are a few key differences. The first difference is the orientation of the symbol; While the Manji, as you can see in the dungeon image, is facing to the left, the Nazi symbol faces to the right. A second difference is the shape of the symbol. As you can see on the Nazi flag above, the right-facing Nazi Swastika is in the shape of a diamond, while the peaceful Manji symbol is a square.

So what does this mean? Basically that the game creators were not as insensitive as many like to claim. In fact, the only thing that they are guilty of in this case is wanting to wish the players luck with a symbol of peace.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Gamebusters article. If you have any questions or want to suggest a myth for me to research, feel free to post in the comments and I’ll make them a priority. Until next time, happy gaming!





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