Link is a fictional knight, but now Legend of Zelda lead Eiji Aonuma is a real one

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In the years since its debut on original Nintendo Entertainment System, The Legend of Zelda franchise has become a well-loved and storied gaming franchise. Following 2017's Breath of the Wild, the series evolved even further, seeing monumental growth under the leadership of Nintendo producer Eiji Aonuma.

Due to the Zelda franchise's enduring popularity and its legacy in gaming, France has recently inducted Aonuma into the prestigious Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters for his contributions to the arts.

Beginning in 1957, the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) is France's most prestigious community of writers, artists, and other creatives that have made significant contributions to the arts, whether in films, television, literature, and yes, video games. The membership of the Order includes many notable actors, writers, and other creatives, such as the late actor/musician David Bowie, actor Dustin Hoffman, and filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai.

Aonuma is not the only game developer to join France's Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters and become an actual knight. Before him, Rayman creator Michel Ancel, Fable creator Peter Molyneux, and legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto were also inducted into the order. With the growing and lasting popularity of gaming, it's fair to say that more game creators will join the Order in the future.

Aonuma has been on the Zelda franchise for more than two decades, serving as a director on Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker before becoming lead producer on all the following Zelda titles. This includes the release of the groundbreaking Breath of the Wild, which is currently the best-selling Zelda game of the series. This year saw the launch of the greatly anticipated sequel Tears of the Kingdom, which earned critical acclaim and was also a best-seller for Nintendo.

In GamesRadar+'s Tears of the Kingdom review, editor Joel Franey stated: "Tears of the Kingdom builds on what Breath of the Wild did previously – and with a platform like that to work on, the result can't help but be fantastic. Though with the occasional hiccup in execution, the end result is a game as broad as it is deep, and something that comfortably justifies the six-year wait."

If you're looking for new adventures and want to know more about games like Zelda, then check out our roundup of games similar to Nintendo's game.