Based loosely on the game series, from September to December of 1989, The Legend of Zelda hit televisions throughout the country. Link and Princess Zelda had repeated encounters the villain Ganon, and his lowly assistants, who often times attempted to conquer Hyrule, kidnap the princess, or other such antics of a traditional “Bad Guy”.
Originally airing as a part of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, The Legend of Zelda only ran 15 minutes, and only for a grand total of 13 episodes before it was canned.
During this time, however, the catch phrase, “Well, excuuuuuuuuuuse me, Princess” (said by Link to Zelda whenever he was shot down or otherwise rejected by Princess Zelda) caught on. Unlike the game, where Princess Zelda was portrayed as generally helpless, the series shows her as a heroine, fighting along side Link, using her favored weapon- the bow and arrow.
Due to this, later games would often times portray her more and more as an ally in the game, rather than just some prize to earn.