The original version of The Legend of Zelda on the NES became a classic because of the fun action gameplay, the lengthy RPG storyline, and the many hidden secrets gamers delighted in uncovering as they played through the game.
It didn’t become a classic because of the in-game artwork, because at the time of its release the 8-bit color palette was so limited that the game designers were simply doing the best with the amount of pixels they were given.
However, Japanese illustrator Katsuya Terada was creating all kinds of simply beautiful artwork based on the Legend of Zelda universe, which could be found in game booklets, magazines like Nintendo Power and various art books released in the late 80s.
These amazing illustrations show the land of Hyrule, and the adventures of a brave boy named Link, as they would've looked if games like The Legend of Zelda and A Link To The Past were released today.
-Via Slightly Warped