After the first proper Nintendo Direct in almost a year, we finally got some exciting news about The Legend of Zelda’s 35th Anniversary! Yeah, no.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Skyward Sword is better than people remember. However, it was weird that part of the Nintendo Direct sales pitch was like “hey, some mechanics of the Zelda game you actually loved started here. Buy this and learn some history!”. It seemed more like they were giving us something to help endure the excruciating wait for Breath of the Wild 2.
But I’m digressing. Today marks The Legend of Zelda’s 35th anniversary, the first ever entry in the series launching on February 21st, 1986 for the Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan. It’s a huge milestone for one of the biggest names in the gaming industry and, to celebrate, we’re sharing five of our biggest wishes for the franchise in 2021.
The Legend of Zelda Oracle remakes
Link’s Awakening 2019 is a great example of a well executed remake. It keeps much of the original game intact, introducing a charming new aesthetic while making positive quality of life improvements. In addition, it added a dungeon creation feature, which I think didn’t quite hit the mark, but hey, you can ignore it if it’s not your thing. An inventive addition nonetheless.
So, Nintendo and Grezzo have a formula. The next logical step would be to extend it to other handheld titles. I mean… it’s a no brainer. Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons are there, waiting for a remake… and a third game.
I am talking about the long lost third instalment in the often overlooked Oracle series. In the beginning, Capcom envisioned three games, each of them based on a piece of the Triforce. Power (Seasons), Courage (Ages) and Wisdom (the lost one). So grant us Wisdom, Nintendo! Give us the complete remastered Triforce!
A Zelda Broadway Musical
Ok, this is a wild one, but stay with me. Earlier this month, Nintendo reportedly cancelled a Netflix Legend of Zelda live-action series after the project was leaked online, sadly dashing one of my previous wishes for the 35th Anniversary.
But I’m not giving up on my desire to see flesh-and-blood actors fighting for the future of Hyrule. And what better way to experience it than a Broadway musical? Just the chance to watch Ganondorf and Link playing sword tennis with energy balls made of papier-mâché as they join their bass and tenor voices in an elegy about their destiny and that of the Triforce, it would be worth it. Well, unless they keep Link a mute… Honestly, it wouldn’t be the strangest musical adaptation to come about.
Zelda Maker for Nintendo Switch
As mentioned before, Link’s Awakening 2019 included a small dungeon creation feature. It is true that it was very limited and that it’s light years away from the Super Mario Maker games… But it’s a solid proof of concept. In fact, it started as such.
Read More: The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Review
Following the success of Super Mario Maker and its sequel, Super Mario Maker 2, Nintendo fans have been clamouring for a Zelda-themed take on this idea. What better way to celebrate Zelda’s 35th anniversary than by letting users go crazy with a full fledged dungeon editor game?
I know it would be harder to develop than Mario Maker simply because of the intricate logic behind these cool gaming spaces. But I think Nintendo have managed to achieve more stunning feats throughout the years.
In the meantime, you can try Solarus, an impressive action RPG open source engine. There are already full Zelda games made with it by fans, so check it out if you’re looking to kill some time between now and Breath of the Wild 2.
The best piece of Zelda merch ever
I expect a lot of cool merchandise from Nintendo later this year: apparel, plushies, facemasks, mugs, ocarinas, slingshots… Maybe even a full-size Master Sword replica. And we have already seen the stylish new Zelda Joy-Cons.
But this is all fairly generic merchandise, the kind we attached to just about any big gaming series. The Legend of Zelda must rise above the rest.
For this reason, I think the best piece of merchandise to celebrate its 35th anniversary would be a functional replica of the Master Cycle Zero – and I don’t even know how to ride a motorcycle! But wouldn’t it be awesome to be waiting at a crossing and have a fellow Zelda fan stop to let you pass before his mighty mechanized steed? After exchanging a look of recognition, you would both continue on your way, knowing that the world is a slightly better place. While we’re in this realm of pure imagination, it would also be cool if the bike was fuelled by random rocks too, as in BOTW.
Another unexpected Zelda crossover
Although it seems a normal thing to us now, at the time I remember being very excited to watch the announcement of the first Hyrule Warriors and although the game suffers a bit too much from fan service, I enjoyed it a lot. Then Hyrule Warriors: Age of the Calamity arrived as a Breath of the Wild prequel of sorts, becoming the best-selling games in the Musou series.
Read More: Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Review
But what really blew my mind was Cadence of Hyrule. Nintendo entrusting one of its biggest IPs to an indie developer? It makes me believe that almost anything is possible. Oh, and the result was fantastic. So, which game should have the honour to merge with The Legend of Zelda now?
- Baba Is You. This game had such an original premise, but there is a lot of potential to expand. And what better opportunity than mixing it with bombs, Triforces, Water Temples or even Tingle? In fact, forget about Zelda. Let’s go all in! Nintendo, give us Tingle Is You!
- Hollow Knight. I envision this crossover as a Minish subplot that goes out of hand. A hooded miniaturized Link that explores a Bug Kingdom in full Metrovania style. “What kind of bug are you, wanderer? A silent one, I see. Well, words cannot describe our true selves, only nails…”. And from there, Nintendo can give Zelda 2 a second chance.
Happy 35th birthday, Zelda! Let us know in the comments below what your Zelda anniversary wishlists look like.