On February 21st, The Legend of Zelda celebrated its 35th birthday. We couldn’t help reminiscing on all those wonderful adventures we’ve been on in all these years. Our very first consoles are now collecting dust in the attic and the high-end technology of Nintendo Switch has taken its place in our living rooms. But still, the Zelda franchise remains incredibly popular nonetheless!
Of course, that’s hardly surprising considering that the makers of these Zelda games are absolutely not afraid to try something new. They continue to think out of the box for both gameplay and plot and always implement the most recent technological developments in their games.
That’s why just about every Zelda title is very unique, innovative and often completely different from its predecessor. This ensures that new audiences are always addressed while the existing fans stay fascinated at the same time.
Blow on your Ocarina and go back in time for a moment. When The Legend of Zelda released 35 years ago, it was obviously played on completely different consoles. If anything is subject to technological developments, it’s this good old gaming world we live in!
Now the Zelda franchise was (and still is) hugely innovative, especially for that time. With the rapid developments in the gaming field, the trick is to stick to that innovation and renewal. In this article we'll be looking at what the Zelda series could possibly have in store for us in the coming years.
Are there many Zelda remakes coming for the Switch? Or can we also expect some completely new adventures? Of course we cannot predict the future with 100% certainty (if only!) That said, we do have some interesting speculations that we’d like to share with you in this article.
It has probably not escaped your attention that Mario, who’s basically Zelda's big brother, also celebrated his 35 year anniversary just recently. This birthday event is currently in full swing and will last until March 31st.
For that reason, it’s expected that little will be announced (as of yet) about the Zelda anniversary specials. Nintendo simply doesn't want to create an overlap in their two franchises, which is a sensible decision. However, we do guarantee that your Hyrule heart will skip a beat when it comes to these releases:
The announced Breath of the Wild sequel is expected to appear at the end of 2021. Also, there’s a brand new trailer for the Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Expansion Pass. Looks like Zelda’s Legend is still very much alive and Link's adventures are far from over!
We can predict with certainty that both Wind Waker and Twilight Princess will appear on the Nintendo Switch this year. Previous Zelda titles that have been released on the Wii U will most likely also be released on the Switch.
It has already been revealed that Skyward Sword will appear on Nintendo Switch as a remake in the near future. And although there is some contro(l)versy surrounding this game (the Motion Controls of the Wii were not to everyone's liking). This issue will be tackled when this game comes to the Switch, as you can now play the game without waving your controller around this time. No worries though, the OG controls will still be available to those who did enjoy them, as they return in full HD rumble with the special Skyward Sword themed Joy-cons!
With that controller discussion now under control, Skyward Sword is certainly a top title with many valuable origin-story parts, such as the creation of the Master Sword and the emergence of Hyrule itself. Basically, that means mandatory content for any Zelda enthusiast and a very welcome addition to the Switch collection so far.
Where one good remake leads, more will undoubtedly follow. With 35 years worth of Zelda gems to choose from, multiple remakes seem inevitable. This anniversary will certainly not go unnoticed! The only question now is, how this will be implemented?
Let’s take the recent Super Mario Bros 3D All Stars + Bowser’s Fury as an example. The expansion with Bowser’s Fury gives access to a whole new gaming area, including new content and a separate storyline in addition to the original game. There‘s a huge possibility that something similar will occur within the Zelda franchise. The question is, will people keep spending around 60 euros each time a remake appears?
Perhaps the Twilight Princess and Wind Waker remakes will be added as extensions to the upcoming Skyward Sword, like Bowser’s Fury was to Super Mario Bros 3D All Stars? Unfortunately, that’s all left to guessing for now.
Who else is super curious whether the legendary titles Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask will be given a new, modern guise? Now that’s something we can get behind! By the way, if you’re interested in a trip down memory Hyrule, make sure to check out the entire 35 year The Legend of Zelda collection! You can find the complete timeline a bit further down this page should you be interested in some Hyrulian history.
For the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda, a Limited Edition Nintendo 3DS complete in Zelda theme was available. So who knows, we could expect a Zelda-styled console for this anniversary as well? We’re already excited to see the Skyward Sword styled Joy-cons for the ultimate old skool sword-swinging experience. Of course, new Zelda Amiibo will come along with the release of "new" remakes, but that usually goes without saying.
Nevertheless, we all know that Nintendo loves surprises! Remember Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit that dropped a while ago? Exactly. Needless to say, we’re pretty excited about what they could have in store for us this time!
We are completely Hyrule-Hyped for this celebration of Zelda's 35th anniversary. If you are too, make sure to click on the Link below and enjoy a 10% discount on all Zelda products available Startselect. Because even though Nintendo has not (yet) shared any anniversary treats, that doesn’t mean that we won’t!
The scoop, the kick-off, the very first copy, the true original: The Legend of Zelda appeared on the Japanese Famikom (Family Computer Disk System) in 1986. In the US and EU, however, this legendary game did not appear on the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) that we’re familiar with, until a year later. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link soon followed, in July 1988 and is seen as the odd man out in the Zelda franchise, partly due to the different gameplay and the introduction of RPG elements that haven’t returned in any other Zelda title ever since.
A Link to the Past was then released on Super Nintendo in 1991. This title was re-released on Game Boy Advance in 2002 and also on Wii in 2007. That same year, this game - plus an exclusive sequel called Ancient Stone Tablets - was released on Satellaview for the Japanese market only. .
Link's Awakening went on to be the first-ever Zelda title for the Game Boy, and came out in 1993. Here, Link is located outside of Hyrule for the first time. This title was also re-released later in 1998, this time for the Game Boy Color.
In 1998 the so-called 3D Era started. Kicking off with a more than successful Ocarina of Time, which was initially titled Zelda 64 due to its release on Nintendo 64. To this day, this is one of the most successful games of all time, from both a commercial and critical standpoint. The (for that time) incredibly innovative gameplay within a 3D environment is still considered revolutionary. In 2002 this title was released again on the GameCube as a pre-order incentive for The Wind Waker. In 2011, the remake was released on Nintendo 3DS with updated graphics.
Then came Majora’s Mask in the year 2000 which, despite using a similar 3D engine as Ocarina of Time, was very innovative due to the never-before-seen time concept. In addition, this title has a dark and even tragic storyline that differs greatly from previous Zelda titles in terms of atmosphere. With the slowly sinking, ominous moon as the ultimate nightmare fuel. Like Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask was also updated and released on Nintendo 3DS, this time in 2015.
Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons were the next releases on the agenda and were released together on Game Boy Color. Oracle of Ages is more about the puzzles, while Oracle of Seasons is more action-based.
Between 2002 and 2005, various titles belonging to the Four Swords sub-series are released. The first in this collection is A Link to the Past & Four Swords on Game Boy Advance. This title combines the Super Nintendo game A Link To The Past with the very first Zelda multiplayer, Four Swords. On the 25th anniversary of The Legend Of Zelda, Four Swords was briefly available as a free download for the Nintendo DSi and 3DS and could also be played in single-player mode.
The Wind Waker was released next, in 2002, and was later re-released on Wii U in HD in 2013. In this adventure, you swing your Wind Waker staff around to blow the wind in the sails of your little boat and sail around.
In 2004, Four Swords Adventures came out on GameCube, where you can link the Game Boy Advance to a GameCube console if you want to play the game in multiplayer-mode. The single-player function is also available, but can be played without the GameCube.
Finally, within the Four Swords series, there is The Minish Cap on the Game Boy Advance in 2005. In this game Link can switch between 'worlds' and thus explore the previously discovered areas from a different perspective, by adjusting his size using a magical hat.
The next generation of Zelda starts with Twilight Princess on the Wii and later on the GameCube. This title saw the light of day in 2006 and takes place one hundred years after Majora's Mask. Link gets the opportunity to transform into a wolf, which makes for a completely different gameplay. The following year, Phantom Hourglass was released for the Nintendo DS, a direct sequel to The Wind Waker. In 2009 Spirit Tracks came out on DS, set 100 years after the events of Phantom Hourglass.
Also in 2009, a new Zelda game was announced for the Wii, hinting at the sword fighting and archery you can do in Wii Sports Resort. This forecast turned out to be Skyward Sword in 2011, which takes place in a floating land called Skyloft, far above Hyrule. This game has a huge focus on the Wii Motion Plus controls with the introduction of a completely new flight mode.
The 17th title in the long list of Zelda legends is A Link Between Worlds which appeared on the 3DS in 2013. This sequel to Super Nintendo's A Link To The Past is set some 100 years later in the parallel universe of Lorule, where Link has the ability to turn himself into a painting and to fight against his dark Shadow Link counterparts. This is followed up by Tri Force Heroes where you can play online as Link, together with other Links and stack on top of eachother.
Zelda's timeline is almost complete with Breath of the Wild as the number 19 on this list. In this story, Link awakens from a 100-year sleep to save the world once again. This game honors the original The Legend of Zelda roots, as it’s more of an open-world adventure where Link is free to explore at his own pace. Naturally, new elements have been added such as wild horse taming, Shield Surfing and Perfect Dodge. This game came out on both Wii U and Nintendo Switch in 2017.
Then there are several Spin-Offs left, such as Link's Crossbow Training (Wii, 2007), Hyrule Warriors (Wii U 2014) and its successor: Hyrule Warriors - Age of Calamity (Nintendo Switch, 2020). The latter is an indirect prequel to Breath of the Wild and offers a local co-op multiplayer function.
Finally, there is a Tingle series and a small collection of CD-i games that we will not go into for now.
The end of this timeline is nowhere near in sight as if yet! Multiple remakes are already planned, like Skyward Sword on Nintendo Switch to celebrate The Legend of Zelda’s 35 year anniversary. Also, Breath of the Wild 2 has been announced for december 2021. Since there’s no way anyone could ever get tired of the Zelda franchise, we’re glad to see that more titles are coming!