As you may already know, and as you can probably see from my collection pictured supra, I am a fan of the Zelda series… a big fan. I’ve done blog posts on The Legend of Zelda; I own, played, and beaten 10 of them. Twilight Princess (the first one I played) is still my favorite, and I’ve probably put more hours into Breath of the Wild than any other video game (with a possible acceptation of Flight Simulator).
There are lots of people out there predicting what exactly will be done for the 35th anniversary of Zelda, and I want to join the discussion myself. Now I should point out that this is just a guess, I have no inside information, and I may be very far off in my guess. I have three and a half guesses here.
Regardless, whatever is done it is very unlikely that I will be disappointed in whatever is done, the Zelda team routinely supplies us with solid videos games, that are innovative, new, and still familiar; the worst of which are still worth playing multiple times (the CD-i games notwithstanding).
Without further ado, here are my three guesses:
Option 0 – The Legend of Zelda: The Faces of Gamalon.
No this is not a guess because it’s so unlikely. If the CD-I games are given a good faith upgrade and re-release, I think everyone in the world will be very surprised, and I don’t see that happening.
Other non or half guesses
The Legend of Zelda: 35th Anniversary Collectors Edition, like the rare disk released in 2003, this would be a collection of all consul Zelda games from the first up to (maybe) Skyward Sword, not significantly upgraded. Yes, I’d pick it up, but I’d prefer the real guesses below.
Since the Switch is more of a handheld system that can play on the TV, as opposed to a dedicated TV system, the collector’s edition may have all the handheld releases instead of the consul releases. Still unlikely though.
Another possibility is that they don’t release anything other than Breath of the Wild 2, and yes I am very much looking forward to that release, but I still hope they will pay tribute to the past in one of the other ways listed below.
Option 1 – The Legend of Zelda 3D All-Stars
I doubt this title will be used because “All-Stars” doesn’t seem to fit the Zelda MO, but it seems to be the widest held belief that the Zelda 35th Anniversary will be made up of a trio of 3D Zelda games which is likely to be: Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword. This would follow the same dynamic as the Super Mario 3D All-Stars, which had one game from the N64, one from the Game Cube, and one from the Wii.
I would love to see this collection. Ocarina is considered the best video game of all time. I’ve only played Ocarina on the 3DS and didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else, because of the small screen. Seeing this game on the big screen in HD (or at least upgraded graphics) and even seeing it on the “mini” switch screen would also help me appreciate it as much as this game seems to deserve. Twilight Princess, I would love to see on the switch, as I said earlier it’s my favorite of the Zelda games. And Skyward Sword – this is a strange one, personally, I love it, and I usually play through it in the winter, however it was marred by misguided controls and has been poorly remembered because of this, if they fix the controls this game might finally get the respect it deserves by the masses. Even a solo HD remaster, with improved controls would be welcome. But I would prefer and hope, that they do a three-pack.
Other games that could be put in the 3 pack could be Wind Waker and Majora’s Mask. I don’t see them doing 5 games in one unless it’s Nintendo’s apology for the Super Mario 3D All-Stars (which I have and am enjoying so far, but the community seems a little pissy about it).
The production of this game should not be too difficult, I don’t know what exactly HD up-scaling entails, but in the case of Twilight Princess there would be very little work as it already had an HD remake for the Wii U. and with Ocarina they may just use the 3ds version. Skyward Sword would be the most difficult upgrade for the team as the controls would have to be reworked along with the graphics, but it would be worth it because the game has some really good things in it.
Option 2 – The Legend of Zelda: the 35th Anniversary
Wait a minute, isn’t that the title of this post? Yes, but here’s the idea. If the Zelda team has the resources, this would make for a very interesting game indeed, but it would require a lot of work on their part.
Take the original Zelda game, the very first one, and run it as a 3D Zelda game through the Breath of the Wild or Twilight Princess Engine. Everything would be in the same place as it is on the regular Zelda map, but you would now get to see it from a 3D perspective.
It may be helpful to add NPC’s that our a little less cryptic and a little more helpful so the game is not so difficult to follow, but I would still keep the free-roaming nature of the game, and perhaps even making it possible to beat the game entirely without the sword (without glitches to do so).
For an added bonus, throw in 8 additional dungeons (scattered throughout the world, each one a representation of one of the other major Zelda console releases. And perhaps also add a book found in an abandoned library that covered the overarching story for the whole series, or as it were the series up to that point in the chronology on that branch of the timeline (which is actually most of the series), maybe you get a heart piece or gold rupee for reading the whole book.
This would be a major project for the Zelda Team, more so than the other two options, but it would be perhaps the best way of truly honoring the history and the origin of the legend of Zelda. And would probably require years of work, so maybe they should save it for the 40th or even 50th anniversary.
Option 3 – The Legend of Zelda: Retro-Modern All-Stars
I seriously doubt that will be the title of the game, but I think there is a significant chance that we might see this game.
This would be another trio of remakes, but unlike Option 1, it will not be remakes of 3d games, but instead remakes of the first three Zelda games: The Legend of Zelda, Adventure of Link, and a Link to the Past, all of which would be redone in the Links Awakening 2019 Engine.
I do not know what making a game like this would entail, but I get the feeling that now that the engine is already built, adopting other top-down Zelda games into it would not be terribly difficult or time-consuming.
Somebody named BlobVanDam already made a remake of a Link to the Past in the Awakening Engine.
Zelda II is the only Zelda game that is largely a 2D platformer, and although that was the standard game model of the past, even now, 35 years later, it is still very much alive and well, with games like AVGN, Shovel Knight, Sonic Mania, etc. and there were short platforming segments of Links Awakening. So redoing Zelda II with a retro-modern diorama look, may breathe new life into a game that for a long long time has been considered the black sheep of the Zelda series. Which brings me to option 3.5.
Option 3.5 – The Legend of Zelda: Return of the Black Sheep
Less likely than any of the other games on here, but let’s just say for argument sake the Zelda team wants to breathe new life into its less remembered releases. If that were the case then on one card: Skyward Sword HD Remake, Zelda II Retro Modern Remake, and (why not) Faces of Gamalon (Faces of Evil and Wand of Gamalon (two of the three CD-i games) combined, and more importantly improved).
Now, in my opinion, I think that Option 3 is both the most likely scenario and also the one I’d like to see the most… kind of. It’s a tough call between that or an upgraded Skyward Sword. So maybe Return of the Black Sheep would be my favorite (but that’s much less likely).
My reason for thinking that option 3 is the most likely scenario, is because they developed a very unusual engine for Links Awakening, and I would think they would want to use it to remake some other games. Especially with the positive response of Links Awakening 2019.
If that holds true then I would also expect that the original Zelda is most prime for a remake in the retro-modern look, while a Link to the Past is perhaps the most loved of the top-down Zelda’s, so it too should get an upgrade, and since they would likely do a three-pack, Zelda II would be the best choice for the last slot. Though they may go with one of the other handheld games instead (I wouldn’t mind seeing Minish Cap redone either).
As I said in the beginning, I have no idea what direction they will actually go. But I am looking forward to finding out.
I will be updating this blog post twice.
One update will be on how close I was to what actually is released. I’ll rank it on a score of 100. And I’ll be fair and honest with my score, and explain how I came up with it compared to the final product.
The second update will be a quick review of the actually released, after some time playing the game.
Until then, stay tuned, and game on for Wisdom Power, and Courage.