What Should We Expect From The Legend of Zelda's 35th Anniversary?Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Following Mario’s huge 35th anniversary presentation and the announcement of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Nintendo fans have been speculating about which games could see similar announcements in the future. As it turns out, The Legend of Zelda celebrates its 35th anniversary next year. Not only that, but Nintendo have filed for tons of Zelda trademarks recently, which is exactly what they did for the Mario series last year. This might not confirm anything, but it’s safe to assume Nintendo won’t pass by this anniversary for one of their biggest titles without announcing anything. Therefore, I want to try and predict a few of the possible announcements Nintendo could make next year for Zelda’s 35th anniversary.
The biggest announcement they could make is some kind of game reveal. We know that Breath of the Wild 2 is on the way, but we’ve seen very little of that game so I reckon we shouldn’t get our hopes up for a 2021 release. It’s possible, but it’s more likely we’ll get some kind of trailer or gameplay footage. Instead, the obvious prediction would be a collection of 3D Zelda games (similar to Super Mario 3D All-Stars). There’s a good chance we’ll see some kind of Zelda port coming to the Nintendo Switch soon, and releasing a selection of classics would definitely grab people’s attention. The tough thing to predict is which games would be included in this potential collection. Nintendo have been re-releasing a lot of Wii U games on Switch, and both The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess were available on that console. It's possible these two games might see a release on Switch too if Nintendo continue this trend, and it would certainly hold fans over until Breath of the Wild 2 comes out.
However, rumours have been circulating around The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword coming to Switch as well. The game was recently listed on Amazon, but Nintendo hasn’t confirmed anything yet. It’s possible this game might see a release next year – it’ll be the first time the game has been re-released, and it’ll be 10 years since it came out back in 2011. It’s unclear how the game’s motion controls would work on the Switch though, but I’m sure Nintendo will be able to figure something out.
There’s also the possibility of games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask coming to Switch. Ocarina of Time is one of the most beloved games of all time, and Majora’s Mask isn’t far behind. And if Super Mario 64 can get a Switch release, why not Ocarina of Time? These are arguably the two biggest games on the N64, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Nintendo showing one of their most revered games some love. These Zelda games were also remade on 3DS already, but I don’t know if Nintendo would want to port a 3DS game to Switch. They could just release the classic N64 versions and it would still generate a lot of hype.
So that’s five possible games Nintendo could re-release on Switch, which is more than the 3 classics we’re getting in Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Five entire Zelda games being re-released in a year seems unlikely, so let's try to narrow it down a bit. There’s no guarantee Nintendo will stick to the same formula as the Mario collection but if they do I’d personally love to see Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. These games cover three different consoles just like Super Mario 3D All-Stars and they’re all fan-favourites. I think it would satisfy pretty much any Zelda fan, and it would be more than enough content to sate people's appetites before the next new Zelda adventure.
The Amazon listing may give Skyward Sword a better chance but some fans might not be satisfied if that game ends up being the only Zelda release next year, especially now that Mario has the majority of his 3D catalogue on the Switch. Skyward Sword doesn't tend to get the same praise as other big Zelda games, but some fans think it's underrated and deserves a return to the spotlight. Either way, I'd be very surprised if we didn't get some kind of re-release, and these are all likely candidates.
If the Mario announcements are anything to go by, we should also expect a ton of new merchandise. The 35th Anniversary direct showed everything from Mario Monopoly and LEGO sets to Mario shoes and t-shirts, and they announced them all so fast it was hard to keep up with everything. I reckon it’s safe to assume new Zelda merchandise will be coming next year, but who knows what kind of products they could come up with. It's likely there'll be some kind of retro product similar to the Super Mario Bros/Game & Watch system because Nintendo loves putting out retro collectibles, and no doubt there'll be all kinds of clothes, keychains and other assorted items to get your hands on.
One thing worth considering is something Nintendo did 10 years ago for the 25th anniversary of the franchise. They conducted special performances worldwide with a Zelda symphony, and released a CD with music from the concerts. The Zelda series has some incredible music and it was amazing to hear updated versions of tracks like Gerudo Valley or the Main Theme. If restrictions are still in place next year it’s unlikely we’ll see this again, but we shouldn’t rule out another CD release with new music if Nintendo are able to record something. This CD could release alongside a new game/remaster, and include tracks from games like Breath of the Wild which came out after the 25th anniversary tour. It might not happen if touring still isn’t doable, but I’m sure many Zelda fans would love to hear more music in the same vein as the symphony CD. If all else fails, they could include a music player in a classic collection just like the soundtrack feature in Super Mario 3D All-Stars.
That pretty much summarises my predictions for the 35th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda. Whatever they do, I’m sure it’ll be significant because this is one of Nintendo’s biggest series, and it’d be a shame not to celebrate a big milestone by giving the fans something exciting. Until then we have lots of Mario goodness to tide us over, and I personally can’t wait to play the new collection. Keep an eye out for our review of that!