What To Expect From Zelda’s 35th Anniversary Celebration [Updated]

What To Expect From Zelda’s 35th Anniversary Celebration [Updated]
Image: Nintendo

This year marks the 35th anniversary for the iconic Legend of Zelda franchise. While it had relatively humble beginnings, the series has blossomed in popularity over the last three decades thanks to incredible adventures like Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker and Majora’s Mask. They’ve all left a lasting impact on gaming and shaped the way modern adventures are made.

While Nintendo has yet to announce any formal plans for 2021 (likely due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic), we can expect Zelda‘s 35th anniversary to be a major affair. Outside of Mario, it’s Nintendo’s next biggest franchise and deserves just as much acclaim. We don’t know exactly what’s in store, but if Mario’s anniversary celebrations are anything to go by we could see some major Zelda news very soon.

Here’s what we’d love to see.

This article has been updated since its original publication.

Zelda 3D All-Stars: Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask and Wind Waker

zelda wind waker

The wild success of Super Mario 3D All-Stars proved there’s still an appetite for classic Nintendo titles on Switch. This fact should be strongly considered when the Zelda 35th anniversary celebrations inevitably kick-off. The entire Zelda library is filled with excellent smash hits, and a remastered collection of classic games on Switch would be a great addition to the console’s lineup.

While debate will likely rage on which titles should be included, Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask are surefire hits. Wind Waker isn’t an absolute must but it deserves a new audience just as much as Link’s earlier adventures. It’s also got a timeless cel-shaded style that would fit right into the Zelda of the modern day.

Whatever games make the cut, an All-Stars collection for Zelda is a must.

Breath of the Wild 2

Way back in June 2019 we got our first look at the sequel to beloved Zelda adventure, Breath of the WildBut outside of the surprise release of spin-off Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity in late 2020, we haven’t heard anything about the highly-anticipated game.

A lot has changed since the first trailer released, but the total silence from Nintendo is an anomaly. Longer hype cycles are mostly unheard of, and the company is notorious for announcing surprises on short notice. Sometimes you’ll get games dropping the day of their announcements, or even a few minutes later.

Could 2021 mark the release of Breath of the Wild 2? Coronavirus has put big question marks over most big game launches this year, but it seems unlikely Nintendo will wait any longer to unleash this whopper on the world. Nintendo did announce during their February direct that they would have more news to share later this year, however, which would likely be around E3.

Twilight Princess: Switch Remaster

legend of zelda twilight princess

Twilight Princess is one of the best modern Zelda adventures and while it’s already received a shiny remaster for WiiU, there’s no reason why it couldn’t make the jump onto Switch as well.

The move wouldn’t be without precedent: the upcoming Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is an enhanced port of the WiiU’s flagship Mario title. Porting Twilight Princess would make sense and if Nintendo wanted to throw in a little extra story like with Bowser’s Fury, we wouldn’t say no to that.

While Nintendo likely won’t stick to the exact formula of Mario‘s 35th anniversary celebrations, there’s a high chance we could see something new in the world of Twilight Princess.

The continued vocal support for remasters and remakes proves just how valued they still are for Nintendo’s core audience.

Virtual Console: GC, N64, Wii, WiiU

zelda virtual console

Nintendo Switch Online currently includes ports of classic NES and SNES exclusively for subscribers, but more modern consoles don’t make the cut. That’s despite the WiiU including support for Game Boy Advance, Game Cube, Wii and Nintendo 64 games via Virtual Console.

There’s a chunk of Zelda titles on these consoles and nearly all of them are worth revisiting. While it does appear Nintendo have no plans to include Virtual Console on the Switch, launching the service would give fans access to nearly every major Zelda title on the market and more besides.

Beyond the 35th anniversary celebration, a move like this would be a major boon for the console and its library.

Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda

game and watch mario
Image: Nintendo

In 2020, Nintendo released a new, limited edition version of the Game & Watch featuring an emulated version of Super Mario Bros. It was a nifty idea, and sold out in record time as collectors jostled to claim one for their hoard. It’s a gorgeous device even if it has limited use, and it would be a shame to see Nintendo abandon the idea.

The original Legend of Zelda would make for a great companion device here, particularly if Nintendo wants to keep the Game & Watch collection alive. Not everyone will want to pay $79.95 for a game they can get for free with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, but the popularity of the original Mario version means we’re likely to see a new addition for Zelda in 2021.

Update: 10:20 a.m. AEDT, February 18, 2021

Skyward Sword HD is coming to Nintendo Switch

Image: Nintendo
Image: Nintendo

Hey, look — the one game we didn’t mention in our original post is coming to Nintendo Switch on July 16.

This version will come with updated controls and even launch alongside a pair of brilliant-looking Joy-Cons.

zelda joy-cons
Image: Nintendo

It’s a fantastic-looking package, and we can all look forward to its release in July.

Sadly, we haven’t heard anything about Breath of the Wild 2 just yet but we’ll know more by the end of 2021.

Stay tuned for more news!


What are you hoping to see from the Zelda 35th Anniversary celebrations? Do you think Wind Waker is worthy of another remaster? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Comments

  • The two N64 classics any anything else. I mainly want to play Majora’s Mask again, I only every did one playthrough and don’t think I got everything. I’ve 100%’d Ocarina countless times and I’d love to introduce it to my kids.

  • What to expect: Ports of old games sold at $60 for a limited time to force anyone interested into paying full price

    • The Mario trilogy has been sub $50 and still has a few months left. If you don’t need it immediately, wait for a sale. Limited time releases are still super shitty though.

      • I don’t care if limited time releases are super shitty if you don’t like limited time releases darren then fuck you.
        As for me I would definitely like to see a Zelda 3D All-Stars game on Nintendo Switch that includes two original N64 Classics The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time from 1998, The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask from 20 years ago and The Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker from 2003.

    • Yeah, I laughed to myself.

      If Nintendo ever decided to make a proper Virtual Console where you could buy games I’d give them hundreds if not thousands.

  • This has been a hot subject of discussion with my girlfriend, who’s a huge Zelda fan. Ideally the number one thing we want is HD ports of the 3DS versions of Ocarina and Majora. WWHD and TPHD would also be great to see on Switch, though we have our criticisms about how the remaster for Twilight was handled the first time around. Unfortunately it seems more likely that we’ll just get emulated N64 ports and that’s it, but I wanna be optimistic. Either way we’re both looking forward to seeing what Nintendo does.

    On a side note, my girlfriend’s been trying to track down an original Zelda Game & Watch for a not-extortionate price to little avail. If they made a new Zelda Game & Watch with the G&W game and the NES games, that’d be pretty great.

    • The 3DS versions of the games are such a good shout! I wish Nintendo had done this with the Mario collection, the DS version of Super Mario 64 had so many cool features and handles so much better. I understand the need to keep to the classics, but missed opportunity I reckon.

  • Would love some kind of Zelda collection. I have the Gamecube one with Ocarina and Majora and a few of the older ones, but would much rather have it on the Switch. Would be great if it got the All Stars treatment and got a few textures scaled up.

    • Did the Gamecube bonus disc come with MM? I only recall the original and master quest unless there were different versions about.

      • There was one bonus disc for Windwaker that had OOT and Master Quest, but there was another promo zelda disc with zelda 1 and 2, OOT and MM. I think it was a preorder bonus

  • Anybody else realise that if Twilight Princess does get a Switch port, it will be the 4th consecutive console release of that game? Just a thought.

  • Considering the success it’s had on Switch, either a Link To the Past:Ocarina of Time official randomiser wouldn’t be completely out of the question either.

  • I’d also love a remake of A Link to the Past in the style of Links Awakening. Throw in A Link Between Worlds for bonus points

  • I think is very obvious we are only getting Breath of the wild 2 with the new version of the switch since they only release new Zelda game with a new system.
    I believe we are going to get wind waker port from Wii u and a remake of skyward since is the only one that doesn’t have a remake yet.

    Would love to get a 3D collection like Mario did but I don’t have much hope on it…

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