Nintendo hasn’t provided clarity on exactly how we’ll be celebrating Zelda‘s 35th birthday this year, but a new Australian trademark has provided a pretty good idea — and it’s got something to do with Phantom Hourglass.
As first spotted by KeliosFR on Twitter, Nintendo received a new trade mark in Australia for Phantom Hourglass. The trademark filing, which you can see below and on the IP Australia website here, doesn’t really specify what to expect beyond the obvious (‘electronic video game programs, computer game software’, etc).
However, with the 35th Zelda celebrations just around the corner, it seems pretty obvious what Nintendo has planned. Phantom Hourglass was first released as a sequel to Wind Waker for the Nintendo DS, and it was re-released on the Wii U via Virtual Console in 2016.
Hourglass was never the most popular of the Zelda titles. It had one of the series’ worst dungeons, Temple of the Ocean King, which you had to visit five times just to finish the game. The controls were wholly reliant on the Nintendo DS’s stylus, although fans worked out ways to enable the vastly-more user friendly D-pad and face buttons.
Any re-release for the Switch would undoubtedly have improved controls. And it’s hard to imagine Nintendo isn’t thinking about a re-release, given that the trademark was filed last year and accepted in late November. (Trademark registrations aren’t entered into the public register months after their acceptance, so Phantom Hourglass appearing well after its November acceptance isn’t out of the ordinary here.)
If you’re curious, Nintendo currently has 17 trademarks pending in Australia. One of those is a trademark for Cruis’n, the racing game series published by Midway in the early ’90s. There’s also trademarks out for Pokemon Sword, Super Mario Sunshine, Pokemon Cafe Mix, Good Job!, Card Hero, Mii and a few others.