The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo’s biggest and most popular franchises. The first game in the series launched way back in 1986. Since then, it has been at the forefront of the Japanese company’s catalog. That makes it one of the most recognizable brands in gaming. After all, anyone who has owned a Nintendo console will almost certainly have played The Legend of Zelda.
The series primarily centers on the story of Link and the eponymous Princess Zelda throughout the history of Hyrule. But there have been a number of spin-offs and additional titles over the last few years that differ slightly. One thing that has remained the same, though, is the quality and popularity of the series.
With the 35th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda coming up in 2021, Nintendo is sure to want to celebrate it in a big way. Here are some of the things the company might do, according to leaks and rumors.
Following on from Mario’s anniversary
In recent times, Nintendo has celebrated a number of important milestones. For example, 2013 saw the company embark on the Year of Luigi, marking the 30 years since the character’s introduction. Meanwhile, 2020 has seen Nintendo celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Super Mario series. These types of events give a good indication of what Nintendo might do. So, it’s likely that fans will see themed events, new games, and in-game content. Of course, the exact details will differ depending on what is possible with The Legend of Zelda.
Classic games could be remastered
One thing that Nintendo might do is remaster several classic games. Many of the best titles in the series are quite old. Just look at the likes of Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and Twilight Princess. While the gameplay from these titles stands up still, the visuals are quite dated. That might prompt Nintendo to release remasters. After all, remaking older games has been a popular trend lately. A bundle containing those titles with updated visuals and sound would be very popular.
Other 3D games could come to the Switch
The Wii U didn’t have the success of the Wii or the Switch. But it did have several The Legend of Zelda games released for it. These include both Wind Waker HD and Skyward Sword. Considering the limited number of players who have been able to enjoy these titles, it makes sense to re-release them. Rumors have persisted about a possible Skyward Sword launch on Switch. Hopefully, that means more fans will get to experience it and the HD remake of Wind Waker. Especially when so many missed out of them in the first place.
A bundle of 2D Zelda games from early Nintendo consoles
Despite the fact that The Legend of Zelda has been around a long time, many fans won’t have played the earlier games. Yet, they are well regarded as some of the best entries in the series. While they have been re-released in the past, another bundle collecting them together would be appreciated. Especially when the Switch has a pretty lackluster library of classic games. Considering the 35th anniversary is a celebration of the history of the series, re-releasing older games also makes sense. It gives players the chance to experience the entire series.
Breath of the Wild 2 release date
Breath of the Wild rejuvenated The Legend of Zelda after a few years of mediocrity. It incorporated many modern elements from other games into the series for the first time. Launched in 2017, it is undoubtedly one of the best Nintendo Switch games. The company has been working on a sequel ever since, although little information has been revealed. 2021 would seem like the perfect year to either announce the project properly or even release it. What better way to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the franchise?
A new handheld title
Another possibility is that Nintendo will reveal a brand new handheld title for the Switch. 2019 saw the company launch Link’s Awakening, a remake of the original 1993 game. Nintendo could either work on another remake based on a Game Boy game or create a brand new experience. Either way, 2021 seems like the perfect time to launch another great handheld-focused game. It would also provide something of a break from the more mainstream 3D games that could also release.
Lots of new merchandise and clothing
Recent trademark listings that Nintendo has filed indicate that it is not just games that the company is focusing on. Instead, the information contained with the legal documents suggest lots of extra merchandise. Everything from toys to clothing is mentioned. This could mean that fans of The Legend of Zelda could be in line to buy a lot of new stuff. Although the trademark doesn’t necessarily mean everything included in it will be released, it does give some sort of guide. It could well show the general idea of what Nintendo is working on.
Hosting a Legend of Zelda event
2021 will likely see some sort of The Legend of Zelda event. Nintendo often hosts conferences or events to celebrate important dates and the 35th anniversary of the series certainly deserves it. There could even be a Nintendo Direct focused entirely on the action-adventure franchise. Such an event would likely detail the company’s plans and what games and merchandise is set to release in 2021. So, expect to see some sort of The Legend of Zelda-themed party early next year.