Link and Zelda's 35th anniversary is coming up soon. While it's not a romantic event, it's definitely something to celebrate. But how big of a celebration will it be? That's yet to be determined, but there's plenty here to speculate. It's good to note that Nintendo has treated the Super Mario franchise's 35th anniversary very well. Thanks to this, it appears that Zelda fans are looking for similar treatment.
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The Mario anniversary extravaganza includes multiple events, releases, and merch drops. Thanks to this example, Zelda fans are expecting a celebration that's at least as good as Mario's. Thereis an abundance of fun possibilities that Nintendo can present for Link's 35th year of sword swinging.
Mario's 35th anniversary brought something that all Nintendo fans desired: a 3-pack port of Mario's greatest adventures, but better. The Zelda franchise definitely deserves the same treatment. Ideally, this anniversary pack would include Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Twilight Princess. However, these titles deserve more than basic porting.
While 3-pack Zelda game port like Mario 3D All-Stars would be cool, it needs something more. Rather than simply re-porting classic titles per usual, as Nintendo did with Mario, these three Zelda games need a graphical touch-up. Fans have been using Unreal Engine to create graphically updated versions of Ocarina of Time for a while now. It's a missed opportunity to not remaster these legendary titles.
They've already released Zelda Uno, Monopoly, Yahtzee, Chess, and even an expensive collector's edition of Clue. But there's always room for more! Super Mario Jenga and Monopoly released to celebrate Mario's 35th anniversary in 2020. Collectors will be over the moon if a new Zelda card or board game collaboration takes place.
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Nothing makes off-screen gaming more fun than bringing Hyrule into the picture. There's a ton of room for a board game's story, dialogue, and themes when the lore of a whole fictional world is available. How about a Zelda-themed Cards Against Humanity? That sure would be an interesting one!
Everyone knows that Breath of the Wild 2 is coming. The issue lies in how there's so little information regarding the sequel. There's no better time for a fun new trailer or teaser than Zelda's 35th anniversary!
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity was a nice placeholder to tide fans over until the next Zelda game. This is especially true with the way it referenced past games, further tying the timeline together. However, enough time has passed. Most fans are expecting some sort of game update by the end of February, 2021. Even the smallest little clip is better than nothing!
As mentioned earlier, Mario's 35th Anniversary has been a long-term celebration. There are several events in the lineup. These events are linked through the player's Nintendo account. The rewards could be anything from special edition Amiibos to 35th-anniversary t-shirts, keychains, mugs, and so on.
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These events include tours, missions, and prizes for staying active in the events. This is a brilliant idea to apply to the Zelda franchise. There's plenty of opportunity to implement this in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, Breath of the Wild, Link's Awakening, and even Cadence of Hyrule. Basically, by winning achievements in these games, players could rack up points to redeem fun prizes.
Like most good Nintendo games, Animal Crossing has been known for including cameos in the past. Both Link and Mario have made appearances in the franchise. In fact, Mario-themed furniture releases in March, 2021 in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Since this is happening with Mario, fans can't help but both hope and expect it to happen with Zelda.
Zelda's Animal Crossing debut will likely be down the road, similar to Mario's appearance. If the chain of events theory comes true, Zelda-themed Animal Crossing merch will show up near the anniversary celebration's end. Both Animal Crossing and Breath of the Wild are relaxing games that can be great for mental health. So, it only makes sense that they'd be linked somehow.
Fans would love to see these two Gameboy Color classics on the Switch. While a port would be nice, a remake would be even cooler. It would also be ideal to update the graphics. This remake could look something similar to what developers did with the Link's Awakening remake.
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These two are perfect remake candidates that would work nicely alongside Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask remasters. They're also really outdated games, especially in terms of graphics and mechanics. So, giving these two titles a total makeover would be ideal.
The Zelda Manga boxset has been out since 2011. This set includes manga for Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Four Swords, Oracle of Seasons, Oracle of Ages, The Minish Cap, A Link To The Past, and even Phantom Hourglass.
An anime version of these would be amazing to see. An anime that follows the manga while adding new content is ideal. It's also safe to say that most fans would love to see new storylines. There's plenty of opportunity here, especially since live-action Zelda shows and movies keep getting canceled.
On Zelda's 30th anniversary, Nintendo released an 8-bit Link Amiibo. This little fella gives players multiple barrels when connected to Zelda games like Breath of the Wild. Sometimes these barrels hold rupees! Releasing a new Amiibo similar to this one is definitely a cool way to celebrate Link's 35th year.
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The real question lies in which Amiibo character would be best suited for this event. Fans have already received so many Zelda-themed Amiibos thus far, including Wolf Link, Mipha, Sheik, and many more. There are even Amiibos for the Breath of the Wild champions. A 35th anniversary Hetsu Amiibo wouldn't be the worst idea!
One general nerd rule is that a person can never have too many plushies. Nintendo knows this, which is evident when looking at how many Mario plushies they've released. So, where's all that love for the Zelda franchise?
There are a few official Zelda-themed plushies out there already. However, most of the cutest ones are fan-made. How about some official korok plushies, Nintendo? More specifically, an official Makar plushie is long-awaited. This little wind sage is one of the most beloved Zelda characters. A 35th anniversary Makar plush release would be spectacular.
The Zelda community does get to see a lot of early footage and cut content. This is seen through the early Fado model and the unused Goron monster from Twilight Princess. That's only some of the interesting leaks floating around out there. But how about playable prototypes, canceled games, and unused levels?
Fans would go absolutely berserk over playable unused content. It would be easy to include something like this as a download from the Nintendo store. Even better, certain levels could be implemented as rewards for completing and participating in 35th anniversary events. There are tons of ways to make Zelda fans happy while still making a profit.
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Noel McDavid is a writer, a reader, and an avid retro gamer. She loves Spyro the Dragon and most Legend of Zelda titles, along with Crash Bandicoot and other classics. McDavid writes for several sites, including Game Rant and TheGamer. She is pursuing a master's degree in Professional and Technical Writing and spends her free time beekeeping.
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