ZD Top 5 – Direct Sequels in Zelda

phantom-hourglass-the-legend-of-zelda-phantom-hourglass-31781866-1280-1024The Zelda series is certainly not known for its direct sequels. Most games act as their own independent stories, connected by no more than some subtleties regarding the overall timeline, so one could say that it is a pleasant change of pace to see a series title get a direct sequel – a game featuring events that directly follow the previous game, or happen in the same world, but occur at a later time, like in Majora’s Mask or A Link Between Worlds. There are not many, but there are enough for a list of favorites, so this week, the ZD staff takes a look at their favorite sequels in Zelda.

As usual, make sure to hit the comments, and to list your Top 5 sequels in the series!

Jon Lett – View Profile

5. BS Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets
4. Phantom Hourglass
3. Spirit Tracks
2. Majora’s Mask
1. A Link Between Worlds

I was REALLY close to placing Majora’s at the top, but I can’t dismiss all that A Link Between Worlds brought to the table. I know that it could be argued that A Link Between Worlds is not a direct sequel, but I would say that it is, as it takes place in the exact same world as A Link to the Past. This is a first for the Zelda series, and I know how great the game must be, as I went in thinking that it being the same world was a cop-out, and yet I enjoyed it more than most games in the whole series! The small amount of story was really powerful, it called back to the best elements of its prequel, and I would totally play it again any day. The way they molded A Link to the Past’s Hyrule into something that felt fresh was impressive, and honestly, I think I might like Lorule better than the old Dark World. It just has more personality, and its identity as an alternate universe version of Hyrule brings up some major questions about parallel dimensions, and the Triforce itself. All around, an awesome game, and a great way to bring people back to a world they recognize from an age-old classic.

Alexis Anderson – View Profile

5. Adventure of Link
4. A Link Between Worlds
3. Four Swords Adventures
2. Phantom Hourglass
1. Majora’s Mask

Obviously I love Majora’s Mask in its own right, but its depressing tone kicks off immediately when you realize young Link is looking for Navi; his Ocarina of Time adventure pal, annoying as she was at times. It was weird because I hadn’t considered that Link might miss her. Direct sequels are interesting in that I don’t usually think too much about Link’s life following a game, but the sequels give me a broader perspective on Link as a person.

Thomas Jacobs – View Profile

5. Adventure of Link
4. Phantom Hourglass
3. Majora’s Mask
2. Link’s Awakening
1. Oracle of Ages

Being a direct sequel is more of a story thing than a gameplay thing for me. One has to come after another with a similar, if not the same, cast of characters. As such, I do not consider Twilight Princess to be a sequel to Ocarina of Time in the same way Majora’s Mask is. As such, there are only five true sequels in the franchise. The Adventure of Link took a bold new direction, but the steep difficulty of the game is rather off putting for me. Phantom Hourglass is a fun bout of exploring and has Linebeck, but doing the Temple of the Ocean King over and over again gets old fast, even with the shortcuts. Majora’s Mask has an interesting story, but for me the three days thing is just a bit too limited for me. Link’s Awakening is a fun romp with interesting, if kind of samey-looking, dungeons all around, but it suffers from the limits of the system. Oracle of Ages greatly improves on this by having interesting dungeons, a fun overworld, the time mechanic to play with and of course the animal companions. And at the end of the day I just can’t say no to riding around in a kangaroo’s pouch and have it punch monsters in the face.

  • Kevin Seiden

    A Link Between Worlds is not a direct sequel. All of the games happen in Hyrule, except Links Awakening, Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks, and Majora’s Mask. It’s the same world, different realities or periods of development. So using that as a criteria I would say Wind Waker and Ocarina of Time make better direct sequels, which is ridiculous.

  • BlackRayquaza98

    its gotta be majoras mask, such a good game

  • tabascoman

    Surprised no one mentioned faces of evil and wand of gamelon…

  • Kevin Seiden

    Those aren’t even considered part of the franchise. Real Zelda fans don’t talk about them 😉

  • 64zeldafan

    is the sequel defined as when the same link is present or the same world is used (e.g. spirit tracks is the same world as ww but different link)?

  • NinjaPiece

    A Link Between Worlds is literally called Triforce of the Gods 2 in Japan.

  • tabascoman

    I was kidding
    But actually, I think most Zelda fans have come to appreciate an undeniable charm that they possess

  • Dom Cruise

    True, but Kevin does have a point. ALBW uses different characters entirely. I’m not sure you can class it as a ‘direct’ sequel like you can with Majora’s Mask, which follows on directly from Ocarina, or Phantom Hourglass, which picks up the story straight after Wind Waker.

  • Kevin Seiden

    Exactly my point. Even Spirit Tracks has one character from Wind Waker.

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    Its a spiritual sequel at best, since Nintendo’s goal was to make a game resembling ALTTP

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    AlBW has Ganon from ALTTP, but thats not a strong enough connection to be classified as a direct sequel.

  • So does A Link Between Worlds. Sahasrahla. It’s strongly hinted that he’s the same one from ALttP.

  • Nadaph

    I’m honestly surprised you could get a list of 5, let alone 3. As far as sequels go, Majora’s Mask, Adventure of Link, and Phantom Hourglass fit the sequel mold the best. ALBW and Spirit Tracks are spiritual successors, but are more or less just loosely tied through a few similarities, some story, and mostly gameplay. And story can make Minish Cap as the best sequel since it’s Skyward Sword’s successor by the timeline. As far as the first 3 mentioned, Majora’s Mask is imo the one who does the sequel the best. Not to poop on the other games, but Majora’s Mask felt like an extension or expansion to Ocarina of Time. Adventure of Link and Phantom Hourglass play completely differently than their predecessors. Focusing on Phantom Hourglass since I have more familiarity, the game seemed to be designed first, then connected later. Majora’s Mask gameplay is Ocarina+ as far as gameplay goes. New areas, new items (masks), new collectibles, new features, and new areas, all in a familiar engine.

    It’s pretty much Majora’s Mask as number 1, objectively speaking, at least from my idea of a sequel is different from what I stated (pretty much “old game+new features+new story”). It does the sequel idea the best. It feels similar, but it does things just a little different to make you feel at home while going on a new adventure.

  • Kevin Seiden

    I don’t believe he is the same one. The time spread is too distant.

  • Kevin Seiden

    Yeah, well being immortal and all, I agree not a good connection.

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    Majoras Mask, Oracle Of Ages, Oracle Of Seasons, and Adventure Of Link are the only direct sequels I enjoyed. The closest to a fifth I can think of is Minish Cap (If that counts as a four swords sequel)

  • PeanutPenguin

    I totally agree!

  • Man

    Kreig cencer

  • Litl_E

    You forgot Triforce heroes.

  • Nick of Time

    Generally when a sequel of a game or movie is made, most of the main characters remain, new characters are usually added in and the story connects in some way, so A link between worlds and Spirit Tracks are technically sequels but not direct sequels. Spirit Tracks has one character from Wind Waker (one of the pirates) and ALBW is basically (not exactly) the same world as A link to the past.

  • Kevin Seiden

    What about Triforce heroes?

  • edith.baber

    Start making 90 dollars a day for working on the web from your own home for several hr’s every day… Get paid regularly every week… All what is required is a laptop, connection to the internet, and some free time… KORTA.NU/NDe

  • Serai

    Majora’s Mask. Ocarina of Time was amazing, my favourite game, a classic. Majora’s Mask brings the feel of old with it as well and I enjoy the Zora Mask. I’ve always wanted to play as a Zora and this is a great experience with the ocean and all. I also love becoming a Goron and rolling around, plus the sound effects are pretty funny! Not the best graphics, but hey, I play Escapists! The graphics aren’t bad, it’s 3-D, and traveling back in time makes me loath for the best game ever, Ocarina of Time. The only thing I don’t like about these two is the fact that Link is really dieing. I also like the Twilight Princess, timeline accident…
    You can’t beat Ocarina of Time. Majora’s Mask is like an extendsion of the game.

  • LOL

    …MC is a prequel.

  • Eddie Anderson

    I always find it funny and awkward people trying to make a Zelda time-line…. the Zelda stories are different games in themselves… and trying to connect Link to the Past and Majora’s Mask for instance doesn’t work. So don’t try it. There’s no connection, people just want to try to connect it. And if there is it certainly forced by Nintendo. They’re games that have more differences than similarities so don’t try to combine them since it’s silly. I love OOT btw. 🙂 That’s the only story I care about.