Recently, Nintendo dropped another huge surprise on its gaming community, releasing Pac-Man 99 without warning shortly after the end of Super Mario Bros. 35. The Pac-Man game helps to fill the void in what is becoming a regular genre for the Nintendo Online community. The battle royale style elimination genre has been around, but featuring retro arcade games is certainly a welcome and popular twist. Nintendo certainly raised some eyebrows when the company applied the genre to the classic NES hit Super Mario Bros. What if the same could be done for the 35th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda?

Yes, I hear you. Zelda games are a different beast, puzzle-based, a slow-burn; but what if a Zelda 99 featured a game like The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures? Just imagine the possibilities: players frantically switch their Links between battle formations as they eliminate creeping Octorocks, a bomb throwing Hinox, or arrow launching Moblins. With each kill, players would send these Ganon loving baddies into the screens of competitors. As the game progresses and opposing players run out of hearts, the difficulty level could spike, with sudden appearances of Lynels, mini-bosses, and even Shadow Link.

Zelda 99 could also separate itself from other battle royale style elimination games by including something at the core of the franchise: puzzles. Adding in simple puzzles, like the crystal switches and block puzzles, would increase difficulty in a fun way that gives players control over the outcome while ramping up the drama. Imagine trying to fend off waves of Soldiers while trying to find the right block to push. Puzzles wouldn’t have to be overly complicated to add elements of strategy to the game.

As players eliminate the competition, defeat in-game enemies, and solve simple puzzles, they could be rewarded with Force Gems; these power-ups could grant players increased damage, defense, or abilities. Collect enough Force Gems and players double sword damage output, cut enemy damage by half, or utilize the Sword Beam and Spin Attack.

Adding items to the matches would also expand the range of strategy and competition. For example, finding a Fairy Bottle might allow players a second chance after elimination, while consuming Red Potion might recharge a player’s hearts but cost time to do so. Players could also discover traditional Zelda items like the Fire Rod or Hero’s Bow, which would make dispatching enemies easier and thus clear a path to victory.

Finally, a Zelda 99 game could have random variants that players would encounter each time they join a match. For example, a Pure Competition mode would simply be a game of survival with 1 in 99 players securing victory. A Tingle Mode could award victory to the players who collect the most Rupees along the way while trying to outlive the other 98 players. A Boss Mode variant would randomly generate one of a handful of final bosses for the remaining four players to fight. Imagine Ganon, Vaati, Veran, or General Onyx appearing as the match crescendos. Players would have to both work together and try to outdo each other in dealing damage to the final boss to secure their place in the final standings.

After the release of games like Tetris 99, Super Mario Bros. 35, and Pac-Man 99, it seems like a Four Swords Adventure style Zelda 99 would be a fantastic way to mark the 35th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda. It would also perhaps offer some redemption to one of the more forgotten and under-appreciated entries in the franchise.

Tell us what you think! Would you play a battle royale style Zelda 99? Share your reactions in the comments below.

David Lasby is a staff writer at Zelda Dungeon. His favorite Zelda games are Breath of the Wild and A Link to the Past. You can find him on Twitter to talk all things Nintendo, sci-fi / fantasy, and creative writing.

Tagged With: No tags were found for this entry.