My first decision would probably be on that makes part of the Zelda fanbase happy when they hear it: another jump to a different timeline. This is a different era where things seem somewhat darker. The previously majestic castles of the franchise are replaced by ominous fortresses built into mountains, perched like predators waiting for the first sign of violence. The tone of the word is somber and stark. Whatever future we're in is not a happy one.
My second decision is likely to conflict with the more... "traditionalist" Zelda fans: there is no Link in this game. No grand reveal or attempt to revive him or free him. The concept of a Link is mentioned in passing, a hero clad in green that steps through time. Whispers of him are passed around this somber, cold version of Hyrule. When he is mentioned, he's treated as a bedtime fairytale. While there is still some lingering hope among the older folks, people who swore on their lives that they saw
him, this is a world without a chosen hero.
This is a world in which Ganon rules unabated.
Years ago, Ganon returned. He peeled back the layers of darkness and forced his way back into the world of living, revived by some impossible entity just as he'd always been. He expected the Hero of Time to rise against him as he always did, for Ganon to feel the cold metal of a blade to push its way through his heart.
But the Hero of Time did not come.
This is a world where Ganon has ruled for decades, settling into a cold peace. Hylium, the modern remains of a Hyrule split apart by civil war and later reformed, is his. He is king, in position if not in name. His armies are a mixture of humans and members of the monsters races brought up from their oppression beneath the previous Hylian monarchy. In victory, Ganon is pensive. His goal was never to spread beyond the borders of Hyrule, but to secure a home for the Gerudo.
But the Gerudo are gone, migrating long ago to parts unknown. Ganon sits on a quiet throne and without his people to stand beside him. He took a wife decades ago. Not one to prance with nobility, she was a member of Hylium's lower class; a symbol of the old kingdom's tendency to step on those with no voice. She died in childbirth, survived by her daughter.
The protagonist of this game is Lady Zelda Dragmire, daughter of Ganon. She was born into a position of affability and wanted for nothing. Unlike many, Zelda is accustomed to the presence of the monster races in Hylium and regards them as equals. Incredibly intelligent but socially awkward, Zelda falls onto the lower end what we could consider the autism spectrum,. She is a skilled engineer and tinkerer with a proclivity for invention and critical thinking, but she tends to avoid unnecessary socialization.
Zelda is half-Gerudo, leaving her skin darkened as if by the sun and with a shock of bright red hair. Given the absence of the Gerudo in this modern Hylium, she is somewhat of an anomaly. She is fond of her father despite knowing his past.
Impa is a consequence of Ganon's rule. In the days when Hylium was more adamant in its resistance, Ganon purged towns as examples to the people. One member of each settlement would be spared if only to continue the memories of those who lived there. Impa, known at the time by a different name, was four. At the time, Zelda was months away from her fourth birthday. The girl from the forgotten town was uplifted and made to be Zelda's playmate. She was given a new role and a new name from a different age: Eémpah
. Impa. In the Sheikah tongue, it meant being 'of nothing'. Rather than an insult, it was intended to be a description of strength; being strong enough to stand tall when you had nothing.
As the years went by and Zelda grew older, Impa's role shifted. She became a guardian, trained personally by Ganon in the combat arts of both the Gerudo and the extinct Sheikah. She is Zelda's shield, a constant companion to her in times of peace and strife.
Time has weathered Ganon. Much closer in personality to the version of him we saw in Wind Waker, but with more than a sentence and a half of motivation. Although settled into his role as the de-facto king of Hylium, Ganon is pensive. Whereas he might once have gone personally to war, he is more inclined to send the military to carry out deeds in his name. Once a hothead of anger and war, he seems unsure how to carry himself in a time of relative peace.
Boiling inside Ganon is the essence of something old
. In times gone by, it took on many names: the Void, Demise, and sometimes the Calamity. It rages inside of Ganon, eager for an outlet.
As it seems to be with all Zelda premises I write, this game would function as the end of the Ganon/Demise story, ending (in one case) with Ganon being killed conclusively and with no possibility of resurrection. The series needs a new (and good
) villain and this functions as a way to flesh Ganon out as a character while behaving as a swan song for both him and Zelda.
Demise is coming to a head within Ganon's mind. Without the violent outlet that normally keeps him in check, he's re-surging in new and dangerous ways. Ganon begins to lash out at those closest to him, Zelda included. He becomes darker and more violent. Whereas Ganon was always in control with Demise feeding him power and anger from afar, now Demise is rising to the forefront. He is beginning to consume the mind of a powerful but more complacent and peaceful Ganon.
Lady Zelda, despite her loyalties to her father, is driven away when her father beats Impa to near death for some minor indiscretion. She flees from her father's house with Impa in tow, set on killing him (more in revenge for Impa than for anything else). Her departure leads to a run-in with the floundering Hylium Resistance, a loose conglomeration of freedom fighters and those who fund them. Though apprehensive about selling herself out to such a band of ragged degenerates, the image of a battered and broken Impa plays through her mind. Ganon is too far gone. He needs to be killed.
Zelda, intelligent as she is, is familiar with the cycle of reincarnation. She's gone through texts detailing his countless deaths and resurrections. Those who contended with him before never sought to kill Ganon, only seal him. Throughout history, the Hero of Time had only ever postponed Ganon, dooming a future generation to suffering at his hands.
Not this time.
This time Ganon dies for good.
* * *
And that's all I've got. This premise is similar to fanfiction I wrote years ago. It's intended to act as a definitive conclusion to Ganon's storyline while fleshing him out where all the other games failed to do so. Unlike other games, it would be more interconnected with the rest of the franchise. Aspects that were previously ignored or shelved, such Hyrule's inability to keep records or countries outside of Hyrule, would be rectified.