Posted on August 21 2017 by Michael Deitz
With Breath of the Wild out the traditional five year wait for the next mainline Zelda game begins. During the last interval, after Skyward Sword released, three games filled the gap: the amazing A Link Between Worlds, the mediocrely received Triforce Heroes, and the curveball from left field Hyrule Warriors. Koei Tecmo took their Musou Warriors formula, or Dynasty Warriors for those outside of Japan, and applied to the lands of Hyrule, bringing together what many fans would consider a wet dream. The game included many fan favorites from all across the timeline and redefined what a Zelda spin-off title could be. With the success of Hyrule Warriors since its release, and a subsequent New 3DS port, the question becomes what should Nintendo (or another company like Koei Tecmo) tackle next for another spin off and who should headline it?
Technically, there is already a spin-off starring someone other than Link in the Zelda universe, the Tingle games! Freshly Picked Tingle’s Rosey Rupeeland and Color Changing Tingle’s Balloon Trip (wow Japan) are both non-canonical games for the DS that take advantage of an established character in from Zelda lore and add unique, and sometimes disturbing, gameplay to make them um… memorable at least. These two games never made it to America, Rupeeland actually saw a European release, but they prove that the creativity and imagination for another spin-off is there. So if you ask a fan (umhm!) what would they recommend the next spin off contain? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Well if no one else will answer the call, I guess I will.
Imagine a Princess Zelda spin-off that is similar to Animal Crossing, where for once she must do her royal duties and make the people of Hyrule happy and solve their problems. You’re ruler of the kingdom (because apparently the king doesn’t do anything) and as such you must handle the woes of the villagers: solve the farming crisis, build new medieval playgrounds, train troops to defend from monsters. That can even be a mini game, a Clash of Clans/tower defense style fight between the Hylian royal guard and Stalchildren, or Gerudo, or other threats to the simple and nonchalant lifestyle within the city’s walls. Maybe even hand the game off to Intelligent Systems, developers of the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars series, so they can make it a turn based tactical RPG with city building elements much like the recently released Ever Oasis. If the game turned out to be as accessible as Fire Emblem: Awakening in combat and as engaging as Animal Crossing or The Sims with the city simulation, I can imagine many people stepping out of their comfort zone to play the game.
Another one you say? Alright. A Goron fighting game similar to the WWE games or Punch-Out! where you must be the underdog and rise to the top of the ranks to become the Death Mountain Champion (okay now this one I really want to see). The game begins with you as a young Goron who wants nothing else in life but to be the champion like his idol, who I shall call LaRock in reference to the legend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. After a chance encounter with LaRock, our young Goron dedicates the rest of his life to being the best Goron boxer/sumo wrestler there is. After a very rough first match where he loses bad, our hero finds mentorship in the old champion of the Goron League. He then trains harder than ever before and begins to plow through the ranks until he must face LaRock himself for the championship title. It’s like the literal Rocky! There could also be customization or a multiplayer mode that contains both free fighting amongst friends and a tag team story mode to fight together.
There are always more ideas. You could have a Zora swimming game, if anyone cares about swimming games, or it could be an aquatic combat adventure/treasure hunting style of game with a Metroidvania type map system and style of progression. There could be a Gerudo stealth game with Naburoo or Urbossa like Dishonored or Thief where you have to perform missions or assassinations or protect people all with your sand-ninja skills. It could even chronicle much of the unspoken Gerudo history that many fans would enjoy seeing.
Perhaps the most out there, yet most tantalizing, is an aerial on-rails shooter in the style of Kid Icarus: Uprising with Revali as the hero (maybe they can make me empathize with this jerk). Taking place before he meets Link and the other champions, we could see Revali as a non-cynical, bright, optimistic Rito who through battles and maybe the loss of loved ones at the hands of the Calamity Ganon’s rising power becomes the prickly bird we know and somewhat love. The game would give context to his rude attitude and seeming inability to care about anyone else along with fleshing out the world before the memories found within Breath of the Wild. He could even meet Daruk or Mipha or Urbossa on mission during the game and provide context towards their relationship within the main game.
The possibilities for spin-offs within the Zelda series are only limited to the imagination of the creators who are able to handle them. The five I described only scratch the surface of what is possible. What spin-off’s do you want to see within the Zelda universe? Many of these are a pipe-dream but hey, that’s why things like this exist. Let me hear your own crazy and imaginative spin-off ideas in the comments below. It doesn’t matter how out there, if Hyrule Warriors and two Tingle games are possible, I would argue nearly everything else is too. I wouldn’t mind the wait until the next mainline game nearly as much if Nintendo filled it with these wacky games.
Michael Deitz is an Editor here at Zelda Informer. For the occasional tweet, Sonic joke, and random video updates follow him on Twitter. If not, you can just read his rambles here, that’s your choice.