25 Years of Zelda in 25 Days - Into the Future

Thank you for journeying with us for the last 25 days and looking back at some of the most memorable moments in Zelda’s history. We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading these articles and that they’ve kept you entertained while you’ve been waiting for Skyward Sword. The good news is that your wait is over! If you live in the US, you’ll be able to get your hands on the game today, and you may even be lucky enough to have already had it for a couple of days. Regardless of where you live, you’ll only have a few more days to wait at most!

We’ve just taken a look back at Zelda’s past, and tomorrow we’ll be able to see what Zelda’s more immediate future will bring. Where Zelda will go from here is anyone’s guess, but I certainly hope that one day we will be celebrating Zelda’s 50th anniversary! To finish things off, I’ll leave you with some thoughts from a few of Zelda Universe’s staff members on what they expect Skyward Sword and the future of Zelda to bring.

{{bubble}{Cody}{}{}{“The future of the Zelda series looks brighter than ever. With Twilight Princess, Nintendo mastered the Zelda formula as it has been set down since A Link to the Past, which means that for the first time in a long time they have finally moved to that next step – the step of examining that formula and changing and improving it to make it better.

Skyward Sword is an important milestone in the evolution of the Zelda series as a whole, and I expect the level of innovation applied to this game to continue with the new opportunities gained by the new features of the Wii U and 3DS.”}}

{{bubble}{Janus}{}{}{

“I think it’s safe to say that Nintendo will continue to make Zelda games for many years to come. In those years, though, I would love to see them take more risks with the series, both in gameplay and in story. However, I have my doubts that we’ll see them do anything drastic in the near future.

“So why not the fans? I’d love to see fan projects become increasingly ambitious, particularly fan games and fan films. Stop clinging to the standard Zelda formula! Forget the timeline and focus on a compelling story! Explore other genres! Offer unique and even controversial interpretations of Hyrule and its people!

“If Zelda fans are so adamant about change in the series, they have the choice of either making it themselves or waiting for Nintendo to do so.”

}}

{{bubble}{Jonah}{}{}{“Skyward Sword will, without a doubt, be a fantastic game that many will enjoy. However, I do believe that with time the game will decrease in fans over time until the majority of people start to dislike the game. They will go back to a previous game where this same thing happened, such as Twilight Princess, and start to boost that game in favour of Skyward Sword. Then, when the next Zelda game is released, I can see that happening once more.”}}

{{bubble}{Joshua}{}{}{“It truly amazes me how much the Legend of Zelda series has changed over 25 years. I’m even more amazed at the changes that have occured in the last quarter of that time. Some video game series stay more-or-less the same throughout their lifetime, but every Legend of Zelda game makes changes and introduces something new. Miyamoto said it himself in 2004: “The Legend of Zelda never stops changing.”

“With that in mind, I don’t expect Skyward Sword to be the end of the changes. Skyward Sword may be introducing a new system that works well, but the developers will find ways to build on the system and continue to make noticeable changes to the series. I encourage you to embrace those changes and continue to grow with the series.”}}

{{bubble}{Hombre de Mundo}{}{}{“Ever since Twilight Princess I’ve been a strong advocate of giving Zelda to Retro studios that did such an amazing job with Metroid. It’s been apparant to me that Zelda needs to change to maintain its status as the industry’s finest. For all I can tell, Skyward Sword is the game that can bring about that change, the game that can show us once again why Nintendo is rightly claimed as the best game company in the world. Almost every news story about Skyward Sword has made me more and more excited for it. 2011 has been a great year for Zelda already and I really can’t think of any better way to end it.”}}

{{bubble}{Caleb}{}{}{“Zelda’s here to stay, as long as Nintendo stays around. Mario and Zelda are Nintendo’s trademark series, and so as long as Nintendo’s around to make them, they’ll be here for us. However, if Nintendo keeps the same formula for the next ten years, fans will get bored, and if fans are bored, Nintendo might be the ones moving on. So the future of Zelda relies on both Nintendo and on you, the fans. Nintendo needs to keep the fans interested by changing it up every once and a while, like with Skyward Sword and previously released games like Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and Wind Waker, and the fans need to keep buying. Who knows, maybe if we all do our part we’ll have Zelda for the rest of our lives!”}}

{{bubble}{Power Shot}{}{}{“The question, for me, is not whether the series evolves, but when. Zelda has remained in my heart for over a decade, and with good reason. It is an excellent series, and I never feel childish to call myself a fan of the series. Nor should anyone, because the nature of gaming allows for all types of fans. Yet Skyward Sword is being released into a world that has perhaps passed it by. Skyward Sword debuts on a market shared by Arkham City, Modern Warfare 3, Skyrim, and a whole slew of other titles, each with their own market, to be sure, but where does Zelda fit into this world? Is there still room for this, one of the most influential series ever made?

In a sense, this is a problem faced not only by Zelda, but by Nintendo itself. As much as Nintendo may deny it, they have become the image of casual gaming. While Microsoft and Sony race to catch up with Nintendo, they are hardcore gaming producers, an image that is not easily shaken by people dancing in front of the Kinect. So how can Zelda stay relevant, even in a world where it is considered innovating to add one extra map to a campaign mode?

In Skyward Sword I see potential. I see the evolution of a series that has always strived to better itself, that isn’t complacent at simply being the best at what it is. But right now it is just potential, one which we cannot measure without personally experiencing it for ourselves. And it’s potential I saw when I saw Ocarina of Time. It’s potential I saw when I first played Wind Waker. It is innovation and evolution that will drive this series forward. It is the drive to succeed that will continue the franchise. And it is the love of fans like you and I, who embrace the new and the old, which will allow this series to always have a home in the heart of gamers everywhere.

I await you, Skyward Sword. Do not disappoint.”}}

{{bubble}{The Missing Link}{}{}{“Zelda’s not going anywhere. It’s no brainer that there’s already a 3DS Zelda in production and a Wii U Zelda in pre-production. Nintendo isn’t going to let the Zelda tap dry up any time soon. Now as for what Zelda in the future is going to be? That’s entirely a different question. Will game after game continue to follow the Zelda Formula? Will Skyward Sword? Probably so, and if there’ll be something bad to say about , it’s that it didn’t take enough risks or differentiate itself enough. Not that I think the game will fail even be an eyesore. The true question will be whether Skyward Sword and games can be the experience I crave, to completely and beyond measure fill my yearning for the world of Hyrule? Certainly it can’t, but I hope it rises to the task and darn well tries. And whatever’s left? At least there’s fanfiction to make up the difference!”}}

{{bubble}{Lysia}{}{}{“Skyward Sword will be a good game. In fact, I believe that it will be a great game. But will it be one of the greats of the Zelda series? It certainly looks as though it has the potential to be up near the top, but as to whether or not it will have the magical combination of story, gameplay and enjoyability needed to knock something like Ocarina of Time from the top, only time will tell. But regardless of what Skyward Sword is like, the future of Zelda is very bright and I have no doubt that we’ll be seeing new Zelda games on current and future consoles for many years to come.”}}

What do you think Zelda’s future will bring? And have you enjoyed the 25 Years in 25 Days article series? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Can't the 24th come faster???

    I'm really excited for what the big N has to offer the Zelda fans in the following years.

  • Lokomoko

    I loved the 25 years,25 days articles!They showed me the years i missed before i got ahold of my 1st Zelda (Alttp fr the GBA).I eagerly anticipated every article,and now it has ended,may the 50th anniversary of zelda bring more Joy(50 years in 50 days anyone? 😀 )

  • Maggio

    Well 25 years in 25 days, you served your purposed and kept me entertain while I waited for this day… Now I'm off to go pick up Skyward Sword.

  • fused_shadows

    Skyward Sword will be a fantastic game, and we should be prepared for the future. Zelda has inspired me, and hundreds of thousands more people, and this is why it is a great series. Fantastic articles, ZU. They really did make the wait for SS seem shorter than 25 days. And with that I'm off to eb games to get my copy of Skyward Sword. See you in 5years for 30 years in 30 days! ;P

  • Alessandra

    This kept me entertained for 25 days, I just recently picked up my copy of Skyward Sword from Best Buy and I'm happy. 🙂

  • Dan

    I'd like to focus on Jonah's comment. This type of thinking has been said many times before and I always think its very misguided. It's this childish way of trying to rise above the "which zelda is the greatest" argument. The implication is that we are in this cycle where zelda games aren't liked until the next one comes out and years later everybody says, "you know that last zelda was actually pretty good." It just doesn't hold true.

    ALttP and OoT were always loved and still are. Majora is a game that has ended up getting the credit it deserves years later but thats inherent to its design(strayed from the series and difficult for children to appreciate) not some trivial trend. WW is basically looked upon in the same light as when it came out. There aren't as many negative comments about its graphical design anymore(because it has "aged well") but thats all. continued..

  • Dan

    …And TP is still loved by some and hated by others, but it will not be liked more in years to come. As someone who has played it twice (2006, 2011) and disliked it both times I can tell you without a doubt that there's no way we haters of TP will change our minds. I would actually expect a decline in how TP is regarded.
    I hate to break it to you, but maybe some zelda games really are better than others. If somebody says they don't like one, ask them why and judge based off of the reasons they give. You can't automatically assume people are being cynical when they don't like a zelda just like you shouldn't assume people are being fanboys when they do like one.

    • Janus

      Having been around the Zelda community for several years now, I'd say that Jonah hit the nail right on the head (heck, my quote was originally going to be something similar to that). I imagine it's not always the same individuals, but the cycle of "Hate New Game – Praise Old Game" has existed for quite some time now, and heck, when SS was revealed in 2010, there were comments on the forums lauding TP.

      Cynical and pessimistic, sure. Childish? I don't think so.

      • Dan

        Hit the nail right on the head? The last 5 console zelda games (ALttP, Oot, MM, WW, TP) did NOT go through this cycle. Majoras mask is a special case but ALttP, Oot, WW, and TP are regarded in exactly the same way now as when they were released. Was there any time when a large portion of people disliked those games and later on ended up liking them? It just didn't happen. Please explain to me why you think this cycle exists.

        • Janus

          First off, I'm not arguing that this was around back with ALttP and OoT, but later. And like I said, I imagine that it's not particular individuals that go from liking a game, to hating it, to liking it while hating the newest one. It's the loudest "cliques" (if you will) that give that impression.
          From my experience, the Zelda fan base originally didn't care much for Wind Waker overall, particularly over the graphics. Initial reactions on release were positive, but didn't last too long. TP came out to initial applause, only for a large group to suddenly go anti-TP and pro-WW, making it popular to do the same. SS is announced in 2011, and some decried the graphics and began praising TP.
          Somewhere in the middle of all this, it became popular to like MM (and in some cases, hate OoT).

          I guess we'll see in the coming months/years. Maybe not everyone gets this impression of the Zelda community, but plenty of us do. There certainly is a basis for it.

          • Dan

            Fair enough. But I would like to point back at the original comment by Jonah where he says "the majority of people." This has to be flat out wrong just statistically speaking. Most people form an opinion about a game after the first time they play it and it doesn't change very dramatically after that. I just think the idea of the cycle isn't even worth bringing up because it applies to such a small, silly "clique" as you said.

  • A_LINK_IN_TIME

    Zelda 3DS and Wii U are sure to impress.

  • Azariah Neal

    Although it very, very vague, I remember playing OOT back in 98' when I was three years old. I also remember Wind Waker too. I did not full immerse myself in the Zelda mythology until Twiligh Princess, and I still have some catching up to do(The Oracle games, The Four Swords trilogy, and Links Awakening), but I am glad to be a Zelda fan 🙂 Cant wait to pick up my pre-order in the next 35 min 😉

  • Princess Niki

    Woot I just got the game but I have to wait until after work to play. The Golden Wiimote is beautiful.

  • Teh Xbox

    Teh hal0z iz teh whinnerz lolz
    Oh and p.z.
    No site traffic lolz

  • Great series, guys, and interesting predictions. I look forward to future articles, reviews, and theories pertaining to Skyward Sword from all of you. 🙂

  • mario_master

    how the heck can a five-year old child play skyward sword? it is hard!