4 Zelda Games to Remaster Next

Nintendo has found a bona fide hit factory in its recent remasterings of beloved Zelda games. So what now? We've thought up a few classic Zelda games that seem primed for a remastered version.

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Nintendo has found a bona fide hit factory in its recent remasterings of beloved Zelda games. Starting with Ocarina of Time 3D, and moving to Wind Waker HD and now Majora's Mask, the company has found a way to rekindle some of the most popular and quirky entries with a fresh new coat of paint. Not surprisingly, all of them have been warmly received, both here on Shacknews and in the critical culture at large. So what now? We've thought up a few classic Zelda games that seem primed for a remastered version.

Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link

Perhaps the only game that gives Majora's Mask a run for its money in terms of divisiveness among the fanbase, Nintendo's first and only attempt at a fully side-scrolling Zelda game has not aged well. The puzzles are obtuse and cryptic, the combat is as smooth as a bag of rocks, and the town sequences are a boring waste. That said, Zelda 2 isn't entirely without its merits. The attempt, flawed as it may have been, was unique. It also gave way to one of the most iconic end-bosses in Zelda lore, when Link was forced to do battle with his own shadow.

As opposed to the others that have come before, a remaster of this game would have to be rebuilt from the ground up. But just imagine the possibilities: dynamic combat with an emphasis on striking weak points, towns bursting with personality and full of colorful characters, and a revised version that infamous Shadow battle--all wrapped in a more user-friendly design. By borrowing the pieces that work and tinkering with the ones that don't, Nintendo could make something really special.

Link's Awakening

This Gameboy classic, on the other hand, needs almost no revision. It still holds up just as well as it did back in 1993. It's best known for its unconventional story, far from the standard Hyrule mythology surrounding the legendary hero, the goddesses, or the Triforce. Instead, it changed up the setting completely, to the mysterious Koholint Island, which had become ravaged by monsters when Link was fortuitously shipwrecked there. Not only that, but it broke the mold of Zelda equipment, giving the player more control over items and letting us combine them for some useful combinations. Not bad for a system with only two buttons.

In this case, a remaster would allow Nintendo to give it a fresh coat of paint. A new layer of graphical fidelity would be nice, and I do mean "layer." Similar to the Monkey's Island or Halo remasters, I'd like a toggle to see it in the new style, or in its original dot-matrix or Gameboy Color glory. Additional buttons would reduce some of the item swapping, by giving Link a dedicated button for often-used items like Roc's Feather, while still allowing plenty of room for players to mix and match. Plus, it could offer the special version of the DX dungeon, this time taking advantage of the 3DS' capabilities instead of color.

Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages

Very much in the vein of Link's Awakening, Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages told another much-welcome side-story to the usual Hyrule adventures. Unlike any Zelda game before or since, though, they were released in concert with each other, and they were meant to work together. The fundamental structure was similar, but different enough to tempt fans to play them both. 

Packaging them together would let players enjoy the cross-compatability without shelling out for two cartridges or entering arcane codes. A player could simply choose one campaign to finish first, and then automatically carry their progress into the other. All the improvements mentioned for Link's Awakening could apply here as well, with the additional benefit of giving fans double the content. It would likely allow even some of the most ardent Zelda true-believers experience the cross-compatability for the very first time, simply by making it easier and less costly.

Twilight Princess

If past is prologue, this is the one most primed for a comeback. All of the Zelda remasters so far have been from the 3D era, leaving this as the obvious next choice. Though it's one of the less revered Zelda games, it had quite a bit going for it. Some of the dungeon design was finally starting to break the mold--to the point that you may not even realize you're in the midst of a dungeon until you find some of the staples, like a locked door inside a snow lodge. The wolf mechanic was inventive, if a bit half-baked, and introducing the imp Midna gave the trope of "Link's companion" some much-needed personality unmatched by Navi or Fi. 

It may seem too recent, but as of next year we'll hit the 10-year anniversary of Twilight Princess. That puts it squarely in-line when the timing for Wind Waker HD. If that gave us a look at the beauty of the cartoon, cel-shaded look, this would give us a better view of the more grim and gritty side of the series. While some textures and colors seemed muddy or gray in their time, a new look would let Nintendo explore the same dark themes with more art experience under their collective belts. 

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 12, 2015 11:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, 4 Zelda Games to Remaster Next

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      February 12, 2015 11:03 AM

      Yes, though I enjoy Twilight Princess as is.

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      February 12, 2015 11:46 AM

      I would love to see a Mario 64 remake on the 3DS in the style of Ocarina and MM...the DS remake had control issues and I felt the N64 version looked better in general...but I'd love to see an "HD" version on the 3DS.

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        February 12, 2015 2:40 PM

        inf/unf

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        February 12, 2015 3:27 PM

        Also make it so you don't start with Yoshi for some inescapable reason.

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        February 12, 2015 5:24 PM

        Play the DS version on a 3DS. The circle pad makes it a great game again.

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      February 12, 2015 3:51 PM

      A Zelda 2 re-make could be interesting.

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        February 12, 2015 5:07 PM

        As someone who wasted my leftover nintendo club coins on zelda 2, there are definitely some interesting things in that game that are weighed down by an absolutely terrible combat system.

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      February 12, 2015 4:36 PM

      The GC 4-swords is the most crminally underrated game with Zelda anywhere near it and should be remade with crossplay for the Wii U and 3DS.

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        February 12, 2015 4:43 PM

        Yup, I never played 4 swords, it looks fun as all hell.

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          February 12, 2015 5:24 PM

          I was the kid who splurged my life savings on 4 adapters, the game, and two more GBA SPs for this and Crystal Chronicles. It is awesome and it is the whole reason I got psyched about the Wii U when it was announced.

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        February 12, 2015 5:25 PM

        They did make it for 3DS, I believe. Gave it away for free for a while.

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          February 12, 2015 5:30 PM

          Yup, I got a copy. But it's not the same as the GC version.

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      March 31, 2015 9:51 AM

      I didn't play the the remastered version of Majora's Mask but as far as I can tell the game still does not let people use the Fierce Deity mask outside of Boss fights. ( What's the point of remastering a game if you're still not going to give the players what they want )

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