With the release of Skyward Sword, the Legend of Zelda story was all but complete. We got the backstory on why a new Link and Zelda are born when Hyrule is in peril, how the Master Sword came to be, and the curse that Demise put under Link and Zelda to ensure his hatred is incarnated as Ganondorf. With this, the Zelda story was put to rest; or was it? After the release of Skyward Sword, Hyrule Historia came out, chronicling the story of Zelda into three distinct timelines which confused even the brightest of us. As Skyward Sword tied everything together from a background perspective, the Adult Timeline, Downfall Timeline, and the Child Timeline have all tied together loose ends regarding Ganondorf and the Triforce. What better time could there be to start a reboot of the series?
Reboots are not uncommon in long-standing series’. One of the most notorious reboots in recent memory is that of the James Bond franchise, which currently spans 50 years and 24 films. Although James Bond is a film series, its notoriety in the film industry is enormous and could be seen as a parallel to the Legend of Zelda series in video game industry: both are blockbusters, and both — well James Bond before the reboot — were/are conceived of becoming stale. A reboot of the Legend of Zelda series may be just what we need to get out of this contrived mess of three different timeline splits.
Ganondorf perishes in all three timeline splits. In the Adult Timeline/The Wind Waker, Ganondorf turns to stone after Link pierces him with the Master Sword and the pieces of the Triforce split, seemingly traveling to the far reaches of the earth. In the Child Timeline, Ganondorf dies in a sword fight with Link during Twilight Princess. In The Downfall Timeline/A Link to the Past, Ganondorf is “completely destroyed”, according to the game, and Link claims ownership of the Triforce. There isn’t much story to tell beyond here. Even The Wind Waker had sequels which did not incorporate Ganondorf or the Triforce, two hallmarks of the series. There is the possibility for reincarnation, but it just wouldn’t be the same without the same old Ganondorf we know and love from the series. This is a prime opportunity for Nintendo to reboot the Zelda series with The Legend of Zelda for Wii U.
In fact, the “reboot” doesn’t necessarily need to be a complete reboot, but set in the time between Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword, as there is so much time between the games (hundreds of years) that are unaccounted for. Nintendo would also have the opportunity to switch up certain roles; Link seems to be wearing Gerudo cufflinks and a Sheikah cloak in the footage seen thus far. What if Link is in fact a Gerudo or some kind of scavenger? What if the Gerudo and Sheikah tribes are somehow linked? This would be a huge twist and give Nintendo an opportunity to explore ideas that before seemed improbable. With all the time traveling nonsense in the Zelda series, it would be nice to see an installment that isn’t full of time paradoxes and is simply a straightforward narrative, much like the first three games. The Legend of Zelda for Wii U seems to be vast in terms of its landscape, and exploration is sure to be abundant. Zelda is returning to its roots, and as long as the game is full of exploration, excellent puzzles, and a gripping score and story, I’m all for it.
The Zelda franchise has gone on for 30 years now and has spanned 18 canon titles. This would be the perfect moment to revamp the franchise and breath some new life into it. The Legend of Zelda is a timeless tale and even if The Legend of Zelda for Wii U isn’t a complete overhaul, as long as it changes the conventions of Zelda and turns some of the series’ biggest tropes and storylines on its head, it could be one of the most endearing titles since Ocarina of Time. Imagine a completely outdoor dungeon, full of puzzle solving and all? Or even multiple dungeons that lead from one to the next? Perhaps an abundance of overworld puzzles and item collection within the world of Hyrule?
There are so many possibilities at hand, not to mention a brand new story featuring Zelda, Link, and Ganondorf, beginning not too long after Skyward Sword. This could be a launching point for both a reboot of the Zelda franchise, starting with Skyward Sword, and a brand new “Legend” of Zelda. Just like how Skyward Sword, for Zelda’s 25th anniversary, told us the backstory of both Zelda and the Triforce, the newest installment in the franchise for the 30th anniversary could change the series drastically, for the better, and has so much potential to do so.