On March 3rd, 2017, the Nintendo Switch launched worldwide and gamers everywhere were finally able to play “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” It had been six years since Nintendo released their last “Zelda” game on a home console, so anticipation had been building since as early as 2014 when word got out that something was being developed. Now that the game is receiving so many accolades and so much attention, Nintendo should take advantage of all the hype in the form of comic book tie-ins.
“The Legend of Zelda” series is no stranger to the comic book medium, since several manga adaptations have been released through Viz Media over the years. There was also a comic book series published by Valiant back in 1990. How about Nintendo release a few books that will help flesh out some of the history and legends surrounding the series? Here are the “15 Legend of Zelda” comic book tie-ins we want after “Breath of the Wild.”
WARNING: This list may contain spoilers for “Breath Of The Wild.”
15. A SKYWARD SWORD PREQUEL
Where else to start but at the beginning? 2011’s “Skyward Sword” was billed as the origin story of the Master Sword and the first tale in the series, but it’s clear that there is more to be told far before the game even starts. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the Demon King Demise already invaded the land and destroyed much of civilization. The last remaining Hylians have lived above the clouds for thousands of years before the hero Link comes of age.
During his adventures, Link travels to the Surface, where he discovers the long-forgotten ruins of the old world. There are vast temples, shrines, even an intricate mining facility populated by ancient robots. It’s clear that a lot of history was lost over the years, but why not bring it all back to us? Tell us the story of the world before Demise. Give us an idea of who lived there, build up a world that will soon become ruins. The manga adaptation introduced what was meant to be the first Link; however, it’s questionable how canonical it was. Whether a Link is involved or not, Nintendo should give us the full story.
14. A SKYWARD SWORD SEQUEL
At the end of “Skyward Sword” it’s meant to be implied that Link and Zelda remain on the surface world to repopulate what will one day become the Kingdom of Hyrule. One of the early rumors about “Breath of the Wild” was that it was a sequel to “Skyward Sword.” During early demos of the game, Link was seen using the same Sailcloth from “Skyward Sword,” making people believe it would be the same Link. While this never turned out to be the case, it’s still a concept worth exploring.
Given the nature of the Legend of Zelda video game series, nothing ever perfectly lines up. We don’t know how long it takes for Hyrule to be established or what happens in the years in between. A comic book series that covers Link exploring the Surface and mapping out the world would give us a story that connects the different eras of the franchise, while also borrowing concepts from “Breath of the Wild.” Let’s see the familiar kingdom take shape and establish the many secrets that will play out over the series.
13. THE INTERLOPER WAR
In one of the creepiest scenes of the series, the Link from “Twilight Princess” is told the story of how the people of the Twilight Realm—the Twili—came to be. It is said that long ago, the Triforce was hidden away inside the Sacred Realm, but the legend of such great power proved too much for some to avoid. The beings known as the Interlopers started a war in their attempt to take the Triforce for themselves, and they were sealed inside the Twilight Realm for their trouble. It’s a vague story that could fit almost anywhere in the series’ timeline, but it’s a story ripe with potential.
Many believe this event takes place during the Era of Chaos, a period set just before the official founding of the Kingdom of Hyrule. So while a sequel to “Skyward Sword” would help establish Hyrule on the map, the events of the Interloper War, set years later, could be the the conflict that brings everyone under one rule and establishes the kingdom that we will see in “Ocarina of Time.” It would also be the time to tell us who these Interlopers actually are. A splinter of the Sheikah Tribe? Gerudo? Tell us!
12. A TINGLE STORY
Who, or what, is Tingle exactly? He started off as a helpful character in “Majora’s Mask,” but he’s now made an appearance or cameoed in eight different games (and that only counts those in continuity). He’s even received his own spinoff titles. It’s not uncommon for the same characters to show up in different games, but Tingle’s many appearances add more questions than the rest. “Wind Waker” even adds a subtle sinister quality to the character after Link breaks him out of jail, and then he forces his brothers to work on Tingle Island. His cameo as a doll in “Skyward Sword” makes his origins even more mysterious than ever before.
Following in the footsteps of “Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland,” a Tingle miniseries would be the bizarre and colorful dive into his corner of the world that you might expect. Whether or not Nintendo ever gives us any answers, he has proven to be a fun character that could actually produce a true spinoff franchise. Think of his potential as something of the Wario to Link’s Mario.
11. THE HYRULEAN CIVIL WAR
Often believed to be the same incident as the Interloper War, the Hyrulean Civil War is actually established to be a separate event in 2011’s “Hyrule Historia.” All we know about this war is that it serves as the backdrop for Link’s origin in “Ocarina of Time” when his mother leaves him in the care of the Great Deku Tree. Who fought in this war and why? The Zelda series isn’t always about giving answers, but a series depicting the conflict could provide us with some important information.
One prevailing theory regarding the story of the Civil War was that it was fought between Hyrule loyalists and the Gerudo. When Link first goes to visit Princess Zelda as a child, the two look on as Ganondorf swears fealty to the King of Hyrule. It is implied that the war had come to an end just a little while before the game starts up. A depiction of the events could help add some depth to the OOT era of the series, especially if we consider the things that Ganon has to say at the end of “Wind Waker.”
10. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO NAVI?
One of the many unanswered questions in the Legend of Zelda series is about the fate of Link’s fairy companion, Navi, after the events of “Ocarina of Time.” Following the defeat of Ganon, Link is sent back to live out his childhood in his original timeline. Once he returns, Navi leaves him and is never seen again. The entire “Majora’s Mask” game happened simply because Link went off in search of his friend, so where did she go and why did she leave?
Of course, that plotline is dropped almost as soon as it is introduced, so we never find any answers in “Majora’s Mask.” The events of this story would have to take place after Link returns from his adventures in Termina. Finally free to search for his friend again, we can explore the hidden secrets of the fairies in Hyrule. They were a big part of “Ocarina of Time,” but haven’t been seen much since.
9. A TWILIGHT PRINCESS PREQUEL
Any “Twilight Princess” prequel also serves as a “Majora’s Mask” sequel, since the two have a connection, even if it’s a subtle one. It is believed that after Link returns to the Child Timeline at the end of “Ocarina of Time,” he leaves Hyrule with the aforementioned ocarina and the kingdom attempts to stop Ganondorf before he can take power. However, when Link returns from his adventure in Termina, he discovers a world ravaged by war. Ganondorf is sealed away in the Twilight Realm and the Gerudo are massacred at the Arbiter’s Grounds.
Throughout “Twilight Princess,” there is evidence that the Hero of Time set up trials for his successor to overcome in his quest to become the Hero of Twilight. The Hero’s Shade laments the fact that he was never remembered as a hero in this timeline, but that doesn’t stop him from assisting from beyond the grave. A series delving into Link’s return to Hyrule and the steps he takes to prepare for the future would fill in a lot of holes that the game never fills in.
8. A KNIGHTS OF HYRULE STORY
The Knights of Hyrule have been mentioned throughout the series over the years, however, they have rarely been seen in the actual games. They make appearances in “The Adventure of Link” and “Four Swords Adventures,” and were instrumental in the Imprisoning War that set up “A Link to the Past.” Still, they are essentially a blank slate for Nintendo to tell a story that truly establishes them as the force they are said to be.
A story set after the events of “Twilight Princess” would allow fans to get a peek into the world after the game as we see the character Ashei rebuild the Knights of Hyrule and help reestablish order. An original story could also help set the stage for the Imprisoning War or the events before or after “Four Swords Adventure.” Building out the concept of the Knights of Hyrule would help to establish them into the foreground of the series after spending so long in the shadows.
7. THE IMPRISONING WAR
According to the “Hyrule Historia,” “Ocarina of Time” splits the series into three separate timelines. In the Downfall Timeline, the Hero of Time apparently fails to defeat Ganon and a great evil is left free to torment Hyrule. A war is then fought where Ganon is sealed away into the Sacred Realm, laying the groundwork for “A Link to the Past.” Nintendo introduced this timeline to clear up some continuity errors in the series, but it has largely gone ignored, aside from “A Link Between Worlds” and “Tri Force Heroes.”
A series documenting the Imprisoning War would be an opportunity for Nintendo to actually embrace this timeline and make it more than an afterthought. Not only would they be able to tell a compelling story without a Link, it could also be a chance to really iron out some of the details over the course of this timeline. This is where all the original NES games took place, so it would be nice to see them do those titles justice and give them more context.
6. A WIND WAKER PREQUEL
It was established in “Wind Waker” that after Link defeated Ganon in “Ocarina of Time,” he is sent back to his original timeline. This leaves Hyrule without a hero to stop Ganon when he eventually returns. As the beginning of the game states, with no hero to save them, the people of Hyrule ask the gods to do something. They decide that the best thing to do is flood the world and destroy almost everyone and everything. This all takes place hundreds of years before the game starts, so there is plenty of room for storytelling.
Nintendo could do one of two things here. Since the series is simply a collection of legends, they are free to add new stories that went previously unmentioned. What if there actually was a hero during the time of the flood and what if he helped to save the inhabitants of Hyrule from the flood? Alternatively, a Wind Waker prequel could deal with Ganon’s return, Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule’s reaction to this new threat, and how he ended up becoming a talking boat.
5. A WIND WAKER SEQUEL
After telling the story of before “Wind Waker,” it’s only natural to also tell the story set after it. The game ends with Link and Tetra learning to say goodbye to the past and going off to explore new lands in search of a new home. “Phantom Hourglass” picks up on their adventures in a new world but ends without anything definitive happening. Then suddenly in “Spirit Tracks,” there is a rich, vibrant New Hyrule established with only a few nods to how it happened. It’s time for answers.
Let’s see Link and Tetra lay the groundwork for a new kingdom. Show us how this new world just so happens to have all the same races as the old one. This story could also establish the building of the Spirit Tracks, the introduction of the Lokomo, and address the legends mentioned in the “Spirit Tracks” game. Doing this will help keep New Hyrule fresh in the minds of the fans.
4. CHARACTER SPOTLIGHTS
The Legend of Zelda series has showcased some interesting characters that fans have no doubt grown attached to while playing through the games. While there are just too many of them to fill out a full set of books, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to come out with a companion series that allows Nintendo to showcase different characters from different games. Create a series of one-shot specials that follows the same formula as DC Comics’ classic “Showcase” title to provide adequate fan service.
Ever wondered what happened in the land of Termina following Link’s adventures in Majora’s Mask? Why not explore the world in a special from the perspective of a now-adult Kafaei or Cremia and Romani from Romani Ranch. Whatever happened to Malon after “Ocarina of Time,” or Groose after “Skyward Sword?” Maybe follow the further adventures of Linebeck on the Great Sea. Basically, the possibilities are endless.
3. THE FIERCE DEITY’S MASK
For 17 years, the Fierce Deity’s Mask has been one of the coolest and most mysterious elements in any Zelda game. It is the ultimate mask you collect in “Majora’s Mask” that makes the final boss battle a piece of cake. Who or what is the Fierce Deity, and why does he have his own mask? Majora seems to have some connection to him and it is hypothesized that he could be Link’s counterpart in Termina.
A comic book series that tells the story of who the Fierce Deity really is would be a great way to revisit the world of “Majora’s Mask.” One of the best games in the series, it’s setting in an alternate world makes it tough for elements of the game to be reused in Hyrule. Going back in time to see how the Fierce Deity fought Majora, how the mask came to be, and laying the groundwork for the events of the game would be an excellent way to liven up an old installment.
2. THE ADVENTURES OF TETRA THE PIRATE
In the early games, Princess Zelda was always presented as the damsel in distress. That all changed in “Ocarina of Time” with the introduction of Sheik. Nintendo took this idea one step further when they introduced Tetra the Pirate. She was presented as nothing like a princess, and when it is discovered that she is a descendant of Zelda, it’s a genuine surprise.
Despite getting a makeover in the end of “Wind Waker,” she returned to her pirate ways for “Phantom Hourglass.” An ongoing adventure comic that stars Tetra and her band of pirates on the Great Sea would be a terrific way to revisit this character and expand on her world. This series wouldn’t even need to tie into the greater Zelda series and Link wouldn’t even have to show up. The adventures of a swashbuckling girl would be a lot of fun for many fans of the game.
1. THE HAPPY MASK SALESMAN
One of the biggest mysteries of “The Legend of Zelda” series has to be the identity of the Happy Mask Salesman from “Majora’s Mask.” He was a bit character in “Ocarina of Time,” but in the follow-up game, he’s given a central role in the plot and has a clear connection to the game’s main villain. He is presented as a mysterious, insidious, and sometimes outright terrifying character who clearly has a story that needs telling.
Theories about the identity of the Happy Mask Salesman have ranged from that of a god, a Sheikah, a member of the Ancient Ones who first wielded the cursed mask, and an in-game avatar of series creator Shigeru Miyamoto. After years of wondering, it should finally be time to get some answers. Whatever Nintendo decides is his story, let’s get a series chronicling his adventures and discovering his motivation for doing what he does in the game.
What plotlines from “The Legend of Zelda” video game franchise would you like to see explored in comic book form? Let us know in the comments!