Swords will clash
Some major gaming franchises have incredible fighting games attached to them. Pokemon has Pokken, Persona has Persona 4 Arena, and Final Fantasy has the fast-paced Dissidia series. It’s about time that The Legend of Zelda gets the same treatment after multiple decades of successful games. Here’s why a Legend of Zelda fighting game would work so well.
Link’s fighting game appearances
Before we get stuck into what a Legend of Zelda fighting game would be, let’s explore Link’s history in the genre. During the GameCube era, the Hero of Time appeared as a playable character in SoulCalibur II. It excites many fans still to this day, due to his expansive move set like his swings of the powerful Master Sword, the throttle of his arrows, and the use of his bombs. His entrance into the fighting space felt so natural, and Bandai Namco pulled a faithful recreation of Link into a 3D fighter. It begins to prove that a Legend of Zelda fighting game could work.
Of course, that’s not Link’s only fighting game appearance. He is a strong fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series as well. The game’s even more faithful to the character in Smash, as he spins his sword in place, throws bombs, and uses his chain whip to get back to safety. Zelda, Sheik, Young Link, Toon Link, and of course, Ganondorf also have strong move sets from Smash that could be adapted into a Legend of Zelda fighting game like SoulCalibur.
What would a Legend of Zelda fighting game be like?
With the help of Bandai Namco (who developed Pokken Tournament and worked on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate), Nintendo could create an epic weapons-based fighter based on The Legend of Zelda.
You can have memorable fighters like Ganondorf going against the likes of Mipha, Zant, or the evil wizard Agahnim. There’s so much history that Bandai Namco could source from. You can take characters from all over the series, such as Link like his wolf form from Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword‘s creepy Ghirahim, and the lesser-known Captain Linebeck. You could go wild with the picks also, like the infamous Tingle as a joke character.
As Hyrule Warriors has proven, it wouldn’t be strange to see all of these Zelda characters meet each other, despite the timeline they come from. You could also have a central story focused on defeating a new antagonist in the games that pit friends against each other in combat. If Nintendo isn’t cool with that idea, you can also make the enemies shadow versions of the playable characters, similar to Persona 4 Arena.
There are many locales where battles could take place. Skyward Sword‘s Skyloft could have you fall off the edge into the sky below if you’re not careful. Ocarina of Time‘s Gerudo Valley would pit fighters on the shaky wooden bridge. Hyrule Field could be a flat stage, similar to Tekken 5’s Moonlit Wilderness or Tekken 7‘s Infinite Azure. Bandai Namco or Nintendo could get very creative with the many locales they’ve created for the games ever since the NES era. The adaptations on modern hardware would also look beautiful, especially if this is on Nintendo’s next console after the Switch.
The engaging movesets
The Legend of Zelda has an incredible cast of characters that a studio like Bandai Namco could pull from. Link would be the lead hero that beginner players could gravitate towards. However, other fighters such as Sheik would be much faster to control with quick knife attacks and wall-jumping abilities. You could even have a character like Young Link from Majora’s Mask be the Yoshimitsu of the game, switching between masks and being unpredictable with his moves.
The Goron Champion Daruk from Breath of the Wild, for example, could be a heavy type with his huge Boulder Breaker weapon. He’d be slow but if he hits his opponent, there’d be massive damage involved. There’s so much potential within the last 35 years or so of The Legend of Zelda history for intriguing move sets.
Don’t get me started about the music
Koji Kondo’s music over the years has delighted many fans, and a Legend of Zelda fighting game can take advantage of that. Just like Cadence of Hyrule. we could have entertaining remixes based on classic tracks. “Song of Storms” could be turned up to 11 with a dramatic orchestral flair. Ocarina of Time‘s boss battle music could be elevated with an electronic alteration. It would also be interesting to see calm themes from Lost Woods, for example, be turned into fighting game music. The composer could go in all kinds of directions with the wonderful music by Kondo.
Though it has Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the Switch still frequently misses out on newer fighting games like Street Fighter 6 and Guilty Gear Strive. But there’s a lot of potential within the land of Hyrule for a new competitive fighting game like this.