Nintendo doesn’t release original new content very often. Most of its games are sequels, remakes, or spinoffs of pre-existing IP (intellectual property).
Sometimes, this is awesome. Other times, it gets…well, a little annoying.
As long as we’re making spinoffs, though, I have some suggestions for Nintendo. Here are nine characters from The Legend of Zelda who deserve to star in their own game.
Impa is Princess Zelda’s caretaker/bodyguard. Her age and personality has varied quite a lot from game to game. In the original Legend of Zelda, Impa appears only in the game manual as a nervous old woman who pleads with Link to rescue Princess Zelda. In many later games, however, her character is shown as younger and stronger. Impa in Ocarina of Time is a wise leader who treats Link and Zelda with respect when other adults ignore them. She also rescues Zelda way before Link gets there. Though Link often steals the spotlight, it’s easy to imagine Impa rescuing innocents and kicking butt all by herself.
In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, we are introduced to Midna, the erstwhile ruler of the Twilight Realm. Her throne has been usurped and she’s been cursed to appear in the form of an Imp. However, for a cursed princess, Midna is not afraid to get her hands dirty. She basically blackmails Link into doing her dirty work. Over the course of the game, the two become allies, even friends. Midna is deeply devoted to saving her kingdom and she does not care who gets in her way. If Zelda can have dozens of adventures leading a boring old non-Twilight realm, imagine the shadowy shenanigans Midna must get up to while she’s on the throne.
3. The Golden Goddesses
Okay, technically the next two on the list are groups of three people, but bear with me. In the Zelda mythos, the world was created by three goddesses: Din, the goddess of power, created the land. Nayru, the goddess of wisdom, brought “the spirit of law” to the land. And Farore, the goddess of courage, brought life. Then they created the Triforce and peaced out, leaving the goddess Hylia in charge. Periodically, the Goddesses returned for one reason or another to set things right. All I’m saying is, playing as a world-building goddess with incredible power could lead to some awesome gameplay. A game like this would certainly differentiate itself from the main franchise.
Darunia, Darmani, and Darbus are Goron tribe leaders from various Zelda games. They all exemplify true Goron-ness: they’re strong, they’re brave, they’re funny, and they’re full of love. Each one of these Gorons ends up asking Link for help rescuing their tribe from certain doom, but only after each has attempted their own rescue. These Gorons are fighters. We already got a taste of what Goron gameplay might feel like in Majora’s Mask: it could be fun to explore that more in the role of a fearless leader.
Maple is a snarky witch who appears in many of the handheld editions of Zelda. She flies around on a broom and will periodically bump into Link, causing him to drop a bunch of his stuff. Maple’s personality is kind of rude, but she will sometimes help Link out. She lives with her grandmother Syrup, who is also a witch. Maple is a character I would like to know better. How long has she been a witch? What does she do when she’s not messing with your junk? Plus, traveling by broom (or vacuum cleaner, or spaceship) is so much more fun than hoofing it all the way across Hyrule. A potion-making exploration game starring a young sarcastic witch would be a treat, and I’d like it right now thank you very much.
6. Cremia and Romani
After the death of their parents, these two sisters work together to operate Romani Ranch in Majora’s Mask. Romani, the younger sister, is the only one who knows about the aliens who descend once a year to kidnap all of the family cows. These two sisters are shown to have an enormously loving relationship, and Cremia works hard to take care of them both. I would love to see a game that explores their relationship. Plus, it wouldn’t have to all be farming. You could throw in some alien battles.
7. The Postman
The Postman appears in several Zelda games. His biggest role is in Majora’s Mask, where he is a cranky and dedicated public servant who is always on time and is horrified by the idea of breaking the rules. In Twilight Princess, the Postman can recognize Link even in his wolf form and can track him down any time he enters Hyrule field. In other words, he’s got crazy Marauder’s Map-style skills. I smell a conspiracy theory…
A complex puzzle game about tracking the movements of your constituents, organizing routes, or sorting mail could make for a great smaller title, perhaps for when Nintendo goes mobile. Heck, there are already at least two post-themed mini-games in the Zelda canon.
Okay, this one is a no-brainer. Linkle is a character about whom we know very little (for now). Her existence was only just confirmed for the upcoming Hyrule Warriors Legends, which is not actually part of the main Zelda canon. Linkle is being hailed as a “female Link,” though according to the teaser we got during November 12’s Nintendo Direct, she has her own independent story.
You know what? Linkle shouldn’t be on this list. She shouldn’t star in a spinoff—she should star in a main canon installment. How great would it be to have a regular old Zelda game, except with Linkle as the protagonist instead of Link? Alternately, Nintendo could give players the ability to choose between Link and Linkle. I’m into it. #TeamLinkle
9. Princess Zelda
I saved this one for last because IT’S SO OBVIOUS. Even more obvious than Linkle. Zelda, like Link, has been reincarnated over and over again with the power of the Triforce. Occasionally Zelda gets to shine: Tetra and Sheik, for instance, are both great characters. Unfortunately, Zelda ultimately never gets to play more than Link’s objective, or at best, sidekick.
You may be wondering what would they call such a game, since “The Legend of Zelda” has been taken. But somehow, I don’t think this is a legitimate excuse for not making a Zelda game.