Every big media project, be it a movie, a video game or a popular TV show, has its own mythology and a gold mine of rejected ideas, concept art and plot turns. Zelda franchise is no exception, after its 27 years of existence. Most of the gamers that love this series are younger than the series itself.
Hyrule Historia, Nintendo’s official Zelda encyclopedia, released some time ago, and for those of you who still haven’t secured a copy of it, Official Nintendo Magazine UK has 8 facts out of many regarding Zelda games that are sure to capture the interest of devoted fans.
1. Navi in Twilight Princess
If you look at the early designs of Ilia, you will notice that she had a tattoo similar in design to a fairy from Ocarina of Time or Majora’s Mask. It is suggested in annotations that it could be Navi, Link’s fairy partner in his time-travelling adventure in Ocarina of Time. Since Navi appears in Twilight Princess (though only as an icon and plays no part in the story), we can speculate that Ilia was originally intended to be an incarnation of Navi.
2. Alternate Character Designs
Concept art of Ocarina of Time shows character designs that didn’t make it to the game. Some of these are:
- A more traditional-looking fairy, presumably an early version of Navi
- Zoras that look more like the savage River Zoras, common enemies in the early Zelda games
- A blue-haired woman whose clothing suggests she might be an early incarnation of Sheik
Also worth mentioning are:
Twilight Princess Link concept art
Concept art for Twilight Princess Link suggest that maybe even a female was considered. Considering that Impaz was originally supposed to be a male, this seems possible.
Twilight Princess Midna concept art
As for Midna, concept art suggests that she was originally supposed to look more demonic and intimidating. This design is very interesting.
3. The Legend of Zelda, a multiplayer game?
The first game was originally envisioned as a multiplayer game, in which a player would build dungeons and then have their friends trying to beat them. As the Famicom Disk System, the floppy disk add-on for the Famicom (the Japanese version of the NES), was more capable than the cartridge-based system we all know, it would have been very possible, as the dungeon data would be saved on the disk itself and could be rewritten at any time. After coming to a conclusion that exploring the dungeons is the most fun aspect of the game, the idea was shifted to this perspective and thus the Zelda franchise we all love came to be. Not a bad decision, if you ask me.
4. Tingle’s cobra design
If you look close enough, you will notice that tingle has a cobra design on the back of his clothing. It is apparently there to intimidate the enemies.
5. Fi and The Wind Waker fairy queen
Looking at Fi from Skyward Sword, a veteran Zelda fan is sure to notice the resemblance between her and the fairy queen from The Wind Waker. This is not a coincidence, as of all the designs, this one influenced by the fairy queen was the one that was favored by the team behind Skyward Sword.
6. Sci-Fi Zelda
Looking at the concept art for A Link to the Past, one can notice the somewhat futuristic costumes that were planned for Princess Zelda that made her look more like a Final Fantasy character. As we all know, this didn’t make it to the game.
7. The Power Of The Subconscious
On his return trip from Holodrum and Labrynna, Link shipwrecked on a mysterious island. In time he learned that the island and everyone on it is a physical manifestation of the Wind Fish’s dream. It is suggested that Marin and Tarin are manifestations of Link’s subconscious and his memories of Malon and Talon whom he met in Holodrum.
In The Wind Waker three guardians of the pearls of the goddesses are all very obviously linked to the characters from Ocarina of Time. The Deku Tree is without a doubt a descendant of the Great Deku Tree and could very possibly be the grown-up Deku Tree sprout, although there is no reference to the latter. Jabun is the descendant of Jabu-Jabu. Most interesting of the three is Valoo, who is said to be the descendant of the evil Volvagia, whom Link defeated in Ocarina of Time and thus saved the Goron tribe.
These are only eight out of hundreds of facts of the beloved franchise you will find in Hyrule Historia. So, don’t you think it’s worth getting your copy of the Zelda bible?