Representation of Zelda games with Stages in Smash pt. 1

The following is a guest article by MagcargoMan. Warning: While most of the content in this article is factual, there is some mild speculation. The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo’s biggest and longest-running franchises, and because of this it tends to have a great amount of content in each Super Smash Bros. game. As one of the largest series represented in Smash, it is one of the few that gets more than a single new stage in each new game. In this article inspired by my Mario stages analysis article, I will have a look at the Zelda stages present in Super Smash Bros. and try to predict what we will see on the next iteration for the Nintendo Switch. This article will be split into two parts, with the first half covering stages that appeared in Super Smash Bros., Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Representation of The Legend of Zelda games with Stages in Smash [Part 1] (Smash 64, Melee and Brawl) Representation of The Legend of Zelda games with Stages in Smash [Part 2] (Smash 4 and Statistics, Trivia and Speculation)

Super Smash Bros.

Like every other series that appeared in the game that had a stage besides Mario, there is only one Legend of Zelda stage in the original Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64.

Not Pictured: Fighters being endlessly comboed against the right wall.

The only Zelda stage is Hyrule Castle from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This was the first 3D Zelda title and was the most recent game in the series when Super Smash Bros. came out, and as Link was based on his adult version from this game, it was only right to have his stage originate from the same title. Hyrule Castle is an important recurring location in the series, first appearing in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, so it is significant outside of Ocarina of Time as well. Unlike the Peach’s Castle stage, this stage actually takes place on the castle this time. The design is pretty faithful to the original, but has added platforms to the central tower and the right spire has became a more rectangular structure that can be walked under. Occasionally a small tornado will appear on a part of the stage, throwing any fighter that comes into contact with it high into the air. These tornadoes did not appear in Ocarina of Time, but could be an allusion to the tornadoes Link could use to warp with using the recorder in the very first The Legend of Zelda. Death Mountain can be seen in the background of the stage, as well as a small village that may be Kakariko Village. The song for the stage is a remix of the iconic Overworld Theme from the original The Legend of Zelda game for the NES, which did not actually appear in Ocarina of Time.

Due to only having one stage, The Legend of Zelda series wasn’t able to cover as much ground as the Mario series did. Ocarina of Time was represented with a stage, and unlike most stages in Smash 64, it was rather faithful to the location it was based on, meaning it wouldn’t be remade again in the next game. The original The Legend of Zelda was also referenced through its most iconic song, so while it did not appear as a stage, the series at least had both its first and latest games acknowledged. Overall, the Zelda series did the best it could with what it had, and given that Ocarina of Time pioneered Zelda‘s transition to 3D, it was easily the most important game for the franchise at the time. It should also be noted that it was in development around the same time as Super Smash Bros., only releasing two months prior. Ocarina of Time, unlike other games with stages in Smash 64, did not get a new stage in Melee. It would however receive a new stage many years later in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS.

Games represented:

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Games referenced:

The Legend of Zelda

 

Super Smash Bros. Melee

In Super Smash Bros. Melee, The Legend of Zelda was given two stages like most of the series present in the game. Unlike other series which double-dipped into games represented in Smash 64, neither of these two stages were from Ocarina of Time, meaning The Legend of Zelda got to cover entirely new ground.

The Moon grimaces ominously in the background, angered that it’ll never be a playable character.

The first of The Legend of Zelda‘s two new stages in Melee is Great Bay from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. As the sequel to Ocarina of Time and the newest 3D Zelda game at the time, its inclusion was only natural. Great Bay is the third area of the land of Termina in Majora’s Mask, but why this area was chosen specifically is unknown. The stage is a very faithful recreation, and takes place on the platforms of the Marine Research Laboratory, as well as the giant turtle whose shell and the palm trees growing on it can be used as extra platforms. The turtle will submerge every now and then, and will rise again facing a different direction, thus changing the space on which players can fight. Tingle also appears on this stage, floating above the stage with his balloon which can be used as a platform and can also be popped, sending him to ground below. In the background the layout of Great Bay has been recreated in great detail, where the Fisherman’s Hut, Oceanside Spider House and gate of the Pirates’ Fortress can all be seen, and even smaller details like the umbrellas, boats and small islands in the Pirates’ Cove, as well as the pots and Owl Statue on the main platform, have been recreated. Most notable in the background is the infamous Moon, which gradually gets closer as the fight goes on, and is stopped from crashing at the last moment by the Four Giants, who send it back into the sky. This takes about three minutes, which could be an allusion to how it took three days for the Moon to crash in the original game. The main theme for this stage is a new remix of The Legend of Zelda Overworld Theme, which did appear in Majora’s Mask as the theme for Termina Field. However, this remix is not based on that version. The stage’s alternate track is a remix of Saria’s Song, which was the theme that played in the Lost Woods in Ocarina of Time, as well as a song that could be played on the Ocarina itself.

It is said that matches here last as long as it takes to clear a palace in Zelda II.

The second Zelda stage in the game is Temple, a stage famous for being the largest stage in Melee. Unlike Great Bay, this stage doesn’t originate from any particular Zelda game, and instead represents the series in general. However, it does have some references to the palaces from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, particularly the top-left area which bears a resemblance to the entrances of every palace, which feature two large steps (here it has more steps, but there are two significantly large ones) and a ceiling held up by columns, as well as another building in the background which is reminiscent of how palaces appeared on the overworld map. There is also another temple in the background that somewhat resembles the Temple of Time from Ocarina of Time. Overall, this stage can be seen as a representation of the various temples Link explores throughout the games, and perhaps this is why the stage is so large. On the many parts of the stage made of stone bricks, the borders have characters of the Hylian language written on them, being based on the second iteration of the characters that appeared in Ocarina of Time. This stage’s main song is a remix of the Palace theme from Zelda II. The alternate theme for this stage isn’t even from The Legend of Zelda, being a song from Fire Emblem, as that series had no stages in Melee.

Thanks to having two stages this time, The Legend of Zelda series was able to explore more of the franchise. Unlike like many other series that were in Smash 64, Zelda had a new game come out between then and Melee, so instead of pulling from Ocarina of Time again it was able to have a stage from a more recent game; Majora’s Mask. However, the opportunities provided with a second stage were somewhat squandered by having it being a generic series-wide stage rather than being from a specific game, although it does have a few references to Zelda II. Ocarina of Time was still referenced with a new remix, as was the original The Legend of Zelda through another remix of the Overworld Theme. Fortunately, the next game in the series would have both its stages based entirely on specific entries in the franchise.

Games represented:

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

Games referenced:

The Legend of Zelda

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

  Continue on Page 2 for an in-depth look at Brawl’s Zelda stages.

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2 comments

  1. I don’t know if I’d say Temple squandered its spot. Its certainly better than just retreading old ground like most franchises with stages in 64 did in Melee. I think its good they had a stage to represent dungeons given they’re such a big part of the series, and having a more generic dungeon stage makes more sense than arbitrarily picking a single one to elevate above the rest.

    That, and with all the references to Zelda 2 I don’t think it’s outlandish to just consider Temple more or less an Adventure of Link stage. A stage specifically based off any temple from Zelda 2 probably wouldn’t look all that different from Temple’s current appearance beyond being more indoors/subterranean, which can be hard to show in Smash given the need for edges. Granted, Zelda 1 and Link to the Past probably should have been prioritized for stage representation over Adventure of Link.

    1. Perhaps squandered was a bit harsh of a choice of word. Really what I meant was why go with a generic series stage when there’s plenty of games you could give a stage to? I don’t dislike Temple, in fact, I’ve had some pretty fun matches there. I’m glad it exists. It certainly is better than retreading old ground, I just think with several Zelda games unrepresented (which still haven’t had stages) at the time, it would have been better to do something more specific.

      Sakurai himself considers it a series-wide stage so that’s what I went with. There’s definitely nods to Zelda II with the music and one part of the stage’s design but if it was a meant to be an Adventure of Link stage I think he would have went more out to convey that. The stage seems to be based of the concept of Temples in general. I don’t think it really represents them well given it’s set outside, but it does have a good aesthetic to it. I don’t think it’d be hard to pull off an indoors Zelda II palace, you’d just to have no roof (pretend the ceiling is off-screen) and maybe make it a walk-off stage with corridors near the blastlines. I think Zelda 1 and ALttP should have been prioritised, but I do think it is cool that a game as neglected as Zelda II got some love in Smash.

      I would have loved an A Link to the Past stage. I loved playing that on the GBA. Unfortunately the save feature screwed up and lost all my progress and couldn’t save anymore, although I did get the SNES version on the Wii’s Virtual Console years later and beat it. I think a stage set in Hyrule Castles’s Dungeon would be pretty cool. The opening sequence of A Link to the Past was very memorable for me.

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