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Skyward Sword, Popular Once Again, Shows Way Forward For Resurgent Zelda Franchise

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Skyward Sword

Zelda will always benefit from being a franchise that doubles as a cultural icon, but recent releases haven’t necessarily been universally adored. As The Washington Post highlights, a look back at classics such as Skyward Sword have exposed exactly the areas in which Breath of the Wild lacked. With Zelda expanding again, now, and a TV show mooted for Netflix, it’s worth looking at the history of the Zelda, and where it succeeded, when considering the next generation of content.

Favored characters

The world of Zelda, Hyrule, is a cyclical one. As one analysis by Gamespot highlights, this can actually be overwhelming for some gamers; but for many others, it’s a positive. Coming into the same characters, time and time again, whether that be the protagonists - Link and Zelda - or feared adversaries - such as Phantom Gannon - builds a sense of familiarity and warmth within the world. When a new game is released, and gamers once again dive in, they’ll experience that nostalgia and sense of community again.

Different stories

While mechanics and characters often stay the same, Zelda is noted for its big departures from previous games when releasing the latest title. As The Latin American Post highlights, the way in which players explore and adventure through Hyrule has changed significantly in each new title. The magic of the Zelda series has been in the effectiveness of the developers in capturing the essence of the series without dispensing with new ways to have fun.

Onto TV

In a recent report by CNBC, the likelihood of a Netflix port of Zelda was raised. With it looking likely that the franchise will receive its own TV adaptation, there’s a lot for fans to be excited about. In developing the series, the showrunners will need to again be mindful of what makes Zelda so popular - it’s callbacks, favored characters, and the subtleties of the stories within it. To produce an authentic version of the beloved game series, everything needs to be paid towards that idea.

This, of course, means there’s going to be even more Zelda content out there to consume. For the huge dedicated fanbase of the franchise, that’s great news. The hope is that the fandom can recapture some of the magic that made its earlier games so addictive and beloved, and turn that into new media forms.