What if? Legend of Zelda and Pokemon made an anniversary collaboration game?

The Legend of Zelda and Pokemon share the same anniversary with their acclaimed success as a franchise with Nintendo. What if the two universes clashed to make the ultimate game?

In recent years, Nintendo has been more open with cross-play and allowing other signature video games to come to their platform and be enjoyed by consumers. This bridge is mainly given in thanks to Nintendo’s popular franchise fighting-game Super Smash Bros. Capcom legends like Mega Man and Ryu from Street Fighter have joined to fight among the popular Nintendo franchises, there was even more celebration with Cloud from Final Fantasy being invited and the recent reveal of Sephiroth in the latest character pack. Nintendo being praised for bringing more non-franchise games to their platform brings curiosity to their fans: what if there were more Nintendo games that brought their universes together? There have always been fan-made concepts of something like this happening, but with two franchises that have the best advantage to take advantage of this between Pokemon and the Legend of Zelda.

It has been expressed enough times, especially on the Viridian Forest, that Pokemon is celebrating their 25th anniversary as a franchise as a whole. The Legend of Zelda is celebrating its 35th anniversary as a franchise and is speculated to have huge plans for their fans with new games to be released this year. Both of these franchises are some of Nintendo’s most successful brands for their company that is not the primary mascot of the company; Super Mario. With the two franchises celebrating in the year 2021, they are both very cautious to not over-shadow each other and take the spotlight when recognizing what both accomplished with all of their games. It would be even more exciting if the two came together to celebrate with a special-edition game that commemorates their games in a spin-off game.

Using the setting of Kingdom of Hyrule to be the primary landmass, countries in Pokemon have changed every game; rather than the majority of games for the Legend of Zelda have taken place in the same place. The story can focus on how new species of a different realm have journeyed, “far and wide” to explore a new world and interact with the people of Hyrule. These species are known as Pokemon, who travel alongside their companions in adventures; especially battling to prove their worth as superior trainers of Hyrule. The classic feel of Legend of Zelda mixed with Pokemon would have a feel like Pokemon Conquest, but would definitely have just as many nostalgic ‘Easter eggs’ in the game that even fans recognized in Breath of the Wild.

June 11, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Nintendo introduced numerous other Nintendo Switch games at E3, including Luigi Mansion 3, Pokemon Sword & Shield, Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and more. The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2019 takes places June 11-13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Electronic Entertainment Expo showcases game developers and groundbreaking gaming technology. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Hill-USA TODAY

The game would begin with the player as a Hylian, but not the popular ‘hero of legend’ Link that every Legend of Zelda game that the player plays as. Since this a special game, it would make sense for the player to be introduced to a new Hylian that will be interacting with Pokemon in the land of Hyrule. The Hylian will of course be customized to the player’s liking, just like at the beginning of every Pokemon game before beginning their adventure. They peak their head out in the Kokiri Village, the same spot where the player begins in Ocarina of Time because the character would stay an adolescent in order to blend in with the Kokiri. The player would meet Professor Deku in the lab that was carved out of the Great Deku Tree to receive their starter Pokemon before their starting their Hyrule themes Pokemon adventure.

With more than 900 species of Pokemon available, there would not be every Pokemon available in Hyrule. Just like in Pokemon Sword and Shield, there will be a limited amount of Pokemon used to be featured in this game. Just like completing the Hyrule Compendium in Breath of the Wild, completing the Hyrulian Pokedex would serve as the same function as completing both data systems. The starter Pokemon argued to be used in this game would probably be a selection of creatures of legend; Charmander being a signature starter that fully evolves to dragon-like Pokemon with Charizard. It could be argued that Froakie would be the Water-type starter, with the ninja relations of Greninja working in the shadows alongside the Sheikah tribe. Tutrwig will most likely get the nomination as the Grass-type starter because a fully evolved Torterra looks like the luscious mountains of Hyrule. The developers at Gamefreak would do a great deal of work with the original developers of the Legend of Zelda to bring the right Pokemon to the land of Hyrule.

The Pokeballs that would hold Pokemon in Hyrule will depend mostly on how apricorns were introduced in the series in Pokemon Gold and Silver. The collecting of apricorns will be really important to the player, for they will have to interact in labs in towns that are orchestrated by Purah and Robbie. Bringing ancient technology into Hyrule with these apricorns gives the people of Hyrule the opportunity to carry and wield Pokemon by their side. Just like in the majority of Pokemon games, the species will help people of Hyrule with their jobs and be an important staple of assisting characters. For example, the entire evolutionary line of Timburr could be working alongside Bolson and his construction company and could be designated for side quests in the game.

Pokémon Sword Expansion Pass and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass. Image Courtesy The Pokémon Company International, Nintendo

The importance of blending the two games together would lean on the open-world concept that was introduced in Breath of the Wild, exploring certain terrains and landscapes of Hyrule would require to wield certain Pokemon that can explore those features; very similar to how HM moves worked in classic Pokemon games and needed gym badges in order to use them. Gym leaders will be scattered all over the Kingdom of Hyrule, even more, fitting to have each species of Hyrule be primary Pokemon-type experts. The biggest examples would be the Zora being Water and Ice-type Pokemon experts and the Rito being primary Flying-type Pokemon experts; the characters decided to be the gym leaders would most likely be signature characters from Legend of Zelda games of the past to keep that nostalgic feeling. Tingle would make a great rival wielding only Fairy-type Pokemon to the main character, always flying around the land of Hyrule on his balloon. It would be more than interesting that the Champions of Hyrule be considered the Elite Four of Hyrule, climaxing with Princess Zelda as the trainer to defeat in order to enter the Hall of Fame.

This of course is nothing short of a dream for Nintendo fans that are huge into both Pokemon and the Legend of Zelda. Even though the celebrations of both franchises’ anniversaries would be held separately, it would be really special for Nintendo to collaborate on this idea and take advantage of this. These two games are going to share this anniversary for years to come, it may not be too much of a bad idea to make a game like this. Still, the most interaction these series meet on the same game is going to be on Super Smash Bros. and the players are going to have to use their imagination for a “Legend of Zelda x Pokemon” game to ever exist.