Saturday, January 16, 2016

All Zelda Games on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U

The Nintendo GameCube on its time was quite special for Zelda fans, because it allowed you to play all 13 existing Zelda on one system thanks to the Collector's Edition and the GameBoy Player peripheral.

Today things are not as simple and after a related question on Reddit, I thought it was a good idea to compile a list, what Zelda games you can actually play on Nintendo's current gen systems, if you bought them now.

Nintendo 3DS

These are the main releases for the (New) Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 2DS, both available as boxed retail editions or as downloads on the eShop:

  • Ocarina of Time 3D
  • Majora's Mask 3D
  • A Link Between Worlds
  • Tri Force Heroes
  • Hyrule Warriors Legends (coming March 2016)

You can also download the following classics on the eShop and play them via Virtual Console:

  • The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • Zelda II - The Adventure of Link (NES)
  • Link's Awakening DX (GBC)
  • Oracle of Ages (GBC)
  • Oracle of Seasons (GBC)

In addition the Nintendo 3DS offers backwards compatibility to Nintendo DS games, which allows you to play the following cartridge games:

  • Phantom Hourglass
  • Spirit Tracks
  • Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland

Early on two more games were available as free downloads:

  • Four Swords Anniversary Edition (DSiWare)
  • The Minish Cap (GBA)

The Minish Cap was given to early adopters and the Four Swords Anniversary Edition was a gift during the 25th Anniversary of Zelda. It's entirely possible that GBA games might come to the New Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console and they might make Four Swords available again during the 30th Anniversary, but right now you can only play them on systems, which still have them installed, but not on brand new ones.

Anyway, you can play up to 13 out of 19 official Zelda games on the Nintendo 3DS. The games, which you simply can't play, are A Link to the Past, Four Swords Adventures, The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword and the upcoming game for Wii U.

Wii U

These are the main releases for Nintendo's current home console, which are both available as retail discs and eShop downloads:

  • The Wind Waker HD
  • Twilight Princess HD (coming March 2016)
  • Hyrule Warriors
  • The Legend of Zelda U (coming 2016)

The following games can be played on the Wii U Virtual Console:

  • The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • Zelda II - The Adventure of Link (NES)
  • A Link to the Past (SNES)
  • Ocarina of Time (N64)
  • Majora's Mask (N64)
  • The Minish Cap (GBA)
  • Phantom Hourglass (NDS)
  • Spirit Tracks (NDS)

Majora's Mask isn't available on the Wii U eShop yet, but you can still get it on the Wii Shop Channel, which is offered by backwards compatibility along with the following Wii releases:

  • Twilight Princess
  • Link's Crossbow Training
  • Skyward Sword

Overall 12 out of 19 official Zelda games can be played on the Wii U. The ones unavailable are Link's Awakening, Oracle of Ages, Oracle of Seasons, Four Swords, Four Swords Adventures, A Link Between Worlds and Tri Force Heroes.

There's only two Zelda games, which you can't play, if you buy a Nintendo 3DS and Wii U now: Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures. This makes me suspect that they will at least re-release the Four Swords Anniversary Edition during the 30th Anniversary, just to make the collections look more complete. And they might do something with Four Swords Adventures in the future, because otherwise this gem will be lost completely. However, right now the focus will certainly be on Tri Force Heroes, so I'm not expecting them to port or remake this multiplayer game anytime soon.

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