Next week sees the release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD on the Switch. Although it's only an updated version of a 2011 Wii title, Nintendo has been promoting it non-stop since it was originally announced.
It's now using the lead-up to the game's release to promote Link's classics adventures on the Nintendo Switch Online SNES and NES service. There are a total of three games you can play right now on this service including the original game, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
Nintendo of America - Excited to soar through the skies of Skyloft in The Legend of Zelda: on 7/16? #NintendoSwitchOnline members — try out some of Link’s classic #NES and #SNES adventures and experience some fantastic firsts while you wait!
As noted in the graphic above, the Nintendo Switch Online service now has over 100+ retro titles to play. Of course, there's no actual way to play some of Link's older 3D games on the Switch. In saying this, there's still a rumour about The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess possibly making a return.
Will you be playing any of Link's NSO games ahead of Skyward Sword HD's release next week? What other retro Zelda games would you like to see made available on the Switch in the future? Leave a comment down below.
I love the original Zelda and Link to the Past and all, but it's strange how there's only two Zelda games on Nintendo Switch Online. Huh.
Give us CDi All Stars, you cowards
@dustinprewitt Yeah, why doesn't Nintendo just team up with Phillips for a Legend of Zelda CDi game collection, or even a sequel?
@HotGoomba Yeah, I feel like one's missing.. hm. It's probably just me.
If only we could play zero mission and fusion before dread.
@HotGoomba there are three?
@sixrings Super Metroid is the better play anyway
@Scapetti I think its a joke.
@Scapetti What are you talking about? There's only the original and Link to the Past.
Man Adventure of Link is the best Link game
You know what would be a awesome promotion? A GB/GBC/GBA shadow drop with both Oracles and Minish Cap for Zelda and Return of Samus, Zero Mission and Fusion for Metroid. I'd be waiting Skyward Sword and Dread very happy with 3 games for each.
I'm gonna be that guy this time.
Nintendo, NSO needs better support. I defended the service for a long time because we were led to believe that there would be a steady stream of content updates. And while I know the pandemic through a wrench into everyone's plans, you can still do more.
Hobbyists working from home have gotten homebrew emulators for a LOT more than just NES and SNES on Switch.
Game Boy/Color/GBA. N64. Where are games from these systems? Even Gamecube should be feasible.
At this point I'm done defending the service. It's 20 bucks a year, and that's dirt cheap. And you know what? It feels dirt cheap too.
I would pay for a premium service if it did have a halfway decent selection of games from these systems.
@HotGoomba @Snatcher woops, nevermind, I thought the SP version was a different game
NSO could have been great. Those ‘special’ versions could have been the perfect way to introduce official randomisers and such. There could have been games from many different consoles. Oh well.
@Heavyarms55 not even in heaven Nintendo would give us N64 or later (home) or DS or later (portable) anytime soon, even dream with that should be a mortal sin for them.
GB/GBC/GBA on the other hand should be here a long time ago. NES, SNES and GB/GBC/GBA first party titles should be a complete collection and even include japan only titles (even if they put in original language).
Other thing (that's I'm sure I'll neve get) is the possibility to put .ips files at the card and use fans's translations
I gave up and decided on a Wii U for virtual console. It should arrive Monday. Sold a bunch of my old stuff to a retro game store/site here to pay for it (and a couple months’ rent).
Can we at least get game boy games?
The only three Zelda games I don't really ever care to play again
I don’t get the point of this article, these three Zelda games have been available since the NES and SNES app launch on NSO for 2-3 years. It’s not like they were just made available now.
@Heavyarms55 amen! Well said! I never liked the service from Day 1. It’s incredible to me that they can’t get past the Snes console on NSO when we all know what the original Wii selection had! Unreal! And I HATE that you can’t even purchase a game if you want to! Terrible format! GameCube games on Switch?? Maybe when I’m dead lol
@sixrings homebrew your 3ds
@Deady I did the same about 3-4 years ago. It's basically my VC gaming machine.
I'll provide some food for thought here. Whether we like it or not, Skyward is coming. It's to tie us over for BOTW2, and to keep Zelda as a franchise in the headlines. It's the latest title in the back catalogue, and the one they could improve on the most, especially with joycon motion being the ultimate update here.
If you've marketed a product (Skyward), you don't take the spotlight away from it by overextending and putting out other titles at the same time. Wind Waker and Twilight Princess are likely to be the trump cards Nintendo will hold close to them if they need even more time for BOTW2, or if interest in the Switch dwindles.
When you've such a loyal fan base and a beloved IP, you don't give the customer everything all at once. You spread out the availability, so when you do release, customers are hungrier for it.
At the end of the day the Switch is still doing marvelously, so there's no need to exert unless the need to do so arises.
I love Zelda II and it's great to see it stylized a long with the original like that
Fun Fact, Zelda II in the Japanese version does say "The Legend of Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link" in the title.
I would be more excited if we at least got all 3 gameboy color games. I own the remake for Link's Awakening (and it is beautiful) but it would be nice to play the 2 capcom ones and enhanced port.
Link to the past is a great game. I can choose to play it on my GBA/Micro, SNES mini, my Wii, my phone and pc if I'm naughty, or opt to have my progress locked behind a paywall when my NSO subscription runs out.
I have NSO only for the cloud saves and the occasional online play with friends and family. Not for the games unfortunately. I've played through most multiple times in my life already.
@dustinprewitt someone remade this for PC last year, and released them for free. Alternatively you can emulate the originals.
I grew up when these oldies were newies. At the time, I dug them all. For newcomers, they likely do not hold up.
Years back I was a teacher. One of the younger kids at the school said he tried the original NES Zelda, but gave up pretty quickly because he didn't know what to do. Modern games hadn't prepared him for zero hand-holding.
Meanwhile, Skyward Sword has one of the longest and most boring Zelda startups with so much hand-holding you're really just on a date with the thing.
This is some of the lowest amount of effort I've seen Nintendo put into an anniversary. The worst offender was when, in celebrating Super Mario Bros, they slapped the SNES All-Stars rom on a Wii disk so they could sell it at full price. Now they've taken a game released on Zelda's 25th and shot it out again for the 35th. Same MSRP, but no extras when the Wii release featured a soundtrack CD and a golden Wiimote.
If you're new to Skyward, this looks like a great release. But if you bought it 10 years ago, maybe even again when they sold it on the Wii U's eShop, there's not much to get excited about. Dolphin can already run this in HD and map touch controls to your controller of choice.
Despite several framed Zelda prints in my home, I'm passing on buying Skyward a 3rd time, primarily for the new release price tag and barebones special edition.
@HotGoomba 5 actually when you add all three in NSO, links awakening and BotW.
@HIGHscores85 great game, I am working through it now myself. Already played through the other two and links awakening on the switch waiting for Skyward. Played all the others on their original consoles as well. Only one I haven’t played again was BotW. Sad but to do everything and collect it all it takes an extremely long time. I tend to not replay games that will take me 100 hours lol.
1. I was talking about just Nintendo Switch Online, not Nintendo Switch as a whole.
2. What third game on Nintendo Switch Online?
I have never played skyward sword before, I refused to buy in to the Wii and motion controls so it’s a brand new Zelda game to me, I just hope it will hold me over until botw2
3DS and Wii U still representing to be honest. Finished Metroid Zero Mission on Wii U and Zelda: Minish Cap on 3DS within the last couple of weeks.
NSO is terrible in my opinion. And it’s not a case of subscription vs individual purchases. It’s just a case of NES and SNES being overdone by this point and a massive step back from what the previous consoles offered.
You know, you could allow us to play more than just these few titles if you add Game Boy and and N64 support! Do it! Do it now!
Am playing A Link to the Past at the moment in anticipation of Skyward Sword. Shame NSO doesn't have Oracle of Seasons or Oracle of Ages.
@Yosher I think they are holding back on Game Boy games because they want people to buy the Links Awakening Remake instead of playing the original.
@chipia There's still the Oracle games.
How about bringing the N64 to the NSO and then you can add OoT and MM.
This September is the 2yr anniversary of the NSO so we may get it then.
Woopie three games! 35 years of zelda and switch has three of them available from an app that's locked under a pay wall. Would it kill them to add N64?
I guess you can buy and own breath of the wild, Links awakening and soon skyward sword so that's something.
@dustinprewitt Why? Cant you just vomit?
@sleepinglion I haven't played Skyward Sword before so I'm excited for this HD version. I wanted to tell you that your description of being on a date with it got a good chuckle out of me, good job! 😂
Nintendo's recent ads for it seem to indicate that they're scaling back on its hand-holdy nature though, which I think is a good indicator that they're finally giving the fanbase more credit.
i love „a link to the past“ played it again on the switch and now again on my 3DS! just love it!
@mlj11 It's a good game, I've played through it a few times and you should hopefully have a great time. If it was new to me, I'd absolutely pick up the HD release. They should've packaged something special with it to commemorate the anniversary as they did for the 25th. Like the Zelda/Loftwing amiibo. Still, I imagine fixing those horrendous motion controls will make this one a lot more fun!
Time to turn on the wii and get those virtual console games going. Same for Metroid.
Nintendo makes me scratch my head as to why they haven't ported Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess yet to the switch yet. Considering the user base during the Wii U era was extremely small. As well as releasing OoT and MM in the Eshop. Just give the people what they want nintendo!!!!
@Longondo Only if it comes with waifu Zelda panty smell 🤣🤣🤣
Nintendo what are you waiting to give us Game Boy/GBA and N64/ Game Cube on Switch Online?
Play those games on the NSO? Never! Play them on the Minis? I already do. Frequently.
@HotGoomba That would certainly be something.
I will stand by how my 3ds is basically a portable zelda machine, and in time, I expect my switch to be all well. The 3ds is only missing a few games, but with the ds/3ds/vc, I have almost every zelda except the console ones, which are on my Wii U. I still need all of that on my switch, with the new screen
Nintendo is all marketing these days. If only they cared about everything else...
@HotGoomba I don't really get the joke here... Is it a thing to not consider Zelda 2 a proper Zelda game? Or is it just you?
At some point Nintendo needs to do more than keep regurgitating the same thirty year old games. They have a long history, but they ignore most of it.
@Strumpan What's a Zelda 2?
@mlj11It would be impossible for Nintendo to scale back with the hand holding nature of Skyward Sword because it’s story is driven by handholding and the areas are very linear. There is no way of getting lost in this game.
@HotGoomba It's a Zelda too 😥
@SortingHat Apparently, mine doesn't speak loud enough. I haven't bought a game since the WiiU and Nintendo still hasn't put out anything that feels like they put any effort into it. The Switch is in competition with the Vita for my biggest console mistake at this point.
@YoungLink64 Emulators and emulation are fine technology in my opinion. My issue is with piracy, which is a separate but related issue. Something like NSO or Sony's PS1 games on PS4 are examples of Emulators doing nothing wrong.
And I have nothing but respect for the folks that painstakingly build them from scratch as a hobby.
But fan made Emulators are often used by folks who pirate entire game libraries. And that's so unfair to all the developers, artists, musicians, writers and everyone else involved with the creation of those games. They put years of their lives into that work. They deserve to be paid for their work. And as far as I am concerned, it should not matter if that work happened last year or 30 years ago. They deserve fair market value or even the right to not sell their products, if they choose to.
I can't believe they only have 5 Zelda's on the system, with another 2 on the way. I pay over one whole dollar a month to these people and they can't give me all of their past Zelda games?! It's kind of a crappy system if it doesn't at the very least have the Wand of Gamelon, how do they expect people to be entertained, Breath of the Wild, lol.
@dustinprewitt we all want and we know you have it in the vault
@YoungLink64 And I would agree with you and say that it is wrong to just take a game for free. But I, personally, usually have no issue with people who need to download a rom for a game that they do physically own. Because that is something you would be able to do, should you have access to the proper adapters. Like that Game Boy one they showcased on NL not too long ago. - But I do understand that some people would not be okay with even that, and I totally understand.
Actually I'll be getting one of those devices at some point because I have a lot of Game Boy and GBA games. I'd really like to get one for my N64 collection too. But said company hasn't released one for that system, yet.
@Heavyarms55 while I understand the criticism, I hate to be the one to say that probably that's all we are going to get for the services price. To Nintendo, there's enough value added in subscription with NES and SNES games
@sixrings rasberry pi sadly
LOL! Haha, hoho, hihi.
@YoungLink64 I was the same but I managed to get some enjoyment out of the original completing it in run up to BoTW. Looking at what constitutes combat in Zelda 2 that ones a hard pass. But the original Zelda doesn't measure up in anyway to series LttP onwards
I'm still on Adventure of Link myself, yeah.
Nintendo should switch (see what i did there) to only developing games, every console after the NGC has just been a pain in the ass, has out dated specs/standards and while the special gimmick is cool at first it gets boring fast. i got a switch back in 2018 that i had to share with my brother, 6 months in i started to grow bored even though i kept getting new games.
im gonna be honest BOTW is just a skyrim rip off and i would rather play skyward sword (my favorite zelda game) in 140p than ever play BOTW again. dont get me started on smash, and odyssey.
also im pro piracy for games, but only ones that use nintendo IPs, and its only because you can get their games running a thousand times better on emulators than their own software (IE skyward sword in native 1080p60+ using a fan made hand drawn texture pack and you can use an actual Wii remote)
then we had mario All-stars Galaxy and sunshine were in 1080p30fps but SM64 was put out in 720p60fps, the 4K "fan patch" was taken from the Nintendo leak proving Nintendo could have made DM64 run in 1080p60fps
then all-stars was such a cash grab by making it limited time, if i cant buy it when i choose to buy it then im not gonna get it at all, the same crap happened with amiibos, the NES/SNES mini, and even the switch itself, i swear nintendo is doing this crap on purpose just to get every cent out of you as they possibly can knowing the hardcore nintendo fans will buy everything no matter how god awful it is.
i want the old N64/NGC nintendo back, not the current one we have.
Where’s Colour Splash???!!! I missed it on the Wii U!
@Heavyarms55 I don't think there are many people defending NSO at this point. I'm certain Nintendo themselves gave us the impression a new system would be added each year at least – even if there was no 'official statement'.
It doesn't matter if the service is 'a bargain' at this point. The service is intended as a replacement for our beloved Virtual Console (which was extensive on Wii U and other past consoles).
So here we are with no way to play first party Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, N64 and others FOUR years into the consoles cycle. That's ridiculous.
From this point of view the service is a failure. So Nintendo either need to bulk out the service's past console offerings quickly or offer us another way to buy GB, GBA, N64 and Gamecube asap.
This will damage people's faith in the big N if it continues like this much longer. NSO is providing Nintendo with a MASSIVE regular stream of income that I guarantee will be significantly more than they got from the Virtual Console purchases. To not give us more systems at this point comes across as pure greed or laziness.
@dustinprewitt will exuuuuuuuse them dustinprewitt
@SortingHat well if FI (i always pronounce it Fee) was in BOTW i would at least be able to know what i need to do, i hate on BOTW and skyrim because its so easy to get lost, the tutorial was the only part i was able to enjoy because it told me what i needed to do, after that i got lost and stuck on the water boss. probably didnt help i could only play in handheld or table top mode at the time.
if you've only played and enjoyed zelda games that hold your hand to let you focus more on the story then when they switch it up you're gonna be pissed off. SMO was too confusing which made me frustrated with the game. SSBU story mode felt like they took brawls story mode and just changed it up a bit.
@SortingHat maybe im just old now and all of the stuff i used to over look in games i criticize and hate. i loved skyward sword and only played up to the first dungeon (because back then we only had the TV in the living room so i could only play in the wii for a short amount of time) and BOTW i played until i reached the first water boss and quit because it was to hard and i got stuck.
Yes it is but Fusion and Zero Mission have their charms. They are both fantastic. Just not as fantastic as Super Metroid.
Are you trying to be cute by acting like Zelda 2 isn’t a real Zelda game? Because it is quite clearly on NSO and mentioned directly in this article.
@RushDawg I can't believe that people are still getting mad at this joke.
I'm not mad, it's just not that funny.
@sixrings You can.
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