Project Z35/21

2021 is going to be a good year. Not only because it’s probably going to look that way in relation to the garbage fire that was 2020, but also because I’m going to spend it playing ALL OF THE ZELDAS.

Well, not all of the Zeldas. I’m going to skip all of the spin-offs and games that were never legitimately released. CD-i, I’m looking at you.

So, why am I doing this? 2021 marks the 35th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda, and while I’m sure Nintendo is going to put together a big to-do for it, this is how I’m celebrating one of my favourite video game series. Also I’ve had Zelda on the brain for a couple months now and I figured this is a good way to work that out of my system.

I know that plans tend to go askew, but here’s how I intend to tackle this:

JANUARY:
The Legend of Zelda (NES)
Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link (NES)
A Link to the Past (SNES)
These should be pretty easy to carve through, for the most part. I’ve played Zelda 1 and A Link to the Past many times and am very familiar with them. The tripping point is going to be Zelda 2, not so much because it’s somewhat alien to me, but rather because it’s just so dang hard. I fully intend to mitigate this problem with the liberal use of save-states and rewind. Also, there are no new releases that I know/care about that will get in the way this month.

FEBRUARY:
Link’s Awakening (GB)
Ocarina of Time (N64)
Oracle of Ages (GBC)
I haven’t decided for sure yet, but I’ll probably be playing remakes and remasters when they’re available. I’m also going to need to absolutely tear through these ones, as Bravely Default 2 comes out at the end of the month, and that’s almost definitely going to eat up a lot of my gaming time.

MARCH
Oracle of Seasons (GBC)
I don’t know how much Zelda time I’m going to be able to squeeze into March. Between the aforementioned Bravely Default 2 and the March release of Monster Hunter Rise, it’s going to be pretty full already. Add in the fact that Oracle of Seasons is the single Zelda game in this list that I’ve never played before and, well, that’s a recipe for disaster.

APRIL
Majora’s Mask (N64)
The Wind Waker (GC)
I’m assigning two Zeldas to April, but they’re still going to be in the shadow of Monster Hunter, so I don’t actually expect to get through them both. Technically, they’re the Zeldas with the fewest dungeons, so it should be a snap, right? NO. Majora and Wind Waker are two of my absolute favourites, so I’m not going to be cutting corners with them. Then factor in Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139… and… oh boy.

MAY
Four Swords Adventures (GC)
The Minish Cap (GBA)
I should probably cut Four Swords Adventures, but I’m so torn on it. It has so many good elements, but it also requires three other people for maximum fun, and that’s just… not going to happen. Minish Cap, I’m looking forward to, though! I’ve never revisited it, and I remember liking it quite a lot, so that’s bound to be a good time.

JUNE
Twilight Princess (Wii)
Twilight Princess is a long game. While in theory, I should be able to crank it out in just over a weekend of solid play, I just don’t have that kind of attention span in my old age, and I have a feeling it’ll eat up the bulk of the month. I don’t even know what kind of new releases we’re looking at any more. If there were any bets still on, they should be called off by now.

JULY
Phantom Hourglass (DS)
Spirit Tracks (DS)
What better way to spend the summer than to focus on the two Zelda games for the Nintendo DS? …I’m being facetious. These are not the best Zeldas. I normally play the apologist for these two because they catch so much flak, but truthfully, I’ve never been overly jazzed at the thought of revisiting them. Monster Hunter Stories 2 is due sometime around now, so there’s a high probability that they get ignored for a while.

AUGUST
Skyward Sword (Wii)
Another beefy adventure that I’m sure will require some gratuitous vacation time to get through on schedule. I read through my Skyward Sword Replay journal in December 2020, which got me excited to play it again. I’m sure that itch will have worn itself away by this point, though.

SEPTEMBER
A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
Well, this is great! I don’t have any specific notes here other than I think that A Link Between Worlds is great. Did No More Heroes III finally come out yet? How about FNAF: Security Breach? I didn’t account for those at all yet, and they were scheduled for like, Q2 at the latest when I wrote this.

OCTOBER
Breath of the Wild (Switch)
“Ryan! There are still two months with no Zelda games assigned to them!” you shout at me, like a naïve child. I could easily spend three months playing Breath of the Wild. And probably will. And also, the extra time is to account for the inevitable spillover as I don’t complete games on time and the schedule gets pushed back farther and farther. An important part of any budget is factoring in contingencies!

And that, despite being written under the guise of a Legend of Zelda series vision quest, is my video games roadmap for 2021. As of this date (December 21, 2020) there are exactly six new releases in 2021 that I know of and am basically guaranteed to purchase. That won’t be all of them, not by a long shot, but all I can do is go with what I know.

Of course, I intend to record/stream my playthroughs of as many of these as possible. With the fancy new capture card I just purchased, that should be all of the console games, and even the Game Boy games can be captured through… certain other means. This precludes only the DS/3DS games, and I’m kinda fine with letting those go. A Link Between Worlds is the only material loss there. I guess Four Swords Adventures isn’t viable either, because the Wii doesn’t output to HDMI. However: meh.

So now that all of that is on the table: stay tuned! It’ll be interesting to see how this all pans out!


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