Smash Bros Ultimate: Which Zelda is that? ALttP? ALBW?

Image source: a wonderful SourceGaming post that translates a Sakurai column.

Super Smash Bros: Ultimate for Nintendo Switch features a new design for Zelda compared to her previous incarnations. But there was a little bit of confusion regarding which Zelda she is, due to a slight translation tidbit which is not too widely known from what I’ve observed.


People weren’t sure if she is based on the one from A Link Between Worlds (NoA wrote) or A Link to the Past. (NoJ wrote).

Explanation of why both are fine:

  • In Japan, A Link to the Past is 神々のトライフォース (Triforce of the Gods), and, A Link Between Worlds is 神々のトライフォース2 (Triforce of the Gods 2). As such, both are Triforce of the Gods (the title that became A Link to the Past), one simply with a “2” that emphasizes the sequel. Box art example.
  • In the west, the second title dropped “2” and was made into A Link Between Worlds. As such, this makes it harder to refer to them both as A Link to the Past, as that is only the first one’s name.
  • To help clear confusion, a look at the designs of Zelda in both games reveal they are essentially the same, too with only slight differences, and, in Smash Bros. Ultimate, if you look at her design, you see she’s a combination of both Zelda’s seen here. The top accessories are like from the first game, and the pattern on her lower side are like the second game, for instance.
  • As such, saying Zelda from A Link to the Past or Link Between Worlds are both accurate. In Japanese it is simply Zelda from 神々のトライフォース (Triforce of the Gods), so can be either of them too.

And so:

They are actually referring to the same game, but it’s harder to specify which one in English as the Japanese encompasses both. The English specified the sequel (likely as it’s more recent and so more people may recognize it), where as the Japanese can refer to them both due to the titles being the same (with just a number to differentiate). There was no explicit “2” in the Smash Bros. trailer, so the localization likely decided on A Link Between Worlds. Though, they were likely in contact with the original staff behind the direct to help reach this conclusion.

Summary infographic:

So there you go! Same game. Both A Link Between Worlds and A Link to the Past apply here. If you see it referred to as A Link to the Past by Japanese staff (and translations), now you know why.

For more details including shots that caused the confusion (as well as similarities in the Zelda design), see below.

The image below is from the English Nintendo Direct presentation:

Apologies for the Mario head there, but you can make out the “e” underneath.

This one says “A Link Between Worlds.” That’s straightforward enough. Below is the A Link Between Worlds Zelda:

The pattern on the lower part of the dress are of note for her SSBU design.

So what caused confusion for some people is the Japanese presentation which shows:


The design from Triforce of the Gods (Japanese title for “A Link to the Past.”)

SourceGaming then translated a Sakurai column with the sub line on a Zelda image being:

“Zelda’s new design is based on “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past“

This caused a bit of confusion among some fans, but hopefully the above makes this make a bit more sense.

Here is Zelda as depicted in her A Link to the Past appearance:

The accessories of the belt and upward are featured in the SSBU design, but her lower dress has the pattern of the ALBW Zelda.

You can see the similarities in both to each other and the Smash Bros Ultimate design!

Lastly, the box art of the two games:



So in the end this post is a quick reference point for fans who may have been unaware of the naming convention in Japanese versus English. This post doesn’t need to be too in depth (or even exist), but serves to summarize something that can easily be resolved with a quick search. Still, worth documenting!


4 thoughts on “Smash Bros Ultimate: Which Zelda is that? ALttP? ALBW?

  1. Pingback: 10 Things Even Diehard Fans Didn't Know About Princess Zelda

      • I mean, we cannot exactly discount the possibility of them mixing up the gametitles in that conversation considering both are still named triforce of the gods. Or the translations were made independently from each other and both have thensame amount of validity to them.

Thoughts? Comments? Requests? Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.