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.

Basically:

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.

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Zelda: Does Ganondorf have a surname in the Japanese ALttP manual too? [JPN/ENG]

A reader sent me a question a few weeks ago that I had a chance to look into now.

Nintendo updated its Zelda website to include a profile of Ganon that refers to him as “Ganondorf Dragmire.” I heard this was also in A Link to the Past‘s game manual. Was there any mention of the name or some other surname in Japanese?

Zelda Legends thankfully had scanned copies of the manual for the game both in Japanese and English which I used in reference for this post. So let’s take a look:

The dialogue is highlighted in Japanese (left) and English (right).

In Japanese: He is simply ガノンドロフ and ガノン (Ganondorf and Ganon respectively). He has the title of an Evil King/King of Thieves/etc, but no mention of a surname of any sort.

The English above is straightforward, mentioning both Dragmire and Mandrag as other names.

So, no, the Japanese manual did not make a mention of this surname at all, and it is likely a localization creation that the site decided to stick with!


Comparisons are always fun! I hope this post can be used in reference for those who may not be aware of the lack of surname in Japanese.

Let me know if there’s anything you’d love to have looked into. Feel free to leave any comments below!