|This article is written from the Real Life point of view|
- This article refers to the Zelda franchise's involvement with the Metroid series. For the titular character, see List of characters in the Super Smash Bros. series#Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda, also sometimes referred to simply as Zelda is a fantasy-adventure video game franchise published and produced by Nintendo. The main protagonist is named Link, while "Zelda" refers to the princess who often acts as a central character, including a damsel in distress, to the franchise. Zelda and the Metroid series have made several crossovers, with characters or elements from each other's series appearing occasionally in the other franchise, or the characters (particularly Link) and Samus Aran appearing together in a game outside of the Zelda or Metroid series. The major example of this is Samus appearing alongside numerous characters from the Zelda series and sub-series in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, with Samus and Link being among the twelve fighters (termed the "perfect-attendance crew") who have appeared in every installment of the series to date.
References to Metroid in Zelda
Although no direct references to Metroid have occurred within the Zelda franchise since their creation, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest featured a trailer for the then-upcoming Metroid Prime as part of the bonus features for the game. In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the large Freezard enemies resemble an adult Sheegoth, as both have a reptilian appearance, several eyes on the sides of their heads, have ice crystals sprouting from their backs, and have an icy breath attack. During development for what ultimately became The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it was initially considered that the game would have elements of science fiction, with one piece of concept artwork depicting Link in a spacesuit with a Metroid larva hovering near him.
Although not confirmed to be a reference to Super Metroid, the main antagonist of Phantom Hourglass, Bellum, had several similarities to Phantoon, namely in their being giant cycloptic cephalopod-like creatures that were heavily implied to be evil spirits or at the very least the manifestation of a great evil. Coincidentally, the method that Bellum feeds on people resembles a Metroid in that it feeds on peoples' life force, and even turning them to stone (as demonstrated with Tetra), the latter being similar to how successful metroid drainings leave their prey brittle.
References to Zelda in Metroid
In the comical Victory Techniques for Metroid, which breaks the fourth wall, Samus is seen playing The Legend of Zelda while traveling to Zebes in her Cosmo Liner. Similarly, one of the short stories in The Shape of Happiness features a Galactic Federation official offering Samus a copy of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and Kid Icarus as payment for going to Zebes, but she does not respond.
The conflict that takes place during Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was inspired by the main plot of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past regarding a light and dark world. In fact, Retro Studios went as far as to bring in one of the co-developers for A Link to the Past specifically so they could properly incorporate the light/dark world gameplay element. On a related note, the method in which Samus has to defeat Dark Samus in her final battle with her in the game resembles Dead Man's Volley, a technique required for defeating certain bosses that debuted in A Link to the Past. Some of the sounds for the Hunter Ing were similar to sounds utilized by the titular antagonist in the first phase in the final boss fight of Majora's Mask.
The Seeker Missiles' locking on to 5 targets per salvo in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and Metroid: Other M is similar to how the Boomerang is utilized in some Zelda games, particularly The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.
The Ship Bumper Stickers in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (and by extension, Metroid Prime Trilogy) include The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. If a save file for this game is present on the Wii, a sticker of the Hyrulian royal crest will appear atop the Gunship.
The Pow enemy from Metroid: Other M shared similarities to the fairies from various 3D Zelda games, and in particular Navi from Ocarina of Time. On that note, the concept art for the Skultera had a speech bubble saying "Buy Somethin', Will Ya!", referring to a famous line from the first The Legend of Zelda game. Finally, before the Brug Mass battle, Samus tells Adam "It might be dangerous for your men to go alone", which is a possible reference to the famous line "It's dangerous to go alone!" from the original Zelda.
The Energy Tanks in Metroid Dread were revamped to require four Energy Tanks to add a new portion of Samus's health bar. This resembles the Piece of Heart item/mechanic from the Zelda games starting with A Link to the Past.
Super Smash Bros. series
As stated, Link and Samus have appeared in every Super Smash Bros. game to date, with more characters from their series becoming playable in subsequent titles. Princess Zelda/Sheik, Ganondorf, and Young Link were introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Toon Link made his debut in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, replacing Young Link.
In the CoroCoro Comic manga adaptation, Samus worked alongside Fox McCloud as henchmen of Phantom X, who in reality was Link, and also staged a kidnapping of Yoshi in order to have Mario, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, and Kirby work together for a change.
Zero Suit Samus was also introduced in Brawl as an alternate form of Samus, wearing her blue form-fitting suit from Metroid: Zero Mission, similar to Sheik being an alternate form to Zelda. Although no new characters from either Zelda or Metroid debuted in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, Sheik and Zero Suit Samus were split off from Zelda and Samus, respectively, becoming separate characters.
In Bowser Jr.'s debut trailer "The Future of Evil", Samus and Link were among the seven characters facing him. At one point during the gameplay portion, Zero Suit Samus is seen standing on a step on the Skyloft stage and firing a Steel Diver at Bowser Jr. Both Samus and Link, alongside various Mario characters appeared as their NES sprites in promotional materials for Duck Hunt and Pac-Man.
In Melee, both Link and Samus are opponents in Event 3: Bomb-fest, due to both utilizing bombs as weaponry. Zelda is one of the opponents in Event 15: Girl Power, alongside Samus and Princess Peach from Mario. In Brawl, the event match Co-Op Event 7: Battle of the Dark Sides has both Link and Samus teaming up to face off against their dark counterparts, specifically Dark Link and Dark Samus, respectively. Despite the name, however, it has no relation to Dark Samus in the Prime series. Likewise, Co-Op Event 6: Unwanted Suitors sees Zelda and Zero Suit Samus teaming up to defeat Luigi and Captain Falcon. In Smash 4, Zelda/Sheik has to defeat both Samus and Zero Suit Samus in Identity Crisis, while both Zelda/Sheik and Samus/Zero Suit Samus are opponents in Peach in Peril. Zelda and Link are mentioned in Palutena's Guidance for Samus during their tongue-and-cheek reference to the misconception between Metroid and Samus regarding names of the protagonist.
In the first trailer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Link is prominently displayed. Donkey Kong's hair and Samus's shoulders can be barely made out from the outline of fighters underneath the flaming Smash symbol. All characters from the Zelda and Metroid franchises return in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, including Young Link, and in addition to newcomers Ridley and Dark Samus. Mario appears with Samus and Mega Man in A Piercing Screech, Ridley's reveal trailer, where the trio walk across a bridge, until Ridley ambushes and kills Mario and Mega Man, while Link appears during the gameplay portion of the trailer where Ridley uses his Skewer to impale Link and then watches as Link crumples to the ground and then explodes.
In Zero Suit Samus's Character Showcase Video for Ultimate, she briefly fought against Ganondorf.
In Ridley's announcement trailer for Ultimate, Ridley briefly uses his Skewer on Link, causing him to collapse and explode as Ridley watches. In addition, Zero Suit Samus was used as the Puppet Fighter housing Urbosa's spirit from Breath of the Wild, which was later referenced when Zero Suit Samus was one of Zelda's minions in the spirit battle against Zelda's Breath of the Wild incarnation.
Ridley's Classic Mode ending has him roaring and screeching in a similar manner to his up taunt with Rathalos from Monster Hunter doing the same as Yoshi watches in awe at the Bridge of Eldin stage from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
In Samus's Palutena's Guidance in Smash 4 and Ultimate, the misconception among new players that Link's name is Zelda and Samus's is Metroid (because of their series names) is discussed.
NES Remix 2
Owing to both franchises being included in NES Remix 2, Samus and Link also appear in their NES sprites in various aspects relating to the game. The game icon for the Wii U features Samus alongside Link (specifically, his incarnation from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link) as well as Mario.
In a promotional limited-edition Nintendo 3DS wallpaper for the game's 3DS port Ultimate NES Remix, Link (specifically, his incarnation from Zelda II) is seen going toe-to-toe with Ridley.
Other appearances of both franchises in other games/media
- Although not a direct appearance, both Zelda and Metroid were used as the basis for Kid Icarus, the game adopting the item collecting and shooting mechanics, respectively.
- The Power Game Calendars for 1990 and 1991 featured on the cover Metroid and Zelda elements. In particular, both Samus and Link appeared on both covers, while the latter cover featured Barba/Volvagia from Zelda II.
- In the NES version of Tetris, during the Game B mode, Samus and Link appear on the victory screen upon completing difficulty 9 at various heights, specifically heights 2 and 1, where they play the flute and cello, respectively.
- In the Game Boy version of F-1 Race, Samus and Link appear during transition scenes, with Samus specifically appearing during the transition for Course 7, and Link appearing during the transition for Course 5.
- Both Zelda and Metroid have made appearances in the Animal Crossing series as furniture/clothing within the Nintendo line, although the latter didn't debut until the first overseas game (and not as a furniture until Wild World), while the former debuted in Animal Forest for the Nintendo 64 via the Master Sword.
- In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, both Link and Samus made a cameo by sleeping in beds, specifically in Rose Town inn and in Princess Peach's bedroom, respectively. Link does not actually talk due to his status as a silent protagonist (instead, interacting with him utilizes the unlock jingle from the franchise), while Samus mentions either that she is resting up for Mother Brain (English version) or references the line Metroid... Omoroido! (Japanese version).
- Both Link and Samus were meant to appear in the game Mario & Luigi: SuperStar Saga involving the Starbeans Cafe side mission, specifically appearing after completing a certain amount of bean coffee recipes. The clerk's lines regarding them would have been "Cashier : Whoa! Link! The Hero of...what is it, now? Anyway, long-time, no see, buddy! What are you doing here? Did you get lost in a dungeon again? What? You're having trouble finding the fairy fountain? Oh... It’s game over, and your bottles are all empty? Are your hearts filled now, kiddo?" and "Cashier: Whoa! A power outage? Yikes! Samus Aran! I see you're rocking and rolling as usual! ...Looks like your energy tanks are empty! Sorry, but can't you give your Hoolumbian to Samus? Oh! Feeling better?" Although both were cut in the final version in order to expand E. Gadd's role in the game, references to their intended cameos were nevertheless included with the items Great Force and Power Grip, respectively, which was a reference to both the Triforce and a new upgrade in Zero Mission (although the latter was originally intended to be an Energy Tank).
- Samus and Link were both intended to appear in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, but were removed.
- In the GBA line Famicom Mini, aside from both Metroid and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link sharing games in the third volume (dedicated to Famicom Disk System games), both Samus and Link (and related elements) appeared on the Volume 3 box artwork, with Samus's running, forward facing, and upward aim pose being utilized on the back, right, and left sleeves, respectively, while Link doing a downward thrust, a candle, an Octorok, Horsehead, a purple female villager (presumably one of the Eyes of Ganon), a Bit, a Red Deeler, Link brandishing his sword, and an orange Iron Knuckle were on the front, right, back and left sides, respectively.
- On a similar note, they were both included in the American version of the line, Classic NES Series, featured both Zelda games and Metroid. They were also included in all versions of the NES Classic Edition (Classic Mini Family Computer in Japan), with the SNES Classic (Classic Mini Super Famicom in Japan) featuring both A Link to the Past and Super Metroid.
- Both Link and Samus acted as costumes for Bayonetta in Bayonetta 2.
- Both Link/Ganondorf and Zelda appeared during the Space World 2000 demo, which had the first glimpse of Metroid Prime.
- Both the Metroid and the Zelda franchises had at least one game/spinoff developed in-house by Team Ninja: Metroid: Other M and Hyrule Warriors/Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.
- Both of the franchises' first games debuted on the Famicom Disk System as well as possessed a Data Screen, although only Zelda retained its data screen when released overseas (Metroid instead had a Password Screen).
- Both franchises also had a game that was going through a lengthy period of development after being teased at E3 (Metroid Prime 4 with Metroid, and the currently unnamed sequel to Breath of the Wild with Zelda), though unlike Metroid Prime 4, the teaser did show some footage.
- Both franchises also had a quasi-remake of the first game of their respective franchises released on the Game Boy (The Legend of Zelda had one of the Oracle duology games for the Game Boy Color, Oracle of Seasons, which was originally intended to be a remake/retelling of the first Zelda game, and was retained enough to have Holodrum, the location of the game, largely reuse the map from the first game, while the Metroid franchise had released an expanded remake, Metroid Zero Mission onto the Game Boy Advance.).
- Andi Gibson, the English voice actor for Impa in Breath of the Wild, provided the narration for the Metroid Dread - Overview Trailer as well as the Nintendo Direct livestream-exclusive segment for the Sounds of Dread trailer.
- Raven Beak's Flash Shift ability, in particular his usage of it during the conclusion of his and Samus's first encounter in Artaria in Metroid Dread, seems to be based on Ganondorf's Flame Choke Side Special from Brawl onward. The Flame Choke move itself was derived from Ganondorf's murder of the Water Sage after narrowly surviving execution in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
- Super Smash Bros. series
- Kid Icarus
- Animal Crossing
- Nintendo Land
- NES Remix 2
- ^ 25 Things You Didn't Know About The Legend of Zelda. “The Oracle games originally started life out as a remake of the original NES Legend of Zelda. Yoshiki Okamoto of Capcom approached Miyamoto with the idea and, after much back and forth, got the go-ahead.”