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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Top 5 greatest ever (and worst ever) Zelda game names

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So as we all know, yesterday we had the first Nintendo Direct since the cretacious period, and it brought with it announcements of all kinds, like games where you manage farms, games where you manage planting, and even games where you manage the relationships of farmers. While these announcements truly stole the show, the thing that's on everyone's minds is the name reveal of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, because despite the game itself being mostly irrelevant to the larger industry, it's the kind of name that gets everyone wondering: "Why don't they hire me instead?". It was particularly bad because it came in a Direct filled with incredible names all around, from the likes of Harvestella all the way to Ib - these are truly not the kinds of names we see in our various daylife.

Thus, I come here to present the discussion: out of all The Legend of Zelda games, which ones have the best titles? Personally I'll only be including the names of the games that are officially recognized in the canon timeline, meaning there's 20 to choose from, here are my thoughts...

5th best: Phantom Hourglass
I don't know why a phantom hourglass sounds cool, but it does. Unfortunately it's the worst thing about the game, but this here is about names, which are the most important thing anyway.

5th worst: Oracle of Seasons
I might be willing to forgive Oracle of Ages, but this? Man that's a pretty lame oracle to be. What are you even doing? Everyone knows how long seasons are and when each one starts, literally all of humanity has successfully adapted to their existence. That doesn't make you special, oracle of seasons, whoever you are.

4th best: Ocarina of Time
A classic that sounds totally epic, as probably anything "of time" would, because an ocarina is the last thing you'd think of putting in that phrase. It's pretty dumb, honestly, but it just works. This one also kicked off the trend of naming Zelda games after in-game objects, which had mixed results over the years.

4th worst: Tears of the Kingdom
Sounds very derivative of its predecessor even though it's a totally different name, and honestly the biggest thing that's wrong with this one is, it just doesn't have a nice ring to it. It sounds horrible, to put it more accurately. And never mind the acronym, TotK, holy hell that looks ugly. I think we can all agree it could and should've been a much better name, but hey, at least it's not whatever Flilix was calling it last year, let's not remember that.

3rd best: The Legend of Zelda
The original should arguably be considered the best by default, since its name is included in nearly every other game in the franchise, but I'm keeping it at 3rd because there are even better names than it. Still, this was a fantastic one. Sounds epic and awesome, perfectly sets up what Zelda is about and even made people get the protagonist's name wrong for decades. What more could you ask for?

3rd worst: The Adventure of Link
This is the stupidest name for a second entry in a series, because, well. The first game was already Link's adventure. Guess they wanted to go out of their way to make people realize the character isn't called Zelda, but even then, it didn't work, so.

2nd best: Breath of the Wild
It just sounds beautiful, really. Great ring to it, perfectly sells what the game is about without needing to say anything about what explicitly the game is about. Haters would say it should've been called The Legend of Zelda: Sheikah Slate.

2nd worst: Four Swords Adventures
I could live with Four Swords, but this takes it too far. And on top of it sounding dumb, like, those "adventures" sound very unexciting, it also winds up being a confusing name as it doesn't really sell that it's a different game from Four Swords.

The best: Majora's Mask
I don't know what the hell a Majora is supposed to be, but it sounds scary and has a nice ring to it, so it's a great name.

The worst: Tri Force Heroes
This name separates into two words what should only be one, and in doing so commits a great sin. To mis-spell the Triforce is a great heresy, such is its importance as the symbol of the Zelda series. Thus, this name will forever tarnish the franchise's reputation, which is truly a shame because the game is otherwise an incredible entry in the series, arguably its very best.

Though my reasoning for every ranking here is completely unbiased and flawless, there is no reason to consider this the end of the discussion - in fact, I am very much open to discussing other people's takes, because at the end of the day, even if your opinion is wrong, it's still an opinion about Zelda game names, which are very important.




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I like "Tears of the Kingdom".



Come on, the worst name has got to be A Link to the Past. Are we sending Link back in time or what? That game doesn't even include time traveling lmao.



GoOnKid said:

Come on, the worst name has got to be A Link to the Past. Are we sending Link back in time or what? That game doesn't even include time traveling lmao.

I mean, he does go to the dark world, which is evil and ugly, so that's basically the past, right?

In all seriousness I think it's supposed to be because the game takes place before the NES ones, but I don't know if that's something the developers confirmed or just speculated by people after the timeline was a thing. Which is just 20 years later or so.




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A Link to the Past, the localized name of Triforce of the Gods, was named such because it takes place before the original Zelda games.



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Maybe I'll grow on me but for now I agree that Tears of the Kingdom doesn't exactly roll of the tongue and is one of the worst sounding names (the bar is pretty high tho since I like most of the names).

I think Zelda II: Adventures of Link is my least favorite, because it's so inconsistent with the rest of the series.



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mZuzek said:

2nd best: Breath of the Wild
It just sounds beautiful, really. Great ring to it, perfectly sells what the game is about without needing to say anything about what explicitly the game is about. Haters would say it should've been called The Legend of Zelda: Sheikah Slate.

Well obviously, and while we're at it we should fix some of the others:

Twilight Princess - The Legend of Zelda: The Adventure of Wolf Link

Link's Awakening - The Legend of Zelda: Link's Asleepening

The Wind Waker - The Legend of Zelda: On Stranger Tides

A Link to the Past - The Legend of Zelda: A Link to a Different Color Palette



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UnderwaterFunktown said:

Maybe I'll grow on me but for now I agree that Tears of the Kingdom doesn't exactly roll of the tongue and is one of the worst sounding names (the bar is pretty high tho since I like most of the names).

I think they should've gone with Tears of Hyrule.




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I like the name "Tears of the Kingdom" way more than I liked the name "Breath of the Wild" when it was revealed. I still hate saying it because the only name that is more annoying to say out loud is "Hyrule Warriors". "Tears of the Kingdom" is supposed to be derivative of "Breath of the Wild", the structure is the same because it's it's direct sequel.

I think "The Adventure of Link" is the worst name in the franchise because it's simply generic as hell.



I agree with your best and worst. Majora's Mask sounds ominous and creepy, like the tone of the game. It couldn't have a better name. Tri Force Heroes sucks, and until now I never even noticed the 'typo'. Makes this stain on the Zelda series even worse. Or is it actually a typo? It dawned on me, it's probably meant as a pun; there's three Links in the game that do stuff, so 'Tri Force', the force of three, as well as referring to the Triforce itself. Anyway, what I don't agree with your line "incredible entry, arguably the best". I'd say it's by far the worst, even worse than Four Swords and like I said a stain on the Zelda series, but okay this is a topic for another day.

As far as Tears of the Kingdom is concerned, I like the name, even if yes I also immediately noted how similar it is to Breath of the Wild because it is also 'somethingsomething of the somethingsomething' which sounds too 'easy'. It could be because they thought they needed something similar for a direct sequel (even though there's plenty in the series that don't do this). I do think it sounds better than Breath of the Wild though, because I feel it sounds like it actually means something, what is for example a 'breath of the wild', how does the wild breathe? I like the ring of your 'Tears of Hyrule' suggestion, though, maybe, the "Kingdom" isn't Hyrule?.. We don't know yet.

I'd personally discount The Legend of Zelda, because while that is the name of the first game and it is great, it's now the name of the series, so every game has that name. You could however consider The Hyrule Fantasy, which is the Japanese name for the first game.

Let me rank some;

Best
5 - Ocarina of Time: It sounds grand and epic, which is good, legendary even, but the word 'Ocarina' isn't the easiest.
4 - A Link Between Worlds: A clever name, that not only harkens back to it's spiritual predecessor, but also refers to the game's main mechanic.
3 - The Wind Waker: A name that feels as adventurous as the mood of the game itself does. Having "Wind" in the name, means freedom.
2 - Link's Awakening: Another clever name which at first glance refers to how Link wakes up stranded on a beach, but actually gives away the entire plot without you knowing it.
1 - Majora's Mask: Perfect name, which captures the creepy ominous feeling of the game.

Honourable Mention: Spirit Tracks: Similar to Wind Waker, it has a feel of freedom and adventure.

Worst
5 - Twilight Princess: Great game, underrated, but a name that doesn't really roll off the tongue.
4 - Skyward Sword: Similar to Twilight Princess, however in this case the name sounds too 'small', it's not really epic.
3 - Adventure of Link: A bit of a generic name, which doesn't tell you much because every other game is an adventure as well.
2 - Four Swords Adventures: Too long of a name that doesn't flow well and doesn't differentiate itself much from its predecessor. For a time I thought Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures were the same game.
1 - Tri Force Heroes: Bad game with a bad name. More a name for a childish spin-off.

Honourable mention: A Link to the Past: While it has a epic feel to it, it has little to do with the game, and exists more because the game was set before the original, though I also once read that the name refers to the fact that the story of the game is the consequence of the events of the backstory as told in the intro, which happens in a distant past. In any case it just makes a lot of people think the Dark World is "the past", which is untrue.

Last edited by S.Peelman - on 15 September 2022