Warning: While most of the content in this article is factual, there is some speculation towards the end of it.
Welcome back to the second and final part of my Zelda series stage analysis. In this part, we wrap up covering the remaining Zelda stages from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, as well as concluding with a wealth of statistics, interesting trivia, discussion about some oddly absent games from the stage line-up and predictions for possible future stages. If you missed Part 1, be sure to read it first by visiting the link below.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U
Due to the split-development of the fourth instalment of Super Smash Bros. for both the 3DS and Wii U, a lot of series only received one new stage across the two versions. Thanks to its status as one of Nintendo’s largest franchises, The Legend of Zelda not only received new stages in both versions of the game, but was the only series besides Mario and Pokémon to have at least two new stages in one version. Two new stages are exclusive to the 3DS version, while the Wii U version version only has one new stage exclusive to it, meaning the Zelda series received three new stages overall. Thanks to the 3DS version’s focus on handheld titles, for the first time ever we received a stage from a handheld Zelda game, which was also the first and so far only stage to be based on a top-down Zelda game.
The first of the two 3DS exclusive stages is Gerudo Valley from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. While this game had already had a stage in the original Super Smash Bros., the updated port The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D had only came out a few years before Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, explaining why it would be chosen again. This stage is set in the opening area of Gerudo Valley, where a bridge above Zora’s River leads to the Gerudo Fortress. The stage is a very faithful recreation of the original location, including the carpenters’ tent and even two boulders on the right side of the bridge just like in the original. The only major change from the original game is that instead of the bridge being lower with some stairs on both sides it is now in at the same height as the cliff on each side, possibly for gameplay reasons. The Gerudo Fortress and Horseback Archery Range can also be seen in the background of the left part of the stage. The valley’s bridge can take damage, and when it receives too much it will break, exposing the chasm below, which contains a few weak platforms and some spikes on the sides. Shortly after the bridge breaks, the twin witches Koume and Kotake will appear, and one will cast a spell on one half of the stage with either Koume causing a fire to break out on the left side or Kotake summoning freezing ice spikes on the right. Shortly after the Song of Time is heard and the bridge repairs itself, causing fighters who are still standing on one of the platforms underneath to be KO’d. The evil sisters appear on this stage because they are part of the Gerudo tribe and serve as the bosses of the Spirit Temple, which is located in the desert beyond Gerudo Valley. There are also platforms supported by framework on each side of the canyon that bear the Gerudo Symbol on them, which first appeared in Majora’s Mask and was only present in ports and remakes of Ocarina of Time due to the original symbol being removed because of Nintendo’s policies regarding religious material. The main song for this stage is a remix of the Gerudo Valley theme from Ocarina of Time, while the alternate theme is the Ocarina of Time Medley from Brawl.
The second stage exclusive to the 3DS version is Spirit Train from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. This stage marks the first time in the series that a stage from a top-down Zelda game has appeared, most likely due to the focus on handheld stages in this version. It was not the most recent handheld Zelda title however, as The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was newer by several years. It’s likely that Spirit Tracks was chosen instead so Toon Link could have a stage from one of his games, and the stage is in some ways comparable to Pirate Ship. Taking place on top of the stage’s namesake, the train travels across the vast fields of the Forest Realm, the first area of New Hyrule. The train consists of the Spirit Engine, the Solid Passenger Car and the Trusty Freight Car, but every now and then the screen will move to the left, pushing the freight car off-screen, replacing it with a different car when the screen shifts back. These include a freight car filled with coal, a destroyed passenger car with a hole in the middle, multiple platforms suspended above the track by framework, and even a freight car carrying the Linebeck Trading Company’s Trading Post. There is also a floating platform that moves above the train, which moves off-screen occasionally. Falling on the tracks will send one speeding to the right fast, leading to fighters getting hit by the train if in front or hurtling off-screen if behind should they not be able to jump fast enough. Hostile trains can also appear in front or behind the train, with Dark Trains that either explode where they are or jump onto the train and explode, causing the passenger and freight cars to uncouple, leaving only the engine for a moment, as well as Armoured Trains that push the train further towards one side of the screen, reducing the amount of space to fight on. Toon Link also appears here in his engineer’s clothes driving the train, but is replaced by his mentor Alfonzo if Toon Link or even regular Link is present on the stage. The main track for this stage is a remix of Full Steam Ahead, the overworld theme from Spirit Tracks, while the alternate track is a remix consisting of both the Overworld Theme and Dungeon theme from the original The Legend of Zelda.
Lastly, we have the only new stage in the Wii U version, Skyloft from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Being the newest 3D Zelda title at the time and the only one to come out after Brawl, it’s inclusion was only inevitable. Similarly to the Delfino Plaza stage in Brawl, this stage features a set of floating platforms that fly around the stage and stop at different locations for players to fight on. These include the Knight Academy, the Bazaar, the Light Tower, the Statue of the Goddess and many other places. However, unlike Delfino Plaza, the time spent at these locations is significantly shorter, and a lot more of them feature bottomless pits, whereas the former stage has very few. Loftwings (including Link’s Crimson Loftwing), Beedle’s Shop and three columns of light can be seen in the background. This stage’s tracklist includes a remixed medley of Ballad of the Goddess and Ghirahim’s Theme (as well as a direct port of the original version of the former), a remix containing Saria’s Song, the Middle Boss Battle theme and the Boss Clear fanfare from Ocarina of Time, and another remixed medley consisting of The Great Sea from Wind Waker and the iconic File Select/Fairy Fountain theme that has been around since A Link to the Past. A port of the Lorule Overworld theme from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is also present.
As for returning stages this time, there are actually none in the base game of the 3DS version. The Wii U version however has two returning stages; Temple from Melee and Bridge of Eldin from Brawl. Temple was given a noticeable visual overhaul as well as new music, most of which originated from Melee, Brawl and Smash 3DS, but includes two songs not featured anywhere else; direct ports of the second Hyrule Overworld theme (once Link obtains the Master Sword) and the second Yuga Battle theme both from A Link Between Worlds. Bridge of Eldin on the other hand has mostly the same music, with the only change being the Dark World theme being replaced with a new remix containing both the Dark World and Dark World Dungeon themes. The Zelda series received another two returning stages through DLC, the first of which was Hyrule Castle from the original Super Smash Bros. Direct ports of the Overworld themes from The Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past as well as the Hyrule Field from Ocarina of Time were added, as well as the brand new The Legend of Zelda Medley, featuring the Overworld Theme, Secret jingle, Title theme, Dungeon theme all from the original The Legend of Zelda, and then concluded with Zelda’s Lullaby, all done on acoustic guitar.
The second DLC stage was Pirate Ship from Brawl, which is the only DLC stage (if one does not count Miiverse, which was added in a free update) exclusive to the Wii U version, due to restrictions of the 3DS version. The stage doesn’t introduce any new remixes, but does have new songs from other stages added to it, as well as replacing The Great Sea with the remix added on Skyloft and completely dropping the Molgera Battle theme. One major notable addition to the stage is its Omega form. Unlike most Omega variants, this stage’s Omega form doesn’t take place on a modified version of the stage’s main fighting area and instead takes place on a lookout platform. There are pots and chests on the platform which are what could be found on these platforms in the original game, and the pirate ship appears in the background with the design being modified to be more similar to the ship’s original design in Wind Waker.
Overall, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U had a fairly decent representation of The Legend of Zelda series. Skyward Sword received a stage, continuing the series’ tradition of adding a stage for the latest 3D Zelda title, while Ocarina of Time received a new stage exploring a completely different area of Hyrule. For the first time ever a top-down Zelda game was represented with a stage from Spirit Tracks, which is also the first Zelda series stage to originate from a handheld title. Due to returning stages there was also representation of both The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, as as an Ocarina of Time stage in the Wii U version with Hyrule Castle also returning. New remixes allowed for coverage of first The Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past, although barely any songs from those games that hadn’t already been remixed were present this time. Ocarina of Time received a new medley in the Wii U version, and The Wind Waker also finally got a remix after not having any in Brawl. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was oddly absent, but it was acknowledged with a few songs being directly ported from it. It’s likely the development of two versions may have caused The Legend of Zelda to have less stages then it could have otherwise, and this time around there’s not as many games covered by new songs, but with what it was given the series was able to cover a fairly good portion of the franchise. There are still many games left unacknowledged however whether it be through a significant title not having a stage or many of the top-down games not even having a song, let alone a remix in the game. Hopefully the next Super Smash Bros. instalment will provide a much deeper coverage of the franchise.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (including Ocarina of Time 3D)
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask*
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
*Majora’s Mask technically received a new reference with the new Gerudo Symbol on the Gerudo Valley stage which first appeared in this game, but this is only because the symbol’s design was retconned in future versions of Ocarina of Time due to Nintendo’s policies on religious content in their games, rather than being a specific shout-out to this game.
Move on over to Page 2 for a look at statistics, trivia and more!
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