One Nintendo franchise iteration per generation. That's generally how things tend to go. Oh, sure, the NES saw two Zelda titles and three Mario titles (two, really), but the norm is that every franchise drops in for one game per generation. So when Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker close to the middle of the GameCube's lifespan, most assumed that this would be Link's only appearance on the console. Especially with the talk of a new console in the works, most assumed any Zelda development would be focused on the new system. Perhaps there would be room for a Majora's Mask-esque sequel, as Nintendo entertained the idea of a Wind Waker 2.

Then came E3 2004. Nintendo made its best attempt to cause fanboys to explode with joy by announcing and previewing a stunning, gorgeous Zelda title that would soon come to be known as The Twilight Princess. Eventually, the game was stretched between generations, being released on the GameCube as promised but also repackaged as a Wii launch title. Perhaps Nintendo simply had to act in response to Microsoft's aggressive jump into the next generation, and poor Link was drafted. Though it sold well on the GameCube, time will likely classify The Twilight Princess as a Wii title. Either way, that moment will live on as one of the most exciting and surprising announcements in Nintendo's long and storied history.



This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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