One of Nintendo's most important intellectual properties, possibly even the most important, is Zelda. Just about every Nintendo hardware platform has benefited from a Zelda game release, with Switch being the most recent example of that. But back in 2003 it looks like we missed out on a Game Boy Advance Zelda game that Nintendo never got to see.
As Kotaku reports, Davide Soliani is creative director at Ubisoft Milan. Before that he was a game designer and then lead game designer at Ubisoft and before that a game designer at Kuju. Ubisoft Milan is the studio that recently gave us Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle for the Switch.
In a tweet posted yesterday, Soliani reveals that back in 2003 he and Ubisoft artist Fabio Pagetti created a pitch for Wind Waker on the Game Boy Advance. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker had been released on the GameCube in Japan at the end of 2002 and then North America in March 2003.
Based on that tweet, Nintendo never got to see this Wind Waker prototype as Ubisoft killed it long before that could have happened.
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During the lifetime of the GBA, there were five Zelda games released including A Link to the Past, Four Swords, The Minish Cap, and the re-releases of the original Zelda and Zelda II. Development was handled in Japan by either Nintendo itself or Flagship who had also carried out development work on Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons for the Game Boy Color.
We will never know if Nintendo would have considered the project at the time, but the company does now seem much more open to outside developers working with its most important IP as Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle shows. There's no reason why this Wind Waker prototype couldn't be brought back to life as a 3DS game or even a 2D Zelda game on Switch Nintendo knows gamers would snatch off the shelves.
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