The very first The Legend of Zelda cameo in Tetris on the NES
The Legend of Zelda series has made numerous cameos and crossovers in other Nintendo games, and elements and characters from the series have even made licensed appearances in third party video games. This listing does not include unlicensed parodies and homages in other media. Please visit The Legend of Zelda in popular culture for examples of these.
The Triforce appears as furniture and the Master Sword returns as furniture. Interacting with the Triforce separates its pieces as they twirl before reforming, mimicking the animation and sound effect of A Link to the Past title screen.
If the game is beaten with 18 Video Game Hero Coins (in the form of DK Coins) or less, third place in Cranky's Video Game Heroes will be held by Link, behind Yoshi and Mario. Link's appearance is based on the design used for official art in A Link to the Past and Link's Awakening, albeit with darker hair, possibly due to palette limitations. He appears unequipped, and looks around the room before crossing his arms. In the Game Boy Advance version, Link takes the second place instead of Yoshi (at the time of the original game, Yoshi's Island had just been released). As the game used pre-rendered sprites, this marks the first time Link had been rendered in three dimensions for a game.
If the main characters buy a shell from Bazaar's Shop, ask him about a castle, and refuse to pay for the story; Bazaar will tell them a story about another boy who asked about a castle and paid for it in Rupees.
In several games, starting with Kirby Super Star, Kirby's Sword ability makes many reference to Link, most notably with a hat based on Link's cap from A Link to the Past, the most recent design at the time of release (although with the addition of a bobble at the tip). The Sword Kirby uses was also made into a design resembling the Master Sword, and Kirby gains many abilities based on those used by Link, such as the Sword Beam and Down Thrust, and in Kirby's Return to Dream Land he is even able to use Link's trademark Spin Attack, complete with him charging energy before the attack is unleashed.
Throughout the game Mario is guided by a hint giving Pixl named Tippi. She has the appearance of a rainbow colored (but mostly light blue) butterfly, and is obviously a parody of Navi. Also, when Mimi insists that Mario pays for a vase he broke, she will not accept coins, since she prefers to use octagonal gems called Rubees, again a parody of Rupee. There is a Pixl inside a bathroom on the moon named "Fleep" which requests a piece of paper. Mario then must buy a map, which is then used a toilet paper by Fleep (in a similar way to ???), who rewards him by joining his team.
The first boss of the game is a robotic dragon named Fracktail who is attacked by Dimentio. After being attacked, the dragon malfunctions and begins to say several computer-inspired phrases, one of which is "I AM ERROR."
Game director Yoshiaki Koizumi said in an interview with Nintendo Power (issue #225) that the battle strategy against the boss character Megaleg is inspired by what was going to be used for the final battle against Ganon in Ocarina of Time, but that was scrapped due to difficulty on camera control. Also, in the third mission of Good Egg Galaxy, Mario fights giant creatures that resemble Deku Scrubs firing cannonballs at him. In one galaxy, a giant Rupee appears and grants Mario a large amount of star bits.
World 5-2 is heavily based on the Zelda series and was created to honor the game's 25th anniversary. Played predominantly from a top-down perspective and involving Mario moving from room to room in a similar manner to a traditional Zelda dungeon. A puzzle to obtain a Star Coin involves lighting torches using Fire Mario which causes the Zelda "puzzle solved" musical cue to play, and the dungeon includes traps that mimic those that appear in Zelda games, such as Guruguru Bars, Spiked Rollers, and Spinies appear as enemies, who also appear in the Zelda series in the form of Spiked Beetles.
In Mission C-3: Roundhouse Brawl in the Old Clockworks, the Ancient Poltergeist (Elder Boffin in the PAL release) is briefly seen arranging six bricks into the shape of the Triforce. As he does this, the background music briefly plays the "item found" refrain from the Zelda games.
One of the Luiginoid moves is called Hookshot, which is a reference to the item of the same name. This Luiginoid move works in a similar manner to the aforementioned item, causing multiple Luigis to stretch out in a chain to latch onto targets and pull Mario and the remaining Luiginoids to it.
A secret area in one level of the game takes Mario to an area composed of black blocks that form an 8-bit Link sprite from the original The Legend of Zelda. Lighting them all up to reveal the sprite causes the "item found" refrain from Ocarina of Time to play, and a Green Star to appear. After this, the music will change to a remix of part of the main theme of the Zelda series until Mario leaves.
A Zelda-themed Downloadable Content package for Mario Kart 8 was released on November 13, 2014. The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8 package contains three new playable characters, including the incarnation of Link from Skyward Sword. The DLC also contains four vehicles and two parts: the Master Cycle, which features a Hylian Shield at each side, and the Triforce Tires and Hylian Kite. The Triforce Cup, also included in the DLC, features the Hyrule Circuit, which is located in Hyrule Field and inside Hyrule Castle. The circuit features Rupees instead of Coins, Deku Babas instead of Piranha Plants, and Keese instead of Swoopers. Once inside the Hyrule Castle section, switches can be activated to summon the Master Sword. Also, Link will sometimes hold the Triforce in his hands while performing a trick.
The DLC is available for purchase for $7.99 USD, though it may be bought in conjunction with the Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 bundle pack for $11.99 USD.
The Royal Crest bumper sticker from Metroid Prime 3
The game's concept of light/dark duality, as well as the collection of Temple Keys, was compared to the gameplay mechanic from A Link to the Past. In fact, the developer of the game, Retro Studios, was assisted by one of the creators of the SNES Zelda game to properly incorporate the aforementioned concept into the new game.
Interestingly, some game journalists and critics also compared this game to Majora's Mask, as both games are credited for being darker and more challenging than their respective predecessors, albeit also less influential.
A few Nintendo references appear in the form some of the Treasures Wario can obtain in each level. The treasure found in the Story "Get in the Tea Cup" is a gem that appears similar to a Rupee, while a blue Ocarina much like the Flute from A Link to the Past appears in "Stop that Train!". A staff resembling the Cane of Byrna appears in "Get to the Castle!!", while "Return the Hen to Her Nest" contains winged boots resembling the Boots from The Adventure of Link.
Two of the stages are based on the original Legend of Zelda, utilizing sprites of Link, Zelda and Ganon. Each stage is accompanied by a remixed theme in a chiptune style; one based on the main theme, and the second being a rock-themed remix of the Death Mountain music.
There's a part in the game where the player goes to Sunny Peak and pulls The Legendary Spoon out of its pedestal, similar to Link pulling the Master Sword out of its pedestal. It references A Link to the Past, in which Link also had to get a blue, red and green orb before he could pull the sword from its pedestal. This specific quest has also been featured in several other Zelda games.
Ham-Merchants across the game say "Buy something, will ya?", like the merchants from the first game.
One of the minigames is called The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, and is a direct homage to the series, where the player takes on the role of Link and fights many monsters from the series in familiar landscapes.
Aside from the obvious Zelda references relating to Battle Quest, the Triforce makes an appearance in Yoshi's Fruit Cart in Gate 30, where the player must make the shape of the relic using the stylus to complete the stage.
The Triforce also appears as a possible shape in the Pachinko game found in the main Plaza.
In the special episode "Igglybuff the Prodigy", there is a cutscene involving a room in a dungeon filled with many Zelda dungeon puzzle-like implements that a character explains are probably all used to open the door in that room. A later cutscene involves the same character talking about a single simple, common (but reverse-solution) Zelda puzzle type found in front of him inside another dungeon.
In the Wii U version of Bayonetta that is packaged with retail copies of Bayonetta 2, the titular character Bayonetta and Jeanne appear with multiple Nintendo-inspired outfits, including the Hero of Hyrule costume based on Link. With this costume, they use the Master Sword and Hylian Shield, with the Master Sword replacing the Shuraba Sword and the Shield used to parry and counter incoming attacks. Other elements from the Zelda series also appear, such as collectible Rupees and jingles that play when opening a locked door or a chest.
Released exclusively in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS, the game features a costume of Link in his Skyward Sword incarnation (along with a costume of Zero Suit Samus). He is equipped with the True Master Sword and the Hylian Shield; however, he does not use them as it is only a costume and not a full character.
Ittle Dew bears homage to the classic 2D Zelda titles and contains similar puzzle elements as well as Hearts and Chests. The protagonist herself greatly resembles Link, and she is accompanied by a winged companion, similar to Navi.
Zoro's Link costume from One Piece: Super Grand Battle! X
Costumes of Link in his Skyward Sword incarnation for the players with the Master Sword, Hylian Shield and the Sacred Bow are available after completing a quest where you have to defeat monsters known as Jinouga, Kirin, and Rajang. These monsters are chosen to represent Power, Wisdom and Courage, the three aspects of the Triforce. Defeating them grants the player a Triforce ticket that can be used to obtain the Zelda item set.
One Piece: Super Grand Battle! X
By using amiibos through the Nintendo 3DS, various costumes based on Nintendo characters can be unlocked. These inlcude a Link costume for Zoro, which includes the Master Sword, Hylian Shield, and Majora's Mask.
Along with other Nintendo-themed cameos such as Samus's Power Beam, the Hylian Shield appears as a Shield weapon in the Japanese version of Phantasy Star Zero. It is only available using a special code.
The Legend of Zelda Zone is a free DLC-level for Sonic Lost World. In the level, Sonic the Hedgehog is dressed like Link in a green tunic and boots. The Zone features many elements from Zelda series, including enemies, objects, and sounds. Link himself appears in his Skyward Sword incarnation.
In one episode, Mario is rescuing some aliens known as Quirks from Moon Man Koopa. In the episode, the Quirks sing a song to stop Koopa. The song that the Quirks play is the beginning theme from the Zelda cartoon.
↑"In The Great Cave Offensive in the Kirby Super Star™ game, Kirby can find treasures based on classic games like Super Mario Bros.™, EarthBound™, and The Legend of Zelda™. Developers wanted to return the favor, since Kirby got to make an appearance in The Legend of Zelda™: Link's Awakening™!" — Nintendo, Kirby's 20th Anniversary - Sneak Peek at Kirby secrets and tips, Nintendo.com, published 2012, retrieved September 18, 2012.
↑"This pack adds three characters, four vehicles, and eight courses to Mario Kart 8." — N/A, [ Pack 1: The Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8], Nintendo eShop, published August 27, 2014, retrieved August 30, 2014.
↑"Two new downloadable content packs will take the world of Mario Kart™ 8 in directions the franchise has never seen before, while significantly expanding game-play options. The packs, which launch this fall and next spring and are available for advance purchase starting August 27 at $7.99 each (or $11.99 for both when purchased as a bundle), deliver a ton of new content, including first-time crossover characters like Link™ from The Legend of Zelda™ franchise and both Isabelle and the Villager from the Animal Crossing™ series." — Nintendo, Advance purchase two new Mario Kart 8 DLC Packs and get a bonus, Nintendo.com, published August 27, 2014, retrieved August 30, 2014.
↑"Once you and your puppy have bonded in Nintendogs + Cats, you can get a kitten from the kennel, too! The standard kittens come in varieties, like tiger striped or calico. On that subject, did you know that less than one percent of calicos are born male? They're like Gerudo of the cat world!" — N/A (Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U)