The Legend of Zelda
February 21, 1986
Manhandla, called Testitart in Japanese, boss of Level 3, is stated in the Japanese game's manual to be a giant type of Piranha Plant, the carnivorous plant from Mario games (much like Digdogger is based on a Clu Clu Land enemy). This reference was removed in the international releases of the game, as well as Japanese re-releases and remakes, where it was simply called "large man-eating flower".
Manhandla also returns in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, along with all the bosses from the original Zelda, and also in Four Swords Adventures as a mini-boss. Four Swords features a variation called Big Manhandla as a boss.
Additionally in an interview it was revelealed that Firebars from Super Mario Bros. were considered as hazards in this game. They were finally included in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
Super Mario Bros. 3
October 23, 1988
The Recorder item from The Legend of Zelda also appears in this game, with the name Warp Whistle or Magic Whistle in international versions of the game, looking the same, playing the same tune and summoning a cyclone in the same way. Its use gameplay-wise is similar, since in both games it's used to warp to different levels, however while in Zelda it's necessar to finish the game, since it's the only way to access Level 7 (Level 6 in Second Quest), and can be used infinite times, with also some extra uses, in Mario it's an extra item used to skip to later worlds, and can only be used once (but three whistles can be found in different spots in the game).
Some people don't consider it the same item, but rather a similar item based on it, mainly because they're named differently in the international versions of the game, but they were named the same way in the original Japanese version ("フエ", "Fue", that means "whistle").
The Magic Whistle was left unchanged in all remakes of the game.
Additionally, it was revealed in an interview that the Chain Chomp enemy was originally created as a Zelda enemy, but ended up being used in this game first. It then appeared in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
Note: The Ocean theme in this game has similarities with the Fairy Fountain themes in other Legend of Zelda games.
Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
September 04, 1989
The Legend of Zelda TV show aired as the friday episode of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
Additionally, during the episodes from monday to thursday a promo for the Zelda episode would be showed, and it'd be announced by the characters from the live action segments of the episode. This may count as a sub-universe link, because Mario or other characters would directly talk about the Zelda series (saying something like "Now let's see some scenes from The Legend of Zelda!"), but we count it as fourth wall breaking. Basically Mario is only promoting the Zelda show to the audience, he's not talking about a fictional series within his universe.
Super Mario Bros. Super Show! episode Stars in Their Eyes
September 19, 1989
In the end of the episode, the aliens known as Quirks defeat Moon Man Koopa by humming as loud as possible, finally breakng his ship. The song is actually The Legend of Zelda's main theme, and as he flees, Koopa even aknowledges it as the Zelda theme by saying "I hate that music! I hate the game!"
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
November 21, 1991
This game features two enemies/hazards taken directly from the Mario series:
- Chain Chomp, a living ball and chain enemy previously featured in Super Mario Bros. 3 (though originally planned as a Zelda enemy). In the international version it's been renamed BowWow, but its original Japanese name is the same (Wanwan, an onomatopoeia for a dog's bark). It is found in Turtle Rock and, in the Game Boy Advance remake of the game, in the Palace of the Four Sword. They later return in Link's Awakening, Four Swords, Four Swords Adventures and Hyrule Warriors.
- Firebars, the rotating rods of fireballs originally from Super Mario Bros. They're found in many dungeons in the game and also return in Four Swords Adventures, The Minish Cap, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks.
Additionally, a portrait of Mario can be seen on the wall in several houses in Kakariko Village.
Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up
March 24, 1992
This educational/coloring book game features various colorable images themed after common careers. Most of them feature Mario, Luigi, Toad and other Mario characters, the only exception being the travel guide one, only featuring Link. Its description reads: Link the travel guide is ready to take tourists to exciting faraway places, even to fantasy lands like SuperMarioLand (sic). Better stick close to Link, though, because he knows how to deal with make-believe badguys. Even if the image only feature Link, this counts as an In-universe link between the two series, because it's said in the description that he visits Mario's world, specifically "Super Mario Land", the location from the Game Boy Mario games.
Link also makes an appearance in the Chef/Waitress image, this time directly interacting with Mario and Peach. Its description reads: Chef Mario is cooking one of his tasty pasta dishes. Waitress Princess Toadstool is taking Link's order at a table. "Your order is coming right up!" says Chef Mario. "Yeah, and now it's coming right down on my head!" says Link.
Super Mario-Kun Volume 4
November 28, 1992
In Volume 4 of the CoroCoro Comic manga Super Mario-kun, Mario finds himself in Hyrule, the world from the Legend of Zelda, where Yoshi is inexplicably turned into a Shield and Bowser is turned into a fairy. The comic features many elements from the Zelda series, and at the end Mario even finds himself in the F-Zero world.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
June 6, 1993
Chain Chomps from A Link to the Past return in this game (even though as pets, rather than enemies), but there also are many other Mario enemies, in detail:
Two enemies that may or may not be based on Mario are the Bombite, that looks very similar to the Bob-Omb, but is named differently (its japanese name is Bom, as opposed to Mario's Soldier Bomb), and the Sea Urchin, that looks similar to Mario's Urchin or the Unibo from Super Mario Land 2, but it may just be a coincidence. Also, it may actually be based on the Gordo from the Kirby series.
The game also features an appearance of Wart, the final boss of Super Mario USA, here named with his original japanese name Mamu, but rather than being an enemy he's the leader of a choir of frogs, teaching the Song of Soul to Link. Since Mamu is originally from Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic, this may actually be considered a reference to that game.
The game also features minor additional references to the Mario series, specifically:
- The character Tarin is a parody of Mario, having a similar appearance, sharing his love for mushrooms, and transforming into a racoon at one point, just like Mario does in Super Mario Bros. 3.
- The character Cucco Keeper looks similar to Luigi and may be based on him, but this time it may be just a coincidence.
- As part of the game's trading sequence, the goat Christine in Animal Village will give Link a love letter to Mr. Write. After giving it to him, it is revealed to have a photograph of Princess Peach enclosed, instead of herself.
All these elements return in both remakes of the game, Link's Awakening DX for Game Boy Color and Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch, unchanged save for graphical enhancements. (All images in this section are actually taken from Link's Awakening DX.)
Link's Awakening DX also added a new enemy from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island; since we count that as a reference to the Yoshi series, it's described at the Yoshi X Zelda page.
Super Mario RPG
March 9, 1996
If Mario sleeps at the Inn at Rose Town, Link will be sleeping in the bed next to him. If Mario tries to talk to him, it will play the classic Zelda "discovery theme".
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
November 21, 1998
This game features some references to the Mario series, specifically:
- The characters Talon and Ingo are based on Mario and Luigi respectively (even though Talon is based on Tarin from Link's Awakening, his design is directly inspired on Mario, most notably the colors of his clothes). Talon later returns in Oracle of Seasons, Four Swords Adventures and Minish Cap, while Ingo only returns in Oracle of Seasons. Also Mr. Barten from Majora's Mask is based on Talon, while Gorman from Majora's Mask and Minish Cap is based on Ingo.
- The characters Malon and Talon are wearing a broach shaped like Bowser's face. They're also worn by Romani and Cremia in Majora's Mask, since both are based on Malon, and again by Talon in his artwork for Oracle of Seasons.
- In Princess Zelda's Courtyard within Hyrule Castle, blurred portraits of Yoshi, Princess Peach, Mario, Bowser and Luigi can be seen hanging on the wall within a window.
- The Composer Brothers, two ghosts met in the game, may be based on the Mario brothers. Specifically the elder brother, Sharp, is shorter and fatter and wears red clothes like Mario, while the younger brother, Flat, is taller and slimmer and wears green clothes like Luigi. Additionally they both have mustaches and wear a cap with a symbol on it, a red sun for Sharp and a green moon for Flat.
- On the second floor of Dodongo's Cavern, there's a sign which reads "Giant Dead Dodongo... When it sees red, a new way to go will be open." The texture used for the sign is the same used for the one under the Stone Star in Peach's garden in Super Mario 64, famous for creating the rumor of Luigi being unlockable in the game. This however may be for technical reasons and not an actual reference.
Mario Golf 64
June 11, 1999
In Mario Golf for the Nintendo 64, the names of various Zelda characters sometimes appear on the scoreboard. These include Darunia, Deku Scrub, Goron Kid, Impa, Link, Malon, Navi, Saria, Sheik, Talon, and Zelda.
Mario Golf GB
August 10, 1999
In Mario Golf for the Game Boy Color, the last club is called "Links Club" and uses the Triforce as its logo.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
April 27, 2000
One of the Happy Mask Salesman's masks is based on Mario.
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
April 27, 2001
Talon returns from Ocarina of Time, but is redesigned and looks even more like Mario in artworks, even having an "M" on his hat. He also retains the Bowser broach from the previous game.
Super Mario Sunshine
July 19, 2002
In Super Mario Sunshine there's a masked character called Il Piantissimo that challenges Mario to a race. Looking from under his mask's chin or through its eye holes, his face is revealed to be very similar to that of the Running Man from Ocarina of Time, that also challenged Link to a race. His mask has also been removed through hacking.
Some people actually consider him the same character, but since it wasn't confirmed, and he looks slightly different, it can't be said for sure.
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
September 5, 2003
Some coin formations in Coin Attack mode are in the same shape as the Triforce. It may be a coincidence though.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
November 17, 2003
(originally this was going to be a In-universe link, but in the final version is just an Out-universe link)
In the Starbeans Café, Professor E. Gadd from Luigi's Mansion gives one of his inventions to Mario and Luigi everytime they mix a new coffee, for a total of seven different coffees. Originally, every item obtained was given to Mario and Luigi by a different cameo character (Wario, Fox McCloud, a biker from Excitebike, Link, Samus Aran, Captain Olimar and Professor E. Gadd) but in the end they only retained Professor E. Gadd. Link's item was originally going to be the Triforce, but it was replaced with the Great Force, that when equipped doubles the damage given and received by Mario and Luigi.
Before being scrapped, sprites and dialogues for these characters were actually included in the game, and are still present in its code, but unused. Link's sprites are directly based on his appearance in Four Swords. Obviously, since Link never speaks in the games he appears, his dialogue only contains lines for the cashier:
- Whoa! Link! The Hero of...what is it, now? Anyway, long-time, no see, buddy!
What are you doing here?
Did you get lost in a dungeon again?
What? You're having trouble finding the fairy fountain?
Oh... It's game over, and your bottles are all empty?
Are your hearts filled now, kiddo?
Possibly Link would rotate in a "game over" animation to show he needs help and then, after drinking the coffee, he would perform a Spin Attack to show he's fine.
The Cashier's line "The Hero of...what is it, now?" references the titles the various incarnations of Link from the various Zelda games, such as the Ocarina of Time Link being "The Hero of Time", or the Wind Waker Link being "The Hero of Wind".
Additionally, in the international releases of the game, after the tutorial on using hammers in combat, as the Hammerhead Bros. leave, one of them (precisely Mallet), after being corrected by the brother states "Oops! Well Excuuuuse Me!" possibly referencing Link's catchphrase from the Zelda animated show. This adds to another Nintendo reference, as the brothers also say "Now you're playin with power!" referencing one of Nintendo's slogans.
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
November 4, 2004
Two enemies originally from the Mario series are featured in the game: Lakitu and Bob-Omb. Also Spiny (called Spiked Beetle in-game) returns from Link's Awakening.
Mario Party 7
WARNING: it has not been verified that this link actually took place.
Help us verifiyng this information by uploading an image or video for this section.
November 7, 2005
Everytime a Cruise Secret is purchased in the Duty-Free Shop, the text box (supposedly told by Toadsworth) says, "Shhh... It's a secret to everybody!" referencing the famous statement by the friendly Moblin from The Legend of Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
November 19, 2006
Fyer, a charcter who operates the cannon down by Lake Hylia has a drawing of a Bullet Bill on his sleeve.
Super Paper Mario
April 9, 2007
The character Tippi is a fairy-like creature (a Pixl), who follows Mario giving him tips, thus having a role similar to Navi from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Many feel this to be an actual reference, but this can't be confirmed. Trough the game Mario finds other eleven different Pixls to help him.
Additionally at the beginning of Chapter 2-3, after Mario breaks a vase, he's asked by Mimi to pay 1,000,000 Rubees, that Mario (and Peach) must earn by working there. The currency is likely based on Rupees from the Zelda series, even being shown as red gems looking similar to Red Rupees, and the scene possibly references how Link often crashes pots and vases in Zelda games. Mimi also uses Rubees as weapons to attack Mario during the boss battle with her.
Another Zelda reference was added in the international version of the game: when Fracktail is zapped by Dimentio, he says "I AM ERROR", which is a famous quote from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
Super Mario Galaxy
November 1, 2007
The Octopus enemy in the game is a rock-spitting octopus, therefore resembling the Octorock from the Zelda series, and may be based on it. Some believe it to be based on the Deku Scrub instead, due to the way it hides.
Additionally, 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.
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
December 07, 2009
The Star Fragment, one of the collectable treasures in the game, is almost identical to the Star Bits from Super Mario Galaxy and is very likely based on it. Star Bits were originally based on the Konpeito candy, and for this reason many feel the Star Fragment to be based on that same candy, and not a reference to Super Mario Galaxy, but the fact that they're both fragments of stars is hardly a coincidence, especially given the different themes of Zelda games. Also, while they look identical to each other, their shape is only reminiscent of the irregular candies.
Gratitude Crystals in Skyward Sword have the same appearance, but a completely different role.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
June 16, 2011
All references featured in the original game are retained, but this time the window in Hyrule Castle shows an enviroment with Warp Pipes and Brick Blocks. This is based off of New Super Mario Bro's Wii.
Super Mario 3D Land
November 3, 2011
World 5-2 in Super Mario 3D Land is designed like a level from The Legend of Zelda, played predominantly from a top-down perspective and involving Mario moving from room to room in a similar manner to a traditional Zelda dungeon. It even features the "Puzzle solved" tune from the game at one point.
The number 5-2 may be a reference to Zelda's 25th anniversary.
Super Mario 3D World
November 21, 2013
In World Star-1 of the game, there's a secret area that consist in a large platform with tiles that light up as the player's character walk on them. These recreate the sprite of Link from The Legend of Zelda, and after the image is completed, the "Item found" tune from the Zelda series is heard and a Green Star is unlocked. The music then changes to a remix of the main theme from The Legend of Zelda.
NES Remix 2
April 24, 2014
Stage 1 of the Remix II challenges is based on Super Mario Bros. 2, with the player controlling Toad, but the stage is actually set in the world from Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link, specifically in a cave area, featuring three Octorocks. These reflect the way they acted in the original game, shooting rocks, but they're actually just reskins of Snifts, so the difference is only visual, and the stage plays just like a Super Mario Bros. 2 level, with rocks acting the same way as Mushroom Blocks, since they can be picked up and thrown.
Stage 6 of the Remix II challenges is based on Zelda 2, with the player controlling Link, however the enviroment itself is made of blocks from the Mario series, specifically from Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, and there are 10 coins actually based on the ones from Super Mario Bros. 3, and the objective is to collect them all in 50 seconds. The graphics are based on underground sections of The Lost Levels, with blue bricks and black background, but the level design is not based on any actual area from the game. The gameplay is just like in Zelda 2, with the Brick Blocks acting like breakable blocks, being destroyed by Link's attacks, and they can't be destroyed or bounced by hitting them from below, unlike Brick Blocks in the Mario series, therefore the difference is only graphical. The background music is the Palace theme from Zelda 2.
Stage 10-4 of the Remix II challenges is based on Zelda 2, with the player controlling Link, however the enviroment itself is made of blocks from the Mario series, specifically from Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, and the objective is to defeat the Hammer Bro. in it, while also being attacked by Boos from Super Mario Bros. 3. The gameplay is just like in Zelda 2, with the Hamme Bro. actng like a Guma, but the Boos create an original gameplay mechanic. The background music is the Palace theme from Zelda 2.
Mario Kart 8
November 13, 2014 (Ver 3.0 Update); November 21, 2014 (amiibo Wave 1)
Update to version 3.0 of Mario Kart 8 added amiibo support to the game: scanning an amiibo from the Super Smash Bros. series unlocks Mii suits based on the scanned character. This includes Link, which unlocks a Link Outfit themed specifically after The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The in-game artwork is also taken from Skyward Sword.
The same outfit can be unlocked by scanning any Link, Toon Link or Wolf Link amiibo, released subsequently.
For info on other amiibo outfits see here.
The update also set the game up for a Zelda-themed DLC pack:
The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8
November 13, 2014
This downloadable content pack for Mario Kart 8 includes 3 new characters, 4 new vehicles, and 2 new cups of 4 tracks each. One of the characters, one of the vehicles and one of the tracks are each based on the Zelda series, specifically:
Link is one the new racers. He appears in his incarnation from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and is classified in the heavy category.
One of the vehicles is the Master Cycle, a motorcycle shaped like a horse, therefore reminiscent of Epona, and also including the Hilyan shield to its sides. The name is probably a reference to the Master Sword. It also comes with its own wheels, called Triforce Wheels, featuring the Triforce symbol on them, and its own glider, the Hylian Kite, featuring the Hylian Crest on it. These wheels and glider can also be mounted to any other kart.
One of the new cups is called Triforce Cup and it includes the track Hyrule Circuit. This track takes place in Hyrule, with the track starting in Hyrule Field, then inside Hyrule Castle and through the village. It's not based on one incarnation from a specific game, but the castle sees to be based on the one from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Inside the castle there also is the Master Sword on its pedestal, similar to how it's found in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, although in that game it was found in the Temple of Time instead. In this track Coins are replaced by Rupees, Piranha Plants by Deku Babas and Swoopers by Keese. A sign in the village part of the course has the face of Beedle on it, a recurring shopkeeper in The Legend of Zelda series. The sign also has text written in Hylian as seen in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds; when translated it reads, "Item Shop".
The background music of Hyrule Circuit is also a remix of the main theme from The Legend of Zelda.
Super Mario Maker
September 10, 2015
When put into the water while using the Super Mario World theme, the Spike Trap becomes a Sea Urchin from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
Also, six of the base unlockable costumes that Mario can wear in the game by using a Mystery Mushroom are based on Zelda characters, specifically:
- Link: his original sprite from The Legend of Zelda, when worn it replaces the sound effects with sounds from that game. Additionally, when using the taunt he will hold up a Triforce shard.
- Zelda: an 8-bit design based on her appearance from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and for Wii U (in turn based on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess), when worn it replaces the sound effects with sounds from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Additionally, when using the taunt she will turn into Sheik for a moment.
- Ganondorf: an 8-bit design based on his appearance from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and for Wii U (in turn based on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess), when worn it replaces the sound effects with sounds from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
- Sheik: an 8-bit design based on Sheik's recurring appearance, when worn it replaces the sound effects with sounds from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Additionally, when using the taunt Sheik will turn into Zelda for a moment.
- Tingle: an 8-bit design based on his appearance from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, when worn it replaces the sound effects with sounds from that game.
- Toon Link: an 8-bit design based on his recurring appearance, when worn it replaces the sound effects with sounds from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
All costumes except for Tingle can alternatively be unlocked by using the respective amiibo from the Super Smash Bros. series.
Three additional costumes were added through subsequent updates:
- Totem Link: an 8-bit design based on the three Links from The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes stacked up into a totem, when worn it replaces the sound effects with sounds from that game.
- Wolf Link: an 8-bit design based on Wolf Link and Midna from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, when worn it replaces the sound effects with sounds from that game. It can be alternatively unlocked by using the Wolf Link amiibo.
- Tetra: an 8-bit design based on her original appearance, when worn it replaces the sound effects with sounds from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Additionally, when using the taunt she will turn into the Wind Waker incarnation of Zelda for a moment.
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force HeroesOctober 22, 2015
The Hammerwear outfit in the game is based on the Hammer Bro from the Mario series.
It costs 1 Tiny Snowflake, 1 Crimson Shell, 1 Freezard Water, 1 Chill Stone and 1000 Rupees. When worn it powers up the Magic Hammer, making it twice as powerful, faster and making it create a shock wave. Also when purchasing it the Stylish Woman asks whether Link used a koopon, referencing the Koopas.
Super Mario Odyssey
October 27, 2017
This game features compatibility with many different amiibo, that when scanned will be recognized by Uncle amiibo and called by name. This includes all Zelda amiibo released at the time, though it won't recognize specifical variations, simply recognizing them as Wolf Link, Link, Toon Link, and Zelda respectively.
This creates a sub-universe link with the Zelda series because Uncle amiibo says the character's name out loud within Mario's universe, it's not just an on-screen message.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Nintendo Switch)
September 20, 2019
This remake of Link's Awakening retains all the Mario references from the original game, including the various enemies, character cameos and the Princess Peach photo, but each enemy's name now matches its name from the Mario series in international versions of the game, and due to the graphics being updated some of these now more closely resemble the original design from the Mario series.
Here are the most notable redesigns:
Some of the enemies originating from the Mario series now also appear as collectible dolls in the "Trendy Game" after the Yoshi doll has been collected. While most of these can be considered doll versions of enemies from the game itself, the Piranha Plant doll depicts it coming out of a green pipe just like in Mario games (while in the game itself it comes out of pillars).
Super Mario Maker 2 Version 2.0
December 5, 2019
One of the new items added to Super Mario Maker 2 with Update 2.0 is the Master Sword from the Zelda series.
This is only available in the original Super Mario Bros. style and when picked up it makes the "item get" sound from Zelda and transforms Mario into Link, granting him several abilities and changing sound effects and background music to those from the Zelda series. The transformation lasts until getting a different power up, or until the player is hit, at which point they will turn back to regular Mario.
The sword appears as an edited version of the White Sword sprite from The Legend of Zelda (the Master Sword would become a recurring item in the series, but is not in that game). Link's appearance also is based on the sprite from said game, but he's holding the Hylian Shield (again, the recurring shield from the series, that wasn't in the original game) instead of his regular shield.
In Multiplayer mode when Mario, Luigi, Toad or Toadette get the Master Sword, they respectively turn into a red, green, blue, and purple Link, which is based on the colors of the four Links from The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures.
When transformed into Link, it is possible to use the sword to attack directly, or performing a dash attack and a down thrust, but also use the shield to block enemies and projectiles, throw bombs to hit switches and break various types of blocks, and shoot arrows to hit enemies at a distance and collect items.
The transformation also changes the background music in most layouts to the overworld theme from the original The Legend of Zelda, but it changes the cave and ghost house music to the dungeon theme, castle and airship music to Ganon Dungeon theme, the peaceful music to the Fairy Fountain theme from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the bonus music to the Horse Race theme from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the miniboss battle theme to the Random Battle Theme from Zelda II, and the boss theme to the Dark Link theme from Zelda II.
Note that while in the first Super Mario Maker the transformations were said to only be "costumes", this time Mario is believed to actually transform into Link, as implied by the new abilities and as stated in the update's trailer, but either way the Master Sword itself is considered the real item from the Zelda series, so this counts as an in-universe link.
Copyrights for both series are held by Nintendo.