I admit that it used to bother me somewhat. However, I think this sort of thing is only limited to characters that are popular with the fanbase. In others words, popular characters that the fanbase wouldn't mind seeing again who - given certain circumstances - couldn't return otherwise...
For example, take Linebeck (PH); if memory serves, he's quite popular with the Zelda fanbase. So much so, that many fans wanted to see him return at some point in the series. But given the events that occurred in Phantom Hourglass
, it is impossible for this to happen. A compromise would be to introduce a character in the following game - Spirit Tracks
- who greatly resembles him. This might have been the reason behind the appearance of his grandson, Linebeck III.
Whether or not a character makes a return, or has a "descendant" based on him/her, might very well depend on said character's overall popularity. However, having a popular character return in the form of a descendant is simply one way
of "bringing an old character back." Sometimes it seems like Nintendo throws in a reference to popular old characters, many of whom are Easter Eggs. (for example: Navi | Ciela, Fairy Queen (WW)
| Fi (SS)
, Gondo [loosely?] (SS)
| Gonzo (WW)
Other characters that are generally popular and have been shown to have descendants/predecessors in other games include:
- Link and Zelda, of course... However, their appearance varies slightly from game to game, and is hinted to have been the result of divine intervention.
- Tingle and the various incarnations of Tingle appearing in several games; albeit MM's Tingle seems to be the oddball of the group.
- Gonzo (WW)| Alfonzo (ST)
- Malon and Talon (OoT) make several appearances in the series. Although it is never confirmed whether or not they are "descendants," so to speak, of the OoT's duo.
- Beedle (SS) Given SS' place in the timeline, it is probable that said character is a descendant of Beedle (WW), or loosely intended to be such. Other Beedles have also made an appearance in the series, but meh...
Makes me wonder if Midna will ever receive the same treatment, seeing as she's quite popular. Unfortunately, several factors prevent this from ever happening... :/