Being an avid and crazy Legend of Zelda fan, one could only imagine how happy I was to see all of the time they devoted to the new Zelda game at this year’s E3, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. They gave us what we wanted, but at the same time gave us very little. We finally got a title to what was being referred to as either the ‘new Zelda’ or ‘Zelda U’. We found out that it is in fact an open-world game just like what Aonuma had told us we would be getting. It’s also very evident that Aonuma was playing Skyrim while creating this game! In this post, I will talk about everything we learned from what we saw on the trailer and the expansive gameplay, as well as some theories I have on the new title… such as where it may reside in the timeline and what may be going on in the game. Granted, all of this will be of personal opinion and theory, as Nintendo tried to show us as much as they could, without giving too much of the storyline away.
First off, the graphics look to be just like those of Skyward Sword, cel-shaded and very detailed. Like a fine mesh between Wind Waker and Twilight Princess – realistic yet whimsical all at the same time. We also see the addition of voice acting, which was something that has been talked about for a few years now. It was something some fans wanted, but not so much from Link, as most wanted him to remain his silent, mute self. In the beginning, you here a female voice with a slight accent telling Link to wake up. She uses his name, Link, which leads one to wonder if we will not be able to rename Link this time around as we have in all previous Zelda titles. I mean, they did say they wanted to rethink the ‘old conventions’ of The Legend of Zelda, so this could be one of their many changes. Link also wakes up in a tub-like thing that was filled with water, or some unknown liquid. It really isn’t said what the liquid is. It makes me think that perhaps Link was preserved in some way, so that he could take care of something in the future (or past?). Another new thing introduced in this title is technology. We’ve seen magic and the like in older titles, but never really much in the way of tech. And by the sound of things, this tech was developed by the Sheikah. Link gets something called a Sheikah Slate. By the looks of it, it’s tech that helps Link with his surroundings and possibly more.
At E3, they only showed off a portion of the map, which is said to be 12-13 times bigger than that of the map in Twilight Princess. The portion they showed was called the Great Plateau. Upon awakening, Link makes his way outside of where he was kept to discover quite the expansive world, complete with grasslands and mountains. There is a mysterious old man that greets you, and it is not said who he is or what connection he has to Link. This is quite reminiscent to the original Zelda game for the NES, which many speculate that this new game was inspired by. As the demo went on, you find out there there is no more heart containers that you can pick up to renew your health, but instead you must hunt for and harvest food to refill health and stamina. You can also combine ingredients in the way of cooking, to make new dishes that will do more than just refill you hearts. Also not seen in the demo is any sign of Link’s classic green tunic, the clothes of the Hero. You can pick up various clothes to wear throughout your journey, as Link must dress appropriately based on where his travels take him (warm clothes for cold climates, thinner/lesser clothes for hotter climates). But no green tunic. So either this took place way in the past BEFORE the green tunic, or many years, perhaps even eras after, and the green tunic is now irrelevant.
Now, that being said, we all know that up until now, Skyward Sword is the beginning of the timeline, so it’s unlikely that this is in the past. Also, with the tech, that also makes it less likely. So my guess as far as the timeline goes, based on the land and on the introduction of technology, this game may take place way in the future. There are many theories as to where LoZ: BotW takes place in the timeline, one of which is that it takes place after Wind Waker, due to Rock Salt and the Kokrok we see in the gameplay. But why is the Temple of Time still there? It definitely takes place after Ocarina of Time, as we see Hyrule Castle (which is housing Calamity Ganon) and the Temple of Time, which is in total ruin. So it definitely takes pace in the future, which in my opinion means it takes place after either Zelda II: Adventure of Link or way after Twilight Princess. Either one makes sense, also, if I’m not mistaken, Aonuma had stated that BotW has some connection to Twilight Princess (hence the use of the Wolf Link in the game via Amiibo support). There are many theories, and little has been revealed from Nintendo, so all we can do it sit back and speculate.
We won’t know much for sure until the game releases, and we get to play it and discover all of the answers to these mysteries ourselves. There is no for sure release date on the game, other than 2017. Since it will release for both the Wii U and NX, and the NX launches in March of next year, it’s a safe bet that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be a spring release… hopefully. The sooner we can get this game, the better.