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"BotW" redirects here. For the Dungeon, see Bottom of the Well.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the nineteenth main installment of The Legend of Zelda series. It was released simultaneously worldwide for the Wii U and Nintendo Switch on March 3, [1]


Link awakens from a deep slumber and a mysterious voice guides him to discover what has become of the ruined Kingdom of Hyrule Kingdom.[3] Link leaves the Shrine of Resurrection, runs up to the ledge and looks out at the ruins of the kingdom Hyrule. Link then meets an Old Man, who will give him the Paraglider, which is the only way to get to Hyrule. The Old Man wants the Spirit Orbs, in the Shrines, respectively the Oman Au Shrine, Ja Baij Shrine, Owa Daim Shrine, and the Keh Namut Shrine. After Link gets the spirit orbs, the Old Man appears, then mysteriously disappears, telling Link to meet him in the Temple of Time. The Old Man reveals himself as the spirit of the deceased King of Hyrule, King Rhoam. Link learns from King Rhoam that years prior, a great evil known as the Calamity Ganon rose up and laid waste to the kingdom and its people.[4] Unable to be defeated, it was sealed within Hyrule Castle, while the ruins of the land were ravaged by nature over time. Although trapped, the Calamity Ganon has grown in power, and Link must defeat it before it breaks free once more and destroys the world. The mysterious voice turns out to be Zelda, whom who is the daughter of King Rhoam. After escaping the confines of the Great Plateau, Link is directed to meet the wise Sheikah elder Impa, and learn about the Guardians and Divine Beasts: 10, years prior these machines were created and successfully used by another Hero and another Princess to defeat the Calamity Ganon. But throughout the ages, knowledge about the ancient technology was lost until excavations in Hyrule Kingdom brought them to light once more, coinciding with the expected return of Calamity Ganon a hundred years ago. The Guardians were reactivated and four Champions were chosen to control the Divine Beasts: The Zora princess Mipha, the Goron warrior Daruk, the Gerudo chief Urbosa, and the Rito archer Revali. All the while, Zelda was unsuccessfully trying to gain access to her own prophesied powers, accompanied on her quests by her knight, the HylianChampionLink. When the Calamity Ganon ultimately attacked, it devastated the Kingdom of Hyrule Kingdom by taking control of the ancient machines and turning them against the Hyruleans. As a last resort, Zelda was able to place the gravely wounded Link in the Shrine of Resurrection and use her awoken sealing powers to trap herself with Calamity Ganon in Hyrule Castle.

As Link sets off on his quest to defeat Calamity Ganon, he is asked to investigate the fate of the Divine Beasts and their former Champions. His ultimate goal, however, remains to reach the Calamity Ganon and free the trapped Zelda before the whole world is laid to waste. But with the entire Kingdom of Hyrule Kingdom before him to explore, it is up to Link himself to decide how he wishes to fulfill his foretold role as the HylianChampion, and to save Hyrule Kingdom.


Open World

Breath of the Wild features a vast open world for Link to explore. Most of Hyrule Kingdom's scenery is accessible by walking, paragliding or climbing. While the game still includes barriers (such as weather effects, inhospitable environments or strong enemies), many of these can be overcome by using Food, effective weapons and armor or finding alternate routes. The world also includes an elaborate physics system which allows for creative interactions (e.g., cutting down a tree and using its trunk as a raft on a river, or setting grass ablaze and spreading the fire with wind gusts).

Unlike many previous Zelda games, Breath of the Wild does not enforce a specific order in which quests or dungeons have to be solved, with the exception of completing the starting tasks on the Great Plateau. It is possible to challenge Ganon right after leaving the starting area, though the game does encourage exploration in order to solve Ancient Shrines (and thus gaining additional Hearts or Stamina), find useful and powerful equipment, and defeat the game's own version of dungeons, the Divine Beasts. Additionally, many of the game's puzzles can also be solved in various different ways, often rewarding Link for creative solutions.


Link's controls in Breath of the Wild are reminiscent of previous 3D Zelda games. However, the game is the first to require manual jumps as opposed to auto-jumping over small gaps which was introduced with Ocarina of Time and a long-time staple of The Legend of Zelda series. Holding the Y button, will allow you to spin. Pressing X and then Y will result in a jump attack.


A new feature introduced with Breath of the Wild is Cooking, which enables the creation of Food that recovers Hearts and bestows various effects on Link. Meals are cooked by broiling up to five edible Materials at cooking pots, such as meat, berries, fruits or herbs. Elixirs can be mixed by including monster parts in various recipes. Depending on chosen ingredients, Link's health will be replenished and/or he will receive effects such as Elemental Resistance, additional Stamina or Hearts, or buffs to his Defense or Attack.

Equipment & Durability

Link can equip a vast variety of different Equipment in Breath of the Wild, including Weapons, Bows and Arrows, Shields, and Armor, allowing for adaptation to the ever-changing environment of Hyrule and tactics used by different enemies. Notably, almost all Weapons, Bows, and Shields found in the game will break after a certain amount of hits. This new Durability system often forces Link to use Equipment salvaged from enemies, even weak ones, instead of just wielding the best Sword available in the game. Equipment that has not been used at all, and thus has sustained no damage, is indicated by a sparkle on the top-right corner of its icon in the Inventory screen. An Equipment that is close to breaking will have a flashing red icon, and a brief notification will appear whenever it is taken out.

Rune Abilities

Main article: Rune

Completing the initial four Ancient Shrines on the Great Plateau bestows Link with four Rune abilities: Magnesis, Stasis, Cryonis and Remote Bombs. These abilities allow Link to manipulate the environment by lifting magnetic objects, freezing objects (and later enemies) in time, creating blocks of ice on water surfaces, and summoning bombs. Other Runes, such as the Camera Rune, can also be found. Together with climbing and paragliding, these abilities are used throughout the rest of the game and (for the very most part) sufficient to solve puzzles and access most of Hyrule. As a consequence, the game does not feature traditional dungeon items that grant abilities to Link.

Game Information


The Zelda HD Experience, a The Legend of Zelda tech demo of the Wii U, was shown at E3 In June , Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that Nintendo is planning on creating an HD The Legend of Zelda title.[5] Development of Breath of the Wild started immediately after the development of Skyward Sword ended.[6]

Breath of the Wild was officially announced in a Wii U Direct presentation on January 23, Eiji Aonuma stated that the game intended to challenge what was expected of The Legend of Zelda franchise, such as having to complete dungeons in a specific order. The game was already expected to have a long development time, so Nintendo released The Wind Waker HD for the Wii U to decrease the gap between releases.[7] During E3 , the first video of the game was shown, revealing Link riding a horse, in addition to a Guardian and Hyrule Field. During the Game Awards , Miyamoto and Aonuma showcased another gameplay video. It demonstrated the scale of Hyrule, which was designed with the open world concept of the original The Legend of Zelda in mind.[8] It also showed the first use of the Paraglider, map features, as well as additional riding and fighting mechanics. Features to be used on the Wii U gamepad were also shown during these videos, which were later removed during development, when the game was ported to Nintendo Switch.

The game's original release was intended for , but as new ideas were implemented during development, the release date was pushed forward several times.[9] The final release window of the game was first revealed in financial documents released in March , and later confirmed by Nintendo via Twitter.[10]

During E3 , the game's first playable demo was made available for visitors. It featured the Great Plateau area and showed many new elements of the game, such as Perfect Dodging, the creation of Food by collecting Materials, the use of enemy Weapons, the return of the Stamina Gauge, new mini-Dungeons called Ancient Shrines and the Sheikah Slate.

Nintendo revealed the final March release date of Breath of the Wild during the Nintendo Switch presentation in January [1] Shortly afterwards, on February 9, , the game was completed after more than five years of development.[11]

A sequel to Breath of the Wild was announced during the Nintendo Direct at E3


Breath of the Wild was released simultaneously worldwide for the Wii U and as a Nintendo Switch launch title on March 3, [1] The game was later released in Taiwan and South Korea on February 1, , only for the Nintendo Switch.[12][13] The game is the last Nintendo-published title on the Wii U platform.

A version of Breath of the Wild including the Expansion Pass will be released in Japan on October 8, [14]

Special Editions

Various special and limited editions for the Switch version of Breath of the Wild were released worldwide.

  • In North America, the Special Edition included the game, a tapestry map, a Sheikah Slate carrying case, a soundtrack with 24 songs, and a Sheikah Eye coin. The Master Edition included the same content as well as a Master Sword statue.
  • In Europe, the Limited Edition included the game, the soundtrack, and the Master Sword statue.
  • In Australia, the Limited Edition included the game, the tapestry map, the soundtrack, the Sheikah Eye coin, and the Master Sword statue.
  • In Japan, the Collector's Edition included the game, the Link (Rider) amiibo, the soundtrack, the tapestry map, and an interchangeable alternate cover. The Deluxe Collector's Edition included the same content as well as the Master Sword statue and 20 postcards.

On November 17, an Explorer's Edition of the game was released in Mexico and later on in North America and Japan on November This edition featured the game, a page explorer's guide, and a two-sided map.[15] On September 28, a Starter Pack was released in North America also featuring the game and the explorer's guide.[16] No special edition for the Wii U version of the game was released.

Pre-Order Bonuses

Several retailers offered bonus items for pre-ordering the game.[17] These included a black t-shirt featuring the Sheikah Eye in the Nintendo Official UK Store, a Z icon keyring and a poster featuring artwork from the game in GAME retailers, a wristband in Grainger Games, two double-sized art cards in Argos, and a pin badge in ShopTo. In GameStop retailers, a poster featuring the game's cover artwork was included.[18]

Timeline Placement

The plot of Breath of the Wild directly refers to events that take place 10, years and years prior to the game's setting. Before the game's release, Eiji Aonuma revealed that Breath of the Wild takes place after Ocarina of Time.[19] In an interview following the game's release, Aonuma touched upon the idea that details of the history of Hyrule may have changed from previous games, similar to how real-world history books are often revised.[20] In an interview with the game's director, Hidemaro Fujibayashi, he stated that Breath of the Wild takes place in the most recent age, long after the previous games.[21] In an interview with Jeuxvideo, Eiji Aonuma clarified that though Breath of the Wild does take place somewhere on the timeline, its exact placement has not been decided, as definitively placing it during development might limit their ability to further develop the story.[22] In a Famitsu magazine interview with Eiji Aonuma for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, Aonuma noted that Twilight Princess HD was the origin point for Breath of the Wild and that while playing Breath of the Wild players may have realizations about elements from Twilight Princess HD.[23]

Many references and connections to previous games in the series can be found throughout Breath of the Wild. These include the presence of the Rito who evolved from the Zora in the Adult timeline, the history of the Zora, which tells the tale about the SageRuto who aided the hero in his fight against Ganon.[24] The "Subdued Ceremony" Recovered Memory shows a speech by Zelda which contains references to Skyward Sword, Ocarina of Time, and Twilight Princess,[25] as well as to A Link to the Past and The Wind Waker in Japanese and German.[26][27] Many locations are also named after characters and landmarks, such as Arbiter's Grounds, the Temple of Time, and Darunia Lake.

Amiibo Support

File:BotW Series Guardian amiibo NA Box.png

The Guardian amiibo

Main article: amiibo (Rune)

Breath of the Wild is compatible with all lines of amiibo figures, scannable by using the amiibo Rune ability, which can be activated via the game's options menu. All regular amiibo will grant random items and Materials, while most of The Legend of Zelda-related amiibo will summon treasure chests, containing rarer and sometimes exclusive items (like costumes or special weapons related to the respective games). Additionally, Epona and Wolf Link may be summoned into the game, using the Super Smash Bros. Link and the Wolf Link amiibo, respectively.

A line of Breath of the Wild amiibo figures was also released on the same date as the game, making it the second mainline Zelda game (following Twilight Princess HD) with its own line of amiibo. The figures include two versions of Link, Zelda, a Bokoblin and a Guardian, all featuring their in-game design. This line continued with four amiibo released for The Champions' Ballad DLC; Mipha, Revali, Urbosa, and Daruk. Each amiibo is based on the character's artwork and unlocks a helm based on each Divine Beast.

Completion Records

Main article: Speedrun Records
Time Performer Date Notes

Downloadable Content


Several free patches have been released for both the Wii U and Switch versions of Breath of the Wild. These updates expand content and patch certain bugs. Unlike the DLC packs, these are downloaded free and automatically upon release.

An initial download intended for the retail Wii U version of the game containing extra game data is required to be installed in order to run the game. The update requires 3 GB worth of space to be installed.[28]

Update Release Date Content
Version March 2, [29]
  • Adds Downloadable Content and eShop access to the title screen.
Version March 30, [30]
Version April 11, [31]
Version May 1, [33]
Version June 29, [34]
Version August 7, [35]
Version November 9, [36]
Version November 21, [37]
Version December 7, [37]
Version January 31, [38]
  • Adds support for Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), and Korean text to the Nintendo Switch version of the game.[38]
    • While using these languages, selecting "Match System Settings" for the Voice Language Option will use the Japanese voice data.[38]
  • Bug fixes.[38]
Version April 25, [39]

Expansion Packs

BotW Expansion Pass NA Logo.png

An Expansion Pass, offering paid downloadable content for Breath of the Wild, was made available upon launch for both the Wii U and Nintendo Switch versions. The Expansion Pass includes two content packs which are not available to purchase individually, as well as additional chests with an exclusive item as a bonus for purchasing the pass. The regular price for the entire DLC is $ USD (¥, $ CDN, €, £, $ AUD, $ NZD).[41][42]

The Expansion Pass content is divided as follows:












Breath of the Wild was estimated to have sold approximately million copies in its first three weeks and around 89% of Switch owners were estimated to have also purchased the game.[46] Sales of the game have remained strong and as of June 30, , the Switch version has sold million copies worldwide while the Wii U version has sold million copies worldwide as of March 31, ,[47][48] giving Breath of the Wild a cumulative total of million copies sold.

By March 31, , just thirteen months after its launch, Breath of the Wild, with a cumulative total of million copies sold,[49][48] had become the best-selling game in The Legend of Zelda series, excluding remakes, surpassing Twilight Princess's cumulative total of million copies sold as of September 30, [50]


Upon release, Breath of the Wild was met with critical acclaim by many game reviews.[51] It also earned a Metacritic score of 97 from more than critics, placing it among the highest-rated games of all time.[52][53] Notably, the game received the most perfect review scores for any game listed on Metacritic up to that point.[54]


Throughout , Breath of the Wild won several awards as a highly anticipated game, including IGN's and Destructoid's Best of E3,[55][56] at the Game Critic Awards ,[57] and at The Game Awards [58] Following its release, Breath of the Wild received the title of "Game of the Year" from the Japan Game Awards ,[59] the Golden Joystick Awards ,[60] The Game Awards ,[61] IGN,[62], GameSpot,[63] and the 18th Game Developers Choice Awards.[64] The win at The Game Awards was notable as Nintendo's first "Game of the Year" award at this ceremony. Breath of the Wild also won in the categories "Best Game Direction" and "Best Action/Adventure Game". Metacritic ranked Breath of the Wild as the single best game of the s.[65]


  • Breath of the Wild is the first main game in the series to be localized into Russian and Dutch. Eiji Aonuma himself appeared in the Russian and Dutch Nintendo Switch presentations to introduce the game to Russian, Dutch, and Flemish players.[66][67] Although the Dutch localization is text only whilst retaining the English voice-overs, the Russian localization covers both text and voice acting.
  • During development of Breath of the Wild, various designs for Link were drafted, including him riding a bike in a tracksuit and a musician Link wielding a guitar.[68] Other concepts for the game included Hyrule Wars and The Legend of Zelda Invasion, the latter featuring an alien attack.[69]
  • Breath of the Wild is the first game in the series since the infamous Philips CD-iZelda titles to feature voice acting with dialogue.
  • Breath of the Wild is the first game to have Link wear the Champion's Tunic instead of the Green Tunic.



External Links


  1. Nintendo, Nintendo Switch Presentation , YouTube&#;(Video), published January 12, , retrieved January 12,
  2. ↑ Nintendo of Korea, 젤다의 전설 브레스 오브 더 와일드 3RD TRAILER, YouTube&#;(Video), published December 26, , retrieved December 29,
  3. ↑"Open your eyes. Wake up, Link." — Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
  4. ↑"I assume you have caught full sight of that atrocity swarming around the castle. That is the Calamity Ganon. It brought ruin and corruption upon the kingdom of Hyrule years ago. It appeared suddenly destroying everything in its path. Leaving countless innocents in its wake. Over the last century, the kingdom's purest symbol, Hyrule Castle, has been able to contain that evil. But just barely. There it festers, building its strength for the moment it will unleash its blight upon the land once again. It would appear that moment is fast approaching" — Old Man (Breath of the Wild).
  5. "This is an HD system, our first HD system, and we want to create a real HD Zelda game for it. You will see a lot of these in-depth and deep experiences in terms of visual style. You will also see some play styles that are fun and interesting because of the play structure." — How the Wii U One Ups Television, Kotaku.
  6. Creating a Champion pg.
  7. ↑ Nintendo, Wii U Direct Presentation - , YouTube.
  8. "One of the main things we wanted to do was go back to the open-world concept of the original 'Zelda' games and design with that in mind." — Derrik J. Lang, Miyamoto on 'Amiibo,' 'Zelda' and 'Mario' Movie, ABC News, retrieved December 18,
  9. "So, I must apologize to you all that were expecting the game by year's end, but we are no longer making a release our number one priority." — Nintendo, Eiji Aonuma, producer of The Legend of Zelda, has a message to share., Facebook, published March 27, , retrieved March 27,
  10. ↑ Nintendo, Earnings Release for Fiscal Year Ended March , Nintendo, published April 27, , retrieved April 27,
  11. ↑Eurogamer: "Let's Take a Look Inside Nintendo's Zelda: Breath of the Wild Wrap Party"
  12. ↑ Nintendo of Korea, 「젤다의 전설 브레스 오브 더 와일드」 한글판 년 초 정식 발매 결정!, Nintendo of Korea website, published September 27, , retrieved October 5,
  13. ↑ Nintendo Hong Kong, 任天堂(香港)有限公司決定將於年初正式發售 『薩爾達傳說 曠野之息』中文版!, Nintendo Hong Kong website, published September 27, , retrieved October 5,
  14. ↑ Nintendo 公式チャンネル, Nintendo Direct , YouTube&#;(video), published September 23, , retrieved September 23,
  15. "The second is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Explorer’s Edition, a bundle that includes the critically acclaimed and award-winning Nintendo Switch game, a page explorer’s guide and a two-sided map at a suggested retail price of $" — Brian, Nintendo reveals Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Explorer’s Edition, Zelda 2DS bundle, Nintendo Everything, published November 1, , retrieved November 1,
  16. "Coming Sep 28, " — The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Starter Pack,, retrieved August 28,
  17. "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild marks its long-awaited release for Nintendo Switch and Wii U on 3rd March ! You can see the latest trailer for this epic open-air adventure below but if you've already decided to embark on Link's next journey then read on below to see what free bonus items you can get with your pre-order across UK retailers" — The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Pre-order Item Guide, Nintendo UK, published January 31, , retrieved February 19,
  18. ↑Pre-Order and Pick-up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and receive an Exclusive Poster!, GameStop, retrieved February 19,
  19. ↑ Game Informer, 51 Questions And Answers About The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, YouTube, published February 09, , retrieved February 11,
  20. "Hyrule's history has changed with time, and even now there are some occasions of canon histories becoming slightly changed. Some detailed parts in the history books have been changed as well." — Brian, Zelda: Breath of the Wild devs on Ganon and Zelda, story positioning, using open air concept in the future, Nintendo Everything, published April 4,
  21. "It takes place in an age long, long after any of the titles released to date. It is the most recent age." —Hidemaro Fujibayashi (Breath of the Wild Director Explains Where Game Fits in Zelda Timeline)
  22. "Actually, those timeline-related questions are difficult because we’ve never designed any Zelda games by saying “hey, we’re going to put that game here, we need to have it fit into this period or that one, etc.” That’s not what comes first for us. But indeed, once the game is released and we’ve been able to develop our story, we can tell each other “oh yes, we can make it fit here”, but that’s not important to us. Especially since there could be contradictions in every new game if we tried to follow the timeline. If we can put a game in the timeline, that’s great, but as for Breath of the Wild, we haven’t really decided where it belongs for now." —Eiji Aonuma (Zelda: Breath of the Wild devs on why Hero’s Path Mode was added as DLC, timeline, more)
  23. "While making the latest title for The Legend of Zelda, when I look at this remake, I feel like this is the origin point of the new title we’re making right now. After playing this game you may have some “Oh I see!” moments when playing the [upcoming] new game, so I’ll be glad if you play Twilight Princess HD while waiting in anticipation for the latest title of Legend of Zelda." —Eiji Aonuma (Aonuma: Zelda U will make people want to replay Twilight Princess HD)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

video game

"BOTW" redirects here. For other uses, see BOTW (disambiguation).

video game

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild[b] is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch and Wii U consoles. Breath of the Wild is part of The Legend of Zelda franchise and is set at the end of the Zelda timeline. The player controls Link, who awakens from a hundred-year slumber to defeat Calamity Ganon and save the kingdom of Hyrule.

Similar to the original The Legend of Zelda game, players are given little instruction and can explore the world freely. Tasks include collecting various items and gear to aid in objectives such as puzzle-solving or side quests. The world is unstructured and designed to encourage exploration and experimentation, and the main story quest can be completed in a nonlinear fashion.

Development of Breath of the Wild took place over five years, following the responses from some fans who wanted a larger game world in the series. Wanting to rethink the conventions of the series, Nintendo introduced elements such as an open world and a detailed physics engine. Monolith Soft, known for their work on the open world Xenoblade Chronicles series, assisted in designing landscapes and topography. The game was originally planned for release in as a Wii U exclusive but was delayed twice. Released on March 3, , Breath of the Wild was a launch game for the Nintendo Switch and the final Nintendo-published game for the Wii U. Two waves of downloadable content were released throughout in an expansion pass.

Breath of the Wild received critical acclaim for its open-ended gameplay and attention to detail. Critics called it a landmark in open world game design, although it received minor criticism for its technical performance at launch. It won several game of the year awards and has since been cited as one of the greatest video games of all time. By it had sold nearly 25 million copies, making it one of the best-selling video games of all time. A sequel is set for release on the Switch in A crossover with the Dynasty Warriors series, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, was released in


See also: Gameplay of The Legend of Zelda series

An in-game screenshot of the protagonist Link, paragliding across a vast world.
Players are free to explore the world of Breath of the Wildusing a variety of tools. For example, by jumping from a high elevation and deploying his paraglider, Link can travel quickly.

Breath of the Wild is an action-adventure game set in an open world where players are tasked with exploring the kingdom of Hyrule while controlling Link. Breath of the Wild encourages nonlinear gameplay, which is illustrated by the game's lack of defined entrances or exits to areas,[1] scant instruction given to the player, and encouragement to explore freely.[2]Breath of the Wild introduces a consistent physics engine to the Zelda series, letting players approach problems in different ways rather than trying to find a single solution.[3] The game also integrates a "chemistry engine" that defines the physical properties of most objects and governs how they interact with the player and one another.[4] For example, during thunderstorms, metal objects will attract powerful lightning strikes; during a storm, therefore, a player must be careful not to wear metal, but may also throw metal objects at enemies to draw lightning to them.[5] These design approaches result in a generally unstructured and interactive world that rewards experimentation and allows for nonlinear completion of the story.[6][7]

As Link, players can perform actions such as running, climbing, swimming, and gliding with a paraglider, although Link is limited by his stamina.[5] Link can procure items from the environment, including weapons, food, and other resources. Unlike previous Zelda games, weapons and shields degrade through use.[5] Many items have multiple uses; for example, wooden weapons can light fires, wooden shields can collect incoming enemy arrows, and shields can be used as makeshift snowboards.[5] Players can obtain food from hunting animals, gathering wild fruit, or collecting parts of defeated enemies.[6] By cooking combinations of food or materials, the player can create meals and elixirs that can replenish Link's health and stamina, or provide temporary status bonuses such as increased strength or resistance to heat or cold.[6] An important tool in Link's arsenal is the "Sheikah Slate", which can be used to mark waypoints on a map and as an in-game camera. Over the course of the game, Link can collect powers to add to the Slate, including the abilities to create remote bombs, manipulate metal objects, form ice blocks on watery surfaces, and temporarily stop objects in time.[8][9][10] In combat, players can lock onto targets for more precise attacks, while certain button combinations allow for advanced offensive and defensive moves.[11] Players may also defeat enemies without weapons, such as by rolling boulders off cliffs into enemy camps.[12]

One of the major gameplay mechanics is the ability to climb almost anything in the game. With it, players can reach areas without following a particular path.

Besides exploration, players can undergo quests or challenges to obtain certain benefits. Activating towers and shrines adds waypoints that the player may warp to at any time.[13] Activating towers also adds territories to the map, although location names are not added until the player explores that area. Dotted throughout Hyrule are shrines that contain challenges ranging from puzzles to battles against robotic opponents. Clearing shrines earns Spirit Orbs. After earning four of these orbs, they can be traded for additional health or stamina points.[13] Scattered across Hyrule are small puzzles that reveal Korok Seeds, which can be traded to expand inventory size for weapons, shields, and bows.[14] Towns serve as hotspots for quests, sidequests, and shops selling materials and clothing. Hikers and other travelers offer sidequests, hints, or conversation.[5][11] Additionally, players can scan Amiibo figures against their controller to summon items or call Link's horse Epona from previous Zelda games and Wolf Link from Twilight Princess.[15][16]


Further information: Fictional chronology of The Legend of Zelda

Breath of the Wild takes place at the end of the Zelda timeline in the kingdom of Hyrule.[17] 10, years before the beginning of the game, the ancient Sheikah race had developed Hyrule into an advanced civilization, protected by four enormous animalistic machines called the Divine Beasts and an army of autonomous weapons called Guardians.[18] When the evil Calamity Ganon appeared and threatened Hyrule, four great warriors were given the title of Champion, and each piloted one of the Divine Beasts to weaken Ganon while the princess with the blood of the goddess and her appointed knight fought and defeated him by sealing him away.[19][20]

10, years later,[21] the kingdom of Hyrule had since regressed to a medieval state.[22][23] Reading their ancestors' prophecies, the Hylians recognized the signs of Ganon's return and excavated surrounding areas to uncover the Divine Beasts and Guardians.[24] During this time, Princess Zelda trained vigorously to awaken the sealing magic needed to defeat Ganon while trying to maintain her personal research. In the meantime, a knight was appointed to protect her, that being Link, who was chosen due to his ability to wield the Master Sword, also known as the Sword that Seals the Darkness. The champions of Hyrule's races — Daruk, warrior of the mountainous Goron; Mipha, princess of the aquatic Zora; Revali, archer of the birdlike Rito; and Urbosa, chief of the desert-dwelling Gerudo — assembled to pilot the Divine Beasts (Vah Rudania, Vah Ruta, Vah Medoh, and Vah Naboris, respectively) while the current Zelda and Link battled Ganon.[25] However, Ganon possessed the Guardians and Divine Beasts, turning them against Hyrule. King Rhoam and the Champions were killed, the castle town was destroyed, and Link was gravely wounded while defending the Hyrulean Army's only remaining base, Fort Hateno.[26] Zelda took Link to safety for him to heal, hid the Master Sword in the Lost Woods under protection from the Great Deku Tree, and used her magic to seal herself and Ganon in Hyrule Castle.[27] This cataclysmic tragedy came to be known through the ages as the Great Calamity.

years after being placed in a healing chamber in the Shrine of Resurrection, an amnesiac Link awakens in a now-ravaged Hyrule. He meets an old man, who reveals himself as the lingering spirit of King Rhoam. Rhoam explains that Ganon, sealed in Hyrule Castle, has grown strong; he pleads for Link to defeat Ganon before he breaks free and destroys the world.[28]

Link travels across Hyrule, returning to locations from his past and regaining his memories. With the help of the Hyrulean races,[c] he boards the four Divine Beasts and purges them of Ganon's monsters, releasing the spirits of Hyrule's former champions and allowing them to pilot the Divine Beasts once again. After obtaining the Master Sword from the Lost Woods, Link enters Hyrule Castle and defeats Ganon with the help of the Divine Beasts and Zelda's Bow of Light. Zelda seals Ganon away, restoring peace and allowing the spirits of King Rhoam and the champions to depart to the afterlife. Sensing their presence, Link and Zelda smile fondly.

If players have found all 13 memories in the quest "Captured Memories", they unlock a secret ending in which Zelda realizes that Hyrule must be rebuilt and that she and Link must begin the process themselves.[29][30][31] As Link and Zelda survey Hyrule and embark to rebuild their world, the princess confides that she may no longer possess any supernatural power, yet still she has happily come to terms with it.[32]


An image of Eiji Aonuma, the producer.
With Breath of the Wild, Zeldaseries producer Eiji Aonumasought to rethink series conventions.

Nintendo EPD, an internal division of Nintendo, developed Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch and Wii U. According to series producer Eiji Aonuma, the development team aimed to "rethink the conventions of Zelda".[33][34] Development started immediately upon the release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword ().[35] Aonuma received comments from players who wished to see a more interconnected map to explore the locales between the gameplay areas.[3][36] In , Nintendo experimented with nonlinear gameplay in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds,[37] which was a common point of praise from many outlets. At E3 , Aonuma said he planned to reform dungeons and puzzles, two of the series' major gameplay elements,[38] and redesign the game to allow players to reach the end without progressing through the story.[39] As Nintendo had never developed a modern open-world game on the scale of Breath of the Wild, they looked at The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to learn more about the challenges of making a modern large-scale open-world game.[40] For the art style, the development team drew inspiration from various Japanese anime which they had grown up watching.[41][42]

Before full development, the developers designed a playable 2D prototype similar to the original Zelda to experiment with physics-based puzzles. The final game uses a modified version of the Havokphysics engine.[43] At the Game Developers Conference, director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, technical director Takuhiro Dohta, and art director Satoru Takizawa held a presentation titled "Change and Constant&#;– Breaking Conventions with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild", during which they demoed the prototype.[43][44] Aonuma called the physics engine in Breath of the Wild a major development for the Zelda series, saying that it "underpins everything in the world" and makes things operate in a "logical and realistic way", allowing players to approach puzzles and problems in different ways. He expanded on the difficulty in developing this system, recalling how one day during development he entered an area in the game and found that all the objects had been blown away by the wind.[3] As previous Zelda games increased the amount of actions Link could perform, the development team realized that having too many actions would complicate the controls, so instead of adding more actions, they increased the number of events the player could interact with in the world.[45]

"Our mission in developing this new Zelda game is quite plainly to re-think the conventions of Zelda. I'm referring to the expectation that the player is supposed to complete dungeons in a certain orderwe want to set aside these conventions, get back to basics and create a newborn Zelda so that the players can best enjoy the real essence of the franchise."

Eiji Aonuma, producer[33]

The game was built and demonstrated with touchscreen features for the Wii U, but the developers found that "looking back and forth between the Gamepad and the screen" distracted from the game. The features were removed when the game moved to tandem development across the Switch and Wii U.[46] The Wii U GamePad also affected animation; although Link is canonically left-handed, he is right-handed in the game to match the GamePad's control scheme, which has its sword-swinging buttons on its right side.[47] The Switch version performs better than the Wii U release when docked to a television, although when undocked, both run at the same resolution. The Switch version also has higher-quality environmental sounds.[48][49] Aonuma stated that the art design was inspired by gouache and en plein air art to help identify the vast world.[50] Takizawa has also cited the Jōmon period as an inspiration for the ancient Sheikah technology and architecture that is found in the game, due to the mystery surrounding the period.[51] The game's landscape was based on locations in and around Kyoto, the hometown of game director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, and was partially designed by Monolith Soft, who assisted with topographical level design.[52][53][54] The game's initial area was made a plateau so that players can see the world's expansive environments.[55]

"I really think the implementation of this physics engine is a major development for the Zelda series. The way the physics engine underpins everything in the world really offers up a lot of new possibilities. For instance, in Breath of the Wild you might have a puzzle where making use of the physics, there’ll be various ways you can solve that puzzle. That really opens up a lot of possibilities so there’s not just one way to progress in the game or just one way to solve a puzzle."

Eiji Aonuma, producer[3]

Breath of the Wild was the first main Zelda game to use voice acting in cutscenes, although Link remains a silent protagonist. Aonuma was affected by the first time he heard a character with a human voice in-game, and wanted to leave a similar impression on players.[56] The team decided to record voice-overs for all cutscenes instead of only the key scenes, as originally planned.[57][58] Nintendo provided voice-overs and subtitles in eight languages.[d] Initially, players were not able to mix and match the languages of voices and subtitles;[59] however, Nintendo released an update in May that allowed players to choose the voice-over language.[60] After five years of development, the game went gold on February 3, , with Nintendo holding a wrap party to celebrate.[61] Coinciding with the game's launch in Taiwan and South Korea in early , Nintendo introduced a patch worldwide adding traditional and simplified Chinese and Korean translations for the Nintendo Switch version.[e][62][63][64]

The original score was composed by Manaka Kataoka,[f] Yasuaki Iwata, and Hajime Wakai. Kataoka and Wakai had previously worked on the Zelda games Spirit Tracks and The Wind Waker respectively.[65] The soundtrack was primarily written and performed on a piano, with a focus on ambient music and sounds rather than the melodic and upbeat music in previous Zelda games. According to Wakai, this helped add "authenticity" to the environments and was taken on as a challenge by the rest of the sound team.[66]


Aonuma originally teased the game for the Wii U in January during a Nintendo Direct presentation. The game, he continued, would challenge the series' conventions, such as the requirement that players complete dungeons in a set order.[2][67] The next year, Nintendo introduced the game's high-definition, cel-shaded visual style with in-game footage at its E3 press event.[68][69] Once planned for release in , the game was delayed early in the year and did not show at that year's E3.[70][71]Zelda series creator Shigeru Miyamoto reaffirmed that the game was still set for release on the Wii U, despite the development of Nintendo's next console, the Nintendo Switch.[72] The game was delayed again in April due to problems with its physics engine. Nintendo let attendees play the game's Wii U version at E3 ,[73] where they also announced its subtitle, Breath of the Wild.[74]CNET said that the showing would "take your breath away",[75] and Breath of the Wild was the most talked-about E3 game on social media according to Brandwatch, a social media monitoring platform.[76] It was also listed among the best games at E3 by Eurogamer,[77]GameSpot,[78] and GamesRadar+.[79][80] At a Nintendo presentation in January , a trailer was shown announcing that the game would be released as a launch game for the Switch.[81]

Breath of the Wild launched for both the Wii U and Switch on March 3, [82] It was the last Nintendo game released for the Wii U.[83] The Switch version was available in limited "Special Edition" and "Master Edition" bundles, which both included a Sheikah Eye coin, a Calamity Ganon tapestry with world map, a soundtrack CD, and a themed carrying case for the Switch. The Master Edition also included a figurine based on the Master Sword.[84][85][86] An "Explorer's Edition" was released for the Switch on November 23, , containing a two-sided map and a page book of story information.[87] In Europe, the game used unique packing artwork.[88] A five-disc, track soundtrack was released in Japan on April 25, [89]

Downloadable content[edit]

On June 30, , Nintendo released a "season pass" for two bundled downloadable content (DLC): The Master Trials and The Champions' Ballad.[90][91]The Master Trials adds gameplay modes, features, and items. In the Trial of the Sword challenge, Link fights through 3 sets of fifteen rooms, each full of enemies and must finish each room before proceeding.[92] Link begins with no equipment but is rewarded with a glowing Master Sword that has greater durability and possesses a doubled damage stat if the player completes the challenge. The pack also adds an option to play the game at a higher difficulty level, called "Master Mode", which adds faster rank leveling and raises the ranks of enemies by 1.[93] The enemies are more perceptive when Link sneaks near them and slowly regenerate health in battle. New floating platforms throughout the land offer enemies to battle and treasure as a reward. The Hero's Path feature draws the player's path on the game's map, designed to help players determine places they have not visited. The player can also find the hidden Travel Medallion to save Link's current position as a single waypoint to which the player can transport Link at any time. New items include the Korok Mask, which helps the player find Korok locations, and other themed cosmetics related to previous Zelda games.[94]

The Champions' Ballad was released on December 7, It added a new dungeon, additional story content, new gear, and additional challenges,[91][95][96] as well as the Master Cycle Zero, a motorcycle-like vehicle that Link can ride upon completing the quest line.[97]



Breath of the Wild was released to critical acclaim, with many calling the game a masterpiece[] and one of the greatest video games of all time.[][] On the review aggregatorMetacritic, Breath of the Wild was the highest-rated game of [] and holds the largest number of perfect reviews of any game from any year.[][][] Industry publications including IGN,[]GameSpot,[]Polygon,[][]Entertainment Weekly,[]Eurogamer,[]Electronic Gaming Monthly,[]GamesRadar+,[] and Game Informer[] ranked Breath of the Wild the best game of The review aggregate site Metacritic listed Breath of the Wild as the best video game of the decade, having topped 18 lists of the decade's best games.[]

The open-world gameplay received praise. Jose Otero of IGN described it as "a masterclass in open-world design" and "a wonderful sandbox full of mystery, dangling dozens upon dozens of tantalizing things in front of you that just beg to be explored".[6] GameSpot called it the most impressive game Nintendo had made, writing that it "takes designs and mechanics perfected in other games and reworks them for its own purposes to create something wholly new, but also something that still feels quintessentially like a Zelda game It's both a return to form and a leap into uncharted territory, and it exceeds expectations on both fronts."[5]Edge wrote that the game world was "an absolute, and unremitting, pleasure to get lost in" and that "the magic of being given all the tools in the opening hour is the knowledge that the solution to any problem is already at your disposal, and you can always change tack".[]

According to Kyle Orland of Ars Technica, "after spending a week utterly immersed in Nintendo's open-world reimagining of the tried-and-true Zelda formula, it's hard to return to the more formulaic entries of the franchise's past".[] Journalists commented on unexpected interactions between game elements,[][][] with serendipitous moments proving popular on social media.[] Chris Plante of The Verge predicted that whereas prior open-world games tended to feature prescribed challenges, Zelda would influence a new generation of games with open-ended problem-solving.[]

Reviewers lauded the sense of detail and immersion.[][]Kotaku recommended turning off UI elements in praise of the indirect cues that contextually indicate the same information, such as Link shivering in the cold or waypoints appearing when using the scope.[] Reviewers also commented on the unexpected permutations of interactions between Link, villagers, pets, and enemies,[][][] many of which were shared widely on social media.[] A tribute to former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who died during development, also attracted praise.[][]

Jim Sterling was more critical than most, giving Breath of the Wild a 7/10 score. They criticized the difficulty, weapon durability, and level design, but praised the open world and variety of content.[] Other criticism focused on the unstable frame rate and the low resolution of p;[][] updates addressed some of these problems.[][]


Breath of the Wild broke sales records for a Nintendo launch game in multiple regions.[][] In Japan, the Switch and Wii U versions sold a combined , copies in the first week of release, with the Switch version becoming the top-selling game released that week.[] In the UK, Breath of the Wild was the second-bestselling retail game its week of release behind Horizon Zero Dawn, and became the third-bestselling Zelda game behind Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.[][] In the United States, Breath of the Wild was the second-bestselling video game during its month of release behind Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands.[] Nintendo reported that Breath of the Wild sold more than one million copies in the US that month, , of which were for Switch – a % attach rate.[][][][] In April , Nintendo reported it had sold million copies of Breath of the Wild worldwide by the end of March, million for Wii U and million for Switch, surpassing the Switch's global sales of million for the same period.[] Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said that the attach rate of Breath of the Wild to the Switch was "unprecedented".[] By March , the game sold million copies worldwide, on the Switch and on the Wii U, making Breath of the Wild the best-selling game in the franchise.[][][] Total sales for the Switch version reached million by June [] It has sold million copies on the Wii U.[]


Following its demonstration at E3 , Breath of the Wild received several accolades from the Game Critics Awards[] and from publications such as IGN and Destructoid.[][] It was listed among the best games at E3 by Eurogamer,[77]GameSpot,[78] and GamesRadar+.[79][80] In late , Breath of the Wild received two awards at Gamescom,[] and won the award for Most Anticipated Game at The Game Awards []

After its release, Breath of the Wild won multiple awards at The Game Awards , including Game of the Year, Best Game Direction, and Best Action/Adventure Game, and was nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Score/Music, and Best Audio Design.[] At the 21st Annual D.I.C.E. Awards, it won Game of the Year among other awards.[]


"It's been three long years since The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild rewired the connections inside my brain. It messed me up. In some ways you might say it ruined video games. Other video games. [] It's not God of War's fault that it's not Breath of the Wild. It's not Spider-Man's fault that it's not Breath of the Wild. I spent a good 10 hours playing Red Dead Redemption 2, hoping it was Breath of the Wild, then eventually gave up. No one's fault. Sorry, other video games. You tried, but you weren't Breath of the Wild."

Mark Serrels, CNET[]

Shortly after Breath of the Wild's release, journalists and video game industry figures discussed how it would influence future open-world games[][][] and the Zelda series.[] Benjamin Plich, designer of Assassin's Creed: Unity and For Honor, said that he believed developers would take inspiration from its focus on experimental gameplay,[] and PC Gamer wrote that the game "[set] a standard the rest of the genre should live by."[]

In the years since its release, multiple games and developers have cited Breath of the Wild as an inspiration. These include Genshin Impact,[]Ghost of Tsushima,[]Immortals: Fenyx Rising,[] andTelling Lies.[] Similarities have also been noted between Breath of the Wild and other open world titles since its launch, including the upcoming Pokemon Legends: Arceus[] and Horizon: Forbidden West. []

The game's success sparked increased interest in the Wii U emulator Cemu, as the Cemu developers rapidly updated the software to run the game at a steady frame rate within weeks of release.[][][]

In September , Nintendo announced Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, a hack and slash game in the style of Dynasty Warriors series, following 's Hyrule Warriors. Age of Calamity's story serves as a prequel to Breath of the Wild, set years before. The game was released on November 20, on the Nintendo Switch.[][]

Irish novelist John Boyne mistakenly included ingredients from a Breath of the Wild food item in his novel A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom.[][]


Main article: Untitled The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel

An untitled sequel was announced at E3 for the Switch.[] It was conceived during planning for Breath of the Wild's DLC; the team came up with too many ideas, some of which could not be implemented due to technical constraints, so they decided to use their ideas for a new game. According to Aonuma, the sequel will build atop the original's world with a new story and gameplay elements,[] and is inspired in part by Red Dead Redemption 2.[] Fujibayashi will reprise his role as director.[] It was announced at E3 that the game would be released in and that Link will be able to explore the sky of Hyrule with new mechanics.[] Nintendo kept the name of the sequel a secret as, according to spokesperson Bill Trinen, "Those subtitles… they start to give little bits of hints about maybe what’s going to happen."[]

Explanatory notes[edit]

  1. ^Additional work by Monolith Soft
  2. ^Japanese: ゼルダの伝説 ブレス オブ ザ ワイルド, Hepburn: Zeruda no Densetsu: Buresu obu za Wairudo
  3. ^Gerudo, Goron, Hylian, Rito, Sheikah, and Zora races
  4. ^Languages include Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. The Dutch localization is text only and borrows the English voice-over by default, whilst the Spanish localization include two different voice-over tracks for different regions.
  5. ^The Chinese and Korean localization is text only and borrows the Japanese voice-over by default.
  6. ^Under her maiden name of Manaka Tominaga


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Forget everything you know about The Legend of Zelda games. Step into a world of discovery, exploration and adventure in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a boundary-breaking new game in the acclaimed series. Travel across fields, through forests and to mountain peaks as you discover what has become of the ruined kingdom of Hyrule in this stRead Moreunning open-air adventure.

Nintendo Switch, Wii U

Third-Person, Action, Adventure, Open World

Nintendo EPD


March 03,

March 03,

March 03,

7 Mins Ago

94% Rating


Based on K User Ratings











Nintendo Switch



Unique: 3 Total: K


The Legend of Zelda™: Breath of the Wild

Available now

  • …a watershed game 10/10

    - IGN
  • a truly magical work of art… 10/10

    - GameSpot
  • you will never want to put Zelda down.

    - USA Today


Forget everything you know about The Legend of Zelda games. Step into a world of discovery, exploration, and adventure in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a boundary-breaking new game in the acclaimed series. Travel across vast fields, through forests, and to mountain peaks as you discover what has become of the kingdom of Hyrule in this stunning Open-Air Adventure. Now on Nintendo Switch, your journey is freer and more open than ever. Take your system anywhere, and adventure as Link any way you like.

Release date:
March 03,

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Adventure, Action, Role-Playing, Other



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Game botw

Breath of the Wild 2 release date, news, and trailers for the next Zelda game

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (or BOTW 2, for short) is in development for Nintendo Switch and Nintendo has confirmed that we should expect to see it sometime in

Our last update on the game came during Nintendo's E3 presentation when a new trailer gave us a much better look at the world of Breath of the Wild 2. It seems to be similar to that of the game, but with a sky-high difference. The new trailer below shows that floating cities are back, as is jumping through, and even paragliding past, clouds, seemingly taking inspiration from Skyward Sword (recently remastered for Switch).

As the sequel to Breath of the Wild, which is still hailed as one of the best Switch games ever, expectations for Breath of the Wild 2 are extremely high and we still have a lot to learn about it, including its exact release date and its true title. At the moment, it remains unclear when we'll get out next update as the game was absent from September's big Direct stream and Nintendo has confirmed it will be sitting out this year's Tokyo Game Show. 

For everything we do know about Breath of the Wild 2, though, read on—you'll find every trailer, teaser, leak and update Nintendo has released over the past two years.

Breath of the Wild 2: what you need to know

  • What is it? The upcoming sequel to 's Breath of the Wild
  • What can I play it on?Nintendo Switch
  • When can I play it? BOTW 2 is set for release at some point in

Breath of the Wild 2 release date

Nintendo hadn't shared much information on Breath of the Wild 2 other than an announcement trailer and a few sparse comments but E3 gave us the best look yet.

The Nintendo presentation showed off some more footage of the game, while letting slip a release date for BOTW 2.

We don't know if that's early or late , but it's worth noting that the original Nintendo Switch launched with Breath of the Wild in March , so a March date would prove a neat five-year anniversary.

Breath of the Wild 2 trailers

We got a better look at Breath of the Wild 2 in the E3 Nintendo presentation, and it showed off a vast, expansive world of Hyrule – expanded even further with navigation into the skies, despite the more dungeon-crawling feeling of the original teaser.

There's some paragliding up in the clouds, along with more a freefall mechanic that seems ripped right out of Skyward Sword, and a new glove that looks to be taking the place of the Sheikah slate for Breath of the Wild 2. 

There's even a short clip of a splashed puddle reverting in time? We're not entirely sure, but it's clear that some new mechanics will be introduced into the Zelda formula, while one of the first game's sentient boulder enemies (that's Stone Pebblit to you) is shown with a Bokoblin fort on its back for BOTW 2, suggesting even more dynamic interplay between the game's many enemies. Take a look below

We got our very first glimpse of Breath of the Wild 2 at E3 , though, with this spooky trailer that shows Zelda and Link exploring an underground chamber – with some mysterious runes, glowing hands, and a brand-new haircut that has set the internet on fire. Suffice it to say we're excited.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 trailer that first revealed the game is just 82 seconds long and there's no dialogue whatsoever, but there are some clues to be gathered from it.

It features a torch-carrying Link and Zelda traversing a dark dungeon beneath Hyrule (no big surprise there). Spirit-like tendrils creep around the musty tomb they're exploring, with the pair riding a large elephant-like beast. Something shocks the pair, and then we cut to what appears to be the resurrection of some long-dead (and creepy looking) warrior. Could this be the return of Ganondorf?

The video then cuts to a long shot of Hyrule Field, with Hyrule Castle in the distance. There's a tremor, the castle is smothered with dust and that's the end.

The clip finishes with a message that reads: "The sequel to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is in development."

We wouldn't usually expect so much animation to be done so early in development, but it probably helps that Nintendo already has the in-game engine from Breath of the Wild.

Breath of the Wild 2 news and rumors

Nothing at Tokyo Game Show

As insiders suggested would be the case, Nintendo’s September Direct didn’t include an update on Breath of the Wild 2. It turns out we shouldn’t expect one during Tokyo Game Show in October, either, as Nintendo has confirmed that it won’t be present at the show. The news was confirmed in an official Tweet from Nintendo’s official account. At the moment, it remains unclear as to when we’ll get our next update on Breath of the Wild 2. 

A Nintendo Switch Pro could still be in the works

The announcement of the Nintendo Switch OLED put a dampener on those rumors of a high-powered, 4K Nintendo Switch Pro intended to launch with Breath of the Wild 2. However, according to Tokyo-based analyst Serkan Toto, a Nintendo Switch Pro could still happen. Toto has suggested that the Switch OLED might be a “dummy upgrade” before a real upgrade arrives next year.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Toto said: “This new Switch looks more like an interim model than a real upgrade to me,” Toto told Bloomberg. “This might just be a dummy upgrade until Breath Of The Wild 2 is ready and the component shortage is over next year.”

Skyward Sword HD in the meantime

There's still a wait for Breath of the Wild 2 but Nintendo has released an HD remaster of Skyward Sword in the meantime and we think it's worth playing while you wait. We think, from the mechanics and characters to the locations and narrative, both Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild 2 could share a surprising amount of commonality and we've explained why you should consider paying attention to Skyward Sword HD in the run-up to the release of Breath of the Wild 2.

BOTW 2 and those Majora's Mask comparisons

Nintendo's Treehouse is always a great place to find new info on upcoming Nintendo games, and Breath of the Wild 2 is no different. Bill Trinen, Senior Product Marketing Manager of Nintendo of America, spoke of BOTW 2 in a recent broadcast with IGN, and its much-noted comparison to the relationship between the N64's Ocarina of Time and its sequel, Majora's Mask.

"I would say it’s an easy comparison or conclusion to jump to at this point in time, just given what’s been shown so far and given the nature of it being a direct sequel. So I understand people making that conclusion, but at the same time – and I don’t want to delve too much into it – but this is its own game”. 

However, whereas Majora's Mask reused lots of assets, Trinen wanted to make it clear that this is indeed a true sequel. “I think as we start to show a bit more of the game over the coming months to the next year or so, it’ll probably start to be a bit more apparent where this game stands on its own and what makes it so unique”.

"The way that [BOTW 2] builds on Breath of the Wild, which already was such an expansive game with so many layers of Link’s abilities and layers to the gameplay… I think this is going to layer quite a bit more into that”.

Ganondorf fan theory for BOTW 2

A new Breath of the Wild 2 fan theory is suggesting that Ganondorf could be a playable character in segments of the game. Barrett Courtney of Kinda Funny (via GameSpot) has suggested that the Link we got a glimpse of in the new E3 trailer is actually Ganondorf and that part of the game will involve players exploring the fall of Ganondorf. 

“This game will be learning about the fall of Ganondorf the man and then saving him from the evil that has been ruling over him for generations. And in doing so, we’ll break the cycle started by Demise.”

Continuing down this line, Courtney has suggested that the full name of BOTW 2 (still being kept under wraps by Nintendo) could be something like “Demise of the Wild”, making reference to Breath of the Wild and the corruption caused by Demise. 

Incidentally, Demise is one of the main antagonists of Skyward Sword, which is to be re-released on Switch later this year. Courtney suggests that a Skyward Sword port was a deliberate choice, “Fujibayashi wants to connect all 3 of his major games together and getting Skyward to Switch will give first timers the back story they need before BOTW2.”

Of course, there is evidence against the theory and until Nintendo reveals more about the game, we can’t be absolutely certain about the story that Breath of the Wild 2 will tell.

The real title is being kept a secret

Nintendo revealed to IGN that it's holding back on revealing the official full title of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 because it could give away some of what's going to happen in the game. 

“As for why we’re holding back on the name, you’ll just have to stay tuned because, obviously, Zelda names are kind of important,” Nintendo Treehouse's Bill Trinen explained. “Those subtitles they start to give little bits of hints about maybe what’s going to happen.”

Trinen didn't indicate when Nintendo is planning to reveal the full title but it's likely that won't be until closer to the game's release. 

More information coming in
Nintendo’s Direct presentation in February didn’t bring any more details on Breath of the Wild 2 but it wasn’t completely absent. Zelda series producer, Eiji Aonuma, shared a small update during the presentation (via NintendoLife), noting that development is “proceeding smoothly” and that there’s going to be more information on the game later this year.  

“I’m sure a lot of you saw me and thought there might be news to the sequel to the Breath of the Wild game.” Aonuma said, “Unfortunately, we don’t have anything to share right now. Development is proceeding smoothly and we should be able to bring you some information this year. For now, we’ll have to ask you to wait just a bit longer.”

We now have a release date thanks to E3 , of course, but that doesn't mean we don't hear more before is over.

Hyrule Warriors and a longer wait for news
Nintendo and Koei Tecmo Games have released a prequel to the original Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild titled Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. Set years before the original game, it has Link, Zelda and friends (including the four Champions, who will be playable for the first time) battle hordes of enemies in Hyrule before it was destroyed in the Great Calamity.

While it was exciting to have the chance to return to Hyrule in , the release of this prequel did suggest it could be another while before we hear anything more about a sequel.

In revealing Age of Calamity, series producer Eiji Aonuma acknowledged the relative lack of news for Breath of the Wild 2 and said:

“In order to make the vast world you enjoyed exploring in the original game even more impressive, the team is working hard on its development, so you’ll have to wait a bit longer before we can provide more updates.”

Could Switch Pro rumors offer Breath of the Wild 2 hints?
There have been numerous reports that there's a Nintendo Switch Pro in the works for a release date. Reports of the new console come from the Economic Daily News and Bloomberg both of which suggest a more powerful Nintendo Switch console with upgraded interactivity and improved display quality could be coming next year. Along with these hardware upgrades, Bloomberg also suggests that Nintendo has a bunch of new games up its sleeve to launch alongside the console.

Given the original Breath of the Wild launched with the original Nintendo Switch back in , launching Breath of the Wild 2 alongside a more advanced iteration of the console would be some nice symmetry.

We now know, of course, that Nintendo is planning to release the Nintendo Switch OLED in October which has an improved screen but no greater degree of power, putting some doubt on these rumors. However, an analyst has suggested another console could still come down the line. 

Voice acting misunderstanding
In a sign of just how much fans are looking for news on Breath of the Wild 2, an interview with the voice actors behind the Spanish dubs of Zelda and Revali in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Spanish podcast A Coffee with Nintendo was seized upon and caused some controversy (via IGN). 

In the interview it seemed to be suggested that the voice actors had finished their work on BOTW 2, leading fans to think that the game might be further along in its development than originally thought. However, this proved to be incorrect. It was later clarified that the voice actors were joking and that context was lost due to translation issues. In fact, it's not even confirmed that they're working on the sequel. So we're left with no further clues as to progress on Breath of the Wild 2. 

All the DLC that never was
In an interview with Kotaku, Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma said there were originally plans for more DLC content for BOTW, after The Champion's Ballad and Master Trials add-ons that came in

"Initially we were thinking of just DLC ideas," says Anouma. "But then we had a lot of ideas and we said, 'This is too many ideas, let’s just make one new game and start from scratch.'"

BOTW 2 will be a darker turn for the series
All we really know at this point is how little we know. But boy, are there rumors. The unexpected trailer sparked a huge amount of speculation, hopes and hot takes on what the next mainline Zelda title might include.

We've heard from Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma that the game is going to have a darker tone than Breath of the Wild, and will even be "a little bit darker" than Majora's Mask (via IGN).

The trailer certainly supports this, with what looks like Ganondorf's corpse being resurrected by a disembodied hand, and seemingly imagery from 's Twilight Princess, which saw Hyrule turned into a bleak shadow realm – largely in response to the far cheerier and cartoonish The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. That said, it won't be all doom and gloom - visually at least - as the E3 trailer has at least indicated that we'll take to the skies and explore amongst the clouds.

The Twilight realm
The glowing blue hand in the trailer is the biggest clue that we'll be seeing more of the Twili – shadow people descended from Hylians who tried to take the power of the Triforce for themselves. The hand is wrapped in twisting shapes reminiscent of Twilight architecture, while the swirling magic could remind some of the portals that let Twili invade Hyrule in the game.

We know that BOTW's dev team originally toyed with the idea of an alien invasion, and seeing shadow creatures teleport out of the sky could well have been what they have planned this time around.

A clue in the audio
Showing just how far some Zelda fans will go, reddit user u/ReroFunk (via Inverse) pieced together a pretty convincing theory regarding Twilight Princess villain Zant, a Twili who served Ganondorf in the game. If you listen to the trailer's audio in reverse, there are certain notes that seem to echo the music played during your final encounter with Zant – who, while defeated, is adamant he'll return through the power of his "god".

u/ReroFunk also suggests we could see the demon king Demise return for the next Zelda game. Demise was the final boss in Skyward Sword, and revealed to be the original form of Ganondorf. The below still from the Zelda trailer also looks alot like Demise when you think about it.

Lots of dungeons (and an extended map)
Rumors about the Breath of the Wild sequel suggest that we could be in for a treat in the form of a new map that's not like anything we've seen from Zelda before. What's more, a couple of new job listings suggest that Nintendo is looking for people to work on designing some dungeons and hidden bosses for the game – so far, so exciting.

Zelda's turn in the spotlight?
One of the favorite fan theories doing the rounds regards the Hyrule princess herself. She's shown in the trailer with a practical short haircut, and is dressed in a manner pretty similar to Link's own adventurer's gear – leading some to think she may be a playable character.

Zelda's devs have seemed pretty dismissive of the idea of a female Link in the past – sadly – but we may in this game see sections playing as Zelda, or at least with her playing a more active role in the story.

Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - E3 2021 Teaser - Nintendo Direct


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