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The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Analysis

It’s not a secret that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is my most anticipated game of the past few years. Every time I see a new screen or video I get amped to play it. At The Game Awards Nintendo released not one, but two new videos showcasing new areas of Hyrule that Link will be able to explore. Watching the videos several times, I have noticed some interesting details that I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention.

The first video shown was during the pre-show of The Game Awards. It was a minute and a half trailer showcasing some new areas of the game. As is traditional with trailers often had quick slices of different areas, often making it difficult to notice the details at first glance.

 

 

The video opens up with a parchment scroll that seems to detail a story. This is very much like what was seen at the beginning of Windwaker, and even to an extent, A Link To The Past.

 

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Up until now, we’ve only seen green trees. This shot shows red leaves and shrubs turning color, so perhaps the game will actually change seasons. Or, maybe it’s just a different climate zone and the trees are beginning to turn. Either way, the pop of color certainly caught my eye and I like the variety.

 

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In this scene we see what appears to be an NPC doing battle with an enemy. I thought at first it was Link, but it definitely looks like a different character. The weather effects are in place as they are fighting during a thunderstorm. Another (female?) character in the upper left of the screen is also fending off monsters.

 

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Notice the horse head on top of the carousel-like building? Perhaps this is where you can train your steed or maybe you rent one for fast travel?

 

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We see a closeup shot of the same building with what appears to be Link riding a horse. It’s hard to tell, but he may be wearing a blue hood, but it looks like his ears may be sticking out of the sides. Either that or it’s a person with blue hair. The dog is following slightly behind.

 

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Our first glimpse of a village in the game. It’s a quaint little place with a roaring waterfall in the distance. A small watermill is on the lower right portion of the screen. Vegetables are being grown in the garden and decorations are hanging on ropes, fluttering in the wind.

 

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The same village is seen from a different vantage point. A farmer is in the garden tending to the vegetables. A lone apple is growing on the tree on the right side of the screen.

 

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At first glance this looks like it could be a new enemy. However, it’s wearing a bright blue scarf with an emblem on it and its bow looks like something Link would carry. Perhaps it will be a friendly creature?

 

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It soars high up into the air where a mechanical airship is flying overhead. Could this be the floating island we saw far off in the distance in the E3 demo?

 

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Who do we have here? It appears to be Zelda, but she’s dressed a lot like Link, with the blue and gold clothing. Also, she’s wearing gloves like she’s ready to wield a weapon. And, what’s that she’s holding? It appears to be the Sheikah Slate. Could the rumors of a female playable character be true? Unfortunately we have to wait to find out.

 

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Here’s a different scene with another female character on-screen with Link. This surely must be Princess Zelda. She’s in blue, but appears to be wearing different garb than the character above. Still, she could simply be wearing different outfits. We already know this plays a big part in the game for Link.

 

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In the “Let’s Play” video that Nintendo posted, there are a quite a few little pieces of new information to digest. First up, we have a new area called the Zonai Ruins that Link must find his way into. Looking at this screen grab from the video, you’ll notice that there’s a small icon on the lower left and the game is saving. That means the game must have an auto-save function, which is very different from prior Zelda games. Also, look at the upper left. Link has ten hearts! This must be a bit deeper into the game than when we last saw him at E3.

 

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This next screen shows us a few new things as well. Link is wearing a red tunic and has a new shield. Notice the number of arrows are on the reticule (27) as well as on the upper left of the screen. The enemy he’s fighting has an awesome 2-pronged staff and his tongue is glowing blue. If it makes contact with Link, he’ll get electrocuted.

 

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At E3, one of the coolest weapons that Link could wield was the Fire Rod. Here we see that he has access to the Lightning Rod as well. This is also a better view of his new red tunic. Also, look at the upper right of the screen. He’s holding a whopping 4,610 Rupees! He must have a massive wallet this time around. Last, but certainly not least, the menu is slightly different from the E3 build. The top of the screen shows an Adventure Log and System options. Perhaps Link can take on quests and keep track of them in the Adventure Log?

 

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This area of the game is more tropical in nature than what we saw at E3. Notice the palm trees all around the environment. Link will have to arch his shots to take down his foes with his bow.

 

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Link has an expanded stamina meter at this point in the game. The extra bar goes about half way around the main circle. This could be a temporary effect based on food eaten, or perhaps a permanent upgrade thanks to a specific item.

 

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It appears when you first encounter a new enemy that it will have a ? above its head. This means it’s unknown how powerful it is and you won’t know its name.

 

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The two-handed sword that Link is carrying in this demo is 38 strength, much higher than what we saw for weapons in the E3 demo. The Spiked Moblin Club would lower his strength down to 27, still about triple of what most weapons were in the Great Plateau.

 

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So, there you have it – some of the little details I noticed while perusing the new footage. Did you find anything really cool that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!

Oh, and as always, be sure to check out our preview page for more screens, video, and information. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is scheduled to come out sometime in 2017. Recent rumors suggest that it will miss the Nintendo Switch launch in March, and instead most likely come out closer to summer. We should know more on January 12 and 13 when Nintendo is scheduled to show off the Switch, announce pricing, dates, and details, and the press goes hands-on with the device.

 

Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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