“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”: Familiarity in the Unknown

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Nintendo kept their promise with their minimalistic approach to E3 this year. Rather than bringing many new games to be introduced, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (yes, it has a name now!) took center stage and was one of the only titles discussed at E3. Since its initial introduction, Nintendo has said that this Zelda game would be a brand new imagining of the franchise. The stunning trailer and gameplay footage that was shown at E3 seems to confirm that idea, however, there are many aspects that are oddly familiar. While you can’t expect Nintendo to completely strip away everything that makes a Zelda game a Zelda game, it seemed like it would be worthwhile to take a closer look at what makes Breath of the Wild similar to its predecessors.

Several or All Zeldas:

  • It begins with Link waking up.
  • Link is the “chosen” hero.
  • There are mini dungeons to test Link along the way.
  • Clothing is important. You have to dress for the right climate after all!

The Legend of Zelda (for NES):

  • Players can utilize fire to change the overworld.
  • The raft returns (not to be confused with the King of Red Lions).

Zelda 2: Adventure of Link:

  • He can jump!

A Link to the Past/A Link Between Worlds:

  • There are ruins to explore. I’m thinking specifically of the Eastern Palace and its surrounding area that is maze-like and decrepit.

Ocarina of Time:

  • The Sheikah race plays a prominent role. They’ve been mentioned or alluded to in several games, but have been mostly passive since the N64 days (save for one in particular in Skyward Sword).

Wind Waker:

  • The Korok race returns. This could give some insight into where in the timeline this game takes place.
  • There is at least partial voice acting. Don’t forget that Link speaks the actual words “Come on!” in Wind Waker.
  • You can take and use enemy weapons against them.

Twilight Princess:

  • Not so much a similarity as it is something worth noting, but the Wolf Link Amiibo from Twilight Princess HD can be tapped to summon Wolf Link as a companion character.

Skyward Sword:

  • The stamina gauge returns. For better or for worse.
  • A new item similar to the sailcloth can be used.
  • Players can mark places on the map. This is similar to the beacon mechanic, except that the marks only appear on the minimap and not in the overworld itself.
  • More technology is being incorporated into the lore. Electricity played a key role in several areas of Skyward Sword, but Breath of the Wild practically gives Link a tablet.
  • Collectibles can be picked up in the wild and later combined to provide useful abilities.

There are likely many more subtle similarities that were overlooked or that will be seen later, but this list provides a pretty comprehensive look at what we know so far about Breath of the Wild just from E3. Breath of the Wild is clearly unique in its own right, but it is still a game in the Zelda franchise, even though it may not seem like it at first glance.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is set for release next year on both the Wii U and Nintendo NX systems. What are your thoughts on this new Zelda title?

Author: Daftly Debonair



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