Zelda: Breath of the Wild devs on Ganon and Zelda, story positioning, using open air concept in the future - Nintendo Everything

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Zelda: Breath of the Wild devs on Ganon and Zelda, story positioning, using open air concept in the future

Posted on April 4, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch, Wii U

This week, Famitsu is publishing an interview with some of the developers behind The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi and series producer Eiji Aonuma spoke about the game in-depth, among others. Ahead of the magazine’s official release tomorrow, some tidbits from the interview have appeared online.

First, Famitsu asks about how Nintendo settled on Ganon’s role in the game. Zelda was given a fairly deep portrayal, but Ganon only exists as a calamity. Fujibayashi responded by saying that, role-wise, it was unnecessary for him to be personified. If he talks, then his background would need to be shown and that would only be an obstruction in the game. That’s why Ganon is shaped as it is.

Speaking of characters, Famitsu also put out a question as to why Zelda has what is almost an inferiority complex. According to Fujibayashi, it was easier to build the story that way. Also, the staff in charge of the scenario strongly recommended that kind of plot. Of course, her personality is there to be more functional as well.

Fujibayashi and Aonuma also took on a question regarding where Breath of the Wild’s story is positioned in the history of Hyrule. Fujibayashi said that he’ll leave it to our imagination. Aonuma explained things a bit more, stating that 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. What’s being said here is that even history books used in schools have changed, so why not Hyrule? Aonuma also joked about how that’s why this time the situation becomes like finding a new ancient document.

Finally, Aonuma indicated that the open air nature of Zelda: Breath of the Wild may be the standard of Zelda games going forward.

Source

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  • Emufred

    Sooo happy to hear this will be the standard.

    Open Air + better and more dungeons = God-Like Zelda game

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  • Fernando Silva

    “(…)the standard of Zelda games going forward.” duck yes!!!!

  • Blanco8x8

    The official timeline taking the backseat concerns me.

    I haven’t beat the game yet, and I have a theory of its placement. But I’m afraid there won’t be a solid answer unlike Skyward Sword.

    • maxleresistant

      “official timeline”. lol

    • Tlink7

      Zelda stories are like fairy tales. It doesn’t matter how when where or why, don’t try to logic it up… just enjoy the game 😀

      • NintendoPSXTheSecond

        A part of enjoying games is the story and lore. It’s also why Dark Souls has appeal beyond it’s gameplay.

        • Alex Longclaw

          Why can’t some people accept that we enjoy connecting the games and discussing about the massive lore the timeline gives us? We don’t enjoy things the same way you do, there’s no reason to assume that either we or you are not enjoying it the way it should.

          • Thomas Knapp

            I think the issue is that the developers themselves don’t seem to put terribly much thought into the “timeline” outside of a very general sense (for example, I do not believe for one second that this timeline ever actually existed in any concrete fashion until it was officially revealed, regardless of what Nintendo has claimed in the past).

            So, with that in mind, people who DO take that timeline and how the games connect without clear indicators of such (for example, Wind > Phantom Hourglass > Spirit Tracks or Link to the Past > Link Between Worlds) looking for any continuity or canon are probably barking up the wrong tree.

          • Alex Longclaw

            I don’t think they cared much before Skyward Sword either, but there was a general idea and many of the games were created in a way that they could connect to others. I mean, Ocarina of Time was a prequel to ALttP, that’s why it features Ganondorf as the villain, the guy that in ALttP was said to eventually become Ganon, and don’t get me started on WW and TP. Then we get to Skyward Sword which was thought out from the beginning as the start of the series and connect to the rest of the games, which is something you would have to try reeeally hard to ignore while playing it. And, uh, I don’t really get the part in parenthesis? Are you telling me those games are related or that they aren’t? (Just in case… the first three are connected and this stated many times inside the games, the other two really aren’t that connected, they happen in the same overworld and the same version of Hyrule but don’t have many relations between each other).

          • DonSerrot

            I honestly think it was a mistake for Nintendo to publish a timeline and especially for them to try and put every game into it somewhere. They should have left it as something fun for the theorists and just stuck with making the games without feeling pressured to make new ones fit in a timeline with the others. I’m actually pretty happy that BotW is being left without a clear answer from the devs and has the theorists going all over the place trying to figure it out.

          • Thomas Knapp

            I honestly don’t think they are feeling pressured to make them fit. It certainly seems like if they have an idea they want to run with, but it wouldn’t “fit” in any given timeline, that the developers have the freedom to tell the timeline to go whistle.

          • smcrzgi

            nintendo’s claims can actually be backed up by A. in game connections, and more importantly B. interviews where story elements, including connections to other games, are discussed. theres alot more evidence then people think. as far as I am concerned, nintendo had a “timeline” that was of an evolving nature, and it continues to evolve.

          • Tlink7

            Someone got offended immediately… 😛 I don’t understand how you can put on such an aggressive tone when clearly I meant well :C

            I’m not saying you cannot enjoy connecting the games, I was merely trying to convey that it will lead to disappointment because Nintendo is going to change how all the Zelda titles fit together. The company sees individual Zelda games as its own little fairy tales with some loose connection to each other.

            Personally I find the excess to which people go to prove their ideas a waste of time, because there is no logic in retcon land 😛

          • Alex Longclaw

            God, don’t try so hard, it’s too cringy.

          • Tlink7

            ?????

          • Tlink7

            ?????
            Are you going to elaborate on your random a$$ comment? I also don’t think you’re one to speak with your avatar :3

          • Alex Longclaw

            No, thanks. You already gave me cringe for months with those comments, ugh.

          • Tlink7

            Then why even bother commenting? This is a forum…? I too can make stupid accusations and run away… it is easy that way, you never have to actually put in effort to defend the crap you spew.

            What was wrong with me stating my opinion in a friendly manner? Does the use of ”fairy tale” trigger you for some childish reason? If you knew the creator of Zelda, Miyamoto, at all, you’d know that’s probably what he sees his Zelda games as. Like Super Mario Bros. 3 is a play. But oh well, can’t expect people with creepy anime girl avatars to be decent human beings I suppose. They never are : / enjoy your negativity

          • UltimaLuminaire

            Whoa, there. That avatar did nothing wrong.

            Chill.

          • Tlink7

            Sorry friend. For some strange reason, people who aggravate me tend to have animoo avatars, so this stupid bias starts forming…

        • Tlink7

          I didn’t say you cannot enjoy/have a game narrative, but Zelda and Dark Souls aren’t exactly the same. Zelda has a story, but it isn’t the focus of the games. Certainly not how the games all connect. Aonuma only made a timeline to please the fans, Nintendo doen’t actually care about keeping it intact. You are of course free to enjoy speculating, but clinging onto the existing timeline is rather foolish, as I was trying to say. Nintendo *will* change it to fit more games in or just stop updating it all together.

          If you want a story-heavy series with a convoluted, interconnected timeline, go play Kingdom Hearts or Metal gear 😛

      • UltimaLuminaire

        Fairy tales and logic aren’t mutually exclusive as far as writing conventions go. That’s actually why BotW is so great about nodding at the series’ history and giving hints about the overarching history of conflict in the series. That’s also why they were so emphatic about the answers they gave in SS about the Goddess, Demise, the conditions for utilizing the Triforce, and the forces that surround them.

        I personally think that BotW’s minimalist approach will be good for the series as a whole. There’s a place for a game like BotW as a dissonant piece to displace people’s expectations and sense of comfort with the series, much like how previous games were about enforcing that sense of expectation and comfort. I’m more than happy to see where everything goes as much as other people are willing to agonize over what that canon can or should be.

        • Tlink7

          True, but I still think one shouldn’t ponder too much about logic in Zelda games. Seeing references to previous Zelda titles is very fun, but going like ”WELL THIS TREE IS SLIGHTLY BENT SO THAT MEANS SARIA STOOD THERE AND THUS THIS GAME IS IN THE OOT TIMELINE” is a bit over the top for me xD it is just going to lead to disappointment, because Nintendo doesn’t see the series’ timeline as something important that must be kept intact at all costs.

          I totally agree with your last paragraph, well said 😀

    • R.Z.

      There’s a bit of text in the game (around Zora’s domain) that seems to place it very clearly in one of the branches of the timeline, but if you consider what else is in this branch … well, it’s confusing.

      • Kaine Morrison

        I found some of the text wrotings, not all of them, so I don’t know which timeline it falls into yet, but I have a feeling that it is in the Twilight Princess one.

        What else in the branch contradicts the timeline placement?

        • R.Z.

          It’s a bit of a spoiler so :
          The text that I think about clearly refers to princess Ruto awakening as a sage and helping Link in his fight against Ganon. So I reckon it places the game in the adult era timeline, the same one as the Wind Waker and the DS games, which is what I find confusing because Hyrule was supposedly abandoned in this timeline and Ganon a thing of the past. Of course since the lore of the game itself spans across at least 10 000 years, anything could happen.

          • Kaine Morrison

            The timeline splits after Ocarina.
            So that still doesn’t say where it goes…
            🙁

          • R.Z.

            It does because princess Ruto only gets to awaken as a sage and beat Ganon in the adult era timeline. In the child timeline there is no fight against Ganon and probably no sage awakening anyway and the text makes it clear they beat Ganon, so no “loser” timeline.

    • Is it though? I read that as everything exists where it is, but a new game can go anywhere. It will always be like that. I think it’s been stated this game is after OOT, but in its own line? I assumed it was tied to LoZ2, but I don’t know.

      • Operative

        Well, Zelda herself references skyward sword, ocarina, and twilight Princess. So it technically should be in that time line. Unless they know of legends that don’t even exist in their reality. Who knows with them.

        • KnickKnackMyWack

          To be fair, aerial travel, the flow of time and light and dark themes are somewhat prevalent throughout the entire series. I think that was more of a fun nod than an actual reference to anything significant to placement in the timeline.

          • Operative

            I figured as much, though it was interesting to hear

  • DonSerrot

    While I love the open air style BotW took I really don’t want them to completely abandon the old style. For sure use open world for 3D Zelda games, but keep making the traditional story driven 2D adventures.

    • aghiopro

      I hope they release new zelda on 3ds with story driven like spirit train or phantom of hourglass.

      • DonSerrot

        While I don’t want them to outright drop the 3DS like a sack of potatoes while it’s still got life in it I do want them to move on from it and just go with a unified hybrid platform going forward. They could make an absolutely MASSIVE 2D Zelda for the Switch, even with the 3D models they’ve been using for the 2D styled games they’d have tons of room to work with. They could even set it up with optional single Joy-con controls for maximum nostalgia.

        • aghiopro

          Yeah dude. But im too poor for switch right now. Lol.

  • AquaBat

    For the record, it was also said that motion controls would be used in the future after Skyward Sword. While you can argue that gyroscope aiming fills this role, it definitely isn’t the Wii Motion Plus sword swinging.

    • Tlink7

      I feel there’s quite the difference between the two though. The very first entry in the Zelda franchise was open world, sequels just failed to capture that again. Detailed motion controls were introduced much, much later and even they managed to give us gyro aiming (which is a God-sent for precision arrow-firing). I think we will be seeing more open-world Zeldas after BotW, probably just not as nature-y focussed

    • Alex Longclaw

      Well, one idea failed while the other was a massive success, so I don’t see any reason to do that again in this case.

  • Tlink7

    I hope Ganon becomes Ganondorf again in the next 3D Zelda. I love that character and it would be awesome to see the man fleshed out a lot more

    • ForeVision

      I second this, as I’d very much like to know more about Ganondorf beyond “great evil incarnate”. Have they ever given more explanation concerning him over time? (I’ve only played TW and BotW)

      • Alex Longclaw

        Uh… What’s TW? Anyways, if you are looking for a deeper Ganondorf Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess are the perfect titles for that. They all feature the same Ganondorf who starts in OoT, but WW and TP show how he changes and grows in two alternate timelines where his destiny was different. There’s also how in WW they give more depth to his actions in OoT, which is nice.

        • ForeVision

          A story centred around him would be nice, or a what-if in which he and Link are to work together against a greater evil.

          • Tlink7

            I would love a Ganondorf spin-off. It could be about young Ganondorf (Link’s age -ish) fighting his destiny but ultimately failing and becoming the host of Ganon. ..much too dark for Nintendo I’d say though xD

          • DonSerrot

            At first the idea sounds cool… but then the name “Shadow the Hedgehog” comes to mind and that’s a game I’d like to forget…

          • Tlink7

            Haha, well no offense, but I have more faith in Nintendo than I do in Sega xD Ganondorf doesn’t have to be an edgelord with guns, just a young man who has heard about the endless conflict of Hyrule and fears he is the next pawn in Ganon’s game and tries to resist the beast’s plans for him

          • ForeVision

            Hey, we have people getting killed and executed, dead people brought back to serve as puppets for evil, and kinda the same plot-line as you just described in Fire Emblem: Awakening, so I would say that too dark doesn’t count 😛

          • Tlink7

            Hmm I hope so. Ganondorf like slaughters people, innocent people, without mercy though xD

        • Kaine Morrison

          I must have missed something or I just don’t remember… What depth of actions did Wind Waker give to Ocarina of Time?

          • Alex Longclaw

            There is a cutscene where he tells you the reasons why he started his quest for power in OoT. And in general it shows how Ganondorf can mature and even be the antagonist even if his quest (bringing Hyrule back) could seem noble.

          • UltimaLuminaire

            But like sand through his fingers, it all keeps slipping away. Almost as though he were… cursed.

      • jimmy

        I always want to see a Ganon who doesn’t want to be ruled by his destiny of being this evil beast

        • Tlink7

          Yes me too! It would be awesome to see a Ganondorf who knows he is destined to (try to) destroy Hyrule but doesn’t actually want to… probably a story that is far too deep for a Zelda title though 🙁

          • I think Aonuma might be interested in something like that, actually. If he tries to pursue it or not is a different story though.

            I can also see the younger and newer devs on the team being interested too. Looking at the stuff they were going over here, they are a creative bunch that likes to explore potential.

          • Tlink7

            I sure do hope so! I guess if Nintendo continues to make fresh(er) games, there is at least some chance of a Ganondorf title 😀

          • True that~! Lets hope. ^o^

          • ForeVision

            “I guess if Nintendo continues to make fresh(er)” wrapped in Hyrulian Herb leaves, and steamed to perfection.

          • UltimaLuminaire

            This was hinted at in WWs Ganon, so if they manage to return to that sense of remorse and introspection, it would truly be a redefining moment for the series. A Ganon that’s actually worthy of the Triforce, wishing to rid himself of Demise’s curse! I’m getting myself pumped just thinking about it.

          • Tlink7

            I agree! …I’m getting excited about the idea as well, but I’m gonna have to wait like six years to even find out whether or not something like a Ganondork story is in the works D:

          • DonSerrot

            There’s an interesting webcomic where a Zelda arranges a political marriage with the Ganondorf of her era to attempt to break the cycle by giving him what he’s always wanted without him needing to take it by force. It’s not official or anything, but it’s easy to see that he’s the main focus so it might be right up your alley. Also the artist is REALLY GOOD at the arts.

            http://figmentforms.tumblr.com/post/139806271367/a-tale-of-two-rulers-archive-post

          • Tlink7

            Wow I didn’t expect much at all, but all the panels are really well-drawn! It is also an interesting idea… I like that there’s still humour too with Link using the Master Sword to fish and all xD

      • Kaine Morrison

        Gannon has an origin of sorts in Skyward Sword, but his background is more fleshed out in Ocarina of Time.

        • ForeVision

          Haven’t played Skyward sword, and I won’t play any Wii games any-more due to endless messing around with motes and batteries, I doubt mine even function properly still… not to mention obtaining a copy.

          I do look forward to what they’ll do next with Zelda overall, I hope they keep this style of combat, it’s what had me buy BotW in the first place.

          Not to mention, what else will someone who likes real-time combat and a good, long experience buy on Switch right now?

          • Kaine Morrison

            At least play Ocarina of Time if you want to know Gannon’s backstory.

          • ForeVision

            I have already, but as I’ve said above, it would be nice if they fleshed it out more, or did some more with him as a whole, instead of this evil that must be destroyed.

          • jimmy

            haha dont blame you with the battery thing, plus too many tutorials and every time you pick something up they give a description, but you should atleast youtube or whatever to see the story

      • Tlink7

        Same, I love the Dorf, I want to learn more about him. In OoT he just wants to take over Hyrule, but in Wind Waker he actually tells you why he tried to destroy everything: he felt the Gerudo had a harsh life compared to the Hylians and thus wanted them to feel his tribe’s pain.
        Playing Wind Waker might be a good idea then! The HD version however, as it resolves the pesky Triforce hunt bore. OoT 3D might also be of interest, but the Dork is mostly just ”rawr I’m evil and I’m gonna play me organ whilst you climb me tower”

        …correct me if I’m wrong, I haven’t played Wind Waker in like nine years xD

      • Operative

        In wind waker he had some surprising characterization and motives that made players feel a little bad for him. They need to do that again in the future. He wasn’t just “I’m evil and want to rule the world”

    • MagcargoMan

      I thought it was a pretty wasted opportunity that the old man wasn’t Ganondorf separated from Ganon like people theorised. Hopefully the next time we see him he has more depth to him.

      • Tlink7

        Yeah I was wondering that too… the old man looked to have pretty dark skin. But nope, it’s just Daphnes Nohansen’s great great great great great great grandson xD
        Hopefully… inb4 in the next Zelda game it is just some random a$$ villain that will never show up again, like Agahnim, Yuga, Vaati, etc.

        • MagcargoMan

          Vaati was in three Zelda games, y’know. Only recurring Zelda villain besides Ganon himself.

          Anyway, I don’t think there’s a problem with having a different villain as long as they’re well-done. I mean Skull Kid is popular to this very day. BUt I do hope the next time we see Ganondorf he gets to be a more fleshed out character.

          • Tlink7

            Oh really? Was he in the Four Swords games too?

            I don’t have a problem with new villains either, but up until now they’re usually the same as Ganondorf but with a different look. Just generic evil. Though Vaati and Skull Kid had some sort of backstory I guess.
            Here’s hoping!

          • MagcargoMan

            Yes. In fact, Four Swords (GBA one) was his first appearance. He was in Four Swords Adventures too.

            Here’s hoping too!

          • Tlink7

            Ohh, I guess I never played the GBA Four Swords… hmm. Vaati also has a backstory, so he deserves three games I suppose. Don’t think the likes of Agahnim and general something from the Orcale games really had that, right?

          • MagcargoMan

            Agahnim was Ganon in disguise. But yeah, General Onox was pretty flat. Veran had a better character.

          • Tlink7

            Ah. Whoops. Serves me for not finishing ALttP

          • MagcargoMan

            Oh, sorry if I spoiled it for you.

          • Tlink7

            Don’t sweat it! I knew the wizard man was evil, the fact that it was Ganon’s alter ego doesn’t change much

  • NintendoPSXTheSecond

    Easier to not have a conscious Ganon? Easier to have an inferiority complex Zelda? I like BotW and I do enjoy the story but they need to get over that and improve the story going forward. Gameplay is great but the story needs to catch up in terms of changing Zelda conventions as well.
    The fact they say it’s easier to avoid all that is disheartening.

    • Alex Longclaw

      What’s wrong with an inferiority complex? Having flawed characters is always better. If they make Zelda a perfect being with no flaws you really think it would make for a great character and story? Come on.

    • Thomas Knapp

      I presume “easier” is probably a translation issue that loses some nuance. For the sake of the narrative, knowing how Ganon became Calamity Ganon isn’t absolutely NECESSARY, especially when you consider that with how the story was composed, no one would have ANY reason to have ANY insight on Ganon at all outside of “Holy s*** that’s a big f****** pig, uh spider, uh scorpion, whatever.”

      Having Ganon provide that insight would require quite a bit of redefining him from this almost Lovecraftian primordial force of destruction. There IS such a thing as having too much storytelling, and giving a “conscious” face to Ganon in this case would really start to toe that line uncomfortably. You’d really have to do some astonishing balancing to keep Calamity Ganon a monster AND personable.

      As for Zelda… man… we’re going to have to fundamentally disagree on this one. This incarnation did EXACTLY the changing of conventions that you claim to want.

      • NintendoPSXTheSecond

        Perhaps I’m being misunderstood about the Zelda having an inferiority complex. I actually do like the attitude and sassiness of this Zelda. I find her the most personable Princess yet actually. What I more so meant was that if by easier they mean that they can’t fathom any other form of personality or attitude for her, then that’s bad. The term “easier” in game development often get’s coincided with “lazy”, now I’m not 100% stating that’s the case here in BotW, but it could set a bad precedent going forward.

        As a series that finally embraced more cinematics and voice acting than any previous title, I feel the need to flesh these characters out more and more in the future titles. As for Ganon, I feel I made a silly on that one. Ganon can stay a menace but I was more thinking along the lines of Ganondorf, the human conqueror who quests for power and destruction. He would need a more desirable personality than just “grrr I’m evil, let us fight.” ya know?

        • Kaine Morrison

          If you want a sassy Zelda, check out the animated series!

    • I actually liked that about Zelda. She has pressure on her, she wants to do her part, she looks to other things and proves to be resourceful; she has troubles and flaws, and is vulnerable while also persistent and dedicated. She’s strong, because it takes a lot to continue on with pressure and an increasingly distanced parent that isn’t becoming supportive. (I feel a little bad for the kind, but also shame on him lol.) They humanized her and were able to explore what kind of hardships she may have in her role; something they’ve only lightly touched on before.

      I do think it’s a shame about Ganon/dorf, but I can also accept it for now. This is clearly a story about Hyrule and Zelda, and I hope we get a story about Ganondorf and Hyrule in the near future. To this scale, too. (Especially if it means more fleshing out again for the Gerudo~!)

      Also, sorry if this double-posts, my internet is having trouble.

      • NintendoPSXTheSecond

        Well yes it is a shame about Ganon and Ganondorf he is also a central part of Hyrule. They’re all bound by the Goddess of old. The thing that confuses me about BotW is that the Sacred Realm and Triforce are actually missing in this game. Usually in Zelda titles the end goal is to gain the Triforce for total control/power. Yet it seems like Ganon in BotW is less about Triforce this time and that makes 0 sense to me. I know there are ways they can make Ganon/Ganondorf better as a character, it just seems they keep pushing him to the stereotypical villain role though.

        • That confuses me as well actually, and I kept waiting for that to come into play. I was hoping for more Triforce and the godesses.

          I do think there is potential to subvert though if they had used it. For instance, if Ganon tapped into his role as Power but doing so just as much transcended as it did damned him.

          • NintendoPSXTheSecond

            Well we do know this Ganon is one of the reincarnations returning after losing his humanity. Though the Sheikah Picture mentions an important and cool detail in regards to Calamity Ganon.

          • Indeed. I thought they would link it together or something.

            Hmm. I’ll have to hop on to my husband’s file and give it another look, although I don’t even remember if I read it the first time.

          • ForeVision

            Assuming you’ve defeated Vah Naboris, if not feel free to enlighten me once you do: what do you think of Urbosa’s words when she spoke of Ganon in relation to the Gerudo?

          • UltimaLuminaire

            Spoilers for the end of BotW, of course.

            ————————-

            I actually thought that the way it was utilized at the end gave it waaaaay more impact than if they had made its presence felt throughout the game. In terms of tension, savvy players would become wary of its absence, and its appearance in the end marks the culmination of fridge brilliance, with proof that Zelda is capable of going through Hylia’s trials (albeit unintentionally) and coming out as a hero every bit as worthy of the Triforce as Link. I simply could not believe Nintendo did it, and it was a pleasant surprise after all the tragedy the game sets itself up on.

            Ganon for sure has tons of mystery left in him. How much of Demise power is rampaging in there and how much of it is the Triforce of Power? This question always eats away at me, especially because WW Ganon is the one I sympathize with the most lol.

        • UltimaLuminaire

          Long post incoming. Spoilers for BotW and past games, of course. But before that, I’d like to note that the Goddess only set into motion the trials of the hero, the Master Sword that would empower that hero, and the servants that would ward the land (and maybe aid the hero, heh). This was for the purpose of Demise. The Goddess never foresaw Demise’s curse, which is the true start of the cycle. This cursed cycle also happens to destroy any progress Hylia’s people make in the world, so for all intents and purposes, Demise got what he wanted.
          ———————————

          The lack of the Goddess’ presence, as well as the Sacred Realm/Triforce, is actually what gives BotW a special kind of tension and dissonance in regards to the rest of the series. Consider that in past games, we now understand the logic behind the trials and how it culminates in the creation of the hero. However, this game intentionally does not have that narrative device. It is no longer an available “win condition,” like we’ve come to expect. This goes hand-in-hand with doing away or significantly altering the traditional system, especially now that their purpose (defeating Demise) was met nearly 10,000 years ago. Instead, the only thing that indicates you are worthy by the Goddess’ standard is… the Master Sword, an optional element that forms a majority of the tension NPCs express throughout your journey up until you finally obtain it. Even though it’s optional, it is still a win condition, which is a cool thing all in itself.

          No matter what, this game presents you with something to remind you of something old, and then presents you with the reality that you could get things done on your own with the rules the game has laid out for you. An example is actually on the initial plateau. Just before the Bomb Rune, you can see a visibly bomb-able rock formation blocking the main entry point to the shrine. However, you can just climb over the walls since those are all that remain after who knows how many centuries. The game periodically does something like this, and it’s a theme the game utilizes to let us know that we don’t need to rely on the past. In many respects, this is wonderfully executed.

          Also, past games have always blurred the line between practicality and divine providence. It wasn’t until SS that we had definitive proof that mundane physics is also an effective power available (which, indeed, is used by the Triforce to kill Demise originally). BotW simply takes that one step further in regards to allowing Link, the player, to proceed without concern of divine providence (though it plays its part in the end).

          • NintendoPSXTheSecond

            I would argue that any of the “optional” materials that directly relate to story or Zelda lore in any way are not considered optional in terms of canon story. If, for example, Akira Himekawa were to make a manga of BotW (God bless their souls if they do) it wouldn’t be that far fetched to assume he’d get the Wild Tunic, Master Sword and Hylian shield before facing off against Ganon in the end.
            Equally, if Nintendo were to consider a lore/timeline consistency, optional material that direct relates to lore would most likely be considered canon. Of course the optional is optional for player in a video gamey sense. In terms of THEIR world and THEIR history, the optional end game items would most likely be canon. Which is contrary to how JRPG’s tackle optional items since they’re not relevant to the canon material (IE Cloud’s Buster Sword is a weapon you pretty much stop using right after leaving Midgar) yet canon material always shows him using it in the final confrontations and the like.
            In that contrary sense, the Master Sword isn’t like Cloud’s Ultima Sword, it has canon reverence. Same with the Wild Tunic and Hylian Shield. Though you can argue the Champion Tunic is the canon outfit for Link, that would be fair. The end of the game shows him wearing that and not whatever you’re wearing at the time of beating the game. Yet, there is a certain canon relevance in the way you obtain the true hero’s clothes and in the way they’re described as “perfectly fitting Link”.
            In terms of the Sacred Realm and the Triforce, I think this game does allow a certain pass on it due to Ganon not fully being a conscious being but fueled by Malice (Which I assume is a corruption akin to Demise). But, if they were to tackle a conscious Ganondorf again, I feel the Sacred Realm and Triforce will once again take a precedent in the story.

      • ForeVision

        “I feel a little bad for the kind, but also shame on him lol” Have you red King Roam’s journal per chance? If not, I highly recommend you use magnesis in Hyrule Castle’s library.

        • Yeah, but that’s why I feel bad for him, but still shame on him. x’D

          • ForeVision

            If anything shame on Ganon for ruining everything!

          • Lol, well, yeah. But that’s par the course for him~! x’D

            I actually appreciate the king’s characterization, but I just feel like he curbed to pressure of trying to look good for people and wasn’t more sympathetic of his own daughter. But it’s understandable that he was anxious and uncertain in his own right, and I appreciate that he felt guilty and wanted to do better by her. (Sad he didn’t properly get the chance.)

          • ForeVision

            He had a good voice too, I find it sad that I didn’t get to see more of him. Perhaps we’ll get a pre-calamity version to play, a what-if to prevent it or have everyone be alive to fight it instead. I wouldn’t mind helping soldiers fight monsters on the ramparts, actually defending the castle itself.

          • Yeah, I loved his voice. I wish his ghost had been able to stick around at his cottage at least, but it was proper to see him pass on and rest. I want them to add a pre-Calamity DLC. TTuTT

          • ForeVision

            Who knows, perhaps they shall.

    • UltimaLuminaire

      It is lost in translation. As the director and producer, they want to give their scenario writers and environmental designers creative freedom. The “ease” they are talking about was made with deliberation to the overarching ambition of the game’s world, and the focus on Zelda and Link’s perspective. They did not say they had nothing planned for Ganon, only that the decision to have the villain be a primal force was an early one that gave their designers and scenario writers the most amount of freedom.

      As far as the writers were concerned, their task was NOT easy, and many large-scale teams that are forced to separate scenario writers from the design staff often face severe miscommunication or strife, as was the case with Final Fantasy 13’s horrendous development cycle.

      In the context of making a game of this scale, yes, it sucks they didn’t decide on a different center piece to the conflict, but they absolutely needed something this unsubtle to help them stick the landing for BotW. I can definitely see them making it a point to have a more complex Ganon in a future open air title. One were we can see Ganon’s agency as much as the destructive echoes of his actions.

  • jimmy

    But please, bring back the dungeons

  • nekoknight

    Hopefully the next Zelda game will have more dungeons, better bosses, and equipment that doesn’t break.
    As a side note, I still would like to see Skyward Sword HD on the SWITCH. Actually, I would like to see The Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD on the SWITCH, too. Along with ports of other Wii U games. I like having all of my favorite games on one system.

  • R.Z.

    I have been feeling a bit burnt out on the open air thing.
    Don’t get me wrong, Hyrule is great in BoTW, but to me it never feels like the great overworld experience really needed to come at the expense of dungeons and such.
    So i really hope the next game brings the best of both worlds.

  • hi v3.0

    Hopefully the next Zelda has those traditional big dungeons again

  • I actually hate this games Zelda. :/

    If they were going for an inferiority complex story they failed as she’s just sorta a spoiled brat. Same with Ganon really, I know his history so making him a generic and stupid looking compilation of tropes doesn’t make him better or anything like that.

    Seriously, whatever about the whole open air nonsense, the next game better have some actual story to it along with some real dungeons. Also while on the subject of characters, don’t ever make Link as boring as he is in BOTW again Aonuma. Let the boy emote, it’s not the end of the world.

    • Kaine Morrison

      He does emote…
      Quite often!

      • Yeah but not as much as ss link or tp or ww.

    • Tlink7

      I find this to be one of the more emotive Links. He shivers, he hums while cooking… I love it < 3

      • Emotive in gameplay sure but not in story which makes me sad.

        • Tlink7

          That’s true I guess. He just sort of… stands there in a lot of interactions with other characters xD

      • I also kind of like what they did with Link on a subtle level. He really is more stoic, repressed and focused in the flashbacks. He emotes way less, and we’re shown very little facial expression from him.

        Yet, as we play as him, sans memories and some of the weight of his burden, he’s more expressive and jovial in particular. He looks happier. And that’s actually sad in retrospect, especially with what Zelda says about him in her journal, and I think one or two of the memories?

        It’s a very ‘quiet’ kind of element in the writing that’s potent when examined.

        • Tlink7

          That’s pretty awesome now that you mention it! I just love the amount of detail that has gone into this game, on every level it seems

          • Same~. I’m not sure how much of a conscious decision it was, or if one person was really set out to ensure it came off that way, but they did some great stuff. And there really are a lot of small (and big/obvious) things to appreciate and admire in the game~. From the physics engine to the writing, it’s pretty amazing. ♥

          • ForeVision

            Have you fiished Vah-Naboris? During that segment you’ll come across one of the best if not the best boss-fights (imho of course) on a humour level.

          • I actually have not done any of the beasts yet. I’m just exploring right now. I actually got to Vah Medoh, and I could start Ruta, but I’m just focusing on exploring and side quests for the time being.

            That’s a boss fight I sadly didn’t get to watch my husband do, so I missed on what it could be. But I’ll get there eventually. ^u^;

          • Tlink7

            It is pretty amazing. My interest in video games has been waning over the years, but BotW is the game that defies the trend < 3 Nintendo is very lucky to have such talented developers. Can't wait what is in store next, seeing as Nintendo is letting go of conventions

          • Yeah, I’ve been mixed with gaming. (Or I feel like, everything I like is on the 3DS or older stuff.) I’m so proud for Nintendo, and BotW and the development cycle of it show how they’re really growing their younger devs and really sticking true to their ideals of enjoyment and experience as the foremost importance for a game.

          • ForeVision

            Agreed, especially the part that Tlink mentioned in them letting go of certain things as well. It opens up possibilities, that considering Nintendo’s great IP and range of IP, can result in excellent games indeed.

    • Why does she read as a spoiled brat to you?

      • I don’t know. I just find her as spoiled and kinda childish.

        • KnickKnackMyWack

          She’s in her late teens and being forced into a destiny she can’t achieve. That would make anyone that age rather angsty.

      • UltimaLuminaire

        I found pretty much everything adequately explained by the memories combined with the diary. I’m as confused as you are, especially because any starting notion of her being spoiled is changed over the course of her interactions with Link. She also swallows her pride way more than anyone spoiled would ever do. I don’t know what’s causing this view point.

        • Agreed; it’s very curious since her development feels like it more than covers her own struggles and growth. And I don’t mind if someone comes off as spoiled, but it’s a shame to erase/ignore development and reduce a character to one trait.

    • Raffi256

      I enjoyed the fact that she’s basically a huge nerd in this game who’s too analytical to awaken to her sealing magic or whatever.

  • Xstream

    They’ve done multiple interpretations of 2d zeldas before, and they’ve done numerous linear Zeldas before. There should be nothing surprising about them doing more takes on the open world aspect.

  • Raffi256

    If you’ve ever read the dev interviews (Iwata Asks, etc) for Zelda games, you know that the story and scripts basically get shoehorned in during the final weeks of development. So I wouldn’t get too invested in the lore and history of the games, because the developers aren’t, just enjoy the game play and experience.

  • MagcargoMan

    So basically the villain has to be a flat character? Nintendo tradition it seems.

  • キロ

    It will definitely be an even greater exercise in creativity coming up with a new massive world each game with all the little place names, events, quests, etc.

    I will personally miss the style of the other 3D games, but I am happy for those who enjoyed this game more. : )

Related Game Info


Platform: SWITCHWII U
Genre: ACTIONADVENTURE
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release date: March 3, 2017
OWN IT: 39 [I own this game]
BEAT IT: 22 [I beat this game]
Buy now