Ways That Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s Sequel Can Improve

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was praised by critics and fans alike.

When I think of gaming in the year 2017, it’s difficult for me to think of a game that captured more critical and commercial attention than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The game burst onto the gaming scene with an incredible reception from critics (the game currently has a 97 on Metacritic), with a group of critics and fans considering it one of the best games ever made. While for some skeptical individuals, these claims may sound hyperbolic or exaggerated, it is impossible to deny the impact Nintendo’s last epic has had on the gaming world. Even a year after its release, Breath of the Wild is still receiving awards from a variety of sources and the game is a huge commercial hit with a staggering 6 million copies sold so far.

During my 250 hours (and counting) of time spent in Breath of the Wild’s vast and immersive open world, I was awed by the brilliant game design and beautiful art direction of Breath of the Wild. I consider the game one of the most impressive games I have ever played. As a lifelong Zelda fan, the game was a dream come true in so many ways with beautiful art, inventive puzzles, and incredible world design. But with that said, there are several areas that stuck out where I believed the the next game in the Zelda series can improve. While Nintendo has made few announcements about what is next for the Legend of Zelda series, beside that the games will continue to be “open air” (aka Open World), these are 5 areas where Breath of the Wild’s inevitable successor should look to improve.

Spoiler Warning: (There are spoilers for the dungeon bosses and final bosses in the article)

Create a Narrative Set in the Link and Zelda’s Present

Princess Zelda and the other champions are primarily seen through flashbacks to Link’s life 100 years ago.

The story premise and concept of Breath of the Wild is intriguing and compelling: Link wakes up after 100 years of sleep after being defeat by Ganon. Link’s memories are gone, along with his friends and his kingdom. This story hints at deep emotions and theme like grief, loss, failure, and regret, emotions that could be used as story motivation to drive you to complete your journey. Despite this powerful premise, the realities of open world story telling make it difficult to create a truly compelling narrative. In order to unlock and discover the entire story and important scenes, the player must hunt for Link’s 18 memories, which can only be found by visiting specific locations in game. Some players will choose to discover all these memories and others will chose not to find any memories. This makes it difficult to craft a powerful and involved story since every player will not know how Link and Zelda met or how each champions and other characters interacted with Link.

Another issues with Breath of the Wild’s story is that many of the best characters, including the 4 champions and Princess Zelda, are not present in the present-day game world and are tied to Link’s past. These characters are only accessible through the memory cutscenes and other short moments of game-play. Giving these characters a more active role, especially Princess Zelda, would help the player feel more connected to these characters and add motivation to make it through to the end of the story.

Each villain has an important role to play in a given story and The Legend of Zelda is no different. For Breath of the Wild, the character, or lack of character of Ganon does add anything meaningful to the game’s story. Ganon is presented as a vague threat that looms on the horizon but he never really has any effect on your actions once Link wakes up from his 100 year slumber. Unlike in other Zelda games, the player and Link don’t have a personal/intimate reason to hate or dislike Gaon. BOTW’s Ganon pales in comparison to his portrayals in other Zelda games like Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and The Twilight Princess where Ganon has a clearer and more involved connection to the player/Link.

One area where the game’s story truly shines is in its environmental storytelling. The game is absolutely incredible at using the atmosphere and world around you to help you get a feel for the world. These events occur when Link happens upon a destroyed village or the remnants of a fortress strewn with broken guardians. These moments make the world lived in, with history and depth to the world. Each moment of atmospheric storytelling make the player think about how much this world has been through. In these moments, Breath of the Wild soars. I hope that Nintendo and find a way to blend these moments with a more focused narrative in the next Zelda game.

Improve on the Dungeon Bosses and Final Boss Encounters

Thunder Blight Ganon was my highlight from an otherwise underwhelming group of Dungeon Bosses

One of the few areas in Breath of the Wild where I felt truly disappointed was in the dungeon and final boss designs and battles. With the exception of Thunder Blight, I found the 4 dungeon bosses to be forgettable. Each one of the 4 dungeon bosses is based on a similar design. Additionally, each dungeon boss has the same weak point (the eye) with varieties in their movements and attacks. While the story rationale for having each boss being very similar are clear, having all the bosses look and feel so similar did not help the dungeon bosses to stand out. With only 4 dungeons in the game, there is a huge pressure for every single boss encounter to feel spectacular and unique, which Nintendo did not completely succeed at. Many Zelda fans, who are used to 8-12 very distinct and different boss designs felt underwhelmed with the similarities and repetitious design in Breath of the Wild’s dungeon’s bosses. While Breath of the Wild chose to break from of Zelda’s past conventions, the series should strive to continue the strong pedigree of boss battles from previous installments.

Additionally, the final fights with Ganon did not live up to the high standard that other games in the Zelda franchise has established. From as far back as 1992’s A Link to the Past battle all the way to the epic sword fight in 2011’s Skyward Sword, I have found myself constantly wowed by Zelda’s closing battles. Breath of the Wild was the first Zelda where I was disappointed in the execution of the climatic fight. The first stage of Ganon has a monstrous and intimidating design that combines element of guardians and the dungeon bosses. As a player, I was disappointed that half his health bar was removed/reduced because I finished the Divine Beasts, which makes the battle half as long and reduces the overall challenge of the fight. Additionally, the first stage in Hyrule Castle seems to recycle many of the moves and techniques from the previous 4 dungeon fights, this does not help the battle stand out or feel exciting.

The second stage of the final battle, fought in Hyrule Field, was truly baffling to me. The Dark Beast Ganon didn’t seem to do any damaged what so ever and it simply lumbers around aimless. Despite an incredible musical score urging the player on, the fight does not provide excitement. While the use of slow motion when shooting arrows made moments feel exciting and epic, most players were never challenged d by this form of Ganon, so it is difficult to feel challenged or excited during it. It is disappointing because the battle doesn’t hit the emotional or game-play heights that it should provide the player. There were so exciting potential ideas for great battles with Ganon, whether it would be a small in scope (like a one on one sword fight), or large scale battles (think Shadow of the Colossus) but what Nintendo ultimately gave to players was a thoroughly unspectacular final battle.

The Number of True Dungeons

The Divine Beasts included impressive set pieces and puzzles players to experience in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

The Divine Beasts had some of the best puzzles and game-play moments found in all of Breath of the Wild. The journey to each Divine Beast pushes the player to engage with a variety of characters in the present day world, including the stand out new character Sidon of the Zoras. Once the player makes it to each divine beast, the players are put through an elaborate chase before you could enter the divine beast. Divine Beast Vah Ruta’s sequence, where the player rides across the water on Sidon’s back, dodging blocks and spikes of ice, was anto incredible spectacle and my personal favorite moment from any of the Divine Beasts. These chases were epic and Breath of the Wild’s game-play and design truly shines in these moments.

The insides of the Divine Beasts are primarily puzzle based, with very little combat. Each Divine Beast is one large rubix cube that needs to bewe manipulated and move in order to complete. While I think that each Divine Beast was memorable in their own right, I believe that the successor to Breath of the Wild would be better suited to have more than 4 true dungeons in the world. One solution to this issue would be to combine some of the shrines into smaller dungeons. While I enjoyed playing through many of the Shrines (in each playthrough I completed about 100 of the Shrines) I did not find the Shrines as meaningful as the 4 Divine Beasts in the game, nor did I feel as accomplished as I did when completing the Divine Beasts. Eliminating 10-20 Shrines and creating at least 2-3 more dungeons would help give the game more of those special moments inside dungeons.

My recommendation would be to merge the old and the new styles of Zelda. Include some of the mammoth Divine Beast style dungeons while also including more traditional dungeons that might be elementally (fire, forest, water, desert) themed. These dungeons might play more like the Yuga Clan Hideouts with a balance of puzzles and combat. There could still be a large system of shrines in the world, but the number of shrines might not be as high as the 120 in BOTW. This compromise of styles would give both old school and new fans what they want.

The weapons system

Getting a new and powerful weapons is exciting in Breath of the Wild, until they eventually break!

In the early hours of Breath of the Wild, the weapon system gives the game an air of tension that I had rarely have felt in a Zelda opening. I felt truly threatened when my weapons broke. I felt that each weapon was valuable and essential to my survival. However, as the game experience wore on, I found the frequent rate at which my weapons were breaking a nuisance. Upgrading and finding new weapons felt extremely exciting at during my first 20 or so hours of game-play. During these early hours, I would take a lot of time looking at the designs and aesthetics of each new item. However, eventually this feeling wore off as my cool items continued to break quickly, often after only two or three fights. Soon enough, finding new items wasn’t as rewarding as it could have been, as I knew that the awesome new sword, shield, or bow I found would break quite quickly.

Even the Master Sword, the weapon that should be the most powerful and dangerous in the entire game, felt like it was being short changed by the weapon system. Obtaining the Master Sword is a highlight of many Zelda games, but I felt very shortchanged the first time my master sword ran out of energy and I had to wait for it several minutes to recharge. I found myself using the Master Sword less and less throughout the game against normal enemies (besides Guardian encounters where it is powered up).

Ideally, for the sequel, Nintendo should focus on striking a balance between durability and breakability. Finding and collecting different powerful weapons should be an exciting part of the experience (especially early on) and I hope Nintendo thinks of a system that can keep up some of the tension of breakable items but alleviate the frustration around weapons breaking too often. Perhaps some items will break only when encountering a especially powerful type of enemy or only after a long period of use. Perhaps there could be a way you could maintain/upgrade the durability of your weapons like going to blacksmith or another shop keeper.

Enemy Variety

Darknaughts could serve as impressive new enemies in the successor to Breath of the Wild.

The majority of your combat in Breath of the Wild will be spent with three different enemy types: the Bokoblins, Lizalfos, and Moblin. These 3 species of enemy have some variations in health and ability depending on when/where they are found, but in general, these fights follow the same pattern and rhythm every time. When I played, I would get into a clear rhythm for how to deal with each type of enemy and repeat that strategy over and over again. Except for a few situations (as well as the challenge DLC) many of the groupings and types of enemies I encounter follow similar patterns and styles. Early on, enemy encounters are thrilling, often requiring creative solutions due to your low weapon and supplies inventory, but as the game continues, some of the encounters become repetitive and are no longer challenging.

While enemies like Wizzrobes, Lynels, Guardians, and the different over-world bosses present challenging or new combat situations, it would be exciting to see even more enemy variety in the new Zelda game. With such a rich catalog of enemy types to chose from, there are plenty of candidates for inclusion. Iconic enemies like Dark Knuckles and Darknaughts could be added as challenging enemies that test your combat skills in new and exciting way. Additionally, there could be regional enemies for different areas. Despite the visual differences in settings in BOTW, you still fight many of the same enemies in different parts of the world. Variety in enemies would help each place feel distinct and special. For example, Dodongos could inhabit fiery areas, where as Wolfos might existed in wooded or icy areas.

Having a great enemy variety would force players to face new patterns and groupings of enemies. Since one of the key components of Breath of the Wild is player choice, providing a diverse group of enemies would require players to vary and change up their strategies for defeating them. This would add another layer of challenge and nuance to Breath of the Wild.

Those are my five ways that Nintendo can improve on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for its eventually successor. What do you think? What else could Nintendo do to improve or tweak the next Zelda game!

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Hi, I am a graduate from the Cleveland State English Department. I am a 5th year English/Reading teacher. I love watching movies, reading fiction, and listening to music.
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  1. The sequel definitely needs to have more story. Breath of the wild I feel was empty because of the lack of plot and traditional dungeons and lack of interesting people to talk to.

  2. I would love the sequel to be a spiritual successor to Majora’s Mask. I think the team should take advantage of BotW’s engine to expand upon what made Majora’s Mask great: An open world with more visually distinguishable regions that have characters and enemies unique to each region, an unconventional Zelda story with a creepy, unsettling and dangerously threatening villain, each NPC has not only their own schedule to follow but also their own in-depth stories to explore which make side quests amazing, dungeons rich with a diversity of themes and atmosphere, and the return of classic Zelda items plus new ones that boost Link’s abilities to make gameplay more fun and streamlined. I think that’s about it but I’m likely forgetting more points.

  3. For the sequel, I would like to see:
    * Better reward for collecting 100%
    * Ability to see where the missing Koroks (or whatever they come up with) are
    * A new and peaceful world with a few new sidequests after beating the boss
    * No DLC, all content directly given

  4. Rountree

    A prequel would be cool.

  5. Nintendo should not miss this opportunity to release a second game using the same engine exclusively on the Switch, taking full advantage of its power (whatever that actually is). And though BotW is not actually rebooting the series, it is undeniable that it is meant to feel like that, hearkening back strongly to the mentality behind the original Zelda game.

  6. Things i would like to see added or improved in a breath of the wild sequel would be slightly longer day & night cycles proper under water environments as well proper caves & dungeons along with shrines and a recipe for making a wet stone that we could use to extend the life of a single weapon once.

  7. I agree! I’d love to see your thoughts on God of War when its released tomorrow!

  8. Sarai Mannolini-Winwood

    An interesting discussion, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I would be interested to have also known if the designers had done any interviews justifying their choices, to see in a sense behind the curtain.

  9. Dan Pollack

    I’m hoping a BOTW 2 takes a look at past 3D Zelda games and more of the better open world games. Botw kind of forgets what made past Zelda games great (Dungeons quality, enemy variety, variety, story, rewards, characters, side quests, etc…) While also not doing as much as they could with the open world concept (have things interconnect more, choices that actually effect the game and your experience in unique ways, an expanded human element, rewards for exploration, actual multiple endings.).

    To be honest BOTW feels like an incomplete but still good prototype of what Zelda truly could be. It’s far from the best Zelda game in my opinion (most past Zelda games did at least one thing better than BOTW when it comes to general Zelda concepts) but if Nintendo actually works to improve it with the best qualities from each Zelda game, and successful qualities of open world games, on top of it’s own merits (physics, weather system, customization, etc…) we could have a Game of all time or Game of the decade.

  10. 1. More dungeons
    2. no breaking weapons
    3. More story
    4. Better voice acting
    5. Not a post apocalypse
    6. More music

  11. Maybe the next zelda game is a direct sequal to BOTW… So you might help rebuild Castle town and Hyrule Castle, and maybe the enemies Humans, Like the Yiga Clan.

    • crackit

      If the next Zelda is not a direct sequel, I have no idea where they would take the series next.

  12. I really wouldn’t mind a repeat of the oot/mm releases. If I recall correctly, it was about a year separation between them, so maybe they could even duke it out even by 2019? XD wishful thinking lol. But I definitely think they should do that. Hopefully a good story. Nintendo is always good at introducing parallel worlds, or maybe a new continent (Something like Link’s Awakening).

  13. For some reason I actually hope this will be the last Zelda ever. (I know the possibility of this is nearly non-existent). But everything in Breath of The Wild just feels so “final”, there’s so many things we have never had Zelda games. It all feels like a big build up to final entry in the series. We’ve never had this much freedom, we’ve never had voice actors, we’ve never had such a big world and more importantly the story has never felt this epic and big. I just kind of want the series to have a massive and amazing ending and this seems like it might be it.

  14. I think they are going to try to balance out Open World. So the story can be more important.

  15. Just give us a direct sequel to botw. The only zelda sequels weve had are zelda 2 and majoras mask. I guess you could say phantom hourglass to but wasnt that goos

  16. They could have it set 100 years previously so that you are actually in the events of the Hyrule-Calamity war.

  17. Rickman

    If this game gets sequal, it could potentially be the empire strikes back of video games. the gameplay is already establish which is why the plot is very basic but to the point where we don’t care because the gameplay and world is phenomenal, but if the sequal should take the plot and crank it up to the same level with improvement over the last game…it will definitely be the first milestone of the current gen.

  18. Next game should focus more on the story amd dungeons. Don’t get me wrong, the story is great And I do really like the divine beasts. But I feel they focused too much on creating a massive world and not so much the story and dungeons. But with the next instalment, they already know how to make a massive world so now do the same with the story and make a massive story.

  19. It’ll probably be a darker game. like tp vs ww. Maybe dark world or set in an alt reality like majoras mask

  20. I want a Zelda game with a world similar to Botw except multiple continents with varying sizes for example some would be a quarter of the botw map, while others would be half. In between would be very vast oceans which would greatly expand enemy variety as well as travel. I want more solid dungeons, not botw and their carp dungeons, dungeons with creative designs, themes, and puzzles like snowpeak ruins and I it’s forest temple. Another great way to travel would be loftwings returning. They could even gave islands in the sky too.

    Now are my absolute dreams in Zelda. I want jobs. I want to be able to be a farmer making rupees and even class up and get rewards like animals. One of the biggest things here that I want would be a pirate. Royal guards would now be your enemy too making it difficult with huge rewards. Some crafting would be great too. I want to be able to buy homes in numerous regions and even customize your house. A bustling town would be amazing!! I want to see a circus in town and to buy pets like dogs to live at my house w/ me.

    Broken gear like the Pegasus boots would be necessary (practically) to beat the final boss. You could fight Gannondorf in a huge tower and he would kick you off. He would then create a wind to blow you to the other side of the map. He would make your route back a huge challenge. No warping, no loftwing. Multiple days of travel. Tornadoes that would go around and destroy towns and forests. After you kill him you pull the master sword from his chest and raise it high. Towns are for the most part repaired. Gerudos would take inspiration from cultures trading spices and other things as they rebuild a pyramid. You can then go in the pyramid and it’s a dungeon.

    Some cool returning bosses could be valvagia and king Dodongo. Two I planned are Dark Link who would fight you in a spiritual realm. A cutscene where you clash blade right in front of the tree from oot. He would follow you up mountains and it would be very difficult. Another one would be king bulbin in your iconic bridge duel.

    This is a dream and may never be realized in my life but would be insane.

  21. A lovely article! I think a sequel to breath of the wilds would be amazing.

  22. It needs a better story.

  23. Michiko

    I think they should do a prequel mainly about link and it could even start off straight away with link pulling the mastersword

  24. BOTW sequel should take place outside of Hyrule Proper, just as Zelda II did. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see Northern Hyrule or Eastern Hyrule in detail, especially since we haven’t even heard mention of them since Zelda II? It would be a great opportunity to see more of the Zelda world, in my opinion.

  25. Bring back the hookshot.

  26. Maguire

    I want a game based on the events 10,000 years ago.

  27. I remember walking about the overworld semi-aimlessly one evening when I spotted something massive and green lighting up the horizon far away. I pulled out my Sheikah Slate and opened the camera. Zooming in, I discovered to my astonishment, that a lime green dragon the size and length of a train was undulating through the sky over Lake Hylia. I ran to the bridge pell-mell to get a closer look. Farosh was his name, the dragon of lightning. It was mesmerizing to watch him fly, sending arcs of electricity off his glowing scales. I just stood there for minutes on end. That sense of wonder and freely given discovery is what makes this world so unique

    • Sean Gadus

      I absolutely agree. There are some many amazing moments in the game and it is a truly amazing achievement in video game design. As someone who played Zelda for over 250 hours already, these few flaws are small in the large scheme of how amazing the game is.

      I also am an old school 3D Zelda fan and that shapes my opinion a lot.

  28. Sutherland

    They could just role out DLC after DLC so they don’t have to change the game to enjoy a new story in such a big world.

  29. There should be more side quests like Terry Town.

  30. Dimitri Adoniou

    Excellent write-up, and I agree with pretty much all of this!

    Like you said, it was bold of them to set this game’s narrative in the past and almost entirely with flash-backs but… the sense of detachment is too real. There may be an air of tragedy as most of these characters have long since died, but the fact that you never really get a chance to meet or see them outside of these scripted cut-scenes made it hard for me to relate or care about them much at all. Except Mipha kind of.

    All I’m saying is that there is a reason everyone fell in love with Sidon. He’s by your side, encouraging you, and you can talk to him all the time. He takes an active role in the story and helps Link out.

  31. I can agree on the shortcomings here. I think that Breath of the Wild can be seen as a flagship for a new generation of Zelda games. It is difficult to make this open world transition to a game that is typically pretty tightly controlled with specific mini quests and repetition of play.
    For a sequel to this game, or another Zelda game of the same thread, I think that making the world feel more lived in would be important. This is the great problem of open world games. They are very open, but is there a lot to do? For BOTW, it does have the 120 shrines spread throughout, but I believe they tend to get repetitive in their actions. The first 20 are fun, but after that, it feels like a slog. I believe this game was a good way to play with these new mechanics. I think of something like Twilight Princess, a larger world that had a lot going on, especially because you traverse the areas as a wolf first and Hylian second.
    Don’t get me wrong, BOTW was great, but I do believe it felt like Nintendo dipping their toes in the water for what will become a stronger Zelda game next time.

  32. Where I’d like to see further improvement, as you have already aptly discussed, is the narrative. The visuals in this game are remarkable but, as is the shortcomings with almost all open world games, there has to be a narrative link between the value of the primary storyline and the importance of additional stories and general map wandering. I love this ability to roam and explore, particularly in such a visually appealing world, but investing more time in the narrative and intriguing the gamer to spend time in the open world, possibly through more diverse enemies and a better incentive to discover, would make the sequel stronger.

  33. At the risk of committing heresy, I would actually prefer if the next Zelda title is radically different from Breath of the Wild. While Breath of the Wild is undeniably awesome, one of the best parts of the Zelda series is the ability to reinvent itself from game to game. One reason why Twilight Princess feels so unique is how different it feels from Wind Waker.

    • Sean Gadus

      I am a huge fan of how different Wind Waker and Twilight Princess are. I think that even the differences between Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask show how incredible Nintendo is at video game design.

  34. I enjoyed reading this article and I definitely agree. I think it’s great you’re providing critique and then solutions to the criticisms, instead of simply complaining. Great content.

    Technically, I advise going over this again. There are typos and grammatical errors that took me out of the reading experience.

  35. I think there is a great opportunity for the developers to use the same engine/materials from BotW and make something a little more off-beat like how Majora’s Mask was the follow up to Ocarina of Time.

    In the late 1990’s DLC wasn’t an option for Ocarina of Time and so the developers were forced to make a true sequel (Majora’s Mask) resulting in a radically different and interesting game.

    Obviously BotW doesn’t have this constraint so it’s hard to imagine the developers doing anything but introducing more DLC instead of a making a true and separate sequel. For example, Rockstar haven’t made a new GTA ever since they were able to make use of DLC.

  36. Welcome to 21st Century. Who had never heard about Zelda. Graphic has improved a lot, but story.. I prefer the past versions.

  37. Nintendo definitely needs to take a (pardon the pun) breath before jumping into the next one. There was a definite sense of awe in BotW, but there is nonetheless plenty of room for refinement.

  38. I like to imagine Link rummaging around in a potato sack full of exotic weaponry–it helps make the inventory system less frustrating.

    I’m personally a fan of the shrines. I found dungeons in the old game a little fatiguing, and if you got stuck (as everyone did in the water temple in OoT) it just kinda killed your progress. You can always back out of a shrine if you need to, but most of the time I was entertained enough to burn through them.

    The new God of War, to some degree, has adopted the short-and-sweet approach to dungeons as well. Some of the content is a little drawn out though, and honestly, those are my least favourite parts.

  39. The Sequel needs to move on to a new adventure with mini-quests to offset the monotony of facing the same enemies over and over. I feel as if the Zelda sagas have used Gannon as the main antagonist for far too long; it’s time to change the narrative. Perhaps, they can give players the opportunity to play as Gannon to see more of his background…

  40. The game suffers from a whole lot of the same monotonous rinse and repeat activities. I feel that starts with creating a more compelling story.

  41. Honestly, I want the next game to be a complete 180 from Breath of the Wild. It was a fantastic game, but I feel like Nintendo should let it be its own thing. Leave it as the masterpiece it is, and make a new, different one. Maybe have an extremely small, condensed world with a heavy focus on dungeons. Maybe have dungeons be three-hour epics with multiple bosses and checkpoints. Whatever they do, I’d love it to be different. I doubt it will happen, due to Breath of the Wild’s success, but I can dream.

  42. I’m really enjoying BOTW so far, but agree with the points you have made. Being a Zelda fan for years and enjoying the retro games, having an open world was very new to me. It’s really enjoyable but could use more variety. Although I have over 50 hours put in so far and intend on finishing the game eventually, I’m looking forward to what the next game in the franchise will be.

  43. Zelda could go back to its creative roots the ocarina of time musically.

  44. I can see the appeal for a more narrative focused Zelda experience, but I just wonder how they could implement it successfully- there’s something inherently ‘Zelda’ about getting to interpret the story and characters how you want.

  45. Karly B

    I struggled with building a relationship with Breath of the Wild. To me, I feel like that narrative is essential to a Zelda game because, to me at least, that is what makes it feel like an authentic Zelda game.

    Building a foundational relationship between the characters is one of the things that I enjoy the most about Zelda games. In Ocarina of Time, there was Saria, the Great Deku Tree, Zelda, Malon, and so on. In Wind Waker, there was Aryl, Link’s grandma, Tetra and her pirate crew, and the King of Red Lions. In Twilight Princess, there was Ilia, Colin, Talo, Malo, Beth, and Midna. In Skyward Sword, there was Zelda, Groose, Fledge, Pipit, Peatrice — just these likeable, charming characters. Even Majora’s Mask, one of the more melancholic Zelda games, had memorable characters (such as Anju and Kafei) with heartwarming stories to which you could quickly grow deeply attached.

    Perhaps that’s why I had such a hard time receiving Breath of the Wild in the same way others have, not that there’s anything wrong with how others received the game. What I tend to like the most about Zelda games are their strong, character-driven narratives and the personality of the game itself. I had a difficult time emotionally connecting to Breath of the Wild as I had with its predecessors because of this reason; most of the narratives in Breath of the Wild take place 100 years in the past, so it’s difficult to feel connected to the story when you know that most of Link’s closest bonds are all dead. Perhaps this melancholy is what the developers were going for; I did get a bit of a ‘Shadow of the Colossus’ vibe from it. Unfortunately, I often found that I was asking myself “why should I care about this when I can just dick around?” which is not what I wanted to take away from such a game that has been in the making for such a long time.

    Overall it’s still an incredible game, and it’s well-deserving of its praise from critics and fans everywhere. It’s visually stunning, the open world is mind-blowing, and I love the RPG elements. As a stand-alone game, I can definitely say that it’s a masterpiece all on its own. However, as a Zelda game, it’s a little hard for it to win my heart entirely over in the same way the older games have. I just hope for the future that they focus on the character narratives because that’s what I personally enjoyed the most about the other Zelda games.

  46. Sean Gadus

    I agree with your first point alot. For me, and I grew up playing Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, story is a really important part of Zelda so I really missed the story that has been in previous Zelda games.

  47. The next series needs more of the music that made old Legend of Zelda so memorable. I would love to hear the old nes dungeon music in the next series dungeons along with the original music score for the overworld.

  48. I only just got a switch recently and bought Breath of the Wild having never properly played Zelda before (I’ve been traditionally a Pokemon guy). Definitely agree, it’s an epic game, so much to explore, but getting a greater story and some of the annoying weapon durability problems would make the sequel even better

  49. For me, the world-building and lore of BOTW was outstanding, while at the same time, the Link and Zelda’s story seemed somewhat impersonal. I would have loved more time spent on Link and Zelda’s relationships to the champions for example. Great article!

  50. 250 hours? That’s quite a comment to a video game. I recall that I logged at least a thousand on Empire: Total War so I can relate.

  51. Lovely article! I think they definitely should have broadened the music, like the other Zelda games

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