This week has been a goldmine of information for Zelda fans, as not only did we get a new trailer and subtitle for the game, but we got so much intel on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
We are trying something new for NintyBuzz by create this ongoing article, detailing all the new bits of info we will be learning about the title. So, find out everything we know about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild… after the break!
Come Out Already!
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was initially slated for release in 2015 but has now been pushed back twice to give the dev team extra time for polish. The much hyped game will now release in March 2017, simultaneously for both the Wii U and the next generation Nintendo NX; that game will likely be a launch title for the latter. 
Following the release delays and (presumably) the Wii U’s failure to build a particularly large install base, Nintendo announced earlier this year that Breath of the Wild will be a dual platform release on both the Wii U and Nintendo NX  – much like 2006’s Twilight Princess straddled the GameCube and Wii.
However, if you aren’t planning on picking up an NX at launch, fear not – Nintendo have said that the Wii U and NX versions will be the “same game”.  Expect there to be more polish (and perhaps a few minor bonus features) on the NX version, but besides that things will be pretty standardised – the Wii U version even supports the Pro Controller, so it’s not even like you need a gamepad to play it.
Happy Tappy Amiibo
As is rapidly becoming standard with first party Nintendo releases, Breath of the Wild will support Amiibo – and they look pretty awesome too! Four amiibo have been confirmed compatible thus far – the wolf link figurine from Twilight Princess HD and three new models – Archer Link, Rider Link and a Guardian. The latter looks particularly cool as it has posable arms ready to re-enact Link’s most spectacular in-game deaths. Or victories, if you prefer to look on the bright side.
Tapping the Wolf Link Amiibo on the GamePad will summon Wolf Link as a partner character. He will help you with hunting animal and defeating enemies. You’ll need to be sure that you look after your partner though, if he receive too much of a thrashing, he will abandon you until his next summoning. Once you have used Wolf Link, you will not be able to summon him again for a full day (of real time). 
Story of Ages
At the time of writing, not a lot is known about the story of Breath of the Wind. There have ben some little glimpses into the story however. What we do know, is that the game begins with Link waking up from a 100 year slumber. When he has woken up, he finds out that a mysterious creature called Calamity Ganon (who didn’t see that coming) took over Hyrule Castle, which then sent the world of Hyrule into ruin.  This already has me theorising where about this could be placed in the timeline, but that is for another time.
It is also important to note that Breath of the Wild is a fully open world game , once you have emerged from the Resurrection Shrine, you are left to your own devices, in fact, you could potentially go right to the final boss from the get-go… but that’s only if you are absolutely bonkers! Nintendo have also revealed that technology plays a very big part in Breath of the Wild. 
Breath of Fresh Air
From what we’ve seen so far, Breath of the Wild is the biggest shake up to the Zelda formula since Ocarina of Time, if not ever. Gone is the linear progression, and in its place is a HUGE western-style open world much like that seen in The Witcher 3, The Elder Scrolls, Xenoblade to name but a few.
And when we say HUGE, we mean HUGE – the game map is 12 times the size of that in Twilight Princess, while the area shown at E3 (which provided enough to see for 7 hours of streaming) was allegedly just 2% of the map.  And with the addition of jumping and free-climbing, it looks like we’ll be able to reach just about every bit of the map. 
A Blank Slate… Sheikah Slate
In line of having a bigger emphasis on technology, Link comes fully equipped with a Sheikah Slate. But what is a Sheikah Slate?This mysterious item adds various bits of functionality in the game. Using the Sheikah Slate, you are able to check your mini-map (which also displays on the GamePad), scope out far off areas and set beacons, check your inventory and equip items, and make use of the various runes you’ll find.
You’re now probably asking what runes are. Runes are magical relics which give Link powerful abilities. Make bombs appear from thin air and detonate them at will, create pillars of ice from bodies of water, and so much more. Once you have obtained these runes, you can use these new powers from anywhere in the world of Hyrule.
During the E3 stream, there seemed to be a lack of any civilisation other than the odd NPC. Nintendo assured us that this will not be the case in the final version stating that there will be towns a civilisations, but these were removed from the E3 version to focus on exploration and to make sure there weren’t any spoilers regarding the story or character backgrounds. 
Shrine of Trials
As well as the staple of dungeons, Nintendo are introducing Shrines to Breath of the Wild. Shrines act very differently to dungeons. They are much shorter than regular dungeons, think caves or mini-dungeons, but they still host some tricky looking puzzles. Some of these shrines will earn you runes for your Sheikah Slate, but all will reward you with a Spirit Orb, and collecting enough of these will allow you to reap some mysterious benefits. Did we mention there will be more than 100 shrines? 
Breaking in your Weapons
You’ll be able to use much, MUCH more than just a sword and shield in Breath of the Wild. You’ll be ablate find a range of weapons and shields to use around Hyrule, these can be hidden in chests, found on the ground, taken from enemies, or even belong to an enemy’s body! You’ll want to be strategic on what you carry with you however, as you can only carry eight weapons at a time, and you can also break your weapons. 
Hyrule Fashion Week
Link’s foresty green tunic is iconic in Zelda games, though this might not be the case in Breath of the Wild. Much like weapons, there are various pieces of apparel that Link can obtain throughout the world of Hyrule. What’s pretty interesting is that it seems certain pieces of apparel will give you better elemental resistance, so if it’s too cold, you better wrap up. If you are particularly daring, you could also play through the entire games as (almost) Nude Link… which I absolutely LOVE! 
Skyward Sword was Zelda’s first dive into crafting, and Breath of the Wild expands on it. You’ll find various items spread across the land of Hyrule, some of which are food items. Certain areas and camps will have cooking stations, where you can create some good grub… with style! Cooking up different dishes will provide you with special effects, these can be as simple as restoring your hearts stamina, but others can have more interesting effects, like giving your resistance to the cold, or giving you extra temporary hearts. 
Your Enemy is My Enemy
Several enemies seem to be making a comeback to Breath of the Wild, most notably the Bokoblin, which seems to be the most common in the Great Plateu region. There seems to be a new variation of Bokoblin, a Skeleton Bokoblin. These nasty little guys seem to come out during the darkest nights and come out from the ground in a similar fashion to Stalchildren in Ocarina of Time. You can even steal the arm from one of these guys and use it, as a weapon, against him/her (do Bokoblin have gender pronouns). ChuChus also make a comeback, including the Icy Chu from Spirit Tracks. There are also moments during combat where you can slow down time to slay your enemies with finesse!
There are several new enemies too. Guardians seem to play an important role. Guardians are gigantic ancient looking robots with six legs and equipped with a laser in its eye… think a memos on steroids! We also saw a boss, or mini-boss, that was made entirely of rock, essentially a giant rock monster named Steepe Talus.
Stealth takes a part in some of the combat of Breath of the Wild. There’s an icon next to the mini-map which represents the amount of sound Link is giving off when he moves, and this time a lot of enemies will react depending on whether they can hear or see you. This adds a completely new level of gameplay as, when you come across a camp of enemies, you can choose whether to go all out and mow them down, or keep low and out of sight, and use ranged weapons or even the environment. Enemies also tend to congregate in colonies or camps now. 
If it wasn’t already apparent, Breath of the Wild’s art style takes a lot of inspiration from Japanese animation, though it hasn’t been said, it feels almost like I have been warped into a Studio Ghibli film. Not only that, but Nintendo also stated that they chose the art style to match functions of the game. For example, in order to see an item in the game, a art style was chosen so that they could create the object, then shave it off to improve the visibility of said item. 
We hope you don’t have plans for the latter three quarters of 2017!
- Nintendo PR – Nintendo Treehouse Live 2016 Day One (https://www.nintybuzz.com/2016/06/14/nintendo-treehouse-live-e3-2016-day-1-recap/)
- Nintendo PR – Nintendo Annual Earnings Announcement 2016 (https://www.nintybuzz.com/2016/04/27/zelda-u-delayed-nx-release-and-more/)
I am a huge Nintendo fan, hence why NintyBuzz exists. I especially love all things Zelda and Metroid. NintyBuzz was started by me back in the Summer of 2014, it started out mainly as a hobby, though the site has gradually grown, and I hope it grows for many years to come!