The long awaited sequel to the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is almost mythical at this point. E3 in 2019 gave eager fans a small snippet of epicness during a short but sweet announcement trailer.
All went dark after that until June 16, 2021, when Nintendo treated us to yet another morsel of information. This time in the form of a 1 minute and 29 second long video presentation that really put the ‘teaser’ in ‘teaser trailer.’
After that, the lines of Breath of the Wild 2 communication went as dark as the underground depths of Hyrule Castle. They opened up briefly earlier this year, but it was not the news fans were hoping for. Nintendo released a short video in March this year where series producer Eiji Aonuma confirmed the 2022 release of Breath of the Wild 2 would be delayed until Spring 2023.
And now here we are – mid-2022, with no solid release date, or even a name to put to the heavily anticipated Nintendo release.
But what we do have, is two trailers. Both trailers total at a whopping 2 minutes and 66 seconds of pure Breath of the Wild 2 footage. While it may seem short, there is a lot of information to unpack from these two trailers. And that is exactly what we are going to do now. Here is everything we know about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 so far.
We don’t have much information regarding the plot or events that will occur within Breath of the Wild 2. But the announcement trailer did contain a wealth of knowledge if you look hard enough into it.
The Character In The Depths
The trailer showed Link and Zelda traversing an underground terrain, presumably located under Hyrule Castle. The pair through wander the darkness until they come upon a terrifying figure. Bent backward in an eternal scream is a decrepit form. The figure is seemingly frozen in place by the icy grip of a disembodied hand that pierces the figure’s chest.
If we take a closer look at the twisted form, we can gather several clues that may allude to the identity of the corpse-like figure. The body is glad in robes and adorned in jewelry, with long flowing red hair. One jewel in particular is of interest and has been seen in the series before.
The jewel on the forehead of the twisted body matches another piece of jewelry worn by none other than Ganondorf himself in Twilight Princess.
Ganondorf is also frequently pictured with red hair, a common feature of the Gerudo. Much to Link and Zelda’s dismay I’m sure, the same red locks flow form the corpse-like figure.
As the figure is frozen in time by the magical glowing hand, a dark red substance flows continuously from the wound. This substance is identical to the malice that has infected Hyrule and has previously been linked to Ganondorf.
Towards the end of the trailer, the character awakens from its forced slumber, opening eyes filled with glowing malice. This sets up the over-arcing story quest that we can expect from Breath of the Wild 2. In classic Legend of Zelda style, this story will see Link putting an end to whatever Ganondorf’s evil plan is this time.
During the initial announcement trailer, we also see several more interesting developments which could influence the game’s story.
As the figure awakens, the ground beneath Zelda and Link’s feet begins to rumble and a large gaping hole opens up, swallowing Zelda. Link reaches out to grab hold of her, and the hand that sealed Ganondorf grabs hold of Link, saving them both.
We then see Link recoil back while throwing his now glowing hand in the air. Link’s arm seems to have reacted to the touch of the mysterious hand, and begins emitting the same greenish glow that the hand holding Ganondorf had.
It is unclear what force is affecting Link’s hand. But the same greenish-blue glow has been used in Breath of the Wild and other Zelda titles in order to depict spirits. It is the same colored light that is produced when a Monk disappears after the completion of a shrine, so it could be connected to the Sheikah in some way.
In the second trailer, we get a closer look at Link’s hand which seems to have undergone some sort of metamorphosis. It looks like Link’s new arm is going to directly affect the gameplay mechanics, almost acting like the Sheikah Slate seen in the first Breath of the Wild.
When ‘activated’ by Link to perform a series of cool new moves such as moving through solid rock and turning back time, the hand glows with the greenish-blue light we saw before. But when the arm isn’t in use, it seems to be black in color and more representative of the malice that has infected Hyrule.
The similarities between The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Studio Ghibli have long been noted by fans of both series. And it seems like this may be truer than ever for Breath of the Wild 2. The situation surrounding Link’s arm in Breath of the Wild 2 is very reminiscent of Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke.
In Princess Mononoke, we see the protagonist in similar pickle when Ashitaka suffers a heavy injury to his arm. He subsequently sets off on an epic quest to cure his arm which becomes infected with a substance that bears a strong resemblance to the malice seen in Breath of the Wild.
As Link’s arm bears a blackish appearance, there could be a chance that the storyline sees Link on a journey to purify his arm of some sort of malice or infection. This, however, remains to be seen.
New Gameplay Mechanics
While the first reveal trailer of Breath of the Wild 2 alluded to some possible plot and story progressions, the second trailer gave us a larger insight into some new gameplay mechanics that we can expect to see in the sequel.
Where is the Sheikah Slate?
It appears that Breath of the Wild 2 will be trading the Sheikah Slate in favor of Link’s augmented arm. The Sheikah Slate which used to hang from Link’s side, is nowhere to be seen in either trailer. His arm, however, allows Link to perform several new moves. These seem extremely similar to the abilities the Sheikah Slate had in Breath of the Wild.
Link’s arm has several cool new abilities. But it is not clear whether or not we will still have access to the same runes the Sheikah Slate offered in the first Breath of the Wild.
The first of Link’s newfound skills is the ability to reverse time. In the teaser trailer Link is shown reversing the trajectory of a spiked boulder, sending it hurtling back up the hill and taking out several enemies in its path.
The boulder glows with the same yellow light that we saw when using the Sheikah Slate’s stasis ability in the first game, indicating that both powers may come from the same source.
The theory that reversing time will play a large role in Breath of the Wild 2 is further hinted at in the sound design of both trailers. Both the teaser and the announcement trailer feature an eerie and unsettling soundtrack.
When you listen closely to the songs that play in the background of the trailer, it becomes clear that the reason they sound so unnatural is because they are actually playing in reverse. This interesting sound design has to be here for a reason, perhaps hinting at a larger gameplay mechanic.
Platform 9 3/4?
We also got a look at another potential rune ability in Breath of the Wild 2. It appears that Link will also possess the ability to shift through solid rock.
In the trailer, we see Link easily pass through a solid rock that is floating in the sky above Hyrule. How he does this is not explained. But we can assume it is by harnessing the powers of the Sheikah arm, and that it will play a big part in the gameplay mechanics of Breath of the Wild 2.
Things Are Heating Up In Hyrule
It is unclear whether Link is harnessing the power of his new arm, or if it is just a new weapon. But Link somehow gets hold of a flamethrower over the course of his adventure.
The teaser trailer shows Link engaging in an epic battle with a rock monster that protrudes from the roof of a cave. This monster is a brand new enemy that we have not seen before in Breath of the Wild, and the flamethrower that Link is fighting it with is just as much of a surprise as the beast itself.
It looks like it may be attached to his shield, but we will have to wait for more information before we are able to uncover the secrets of Link’s epic new flamethrower.
There is still so much to learn about Breath of the Wild 2, but unfortunately, we must wait a little longer for its secrets to be revealed. Even the game’s name remains an enigma. Nintendo of America senior product marketing manager Bill Trinen informed IGN during an interview that fans will “just have to stay tuned” for the sequel’s name reveal.
There is a chance that the game’s real name may allude to an important part of the story. This is something we have seen in previous Zelda game titles such as Ocarina of Time, and Majora’s Mask, both of which contain important elements of their game’s stories. Bill Trinen went on to say that “Those subtitles … they start to give little bits of hints about maybe what’s going to happen.”
Like most hints we have received so far, these comments further shroud the long-awaited sequel in mystery. But as 2023 fast approaches the release date grows closer, and the answers to our burning questions are sure to come with it.
Thankfully, there are many more games out there with similar Breath of the Wild energy to tide you over while you’re waiting for the next Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.