Zelda fans everywhere sighed in relief Tuesday after Nintendo dropped a trailer at E3 for the sequel to its widely popular 2017 game Breath of the Wild. Coming almost two years since initially teasing that the game was in production, this long-awaited trailer gave fans a much more in-depth look at what the sequel will have to offer. Let’s take a closer look at what we can expect to see.
A little column dark, a little column light
While the 2019 announcement video gave off the impression that at least some of the game might be set underground, this trailer seems to imply quite the opposite. The video opens with a short spooky montage to set the narrative. Link’s arm is engulfed in tendrils of red malice, a mummy (*ahem* Ganon) rises triumphantly, and Zelda plummets to her temporary demise. Ok, so off to a bit of a dark start here. But don’t worry, Nintendo has the perfect antidote for that grim mood. And it’s Link skydiving in a toga to the sounds of majestic “main character music”.
The rest of the trailer reveals a Hyrule that has apparently taken to the skies. Large parts of the Ginko tree-laden rocky terrain are now floating in the air, nestled on beds of cumulous clouds. Even Hyrule Castle, enshrouded once again in the red blight calamity energy, hovers just off the ground. Apparently, players can look forward to exploring an open-world concept that doesn’t stop at the “world” part.
So Link, about that arm…
In the sneak peek video, we saw a green glowing hand adorned in what looked like Sheikah technology holding down the Ganon mummy. In the opening of this new trailer, red malice consumes Link’s arm. However the two are connected, it’s clear that some kind of plot-driving ancient magic has occurred.
Infused with the same green magical light that was in the hand that sealed Ganon, Link’s new shiny tech arm appears to function like a bionic Shiekah Slate. He uses it to wield some familiar tricks such as Stasis, which he employs to suspend objects in time. Though this Stasis 2.0 apparently also comes equipped with some 5th dimensional Donnie Darko energy beam powers, allowing him to both freeze objects and see their projected movement paths.
The green light arm reveals another ability that utilizes the manipulation of either time or matter. We see a small puddle reverse into a water droplet and float upwards, which Link appears to use to travel vertically through the air. And then clear through a solid stone bridge. So players will not only have new ways of moving through the air but apparently will also be able, in some capacity, to move through objects.
His magically infused right arm may have garnered most of the applause, but it was hard to miss the moment when the shield in his left hand took center stage by becoming a flamethrower. That’s right, a stone shield in the shape of a dragon’s head that can apparently breathe fire, along with what I’m assuming are other more common shield functionalities. So far the only offensive ability of a shield in Zelda games has been deflection, which I would argue is slightly less cool than being a literal dragon.
Nintendo still has some secrets sealed in the castle
Despite all this new information, the biggest key component missing from the trailer was a name. Nintendo is decidedly staying secretive about the name, referring to it officially as “the sequel to Breath of the Wild”. In an interview with IGN, Nintendo spokesperson Bill Trinen explained “As for why we’re holding back on the name, you’ll have to stay tuned because, obviously, Zelda names are kind of important. Those subtitles… they start to give little bits of hints about maybe what’s going to happen”. That’s cool, Nintendo. I’ll just keep referring to it as “that one game where Link trades an in-canon Gameboy for sick full sleeve Shiekah tats”.
Nintento announced the game will be released sometime in 2022. Zelda waited 100 years for Link to awaken and save her in the first Breath of the Wild game. Hopefully this time she will only have to wait for one more.
A lover of storytelling across all genres. Endlessly searching for the balance between consumption and creation. High hopes that writing on the internet will lessen the amount of time I spend in unrequited discourse with my cat.