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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is taking a wildly new approach to many things, one of the most interesting being the combat. We’re used to being given or discovering and entry level sword at the beginning of Link’s adventures, and maybe upgrading it a handful of times throughout. While many of Link’s tools have had the potential to double as weapons, and games like Wind Waker have toyed with the idea of picking up and utilizing enemy weapons, Link’s trusty sword and shield has always been at the center of Zelda combat.

Breath of the Wild promises to shift that focus in some very dramatic ways. First off, the number of weapons at Link’s disposal this time around is staggering. Weapons of wildly varying degrees of quality and power can be found scattered around the world, or can be obtained from enemies that wield them. Rusty weapons – like broadswords, axes and spears – are what litter the opening areas of the game. After exploring some more obscure locations or facing some more substantial foes, Link will start to find incrementally more powerful weapons. A handful of weapons can be carried at any given time, and each has its own stats, attack animations, and durability. Eventually, after enough use in combat, a weapon will break, forcing Link to continually cycle through weapons and keep spares on hand.


The weapons go far beyond standard medieval fare, too. Today’s demos showed off many makeshift weapons of the Bokoblin, the enemies that largely populate the game’s first area; as well as some downright unconventional weaponry. Sticks double as swords, A farmer’s pitchfork can fill the role of a polearm in a pinch, and a skeletal Bokoblin arm can serve as a writhing, animated baton.

Bows and ranged combat remain an important part of Link’s arsenal in Breath of the Wild. Early demos showed a number of bows, with varying power, as well as a few different arrow types – standard, fire and bomb. Link can also hurl any of his weapons at enemies.


Link’s traditional items, like bombs, have taken on a new role in his newest adventure. Generated by the Shiekah Stone that Link carries with him, bombs are used for puzzle solving, exploration, and of course, can be used in combat as well. It remains to be seen which of Link’s classic tools will make a return in Breath of the Wild, or what implications they might have in combat, but we hope to find out more over the next couple days.

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Written by Brittin Shauers

Brittin literally grew up with Link, Mario and Samus. These three characters and their worlds collectively capture everything that he loves about video games.