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We’ve been hearing for a long time now how the next Legend of Zelda, which we now know as Breath of the Wild, would take the series back to the drawing board in terms of structure and gameplay. Up until this week, we’ve been left to our imaginations to wonder what exactly the game’s creators meant by this. Some of these changes have been revealed to be a grand rethinking of barriers, traversal and equipment. Others, like hunting and cooking, seem more subtle at first glance but may have much deeper implications than meet the eye.

We caught our first glimpse of Link’s culinary skills in the debut trailer that kicked off Nintendo’s E3 presentation. A silly, flashy snippet where a variety of ingredients were tossed into a giant wok and then poofed into something tasty. The whole thing had a decidedly Monster Hunter vibe. I dismissed it as a goofy diversion in this otherwise stunning and panoramic trailer; perhaps a mini game or a themed sidequest with a friendly NPC. It wasn’t until one of the later Treehouse Live streams of the game – one solely focused on hunting and cooking – that this new activity’s importance and utility were made a bit more clear.


So why would Link spend time frying up delicacies when there’s likely a kingdom in peril and monsters to be slain? Well, a hero’s gotta eat. In this more logical take on Hyrule, Link can’t simply chop his way through tall grass until he finds enough hearts to refill his health meter; in fact, floating, disembodied hearts are nowhere to be found. Instead, one of the primary ways our hero will keep himself healed up and fit for battle is by hunting, cooking, and eating his way through Hyrule.

The opening area of the game, the Grand Plateau, is littered with collectibles, many of which are edible. Mushrooms, fruits and vegetables can be found growing on and around the vegetation that once served as nothing more than world decor, Link can even climb trees to obtain hard to reach fruits. Combined with his ability to track and hunt the myriad wildlife – boar, deer, ducks, etc. – that can be found wandering the wilds, our hero has all the makings of some very fine cuisine.


Link can commandeer the campsites and cooking stations of local Bokoblins, or create a makeshift kitchen of his own, and combine the various ingredients he finds to prepare a variety of useful consumables. Examples shown were grilled meats that refill a number of hearts, meals that granted extra, temporary hearts, spicy snacks that increased Link’s resistance to cold, and potions that could refill or boost stamina on the fly. Any combination of up to five ingredients can be thrown together to create what is presumably a massive number of useful treats. This new set of mechanics goes far beyond sidequest or collect-a-thon territory, it sounds like a vital part of Link’s new quest.

Not long ago, Reggie Fils-Aime referred to the newest Zelda’s world as a resource in and of itself. This emphasis on surviving off of the land and making full use of its flora and fauna is clearly part of what he meant by that. We hope to find out more about Link’s many new activities in Breath of the Wild as E3 continues.

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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.