Oh boy, do we have a lot to cover here.

If you tuned in for the Nintendo Switch presentation, or have been paying attention to anything Nintendo related at all in the past hour or two, then chances are you’re probably aware that a brand-new, absolutely stunning The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild trailer just dropped, and right now, we’re going to take a look at it.

Trailer breakdown

The trailer starts off with beautiful, sweeping shots of some of the various landscapes that you’ll encounter-in game. Seagulls, foxes, and seals litter tropic, arctic and desert locations and the plant life among them runs rampant.

breath of the wild

Just from these few shots, we can already tell that this game is going to be gorgeous. Yeah, we already knew that, but this really took the bar and blew it through the roof. Now, none of these locations are particularly surprising — we see icy, desert and forest locations in games all the time — but it’s immediately evident that there is thought behind each one. Amongst these landscapes we also see things like volcanoes and ancient ruins, which gives us an idea of what else is to come.

About 30 seconds in, we start to see characters, and what better way to kick off Zelda characters than the Koroks? The adorable little forest sprites that haven’t made an appearance since Wind Waker were previously confirmed at E3, so this isn’t anything new, however the shot we do get of the Koroks in this trailer do help us confirm that the Koroks are in somewhat decent numbers during Breath of the Wild. After that, we’re shown the Korok master himself, the Deku Tree (though his life state is unclear), guarding the one and only Master Sword in a scene reminiscent of the many before it.

After a few more shots of Link in action, we get our first new taste of the voice acting in the game, past the mysterious girl’s voice when Link awakens at the beginning of the game. An unspecified old woman’s voice tells Link, “The history of the Royal Family of Hyrule is also the history of the Calamity Ganon; a primal evil that has endured over the ages.” During this, we see brief cuts of ancient, decrepit guardians and ruins, including Skyward Sword’s Statue of the Goddess in what appears to be a run-down temple.

A tower bursts from the ground and a castle is engulfed in an ominous, Twilight-esque mist, with the supposed Calamity Ganon’s head emerging from it. Monsters spawn and we watch as Link fights a number of bosses and uses a number of Runes, before a couple brief glimpses of settlements and towns.

The first town we see looks like it could be Breath of the Wild’s Kakariko Village, while the second is clearly a Gerudo settlement (if the desert setting wasn’t obvious enough, the Gerudo symbol on the archway should be). More ruins, more scenery, and a boat lead to Link standing in front of the Master Sword with an old man’s voice speaking to him.

breath of the wild

“That look on your face tells me that you have no recollection of me, however, I think you are now ready. Ready to hear what happened 100 years ago.”

We then finally get our first shot of Zelda. While it is from behind, fans of the franchise will immediately recognize her, and it isn’t long after that before we get to see her face for the first time. Dressed in blue garb similar to Link’s own, it’s immediately clear that whatever Zelda’s role is in this game, it’s bigger than any other she’s had so far in the series. She laments as an unspecified village burns to the ground: “Everything I’ve done up until now, it was all for nothing!” This of course confirms that Zelda, too, will be voice acted (quite well I may add). While Link and Zelda’s relationship is still unclear, watching her cry into his arms shows a clear connection between the two.

breath of the wild zelda

A few more familiar faces are seen, albeit with gorgeous and dynamic new designs: a Goron, the Great Fairy, as well as what appear to be a (friendly?) Gerudo woman, both a shark- and fish-like Zora and a Rito.

Finally, Zelda shows of the fact that she still has Light powers, and the old man’s voice returns to say, “You must save her, my daughter” as Zelda looks upon what looks to be Hyrule Castle.

Trailer analysis

So, not only was this one of the best trailers for anything I’ve ever seen ever, but it was also one of the most interesting. Knowing what I do about the Legend of Zelda as a franchise, I couldn’t help but pick out a lot of things that intrigued me while watching this over a couple of times. Now I’ve been saying since the beginning that I have a feeling Breath of the Wild is a spiritual successor to Wind Waker, if not a direct sequel. The art style would immediately suggest this, and after the reveal of the Koroks, I had no doubt in my mind about it. At the very least, we know that Breath of the Wild takes place in the same timeline as Wind Waker but some time after it. The first shot in this trailer, with the seagulls and palm trees, immediately brings back memories of Wind Waker.

However, there are plenty of other things in this trailer that call back to other games in the series.

The vast and wide array of environments, such as mountainous arctics and plateaued deserts, remind me heavily of Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, with the Deku tree also calling back to OoT (and Wind Waker) and the ominous mist that engulfs the castle heavily resembling the Twilight Realm. We, of course, also see the Statue of the Goddess, a blatant reference to Skyward Sword, however talks of the Royal Family again go back to Wind Waker. Oddly enough, though, Ganon was never present in Wind Waker — only Ganondorf was.

If we take a look at the many species represented in the trailer, it only brings about more confusion. We see the Koroks and, most likely, the Rito, who were only present in Wind Waker as a direct result of the Great Flood. However, the Rito were evolved from the Zora, which we also see in this trailer… though we don’t see any Kokiri, the child-like species that the Koroks evolved from. Gorons were also almost completely non-existent in Wind Waker, yet we see one prominently featured in this trailer, along with a Gerudo, who we see most often in OoT and Majora’s Mask. The Great Fairy’s design also calls back to the designs from Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask.

breath of the wild gerudo

Most intriguing to me out of everything, however, is the two voiceovers we hear aside from Zelda’s. We hear an old woman recall the Royal Family, which, of course, makes me think of The Legend of Zelda’s resident old lady and royal advisor, Impa. But the old man tells a different story — one that implies that he and Link (or perhaps the spirit of Link) have met before in the past. This line isn’t as important as his final one, though, in which it can be assumed that he calls Zelda his daughter. If this is true, and Zelda remains a princess in Breath of the Wild, then there’s not much doubt in my mind that this old man is the King of Hyrule from Wind Waker.

Of course, this is all theory, and there’s only so much that you can get from a trailer, which has been carefully crafted to not reveal too much about the game. So, take from it what you will! However, there’s no doubt that this game is going to have a strong connection to the rest of the Zelda timeline and many of the big-name titles from the franchise.

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Written by George Comatas

As a wannabe social media personality and professional in the world of sarcasm, George does his best to always adapt to the changing world around him. He considers himself a maverick: a true-to-heart gamer with the mind of a pop star. Whether this makes him revolutionary or a setback, he's yet to find out. But one thing’s for sure; he's one-of-a-kind.

George Comatas