ABOUT | IN DEPTH
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Genre: Action Adventure/Survival/Puzzle/Strategy
Platform: Nintendo Wii U/Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 03/03/2017
Man Vs. Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild also known as (BOTW) is the 19th installment in the Legend of Zelda series. In the title “Breath of the Wild” Nintendo really emphasizes on Wild through their game design presenting a man versus wild approach unlike ever before. Depending on the direction you journey, you could very well find yourself in some treacherous climate or among some unforgiving foes with nothing but your wits and whatever you managed to gather in your travels.
A Breath of Fresh Air!
the Breath of the Wild’s experience can be appreciated much like a breath of fresh air in the gaming realm considering the way Nintendo obliterated all linear gaming restraints and granted the player the liberty to roam freely and conquer the game in whatever fashion they please. Whether you want to face off with the final boss at the the very start or work your way through every side quest, objective, collectable, covering every inch of the massive world, it’s entirely up to you. Although rushing ahead at all in this game is sure to be brutally punished with an unforgiving difficulty spike such as facing a Lynel, a black , silver, or gold (DLC) enemy Nearly anything is possible and the freedom is yours to decide.
The Legend of Survival
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild presents a whole new play style to the series and is one of the most notable aspects to this new release, survival!
When you begin your journey, it won’t take you long to realize that you are completely dependent on the resources you gather in the world and without them you are naked, unarmed, and utterly vulnerable. Armor can be collected or bought and does not require maintenance once obtained. Most weapons are to be collected from enemies and chests, depleting in durability upon use up to and including breaking without any means of repair. Food and potions are essential to survival and require the gathering of all sorts of meat, plants, and bugs from hunting and gathering. Monster parts can also be collected for use in potions after slaying beasts. Upgrades to weapons and armor are available via Great Fairies but require a variety of items found throughout the land. Horses are by default, wild until tamed at which point you can equip them with a saddle and utilize them for transportation. Exploration is the heart of the game and the more exploring you do the more strong, rich, and powerful you will become.
What is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild About?
Tragedy of a Calamity
Hyrule was in a state of power and prosperity possessing great technological advancements created by the intellectual and highly esteemed Sheikah. These advancements include the mechanical behemoths known as the four Divine Beasts imitating the likeness of an elephant, a camel, a bird, and a lizard along with the smaller but more numerous contraptions known as the Guardians. Guardians come in quite a few variations both walking and flying but most popularly recognized as the eight tentacled automatons. The Sheikah also put into place towers to monitor the land and shrines for the strengthening and testing of the princess’ appointed knight.
10,100 years prior to the events that take place in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Ganondorf, in a reincarnated form called Calamity Gannon, made an appearance upon the land and attempted to conquer the kingdom and cover it in darkness. He was vanquished by the Divine Beasts and the Guardians resulting in a glorious victory for the Hylians.
Yet legend spoke of Calamity Ganon’s return, claiming that he would regain his form and strike again in 10,000 years. The Hylians buried the Divine Beasts and the Guardians beneath the ground, preserving them for the time when they would have to rise up again, confident that the same method they used to claim victory the first time would surely bring the same results a second time.
10,000 years later… They were wrong! The prophecy held true, Calamity Ganon took form again. In preparation for his coming they unearthed their mechanical war machines, assigned four champions from each race to man the Divine Beasts, the Hylians employed the Guardians to the battlefield, Zelda commenced a mission to find favor with Hylia in search of her inner power while Link was given the honor of serving Zelda as her appointed knight. It was all in vain, Calamity Ganon wasn’t about to succumb to the same defeat or humiliation he once did so long ago. This time he devised a plan, a most devastating plan that exponentially turned the tide of battle in his favor granting him a swift defeat of Hyrule at large.
The Calamity ensued and Ganon poured forth a force unlike any other, dispersing a power capable of possessing the Guardians and the Divine beast and in turn, granting him full control of each and every one of them.
Hyrule was conquered, the King met his demise, the chosen champions remained trapped inside their respective Divine Beast, Link suffered severe wounds and was placed inside the shrine of restoration, and Zelda was left to face the Calamity by herself preventing it from growing to it’s full power and covering the land in a second darkness.
From Zero to Hero
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes place 100 years after the tragic events of the calamity and begins with you (Link) slowly awakening from the slumber of restoration (a stasis like state) via Zelda’s beckoning call resonating from a small device known as the Sheikah Slate. Relative to it’s name, The Sheikah Slate was created by the Sheikah and will serve as a crucial tool in your future endeavors. Uses for this item include a map, the abilities of Stasis, Remote Bombs, Magnesis, Ice Pillar, and a Camera. The Camera plays a pivotal role in your your endeavors as you will utilize it to serve many purposes such as creating a bestiary, keeping records of items and weapons, capturing images to fulfill quests, and regaining your memory… Yes, regaining your memory! Consequently, you have no recollection of past events do to the century spent snoozing away, apparently Link forgot to read the disclaimer about forgetting everything!
You will experience a Lynyrd Skynyrd moment, “free as a bird now,” the world is yours and trust me… its massive!
Upon awakening, your quest will begin. For the first time and last time in the entire game you will be limited to the restraints of an elevated mass of land called The Great Plateau and will not be granted the ability to leave from here until you obtain the paraglider. The paraglider will initially be in the possession of an old mysterious man found just outside the shrine from wince you came. He will require you to delve into four different shrines found upon the plateau in order to return key functionality to your Sheikah Slate, only then will he grant you that which you seek.
After the exchange of the paraglider you will experience a lynard Skynard moment, “free as a bird now,” the world is yours and trust me… it’s massive! and the freedom provided is beyond compare, you can literally do whatever, whenever, however!
You will start out with nothing followed shortly by finding rags for clothes, sticks for weapons and maybe a mushroom or two in your inventory! It’s entirely your responsibility through exploration and execution to evolve into the powerful hero required to face the dangers that lie ahead. You will need to sell, cook, tame horses, discover shrines and locations, defeat vile beasts, complete a multitude of missions and answer the call of the wild if you have any hope of success!
You will also get the opportunity to meet four popular races previously introduced in early Zelda titles such as the Gerudo, the Gorons, The Zora, and the Rito. Each race resides in their respective civilization and climate. Traveling to these areas and assisting them is the key to freeing the Divine Beasts and also offers a great form of diversity to the game.
As we covered before, this is a game of survival! The world is a vast, dangerous, and sometimes overwhelming place, where the stakes are high, and your strategy and instincts will make or break you on your epic journey to free the Princess once again.
Nintendo released two DLC Packs for the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, both The Master Trials and The Champions Ballad with the latter being received a lot better than the first. but all in all rounded off the story of the Master Sword, the Champions, and the Sheikah quite nicely in addition to a massive challenge in Master Mode!
Although the DLC packs were released at separate dates, they could not be purchased separately. The only purchase option was and still is to buy the expansion pass for $20
DLC Pack 1: The Master Trials
June 30 2017
The Master Trials is the first DLC Pack released for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In The Master Trials players are presented with a few challenges, one of which is very familiar to the Zelda series, speaking of course of “the big dungeon floor dive” When the Master Sword is placed back into the pedestal from whence it came, Link will teleport to a dungeon consisting of a series of floors that increase in difficulty with each descent as you pursue the prize at the greatly anticipated final floor.
In the Master Trials you will find it differs a bit from the previous versions of this particular challenge in other Zelda titles. This time there is three different series of floors referred to as trials, each of these three trials is more lengthy and challenging than the last, dying before completing the final floor in any individual trial will warp you back to the pedestal to restart it from the beginning. For every challenge completed of the three trials available will amount to an increase in attack power of the Master sword, 10 points increase each. This means that starting at the base damage of the swords initial 30 point damage rating, you can increase it to the maximum damage capability of 60 points permanently (not just when going up against Ganon!)
Tread lightly when dungeon diving through these challenges! you will always start out with absolutely nothing and everything collected is key to the completion of upcoming floors! Painfully stupid difficulty on Master Mode … Speaking of Master Mode!
With The Master Trials DLC comes a new mode, Master Mode!
Master Mode brings a whole new challenge to the game! All enemies increase by one color in difficulty: red to blue, blue to black, black to silver, and silver to the all new gold difficulty! In addition to this there will be floating platforms everywhere manned by random enemies and worst of all, regenerating health bars on all enemies! Meaning that damage must persist either by relentless slashing or by passive damage effects such as fire. If damage seizes their health will regenerate up the closest increment, typically in quarters of their health. This poses a huge threat in the company of more than one foe or against an especially powerful enemy that might require timing to attack such as bosses or even Lynels.
Most will probably appreciate this game mode as the normal mode ends up becoming ridiculously easy as Link grows in power ultimately becoming so OP that any sense of challenge diminishes in the later parts of the game. I personally recommend Master Mode myself as the beginning will be so difficult it will feel more true to life in the survival aspect as you walk into a world with nothing but the clothes on your back. This forces you to implement a good deal of stealth paired with any environmental support available especially in the earlier stages. Later you will find yourself utilizing everything at your disposal just to make it our alive with drawn out boss fights as you whittle away at their regenerating health gauge. Very rewarding but frequently just as punishing!
Master Mode is separate entirely from Normal Mode, you cannot switch a normal mode game save to Master mode or visa-versa.
Utilize the new addition of the Hero’s Path, a feature added to your Sheikah Slate that tracks your moves so you can refer to your map and see exactly where you have been in Hyrule over the last 200 hours! Can be a very handy referencing tool
Typically teleportation is strictly limited to Shrines and Towers as they have a glowing round inscription placed upon them once activated. With the Travel Medallion, it is now possible to carry something similar in appearance that can be placed and picked up at your discretion and used for the same purpose.
Cool Exclusive Expansion Armor Pieces
Cool pieces of gear can be found scattered throughout Hyrule and equipped for special effects that grant incredible advantages! find them via clues hidden within mysterious books placed in location disclosed via rumors (side missions)
Majora’s Mask: Find this mask brought back from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask hidden in Hyrule Field. Wear it to be unnoticed by most all enemies save Guardians and Lynels
Midna’s Helmet: A relic cherished by Midna, the Twilight Princess of the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess chapter. You can find this helmet hidden in Hyrule Field and equip it to give a defense boost against guardians.
Phantom Armor: All three pieces of this rare armor set can be found scattered throughout Hyrule Field in very dangerous locations. Collect them all for significantly strong armor.
Tingle’s Outfit: Find this fancy set of tights once worn by the strange mentally twisted man who thinks he is a fairy, Tingle. Equip the whole set to get an increase in speed during night times. Looks almost as good on Link as Tingle.
Korok Mask: A personal favorite of mine when in the pursuit of Korok seeds (gold poop nuggets) This mask is found in the Lost Forest this mask will make korok sounds when you come in close proximity of a Korok!
DLC Pack 2: The Champion’s Ballad
The Champion’s Ballad commences upon completion of all four Divine Beasts when Princess Zelda communicates to Link via the Sheikah Slate yet again to inform him that a new challenge awaits that he is now ready for and that it awaits him at the Shrine of Resurrection, the exact place where it all began!
The One Hit Obliterator
Once you arrive on he Great Plateau where it all began you will obtain the One Hit Obliterator from the Shrine of Resurrection and be faced with a unique challenge throughout the Plateau. When an individual wields this weapon their health is reduced to a quarter heart in exchange for the ability of using the weapon which kills anything in one hit but need to recharge per kill. Basically you and your enemies are one hit away from death and you can’t just swing like crazy so proceed with caution when faced with multiple enemies. You will need to clear the Great Plateau of four enemy encampments to resurrect four shrines each with their own challenge hidden within. One hit on any enemy kills them no matter what type of enemy or color and any hit on you no matter how weak kills you and starts you back at the Shrine of Resurrection to do it all over again. it can certainly be a grueling challenge if not done right! Bring arrows, all other weapons cant be used but bows are the one exception to the rule.
After this, you will be required to go to all four regions occupied by each race in the game, Gorons, Zoras, Rito, and Garudo to locate sheikah structures with landmark pictures hidden on their pillars to be pinpointed via map reference showing locations where you complete tasks assigned to you through song. Songs sung by none other than the beloved Kass, the accordion musician Rito obsessed with singing about the hero of legend and this time on a quest to complete the Champions Ballad!
Completing the tasks opens up shrines, Completing these specific shrines grants orbs of the Divine Beasts as opposed to Spirit Orbs. The type of divine beast orb depends on which region you’re in, once four orbs are collected for a single divine beast you will face a dream version of ganon’s reincarnation in that specific Divine Beast as done before just more limited as it is supposedly a means of facing your fears. Collect all four Divine Beasts Orbs for each of the four Divine Beasts and prevail against all four extra challenging Ganon encounters to restore power to all four prongs of the One Hit Obliterator in order to unlock the ultimate secret!
The secret that underneath the Shrine of Resurrection after all this time rests your final trial, the fifth and final Divine Beast, the Master Cycle Zero! A Divine Beast for you to obtain and master once you first make it through the Divine Trial
Once you work your way through, hands down the largest and most difficult dungeon in the entire game outside of Hyrule Castle you will rise up into the air upon a floating platform over the Great Plateau where you face off with the Master Sheikah Monk known as Maz Koshia, Monk Maz Koshia in an epic battle of strength, wits and endurance! Quite literally a battle as difficult if not more so than Calamity Ganon Himself amd favored for some!
Beat the Monk, obtain your Breath of the wild exclusive motor cycle and roam Hyrule in style and a whole lot of fun! Just make sure you have the guardian parts to fuel it’s tank! its a gas hog!
Throughout the journey of The Champion’s Ballad there will be a lot of visions Link has that better fills in the blanks of the four Champion’s story during the times they were recruited by Princess Zelda for the operation of the Divine Beasts. Honestly this feels like a part of the initial game that was left out as it truly completes the game more than just Ganon’s demise!
Cool Exclusive Expansion Armor Pieces
Island Lobster Shirt: Worn by young Link prior to his grandma granting him his hero’s tunic in Windwaker the shirt somehow survives to be worn in Breath of the Wild, granting a slight boost to heat resistance
Phantom Ganon Armor: An armor set imitating that of Ganon from Ocarina of Time, this snazzy evil outfit will hide you from all stal enemies when worn as a set!
Ravio’s Hood: From the mysterious Ravio in The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds comes his … left behind hood available for you to find and wear to increase speed when moving to the side while climbing.
Zant’s Helmet: Zant may have been vanquished during the era of Twilight in The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess but his helmet still remains hidden somewhere in hyrule, find it to become invincible to the cold!
Royal Guard Uniform: I’s going to take scouting out the deepest depths of Hyrule Castle to get your hands on this spiffy get-up but don’t it look goood? Also equipping the whole set allows for you to do power attack at less stamina cost… savage!
Ancient Bridle and Saddle: Find these cool power your horse up with Sheikah tech! the bridle grants extra spurs (stamina) and the saddle allows your horse to transport to you when you whistle regardless of how far you are!