Zelda Dungeon Talks: Should Breath of the Wild Have a New Partner, and If So, Of What Kind?

midnaBreathe of the Wild has presented us with a massive world full of life and wonder, from giant, laser-shooting creatures to vast landscapes to evil monsters waiting to be hunted down. But something we have seen little to none of is people. Link, the Old Man, and in a way, the voice from the Resurrection Chamber are all Nintendo has shown us in terms of other signs of civilization. There will be towns and such later, but or all we know, they could be rather small. What might this mean for Link’s potential friends he meets along the way? Specifically, what about a partner? Most Zelda titles involve Link gaining a partner that follows along with him throughout the adventure, but this adventure, so far, seems to be one of the occasional outliers. Do you think Link will have a companion on this new, open journey, and if so, what do you expect from them? This week, the ZD staff take a look at this topic and give their thoughts.

Hit the jump to see what they had to say.

Kira Koneko – View Profile

I have to be honest, I was insanely excited when they announced the ability to have Wolf Link as a companion at E3. Although it is a little odd considering it would be two different version of Link hanging out and battling together after all, but none the less pretty cool! As far as adding another companion, new or not, I’m not so sure. With the type of world I am hoping the game will provide us to explore I don’t think I would want another companion tagging along. If they come in for a short while because of a certain part of the story that you might be working through, that would be fine. But to have another character traipsing all along this vast new world with me could get a little annoying. Part of the fun of a game like this for me would be the idea of rooting this beautiful huge new world all by myself!

Jon Lett – View Profile

Given the style of adventure, the method of partners is likely going to be changed heavily, if not in Breath of the Wild, then in future titles. There are 2 potential actions Nintendo could take with partners that I once mentioned on the old ZD podcast, and I think Breath of the Wild could take on either of them. The first is the idea of having multiple partners. I sited The Last Story as a great example of how having multiple partners – ones you cycle through different combinations of – can make for a dynamic story and great development of several characters that help the player along the way. Other characters from out of nowhere can also temporarily help you out, making you feel like the world you are saving is really alive, and filled with people as real as your character. Breath of the Wild could try this out, depending on how many people are actually still in this new, ruined Hyrule. We have not seen any towns yet, or people other than the Old Man, but given the wild and barren world around Link, people there must be capable of surviving a treacherous world, just like Link. The other little twist they could pull with the partner formula is… well, an actual plot twist. Imagine having a partner that turned against you. We have never had a partner turn out to have been stringing us along the whole time. That would certainly make for an interesting story. Better yet, rather than just have them be evil, what if your partner turned against you for moral reasons? Perhaps they found that they had no choice – they thought that your journey was leading to a bad outcome, or they sold you out because they were forced to by someone you are against. This could also make for really effective story progression, and would throw long-time Zelda fans for a bit of a loop, as it is something we’ve never had to deal with before. In all honesty, I think that Breath of the Wild will not have a regular partner at all, and I’m entirely cool with that, but if they do have one, they ought to do things like this to make it interesting.

Alexis Anderson – View Profile

I don’t know if Breath of the Wild should have a companion, it doesn’t seem like the right game for one really. If it isn’t going to be story heavy, I see no reason to drag in a partner other than Wolf Link. I think Midna is the most successful Zelda companion, she’s deeply developed and beautifully intertwined with her game’s plot. That’s the kind of companion I would like the Zelda series to implement, otherwise that person ends up being a rather pointless inclusion– like Navi. And obviously Navi is beloved because of the game she hails from and her memorable yet annoying jargon, but a companion too similar to Navi in Breath of the Wild might seem hokey and out of place. I think your Sheikah Slate will handle all of the gameplay functions of a companion, and if you just want company Wolf Link will do the trick (and then some, by helping slaughter your enemies).

  • Svarog

    Old man.

  • NinjaSpotsXD

    I thought Nintendo announced that there would be no companion for Breath of the Wild outside of Boof Link if you had the wolf link amiibo.

  • Christian Beach

    Nah. I like the idea of going it alone. Part of the game seems to focus around Link rediscovering who he is, and something like that is usually done alone.

  • Alan da Cruz

    We need a Goron companion. That is what we ned. Always gorons.

  • Lex6-6

    No no, please, God no… I hate companions in Zelda games, yeah, I hate all of them. They constantly interrupt the gameplay with useless and unrequested tips, I want to play the damn game with my brain and solve puzzles by my own, stop interrupting the action and the flow of the gameplay! And worst of all, because Zelda doesn’t have voice acting they have to freeze you in place for like five seconds just to read those stupid red words… arghh the rage!!! Zelda games have such good level design and so many visual tips there is no need for a companion really, they are not plot devices, they are handholding items because the designer think you are stupid. I was so happy with ALbW, I hope they stick with that forever, perfect designed game.

  • protobass

    Agreed, the only person who should give any hints is the old man in the cave

  • IAmDirtyDan

    if it were to have a companion, the only way i would want it to be for this game would be someone or something subservient to link which had the ability to combat enemies. either a pet of some kind or a servant whose life link has saved or something. but then when you do that, you have to factor in the AI, something which is difficult even for giant game dev companies to get right. so basically, no companion is good companion for breath of the wild.

  • Charlotte Williams

    I don’t think a companion is entirely necessary for the game-I hated Navi,Tatl and Ezlo!
    Although,it would be nice if Link could get some help from the animals in the woods,like in Twilight Princess,in certain stages-but I’m not too keen on a companion,I’m afraid.

  • Ryan

    No, I like the idea of Link being alone in the largest world they have created for a Zelda game.

  • Ramaguard

    A companion is nothing but a glorified guide and Nintendo always tries to handhold kids through modern zelda so a companion is a given. Expect one to be there and expect it to make “Breath of the Wild” more like “Breastfed the Mild”

  • Kaine Morrison

    No more Companions!
    No more Music Instruments!

  • Kevin Seiden

    Honestly I don’t think it is necessary, but if they do, as long as it isn’t like Midna, definitely the worst companion in the franchise.

    The best companion was, of course, the King of the Red Lions and that wasn’t so bad at all.

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  • Anonymous

    Some are, like Navi and Fi, but even they have their little moments. (Both at the end of the game.) On the other end of the spectrum you’ve got Midna who was an interesting character with a great personality, who didn’t handhold and provided a meaningful and important plot point. Also, I don’t get the thing about hand holding. Yes, Fi tended to give ridiculous amounts of information, but most of her extra stuff was optional, so you could choose to do things without her advice at all. Honestly, I’m not the type of person who likes to sit in front of a wall for a month trying to figure out how to get through it, only to look it up and find out I was at the wrong section of wall.

  • Anonymous

    What’s wrong with Midna? Best companion in the franchise in my opinion. Not only did she have a great personality and actually served a function in the plot, she didn’t constantly give you useless advice.

    King of the Red Lions was good too though. A dry sense of humor, cool design, and he was actually helpful.

  • Anonymous

    I’m normally in favor of a good partner, but I think it might be better for Breaht of the Wild’s open world not to have one.

  • Jupiter Riske

    I never really liked companions to begin with, the fact that this game has no companion (From what we have seen) is great!

  • ErinTheElf

    It could be interesting to see a system like Skyrims companion system in which you could gain companions through side quests, as long as they made them function in a way that doesn’t become annoying then they would be handy and completely optional, that would pretty much solve a lot of the issues

  • HeroXTheXArtist

    Take a moment

    Just a moment

    To think about this.

    Since BotW is gonna have a sorta survival-ish feel to it, what better way to add onto that using a companion than to make them a pet?

    Sure, we’ve got Wolf Link in the game, but he’s intelligent and has the mind of a human, considering how he’s a man in a wolf’s body. But what if we were given a flat out pet? A loyal companion to keep us company along the way? It’ll be perfect for the adventure and survival theme.

  • Having a companion would be a great concept for BotW, but I don’t think it’s an answer that can be answered with a simple yes or no. There have been number of great side-kicks in the past (Midna), but there have been some that are just plain stupid (Navi). Those that have touched our hearts had been really cool to have with us in-game. That being said…. I think Nintendo should put a companion by our side in BotW, but they should seriously think about it before putting a stupid fairy that is more annoying than helpful. Even though there have been some great games, that were just like how BotW is going to be like (Skyrim), that didn’t have companions I think it would be an interesting path that they should take.

  • True

  • Alice Sacco

    The companion is Wolf Link from Twilight princess.

  • Ryan

    Personally, I think a partner would be fine. But not as annoying as Fi. And not as sassy as midna, I think we should actually have a partner such as the soul of Zelda or the ghost and soul being of a hero before this time period such as skyward sword link or the hero of time, from ocarina of time. Thats my opinion…