Breathe 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).