While we wait for Nintendo to drop more news on us about the last great Wii U epic, Breath of the Wild will continue to spawn discussions about story and such, but what about the details of what we have already seen? Sure, the overall story is a point of great mystery, but the settings, characters, enemies and other elements we know of could sure use some explanations, including one of the most prominent parts of the game as we know it currently: the Guardians. These behemoths seem to play a major part in the game, so naturally, they will have some kind of backstory to them. What do you think the Guardians’ origins may be? What significance do they hold towards the Sheikah, the fall of Hyrule, and Breath of the Wild‘s story as a whole?
This week, the ZD staff take a look at this exact topic. As always, make sure to drop some comments with your own responses!
Jon Lett – View Profile
The Guardians are a strange sort of instance where we have never really seen anything like them before in the series. They are strange, ancient, yet advanced machines with titles that make them sound as though they were originally made with good intentions, but they are attacking like you are the bad guy. They also have designs that resemble that of creatures/mechanisms found in many past dungeons, but the Guardians are wandering about in the open world. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of anything like that, leaving little to compare to. Depending on where Breath of the Wild takes place on the timeline, I imagine that the Sheikah may have made the Guardians when Ganon attacked Hyrule, in an event almost certainly never referenced in a previous game. During the calamity – or immediately after the attack (and therefor after Ganon was sealed away) – the Guardians were built, and left to watch over the Triforce. They were made into statues, likely to remain discreet, or to conserve their power and not decline, should they be needed someday. At least, that is my base theory. Now, there are outlying factors. Why they are now aggressive is up in the air. Perhaps Ganon’s forces, or he himself, “hacked into them”, so to speak. Or perhaps the Sheikah have some ‘splainin’ to do – after all, there are always those in groups that want to do things the hard way. There have been screenshots with Death Mountain in the background, with something large sitting halfway up the mountainside – this is thought by some to be a massive Guardian. If so, that means that at least some specially designed guardians were made, and left in special places, perhaps even left functioning. That, and there are the little ones inside of the Shrines, so clearly, several “models” exist. I expect there is more to these creatures than meets the eye, and in the final game, I think that they will not be awake right off the bat. We will see them awaken before us, and that moment could tell us a lot about their origins, and their current state.
Thomas Jacobs – View Profile
I’m not quite sure what to think of the Guardians. From the looks of it they were once the guardians of the land, perhaps linked with the various dungeons and shrines or even the Triforce itself. They could be created by the Sheikah, or perhaps even divine guidance from the goddesses or Hylia. But everything changed when Calamity Ganon attacked, perverting their once noble purpose and bind them to his will. Now that the kingdom is in ruins the Guardians sleep, waiting for intruders to destroy or the call of their master. I do suspect however that there is more than one type of Guardian, and that we’re going to see more of them. Flying, swimming, climbing, larger ones and more powerful ones are all options for powerful enemies, or perhaps even bosses found throughout the game.
Brandon Schmitz – View Profile
Considering that the markings found on the Guardians match Breath of the Wild’s Sheikah aesthetic, I’m willing to bet that these mechanical crawlers were created by Hylia’s servants. I’m with Jon and Thomas in that I think they were likely built to protect the land from evil. However, as far as their inexplicable hostility goes, I’d rather not find out that they were simply corrupted by the Demon King. Perhaps either their long slumber or some other outside force has affected their ability to distinguish friend from foe. I mean, I’d love to see the Guardians attack not only Link, but also other NPCs throughout the overworld — good and evil alike. That would provide a neat triangle of conflict that the series hasn’t seen before. Of course, they could be similar to Wind Waker’s Gohdan in that they were built by the Gods to test Link. Tough love, you know?