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Completing the Trilogy - Breath, Tears, and ???

Joined
Sep 4, 2023
Some may disagree, but I think the Breath of the Wild / Tears of the Kingdom continuity demands an epic conclusion. Tears ended on a great note, but Zelda and the Sages' job was clearly unfinished. The castle is still in shambles. Master Kohga is still out there. The Kingdom of Hyrule still needs restoration - and it needs a Queen.

With all that unfinished business (and the two games' unparalleled success), Nintendo would be insane not to complete this trilogy. What might that look like?

Title

Properly completing the trilogy starts with a title that parallels the others. "Breath of the Wild" and "Tears of the Kingdom" - breath and tears are both things that naturally come out of a body. The only other thing I can think of that fits this category (that would be appropriate for a game title at least...) is blood. So, blood of the what?

Many have probably already reached the same conclusion as me by this point -

Blood of the Goddess

This title would refer to none other than Zelda herself (who has never been directly referenced in a game subtitle before), and specifically her relation to Hylia. The term was spoken explicitly by Demise at the end of SS, and a similar term was spoken by Impa in BOTW when explaining the history of Calamity Ganon. Therefore it would be widely recognized and fit in the context of the franchise.

Themes

If Breath depicted the fall of the kingdom, and Tears the founding, then Blood surely should depict the restoration and the full and final awakening of Zelda's power, i.e., the Triforce that lives within her that she until now has only been able to channel in subtle ways. Yes, the Triforce – conspicuously absent from the last two games – should make a grand reappearance.

The kingdom's restoration and the awakening of the Triforce would be linked to one another metaphorically and literally. Major campaigns ("dungeons") in Lanayru, Eldin, and Faron would result in rediscovery/reawakening of the Triforce of Wisdom, Power, and Courage, respectively. An unprecedented - but IMO long overdue - move would be to allow the player to actually use each Triforce piece, once awakened, as an in-game ability. Much like ultrahand, cryonis, etc., unlocking each Triforce could give the player abilities thematically related to power, wisdom, and courage, that would facilitate the restoration of different aspects of the kingdom:

Power - building structures, reshaping land

Wisdom - order, society, government

Courage - life, spirit, kindness

The "shrines" in this game would be, say, 156 tests of power, wisdom, or courage (52 each), that would bit by bit restore power to the Triforce and, in turn, allow it to be used to help restore different aspects of the kingdom from buildings to social structure to injured or sick individuals (along with every 4 shrine rewards opening up an obligatory heart container or stamina vessel).

The Triforce, however, would not be capable of full physical restoration at any point in the game (possessing an omnipotent artifact doesn't make for a very interesting plot), but it will be revealed that something is blocking its full potential.

Zelda must be an integral character in this process. While it is unlikely Aonuma & Co. will ever relent and make her playable, she should exist as an interactive character in the present for the entire game, not as a trapped damsel nor in the past nor through mere memories.

Also associated with blood is sacrifice - thus a beloved character should die at the conclusion of this game as a sacrifice to destroy the ultimate evil (see below).

Villain and Plot

First off, the villain must not be Ganon(dorf). A third appearance of this, frankly, one-dimensional character in a row would add little by way of drama at this point and cheapen the apparent triumph in Tears.

At first, the villain should not be obvious. As you begin the quest to restore the Kingdom, you will gradually learn that a force is at work trying to stop you and is keeping the Kingdom corrupted. Buildings, even after being rebuilt, continue to crumble (anti-power), towns and governments cannot seem to stay stable (anti-wisdom), and the people suffer from despair and illness (anti-courage).

At some point in the first half of the game, you learn that Kohga and the Yiga clan appear to be responsible for the continued blight. Kohga is no longer a joke. He is doing serious damage and responsible for many deaths and much despair, and rumor is he is trying to unlock an ancient power to corrupt or even destroy the Triforce. Eventually the quest becomes one to find him and bring him to justice.

Once the Triforce has been reassembled and Hyrule put right on the path toward restoration (about 2/3 through the game), Kohga is confronted and, in a rage, despite knowing he should take him back alive to face justice, Link slits his throat with the Master Sword, killing him, as though a dark power momentarily possessed him to do so.

At this point the twist is revealed. In a quest to avenge his master, Kohga had learned of the true nature of Ganondorf's power - the demigod Demise - along with that of Zelda's (literally the blood of the goddess) and Link's (the spirit of the hero). He also knew that Demise's remnant lived on within the Master Sword. Through black magic he devised a way to restore Demise and thus end the world - when the Master Sword spills human blood in anger, the evil trapped within will be reempowered and resurrected.

Thus the Hero's commission of the ultimate anti-courageous act using the Sword of the Goddess - murder - has the effect of restoring Devise, who reveals that from within the Master Sword he has watched for eons, in disgust, as those with the Blood of the Goddess and the Spirit of the Hero squander their gifts to empower the weak and make impotent the strong. His sole desire is to end the bloodline of Hylia permanently, to destroy the Triforce (which he of course cannot use), and to send the world into eternal night.

However, Demise is not the only being in the Master Sword who is revived through this event. Fi awakens from her eternal sleep to whisk Link and the sword away before Demise can destroy them. They return to Zelda, where they determine the steps for the endgame and final confrontation.

The final “real” battle is of course a rematch between the Hero and Demise. For the "cinematic" battle, Zelda uses the Triforce to reawaken her inner power and reemerge as Hylia – in her “glorious” (Demise’s words) divine form, battling Demise in the sky, with Link paragliding alongside providing support (a twist on the prior two cinematic battles in which Zelda supports Link), essentially a rematch of the ancient battle referenced in Skyward Sword between Hylia and Demise with the Hero at her side.

As before, of course, Demise is only defeated but cannot be destroyed through force alone and is once again absorbed into the Master Sword. However, the group realize that mere imprisonment is not an option, as Demise will always just return in some form and/or in the future, manipulating countless "Gannondorf's" along the way to do his bidding. Fi therefore explains that this time, the Master Sword itself must be destroyed - which can only be done – how else? – by casting it back into the fire from which it was forged - Eldin volcano. In a heartbreaking scene, Fi says farewell to the present Link, with the ghosts of all the prior Heroes and wielders of the sword looking on, as he tearfully tosses the sword into the lava.

As Demise's shadow rises from the melting sword and dissipates into the ether, the final curse blocking the Triforce’s efficacy and preventing Hyrule's restoration is lifted. The physical Triforce fully rematerializes high above the caldera, and light spreads over the entire kingdom, restoring the Castle, Castle Town, and the rest of the Kingdom, with the Triforce itself seemingly dissipating throughout the world.

In the final "true" ending (after-credits scene), Zelda is crowned Queen, with Link by her side, both with visible glowing Triforce symbols on their hands, to suggest that the Blood of the Goddess (Triforce of Wisdom) and Spirit of the Hero (Triforce of Courage) live on in them. After a fade, a dimly lit nondescript place is seen, occupied by an equally dimly lit person, whose only visible feature is a hand depicting the Triforce of Power. To whom has Din now chosen to gift her power, and for good or ill?

Why this probably won't happen (even if it should)

Unfortunately, an epic story with this level of drama probably won't happen. While Skyward Sword had arguably the most intricate and dramatic story of any Zelda game, many consider its gameplay to have suffered as a result. Aonuma has since taken an unapologetically opposite "gameplay first, story last" approach with Breath and Tears. Moreover, an explicit acknowledgement of the canon of any game prior to Breath - even Skyward Sword - would be inconsistent with Aounuma's apparent intent to use Tears of the Kingdom to retcon the entire franchise.

For these reasons, I would predict any third installment: 1) would have to be just as open-ended in terms of the quest as Breath and Tears, with only minimal major inflection points that must proceed in a specific order; and 2) would not rely too heavily on canon from games prior to Breath of the Wild.

On the other hand, Tears did demonstrate a willingness to bring in some drama and mandatory-quest-order items (e.g. you cannot unlock the castle “dungeon” and dehydrated Ganondorf’s dramatic reveal before finishing the four regional quests). Skyward Sword also seems like the game that Aonuma is most willing to maintain as canon, with both Breath and Tears clearly referencing an entity living in the Master Sword, and a reference in Breath (by Impa) to an “ancient evil that is reborn time and time again.” Still, acknowleding that any events in SS actually happened literally as depicted in the prior game would be a first for this sub-franchise.

Regardless, I hope reading this sparks some imagination, excitement, and support for a third installment.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2023
Gender
Male
Throwing the Master Sword into Eldin?
That's just ripping off Lord of the Rings. But the Master Sword wasn't made through such methods. Skyward Sword shows this.

I'm not sure how people would feel with shrines returning yet again, and exploring the same (I assume) overworld for a third time.
But Demise returning would be a nice change, though Ghirahim may end up returning as well (and he could be the main villain).
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2023
Ghirahim may end up returning as well
Also I may get shade for saying this but I don't care. Ghirahim was a disgusting homophobic trope whom I found personally offensive. I can't believe they didn't tone that crap down for the remaster. I almost abandoned the franchise because of that in addition to SS's awful gameplay.
 

Bowsette Plus-Ultra

wah
ZD Legend
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Location
Iowa
Gender
Lizard
The Setting: Hyrule, five years after the events of Tears of the Kingdom in a period I would deem reconstruction. After the devastation reaped by the Calamity and the minor inconvenience caused by shirtless Ganon's very brief and isolated return in Tears of the Kingdom, Hyrule has started rebuilding in earnest. Hyrule Castle itself has been reconstructed and restored through the combined efforts of Sheikah engineering and Goron metal work. Around it has sprouted Castle City, the new capitol of Hyrule and current seat of the kingdom's last traceable member of the Hylian royal family: Queen Zelda Bosphoramus Hyrule III.

Hyrule itself is expanding, reclaiming territory lost during the Calamity and then some. Even areas of the wilderness dominated by the bokoblin and moblin tribes are being swallowed up as Hyrule looks to ape the greatness it once held before Ganon emerged and tore the kingdom to shreds.

The Protagonist: Link is, as a much more animated king would put it, living the peace that all true warriors strive for. He's been standing by Princess Zelda's side ever since she was restored from her cursed form as one of the great dragons of Hyrule. He, like the incarnation of him that died inside the Chamber of Resurrection, has been serving as Zelda's personal knight. In addition to his official duties as the blade of Queen Zelda, he is courting Prince Sidon of the Zoran kingdom. At the time of the story's beginning, Sidon is away conducting his duties both as a noble within his realm and as the Sage of Water.

This Link is missing his right arm. Although the arm he lost to Ganon in the beginning of Tears of the Kingdom was temporarily replaced by that of Rauru, first king of Hyrule, that too faded once Rauru and his ilk finally drifted into the afterlife after Ganon's last defeat and sealing. In its place is a mechanical prosthetic created by Purah, famed Sheikah inventor.

Link himself is haunted by dreams that seem almost like visions. Some nights he's below Hyrule Castle again, watching as Ganon reaches out and tears his arm off at the elbow. Sometimes the dreams seem more memory than fantasy, perhaps those of that Link whose body he inherited. More and more Link awakes quick and panicking, as if from a nightmare of his past. As a result, he has become more withdrawn, feeling like an imposter walking around in the body of a boy who died fighting Ganon more than a hundred years ago.

Despite his heroics and the great deeds he accomplished during the Calamity War, Link feels detached. His life began in the Chamber of Resurrection and he feels a certain absence without a family. Despite his victories he is a man with no history and no family to his name.

The Monarch: Queen Zelda was forever changed by her time among the dragons. Although her time as one of the great dragons passed by like a dream, she was still dimly aware of every event unfolding around her. She watched from afar as ten thousand years of Hylian history played out, knowing that any interference on her part might erase the very people she sought to save. She watched helplessly as the kingdom was brought to the brink each time by the battle between Ganon and each incarnation of the Link. While she saw Ganon struck down many times, she was also forced to watch as Links were slain in battle.

Who's to say how many times she saw this cycle play out. Dozens? Hundreds? It's a secret she conceals from her advisors: Mineru, whose spirit now occupies a mechanical doppelganger closer in appearance to her original form, and Purah, the self-proclaimed smartest woman alive. It's a secret she especially keeps from Link, whose face she has seen live and die dozens of times. Zelda has unwittingly begun to detach from her best friend, unable to look him in the eyes after seeing so many versions of him die.

The Antagonist(?):

Although not its leader, Vaati is the face of the Crownsmashers. An accomplished wizard with a penchant for conjuring wind and casting bolts of lightning from her hands, Vaati is the sword of the resistance. Her magic, unlike the more sorcerous power of Zelda and the pact-bound magic granted to Ganon by Demise, is the result of years of study and careful planning, the result of careful hand movements, sigils, and words of power.

She is also Link's great niece, a child of a child of one of Link's now forgotten siblings.

Though the gap in their age has been nullified by the coma Link fell into after his death one hundred years ago, she recognizes something about him from their first meeting, Although she's heard of the Link, she's never been near him before, never close enough to recognize that there's something about him that she just knows.

The Plot: It's been five years since the second fall of Ganon and someone is detonating bombs in Castle City.

Known secondhand as the Crownsmashers (or maybe something less dumb, I dunno), an armed resistance within Hyrule has emerged in response to the crowning of Queen Zelda. Despite Zelda's claim to the thrown and status as last legitimate royal heir, Hyrule has been without a monarch for almost 120 years. During that century local governments rose up to replace the hierarchy that collapsed after Ganon's return. Despite public appearances, treaties, and Zelda's status as a hero of the Calamity War, there is distrust of the old system returning. Many of Hyrule's older survivors have vivid memories of the Hylian military's command structure being overrun by their own mechanical Guardians shortly before the military was scattered and the royal family slaughtered.

Among the Crownsmashers is a powerful wizard by the name of Vaati, whose spells thunder with such resonance that they might be confused for true lightning. She is the public face of the resistance, a hooded figure with pale purple skin and a penchant for dramatic crimes. Restless and ill at ease from the dark clouds haunting his dreams, Link begins investigating the Crownsmashers despite Zelda's insistence that her personal guard can handle it. Something about Vaati is familiar, a memory dancing on the tip of his tongue.

Link's critical story path would revolve around reconciling with the life of the body he now occupies. The early events of Age of Calamity, the slaughter of moblins and bokoblins outside Castle Town just before Impa and Tarreko showed up to disrupt the timeline, would prove critical in him reconciling that past version of Link with the one that now lives.

Perhaps even a realization that the Link before him was not a hero, not really.

Outside of Castle City, the moblin and bokoblin tribes have begun to coalesce and organize for the first time in more than a hundred years, and seem to be working alongside the Crownsmashers. An existential threat stands before this new fledgling Hyrule. Meanwhile Zelda sees it necessary to tighten her grip on the kingdom in the wake of these violent attacks on the capitol. She has seen the cycle of chosen three play out over and over again, leaving countless dead in its wake. If she can use that knowledge, even if it means making the people hate her, maybe she can find a way to subvert the eternal battle of the hero's spirit and the Calamity once and for all.

In the wake of increasing resistance from the Crownsmashers, the monster tribes, and even from Link himself, Queen Zelda begins escalating. She watched over Hyrule for 10,000 years. She's seen things that go beyond the generational lifespan. She's seen the cycle play out a thousand times, but no one else has her perspective. In an effort to build a strong foundation and quell the cycle of Demise and the hero's spirit, Zelda constructs a crown capable of uniting the remaining Guardian forces under one singular control: hers.

The Guardians are the greatest fighting force Hyrule has ever known, and she's determined to direct them against Ganon should he rise again. With Purah's assistance she has integrated the control system into her body, ensuring it cannot be hijacked as the Calamity once managed. Even as she feels herself slipping further away from her humanity, she feels assured that Hyrule will be its strongest under her protection.

Even if she must protect it from itself.

It's a direction Zelda desperately wants to avoid, but one she sees as inevitable. Hyrule may come to see her as the villain, but she has committed her life to destroying Ganon and his ilk for good. She will go down in history as the villain if it means she can save the people and the kingdom she cares for.

I'd write it as a story about a Queen Zelda who begins the game with benevolent intentions, but whose time among the dragons damaged her perspective. She no longer views the world from through the slight lens of a mortal life, but through that of an immortal dragon who has watched countless die across untold millennia. From her perspective she's watching her best friend lose his faith in her, choosing to side with upstart rebels who just don't get it.

I don't know how I'd structure it, but I've an idea: I'd use the champions as bosses. Even though everyone wants to be on the same side, Link ultimately has to draw a line in the sand between himself and Zelda. She's his best friend and he loves her, but he can't trade lives the way she wants to.

I'd structure the game and the multiple(!) endings around how connected Link is with Vaati and his extended family by the end of the game, and whether or not the player obeys the button prompt during the final battle to use Finishing Blow on Zelda. Should the player beeline it to the ending without engaging with the story then they will know they're in some for something down.

1) Drowning (or Bad+) - The worst ending the player can achieve. Link kills Zelda and does not bond with his family and friends (via sidequest stuff): after the death of his best friend Link begins to disassociate. Even as proclamations are being made by both new and old Hylian leadership about the direction the kingdom will take, Link tunes out. It's all white noise to him now.

We cut to Link in a tavern surrounded by the friends and family he made along the way, but he's detached. In a sea of friendship and family he can only grieve. From off camera the bloodied hand of Zelda reached out and gently touches him on the wrist. She smiles sadly at him, but the gaping and bloody wound in her abdomen reminds Link of everything he's lost.

2) Uncertainty - The second "worst" ending, in which Link uses the Finishing Blow on Zelda, but has spent time bonding with his newfound family throughout the events of the game. Like in the Drowning ending, Link begins to disassociate. The death of his best friend threatens to undo him even as Hyrule starts to recover from a conflict that nearly tore it apart.

We cut to the same tavern with the same group of friends and family. Even now Link begins to tune out. An apparition of Zelda smiles sadly at him... but then Vaati jostles Link on the arm. She says something to him, pulling him into a conversation about something or other. Link comes back from the brink. The white noise that threatened to pull him below the surface seems to vanish, as does the ghostly apparition of Zelda. It's an uncertain ending, but with the possibility of renewal.

3) Renewal - The second best ending. If the player ignores the button prompt telling them to use the Finishing Blow, but did not complete the side quests necessary to bond Link to his friends and family then Zelda then she rises to her feet battered and bloody. For the first time she seems aware of her surroundings, of how she and Link were about to kill each other. In that moment the fight goes out of her. The magic-mechanical guardians thrum into inactivity. Zelda, tears welling in her eyes, says, "How did things get so messed up between us?"

The battle ends, but the damage is done. Although Zelda justified her actions as a necessary sacrifice to kill Demise, she will be remembered as a monarch of death. Vaati and the other freedom fighter leave her fate to the people. The people choose to cast her out. Although she will be remembered for her heroics during the Age of Calamity, she will be banished from Hyrule she once helped save.

Link goes with her. There's a sad uncertainty to the exchange, but with a note of hope. Zelda reached a dangerous precipice from which she threatened to spill over and become something horrifying. As she and Link stand in a prairie meant to evoke the true ending of Breath of the Wild, Zelda mentions that she's heard word from one Hyrule's neighboring kingdoms: a scheming witch calling herself Veran has been enthralling the Labrynna with her power.

Perhaps that's where things can begin anew.

4) Redemption (or Good+) - The best ending, occurring only if the player chose not only to ignore the button prompt to use Finishing Blow on Zelda, but also spend the game bonding with Vaati and the rest of Link's extended family. Like in Renewal, Zelda's fate is placed in the hands of the people of Hyrule. Unlike the previous ending, Link's close relations with his friends and family convince people to speak out. Yes, Zelda has done terrible things. No, she will never be able to properly atone for the lives she has taken, but there has been enough death this day.

Even as Zelda stands on the gallows expecting death, Hyrule votes. She will spend the rest of her days atoning for the deeds she's done by teaching the children of Hyrule not just of the past, but how they can change the future. She is to spend the rest of her days in Hateno Village... as a teacher.

I like to think that Zelda smiles a little bit as she tears up. Maybe I'm a little bit tired and a little bit drunk, but I think it's an ending that ties nicely into her beginnings in TotK.

---

And that's all I've got. I figure whatever resistance is there would include classics like Ashei and Auru.

There will be no shrines in this game and all the towers have been climbed. While I'd have the shrines still be physically present, they are closed off and inert. Some have already begun the slow process of being reclaimed by earth. I'd keep the original map, but include hand drawn modifications to it that have been clearly produced by Link. So you might see the regular TotK map, but where Hyrule Castle once was you'd see a paper version hastily taped over with Link's own attempt at recreating the scale of Hyrule City in map form.

The big thing is that the game can't just be the same plot again. It's no secret that I thought TotK's plot was bad, but one of the worst parts of that bad plot is that it ends almost the exact same way BotW does, right down to Zelda turning to the camera and giving Link a dumb look before she's kidnapped again.

Any plot, especially the final entry in a trilogy, should end with the characters radically changed.

I dunno. Maybe call it Blood of the Crown or something. :eyes:
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 5, 2011
Ah... it's funny because there is a fanfiction I had in mind that could serve as a potential third installment.

So... what would it be called. I know Blood seems to be the word everyone is thinking... except here's what I noticed.

Breath of the Wild feels like it matches Link. His first breath after 100 years and journeying into the wilds of Hyrule.
Tears of the Kingdom feels like it matches Zelda. Her tears as the light dragon are scattered throughout Hyrule, a kingdom that has been plagued by the same evil man for over 10,000 years.

So... with that in mind, I think the title should fit Ganondorf. So... my title idea is...

The Legend of Zelda: Soul of the Darkness

The word soul is going to play a big role in the story.

Be warned, this will get somewhat dark and very "fanfictiony".

Premise:
It's set 2 years after Tears of the Kingdom and Zelda is about a week away to be fully coronated as the queen. Much like Tears, it starts with her and Link in the midst of something. She wakes him up and has him walk through the now refurbished Hyrule Castle. This will be important later when the game proper starts.
Much like Skyward Sword, the happy times are interrupted when the Yiga stage their attack.
Link, like Tears, will have full health and this serves as the tutorial for combat.
After defeating the Yiga, Zelda thanks Link and is about to ask him something important when someone else attacks.
That someone is... looking like Astor.
...
Okay... let me explain something I'm sure people are going to ask. "Oh but wait! Wasn't Astor a non-canon character from Age of Calamity and wouldn't he have died in the Calamity... if not by age as it's been like 107 years at this point?!"
I'm just saying they look like him because I need someone to take this character's place. Let's just say he's the original Astor's great grandson or something. His name doesn't even need to be Astor, it could be Bob... I'm just calling him Astor for convenience.
...
In any case, Astor will come for Link and Zelda, and he's being guided by a dark entity that reveals itself to be Ganondorf's dark soul. Before Link could fight, Astor casts a spell that weakens him, depleting his hearts back to 3 before using an artifact called the time gate on him.
Once Link awaken, Hyrule Castle has changed completely. It's now darker, filled with monsters, and Ganondorf is alive and well, if not looking different.
Link is rescued by someone who was struck down in the process. It's revealed to be Paya, now 100 years older. She explains that Link has been sent 100 years into the future.
Like BOTW and Tears, Link goes through 4 shrines... but this time it's different. Each shrine is basically a mini-dungeon with a red tint, each one earning Link a ball of fire called a "Soldier's Soul".
To make a long... rather dark story short... after Link was thrown into the future, Astor the third/fourth/fifth/whatever was part of a small cult that worshipped Ganon and, after Calamity's defeat and Ganondorf's return, they considered outright killing Link and Zelda in an outright battle, but the spirit of Ganondorf prioritized rebirth... before an idea struck. They considered reincarnating him as the child of either the hero or the princess, they chose the princess.
You probably figured it out, the current Ganondorf is the son of Astor and Zelda, who only wed on his terms as to avoid the death of anyone in the kingdom. Like previous games, you will uncover memories, this time mostly of the reincarnated Ganondorf, though there is the hint that you're seeing them from Zelda's perspective, who watches and hopes that this child will not end up as his past life.
After completing the shrines, it revealing those were the souls of the 120 soldiers who were loyal only to Zelda and helping them cross over is how you get your hearts and stamina back, Paya passes on. Before she does, she reveals the time gate was not destroyed but deactivated. The power source was destroyed, but there is one thing that could probably power it back up... the Triforce.
Zelda's ancestral power, revealed to be the golden power itself, was scattered prior to her own passing. She has made sure to keep the pieces contained in special domes that only Link can open... but each of them are guarded by Ganondorf's monsters. There are... 8 in total, two for each piece and two extras. Link must find them and use them to reactivate the gate, which is in Hyrule Castle (and that's why you and Zelda had a tour of it in the beginning, to familiarize yourself with the newly redesigned castle).
You're also given a pendant that grants you your new new rune power. It's called the Soul Stone. Not sure what powers you get, probably extensions of those we've seen so far. However, one of them is going to be a hookshot like ability that upgrades into double clawshots.
One idea is that Link can take on tame more animals than before and maybe now he can fuse his weapons onto them as a form of armor.

Yes, you can FINALLY pet the doggo.

Setting:
Big shocker, we're back in Hyrule...
Now, you might ask "What's different?" Well, thanks to Ganondorf's new reign, Hyrule now has bigger cities, with Zonai tech powered by malice/gloom/whatever-it-gets-called-here, necessitating the new rune powers.
But wait! TOTK added sky and depths... what do we add here?
Nothing... because we're not stacking stuff... we're expanding it. Yes, the map will increase by half its size, giving us more room in this future. It actually makes sense in story, as those who refuse Ganondorf's reign left Hyrule's borders. Along with finding the way home, Link will also help restore damaged homes like Goron City and Zora's Doman, to return them to their rightful owners.
I also figure this is where we can bring back other races or expand on what we got... but let's meet the important ones and the sages.

Shiekah: While the Yiga will be a thing here, now led by Kohga's daughter, the Shiekah will remain prominent. In the absence of Paya, they are now led by her granddaughter, Impa. Unlike Paya, Impa will be a more steadfast and serious minded individual who starts out somewhat dismissive of Link like her Skyward Sword incarnation. However, Link's continued assistance causes a shift in her attitude. She becomes the Sage of Shadows.

Korok: The Korok are now banned from their own forest but their loyalty with Link remains. We will have Hestu still be around, now older and wiser. He is the Sage of Forest.

Rito: Having become the resistance's best warriors, they are much more hardened, being somewhat unwelcoming to Link at first. They're led by Tulin's son, who has a more welcoming granddaughter named... let's call her Tula. She is the Sage of Winds.

Goron: Having become a much less combative race, the Gorons are the most welcoming of Link. Their Chief's son, who we'll just call Darun, is the Sage of Fire.

Zora: They have now become a neutral party that lives outside of Hyrule. Link shows them the way to get them back to saving the kingdom. The first prince, which I'm gonna call Pescal, is the Sage of Water.

Mogma: Okay, you're probably wondering "Where are the Gerudo?" Well... their race went extinct by Ganondorf as revenge after he claimed the throne. The Mogma, revealed to not be extinct, have taken residence in the desert. They're at first only in it for the treasures, only for their leader to decide he wants his people to have a better life. He is Chief Copro, the Sage of Earth.

The sage powers can be similar to the ones from before, but maybe they now come with third forms?
Anyway... here's what I have in mind. Shiekah, invisibility. Korok, ability to grow fruit for health or cooking. Goron, temporary invincibility. Rito, gusts of wind from any direction. Zora, underwater breathing. Mogma, a dome shield.
Enemies:

Monsters:
We can keep all from the past two, but I'd like to add... two more.
Darknuts. These will be Ganondorf's top enforcers, with them wearing armor Link has to chip away before he can truly defeat them. I'm making them dogmen like in The Wind Waker.
Kagarocs. Because... to quote Marge Simpson, I just think they're neat.

Overworld Bosses:
We'll retain all the overworld bosses from BOTW that remained in TOTK, along with the Gleeoks. We'll also add a new monster to become a pseudo guardian.
Iron Knuckles. We'll make them as big as Guardians and they're essentially robots powered by Ganondorf's dark soul. They're armed with giant axes and maybe ball & chains for long range.

Bosses:

Each of them are monsters given life thanks to Ganondorf corrupting animals with his soul. You will notice abilities that don't mesh with their surroundings. The idea is that the bosses are like an invasive species, representing how Ganondorf's soul corrupted Hyrule by placing monsters in environments where they basically took the very soul of their locations. Each of their destructions brings the races they drove away home, save for the gone Gerudo.

Corrupted Dragon of the Future - Aquamentus
I figure it was time to give the OG boss his due by turning a simple lizard into him. As the boss associated with the Korok, he's a fire breathing dragon that destroyed the Deku tree. I imagine he moves more like the dragons of How to Train Your Dragon from Dreamworks, very cat-like. He won't fly like the original, but maybe have him swim in the water as a means of trying to avoid direct attacks until he pounces out. I imagine him being the much easier boss of the game, perfect for people new or just want to work their way up.
Corrupted Wolf of the Future - Fenrius
I noticed a severe lack of mammalian bosses that aren't Ganon, so I decided to fix that. This is the creature that froze Death Mountain, turning it into a colder climate. The wild canines of the game? Imagine a bigger one that freezes upon touch and has ice breath. Maybe its second stage will have the ice be spikier on its body as it stands upright.
Corrupted Wasp of the Future - Waspula
Basically a wasp version of Mothula, created from the bees. This one shoots electrified stingers, so you can see why it drove out the Zora. For its second form, I imagine its entire body gets electrified and you'll have to find ways to cancel that out.
Corrupted Fox of the Future - Vixxis
A large fox creature that preyed on the Rito. It's not as big as the other bosses but makes up for it with speed. It fights with blasts of fire, causing the Rito who normally dress for colder climates to pass out from heat exhaustion. For its second form, it has nine tails and performs more fire based attacks.
Corrupted Mantis of the Future - Kamitana
A mantis in a samurai-like armor that drove out the Shiekah when his armor proved difficult to remove due to him being as fast, if not faster, than they are. This would be a more human-like battle akin to fighting Ganondorf in TOTK.
Corrupted Falcon of the Future - Helmaroc King
The beast that brought the Gerudo to extinction when it blew away the desert and buried the town in sand. It now preys of the Mogma.
Corrupted Knight of the Future - Shadonut
A knight of Hyrule who was kept alive only to be driven mad before being turned into a Darknut-like monster. It guards Zelda's tombstone, where Link will get the last sage power, which is light magic.

Weapons:
All of them come back... but you may have noticed I didn't mention the Master Sword. It didn't travel with Link, and Astor depleted its power. If you can gain at least 3 pieces of the Triforce and have at least 7 hearts, you can replenish it and use it.

Memories:
As said, there would be memories like before. They'd likely be found thanks to a map found in game and an indicator, like a statue of some kind.
The memories are as followed: Right after Link's disappearance, Astor makes his demands of Zelda's hand in marriage. Once he leaves, they realize they have no means to get Link home... not yet anyway. Followed by the wedding, then cut to the sounds of her giving birth to the reincarnated king of demons, noticing the child doesn't have said memories yet so she hopes to steer him in the right direction, followed by him turning evil thanks to his father's influence and his past self starting to seep in. The final memory is Zelda being executed along with Astor, who begs for his life upon realizing he's no longer useful.
Link then realizes the Soul Stone contains Zelda's soul itself and that she's been guiding him the entire time to get him home.

Finale:
To get to this part, you will need at least one piece of each of the three Triforce pieces. You will go to Ganondorf's sky castle, where he truly rules. Turns out he has the gate.
He also has powers like Link's rune abilities. First stage is a one-on-one, second is his new Demon King form but now he uses rune powers. The final is where he decides to abuse that power and fuses himself with a Bulbo, which is his preferred steed, making him a more classic Ganon, being a hulking boar-like monster.
The gate is destroyed, depriving Link of a way home. This can go of two ways.
Link defeats Ganon and the game ends on a bitter sweet tone as he has no way home... at least not yet.
Or, if you have all the pieces of the Triforce...
Zelda realizes from their travels the Triforce can grant the user who isn't of royal blood one wish. Since Ganondorf reincarnated as a member, he can't use it. Link uses to go home at the exact point where he was sent away. A portal opens Link returns, much to present Zelda's surprise. Link and Ganon continue their fight in the present, where it ends with Ganon trying one last time to kill Link, but present Zelda gets him out of the way in time, killing Astor by mistake. With the man who fathered his current form dead, Ganon and the dark future disappear. Present Ganondorf's angered spirit fades away, vowing revenge on Link and Zelda. The Soul Stone disappears, with future Zelda relieved it's finally over before fading.
(A soul of a deceased member of the royal family fading away is kind of a tradition at this point for the games)
Before the end credits, Link has told Zelda what he went through. She's unable to believe she'd ever have a child with Ganondorf's minions, much less to reincarnate her most hated enemy, but is relieved that her future self's plan works. It's revealed to be the morning of her becoming queen and then tells Link something she wanted to tell him.

The trilogy ends with Link being out of the country for a mission. Zelda, in royal garb, awaits him. We hear the sound of a baby crying that she calls Rhoam, implying that this is their son.

So... kind of a first draft idea... but this is more or less what I'd have in mind for a third game in the hypothetical trilogy.
 

Bowsette Plus-Ultra

wah
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Yes! Anyone who can date a hot girl and then date her even hotter brother 100 years later is definitely worthy of the title Wielder of the Master Sword. :ham:
That's always been my head-canon for the series. I think people like Sidon for the same reason people like Solaire in Dark Souls: he's one of the few genuinely nice and optimistic people in an otherwise bleak setting, so obviously Link wants to get railed wants to hug him.
 
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I love "Lidon" but of course that would require Nintendo to stop treating its audience like the average age is 10 (and would also get the game banned in Florida...).

On some other comments:

Re: Shrines
I would like to see more expansive principal dungeons and more of them (8 seems like a good number) but Aonuma has said that the current format is going to continue in lieu of the old format. To me that means open world, largely open plot, a modest number of principal dungeons, and 100+ mini dungeons or "shrines". I put "shrines" in quotes in my treatment above because I agree they don't need to literally be shrines like before. But for better or worse I don't think the concept is going to go away. So I thought I'd embrace the inevitable and fit that into my plot. Hence each "shrine" would contribute toward reawakening the Triforce and restoring the kingdom, rather than just being a "test" of some kind that does nothing else but contribute to your health/stamina.

Re: Map
I can see why some would think the next game shouldn't use the same map, given how popular Majora's Mask was. But bear in mind this game would almost certainly be on the next gen console, and so you can imagine some heavy asset upgrades (of which there were almost none between BOTW and TOTK) would be in order. So it wouldn't be the same map exactly. Plus as the kingdom is restored, the map would change as more buildings and inhabitants are added to the more "wild" areas, which would recursively open up more "stuff to do". So while the raw geography would be the same, the world would hardly be static.

That said, I could imagine adding the "Golden Realm" (the original residence of the Triforce) as another quasi-parallel world like the Depths were. This might be where a big chunk of the game (notably the "shrines") takes place. After all the Dark World in LTTP was a parallel world and was supposed to be the Golden Realm after being corrupted by Ganondorf, so it would be consistent with the legend that such a place would exist in this continuity. The plot could open with the discovery of the Golden Realm by Link and Zelda and the realization that this place holds the key to restoring the physical Triforce and with it the Kingdom. (That is, of course, unless Aonuma has already decided the Golden Realm was supposed to be a metaphor for the Zonai Sky Islands and the Triforce the Secret Stones this whole time, which I think likely...)

Finally regarding the map, if the 3rd installment didn't take 6 years to complete, I'd be a lot more willing to accept the same map and same assets. But ultimately if it does take place in Hyrule and is the same continuity as Breath and Tears, I don't see changing the map for change's sake being a great idea. Imagine if Kakariko were in yet another random location? Maybe Spectacle Rock can be in Faron Woods this time around... No thanks.

Re: Title
I like "Soul" too! I hadn't thought of that as I was thinking of physical things, but "Breath", "Tears", and "Soul" works as a trilogy too.
 
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Re: Shrines
I would like to see more expansive principal dungeons and more of them (8 seems like a good number) but Aonuma has said that the current format is going to continue in lieu of the old format. To me that means open world, largely open plot, a modest number of principal dungeons, and 100+ mini dungeons or "shrines". I put "shrines" in quotes in my treatment above because I agree they don't need to literally be shrines like before. But for better or worse I don't think the concept is going to go away. So I thought I'd embrace the inevitable and fit that into my plot. Hence each "shrine" would contribute toward reawakening the Triforce and restoring the kingdom, rather than just being a "test" of some kind that does nothing else but contribute to your health/stamina.
Tears had 7 dungeons (I count any location that ends with a boss and a heart piece as a dungeon, so Hyrule Castle and forming the robot for Mineru counts) I figure adding one more would be a logical next step.

So, screw it... while I'm here, may as well discuss DLC for Soul of the Darkness.
We don't know how much DLC Tears might get, but both Breath and Age got 2 seasons of it. Other Nintendo titles like Smash and Pokemon got the same, so I'm operating on the same idea.

DLC 1: Gerudo's Last Gift
This will open up a smaller area Link can visit, akin to the Isle of Armor in Sword and Shield. To the very South East of Hyrule, you will meet a traveler who offers to take Link to a location outside of Hyrule for a sort of "gift".
Link is taken to Riju, which is a settlement that is home to those who are of Gerudo descent, mostly 1/4 since those of pure blood have long since died out. However, Chief Riju's current descendent, we'll just call her Nabora, realizes Link is the original champion sent through time. She believes that he should give up on finding a way home and be her consort, promising a powerful child to help them conquer Hyrule. Naturally, he would decline. Essentially, most of the Gerudo descendants will have devolved back to being villains. One, however, wants to aid. It's, ironically, a male that I'm just going to call Dragmire, as that's Ganondorf's last name and figure it'd be hilarious that the male is the good guy for once. He becomes a sort of backup sage, Sage of Spirit.
He leads Link to a sacred treasure the Gerudo were hiding for Link before ages caused their descendants to go corrupt.
It's basically the Trial of the Sword from BOTW's first pack. However, this time it's a dungeon proper than more shrines.
The dungeon itself would probably be something akin to a pyramid.
Guardian of the Sword's Power - Shadow Link
A sort of test for Link like in Zelda II. Link will fight Dark Link, or Shadow Link in this case, to earn the power-up for the Master Sword, which basically unlocks a power that turns it gold and deals double damage. There'd be a long time so it's not like you can abuse it, to be clear.

DLC 2: The Northern Tundra
So, totally ripping off Sword and Shield here, but I'm having the last DLC set in a frozen environment.
Set North of Hyrule, we see those descended from those who left Hyrule living amongst... the Yetis.
Twilight Princess featured two of them, so I decided "Let's add more". Probably like 10, with one, let's call him Yeto like the one from Twilight Princess, being another backup sage, Sage of Ice.
It's there you'll find another dungeon, one that has something Zelda left Link to help him on his quest but it wasn't finished. The Yeti helped finish it for her.
Guardian of the Final Gift - Blight Dragon
Link is confronted with an imposter Zelda who claims he abandoned her to an evil man who used her to bring destruction to the world. Link battles with her and lands one hit before she turns into the actual boss, a dark copy of the Light Dragon that she once was. Now, instead of getting materials for Link, he battles this creature. Once Link defeats her, the imposter tells him that it was all a test. He's then given the final gift... an immortal Loftwing. It's red like the one of Skyward Sword and can be tamed and stored at the stables. Kinda breaks the game, but since it's DLC and you'd more than likely only be able to unlock it after you complete the main quest before the final boss, it'd be alright.
 

Bowsette Plus-Ultra

wah
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OOF, that would definitely cause a rift between fans if that did happen.
I tend to see it just as Link having a life, relationships, and interests. Fiction tends to put a lot of emphasis on the drama of either getting together or breaking up, but I'd rather just see something stable.

And Sidon just so happens to be the most charismatic person Link meets. :eyes:
 

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