Posted on May 24 2020 by Andy Spiteri
It seems like so, so long ago that Nintendo so thrillingly revealed the sequel to the mega-hit Switch game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It was a moment I’ll personally never forget, as I sat there, covering it live for Zelda Dungeon, excited and giddy at the possibilities from a successor to what had quickly become one of my favorite games ever. I remember thinking that it was unlikely that we would see any more information or get any more tidbits until E3 2020.
Unfortunately, E3 is not happening this year, and it looks like many a game are going to suffer setbacks and delays due to worldwide events. Rumors would have you believe that there are not going to be any new Nintendo Directs for the foreseeable future either, so unless we get a random shadow drop trailer (here’s looking at you Paper Mario!) it looks pretty unlikely that we’re going to see the anticipated sequel this year. Our wait for Breath of the Wild 2 will have to be a little longer it seems.
That’s okay though — because it gives us even more time to daydream about all the things we want in the sequel!
In order to celebrate the almost-one-year anniversary of the Sequel Trailer dropping, we polled all of the writers at Zelda Dungeon and asked them a very simple question: “What’s the ONE THING you want most in Breath of the Wild 2?”
Now, we did put some asterisks beside the question. Yes, I think we all want better, more traditional dungeons. Yes, a game with a more focused story and nuanced characters is a common desire. Yes, many of us aren’t in love with the music, or lack thereof. And yes, we’ve all had a weapon break at the most inopportune time. We get that. But being a team of people who are in the know about Zelda, we challenged or staff to get deep with their picks, to really analyze and come out with one very specific thing that they wanted to see from Breath of the Wild‘s sequel.
Without further ado, here is what the staff had to say.
Give Non-Playable Characters Some Agency
Rod Lloyd, Managing Editor – “Early in my adventure in Breath of the Wild, I came across a pair of non-player characters named Mils and Mina. After saving them from a mob of Bokoblins, I learned that this brother-and-sister team were treasure hunters and they had set out on a quest to find a big score. After this initial meeting, I expected to again meet them down the road, and I equally expected that they would be closer to their goal. Well, while I did once again run into the duo in another region of Hyrule, it seemed that, despite travelling from one part of the world to another like I had, they were no more closer to finding their big score than they had been when they first met me.
It seemed to me that these NPC’s, though giving the impression that they had agency — motivations and agendas — beyond my actions, would never progress, would never accomplish their task, would never do anything beside meet me on the side of the road. This realization only crystallized when I saw them again at the site of our first meeting, once again being accosted by Bokoblins as if time had changed nothing. These NPC’s truly had no lives beyond my shallow interactions with them.
In Breath of the Wild 2, I want to see NPC’s travelling the overworld progress in their own journeys as I progress through mine. Perhaps after saving them from an enemy ambush or completing a minor side quest for them, they would move on to a new location and a new leg of their own quest. With a system similar to Dark Souls, in which NPC’s move from one location to another and conduct their own business mostly independent from the player, or even Majora’s Mask, in which NPC’s have a set schedule to adhere to, I feel that the world of Breath of the Wild 2 would feel that much more alive.”
More Details on Calamity Ganon’s Origins
Charles Xavier, Editor – “Ever since we saw the E3 trailer for Breath of the Wild‘s sequel last year, the question of Calamity Ganon’s origins has been in the forefront of my mind. Seeing what appears to be the corpse of Ganondorf sealed away, leaking Malice, makes me wonder what circumstances led him to this fate, and how Calamity Ganon plays into this development.
Calamity Ganon’s origins were left up in the air; even his motives for taking control of the Divine Beasts don’t seem to fit any clear endgame, beside being an attempt to re-manifest with a physical body. However, with the implications of the Breath of the Wild 2 trailer, how would that plan have worked in regards to his sealed-away corpse, if it had any correlation to it at all? Furthermore, usually Ganondorf/Ganon’s plotting revolves around gaining the Triforce, yet this didn’t seem to be the case with Calamity Ganon. Does he even still want possession of the Triforce, or has he moved past his hunt for that relic?
My hope is that this sequel tackles these questions, giving resolution to the plot of Breath of the Wild and its 10,000 year backstory as well.”
Bring Back Classic Enemies
Sean Gadus, Associate Editor – “While Breath of the Wild marked the triumphant return of Lynels, the game does not have the most diverse cast of enemies. The weapon-wielding enemies are limited to different varieties of Bokoblins, Moblins, and Lizalfos, along with monsters like Keese, Wizzrobes and Chu Chus. Overall, there are many iconic Zelda enemies that could add variety to Breath of the Wild’s sequel and make their own grand re-introductions to Nintendo’s iconic franchise.
For example, weapon combat could be enhanced further with the reintroduction of Darknuts, Iron Knuckles, and Stalmasters. These enemies could serve as dramatic tests in weapon combat with new attack patterns that break up the monotony of fighting the ordinary Bokoblins, Moblins, and Lizalfos. Other enemies that are due for a return include the Skulltula, Tektites, and Redeads. These enemies are begging to be redesigned in the open-air style of Breath of the Wild, where they could roam distinct areas and exhibit more elaborate behaviors. This is a great opportunity for the developers to satisfy long-time Zelda fans and live up to the insane hype surrounding Breath of the Wild 2.”
A Playable Prequel Tutorial Section
Kristen Rosario, News Editor – “One of the things that hooked me in Breath of the Wild were all the story cutscenes set before the events of the game. While I didn’t care much for how the story was told, the interactivity between Link, Princess Zelda, and the other Champions was a treat to see. That’s why it would be really cool if, either just at the beginning of the sequel or perhaps sprinkled throughout, there are sections where you are thrown back in time and taught how to use a specific item or skill.
I’ve wanted to explore the whole “Before Section” of Breath of the Wild as it were and get a chance to walk around a pre-Calamity Hyrule myself. Maybe the player could either learn from Princess Zelda herself or one of the Champions (i.e. Mipha teaching Link how to swim underwater) during some form of training flashback. Heck, if Princess Zelda is (hopefully) playable, maybe the player could learn their survival skills from Urbosa? At least getting to do any of this will let us explore, in some form, what came before the Calamity.”
Alison Brunyee, Editor – “Apparently 80% of the oceans on Earth are still unmapped and unexplored. As humans, we are fascinated by the unknown and adventure. So, for a game about exploration, it was a shame that Breath of the Wild did not allow you to dive down into the depths to see what you could find. For the sequel I definitely want to see this put right. Yes, under the sea could be gorgeous with coral, fish, dolphins, and manta rays, but there is also potential for new areas.
Revealed back in 2018, concept art for six Divine Beasts that didn’t make the cut showed a beast that looked like a giant whale. I think it would be great to uncover this Divine Beast at the bottom of the sea and get it working again! A mini submarine based on Sheikah technology could be an alternative to equipment that allows Link to breathe underwater. I would love to see a sunken ship that could be plundered, a city on a similar theme to the lost city of Atlantis, or sea caves leading to where the Zora might be hiding.”
A Home Base For Bonding
Brandon Schmitz, Associate Editor – “Throughout the past decade or so, my affinity for character-centric RPG’s has skyrocketed. Titles such as Mass Effect, Fire Emblem, and Persona have become all-time favorites, standing toe-to-toe with the best of Link’s adventures. That’s due in no small part to the richness of those games’ party members, as they provide myriad opportunities to bond with your crew both in and outside of combat.
Now, I’m not suggesting that Breath of the Wild 2 go full-on Xenoblade Chronicles, party members and all — given how freely Link was able to traverse the overworld last time around, I can’t imagine how a hypothetical party of three could keep up! That said, it’d be great if Ganondorf’s return gave rise to a group comparable to the Resistance from Twilight Princess. I’d love to see a far more fleshed out version of Telma’s bar — a hideout or camp in which these folks constantly have new, meaningful things to say throughout the Hylian Hero’s journey. Heck, they could even aid Link in combat at various — likely scripted — points. Without a proper companion such as Midna or Fi, this could provide a refreshing middle ground — a chance for us to connect with a small yet endearing group of characters on a more frequent basis than Breath of the Wild’s Champions.”
Nailing the Voice of Ganondorf
John Piland, Editor – “With the inclusion of voice acting in Breath of the Wild, Ganondorf will inevitably speak in the upcoming sequel. But… what will he sound like? Who will play him? For such a major and iconic villain, it is crucial to get the right talent (note this is so for all languages, though my focus is on the English localization).
Personally, I’d like to see Sam Witwer (voice of Darth Maul in Star Wars: the Clone Wars) voice the Great King of Evil, who is an extremely talented voice actor with a lot of range, though I’m not sure he’ll be able to match how previous games’ Ganondorf sounded in grunts and such…. If that is Nintendo’s goal. I’m also not sure if Nintendo would be able to acquire him, even if they wanted to. In any case, I also feel Keith Silverstein, with his work as the voice of Masayoshi Shido from Persona 5, makes a compelling case for himself as a potential King of Evil.
Narrowing the selection down to talent in the video game and anime industries is probably best, though even then, there’s a great deal of potential Ganondorfs. I imagine Nintendo faced or will face a lot of bountiful auditions whenever the time to pick a voice for Ganondorf comes. Whatever the case, they must be careful, for they wouldn’t want to “mess up” the inevitable experience of fans hearing Ganondorf’s villainous voice grace their ears for the first time ever. ”
Resolution for the Link and Zelda Romance
Alexandria Weber, Associate Editor – “Breath of the Wild’s ending follows the trend of many other Zelda games, where peace has been accomplished but questions have been left unanswered in order to spur the audience’s imagination. The future of Hyrule after Calamity Ganon was defeated was up in the air until last June, when Nintendo revealed that the adventure is not quite over yet for Link and Zelda.
With the sequel in the works, I can’t help but wish for Zelda’s feelings for Link to be one of the loose ends that is tied up story-wise. A minor detail in the original game, it is what allowed her to access her powers as well as what gave her hope for his eventual return. I’m not saying that these feelings need to necessarily be a main part of the story, but I would like for the idea to be carried over so as to complete that potential arc, whether or not it is seen through to a budding relationship. In short, the “will they, won’t they” question, although left open in games like Skyward Sword, is one I would like answered in Breath of the Wild 2.”
A Recipe Book
David Wayne Nystrom, Associate Editor – “One of the best things in the original Breath of the Wild was the variety of foods you could cook to prepare for battle and other unique situations. So much of surviving the early game was predicated on your ability to bring together unique supplies and create the right product. However, with so many options for you to make, you had to hunt down the recipes and then metagame memorize them or just get lucky.
I would absolutely like to see Breath of the Wild 2 give Link the ability to keep track of recipes that he’s made or learned along his journey. This could be as simple as showing the ingredients needed, or slightly more complex in listing the advantages of one recipe over another. To me, this would make the task of creating new foods much simpler and more accessible.”
Heather Beard, Associate Editor – “Players were able to obtain a vast number of weapons in Breath of the Wild, but if those weapons broke, players had to wait for them to respawn at the location at which they were found or just randomly find them again somewhere else. I’d love to see the player able to craft/forge a small number of basic weapons using materials and items found in the overworld. This could be expanded to the entire player interface, like Link having a “recipe book” of things he’s made so the player can easily find what they’re looking for.
This would give better use to ore deposits, would absolve players from having to Google what recipe is needed for a strong meal, and would give them some options when it came to craft/forging. If this could not be done on one’s own “in the wild,” it would be cool to see blacksmith shops where Link could make or repair set types of weapons and learn recipes.
Enemy Factions on the Hunt for Link
Doug Kwiecinski, Editor – “For over thirty years, Link has slain countless Moblins, Stalfos, and Gibdos, all under the firm control of Ganon, or in rare cases, some other big bad. With the slaying of Calamity Ganon, and Ganondorf seemingly in some sort of ancient seal or slumber, there seems to be a gap in the power structure. What if, instead of doing the bidding of a long withered Ganondorf, enemies use the opportunity to try and seize power for themselves?
I think back to the Nemesis system in the Shadow of Mordor/War games. Uruk, Trolls, and other such creatures remember their interactions with you and fight for power in certain regions of the game. What if Breath of the Wild 2 introduced a similar system, with various regions, factions, and enemies hunting Link, trying to be the one to exact their vengeance?
This would add a sort of game-within-a-game element in a world that, let’s be honest, felt fairly empty in Breath of the Wild. As you’re trying to track down Ganondorf as he awakens, several factions are also out for your blood. It could add a real sense of danger to the adventure, going along with the darker tone that has already been teased.”
Branching Story Paths
Bryan King, Editor – “Given that Breath of the Wild was such a radical departure from what had become established series norms, I’d like to see Nintendo take it a step further in the sequel and allow us the opportunity to make our own choices on how the story plays out. I understand that Zelda isn’t exactly the most narrative-driven property, but if Nintendo is willing to afford us the level of gameplay freedom that they did in the previous game, why not take it to the next logical step and let us determine how we affect the fate of Hyrule?
We already know that the convoluted timeline relies heavily on branching outcomes (see the split from Ocarina of Time), so why not let us experience them for ourselves? Even if Nintendo doesn’t want to adhere to binary “good and evil” choices that RPG’s tend to rely on, it would be nice to at least have some degree of freedom in how we approach main quest beats or side quests.”
A Proper Balance between Ambient Music and Exuberant Themes
Adam Barham, Senior Editor – “The Zelda series is quite well known for its soundtracks, having some of the most classic video game music in existence. And though it may be an unpopular opinion, I thoroughly enjoyed the ambient music in Breath of the Wild. While the more involved themes in the game — such as for battles — were fantastic, the quiet, peaceful tones while simply traveling were beautiful too. I honestly don’t want to see them go. But there should be a better balance of calm, quiet, ambient music, periods of silence, and more interesting, memorable themes.
Perhaps those themes could be played at sunrise or at night, and more exciting themes could play during the day. The individual regions, such as Hebra, Akala, could have their own unique themes, or there could be an encompassing overworld theme for all regions. However Nintendo approaches it, I’d like to see a proper balance between quiet, ambient music / noises and more involved pieces.”
Travel Between Kingdoms
Judy Calder, Copy Editor – “It’s no secret that there are kingdoms outside of Hyrule; just look at Hytopia, Holdrum, and Labrynna. What is a mystery though, is which country lies outside the boundaries of the map in Breath of the Wild. Players can travel to the very edge of this huge atlas, where we can definitely see other lands in the distance. In my early days of playing this game, I actually tried my best to travel to some of those far-away lands, and naturally I failed miserably. This only fuels my fire to know exactly what lies beyond my reach!
Of course, if Breath of the Wild 2 opened passage to the lands around Hyrule, we might just find places that we already knew existed. Game producers might even give us a treat and allow us to fall into Termina all over again! On the other hand, we might be introduced to totally new countries, with kingdoms and cultures of their own. I would love to see what exists outside the borders of this version of Hyrule, and I hope Breath of the Wild 2 has the answers!|
Resolve the Single Biggest Plot Hole from Breath of the Wild
Andy Spiteri, Editor-In-Chief – “Compiling this list together and seeing all the great suggestions my peers have put forward really leaves little room for anything else that I truly truly want… but, since this is going to be a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild, maybe I can cheat a little and make my pick retroactively make Breath of the Wild make a little more sense to me.
Breath of the Wild is one of my favorite games, but one thing I don’t think it does well is tell a compelling story in a complete way. I know this is a common criticism, and I know I said at the start of this piece I challenged the writers to dig a little deeper than your average want from the Zelda community… but there’s one thing about Breath of the Wild’s plot that drives me absolutely crazy, and it was never answered, and likely never will be unless its sequel does it. It is in my mind, the single biggest plot hole in the game.
Breath of the Wild tells us that 10,000 years ago, the Sheikah created the Guardians and Divine Beasts to defeat Calamity Ganon. Great. Fast forward to 100 years before the events of Breath of the Wild and now Calamity Ganon can now suddenly control the Guardians? How?! And if Ganon had this power… why not do it in the first place 10,000 years ago!?
I feel like I’m the only one who cares about this, but I would love if Breath of the Wild 2 gave us any kind of answer to this, even a lame one like Corpse Ganondorf found a doohickey while he was in dead form and sat on it until the Calamity came back. Just knowing there was some kind of explanation for this major oversight would allow me to enjoy the plot of the first Breath of the Wild significantly more. Please Nintendo — I’m begging you!”
And there you have it! Our team put together some great ideas and things I definitely want to see implemented in Breath of the Wild 2. But what about you? Did these ideas cover all the bases of what you’d like to see in the sequel? Or is there an idea that we missed? Maybe something obvious and simple, or maybe something crazy yet brilliant!?
As always, we want you guys to let us know in the comments below! Here’s hoping we have a bit more to talk about in the coming weeks regarding Link’s next adventure!
Andy Spiteri is the Editor-In-Chief of Zelda Dungeon. He’s been yelling to the clouds about this plot hole for three years now. Follow him and the rest of the Zelda Dungeon Team on Twitter to pitch us your own ideas there!
Featured art by Tomasso Bottaro