Breath of the Wild Story

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Spoiler Alert! This article describes a subject that is sensitive to plot development.

Past

The 10,000 Year Old Legend

The history of Hyrule is closely intertwined with the history of the appearances of Ganon over the ages. The beast was known to have been turned back repeatedly by a warrior with a hero's spirit and a princess who carried the spirit of the Goddess through various tales and legends.[1]

One legend told is that 10,000 years ago, the land of Hyrule had become very technologically advanced - so much so that fierce monsters were considered little threat. The Hylians crafted technological marvels to ensure the kingdom's safety if Ganon was ever to return. Among these technical marvels was a legion of autonomous Guardians and four Divine Beasts. The Divine Beasts were piloted by four individuals of exceptional skill from across Hyrule, known as Champions. [2]

Upon Ganon's return, the princess of Hyrule and the hero fought with the other champions and their Divine Beasts against Ganon. The Guardians protected the hero while the Divine Beasts lay siege upon Ganon, until the hero could unleash his final blow and allow the princess to use her sacred power to seal away the beast.[3]


100 Years Ago

One hundred years ago, a prophecy warned that the signs of Calamity Ganon's return would be clear, and said that the power needed to oppose him lay dormant beneath the ground. This prophecy, combined with the tales from the legends of old, prompted King Rhoam and his kingdom to begin excavating the earth. The ancient Guardians and the four Divine Beasts were discovered, at which point King Rhoam realized that they were set upon the same path as their ancestors as told in the legends.[4]

Following this path, four Champions from across Hyrule were chosen to pilot the Divine Beasts: Mipha of the Zora, Daruk of the Gorons, Urbosa of the Gerudo, and Revali of the Rito. They, alongside Link, the princess's appointed knight, were placed under command of Princess Zelda, the princess of Hyrule.

As detailed by various memories both Zelda and Link share, some details leading up to the events of Ganon's most recent return are known. Zelda conducts a ceremony to appoint Link as her appointed knight, attended by the four other Champions. During the ceremony, Zelda has a hesitant and insecure attitude, which the Champions readily observe. They interpret this as the princess's melancholy jealousy of Link's ability to fulfill his destiny as the hero while her own destiny remains uncertain. A short time later, as Zelda and Link are traveling to Goron City to make adjustments to one of the Divine Beasts, Zelda shows enthusiasm for experimenting with the ancient technology. Again, however, her insecurity regarding her inability to fulfill her destiny shows through as she speaks to Link. Later, this fascination with the ancient technology becomes even more apparent as she is later seen attempting to gain access to a Shrine of Trials as Link arrives to escort her away on the king's orders. She lashes out at Link in surprise and frustration, but returns with him nevertheless.

As Zelda and Link continue to travel throughout Hyrule to inspect and make adjustments to the Divine Beasts, Zelda is attacked by three members of the Yiga Clan. Link returns at the last possible second to rescue Zelda from their assault, after which Zelda begins to realize she shares a unique bond with Link as her protector. Then, while traveling in the Eldin region, Link repels an attack from numerous monsters - but not without sustaining injuries to himself. Zelda recognizes that not only have attacks have become more frequent, but that monsters have gotten more powerful as well. She recognizes these events as premonitions to the imminent return of Ganon, and urges Link to use caution.[5]

Taking shelter under a large tree during a storm, Zelda watches Link as he practices with the Master Sword - remarking that his devotion to his role is admirable. She then opens up to him about her doubt and insecurity in fulfilling her own destiny by stating how she feels as though she was born into a role and set onto a path she may not be able to follow.[6]

Back at Hyrule Castle, Zelda takes a moment to observe the progress of the experiments with the Guardians, noting that the Hylian researchers are now able to control them.[7] Suddenly King Rhoam appears and scolds Zelda for spending too much time distracted by the ancient technology in lieu of training to unlock the sealing power. Zelda explains that even after having prayed at the Spring of Courage, her powers remain dormant - yet he forbids Zelda from having anything further to do with the ancient machines and to focus solely on her training.[8] Zelda then proceeds to pray at the Spring of Power, however her powers remain dormant and her frustrations become even more apparent.

The day before her seventeenth birthday, Zelda speaks to Link about the final ceremony at the Spring of Wisdom on Mount Lanayru. She hopes that praying at the last Spring will awaken the power within her, but openly expresses her resignation to the possibility that she may never awaken her power.[9] The next day, she and Link are seen by the four Champions returning from the summit as they realize she has again been unsuccessful in her attempt to awaken the power. As the Champions express consolation over her failure and reassert optimism that her power will be triggered eventually, the earth begins to shake and Ganon suddenly is seen encircling Hyrule Castle. The Champions head to their respective Divine Beasts and Link and Zelda make their way to the castle.

To the surprise of all, Ganon cunningly seized control of the Guardians and Divine Beasts, and turned them against their commanders. Zelda and Link managed to escape the onslaught, but not before the four Champions and all those inside the castle, including King Rhoam, lost their lives.[10] As Zelda and Link retreat, Zelda laments to Link about how her failure to unlock the goddess's sealing power cost them not only their only chance to defeat Ganon, but of leaving her friends dead and the kingdom in ruin.[11]

As the relentless siege of the Guardians continues away from the castle, Link reaches the critical point of physical abuse in his defense of Zelda and collapses to his knees. Zelda urges Link to save himself and run away as more Guardians approach, but Link, refusing to leave Zelda's side, finds the strength to stand one more time in her defense. As an attacking Guardian locks on to Link in preparation to fire its weapon, Zelda selflessly stands between the Guardian and Link in a futile attempt to save his life. Suddenly a glowing white light begins to emanate from her raised right hand and destroys all the Guardians in the area. Realizing she has finally unlocked the Goddess's sealing power, she turns to Link who has collapsed on the ground behind her. She desperately cries out to him to awaken him, but he merely looks her in the eye for a moment as he passes out. As Zelda cries with Link in her arms, she sees the Master Sword begin to pulsate with a gentle glow. Now hearing the call of the spirit of the Master Sword, she understands that Link can still be saved. Seconds later, two members of the Sheikah Tribe arrive to help Zelda, but she immediately orders them to take Link to the Shrine of Resurrection.[12]

Zelda returns the Master Sword to the Korok Forest and drives it into its pedestal in front of the Great Deku Tree. She realizes that Link's Slumber of Restoration will likely deprive him of his memories, but is confident that he will return for the sword after his awakening.[13] At this point, Zelda informs the Deku Tree that she has more to do, then heads back to Hyrule Castle to use the sealing power to contain Calamity Ganon within the castle until Link's return.[14] She asks the Deku Tree to take a message for Link from her, but the Deku Tree stops her before she can express her thoughts and tells her it would be best for Link to hear her message to him in her voice.


Present

A century after the return of Calamity Ganon and the deaths of the Champions and King Rhoam, Link awakens from his slumber in the Shrine of Resurrection to a mysterious voice, not knowing who or where he is. Finding a strange device nearby, the Sheikah Slate once used by Princess Zelda herself, he walks out onto the Great Plateau to meet an Old Man. The voice Link hears instructs him to proceed to a point on the map on his Sheikah Slate. Upon arriving at this point, Link discovers an ancient Sheikah Tower, which had been uncovered in the Great Calamity 100 years before.[15] With the Sheikah Slate now in the hands of the chosen hero, Link is able to activate the tower, which simultaneously activates the other towers across Hyrule as well as the many Shrines of Trials.

Upon seeing this, the old man tasks Link with accessing the four Shrines on the Plateau to obtain the treasures inside. Inside these shrines, Link obtains Spirit Orbs and activates several runes on the Sheikah Slate, granting him abilities to freeze objects in time (Stasis), manipulate metallic items (Magnesis), create and smash ice blocks (Cryonis), and use bombs (Remote Bomb).

The old man, believing that Link's fragile memory is now ready to be regaled with the story of Hyrule's demise, then tells Link that he is actually the spirit of King Rhoam from 100 years ago. He details the events of his kingdom's fall, including the discovery of the ancient relics, return of Calamity Ganon, and fact that Link is the revitalized knight who valiantly fell in battle defending the princess. He tells Link that Princess Zelda is the one who has been calling out to him, and that she has been gradually losing her power to contain Ganon within the castle. He warns that soon Zelda's power will be exhausted, after which Ganon will be free to regenerate and consume the land of Hyrule unopposed. With instructions to head to Kakariko Village to meet Impa, Link sets out on his journey to regain his memories and re-harness control and support of the Divine Beasts in his new quest to defeat Ganon.

After hearing more details about the 10,000 year old legend and events of 100 years prior from Impa in Kakariko Village, Link begins his journey to defeat Ganon by regaining control and the support of the four Divine Beasts. Along this journey, he discovers the locations of photos left on the Sheikah Slate from the past which jog elements of his memory, eventually allowing him to regain the complete picture of his role in the events of the past. Link also meets Purah and Robbie, the other two Sheikah who were present 100 years ago[16], who help him enhance the runes on his Sheikah Slate and create ancient equipment to aid him in battle.

As Link makes his way to the four corners of Hyrule to regain control of the Divine Beasts, he encounters the spirits of each of the Champions within their respective Divine Beasts. Through them, he learns that they each perished while fighting an elemental Blight of Ganon which had usurped control of the divine beast during the Great Calamity; Waterblight Ganon in Divine Beast Vah Ruta, Fireblight Ganon in Divine Beast Vah Rudania, Windblight Ganon in Divine Beast Vah Medoh and Thunderblight Ganon in Divine Beast Vah Naboris. After Link defeats each Blight of Ganon, he is awarded the unique ability of the Champion who piloted the Divine Beast; Mipha's Grace, Daruk's Protection, Revali's Gale, and Urbosa's Fury. With the knowledge of the final fates of each of the champions, Link is also able to bring some closure to their home villages.

With the four Divine Beasts now under control of the Champions and taking aim at Ganon within Hyrule Castle, Link proceeds to the castle to battle Calamity Ganon once more. As Link enters the sanctum of the castle, Zelda exclaims that she is no longer able to restrain Ganon, at which point he breaks free from containment and crashes through the floor. Just before Link engages the Calamity, the Divine Beasts unleash their fury against Ganon, weakening him. After defeating the Calamity within the castle, Link is drawn out to Hyrule Field for a final showdown on horseback with the Beast of Ganon. Zelda presents Link with the Bow and Arrows of Light before the battle, explaining that she will use her remaining power to open holes in Ganon's defense of pure malice to allow Link to strike the beast. In the end, he succeeds defeating the beast of Ganon, freeing Princess Zelda and allowing her to finally seal him away.

After the battle, the spirits of King Rhoam and the four Champions are briefly seen observing Link and Zelda walking together. Starting towards Zora's Domain, Zelda tells Link that it seems as though the Divine Beast Vah Ruta has stopped working and that she can no longer hear the voice inside the Master Sword. Assuming that this is a result of her power waning after 100 years, she simply states "I think I can accept that", and the two embark on their journey to rebuild Hyrule to its former glory.

References

  1. "The history of the royal family of Hyrule is also the history of Calamity Ganon. A primal evil that has endured over the ages. This evil has been turned back time and time again by a warrior wielding the soul of a hero, and a princess who carries the blood of the Goddess. With the passage of time, each conflict with Ganon faded into legend. So listen closely as I tell you of this “legend” that occurred 10,000 years ago. " — Impa, Breath of the Wild
  2. "Hyrule was then blossoming as a highly advanced civilization. Even the most powerful monsters posed little threat to the denizens of the realm. The people thought it wise to utilize their technological prowess to ensure the safety of the land, should Calamity Ganon ever return. They constructed four mechanical wonders that came to be known as the Divine Beasts. They also built a legion of autonomous weapons called Guardians. The Divine Beasts were piloted by four individuals of exceptional skill from across the land. And thus, the plan to neutralize Ganon was forged." — Impa, Breath of the Wild
  3. "Upon Ganon’s inevitable return to Hyrule, the princess and the hero fought alongside these four champions against this ancient evil. The Guardians were tasked with protecting the hero as the Divine Beasts unleashed a furious attack upon their terrible foe. And when the hero wielding the sword that seals the darkness delivered his final blow… The princess used her sacred power to seal away Calamity Ganon." — Impa, Breath of the Wild
  4. "Stories of Ganon were passed from generation to generation in the form of legends and fairy tales. But there was also… a prophecy. “The signs of a resurrection of Calamity Ganon are clear. And the power to oppose it lies dormant beneath the ground.” We decided to heed the prophecy and began excavating large areas of land. It wasn’t long before we discovered several ancient relics made by the hands of or distant ancestors." — King Rhoam, Breath of the Wild
  5. "That cut doesn’t look too bad, actually. You’re fine for now. But you know, there’s a fine line between courage and recklessness. As brave as you are, that does not make you immortal. It seems that, not only is the frequency of these types of attacks on the rise… but the scale of beasts is intensifying as well. I fear that – I fear that this is an omen which portends the return of Calamity Ganon." — Zelda, Breath of the Wild
  6. "What if… One day… you realized that you just weren’t meant to be a fighter. Yet the only thing people said… was that you were born into a family of the royal guard, and so no matter what you thought, you had to become a knight. If that was the only thing you were ever told… I wonder, then… would you have chosen a different path?" — Zelda, Breath of the Wild
  7. "Incredible… We’re at a point now where we can actually control them. At the current rate, we’ll soon know all we need to know about the Guardians and the Divine Beasts!" — Zelda, Breath of the Wild
  8. "As the king, I forbid you to have anything to do with these machines from this moment on and command you to focus on your training." — King Rhoam, Breath of the Wild
  9. "See that mountain? That’s Mt. Lanayru. It takes its name from the Goddess of Wisdom. Lanayru’s decree is very specific. It says: “No one is allowed, under the age of seventeen… For only the wise are permitted a place upon the mountain.” I’ve prayed at the Spring of Courage and at the Spring of Power, yet neither awoke anything inside me. But maybe up there… Perhaps the Spring of Wisdom, the final of the three, will be the one. To be honest, I have no real reason to think that will be the case. But there’s always the chance that the next moment will change everything. Tomorrow… is my seventeenth birthday. So then I shall go… and make my way up the mountain." — Zelda, Breath of the Wild
  10. "Ganon was cunning, and he responded with a plan beyond our imagining. He appeared from deep below Hyrule Castle, seized control of the Guardians and Divine Beasts, and turned them against us. The champions lost their lives. Those residing in the castle as well." — King Rhoam, Breath of the Wild
  11. "It’s all my fault! Our only hope for defeating Ganon is lost because I couldn’t harness this cursed power! Everything – everything I’ve done up until now… it was all for nothing… so I really am just a failure! All my friends… the entire kingdom… my father most of all… I tried, and I failed them all… I’ve left them… all to die." — Zelda, Breath of the Wild
  12. "Take Link to the Shrine of Resurrection. If you don’t get him there immediately, we are going to lose him forever! Is that clear?! So make haste and go! His life is now in your hands!" — Zelda, Breath of the Wild
  13. "Your master will come for you. Until then, you shall rest safely here. Although the Slumber of Restoration will most certainly deprive him of his memories, please trust me when I say that I know that he will arrive before you yet again." — Zelda, Breath of the Wild
  14. "The Master Sword… I heard it speak to me. It seems that my role is unfinished. There is still something I must do. " — Zelda, Breath of the Wild
  15. "Though we didn’t plan for it, the Great Calamity exposed a Sheikah Tower… as well as a Guidance Stone. They were located in the Great Plateau, of all places…and activated by none other than you! " — Purah, Breath of the Wild
  16. "There are only three Sheikah remaining who experienced the Great Calamity of 100 years ago… Robbie of the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab, Impa of Kakariko Village, and me. " — Purah, Breath of the Wild