Welcome everyone to the latest Zelda Dungeon Talks! Now this week’s question is quite interesting. We have seen quite a bit of Breath of The Wild footage so far and the game looks amazing. The vastness of the Great Plateau is incredible and apparently that is only 1% of the map. If that turns out to be true then this game is going to be huge! From such a huge game we can expect an amazing story, or can we? There has been very little story detail given out thus far and we have been told that the game can be beaten without experiencing the whole story. With a path like that we can only be left wondering how many paths we can take throughout our BoTW experience. What sort of narrative can we really expect once the game releases? While it is already confirmed that the game is not story driven, I really hope there is still a strong story line in place as I believe the story is one of the most captivating elements of a Zelda game.

In this week’s edition of Zelda Dungeon Talks, various staff members will share with us their opinions on the topic. As always feel free to share your own opinions in the comments section. 

Jon Lett – View Profile

Word from Nintendo points out that one does not have to complete the story to finish the game. This makes me think that, similar to the original series title that they are basing Breath of the Wind off of heavily, the adventure will be what truly makes the difference in this game, rather than the story dominating, as in some recent Zeldas. That is not to say the story is likely to be bland, certainly not, but it will likely not be the primary focus. I can imagine that the quests involving story points will, at times, be nothing more than optional, sequential sidequests. This is certainly an interesting turn for the series, as it can leave players questioning things they encounter as they go, if they do not seek out answers to what is happening around them. If you put in the effort to explore, learn, and interact with people in the world, the ending will certainly be that much more satisfying. As for the story itself, I am curious to learn more about this whole “Calamity Ganon” deal. What that is, who it is, and what it is doing to this fascinatingly ancient and broken Hyrule are all serious points of interest. I imagine that part of the overall quest may involve leading Hyrule into a new state of structure and prosperity, helping the kingdom of old to rise again after a century of apparent ruin and decay.

Alexis Anderson – View Profile

I’m not sure what to expect; Miyamoto and Trinen said that the story isn’t the main focus of this game. It will be there enough for the player to follow it and have main objectives, but from their quotes I didn’t get the feel that there would be a very detailed and thoroughly constructed plot. I hope there will be though, or at least enough for some analysis. As for the storyline I assume they’re going with, I’m thinking it’s on the Decline timeline possibly taking place after A Link to the Past? Haven’t given it proper thought. I assume we’ll find more out about which Link is being “resurrected” and the role of the Sheikah. Calamity Ganon looks insane, so we’ll get more backstory on how that monster came to be. And I can’t wait to see Zelda’s deal, since the Kindgom is in shambles and she isn’t living in the castle. Possibly a Sheik reappearance? We’ve been given so little, I can’t piece together a full plot at this point; but there’s plenty to be excited about, so I sincerely hope we get a good one.

Thomas Jacobs – View Profile

The problem with an open world is that the more variables there are in what the player can do, the more difficult it is to tell a story: both in the written part and the storytelling part. If someone were to visit, say, the desert area for the first time because the main quest says so they will experience the area completely differently than someone who has already been there, done every side quest, obtained every treasure and found every secret before the main quest hits the area. As such, keeping in mind the storytelling using environments will become far more difficult for Breath of the Wild. As for the story that is told though there are a few hurdles as well. When you cannot predict every possible order of events the player can take you’ll end up with something akin to A Link Between Worlds, with the various dungeons having no impact on the story that is told between the batches of dungeons. As such, if Breath of the Wild wants to tell a story it either has to interrupt the player constantly (which can get annoying real fast), or take the Dark Souls route and infer its story rather than tell it. Give the players the pieces and they’ll figure out what the story is from them. While this adds a lot of depth to the game for people willing to invest a lot of time into the lore, for people who do not the story will seem disjointed or think the game does not have a deeper story to its events at all. This is a risk, but when the story is told cleverly through the world and the enemies and objects within it can make for a great story.

Jarrod Hadrian – View Profile

Nintendo revealed an overwhelming amount of information for Breath of the Wild at this year’s E3, but as of now a lot of the story is only speculation. We know very little about the game aside from the very basic plot and this excites me. The fact that fans have been given the impression that the game’s story is flexible is great. I would like to see Link’s actions shape the story in a more meaningful way, I want to see changes in the story that depend on how you play the game and on what choices you make. Link’s actions are obviously very important to the story in all Zelda games, but it would be nice to see some cause and effect in this game that depend on what actions the players do. For example if you help a certain person out maybe they will be able to help you get to the final boss battle faster than you normally would, or maybe if you fail to defend a certain NPC you will have a more difficult time getting through an area in which they are supposed to back you up or guide you. If we can see some new and interesting examples of cause and effect I think it would be really cool and I feel that it would be a huge step forward for the franchise in adding more complex mechanics.

Kira Koneko – View Profile

Since, it has already been revealed that the story is not the main focus of the game and that players would not have to complete the story to be able to play the game, this leaves me wondering… Does that mean, that for the developers the story itself was not a focus? Will we not be getting a proper addition to the timeline and lore that I love so much with this title? Some concerning questions! I do believe however, that you can create a vast open world without sacrificing an epic story though, and I have to be honest, I want both! I truly feel that with this latest addition to the Zelda franchise, we need to see both! I want a solid addition to the timeline, with new characters and lore, and even some of my unanswered questions that I still have – even after reading Hyrule Historia a couple of times, cover to cover. But I also want a glorious new world that I can just get lost in for days, go on countless adventures, and slay many enemies. Oh and I so want to find EVERY single shrine in that game!


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