The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (ゼルダの伝説 ブレス オブ ザ ワイルド Zeruda no Densetsu: Buresu obu za Wairudo?) is the nineteenth installment in the Legend of Zelda series developed for the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch. It was released worldwide on both the Wii U and the Switch on March 3, 2017.
On June 14, 2016, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime revealed a trailer for the game during Nintendo's Treehouse Live presentation that the title for the game would be Breath of the Wild, as well as showing some gameplay showcasing the world that Link can traverse. A female voice, later revealed to be Princess Zelda's voice, was also heard for the very first time, saying "Open your eyes" and "Wake up, Link"
Gameplay shown during this trailer included Link chopping down a tree to bridge a chasm, climbing up various structures, using the bow to shoot down various fruit from trees, cooking on a fire, and using a tool to create objects to help him traverse the environment and kill enemies.
The series' new equipment system was also shown off, where Link can equip different armor.
Limited voice acting was announced to be coming for the first time in the series, though Link himself was said to remain a silent protagonist.
Link is suddenly awakened from his one hundred years sleep inside the Shrine of Resurrection of the Great Plateau, and guided by a mysterious female voice through the ruins of Hyrule. He learns from an Old Man that a being called Calamity Ganon had appeared one hundred years earlier and destroyed much of Hyrule before being sealed in Hyrule Castle. It is later revealed that this Old Man is Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule, the last King of Hyrule, in a spirit form. Although Ganon was trapped, his power continues to grow, and Link must defeat him before he breaks free and destroys the rest of Hyrule. He must do this by unlocking his memories of his past, which are revealed over time.
One hundred years ago, Hylians discovered the ancient relics of the Sheikah constructed ten thousands years prior, including the Guardians and the four Divine Beasts, used to watch over the Hyrule lands. This event coincided with the prophecy about Ganon's return, thus King Rhoam and the Hyrule people decided to create a group of warriors and protectors, the Champions. Commanded by Princess Zelda, their ranks included Link, her knight and personal bodyguard, and a representative of each major race of Hyrule: Revali of the Rito, Daruk of the Gorons, Mipha of the Zora, and Urbosa of the Gerudo. While the other Champions piloted their race's respective Divine Beast, Zelda was sent on a pilgrimage under Link's protection, praying to statues of the goddess Hylia for the power to defeat Calamity Ganon.
With the help of the Sheikah's Guardians and the Divine Beasts, the people of Hyrule prepared for the return of Calamity Ganon. During this time, the Champions bonded with each other, with Zelda growing especially fond of Link once she realized their similarities as people burdened with tremendous legacies to live up to. However, Zelda was unable to unlock her power in time, and Calamity Ganon proved to have learned from its previous defeat; using its nigh-limitless dark power, it killed the pilot champions, took control of the Guardians and Divine Beasts, and nearly killed Link. However, Zelda saved Link from the fatal blow, finally unlocking her power. Link was then sent to the Shrine of Resurrection on the Great Plateau, where he would recover in a deep sleep for the next one hundred years. Zelda returned the battle-damaged Master Sword to its pedestal in front of the Great Deku Tree, then used her power to seal Ganon and herself within Hyrule Castle. Link was reawakened because Zelda's power has dwindled over the past century, putting Hyrule at risk of Calamity Ganon's return.
As he regains his memories, Link frees the spirits of the Champions, and reclaims the power of the Divine Beasts. He then proceeds to defeat Calamity Ganon, freeing Zelda from the depths of Hyrule Castle and saving the world from immediate destruction.
The story of this open-world game is non-linear, offering different ways to be played. The Divine Beasts may be reclaimed in any order, or not at all. The only requirement to beat the game is to defeat Calamity Ganon, no matter the chosen way.
Development on the game was underway by 2011. According to Shigeru Miyamoto at E3 2016, a team of over one hundred people was involved in the development of Breath of the Wild, the biggest team ever implied in a Legend of Zelda game. Both studios of Monolith Soft aided in the game's development.
The team wanted to make Breath Of The Wild a more "active" game than previous entries have been, creating a world teeming with many interactable objects for the player to mess around with. Early ideas for the game included an alien invasion game titled "Invasion," and a game called "Hyrule Wars." Artwork for these early concepts shows Link as a guitar-playing, motorcycle-riding hero, and in a spacesuit flanked by a metroid.
At E3 2014, Shigeru Miyamoto reiterated his ambition to rethink traditional Zelda conventions; in order to achieve this goal, one of the problems he wants to solve is how to create a seamless open world, which may allow players to visit areas in any order, in three dimensions. In addition to revealing the new Zelda title will use a cel-shaded graphics style with proportions and effects akin to those seen in Twilight Princess, the E3 2014 trailer also depicted a massive open world and a cinematic battle between Link wielding a bow from horseback and a large golem-like creature.
The game was slated for a 2015 release, but later that year, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma announced that the game would be delayed for a 2016 release, still exclusive to the Wii U.
In April 2016, it was announced that the game had been delayed yet again to 2017, because they were planning to make it a Nintendo Switch launch title as well.
In November 2016, it was reported that the game would not launch with the Switch due to localization issues.
A new trailer was released at the 2016 Game Awards, again confirming a 2017 release date.
In January 2017 a new trailer was released during the Nintendo Switch presentation, which confirmed a release date of March 3, 2017, the same day the Nintendo Switch launches.
Limited edition variants
The Nintendo Switch version of the game releases with two limited edition versions of the game respectively called the Special Edition and Master Edition.
This version includes a copy of game, a Sheikah Slate Carrying Case, a Sheikah Eye Collectible Coin, the Relic of Hyrule: Calamity Ganon Tapestry and Weather-Worn Map, and The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Sound Selection CD. 
This bundle includes everything that is in the Special Edition with the addition of the Master Sword of Resurrection statue. 
An expansion pass will be released on March 3, 2017. The first downloadable content will be released in the summer of 2017, with the second being released in the winter of 2017.
Expansion Pack Bonus (available immediately when the Season Pass is preordered or ordered):
- Three new Treasure Chests will appear in the Great Plateau. One treasure chest will contain an exclusive in-game shirt (Link's shirt will have the Nintendo Switch logo on it). This treasure chest can be found near the Ja Baij Shrine on the top fortress perimeter structure. One treasure chest contains a ruby. This treasure chest is right next to the Oman Au Shrine.
- The other two treasure chests contain "useful items."
DLC Pack 1 (Summer 2017):
- Adds new Cave of Trials challenge
- New hard mode
- Additional map feature
DLC Pack 2 (Holiday 2017):
- New original story
- New dungeon
- Additional challenges
The DLC Packs 1 and 2 cannot be purchased separately.
Like Twilight Princess HD, Hyrule Warriors and Hyrule Warriors Legends, amiibo are compatible with Breath of the Wild. Amiibo that are specifically related to the The Legend of Zelda series have more diverse functionality.
For example, the Wolf Link amiibo can be used to summon Wolf Link to help Link hunt animals or defeating enemies. Wolf Link will have the same amount of hearts that were saved into the amiibo in the Cave of Shadows. The other amiibo related to the Legend of Zelda series are the four The Legend of Zelda: 30th Anniversary amiibo series, the five Breath of the Wild amiibo series and the five Super Smash Bros. amiibo series. Nevertheless all others amiibo not related to the series work too.
- Five Breath of the Wild amiibo series: Link Archer, Link Rider, Zelda, Bokoblin and Guardian amiibos.
- The Complete Official Guides by Piggyback, a standard edition, a collector's edition and a deluxe edition.
- Official Link 25 cm figurine by First 4 Figures.
- Nendoroid Link from Breath of the Wild.
- It is implied by Zelda's dialogue when appointing Link as her knight that Breath of the Wild takes place in the "Child Link" Timeline, as in addition to referencing Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword, she references Twilight Princess.
- Many locations from the span of Skyward Sword to Twilight Princess in the Timeline also appear in the game as ruins.
- ^ 2013-10-04, Zelda producer on Wii U game -- "It's going well". Gamespot, accessed on 2013-10-05
- ^ 2016-12-02, Here's How The New Zelda Amiibo Toys Work With Breath of the Wild. GameSpot, accessed on 2016-12-04
- ^ 2016-06-21, Why The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is getting voice acting and sci-fi elements. Polygon, accessed on 2016-06-22
- ^ 2016-06-28, ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD NEEDS TO PASS 2 MILLION IN SALES. IGN, accessed on 2016-06-29
- ^ 2016-06-21, Monolith Soft is Helping With the Development of The Legend Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. The Escapist, accessed on 2016-06-22
- ^ 2016-06-20, Monolith Is Helping Work On The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. Gameinformer, accessed on 2016-06-22
- ^ 2017-03-10, Nintendo's Early Ideas For Breath Of The Wild Included Alien Invasions. Game Informer, accessed on 2017-03-12
- ^ 2017-03-01, Nintendo’s scrapped Legend of Zelda concepts are wild. Polygon, accessed on 2017-03-12
- ^ 2014-6-10 E3 2014: The Legend of Zelda first details IGN, accessed on 2014-6-10
- ^ 2016-11-16, Report: Zelda: Breath of the Wild Will Not Launch With Nintendo Switch. The Escapist, accessed on 2016-11-16
- ^ http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild-special-edition-switch
- ^ http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild-master-edition-switch