- "Link... You are the light—our light—that must shine upon Hyrule once again. Now go..."
- — Princess Zelda
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. A Chinese version will be released in Chinese Mainland, Hong-Kong and Taiwan on the Switch in 2018.
According to Eiji Aonuma, Breath of the Wild takes place after the events of Ocarina of Time, hence the Temple of Time being in ruins. Furthermore, according to Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the game occurs in the most recent age, long after any of the previous episodes. There are many references from the previous titles such as places that are recognizable like Spectacle Rock.
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 woken from his one hundred year 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 away in Hyrule Castle. It is later revealed that this Old Man is Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule, the last King of Hyrule, in spirit form. Although Ganon was trapped, his power continues to grow from inside the castle, and Link must defeat him before he breaks free and destroys the rest of Hyrule. He must do this by unlocking memories of his past, which are revealed over time.
One hundred years ago, Hylians discovered the ancient relics of the Sheikah constructed ten thousand years prior, including the Guardians and the four Divine Beasts, used to protect the land of Hyrule. This discovery 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 developers looked at Skyrim to help familiarize themselves with the process of making an open world game. An 8-bit version of the game was created for playtesting purposes, based on the original Legend of Zelda game. On multiple occasions, the dev team was ordered to stop work to play through the entire game. Over the game's development period, the developers played through the game at least ten times.
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.
Originally, per the game's climbing mechanic, players could jam Link's sword into a cliff face and hang there while their stamina gauge recovered. Miyomoto shot the idea down, pointing out that, among other things, stabbing a sword through rock is actually very hard. Another feature that was cut was the ability to control the weather. However, the developers cut this, reasoning that not being able to control the weather was "much more fun," that it was more fun to have Link reacting to the weather rather than controlling it.
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.
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 bundle includes a copy of the game, the two-sided Explorer's Map, and the Explorer's Guide.
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. 
Several free updates have been released for the game on both systems, Switch and Wii U. Each update can expand the game content or fix bugs and glitches.
- Version 1.1.0, released on March 2, 2017
- Version 1.1.1, released on March 30, 2017
- Version 1.1.2, released on April 11, 2017
- Version 1.2.0, released on May 1, 2017
- Version 1.3.0, released on June 29, 2017
- Version 1.3.1, released on August 7, 2017
- Version 1.3.3, released on November 9, 2017
- Version 1.3.4, released on November 21, 2017
- Version 1.4.0, released on December 7, 2017
- Version 1.5.0, released on January 31, 2018
An expansion pass has been made available along with the game release on March 3, 2017. It offers three downloadable content packs which cannot be sold separately, one bonus and two forthcoming DLC packs. The first one was released on June 30, 2017, and the second one was released on December 7, 2017. The expansion pass is now achieved with "The Champions' Ballad" DLC Pack 2 release.
Expansion Pack Bonus
It is 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, it is found right next to the Oman Au Shrine. The third and final treasure chest contains bomb arrows outside the Keh Namut Shrine.
The Master Trials DLC Pack 1
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - The Master Trials pack is the first DLC pack and was released on June 30th 2017, via the update version 1.3.0.
- New side quests: "EX Trial of the Sword"; "EX Strange Mask Rumors" and "EX Teleportation Rumors!"; "EX Treasure: Ancient Mask", "Fairy Clothes", "Twilight Relic" and "Phantasma".
- Trial of the Sword
- Master Mode
- Hero's Path Mode
- Travel Medallion
- Special head armor: Majora's Mask, Midna's Helmet, Korok Mask
- Tingle's outfit: Tingle's Hood, Shirt and Tights
- Phantom armor set: Phantom Helmet, Armor and Greaves
The Champions' Ballad DLC Pack 2
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - The Champions' Ballad is named after the song "The Champions' Ballad". It was available starting December 7th,2017, via the update version 1.4.0.
- New side quest "EX Champions' Ballad"
- New dungeon, Final Trial
- New shrines, 16
- New weapon, the One-Hit Obliterator
- New vehicle, the Master Cycle Zero
- Special head armor: Zant's Helmet, Ravio's Hood
- Special body armor: Island Lobster Shirt
- Phantom Ganon's outfit: Phantom Ganon Skull, Armor and Greaves
- Royal Guard's outfit: Royal Guard Cap, Uniform and Boots
- New horse gear: Ancient Bridle and Saddle
The DLC Packs 1 and 2 cannot be purchased separately and require the Expansion Pass.
Rex's costume Pack
- New side quest "Collaboration: Xenoblade Chronicles 2"
- "Rex's costume" consisting of Salvager Headwear, Vest and Trousers
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.
The Master Trials
The Master Trials adds many new features and additions to the regular game, the main feature showcased by Nintendo being the Trial of the Sword. This is new challenge where Link must fight an oncoming gauntlet of enemies without dying. Trial of the Sword consists of 54 rooms Link must clear using nothing but the skills obtained throughout the game. Like the Eventide Island challenge, Link has no armor, weapons, or items and will have to find such things as the trials go on, nevertheless Link also gets stripped of the powers granted to him by the Champions. The Trial of the Sword can be accessed by going to the Korok Forest and returning the Master Sword to its pedestal. After completing the Trial of the Sword, the Master Sword will be restored to its full power and will sport 60 attack damage at all times.
Another new feature added to the game is Hero's Path Mode. This new map feature shows the path Link has walked through Hyrule from the last 200 hours of gameplay. Players can use the time tracker bar to see where they've spent the most time and where they have yet to explore. This is useful in finding areas that have not been explored and hidden shrines may have been missed.
Another highly anticipated feature added to the game is Master Mode, a more difficult version of the game. But unlike Hero Mode featured in many other Legend of Zelda titles, this mode does not just increase damage dealt by enemies. All enemies are powered up by one level. For example, red-skinned Bokoblins in Normal mode are now blue Bokoblins, or Ice Wizzrobes are now Blizzrobes. Master Mode also adds new gold enemies to the regular enemy colors. There are now gold Bokoblins, Gold Moblins, Gold Lizalfos, and Gold Lynels. These gold enemies have higher health than silver enemies. Enemies also now regenerate health over time. Another new addition to make the game harder is the new placements of enemies. Although Link will normally no longer see red Bokoblins wandering Hyrule as they have been upgraded to blue, Link may start seeing red Bokoblins riding horses in places they usually have not in normal mode. Some Lynel locations have been changed, as there is now a White-Maned Lynel on the Great Plateau in the beginning of the game. There are also now floating platforms in the sky. These platforms are held aloft by Sky Octoroks. These platforms will carry enemies who will throw rocks or wield bows to attack Link.
The new DLC also adds a new key item called the Travel Medallion. It is a new item that can be placed anywhere in Hyrule and allow Link to teleport there through the map. The location of the Travel Medallion can be changed anytime, but only placed on one location at a time. It can found inside a chest located at the Lomei Labyrinth Island in the Akkala Sea region.
Eighteen new clothing pieces are added to the game, including the Korok Mask, Majora's Mask, Midna's Helmet, Tingle's Hood, Shirt and Tights, and the Phantom Helmet, Armor and Greaves. Each of these new armor pieces has a new effect as well. Majora's Mask will trick Bokoblins and Moblins into thinking Link is one of them (It won't work on Lizalfos and Lynels). Midna's Helmet gives Link higher resistance against the Guardians' attack. The Korok Mask shakes when an unnamed Korok is hiding nearby. Tingle's outfit gives Link a speed up at night time. The full Phantom costume grants Link higher attack damage. Zant's Helmet gives Link the unfreezable effect. The Island Lobster Shirt increases heat resistance. The Royal Guard's outfit gives attack stamina up. And finally any piece of the Phantom Ganon's set gives Link stealth up but wearing the full set will also give bone disguise. None of these clothing pieces can be upgraded.
- Nine Breath of the Wild amiibo series: Link Archer, Link Rider, Zelda, Bokoblin, Guardian, Daruk, Mipha, Revali, and Urbosa amiibo.
- 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 and the EX ver. from Breath of the Wild.
- Nintendo Japan has announced the release of the official soundtrack in Japan on April 25, 2018.It contains 211 tracks over 5 CDs, and a booklet featuring developer commentary. It will come in two versions:
- A standard edition
- A first print limited edition with a additional Special Limited Edition packaging with digipack and a PLAYBUTTON music player containing 15 "Field" tracks from the series.
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