Starting a "New Life", my initial thoughts on Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

Credit: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. (2017)

Retrieved January 8, 2021.


It was not until January 1, 2021 had I played a video game from the Legend of Zelda franchise- at least as an adult. Although I played Ocarina of Time (1998) when I was a kid, it was mostly jumping off ledges in Kokiri Forest, and smashing pots as a means of collecting rupees. Therefore, I didn't really immerse myself with the story like other kids were doing. Instead, I played a large amount of racing games and games based on professional wrestling. Now, there is certainly nothing wrong with that. However, I must confess I realize I was missing out on a franchise that has existed since 1986. Late comedian Robin Williams cited Zelda as his favourite video game series, such that I understand why adventure games filled with medieval lore have been so rewarding to fans. As a folklorist, the issue of romanticising ancient narratives has always interested me. Furthermore, video game franchises like The Legend of Zelda effectively take one time period, and transport it to the modern world; even if the Zelda franchise doesn't take place within a fixed time period.

Credit: The Legend of Zelda (1986). Retrieved January 8, 2021.

This Game is Different:

With respect to 2017's Breath of the Wild, I understand this particular game is much different from others of the franchise- considering it is very much an RPG (role-playing game). I must confess, I have only played the game for a few hours so far. However, I already love it. Yes, Breath of the Wild proves to be as "tough" as gamers claim- at least at times. Despite that, something keeps bringing players back to Hyrule- even when the map is filled with various events which resulted in the marking of Link's grave.

Before I played this game, I was aware that weapons break after being used frequently, whereby shields and armor share the same sense of durability (or lack of). In fairness, this forces players to think ahead, while truly using their skills and intuition in order to progress through the game. Although I have only played enough of Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch, in order to finally leave the Great Plateau- I look forward to to the rest of Link's journey. Following my first time playing the game, I have discussed this with some regular customers at my work-place. Most of them couldn't believe I was new to the Zelda franchise, but were equally excited for my experience in Hyrule.

Starting a New Life:

According to the game's ambiguous narrative, Link has slept for 100 years since the "Age of Calamity". Interestingly, a spin-off video game Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity was released in late 2020 as a means of informing players of the events which led to Link's cryostasis.

Credit: 2017's The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Taken from:

Retrieved January 8, 2021.

When Link embarks on his journey from the Shrine of Resurrection, the character is as surprised as the player by the state of Hyrule. A state, which was seemingly maintained prior to the Hyrule civil war; was now a ruin-filled landmass. I have yet to officially leave the Great Plateau (although I have progressed enough to do so), considering I am a writer, student, and work in a restaurant. Nevertheless, I am very much looking forward to continuing this journey of alleviating the people of Hyrule from the destruction caused by "Calamity Ganon." Much like Link within the game's main narrative, I am starting a new life in order to cultivate Link's memories and discover the vast land of Hyrule. In June of 2020, I was able to purchase a Nintendo Switch Lite during my province's quarantine. Although I had never really played Zelda in the past, I'm glad my friends were able to convince me to play this game.

(c) The Modernist Son, 2020-2021

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