Latest Legend of Zelda Trailer Shows Us Civil Life Out of the Wild
Opening with the Sheikah symbol bleeding with ink onto a woven canvas, the latest Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild trailer queues a mournful tune as we look upon the Kingdom of Hyrule's people for the first time. Unlike previous trailers that have been presented up until now, the latest trailer -- dubbed "Life in the Ruins" -- gives us a small glimpse into the life of the commoners and people of Hyrule ever since Ganon rose to power.
In the first scene we see a lone guard patrolling a bridge over water. The locale is completely unfamiliar to us this time around, as it has not been explored in the previous videos leading up to now. The architecture isn't similar to any of the bridges found in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess either, so until it is given a name we'll have to assume that this is an area unique to Breath of the Wild.
Next we see two NPCs fighting Bokoblins around what looks to be a bunker or fortification of some sort. Both are armed with the same armor that Link can wear in-game, so we can assume that we will find characters of all sorts trying to defend themselves from Bokoblins if ever they enter town settings. What's interesting to note is that in the video the characters try to get out of the way of each attack before striking, moving very similar to Link.
Could this possibly hint at recruitable characters in-game? The Wolf Link amiibo summons a companion that helps you fight, so maybe the concept isn't completely out of the question. After all, it would be a waste to program an allied AI and HUD UI if Wolf Link was going to be the only possible companion.
The next segment introduces us to what looks to be two separate towns. The first is in a dry, but forested area that looks more like an outpost rather than an actual town. The building -- which has a dragon-looking head on top of it -- seems to be some sort of trading post. It's likely that Link will stop in here with various items he's collected on his journey to sell them, and maybe use some rupees to get other items he needs in combat.
The dog which is following the rider in this scene seems to at least confirm a high chance of dogs being companions in this game, as it has a strict pathing to stay beside the rider. Since Wolf Link is also a canine companion, it might be that allied NPCs may be limited to animals in sticking with the "wild" theme of the game.
The next village scene is that of a farming community. We don't see much of it in the video, but we do see people tending to crops. The buildings in particular look particularly rustic - more so than any other Legend of Zelda title, where even Ordon Village had buildings with tiled roofs. These houses' roofs instead look to be made of mud or hay, suggesting that things are worse off for the people of Hyrule than in any other Legend of Zelda title, unless we find somewhere with nicer homes.
Warning! Minor Spoilers Below!
The next images deal with potential plot spoilers, as well as speculation as to this game's place in the Zelda timeline.
In this image, we can see for a fact that the Master Sword in all of its former glory will be making a return. Strapped once more to Link's back, the Sword of Evil's Bane seems to be an item that we will collect at some point prior to the cutscene that takes place above.
This cutscene is particularly interesting due to the character we spot flying away.
The character in question is this bird-man (above). Wrapped in clothing that isn't reminiscent of anything we have seen thus far, this character appears to be at least partially inspired by the Rito from The Wind Waker. If he is not a Rito-Tribe member, then it is entirely possible that this may be an offshoot of the evolution mentioned in that game. Instead of becoming the Rito, maybe they evolved into something similar but different if the world did not flood -- assuming this game takes place in the Child or Failed timelines.
He also flies up into a bird-shaped flying object. It may be possible that he might instead be related to the Ooccoos from Twilight Princesss. After all, the Ooccoos were stated to not always be in their less-than-human form. Perhaps these are the evolution -- or ancestors -- of the Ooccoo?
The next character shown in the clip reveals what some are assuming is a female Link-alternative in Breath of the Wild. Some believe that this might also be the reason for the game's further delay. However, skeptics have pointed out that her motions are far too calculated for this to be anything other than another character. She does seem to be carrying what looks like the Sheikah Slate though, so maybe it's not entirely out of the question.
Personally, I think the design difference is far too contrasted for it to be a female Link. After all, Link -- even in his default look -- has leather armbands that are used in falconry, whereas this supposed Female Link does not.
Aside from the color scheme of her outfit, the white collar and pouch are the only possible signs that this is a Link alternative. Even then, the clothing is much more refined than that which Link wears in the game, so unless we're going to make the claim that Female Link has better clothing options -- which let's face it, Nintendo games have a bad track record of (glares at Pokemon Sun and Moon) -- the chances of this being true are slim.
The presence of blonde hair does lead to the possibility of it being a different character, that being...
Princess Zelda! Yes, despite the fall of Hyrule, it seems that we are once again fortunate to be graced by the presence of the Princess of Hyrule. Unless the above image is to be taken as a serious mislead toward a character who is not the princess, Zelda will be met in person at least once in this game. She is seen clenching her fist just seconds before the trailer cuts to black. Is it possible that she will have more of a proactive role in this game? We'll have to wait until release to find out.
Last but not least, we have this image above. Does it look familiar? It should if you played Twilight Princess recently. This is unmistakably none other than the fountain found in the middle of Castle Town. The damning features of this are the red and yellow flags that surround it, the (now broken) Hyrule crest that sits atop the fountain, as well as the distinguishable stone squares that surround it.
This without a doubt solidifies Breath of the Wild's place in the Child Timeline. It could very well take place after Twilight Princess, and all things seem to point toward that at this point. However, I would still leave some room for the possibility that this takes place prior to Twilight Princess, since we still have the whole Ganon issue to solve. It could also be possible that we simply killed Ganondorf in that game, leaving Ganon to be a problem for future generations, but who's counting how many times he's been slain at this point anyway?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is looking more and more awesome with each passing day. During a Let's Play session that was also released recently (above), we can see that the game looks beautiful even on the Wii U's hardware.
Breath of the Wild is also shaping up to be one of the most interesting Legend of Zelda titles in recent history, looking to break away from the modern rinse-and-repeat format as much as possible. How much it actually strays from the formula will be determined on launch, but for now it's looking to be one of the greatest works Nintendo has shown us in a long time.
Hopefully the surprises keep coming between now and the end of our first run of the game.
But what do you readers think? Do you think a Female Link is still a possibility? Where do you think this game sits on the timeline? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!