It can be a drag not knowing too much at this time about the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild 2, but that leaves some nice room for fan theories and speculation… and there is plenty of it when it comes to the sequel of one of the best games ever made. Today I am going to round up all the fan theories and speculation, and we can run through them all one by one, plus add some more into the mix too.
Before we get into it, I’d love to hear your theories for Breath of the Wild 2. Is Zelda going to be playable? What’s up with Link’s arm, plus are dungeons coming back? Share your thoughts in the comments with the community.
Without further delay let’s dive into the theories and speculation, shall we?
Zelda is a playable character
Ever since the first trailer back in 2019 fans have jumped onto Zelda’s haircut being shorter than it was before. Rather than just a fancy new haircut, fans have read into this meaning Princess Zelda herself is going to be a playable character in Breath of the Wild 2. Princesses don’t necessarily need short hair to survive in an open-world Hyrule, but this change of design does seem significant.
Back in 2019, Eiji Aonuma discussed the trailer with IGN and Kotaku at the time, although managed to avoid answering directly when it came to the questions of Zelda being a playable character or not. When he was asked he did say
“It’s kind of interesting that you bring that up because in Breath of the Wild, you see Zelda and Link together often too, so to go straight into the thought of co-op is very interesting to me.”
Aonuma is the master of deflection, and I would imagine would have a very fruitful career in politics with answers like these. We don’t have any clear indication at this time that Zelda will be a playable character, but this is something that Aonuma finds interesting, plus fans have been calling for this for some time. It would also be a very good way to mix up the series and add a new dimension. Water was slightly doused on this idea in the E3 2021 trailer, where we see Princess Zelda falling backwards into the darkness… and we haven’t really seen her since.
Are there two Links?
We have seen two very different looking Links in the trailers so far. In the initial E3 2019 trailer, we saw Breath of the Wild Link, in his signature blue, hero’s tunic. Then much of the focus in the E3 2021 trailer was a new style Link, one with long hair, and a strange new right arm. We’ve seen a much closer look of this Link in the recent 2022 delay trailer. We don’t know if we skip back in time and this is a Link from another time, or perhaps it’s a Link from another dimension? It could be that Blue Champions Tunic Link is early in the game, in the introduction, and Link gets corrupted through the strange green arm holding Ganondorf’s corpse in place.
It could be we play as strange arm Link for the majority of the game, and Champions Tunic Link was merely in the introduction, to act as continuity for fans moving from Breath of the Wild 1 to the sequel. I do feel like we have done the time element with Link before in Ocarina of Time, so to do that all over again would be strange.
It may be that this other character, the one with the Long Shaggy Hair and Strange Arm, perhaps isn’t Link at all… this could be a new character entirely.
Playing the 2021 trailer backwards
If you play the E3 2021 trailer backwards, then this reveals the Breath of the Wild theme music. Is this significant in some way? Probably not, this is likely to be Nintendo just messing with us, knowing we’re going to run through every second, every clip with a fine-tooth comb scouring for every detail we can muster.
Inspired by Red Dead Redemption 2
Eiji Aonuma said in an interview with IGN in 2019 that the developers have been playing a lot of Red Dead Redemption 2. The first game was inspired by Skyrim, so could we see some elements of Red Dead creep into the sequel, and what would that look like?
- A mobile camp system which allows us to rest, as well as build up and talk to other NPCs
- Random world events, smaller than side quests but interesting elements that make Hyrule feel ‘alive’
- We could see some changes to the weapon system, where weapons in Red Dead deteriorated over time and had to be cleaned, rather than just breaking.
Red Dead 2 was one of the most impressive open-world games in the past few years until Elden Ring came out, and it’ll be interesting to see how these inspirations manifest in the game.
Personally, I’d like to see a change to the weapon system. I wasn’t a fan of the breakable weapon system in the original. I think it was a good thing to try, but it didn’t really work for me. Perhaps it’s coming from the world of looters, where the chase of the weapon is the pull… only then for it to break in my hands didn’t feel very satisfying. Yes, it promoted using a variety of weapons, but I think this can be done in other ways. As we alluded to before, it would be interesting to see weapons get dirty, and perhaps they need to be cleaned like in Red Dead 2, but I would like to see an evolution to the breakable weapons system. Elden Ring clearly took inspiration from Breath of the Wild, and I’d like to see Breath of the Wild take inspiration from Elden Ring in the weapons department.
Return of Dungeons
The original Breath of the Wild was heralded as one of, if not the best game of all time, however, fans of the classic Zelda series missed the old school type of Dungeons like the previous Zelda games. Yes, we got the Divine Beasts and the Shrines, but they didn’t really hold a candle to the old Dungeons from Skyward Sword, Ocarina of Time and Link to the Past. The return of dungeons would also allow the return of boss variation, something that was lacking from Breath of the Wild. I would imagine much of the development went into the open world itself, rather than the Divine Beast design. They were good, but they also felt very samey, and the only boss variation we really got was from the Calamity Ganon himself. You could argue the Lynels felt like bosses at times and had good design variation, but nothing beats a good dungeon or temple with a dramatic boss fight at the end.
Who is the corpse?
The mummified corpse is one of the central characters in the first E3 2019 trailer. This corpse appears to wake up with glowing red eyes, then in the 2021 trailer, we see the corpse screaming. Everyone’s immediate thoughts are this is Ganondorf, given the jewels on the character and also the red hair. It could indeed be Ganondorf from the very first Legend of Zelda game, but it could also be someone else. Zelda’s timeline is long and twisting, leaving room for other characters to come into focus.
Ganondorf origin story?
We’ve discussed before that there appear to be two Links in Breath of the Wild 2. This could be the game where we delve into the backstory for Ganondorf. The corpse of the being mummified under Hyrule Castle in the first trailer seems to be wearing very similar clothes to the character skydiving in the E3 2021 trailer. We have so far assumed that this skydiving character is Link, but the clothes are strikingly similar.
During the original Breath of the Wild, we did learn about the “Hero from 10,000 years ago”, celebrated through a tapestry. This could, in theory, be a young Ganondorf, although on closer inspection this character doesn’t look very Gerudo… so we’ll have to wait and see. It does seem that Ganondorf is going to be stepping into a bigger role in this game.
Let me know in the comments what theories you have about Breath of the Wild 2, I’d love to hear about them.
That’s it for this look at speculation and fan theories for Breath of the Wild 2. For more