Will We Solve The Mystery Of The Zonai Tribe In Breath Of The Wild 2?

The mystery of the Zonai Tribe has been described by Zelda developers as “the greatest mystery in Hyrule that hasn’t yet been solved!”. Today I am going to look into what we currently know about the Zonai Tribe from clues left in Breath of the Wild, plus have a look at what happened to them, and the likelihood of them returning in the upcoming Breath of the Wild 2.

The vast open world in the original Breath of the Wild tells its own story; the broken down old Guardians, the crumbling Temple of Time and various ruins across the land. In Breath of the Wild Hyrule is a land recovering from a great disaster, with only a few people left.

One of the stories the landscape tells is that of the Zonai Tribe, and they are one of the biggest mysteries in the Legend of Zelda series. The Zonai has never appeared in a Legend of Zelda game, but many clues have been left around Hyrule that paint a picture of prehistoric people, and we could be about to find out more about them in Breath of the Wild 2.

The Zonai are comparable to the Aztec civilisation we have in our own world; they had their own basic technology, but they were clearly advanced enough to create great temples and structures strewn around Hyrule. These structures can be visited and seen in Breath of the Wild; there is the Stone Dragon near the Spring of Courage plus we have the huge mazes in Gerudo Desert, Akkala and also Hebra. The Zonai have left their own unique mark on the structures with the signature Zonai spiral design.

The Barbarian armour set also holds clues to the Zonai, given the description reads “bolsters your fighting spirit and raises your attack power” plus it was worn by “an ancient warlike tribe from the Faron region”. This armour can be found by in the mazes, plus you can find plenty of ancient clues in the Faron region itself, meaning it’s highly likely this armour set was once worn by a Zonai Tribe member.

The Barbarian set is primitive in nature and looks like it’s been cobbled together from leather, skulls, bone and fur. The Zonai were clearly tough people, and strength was highly regarded in their culture. Warriors were likely the leaders, rather than wise men. Clues to the Zonai’s dedication to strength can be seen in the Faron region, with some structures looking like pigs, which represent power, given Ganon and the Triforce of power have been associated with that visual style. Another prominent structure in the Faron region is the Dragon-like Structure by the Spring of Courage. This is likely a homage to Farosh, the lightning Dragon that roams around the Faron region.

There aren’t too many details about the Zonai, but given their structures, armour and influence they must have had on Hyrule, understanding who they were and why they disappeared is a mystery worth investigating. Many fans are wanting more details in the up-and-coming Breath of the Wild 2.

The Breath of the Wild 2 links come from the use of the Dragon-shaped carved attachment link appears to have on his left arm when he’s fighting an enemy. Given this has a Dragon design, it’s thought that this could have been gifted to Link by the Zonai, perhaps left for him, or if we go back 10,000 in the past, the Zonai could be alive and thriving in Breath of the Wild 2, and gifting Link weapons in person.

There are a few more clues in Breath of the Wild, specifically with the Thyphlo Ruins. Zonai architecture is all over the place here, but it’s covered in darkness. Zelda fans have a theory that this used to be a Zonai City. There is a shrine here, but completing or solving the shrine doesn’t offer any more clues as to why the darkness is there. It’s a strange place, one that doesn’t quite fit in Breath of the Wild, or perhaps it’s shrouded in powerful magic.

One working theory is linked to another Legend of Zelda game, but perhaps not the one you are thinking of. We’ve seen a lot of evidence in the game of a thematic link to Skyward Sword with the skydiving, and the master sword ‘communicating’ with Princess Zelda. But it’s not Skyward Sword, it’s Twilight Princess which could hold the keys to the crucial information we’re missing. Twilight Princess includes stories about the Twili, who are referred to as the “Shadow Race, condemned to the Twlight Realm” after they tried to claim the Triforce using magic. For example, they are a race, that exists in a different dimension, surrounded by darkness.

It could be the Zonai are not gone, but they have somehow been trapped in another dimension, cloaked in darkness forever as punishment for trying to steal the Triforce with magic. After all, the Zonai were known for their magic use. In the official Breath of the Wild: Master Works, originally published in Japanese, refers to the Zonai as magic users who disappeared due to a “powerful curse”, which sounds very similar to the Twili. The same book describes the disappearance of the Zonai “the greatest mystery in Hyrule that hasn’t yet been solved!” from the Zelda developers themselves.

The mystery of the Zonai is definitely an interesting one to think about and could offer clues as to potential story beats for the Breath of the Wild sequel. The ruins dotted around Hyrule are big clues, plus we have Link’s armour set, but we don’t have a Zonai NPC in the game to talk to… yet. Given we could be about to travel back to the time of the hero from 10,000 ago (represented by Link with the long hair), then perhaps we’ll get the chance to meet the Zonai, and find out more about their people.

Let me know in the comments what you think about the Zonai, and do you want to hear more of their story in Breath of the Wild 2.

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