Hello everyone! As you may not know, my name is Jared, a writer for NintendoFuse and gigantic Zelda fan. With the permission of the team, I thought I’d throw out my rendition of BotW2 and what is happening within the game. This article does have spoilers for various Zelda games so if you don’t want games like Skyward Sword, Breath of the Wild, Age of Calamity, Twilight Princess, and more, I don’t recommend you reading further.
Let me first preface that this is a large theory, which holds no ties to what may or may not happen into the next game, more of the ramblings of a Zelda addict. This first started with the original BotW2 trailer, then the events that happen in Age of Calamity, and then this newest trailer. I ended up talking about these theories a lot with friends and came up with a big batch of ideas. (Special thanks to my friend Casa for hearing and theorizing with me). Some of these ideas or theories may have already been explored in other channels or in others. Please forgive me if there is a bit of a mishmash with them.
I feel that Nintendo went from ideas of Princess Mononoke in BotW to a little in Castle in the Sky. A lot of which is shown evident in the story of BotW and the two trailers of BotW2
The story so far and beginnings of Breath of the Wild 2
This part will discuss what I feel happens at the end of BotW and the beginning of Botw2 leading forwards. I’ll try to support this theory later on in this article with various notions. Forgive me if this has fan-fiction vibes, but the other theories that I have supporting it will make it an easier read.
As we saw at the end of Breath of the Wild, Ganon has been defeated once again, Link and Zelda are able to start to rebuild Hyrule and take care of any loose ends. Vah Ruta stopped working which leads to them going to investigate. Without the calamity, there really isn’t a need for them for now so I think they may have either shut down or lay dormant somewhere just in case. This may be why we don’t see them in the most recent BotW2 trailer. After that, our two hero’s find out about what lurks either underneath Hyrule castle or somewhere deep in the Faron. They eventually travel through a dungeon with the Boar shaped entrance, shown in the first trailer and eventually reach the art on the walls depicting Ganondorf, with his Trident, which I find interesting.
As they approach the mummified carcass of what was Ganondorf, whom I feel is the Twilight Princess iteration, the three pieces of the Triforce react to one another, waking the Demon King from his slumber. This causes him to quickly attack Link with malice, injuring him and causing him to drop the Master Sword. Ganondorf also causes either Hyrule Castle to rise or whatever area they are below to have a sudden earthquake. This causes the ground to collapse under Zelda, to which Link dives to save her, and the Zonai hand to come to Link’s aid as well. It grabs Link, saving him from also falling down the chasm, but in doing so, forces Link to miss saving Zelda. Link, still mortally injured is then saved by the hand from Ganondorf’s malice, by fusing itself with Link. It is then we have Link transported out of the tomb into the sky to which starts the new adventure ahead to save Zelda and defeat Ganondorf once again.
The state of Link in the beginning
In the beginning we see Link interacting in some way with Malice and then with this energy hand. I feel that Link is infected similar to how he was in Twilight Princess, when he was turned into a wolf, but to the extent that instead of the Master Sword expelling the curse or malice, it forces itself away from Link’s grasp. This could be how they bring Link’s life back down to three hearts and not have him start the game with the Master Sword. I do think Zelda may end up finding the Master Sword in whatever chasm that she falls down and it may be an idea in the extent that you have times where you play as Zelda and make your way back to the surface or Link must go through the trials to reach back down to her and maybe Ganondorf for the final battle.
The Demon Kings End and New Beginning
How Ganondorf got to where he was located and his state is very interesting. One thing I’m thinking involving Ganondorf and the hand being under Hyrule Castle, is that they tried to not necessarily kill him but put him in a stasis similar to Link in the resurrection chamber. In a sense they kept him dead but alive so he doesn’t reincarnate. They ended up using Zonai magic to do this.
It looks like they gave him somewhat a more honorable “burial” in the sense that they put him in some traditional Gerudo garb and jewelry. The jeweled headpiece is very reminiscent of the one from Twilight Princess.The clothes reminded me of Wind Waker Ganondorf, who to be honest was probably the only version of Ganondorf trying to help his people, so I felt like it would play fairly well in this idea. They also used Gerudo writings on the ground either out of respect or part of the spell being tied to ones lineage since the Gerudo language is also in the energy of the spell on him.
So in the end, the start of BotW2 is because of another one of the Hylian Royal Families hidden dark past.
A Change of Clothes… or Heroes?
As for the ideas of two different Links based on clothes, I’m still wracking my brain around that. Part of me thinks it could be true, but I feel like it isn’t. I think what will happen that leads to the change of attire is Link and Zelda wake up Ganondorf, he attacks Link’s arm, like I said before, then raises the castle. As that happens, Zelda loses her footing and falls. Link tries to save her and the Zonai hand grabs him to save him resulting in Zelda falling. Then Link is healed, somewhat, by the Zonai hand in the underground area, We can see this based on the setting and the Gerudo text on the ground. We also see that Links clothes are gone which may have either been destroyed or be because it had to be removed to heal him properly (like in the shrine of resurrection), this could lead to the change in outfits we see in the trailer. They give him a traditional Zonai garb. This Zonai garb is also a bit similar to the clothes that Ganondorf wears in the trailer, but it is truly hard to tell.
There have been a lot of talks about a second Link that we get to play as in the past, which would be cool. It would fit into the idea of playing through someones memories similar to what was done in the Assassin’s Creed series or even just a playable version of the memories we see in the original Breath of the Wild.
The Barbarian Armor and the Missing Link
One thing that doesn’t necessarily add up when it comes to this overarching theory of the Zonai is when it comes to the Barbarian Armor. While its description does talk about it being from a warlike tribe, which alludes to the Zonai, it doesn’t necessarily match up to the other aspect I talk about in style. The Barbarian set does fit in some contexts of style when it comes to the war paint being reminiscent of the dark lines on Link’s arm when the hand is bonded to him and some of the clothes aesthetics, the head piece seems out of place. It is a skull with reddish hair coming off the back, which heavily implies to it being a tribute, or mocking of Ganon. The skull is indistinguishable from any other monster in the world, but reminds me of Ganon’s horns (specifically in OoT), or even Phantom Ganon’s mask from OoT. It is a tough call and is one of the biggest parts that I may or may not be overthinking.
I think that BotW2 may have an overall three-tiered map. We have the islands in the sky, Hyrule to which we’ve already explored, and a series of underground caves or tunnels. I feel that the islands we see in the new trailer are actually situated directly above shrines and towers. I also feel that these islands are remnants of the world of Skyloft, the Oocca, or most likely the Zonai which could be connected in some way to the other two. I do think we will have dungeons coming back where you will find most of them either high in the sky or underground. It would also be interesting to take on the sea and outside borders of Hyrule as well, but I doubt that will happen.
The Islands in the Sky
Now that it is evident that Link will be returning to the sky once again, there are some interesting details about these islands. The shrines and/or towers may be directly below the islands seen in the trailer. Based on the shrines and towers not being seen in the trailers, I think they may be replaced by the ripple-like craters that will be talked about later. I do think it also weighs in with what people said that the constellations may not be for stars, but islands. I’m not 100% sold on that, but you never know.
These sky islands have a few interesting details about them. They use architecture that looks very sacred if that makes sense. It is very clean in the color and while I do not think this is the Sacred Realm, it does have some call backs to the original artwork of it. It also is reminiscent of Skyloft and the Islands of the Oocca, as stated before. Another interesting detail is that if you look closely of the architecture, you can see Sheikah writing on some of the pillars, but it is a bit too hard to read and translate. We also see those interesting lights, which I will touch briefly on later.
These floating islands are interesting, especially since they are no where to be found in BotW even on the clearest days. Because of this I have two theories; one being that these islands either appear, come up from the ground, or come from an even higher altitude to a point where they are actually visible. The other theory is that they are in BotW, but invisible to the naked eye. If we recall the dragons that travel throughout Hyrule, they leave the world through a portal of clouds into nothingness. This portal may actually lead to the world of the sky islands and give a story driven reason for why they aren’t visible. This also can connect back to Skyward Sword and they fact that we can’t see the land from the sky and vice versa unless we create the portals.
It is clear that Skyward Sword is going to be a big piece in this game with the HD re-relase coming out, the sky motifs, and Fi’s call in BotW. I do think that we may see some Fi in the next game.
The Magic of the Sheikah and Others
One theory I’ve had since BotW first came out is that there were three animals that relate to the three pieces of the Triforce. The Boar (Power), Owl (Wisdom), and Dragon (Courage). With that being said, I also feel that there are 3 factions of Sheikah in BotW that will also go with this being idea; Yiga, the original Sheikah, and Zonai.
It is obvious that the Zonai have a lot to do with this sequel and it is pretty clear that their story will be heavily explained as well. The Zonai may have been a broken off faction of the Sheikah, similar to the Yiga; or they may have been a group of ancient Sheikah as well. It is tough to say, because most of the Sheikah were destroyed or in hiding after the events of Twilight Princess, a detail I’ll get into a bit more later.
The Zonai, like the Sheikah, have some magical abilities and to what extent is unknown, but what is gathered, is they have a lot of interesting capabilities. the Zonai were the ones who actually had inherent magical ability, and the Sheikah were able to harness it into technology ala the Sheikah Slate. I feel that when the Zonai arm combined with Link it unlocked that magic within him as well. The Zonai magic is the magic we see partially replicated with the Sheikah Slate. I only say partially, because there seems to be more magic that wasn’t able to transfer over to the technology. When the Zonai arm combined with Link it unlocked that magic within him as well, which I think will be how he has the different runes that were once in the Sheikah Slate, along with some others that they weren’t able to replicate, like the Hookshot or the beetle that was seen in concept art.
Other Runes and Abilities
Diving deeper into the abilities Link may gain with his new found arm we can see the Zelda teams creative work in bringing what they’ve accomplished and pushing the boundaries even further. One of the main abilites that is easiest to dissect is the time rune/ ability. This looks to be a new take on the Stasis rune, but instead of freezing an object in time and being able to add force to it, this actually reverses the time of an item. It works in a way that whatever the power is used on, goes back along the path it originally took through time. This will allow for some really cool puzzles and opportunities. This magic may also be a call back to the time shift stones in Skyward Sword or the Ocarina of Time in the sense that the Zonai may have harnessed the energy to create this magic. Luminous Stones were fairly prominent in the first trailer so there is some connection with the color.
The scene with the raindrop going in reverse could also be a time based magic. I feel that will also be an ability given through the arm and those water drop craters may be fast travel points/ waypoints instead of shrines and towers. The ability may be either dropping from Hyule from the sky, making a ripple crater upon impact and a new fast travel point from that. So you may need to traverse the islands in order to make fast travel points from the land below. This is why we see the raindrop fall in reverse and link moving up through the island.
When it comes to weapons, not too much is shown. I expect that outside of the abilities, we will see a lot more new weapons and items for Link to use. We do see Link use a shield with what looks to be a Zonai style fire breathing dragon head, based on the design and green energy it uses. We also see new clothes, shield, bow, and possibly sword. These can all be Zonai by design, but unsure if that’s the exact case.
The Zonai Guardian
Based on the other theories and what is seen in the trailer, it seems that the creature in the trailer is that of Zonai creation. While many have said that it could be an enemy, I am not so certain. Quite the contrary, I feel that it is going to make out to be one of Link’s allies in the world. You may have to defeat it in the beginning, but only as a trial of strength similar to the guardians in the shrines. One thing that I haven’t heard many say is that this Zonai guardian is that in the shape of a dragon. In the trailer we see it cocking it’s neck back but it does have a long dragon shape to it giving it a look fairly similar to the elongated style of Long dragons similar to the roaming ones in BotW or Chinese mythology. This also supports my theory of the Zonai embodying courage and the dragon being their animal deity.
On it’s chest we see an interesting symbol, similar to a broom, but every time I look at it I think, “That’s a great spot to interact with by touching, shooting an arrow at, or even use a hookshot. It also has those interesting lights on it’s body, which may mean it is camouflaged in some way by mimicking the structures on the islands in the sky. This guardians could also be caretakers for these islands, similar to that of the robots in Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky.
When it comes to enemies, we’re always bound to see some new ones or re imaginings of old ones. In the trailer presented we saw one new enemy that may be completely new, or it may be a version of an established enemy. To me it looked like either a Leever, a Like Like, a Deku Baba, or a combination of two or more of them. They did look susceptible to fire, and there definitely is a weak point in their mouth which would also make for a great hookshot latching point.
We also got to see powered up Bokoblins and Moblins, with their main change being the horn at the top of their head, While I don’t really care for it aesthetically, it does add a more menacing touch to the Bokoblins and a bit of a sillier one to the Moblins. We also see a bit of an increase in intelligence, since they are now building small camps on top of Stone Talos, which was a fantastic idea from the Zelda team. It may be safe to say that Ganondorf being released also released a bit more malice into the world, giving all his minions a bit of a power up.
The Name of the Game is…
For the name of the game I do think it’s going to go along the lines of either The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the _____ or The Legend of Zelda: _____of Link. I only think that, because that is a frequent occurrence with direct sequels to Zelda games.
Music of the Trailer
The music in the trailer definitely has Easter Eggs in it when played in reverse that a lot have found. The part with Hyrule Castle is Ganon’s theme and the other part earlier on is the BotW theme. Plus the Zelda Lullaby towards the end. The reverse chanting is still a bit too hard to distinguish, like it was in the first trailer. It may just end up being similar to what they do with Animal Crossing and Midna, where it is Japanese sounds of words mixed up, so it is indistinguishable from anything.
Hyrule Castle Rises Up
A theory I have is that with each trailer moving forward, at the end of it, we will see Hyrule castle raise up a little higher than the previous trailer.
One thing I’d like to note is this isn’t the first time Ganondorf hasn’t taken control of Hyrule Castle and raised it above the ground making it nearly impossible to get to. Maybe we will have to make a bridge with the help of some sages again.
Connection to Age of Calamity
Trying to figure out if there was any way of Age of Calamity coming into play with this game was pretty difficult. It is a very important to BotW‘s story since it in some way talks about how it leads to what happens in the game along with an alternate timeline. It plays in the sense that everything that happens until the calamity strikes is canon to the main story and from when the futures champions come to help is where the actual timeline split is. I do wonder if the “good” ending will ever be touched upon again, but that’s a story for another day.
There is an aspect of the Age of Calamity story-line that may come into play though. There were two characters introduced that may or may not see a return in BotW2. Astor and Terrako. While it seems that Terrako had a integral part of stopping and causing the Calamity, I feel it’s story kind of ends there. Astor, on the other hand, could make a reappearance. He was a character that was alluded to in Breath of the Wild, though not officially confirmed, but he does seem like someone who’d also have the knowledge and desire to free Ganondorf of his tomb. He doesn’t really fit with my overall theory, but it is always a possibility.
Other Small Theories
I got a lot of Bowser’s Fury vibes from the castle rising up higher over the last two trailers. It which made me feel like after a certain amount of time the castle will fall and the game would be over, kinda like Majora’s Mask. But this theory is kind of a stretch to hold any weight. Another idea I had is Hyrule breaking apart and going back to the sky, but after really diving into the trailer more and seeing other theories, I doubt it.
Part of me thinks that this may end up being the last game in the timeline, but I doubt it and I don’t want it to be. And my friend and I thought there was also the possibility of this game being heavily involved with time moreso than let on, to the point where the Zelda timeline is cyclical in the sense that after this game it could become the start of SS, but that’s another far reach.
Wow, you made it to the end of this wild theory article. Congrats! I hope you really enjoyed the thoughts and concepts I presented here for you. I may end up adding more to this article if more comes to mind or if more information comes forth. With that being said, I’d love to hear your thoughts and theories so please go ahead and post them in the comment section down below. I look forward to reading them.