I’ve really gotten into Breath of the Wild recently, and am already excited for the sequel. When tracking down rumors of what the new game is going to be like, it can be hard to separate the real information from supposition and outright lies. This article will make this even more difficult, by adding a bunch of self-avowed bullshit!
I only recently got a Nintendo Switch, and only recentlier started playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BOTW). I’ve never been big on the 3-D Zelda games, and have had bad experiences with open-world games, so I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I have been. I’ve been playing it near constantly for the last couple weeks, and find it really delivers on that old canard that so many open world games promise: the ability to complete it with whatever play style you prefer.
The thing I really dig about the game are the puzzle shrines. The atmospheric puzzles are usually my favorite thing about the Zelda games, and I’ve always been annoyed with past games that wouldn’t let me focus on them. “Hey, giant ceiling hands, instead of pulling me back to the entrance, how about letting me jump on these color-changing tiles for a few minutes? And you can take some personal time. You need it. Look at those cuticles! Don’t let this job be your life–Ganon talks a big talk about his organization being like a family, but that’s just so he can skimp on the family leave!”1 The puzzle shrines let you really focus on the specific challenge. Yes, I do kind of missing the building mechanical complexity of the old dungeons, where each one assumes you have been developing the tools and methods from all previous temples, but a lot of these puzzles are legitimately fun to figure out, and I’ve been very pleased to see how much mileage the game has managed to get out of a really small toolset.
But the thing about getting really into an older game is by the time you’re having reactions to it, every reaction has already run the full gamut from discovery, through debate, to commonplace, and finally boredom.
So I’ve decided to go a different route. Knowing that a Breath of the Wild sequel is coming out next year, I’ve done a little digging to offer this comprehensive guide to some of the more interesting new features of that game. As a certified 90s child, let me assure you that my findings are consistent with the rigor of every playground rumor about new games, having come directly from my uncle who works at Nintendo. Which is to say, I’ve made them all up.
BOTW introduced a lot of new mechanics to the Zelda pattern, and the new game isn’t going to be any different. Here are some of the new features you can expect:
The new game will have a hardcore mode like in Fallout: New Vegas, only instead of managing water, sleep, and food, you have to maintain hygiene. You won’t be able to turn in quests or start new ones unless you’ve washed some of the monster guts.
After the incredible success of the breaking-weapon mechanics from BOTW, the new game will feature breakable controllers.
In the older games, didn’t you hate it when you’d cut down bushes, looking for rupees, and only release a swarm of bees that attacked you? Of course you didn’t! That’s everyone’s favorite part! So this game is going to be ALL BEES. You’ll spend bees as currency! You’ll shoot bees from your bow! And once you get to the end and rescue Zelda… yes! She’s bees, too!
In the original Zelda, Pols Voice could only be defeated with an arrow or, in the Famicom release, a well-timed shout. In Ocarina of Time, you had to reflect a Deku Scrub’s projectile attack back at it to defeat it. The new, mechanic-specific enemy will be the Di’Elsee, which require you to input a specific sequence of numbers into a special interface. I’ve been assured the sequence is random, and if you notice that you get the most results by putting in your credit card info, complete with expiration date, zip code, and security code… Well, that comes from too much stress and ovework, and can only be addressed by playing more Zelda, and enjoying these other fine, fine products from our friends at Nintendo.
Unlockable character confirmed: Gertrude Stein.
Instead of breakability, your weapons will have a hidden “affection” statistic that determines how much they like you. If you want that boomerang to come back to you, you need to put in the work.
They’re bringing back the musical instruments by giving Link a magical theremin that gives him control of mayonnaise. You can only use it if there’s an electricity source nearby, though.2
Each game has a new vision of Link, whether it’s the pink-haired dimension hopper in Link to the Past, the clothes-horse mountain climber in Breath of the Wild, or the detail-oriented bureaucrat in Zelda Teaches Microsoft Excel Functions. Whaddya think of this new distinct Link:
The game is called Tears of the Kingdom because occasionally, Link will just sit on the floor and start crying. It won’t be on any kind of schedule, and there’s no item or quest in the game to stop it. Enemies won’t attack. They’ll usually sit on the ground and start crying, too. We’re all invited to join him, as we know we want to.
Getting past the whole debate about whether Link is left-handed or right-handed, Link will exclusively use a previously unknown third-hand which sprouts Kuato-like from the middle of his stomach.
Link knows what you did.
This game will feature character creation mechanics. No, you won’t be able to change how Link looks, his abilities, or even his name, but you can determine his childhood talents and ambitions. They won’t play into the game at all, but as you’re fighting for survival across a nightmarish, Hyrulian hellscape, you can always be aware of the simple life, the life of your choices and dreams, that was denied you.
Challenging New Shrines
The puzzle shrines were a defining feature of BOTW, but once you’ve played enough of them, you get a basic idea of the overall theory behind them and they can become a lot easier.3 To that end, Nintendo has been working round the clock since the last game to develop new puzzle styles. Here’s some of the new puzzles:
In order to complete Djein’an Lylli Shrine, you must successfully fold a fitted sheet.
If you manage to find Bul’Mayrd Shrine, you see walls that are lined with ugly artwork. They’re all NFTs, and you’re challenged to find the most profitable one. The only way to successfully complete the shrine is to turn around and leave within twelve seconds.
The Shrine of Dismeens’Yu can only be completed by succesfully identifying parody.
The temple of Fa’Byo will require you to believe it’s not butter.
Nutsta Dis shrine is Zelda II.
An inter-connected series of shrines in the Zganshunn Region will require you to find a choriamb, chiasmus, and maintain at leat sixteen lines of English-language terza rima.
Also, I’m hearing rumors that if you complete all the shrines within 24-hours from starting a New Game, you will still eventually come to the end of your only life on this earth.
- I’ve just talked myself into wanting a game where Link never gets a sword, but has to use all his ingenuity to unionize all the dungeons in Hyrule. ↩
- Damn. I know this was supposed to be a joke, but actually, using the Switch’s motion controls, a magical theremin actually does sound workable! ↩
- Also, there’s some concern within the fandom community that, since there are so many FAQs and walkthroughs out there, that players are cheating themselves out of the experience of figuring out the puzzles themselves, and that these walkthrough-consulting players can’t count themselves to have really beaten the game. To address this, all shrines will have a special button near the door. If you are worried that this is a shrine that is too easily spoiled with an internet explainer, simply hit this button, and Nintendo will shut down your internet for a month, you sad little gatekeeper. ↩