Having spent the past few weeks making my way through the land before Hyrule in Skyward Sword HD, I’ve been reminded of how much it sets up for the rest of the Legend of Zelda series — and particularly Breath of the Wild 2. Chronologically the first game in the franchise, Skyward Sword gives us not only the origin of Link’s iconic Master Sword, but also sets up the unending cycle of conflict between Link, Zelda, and the malice that would eventually become Ganon.
With the impending release of Breath of the Wild 2 sometime in 2022, I expect that Nintendo will take a lot of cues from Skyward Sword. Already the imagery in the Breath of the Wild 2 trailer has echoes of this often-maligned entry in the Legend of Zelda franchise. With the upcoming game set to be the chronological bookend to the timeline, I don’t think this is an accident.
Buckle up, friends. We’re going to do a bit of wild speculation!
We still have precious few details about Breath of the Wild 2 outside of the pair of trailers that have been released. The most recent E3 Nintendo Direct gave us our most complete look at the gameplay in this highly anticipated sequel. A few flashing images pop up before we see Link falling through the sky in a very familiar pose to how he approaches the ground in Skyward Sword.
This, combined with the imagery presented of a floating continent very similar looking to Skyloft, the main hub town of Skyward Sword, at the very least shows that the developers had the previous game in mind when they were putting together the new entry into the Legend of Zelda timeline. We’ll likely see a carry over of themes and some familiar faces, but I do wonder how far it will go.
One of the big themes running through Skyward Sword is that Link is looking for someone close to him. He isn’t on this quest solely to save the world. That is just a by-product of his quest to rescue his friend. He faces the dungeons and the boss fights so that he can get closer to freeing her from the destiny that has entrapped both of them.
In Skyward Sword, much like in Breath of the Wild 2, Link is familiar with Zelda from the outset of the game. Normally in the series, they are strangers brought together by the need to defeat whatever calamity threatens to destroy the kingdom, but in these two games they are friends. I expect that, despite my previous pleadings, that a good chunk of Breath of the Wild 2 will be spent rescuing Zelda.
Do I expect a return of Loftwings or even Fi as our travel companion in the next game? Not really. Despite some of the imagery used in the most recent trailer, I don’t think they will tie Breath of the Wild 2 to Skyward Sword that explicitly. More likely, it will be similar themes and a couple of locations in common between the two games. Even though there is a brief reference to Fi still existing within the Master Sword in Breath of the Wild, I don’t think we’ll get to see them again anytime soon.
If it were me, I would use this upcoming game to show the breaking of the Ganon cycle that is established in Skyward Sword. This would be a poetic ending for what appears to be the capstone game in the Legend of Zelda timeline, freeing Hyrule and its people from the spectre of destruction that seems to show up every few hundred years. Of course, that would require Nintendo to come up with an equally iconic villain for Link to face off with in the future, so I don’t know if that will happen either.
No matter what, Breath of the Wild 2 is one of the most anticipated games in the Legend of Zelda franchise, partly due to the success of the previous game as well as the delays that have plagued it. How much it borrows from Skyward Sword remains to be seen, but I wager that we’ll see more than a few references to it when we finally get our hands on Breath of the Wild 2 next year.
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