A few weeks ago, we ran the new trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild from The Game Awards though our analysis machine and found some pretty surprising things–so make sure to give it a watch if you haven’t already. But that trailer wasn’t the only glimpse at Zelda that the Game Awards provides, as Bill Trinen and Nate Bihldorff took us on a 5-minute gameplay tour of a new part of the world that we haven’t seen yet. So yep, it’s finally time to analyze this too. And right away, we can tell this area is some kind of forest–albeit a more tropical one complete with palm trees.
Even the temperature gauge is pointing to it being hot. But this area also appears to be windy, as we can see visible gusts blowing through, with the shrubbery bending in the breeze. But did you notice the wind actually switches directions? At first it’s blowing to the right, but a few seconds later, it starts coming right at the camera. It’s a neat touch making the world feel even more dynamic, and might even factor into the gameplay, such as affecting which way a grass fire spreads. We’ll have more about this area soon–for now, let’s focus on the new Bird character named Kass–and we can see that’s his name before Bill and Ted…err Bill and Nate, even talk to him as we can see the highlighted character’s name now appears over their head–which is something that wasn’t present in the E3 build.
Of course, this isn’the first one bird person we’ve seen in in Breath of the Wild as we saw another in Game Awards trailer. But interestingly, they don’t appear to be the same species–although it is possible they’re both just part of a larger bird family. One of our fans Shoggoth8833, who’s clearly much much more of an avian expert than we are, points out that Kass appears to be based on the blue-and-gold Macaw–and like the real-life bird, we can see Kas is mostly blue with a goal colored front that’s just barely visible underneath all the clothing he’s wearing.
And as it turns out, blue-and-gold Macaws are not only intelligent, but capable of learning a relatively large vocabulary–which is fitting, given that Kass is a Minstrel, which Google defines as a musician that sings or recites lyric or heroic poetry to a musical accompaniment for the nobility. So yeah, having a large vocabulary would certainly come in handy! And true to his profession, we can both see and hear Kass playing an accordion even before approaching–and that accordion, by the way, even shares the blue and gold color scheme too. And if we zoom in close, we can see he carries around paper scrolls with music written on them as well. Anyways, once you talk to him, he’ll ask if you’d like to hear the ancient verse that’s been passed down through this region. That verse is is as follows: Where the Dragon’s mouth meets the serpent’s jaws / A Shrine sleeps in the forest with Noble cause.
And in typical Zelda fashion, the keywords are highlighted, with Dragon in blue and Shrine in Red. Now it may be a coincidence, but the Shrine’s red text aligns with the same color of Shrines that are undiscovered–much as the one Kass refers to likely is. Curious. Also, of note, Serpent isn’t highlighted, suggesting it’s of relatively little importance compared to the Dragon–which matches what we see later. Now as he recites the lyrics, he also plays his accordion–and the song that he plays? Yep, that’s the Breath of the Wild theme. And that’s pretty interesting, as that suggests the song has meaning beyond just being the game’s theme. Instead, it might have actual meaning within this world. And since Minstrel’s recite lyrics for those of nobility, could that be a clue as to what the song relates to? Perhaps being representative of Hylian royalty or something similar? Also, I’m just going to throw this out there–but Link’s encountered many characters during his adventures with instruments, and more often than not, they teach him how to play a song.
Take Guru-Guru in Ocarina of Time, who you can hear playing the Song of Storms before he teaches Link it himself. Of course, we’ve seen no sign of any instruments for Link yet, but could this be a hint that he might acquire one at some point, and perhaps play that very song on it? At any rate, Kass seems to be a pretty important character–based on the fact that this isn’t Link’s first time meeting him, as Kass’s “We meet again! reveals. So it seems he’ll be a recurring character throughout the game, perhaps similar to the Owl from Ocarina of Time, and Link’s Awakening–hey, what’s the deal with all these helpful birds anyway? Regardless, it seems being a bird would come in handy as a traveling Minstrel, allowing him to get place to place quickly.
Now unlike the Owl, where you usually had no choice but to talk to them, it seems Kass is a bit easier to potentially overlook–which might explain why he plays the accordion when idle, so you can hear him from a distance and track him down! We can even hear evidence of this in the very next scene where they discover the serpent’s head–if you listen closely, you can hear the accordion playing in the background, which means Link’s still somewhat close.
But how close? Well, we can see exactly how close because when the camera pans up as Kazz sings, we can see the Serpent head right there. Yeah, it can be a bit hard to see, so let’s increase the contrast a bit–yep, there it is, and you can see the same Pillar right next to it too. So it seems you’ll be able to hear Kazz’s music from a pretty decent distance.
And while we’re on this shot, just left of the pillar by the serpent’s head is a wooden tower topped with a horned skull. And it seems to have 3 floors,connected by a pair of staircases. This structure is of course similar to the Bokoblin structures we’ve seen on the Plateau, although this one does look to be a bit grander, with a more menacing skull as decoration. Now to get over to that tower, as well as the Serpents head, it looks like you’ll have to use a bridge near Kass to cross over a stream. And we can see that the Serpent head marks the official boundary of the area known as the Zonai Ruins. But as the words appear on screen, we can see a Saving icon appear with it. Does this mean the game saves whenever you leave one area and enter another? Or is it saving because you’ve entered a new area for the first time? Anyways, the next scene takes place somewhere presumably nearby with Link climbing a hill and encountering an electrified Lizalfos–and we know they’re Lizalfos from the weapon description for the Enhanced Lizal Spear that Link picks up later.
Now Lizalfos are nothing new in Zelda, but these ones appear to have learned a few new tricks. Because just a few moments before Link collects that weapon, we can see Link gets caught completely off-guard by a couple of them–but if you look close, you can see them both crouching there just moments before they spring to life. Yep, it seems these guys will now lay low and try to blend in with the environment And similarly, if we go back to Link’s first encounter, we can see that the one here is also crouching at the very start before springing to life. And he’s not alone, as there are two more nearby.
However, they never awaken in the video, suggesting that Link might need to get pretty close to trigger them–which means that these Lazalfos seem to be geared toward ambushing Link in general and won’t be drawn out into the open by noise. With maybe one key exception, which we’ll get to shortly. Now interestingly, both sets of Lazalfos we’ve talked about so far don’t appear to be identical. The later group is equipped with spears, and have a brown camouflage like texture ideal for blending into the darker environment, while the first group is green and have twin-tipped spears. Oh, and it’s only the green ones that are electrified too, which you can see by their horn. Yeah, maybe we should have lead with that. You can see some electricity shoot out as soon as he’s alerted, and right after, he deploys an electric field attack that’ll seemingly force Link to kept his distance But thankfully, he seems to have a tell where he tosses his head just before he attacks, giving Link a moment or two to get away.
A few moments later, we see him perform a jumping attack. And did you see that range? It’s nuts. And when he lands it, it deals a massive 7-hearts worth of damage to Link–ouch! For reference, that’s over a third of Link’s maxed out life meter in most games. So to repair the damage, Bill enters the Inventory screen to eat some health-restoring food–and that screen reveals some changes and additions made to this menu since we last saw it at E3. For instance, it says Pouch at the top instead of Inventory, and it’s now flanked by a couple of additional screens you can access with the shoulder buttons. The L button brings up an adventure log, which we’re assuming is like a quest log to remind you of on-going tasks, or recent accomplishments, whereas R brings up System–and we’re a little baffled by that one. Does it refer to Settings maybe? Or is there some kind of entirely new mechanic we don’t know about yet? Now in case you were wondering if there were any more options, the 3 dots below Inventory indicate which of the screens you’re on, which also likely means these 3 screens are it.
Then there’s the inventory itself, which reveals all kinds of things we haven’t seen before. For instance, did you notice how some items–but not all of them–glow Link first accesses the screen? It clearly indicates something–but what? Our guess is it might show new items you’ve acquired–or rather, gotten more of since you last checked. And one of those items happens to be a brand new Lightning Rod, which the game describes as magical and able to use electricity. Unfortunately, the Picture-in-Picture box covers up the rest of the description, so we’re not sure if it shoots electricity as one would expect based on most rods in Zelda games, or if it draws lightning to it, you know, similar to how lightning Rods work in real life. In either case, it seems some kind of gem is involved, but again, we can’t see the full details. At the least, this shows the Lazalfos won’t be the only ones to use electricity-based attacks.
In fact, this is something we first caught wind off back at E3, as the description for Normal Jelly stated that “although it’s unusable in its current gelatinous state, applying electricity may change its form”–something that it seems the Lightning Rod would be capable of. On the Materials screen, we can see that carrots are collectible–which might be the same vegetable we noticed in the village from the Game Awards trailer. Then in the bottom-right corner, we can see some kind of tentacle, complete with suckers. So it’s probably from some kind of Octopus like creature–Octorok maybe? On the next screen, we can see some sort of pink balloon looking thing in the top-left corner. It almost looks like a stomach–though the spikes on its back would be a bit weird, so maybe it’s some kind of blowfish-like enemy, making that the mouth? We’re not entirely sure. Next, we can see several different kinds of symbols next to the items on the Food screen which indicate the effects that food will have. Some we’ve seen before, like the Yellow Hearts that indicate which ones will temporarily extend your health meter, but what about the others? Like the electric bolt here–which we’re guessing makes Link resistant to electric attacks? That certainly would come in useful around these parts! And what about those 2 wavy purple lines? We’re not entirely sure–but as it turns out, Bill briefly selects it on menu, bringing up the description–which of course is obscured.
However, what we can see is that it “Grants a High level… of something.” Yeah, the rest is cut off–but we can actually see the word it cuts off starts with St–so maybe that word’s stat? Could be stamina too, although we’ve already seen the icon for food that restores stamina, being a green circle. Then there’s the blue arrow, which we think could indicate a temporary speed increase.
And finally, the orange sun, which we have a feeling might make Link more resistant to the heat–especially since we’ve seen the cold-resistance icon before and it’s a snowflake. Finally, we can see that Link’s Stamina meter looks a little different than before, now featuring an additional ring–or a portion of one anyway–on the outside. And we actually see it in use, confirming it functions as additional stamina before the primary ring is used, demonstrating that stamina can in fact be upgraded. Now at first, the portion of the outer ring here looks roughly 1/3 complete–but it’s actually slightly more, which suggests that you’ll be upgrading it in increments smaller than the portion here. Okay, and that’s the end of our analysis halftime show, starring the inventory screen, so let’s get back to the action! The next scene shows Link reaching the Ruins proper. And as it turns out, all of the scenes from here to the end of the video take place in this same area–look, there’s the Dragon’s Mouth dead-ahead, where Link will be ambushed by the Lazalfos.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. So we can see that ancient ruins form walls that run along either side of this area, leading up to the Dragon’s mouth. We can even see similar looking serpent-heads that decorate the walls as the one that lead Link here. There’s also a small pond here with two bridges leading across it–could that second one suggest there’s another entrance into this area? Or maybe it just leads to the Ruins wall so Link can climb it? At any rate, once Link enters, a Lazalfos on the pillar dead-ahead notices Link and appears to be the one that blows a horn, which alerts three more to Link’s presence–one on the right, another on the left, and a third that’s really really to miss by the pillar right here.
And based on the fact that he seems to jump up from a crouched positions, it seems he too–perhaps along with the others, were ready to ambush Link if they hadn’t been alerted to him by the horn. Anyways, it’s that very Lazalfos by the pillar that Link attacks in the next clip, with another one of the alerted Lazalfos making a cameo just behind him. And yet a third attacks Links from another nearby Pillar, but he’s using something we haven’t seen before: electrified arrows. And it’s enough to take Link down for the count–so clearly approaching this area head-on, so to speak, may not be the best idea. But here’s something interesting. The Game Over text is usually written in Red, yet it’s yellow here–perhaps matching the electricity he was killed by? We actually saw something similar in the E3 trailer where a drowning death resulted in a Blue colored Game Over, which suggests that the color changes to fit the circumstances of Link’s death. Neat, but a little morbid. Anyway, it’s at this point that Bill hands the controller to Nate who tries a different approach.
This time by maintaining a lower profile by swimming toward the wall on the right–specifically, right around here. At the top, we get a close-up look at one of the pillars, and we can see an image of what appears to be a serpent on it. There’s its head, with its body snaking behind it. Yep, seems to be a bit of theme here–so could there be even more to it? Anyways, from this ridge, Nate’s able to stealthily take down a couple of Lazalfos, one with a head shot, then another from long-range. But interestingly, Nate actually moved over to the left half of this area for the 2nd one, since that’s the Dragon’s head right there. We then see him leap from the ledge, deploy the paraglider, before launching into a downward stab to take down another Lazalfos who’s mostly none the wiser. With the area mostly cleared, Nate drops to ground-level to approach the Dragon’s mouth ahead. And in case there were any doubt it’s the same Dragon’s Mouth that Kazz referred to, we can see what appear to be its teeth right here.
At any rate, as Link approaches the stairs, this is where he gets ambushed as we discussed earlier. Now there’s not too much to say about about the combat itself, except we did notice something interesting. When Link picks up one of their spears, we can see Nate’s still able to control the camera while the game’s frozen– this could be really useful for figuring out your your plan of attack whiile in the heat of the moment. Anyways, with the Lazalfos cleared out, there’s still one more enemy to take on–the big guy in the back of the Dragon’s Mouth who appears to be guarding something that’s glowing. Now this isn’t actually the first we’ve seen of his kind, as 2 or 3 of them appeared back in the E3 trailer–except back then, they were found only in the snowy region and had purple skin, whereas it looks browner here–suggesting that their appearance may change depending on the region.
After Link catches his attention, they try to set a trap by rolling a bomb toward him–except it doesn’t work, as he simply walks around it. Which while seemingly a small thing, really shows that the AI is a bit more advanced this time around than your typical Zelda game Now although we never see him land an attack on Link, we think it’s safe to assume that these guys are probably pretty powerful based on how big and slow they are–but it’s that slow speed speed that might be their downfall, as it gives Link time to get behind them and attack. Also, did you notice Link actually knocks his weapons right out of his hands, even before he’s killed? That’s pretty neat and puts him at an even bigger disadvantage, Now with the big guy down, Link can finally approach the glowing thing in the back of the Dragon’s Mouth that he appeared to be guarding–except Nate and Bill don’t! What teases! But, that doesn’t mean we can’t tell what it is, because if we zoom in, we can see it’s pretty clearly a Statue of the Goddess, like the one found in the Temple of Time.
And it appears to be glowing, suggesting it’s interactive. Now if this sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve already talked about it a fair amount in our analysis of the Game Awards trailer–so make sure to give that a watch since we explore some pretty interesting ideas regarding it. Alright, so that pretty much covers it for everything about the playthrough…except for one thing. where in the world is this place anyway? After all, the thick forest makes it impossible to see any real landmarks–except for this mountain right here, which we can see in a couple of scenes.
Now I’ve seen a few people suggest it’s Death Mountain, but we’re pretty sure it’s not, since there’s no lava pouring down it. And unfortunately, we weren’t able to match that mountain with any of the others we’ve seen. So clearly, it’s impossible to say where this scene takes place since we have nothing to connect it to…or do we? Well, we have seen palm trees in two other scenes, being this beach shot as well as this canyon one–could all 3 of these be taking place in the same general region? Maybe, but it still doesn’t help narrow down where exactly it is.
But something else might…that Serpent head that Links finds that may not be the first time we’ve seen it–or at least something close to it. Because if we go all the way back to the original E3 trailer, when Link’s being chased by a Guardian through a forest, we can see some similar looking statues here and here. And it appear to be in a forest too. Huh. And do you remember that bridge that Link was chased across? It looks practically identical to the one here–complete with a shallow body of water on both sides, again, in a dense forest. Could that bridge be the one the Guardian chases Link across? Even if it’s not the exact same area, it may be a similar one nearby.
Now granted, the two scenes aren’t identical–there’s no sign of palm trees here for instance. But keep in mind that the trailer was from 2 and a half years ago, so we’d be very surprised if some things hadn’t been changed or moved around since then. So if we assume it’s the same area, we might be able to infer roughly where in the world that bridge and the ruins are located based on the opening scene of the E3 2014 trailer.
Because we can see both Death Mountain and the Twin Peaks–and based on their relative placement, with Death Mountain being to the right, that would mean that this scene would have to be from the region beyond the Twin Peaks, as visible from the Plateau. But there’s just one problem. In the E3 2014 footage, the taller peak appears to be on the right from this angle, whereas it should be on the left, based on how we saw it from the Plateau. Making this shot impossible in the current version of the game. So either they flipped the Twin Peaks around since E3 2014, or the entire geography of the world has changed to some degree–big or small. But perhaps it can still offer some general idea of where it takes place…or maybe not. Okay we’re almost done here but there are just a few final details left.
For one, in the Game Awards footage, Bill refers to the Plateau as being just 1% of the world…which is interesting considering they described it at E3 as either being 2% or “less than 2%.” In either case, 2% was the benchmark and not 1. Now thats’s obviously only a different of a single percent, but in this case, that doubles the size of the potential world. So why the change? There’s no way they’ve added THAT much to the game since E3, so is it simply a more accurate feature? Or could it perhaps be a tease of something else…maybe something that relates to our Flashback idea from the last analysis? After all, if those flashbacks exist–and are playable, that would technically double the size of the world, since it’s the same world, but in a different time, like Ocarina of Time.
Okay yeah, that seems pretty unlikely, but you never know. Finally, we’ve talked before about several potential connections to Twilight Princess, such as the Great Bridge of Hylia as well as what might be Castle Town from the latest trailer…and there might still be one more. Because there seems to be an emphases on Bird-People this time around, which is something we haven’t seen outside of the Wind Waker timeline. BUT one of our fans reminded of something from Twilight Princess HD–because if you took a look at the wall in the Temple of Time, you can see artwork that depicts what appear to be Bird People.
The Temple of Time, of course, also exists in Breath of the Wild. And interestingly, that artwork doesn’t exist in the original game, meaning it was added just for the HD version–which was released just a few months before Breath of the Wild was shown at this year’s E3,…could that be an intentional reference? Alright and we’re finally done covering everything we could dig up–but like always, make sure to let us know if we missed anything in the comments below.Oh, and if you want even more, make sure to stay tuned for our analysis of the Game Awards demo coming soon! And for all you GameXplain newbies out there, make sure to hit that subscribe button for tons more on Breadth of the Wild and all things gaming too!.
As found on Youtube