E3 2016 | A Narrative Journey Through 'Breath of the Wild'
The foundation of the Legend of Zelda series was built upon exploration. Wandering the scenic hills of Hyrule in search of secrets has always been the thing that made the best games in the series so fun. Nintendo allowed me to explore the diverse lands of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in the E3 demo for quite a while, so instead of listing off the features I noticed in this breathtaking, pun completely intended, adventure game, I'm going to take you through the story of my exploration of Hyrule. Come join me as I stroll the the lands of Nintendo's next epic.
As I awakened from a dream of neon lights and stampedes, I found myself standing in the middle of Hyrule Forest. Gathering my bearings, I reached inside my pockets hoping to find my trusty bow. Grasping what felt like a string, I quickly yanked an item from my satchel. To my surprise, the item I found in my hands was a lit bomb. In a panic, I threw the bomb away from myself and it landed next to a nearby tree. Exploding in a ball of blue light, the bomb decimated the tree, breaking it into usable piles of wood.
Normally, with my heavy pack, my feet are planted firmly on the ground, but in my joy of exploring the lush forest, I noticed myself jumping. Perhaps getting a tad carried away, the sound I was making alerted a nearby moblin and he immediately charged. Unsheathing my trusty sword, my combat skills returned to me immediately. Our eyes locked and I was able to follow and match movement with the fiend. As it took a swing with its club, I jumped behind my foe and dispatched him with just a few swings of my sword. The club fell to the ground as the moblin disappeared in a puff of smoke and I made sure to pocket the weapon for future use.
Emerging from the forest, I spotted another group of moblins, this time guarding one of their skull-shaped chests. On a small tower, I spotted one of the beasts carrying exactly what I needed: a bow. This time attempting the silent approach, I crouched down and walked slowly, reducing my noise as much as possible. As I crept behind one of the moblins, I struck him down and with a cry, the rest of them were upon me. Easily dispatching the rest of the ground units, I made my way to the tower. Pulling the moblin club from my pack, I climbed the tower and swung with all my force, knocking my foe from his perch. His bow fell to the ground and I immediately snatched it up, slinging it over my shoulder.
As I finished off the last of the moblins, the eyes of the chest they were guarding changed color. I approached the chest and pulled it open to find a rare ore hiding within. I knew this would come in handy at a much later time and tucked it away into my pack. Not sure where to go from here, I pulled out my Sheikah Slate to try and gather my surroundings. Noticing a stamp I must have placed earlier, the treasure chest icon immediately caught my eye.
Brown swampy water surrounded the pole on which stood a high platform with the chest I sought. Approaching the edge of the water, I noticed a small hill near the platform. Immediately putting two and two together, I sprinted up the hill and leapt towards the platform. As I desperately pulled myself from the murky water, I decided that it must have been my timing. After a few more attempts, I adjusted my analysis and decided I would return for the chest at a later date. On the brink of passing out after my many failed jumps, I decided to check my pack for some food to recover my strength. Luckily, I happened to gather some mushrooms and steaks in the forest. Chowing down hungrily, I was fully replenished after only a few bites.
Pull my Shiekah Slate back out, I noticed a stamp that looked different from the others. Star-shaped and relatively far off, I decided to make my way towards that spot on my map. Reaching about halfway towards my goal, I noticed a snowflake land gently on my nose and immediately melt. Before long the snow was ankle deep and I could feel it all the way down to my bones. Remembering I had packed some warmer clothes, I reached into my pack and quickly changed. Immediately, I felt better and continued towards my mysterious goal.
Reaching the top of a small hill, I remember the shield slung over my shoulder and thought of the good times I'd had sledding in my childhood. Inspiration struck and I pulled my shield from off my back and leapt into the air. Bringing down my shield underneath me, I quickly slid down the snowy hill and made good progress towards the mysterious star.
Glancing at my Shiekah Slate, I could see if I was close to my goal, but upon looking up I could see that my way was blocked by a group of moblins. Remembering the bow I had taken earlier, I notched an arrow and loosed it towards the head of the closest enemy. Caught off guard, it fell backwards and off its feet. Not quite defeated, as it attempted to regain its footing I quickly put one more bolt into the moblin and this time he stayed down. After finishing off the remaining enemies with a pilfered club, as my sword was damaged in a previous battle, I cleared my path forward. As I rounded the corner, practically able to smell my goal, my vision faded and my journey came to an end.
My experience was, undoubtedly, very different from a lot of others who got the chance to play. If you would like to hear more about the game, please check out Evan's article about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as well. I hope you've enjoyed my journey through the demo as experienced from my point of view. Keep your eyes peeled for more awesome E3 coverage right here on ESH!