She’s waited around long enough, and now, it’s time for Zelda to get a shot at fending off Ganon in hand-to-hand combat in Breath of the Wild 2.
Zelda was heavily featured in the teaser trailer announcing Breath of the Wild 2 during Nintendo’s E3 2019 Direct.
Should the series take the leap and make Zelda the main playable character in the sequel to 2017’s Game of the Year?
It’s possible that Zelda will be the character players control in BotW2, as in the trailer, we see Link in an incapacitated state.
Much like in the original game, it seems as though the Hero of Time will be in a forced slumber during a period where Princess Zelda will run the roost.
This could potentially mark the first time that Zelda is the main playable character in a main series Legend of Zelda game (she is playable in the Hyrule Warriors and Smash Bros. series), and the impact of that decision would be amazing.
Zelda’s skillsets would be a bit different from Link’s, but that doesn’t mean she couldn’t be just as strong if not stronger than the series’ mainstay protagonist.
It could very well be that the Zelda development team has been crafting a game where Zelda is the main character for some time now. If not now, when?
If Zelda is the main playable character in Breath of the Wild 2, this is how she would play, along with how that development choice would change the face of both the Zelda series and gaming as a whole.
Spells and Goddesses
Zelda has had some combat experience in previous The Legend of Zelda games, proving that she does have the prowess to take the reins, if Link would only move a bit over to stage left. For instance, in Ocarina of Time, Zelda lent her power to the Master Sword as Link battled Ganon, allowing her to take part in taking down the Great Evil.
She is powered in part by the three Goddesses of Hyrule, with each giving her unique and useful abilities (as have been most clearly demonstrated in the Smash Bros. games). It would be a natural inclusion to transform her abilities in Smash over to the main Zelda series.
Zelda likely wouldn’t have as much weapon contact with enemies, as her skill set lay more in the realm of long-range attacks and area of effect spells. With big casts from the powers of Din, Nayru, and Farore, along with the powers lent to her from the four Champions (with some reluctance from Link’s once-upon-a-time love interest Mipha), Zelda would be unstoppable.
Video games have adapted the fairy tale policy of locking away princesses in dungeons ever since the medium’s introduction. Whether it was Mario’s Pauline and Princess Peach, or even Zelda herself, it always seemed as though the Big Bad was interested in keeping the game’s female love interest powerless and tucked away.
Zelda had a lot to do as Sheik in Ocarina, and was even trained in the art of the sword in Twilight Princess. She’s always been ready to go, but the game’s script has always had different ideas for her.
Breath of the Wild 2 can bring Princess Zelda to the forefront by taking a step forward and releasing the treasured royal from her proverbial shackles. Ganon is long gone, thus she is no longer required to sit around Hyrule Castle holding back his escape. While she wasn’t exactly held captive in the first Breath of the Wild, there was still room for improvement when it came to her actionable role. Give Zelda what Peach and Pauline always wanted: the means to take down the Big Bad all on their very own.
Shifting the threads of time
While incarnations of Link always lead the Legend of Zelda games, there hasn’t been anything in the mythos that have stated he needed to be the one to take down the Great Evil. As Breath of the Wild fits into the Zelda series’ timeline in a bit of an odd way, this may leave room to enter in a new thread: Princess Zelda’s rise to power.
The Breath of the Wild Zelda could do everything for Hyrule’s history that Link could not. She not only speaks, but is voice-acted in this series. The storytelling possibilities are endless when this simple form of communication opens up, giving the series’ protagonist both more to do, and more of an importance.
Hyrule is ready to endow Princess Zelda with a stronger, more actionable role. She has had a few chances to show off her fighting skills, and has even taken on some pretty interesting roles in past games. Wind Waker saw her as a pirate ship captain named Tetra, and while she was feisty and somewhat in power, she shied away from the action once she was donned in the traditional royal princess attire.
What needs to be done to make Zelda playable in ‘Breath of the Wild 2’?
Honestly, not much. While the Smash Bros. Ultimate team stated that they went with A Link Between Worlds Zelda for her Ultimate character design because the Breath of the Wild iteration of the princess was more keen on field study than battle, there’s nothing saying she isn’t ready to grab a bow, shield, and sword to do away with Moblins, Chus and most importantly, Ganon.
Breath of the Wild 2 will eventually release for the Nintendo Switch. The game appears to be using the same engine as the first title; hopefully, this means we won’t be waiting for years and years for a Breath of the Wild 2 release date.