We at iMore are absolutely stoked for the upcoming sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - one of the best Nintendo Switch games of all time. Unfortunately, Nintendo has only released a couple of short videos for the game but otherwise have been pretty tight-lipped about the plot and new mechanics. However, we've been able to ascertain quite a bit of information by scouring screenshots, videos, and the internet. Here's everything we've discovered about Breath of the Wild 2.
Update: June 15, 2021: Nintendo showed off a new trailer during E3 2021.
We see new footage of Link exploring floating islands and using new tools. His right hand seems to have been overtaken by some green force, and he now has new abilities.
Update: September 8, 2020: Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Nintendo announced that they are still hard at work on Breath of the Wild 2 and that they won't be ready to show anything to us for a while yet. However, the recently released Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity gives players a look into the events that took place 100 years before Breath of the Wild.
What we learned from Nintendo E3 2021
E3 2021 has come and gone bringing with it another look at Breath of the Wild 2. While the plot wasn't explained any further, we did get some glimpses at Link's new abilities, the villain, and new floating island locations.
Plus, something weird happens to Link's arm giving him new abilities that we didn't see in the original game. The Zelda team is aiming for a 2022 release date, but it's subject to change.
Nintendo's 2019 Breath of the Wild 2 announcement trailer
During the E3 2019 announcement trailer, we see Link and Zelda exploring some ruins in Hyrule. They soon find an underground lair where an ancient emaciated (or maybe even undead) figure adorned with Gerudo symbols sprawls backwards with a ghostly hand clutching its chest. Once Link and Zelda get close enough, the evil figure seems to awaken, Zelda spins in terror, Link's hand starts glowing green, and we cut away to a view of Hyrule Castle quaking and rising from the ground in the distance.
Breath of the Wild 2 release date
During the E3 2021 presentation, Nintendo said that it's aiming for a 2022 release date. However, it looks like the game still has a way to go, so that deadline is subject to change.
Is this a direct sequel?
Yes, this will be a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild. The game apparently takes place two years after the events in Breath of the Wild.
Link's glowing hand abilities
At the start of the Nintendo's E3 2021 Zelda trailer, it showed a green force overtaking Link's right arm. Then in later shots, we see him moving distant objects with said hand and even going through walls. Who knows what other unique abilities this arm can do.
This lines up with an idea for the original game that wasn't actually implemented. In some concept artwork that Nintendo showed at GDC 2017, we see Link with a hand that can morph into various weapons. This includes things like a bomb, arrow, hook shot, and more. It seems like we're seeing a refined version in the BotW2 teaser trailer.
Are there new tools and Sheikah Slate skills?
In the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct, we got a brief glimpse of Link holding some kind of Dragon head-shaped item in his left hand and using it like a flamethrower against an enemy. With this being the case, there are likely other gadgets in the game as well.
We don't currently know if changes will be made to the Sheikah Slate. However, it's possible Link's glowing hand will take the place of it. Still, considering how central it was to the original game, it really wouldn't be surprising to have more skills added to it. Maybe some hook shot skill, cloning tool, or animal hypnotizer. We'll keep our ears to the ground and will update you when we learn more.
Is the game open world again, or is it linear?
We're not sure about this yet.
Breath of the Wild was all about the vast open world and exploration, and you could explore Hyrule freely, without any real linear order. While this game will be a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild, Nintendo did not reveal any details about whether it will continue that open-world exploration or be a more traditional Zelda game formula, with temples and dungeons that require specific items to progress through.
Does it use the same map?
In the E3 2021 trailer, we got an up-close look at a Stone Talus that Bokoblins had built a fort on. The camera panned a bit during this shot, and we saw Death Mountain along with Dueling Peaks. As such, at least part of the game likely takes place in the Hylian map we're used to.
Though, we also got to see Link exploring floating islands and diving from way way way high up in the clouds. At any rate, it seems like there's going to be a mixture of old and new places to explore.
Are there more traditional dungeons than we saw in BotW?
It's hard to say at this point. However, in an interview with Kotaku, Eiji Aonuma explained some things the Zelda team learned while creating the original Breath of the Wild game.
One thing we learned from Breath of the Wild is that when we focused on creating a dungeon that has multiple solutions, it turned into this great title. That's one thing I want to polish up and use for inspiration in the future.
It's possible that a deeper dive into dungeons would allow players to find multiple solutions to completing puzzles and making their way through the game. Considering that the lack of traditional dungeons has been one of the biggest complaints from fans, it really wouldn't be out of the question for Nintendo to put more complex dungeons in the sequel.
Who is the main villain?
It's more than likely the undead person from the teaser who has glowing red eyes. But who is this person?
You might notice a medallion with the Gerudo icon dangling beside him. Many people have taken this to mean that this undead figure is not Ganon himself since he was born a Gerudo. However, we don't know for sure if that is true. It would make sense, though, since we only saw Ganon's crazy giant forms and not his humanoid form in the first game.
Going back to the original teaser trailer, there's a brief flash of light at the 0:45 second mark that throws a shadowy silhouette on the wall. It seems to show just what this undead person looked like when they were alive. We'll update you on who the sequel's main bad guy is as we learn more. There's also the creepy glowing hand that seems to be attached to his chest, which might indicate either a companion or another villain Link will need to face.
Do weapons still break?
We haven't learned the specifics of the weapon mechanics just yet. However, the sequel will likely employ something similar to what we experienced in the first game. We'll update you when we learn more.
Do you play as Link or Zelda?
The shots we've seen so far have only shown Link running around the map. And unfortunately, it seems Zelda might be playing the damsel in distress once again.
Kotaku was able to ask producer Eiji Aonuma, if Zelda would be playable in this sequel. The esteemed man initially acted with surprise and maybe some confusion at the question, but then simply said, "I can't tell you."
It looks like we'll have to wait and see how many playable characters there are.
Will there be any DLC?
It's currently too early to know if there will be any DLC. However, it is interesting to note that Aonuma has stated that this sequel's ideas initially started as DLC for Breath of the Wild.
When we released the DLC for Breath of the Wild, we realized that this is a great way to add more elements to the same world. But when it comes down to technical things, DLC is pretty much data—you're adding data to a preexisting title. When we wanted to add bigger changes, DLC is not enough, and that's why we thought maybe a sequel would be a good fit.
If we're lucky, they'll have so many ideas for the sequel that it will either result in a decent amount of DLC or a third Breath of the Wild sequel. But that's just us getting our hopes up and getting way ahead of ourselves.
What about amiibo?
Nintendo released several Breath of the Wild amiibo for the original game and made other Zelda amiibo compatible with it. When scanned, these figures allow players to acquire special in-game items or even Epona, the horse from Ocarina of Time.
We currently do not know if the sequel will work with these figurines; we guess they will. After all, we recently saw the amiibo for the four champions got reprints and a new Zelda & Loftwing amiibo is releasing this summer. We'll update you when we learn more.
How much will it cost?
Most big Nintendo titles these days sell for $60, so that's what we expect for a standard copy of Breath of the Wild 2. However, given that the original also had a Special Edition for $100, Master Edition for $130, and Deluxe Collector's Edition for $140, we expect some special versions for the sequel as well. The pricing for each one will depend on what exactly comes with the game. We'll update you when we learn more.
Can you play Breath of the Wild 2 on Nintendo Switch Lite?
We're guessing that the sequel will have sections where players can use motion controls to solve puzzles just like the original did. Most of these puzzles could also easily be solved by simply using the joysticks. So we're guessing the sequel will be the same way. But if not, Nintendo Switch Lite will want to invest in an external pair of Joy-Cons, so they can get in on the action. We'll update you when we learn more.
Is Nintendo releasing a special Breath of the Wild 2 Switch console?
Nintendo hasn't revealed any plans to release a special Breath of the Wild 2 Switch console. However, considering how much attention Breath of the Wild has received and how highly anticipated the sequel is, it would be ridiculous for Nintendo not to cash in on the hype as they did with the Animal Crossing Switch. One thing is for sure, if Nintendo does create a special Zelda-themed Switch to release with Breath of the Wild 2, I'll be one of the first in line making a purchase.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Anyone who can't wait for the sequel can get a bit of a Zelda fix with Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. During the announcement E3 2019 trailer, Eiji Aonuma, the producer for The Legend of Zelda series, stated the following:
"We mentioned in the June 2019 Nintendo Direct presentation that we had started development on the sequel to the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. . . Regarding the sequel, the team is working hard on its development to make the vast world you enjoyed exploring in the original game even more impressive. So, you'll have to wait a bit longer before we can provide more updates."
Age of Calamity follows the events that took place 100 years before Breath of the Wild. You play as Link, Zelda, the four champions, and additional characters from Breath of the Wild as you struggle against Calamity Ganon.
Breath of the Wild 2
We absolutely loved Breath of the Wild and cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel. We'll keep our ears to the ground and will update this article with any news, rumors, or official updates that we learn about. Check back often!
Updated September 10, 2021: Reworked sections and tightened up others.
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