Oh, you think you know everything about Zelda, don’t you? Name all six sages.
Yuuuuust just kidding, we’re not gate(of time)keepers here – but we do have a bunch of facts for you about Breath of the Wild, which is somehow a game that just keeps on giving. Not a week goes by without us learning something about Nintendo’s open world version of the Zelda canon, whether it’s a new glitch to save time in speedruns or a secret chest hidden somewhere really obscure.
In preparation for 2023’s highly anticipated sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, we’ve rounded up just 17 of our favorite Breath of the Wild discoveries – how many do you already know?
17 Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Secrets
Link opens chests like an idiot
You all know the classic Link-open-a-chest animations, which are usually filled with awe as the young man pushes open the lid and picks up the treasure inside, before showing it to the audience like a small child with a toy. But Breath of the Wild allows the boy to be in a number of positions – crouching, sideways, naked – and each of them gets its own animation.
Sideways is probably the most common non-traditional opening, and it has Link kicking the chest to open it. Hey, as long as it works, mate. However, if Link is not wearing shoes, his toes will be damaged by kicking the chest. We could have told you, stupid.
Likewise if Link crouches and side on the chest, he must punch it to open it, which — again — hurts the hand. This is your hero? This guy???
There is a late game Ocarina of Time reference
Make your way to Hyrule Castle and you’ll find this neat little reference to Ocarina of Time – the notes to Zelda’s lullaby, laid out in a circle around the Triforce.
Doing all those trails in the Tears of the Kingdom trailer has us all speculating about what this means – why Zelda’s Lullaby instead of the more traditional Hyrulian Crest? What does it mean that this is in the room where the final battle with Ganon begins? And why isn’t there an ocarina or some kind of musical instrument for Link to play in Breath of the Wild? Even Twilight Princess had playable grass!!
You can speed-run bread
It’s called Bread%, it was invented by a speedrunner called The Bread Pirate, and the current world record holder is Cephla, with a time of 16m 27s. The run involves finding the ingredients for bread, and then making bread. That’s all! No Ganon, very little Zelda, but who needs them when you have good bread?
Zora are secretly musical
Many of the names in Zora Domain come from musical terminology. You have Bazz, Trello, Keye, Cleff and Laflat, among a bunch of other names that we couldn’t connect to anything musically, like “Fronk”.
There are also some references to Majora’s Mask, which has the plot of Indigo-Gos, a dead bassist, and tadpoles acting as musical notes. It turns out that the Japanese word for “tadpole”, オタマジャクシ, is also the word for “note of music”, hence the musical theme of the Zora people – and there is a bridge to the Zora domain called the Inogo Bridge, a reference to Indigo. -Go p.
But it goes deeper than that. The Zora royal family, from King Dorephan and Prince Sidon to the sadly deceased Mipha, have their own themes – and they are even named after them. You’ve probably heard of solfège, even if you don’t know what it’s called: It’s the do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do scale. You know, from The Sound of Music.
Sidon is si-do – Japanese solfège uses “si” rather than “ti” – and you can hear those notes in his theme. The same with Mipha, or mi-fa, and Dorephan, do-re-fa. It could even be argued that Zora is so-la in Japanese!
The Kakariko villagers are secretly fruits
It’s not as exciting or deep as the Zora naming convention, but many of the villagers in Kakariko Village are named after fruits. You have Cado for avocado, Nanna for banana, Koko for coconut, Mellie for melon, Steen for mangosteen, Paya for papaya and Dorian for durian.
There are also less obvious ones – Olkin is supposed to be a reference to pumpkins, and his name is Tiron in French – short for potiron, the French word for pumpkin. Rola is named after a cherrola tomato, Lasli is named after raspberry, Trissa is a type of citrus, Ollie is olive, Cottla is apricot and Claree is cranberry. Many of these names are more obvious in French!
The Divine Beasts have an ancient secret
Did you spot the thread here? Many things in Breath of the Wild are named after other things! It makes sense for a game with so many things to mention.
The Divine Beast’s name is no exception to this rule:
- Wow Medoh = Mediate from Wind Waker, Rito Sage of Earth
- Van Rudania = Darunia from Ocarina of Time, Goron Sage of Fire
- Wow Naboris = Nabooru from Ocarina of Time, Gerudo Sage of Spirit
- Wow Ruta = Ruto from Ocarina of Time, Zora Sage of Water
Never forget Tingle (and his brothers)
Okay, one last “did you know this thing is named after this thing”. You may have figured out that Tingel Island, in the Akkala Highlands, is named after everyone’s favorite spandex-wearing fairy, but did you notice that all the other islands are named after his brothers?
Tingle’s brothers were introduced in Wind Waker: Ankle, David Jr. and Knuckle are all dressed in different (but still skin-tight) outfits, and they reappear in The Minish Cap, where they can help Link acquire the magical boomerang.
Here are the island names – you can probably figure out which is which:
- Salary in kind
- Appeal salary
- David Island
- Knuckle Island
The Bridge of Hylia wants you to look ugly
This is a secret we actually discovered for ourselves – and it was definitely not on purpose!
Breath of the Wild’s art style straddles the line between realism and cel-shaded, and you might not even realize that the way the characters look is thanks to a special rendering effect on top of the 3D models. That is, unless you go to a very specific spot on the Hylia Bridge, where – for whatever reason – there’s a little corner that removes the effect and makes Link look… very flat. And shiny.
Modders have even managed to apply this shiny look to the entire game, which you can see here!
#Zelda #Breath #Wild