A small sneak peek stole the entire show. At the end of the Nintendo Direct for E3 2019, a short trailer revealed the existence of the next installment in The Legend of Zelda franchise. There aren’t many details currently available, but here’s what we know so far.
“We have more games in development beyond what you’ve seen today,” said senior managing executive officer at Nintendo Shinya Takahashi after a certain new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC character was revealed. After saying no more, the stream cut to a trailer with very ominous tones.
The trailer starts out ambiguous with glowing tendrils and two figures exploring what appears to be a dungeon. The music accompanying the imagery builds a sense of doom and sounds oddly familiar, yet distorted. In a strange way, it feels similar to another sequel that set a darker tone than its predecessor: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.
A few moments in, we see our heroes, Link and a now short-haired Zelda, exploring the darkness. They seem to be searching for something specific rather than going on a general expedition. It’s then we see some semblance of a terrifying enemy either forming or, perhaps more worryingly, decaying. The figure reaches out into the world with a deadly touch. In flashes, we see bits of moments of the story, and then, we finally get to look into the genuinely disturbing eye of a beast.
After these subterranean scenes, the camera cuts to the outer world. Where we once saw the gently rolling lands of Hyrule, we now see the ground greatly disturbed by whatever has awakened from its slumber.
Text reading, “The sequel to the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is now in development,” pops onto the final screen. Since this is very early on in the development, no news of a release date appears.
We can gather that the sequel likely takes place in the same universe as Breath of the Wild and continues on with the story. The graphics are very similar to BotW, so we can reasonably conclude that gameplay will be similar and the game may be made using the same engine.
Link and Zelda are together in this trailer, so it could be possible that Nintendo heard our cries for a playable Zelda. Being able to switch between the two and explore Zelda’s fighting style and powers would be a catchy hook for newbie players as well as Legend of Zelda franchise veterans. It’s a hook that hasn’t been fully utilized in The Legend of Zelda series since Zelda’s Adventure, one of the terrible Philips CD-i games and could stand out as a redemptive moment for an often underutilized character.
The big baddie looks like a dark change of pace for the series, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see a grim and harrowing story this time around to match. This new game could focus more on building up characters with a more streamlined story, an aspect many found wanting in Breath of the Wild.
“I’m looking forward to the day we can introduce them to you,” said Takahashi. Hey, us too.
What do you expect from the next installment in this storied franchise? When do you think we’ll see its release? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on the Extra Life social channels.
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