E3 2021: Why Zelda should be the protagonist in Breath of the Wild 2

Nintendo’s E3 direct is just around the corner, which means we’re likely to see more footage of The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2. Nintendo announced the game during E3 back in 2021.

Two years later, we still have seen little. Nintendo has been tight-lipped about the project, and as such no one really knows what to expect from the sequel. Nintendo isn’t known for creating sequels in the Zelda series. 

On the rare occasions it has created a sequel, it’s usually been one of the more creative or unusual games in the series. Zelda 2 and The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask are unlike any other Zelda games. 

With this in mind, we wanted to propose something different for Breath Of The Wild 2. Instead of spending our time in Hyrule with Link once again, why don’t we let Zelda take the limelight?

It makes sense in the lore

Before you go all irate, it honestly makes sense for Zelda to take the lead in Breath of the Wild 2. It works in several ways, but let's discuss how it makes sense within the lore. So at the end of Breath of the Wild, we killed Calamity Gannon and freed Princess Zelda from the castle. Up until that point, Link was the most senior primary character as all the champions had died.

Now that Zelda is free again, it’s on her to lead Link and whatever remaining forces there are. While Link was certainly the lead in Breath Of The Wild, in the sequel it should be Zelda driving the narrative. She not only has a far better understanding of the world Link spent 100 years asleep in, but also has a better understanding of the ancient technology. 

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Considering how important she will probably be to the plot, why not have her be the primary protagonist? Instead of Zelda telling Link what to do throughout the majority of the story, just haze Zelda do everything herself with Link there to support her. Link is quite literally a knight, so it would make sense that he’d be the one to support and protect her throughout the story. 

Zelda can hold her own

If you’ve played Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity, you’ll know that Princess Zelda can hold her own in a fight. Using a mix of acrobatic abilities and the Sheikah Slate, Princess Zelda takes down hordes of enemies during Age Of Calamity with ease. She might not have the brute strength of Link, but her mastery with the Sheikah Slate and agent tech makes her formidable. 

So why does that matter? It shows Zelda is not only believable as a playable character, but she also has the move set and abilities needed for combat. This current batch of Zelda titles has already established her as more adept than she was in previous games, so the next natural step feels like making her a protagonist. 

Let players choose

Worried about alienating existing fans? No problem, let players make the choice. Both characters should be playable and interchangeable during gameplay. A system similar to GTA V that features different stories across two characters would work a treat. Have Zelda drive the narrative forward, while Link takes on the game’s rumoured dungeons. A branching narrative featuring both characters would help Breath of the Wild 2 feel unique compared to its predecessor. 

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Having two playable characters would work well from a lore perspective as well. While Link is often the voiceless, blank protagonist, Zelda is pivotal to all the developments in Breath of the Wild and Age of Calamity. Rather than sidelining her in the upcoming sequel, Nintendo should make her a key element of both the story and the gameplay. In the short teaser Nintendo released in 2019, we see Link and Zelda travelling together so it's not unfeasible that she might be far more involved. 

Time to switch things up 

We’ve been playing as Link for the best part of 35 years. He’s a good wholesome boy, but it would be nice to switch things up. The Hyrule Warriors games have already shown us how much fun it can be to play with different characters. Playing as Princess Zelda would encourage players to play and fight a little differently. This is especially poignant when you consider how Breath of the Wild’s entire design ethos is centred around creative thinking in a pinch. 

Whatever form Breath of the Wild 2 takes, we hope Zelda is not only more involved, but also playable. It would give the series a new direction and might bring in some new fans in the process.

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