When The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was released in March of 2017, it created a huge ripple in the video game industry. Nintendo staff decided to make a Legend of Zelda title that would be quite different from previous games. It was a risk, but that risk paid off in amazing sales along with creating a major video game legacy.
There are a ton of hidden details throughout the game from tricks for cooking to characters treating you different if you take off all of Link's clothes. However, there are a lot of behind-the-scenes facts that a lot of players do not know. Here are ten of them.
10 First Zelda Game Without Composer Koji Kondo
Koji Kondo is one of the most famous video game composers for his work on all the previous Legend of Zelda games. He is the one to thank for the memorable tunes of Ocarina of Time and more. However, Breath of the Wild is the first Legend of Zelda title without his work.
Why he was not with this game is a mystery to fans. A theory is that Nintendo wanted more ambient and subtle music.
9 Zelda's Voice Actor Was Not Actually British
A major stride Breath of the Wild took was its voice acting. While Link was still a silent protagonist, we still had cutscenes where other characters actually got to speak aloud.
Patricia Summersett was Zelda's English voice actor for Breath of the Wild. She is an American actress and singer. That's right, she is not British. While Zelda does sport a great upper-class British accent, that is not the voice actor's natural accent.
8 Was Originally Just For The Wii U
Before Nintendo decided to put Breath of the Wild on the new and shiny Nintendo Switch, the game was only going to be for the Wii U. In fact, the Wii U Gamepad was what they had in mind when they created the Sheikah Slate.
When it was decided that the game would also be on the Nintendo Switch, the team made a lot of quick changes such as removing touch controls.
7 Satori Mountain Is Named After Late Nintendo President
Satoru Iwata was the fourth president and CEO of Nintendo and passed away in 2015 at 55 years old due to complications with a tumor.
He got a lot of video game tributes to him. One of the most notable of all is the beautiful Satori Mountain in Breath of the Wild. Not only is it named after him, but the staff made the mountaintop to be one of the prettiest locations in the game.
6 The Great Plateau Was The First Area Built For The Game
The Great Plateau is not just where the players begin their journey, but it was where Nintendo staff began theirs. With the game being very big and open-world, the staff had to start small.
The Great Plateau was a starting point for them to experiment with what the rest of the world beyond the walls will be like. They also started with making everything in familiar 2D to the old Zelda games before upgrading it to 3D.
5 The Game Started With A Small Team
All things start out small, even a big game like Breath of the Wild. In fact, it started with less than 10 people! This fact was shared by the games' director, Hidemaro Fujibayashi. Obviously, the amount that needed to be done attracted way more people later in order to make the game a reality.
4 Guardians Are Based On The Jomon Period Of Japanese History
The similarities between the frightening guardians and Jomon period pottery is very striking. The Jomon Period existed from around 14000 – 300 B.C. and is most famous for its pottery which had a lot of rough textures and protruding ridges.
The guardians of the game look like Jomon pottery if it was flipped upside-down and given tentacle legs. Nintendo was pretty clever to use such a design, as it gives off an ancient aesthetic.
3 Zelda's Character Was The Most Difficult To Design
Since Nintendo wanted to make Zelda a complex character, they had a ton of difficulty with her design. This was stated in a multi-part documentary in an interview with Satoru Takizawa. He said "She’s the heroine. Until the very end, we were making subtle changes to her gestures, the lighting, the way her eyelashes look, stuff like that. We were saying, ‘No she looks better this way, no, this way…’ until the very, very end."
He also noted that while she was the most difficult, he also expected her to be the most popular character of the game. She was a mix between Skyward Sword's Zelda and Twilight Princess' in terms of how seriously she took her job.
2 Breath Of The Wild’s Hyrule Is About 12 Times As Large As Twilight Princess'
Fans have done a lot of work comparing Breath of the Wild's open-world to other games and even real-life locations. It is undoubtedly the largest Zelda game, being 12 times larger than Twilight Princess. One Imgur user did a lot of math and found Breath of the Wild's Hyrule to actually be larger than Skyrim.
There are still bigger games though. While Breath of the Wild has about 23 miles of terrain to explore (that's the size of real-life Manhattan), Grand Theft Auto V's map is about 49 square miles and the Witcher 3 has 52!
1 It Is The Best-Selling Zelda Game Of All Time
The Legend of Zelda was always popular, but Breath of the Wild took that to new heights. It took two years, but it eventually outsold Twilight Princess as the best-selling Zelda title.
Of all the facts our list has, this one is the least surprising. After all, the Breath of the Wild came out along with the new console, the Nintendo Switch. The console and game both aided each others' sales. Also, open-world games have been a major trend since The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.