The Legend of Zelda is one of the longest running game series around, taking players on many memorable adventures through Hyrule. Although Zelda games often feature simple tales, they’re remembered for strong storytelling and drama. From what we’ve seen of Breath of the Wild, it looks like the new title is perfectly falling into that. And since we know virtually nothing about its plot or place on the Zelda timeline, let’s go ahead and predict how it ends.
Nintendo has been very careful about what they’ve shown us story wise with Breath of the Wild. Outside of the basic setup we don’t know a whole lot, but we do know that this is a Zelda title unlike any other. First and foremost, it’s important to know that you can beat Breath of the Wild without seeing the whole story. In fact, you can access the final boss from pretty much the very beginning of the game. This, of course, isn’t the recommended way to do things, as you’ll be severely under prepared and not really understand why things are being done.
Breath of the Wild begins with Link waking up in a mysterious facility, all alone and guided by an ethereal voice. Fans have managed to piece together some info about the game from its fictional language, trailers, and other info. We know that “The Calamity Ganon” threatened the world of Hyrule. The princess and Hero tried to stop it, but ultimately failed, resulting in the Sheikah being forced to awaken four divine beasts and an army of mechanical guardians to stop Ganon.
The Sheikah succeed in sealing Ganon inside Hyrule Castle, but are banished by the King as Ganon’s power turned their army against Hyrule itself. Fast forward to Breath of the Wild, and Link wakes up to find out 100 years have passed since that day and Ganon’s power is once again growing. That, along with the story trailer released, is just about all we know about Breath of the Wild.
Obviously, your goal in the game is stop The Calamity Ganon from destroying the world, but you’ll also have to contend with various dark forces around the world including the rampant Guardians. We’ve also seen shots of a broken and rusted Master Sword sitting in a forest, and the weapon is even included in the game’s logo. There’s a theory floating around that most of the story scenes in Breath of the Wild are flashbacks detailing what happened to the world 100 years ago. This could explain why you’re able to explore all of Hyrule, fight the final boss immediately, and why everything seems so barren and lifeless.
A disembodied voice wakes Link up from his slumber, and although we don’t know exactly who it is, we may be able to presume it’s Zelda. It’s possible after failing to stop Ganon before, Zelda ended up sealed inside Hyrule Castle and has been using some kind of power to try and communicate with Link, who’s in the Resurrection Shrine, ever since. Because of this, destroying Ganon would be twofold in stopping the calamity and saving Zelda. This is only strengthened by a line in the story trailer where an older man says “You must save her, my daughter.”
Link’s quest in Breath of the Wild could very likely be about him regaining his memories and learning what really happened, the truth behind why he has to stop Ganon. It seems doubtful that stopping the Calamity will come without a price, however, as the Sheikah barely managed to stop him before, and the Hero and princess failed. Because of this, it seems more likely that some kind of sacrifice will have to be made to seal away Ganon once again.
After learning the truth, it seems most likely that Link will believe that sacrifice to be himself, used in tandem with the power of the banished Sheikah. With the Master Sword broken and rusted, Link will have to find either a way to restore it or a new way to seal or destroy Ganon. It seems like he’s a pretty solitary figure in the world of Hyrule now, so the responsibility rest squarely on his shoulders. In traditional Zelda fashion, there will also be one final climactic battle between the Hero and the Calamity, one that Zelda herself may even play a part in.
After that fateful final showdown, Link will seal away Ganon, freeing Zelda and restoring the land of Hyrule. From here it falls on Zelda’s shoulders to lead her people back into civilization and restore her kingdom to its former glory. From the trailers we’ve seen, Link and Zelda seem to have a fairly close relationship, so there could be even more at play. Alternatively, there may be another way to see things turn out, and Eiji Aonuma has even confirmed Breath of the Wild will have an alternate ending. Maybe there is a way to restore the Master Sword, and use it to seal Ganon away. In Aonuma’s words, “There is an alternate ending if you meet certain criteria. If you do a few things, you may see a different ending.”
It seems like there will be a lot more to uncover about the events 100 years before Breath of the Wild, Zelda and Ganon’s role, and the powerful technology of the Sheikah. With how much we’ve been shown, it’s hard to say exactly how Breath of the Wild’s ending will play out, and Nintendo is sure to have a couple story surprises in store. However, we have to assume that someone will live on to see the future of Hyrule, and guide its people along. Ganon is never an easy foe to take down, and with the Hero and princess already failing once the stakes are higher than ever.