Obligatory spoiler warning: This article answers several big questions regarding the January trailer of Breath of the Wild. If you’re sensitive spoilers, you should skip this post. Maybe go watch some cute cats.
In this month’s issue of Famitsu magazine, an article reveals the names of several of the characters that appeared in the January trailer for Breath of the Wild, and this will send timeline enthusiasts into a tizzy. According to the magazine, Nintendo has officially confirmed that the bird race that is seen within the trailer is none other than the Rito straight from The Wind Waker. The obvious curiosity, of course, is that the bird race from the trailer looks very little like their Wind Waker counterparts. Whether or not this represents some sort of evolution of the Rito since (or before) The Wind Waker or this is yet another artistic license from Nintendo in redesigning their characters is, of course, up in the air.
This also brings up some very interesting timeline implications. Breath of the Wild is now known to feature Koroks and Rito, two races that up until now have been exclusive to The Wind Waker. This could very well mean that Breath of the Wild takes place in the Adult Timeline somewhere. The fact that Gorons exist in both games is also potential evidence as well.
However, on the flip side of the argument, Breath of the Wild also includes the Zora race, a race that was absent from The Wind Waker. This could indicate that Breath of the Wild takes place before The WInd Waker; however, this then introduces something of a scheduling conflict given that The Wind Waker takes place 100 years after Ocarina of Time, and the backstory of Breath of the Wild spans 100 years of time. Furthermore, this also begs the question of why a hero never appeared in The Wind Waker‘s backstory.
Or maybe, just maybe, Nintendo is dragging references from one timeline into another. It really is anyone’s guess.
Famitsu‘s article actually reveals a bit more, providing names to some of the characters shown in the trailers. Mifa is the Zora girl from the trailer who seems to have a special ability no other Zora has; she also is seen holding a spear, and this could be the key to her power. The Goron from the trailer is a warrior named Darkel (literally “Darukeru”), a normally calm Goron who becomes emboldened whenever entering battles. And finally, the Rito warrior is named Reebal (literally “Riibaru”). All three of these characters seem to be wearing a similar-looking blue scarf that could be a key to unlocking the secrets of Breath of the Wild.
Last but not least, Famitsu reveals a few details about Zelda herself. She indeed was (is?) the princess of the destroyed Hyrule kingdom, and her mission is to investigate the ancient ruins of the modern world. Wise and curious but also complex, Zelda seems to be taking the most active role in the franchise thus far. Famitsu can’t help but wonder if she’ll actively participate in battles.
Breath of the Wild comes out March 3 on both Wii U and Nintendo Switch.