Breath of the Wild was designed to be a breath of fresh air for the franchise. Many typical conventions were either changed or completely removed from the game. Perhaps the biggest change in the game was the inclusion of cooking to regain health. Despite this, it perfectly relates to the core adventuring and exploring elements found in The Legend of Zelda. In a recent Nintendo Treehouse log, Bill Trinen reflected on the inclusion of cooking in the latest Zelda release and how it relates to Eiji Aonuma’s vision for the franchise.
Bill was once an interpreter for Eiji Aonuma, especially during the release of Twilight Princess. He explained that even in these interviews Aonuma would discuss cooking in Zelda games. Aonuma felt that making a Zelda game was “similar to cooking stew: both are long processes, both require the combination of multiple different ingredients and seasonings, and when cooked together those ingredients combine to complete the overall flavour.” Bill revealed that in these interviews Aonuma would also discuss the prospects of a cooking game to add something new to the traditional Zelda recipe.
The writer continued to state that in his early play time for Breath of the Wild he loved to collect food to replenish his health. However once he found the old man at his cabin he started to cook ingredients such as ” acorns, herbs, raw meat, and spicy peppers” together to see the different results. This is one of the most intriguing parts about cooking in the game; how the possibilities seem endless. Breath of the Wild rewards exploration through the varied results that can come from different ingredients. Bill stated that Aonuma “finally achieved his goal of making a game about cooking”.
When exploring further into the game, Bill explained that he wanted to “experiment to see what I could create.” He describes the cooking as a form of “puzzle solving”. Due to the “sheer variety of ingredients and the number of potential outcomes” for cooking, it feels as if there is always something new to discover and try. Bill related this to his first experience of finding and cooking crab in the game. Expecting a new type of meal, Bill discovered that “crab wasn’t used for food recipes — it was for elixirs!” Discoveries and unique findings such as these make the cooking in the game so dynamic and engaging.
Certainly cooking is not the only reason that Breath of the Wild has done so well, but it’s a key element to creating a sense of freedom and adventure — something that makes this latest game so different to many others. What’s your favorite, unique aspect of Breath of the Wild?