As we celebrate the one year anniversary of our beloved Breath of the Wild, I thought it was only fitting to share the memories of my first encounter with this game. Breath of the Wild was my first taste of open-world gaming, and wow, was I spoiled! As I avoided all but the two main trailers like the plague, little did I know what I was about to behold.
The first thing I remember about the game was exiting the Shrine of Resurrection, and of course, that gorgeous scene of Link looking out at the grandiose landscape. Shortly after, I returned to the path and continued with the plot of the game before taking a slight detour to walk straight into the campfire. Why? Because I could. It may seem silly and insignificant, but to me, this was attempting to do something outside of the usual structure of a Zelda game — taking baby steps, if you will. Sure, I could have done that in any other Zelda game, but Breath of the Wild made me feel like I really could do anything. If I wanted to go and stand on top of a fire, then who was going to stop me? I mean, I stopped myself once I lost two hearts of health, but it was my choice. That would be the first of many crazy, over-the-top decisions I would make later on, such as trying to climb up a waterfall with cryonis, running past Guardians in just shorts and a hat, and seeing if I could glide over the volcanic pit of Death Mountain.
The next thing I remember was that long, tedious climb up the Shiekah Tower. The view was really something, and I remember seeing how shocked I was to see the old man up there already. That was when I guessed that (spoiler) he was some sort of ghost, probably the King of Hyrule — and as it turned out, he was! Then he proceeded to teach me how to use the Shiekah Slate and mark areas with colored beacons. I bought the game the first day of release, as well as the Switch, and I was still adjusting to the controls. That being said, when I thought I had figured out how to zoom in with the Slate feature, it turned out I was walking forward and stepped off the edge of the tower, leading to my first game over.
Soon after, I found myself entering the giant overworld, learning that the Great Plateau was only a small segment of this vast land. When I was exploring the Great Plateau, it felt like I had explored the entire world already! It was big enough that I couldn’t imagine that the world could be any grander, but I was wrong — and I’m so glad I was. I now had the paraglider and I was ready to venture into this vast new world.
Breath of the Wild was truly a unique take on the Zelda series we all know and love. It was completely different, yet also so very familiar. I can only pray that the next project Nintendo has in store for this magnificent legend holds the same spirit as this wonderful entry does, and I hope that it shows no signs of stopping.