Here are the winners of the copies of Zelda: Breath of the Wild signed by Eiji Aonuma
by on January 30, 2018

Recently, we ran a contest for a chance to win a rare collector’s item: one of three copies of Zelda: Breath of the Wild signed by Eiji Aonuma, courtesy of Nintendo Australia. It’s now time to announce the three winners.

In order to win, you needed to send in a 25-word-or-less message that you would say to Mr. Aonuma if you had the chance. We were literlly overwhelmed by thousands of messages, so many of them heartfelt, and it’s plain to see just how much The Legend of Zelda and Eiji Aonuma’s work mean to its ardent fans. It was incredibly difficult to narrow the selection down to just three winners. In fact, we’re not only announcing the winners and runners up here, we’re also featuring some of our other favorite messages below.

The winners will already have received an email from us with the subject “Signed copy of Breath of the Wild.” If your entry is one of the winners below and you don’t have the email, please contact from the email address you used to enter the competition. The winners have seven days to respond; otherwise their prize will go to one of the runners up, listed further down.

Without further ado, here are the three winners:

Michael Nevin Miller

Thank you. For showing us new worlds. seas. times. realms. dreams. adventures. because it’s dangerous to go alone. thanks for taking us with you.

Joshua Cortese

A dreary day mocks me outside my office window, and yet i still smile, for a grand adventure awaits me at home. Thank you, aonuma.

Matt Lavinder

What you created has made the best times of my life special, the difficult times bearable. Your games have connected three generations of my family.

Once again, congratulations to our three winners.

Runners Up

In addition to our three winners, we chose another three noteworthy entries that serve as runners up. Coming in at fourth, fifth, and sixth:

First Runner Up: Tyler Deckman
“Thanks for inspiring me into becoming a game designer. I pride myself in creating joyful and wonderful adventures for players, such as you have done.”

Second Runner Up: David Sundahl Jr.
“To capture the imagination is to have inspired, and what eternal beauty lies in inspiration. Thank you for adding beauty to this world.”

Third Runner Up: Joshua Covel
“Childhood is a very hard thing to recapture. The older you get, the harder it becomes. But your games turn back our clocks. Thank you!”

Honorable mentions

Beyond our top six entries, our staff laughed, cried, and had plenty of feels when reading many of the remaining thousands of entries we weren’t able to select. From that stash, we picked a few more of our favorites in order to share them with you.

  • “My father passed away recently, and playing Zelda brings me great memories of us playing together all throughout my childhood. Thank you, Aonuma.” — Ryan MacLaren
  • “I would thank Eiji for the wonderful memories playing Zelda throughout my childhood and for giving me a special way to bond with my children.” — Alarik Yount
  • “Mr. Aonuma, your games are like the playground of my inner child, and they keep my awe and curiosity alive. Thanks.” — Adrian Quiroga Cantú
  • “A haiku to Mr. Aonuma: A Legend in Name, Talent, Humility, Heart, An Inspiration. Thank you for your service and bringing the Zelda community together.” — William Snell
  • “Thanks, Mr. Aonuma, for creating a world that people can get lost in, stories that will last forever, and games that made my childhood.” — Hayden Ford
  • “I’d thank Aonuma for helping create experiences that stuck with me forever. Zelda games made me feel like I was a hero, no matter what.” — Gaby
  • “Thank you for pushing the boundaries of console hardware, from creating pleasing mechanics to immersive worlds and stories. Who knows where gaming would be otherwise?” — Leanne Dyer
  • “You helped forge my childhood, and proved to me that video games are an art form, especially with your newest masterpiece. Thank you so much.” — Scamp
  • “You allowed me to find joy while undergoing multiple surgeries in my childhood. I wasn’t a disabled kid; thanks to you, I was Hyrule’s savior.” — Caren Smith
  • “Mr. Aonuma, thank you for this wondrous world that I’ll never tire of, for memorable characters, and for cherished memories acquired from childhood to adulthood.” — Ian Freeman
  • “When my life has entered difficult times, Link and Zelda have always been there for me. Thank you for lightening my darkness, Mr. Aonuma!” — Muhammad Shafi
  • “Thank you, for taking a child’s heart and mind into a world where he became a hero! Now, my daughter walks through Hyrule with me!” — Ryan
  • “Your games have created a permanent bond between my children and I. There’s NO other entertainment that has brought our family together like your games.” — Richard Jones
  • “Your games have changed my life. I have a permanent compulsion to smash pots when I see them now. I’m not allowed in any stores.” — Albert Wang
  • “I’d like to thank him for his work on the Zelda franchise which majorly helped me get through my depression throughout high school.” — Dylan Tait
  • “A spiritual connection is lived and felt but can’t be described; I wish to gift this game to my partner who cried writing his entry.” — Brooke Taylor
  • “Thank you so much for creating my childhood memories. You’ve given me the power, wisdom and courage to stand tall and create my own legend.” — Natalie Hong
  • Majora’s Mask changed my life as a child, teaching me that you can always succeed even if you are met with a terrible fate.” — Anna Rooney
  • “As a disabled child who couldn’t participate in sports, all I had was your games as a kid. You made my childhood, so thank you.” — Perry Dunetz
  • “My little brother and I learned to love reading thanks to Ocarina of Time. The game’s walkthrough was our first book. Thank you for everything.” — Allison Brigid

We would like to once again thank Nintendo Australia and Nintendo Japan for all of the hard work they put in to organize this giveaway. We couldn’t have done it without you.

David Johnson
David Johnson, a.k.a. "The Missing Link," was once the webmaster of both Zelda: The Grand Adventures and ZeldaBlog. He works as a software engineer in the games industry. David also pontificates about Zelda, writes features and guides for ZU, and obsesses about CD-i.