How Breath of the Wild changed my perspective on video games
by on October 25, 2018

I have been playing video games for about 20 years, though it’s only been a year now that I got serious about them. This started with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch.

I never used consoles that were connected to a television. Previously, computers had captured my attention to the point where that I don’t watch television anymore; my TV merely served as a decoration until I donated it to a charity. I am used to playing video games on portable devices such as PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita. When the latter stopped its circulation in the market and there weren’t enough games anymore, my device broke and instead of repairing it, I decided to buy the newcomer: the Nintendo Switch.

Choosing Zelda

I used to play only sports simulation video games, such as FIFA, PES, NBA2K, Formula One, and tennis games; however, these weren’t available when I bought the Switch. So I turned to other games, and from all that were available, Breath of the Wild caught my eye. The cover was magical, and I had read excellent reviews. I remembered reading that you could get lost inside a chaotic place full of wildlife. So, I thought this should definitely be my first video game on Nintendo Switch. There weren’t many games available at the time (it was July 2017), but that game seemed to be the best.

I hadn’t had much experience with these kinds of games. I had only played some of them in my adolescence. So I faced many difficulties at the start, such as figuring out how to handle the bow, and how to be careful to retain my hearts and my stamina. I couldn’t cook, I didn’t know how to make elixirs, and I made many failed recipes. It was also difficult for me to fight the smaller Guardians in the shrines as well as the larger ones that shoot lasers, not to mention the Lynels. Fighting with regular monsters, however, was relatively easy. But I found the way to play the game and be successful in it. I ended up finishing all the shrines — I didn’t complete everything in the main quest, but I was sure I completed more than 90 percent of the game.

With Breath of the Wild, I felt like exploring the entirety of Hyrule. I don’t live near places of nature anymore, but I once lived in a village for 10 years and playing this game made me nostalgic about living in the countryside. It reminded me of my childhood when I used to go to mountains and forests. I remember gathering flowers as I was sitting in the grass. The air was fresh and it was quiet, much like Breath of the Wild’s atmosphere. The whole concept of the game reminded me of the scout camps I had gone to and the life of a scout.

Memorable moments in Hyrule

What I liked the most about Breath of the Wild was not the navigation through nature or the fights; it was the puzzles and the riddles. The puzzles inside the shrines and the riddles of Kass, the Rito with the accordion. I also liked that Link had superpowers: the ability to fly with the paraglider, the ability to freeze the water into ice blocks, and even magnetic power.

My favorite quest was trying to find the locations of the memories, which was especially challenging. My favorite civilization was the Gorons in the volcano. My favorite Divine Beast was Vah Ruta because it was my first and when I beat it, the rain in Zora’s Domain stopped, revealing a beautiful place.

I enjoyed finding precious stones, so I was always in search of the various minerals. Collecting fairies was also a challenge as this required stealth skills, but it was worth the effort as fairies would always save my life in battle. I loved finding blue rabbits and was crushed whenever they disappeared before I could find my way to them. I was also pleasantly surprised when I discovered that I could change the color of Link’s clothes in the dye shop at Hateno Village.

One of the more exhausting yet funny moments for me was when I tried to find the 10 Cuccos in Kakariko Village. I had found nine of them and I could not find the tenth. It took me so long because it was on the roof of a house near the coop; something I hadn’t thought of.

My most awkward moment was when I lost the Ceremonial Spear. This made me panic. I lost it in my attempt at solving the riddle to make the shrine emerge, throwing it from the top of the cataract only to lose it forever. I used the Zora’s Spear instead of the Ceremonial Spear and it worked, so I was relieved — I didn’t want to miss a single shrine, after all.

What I found really annoying were the Stalkoblins that arose every night from the ground. I considered it really useless to fight them, so I ended up running away from them. I also got goosebumps when the Yiga would appear in front of me suddenly. It was also annoying when I was climbing while it was raining, only for Link to sliding back down to the bottom. The blood moon cut scene was also annoying since I had to view the same warning each time.

A new outlook on gaming

What I didn’t expect to find were all the ancient technologies. As I’d had no experience with any Zelda game before, I assumed that Breath of the Wild involved a world of early centuries, with a typical fantasy setting full of kings and princes; but what I actually found was a great contrast and surprise. I was so ignorant of Zelda games that at the start I thought I would control Zelda herself. So I thought that Link, who is in the cover of Breath of the Wild, was actually Zelda! I had no clue of the princess’s story.

“Breath of the Wild was a huge turning point for me, and it changed my perspective on video games forever.”

With Breath of the Wild, I saw an evolution of the video games that try to emulate life’s experiences. I was pleasantly surprised by how realistic video games can now be. It took me a month and a half to complete the game. After that, I bought my usual video games that released on Nintendo Switch: NBA2K and FIFA. But it was not long until I began buying more adventure and puzzle games and less sports games, because Breath of the Wild‘s influenced me greatly. Consequently, Breath of the Wild was a huge turning point for me, and it changed my perspective on video games forever.

Maria Karvouni
international millennial writer, poet, translator, written pr, published in 4 Continents in @Forbes US @HuffPostUK @PhilosophyNow @TEDTalks @UN etc.