Nintendo topped off a great E3 2019 Direct presentation with some pretty hype news: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is getting a sequel. That means one of the best-received games in the beloved Zelda franchise is getting a follow-up. A direct follow-up even, in the shape of Breath of the Wild 2 (note: the game has no official title yet). That's something we don't see too often in the Zelda series, barring The Adventure of Link (a follow-up to the first game) and Majora's Mask (a sequel to Ocarina of Time).
We only saw a minute-long Breath of the Wild 2 trailer, but the footage contained within was more than enough for the Internet Speculation Machine to start turning at 50,000 RPM. I've already weighed in on why I think Zelda will be playable in Breath of the Wild 2, but there's lots more to weigh in on.
Rest assured fans have indeed been weighing in on Twitter, on message boards, and on YouTube. Our friends at GameXplain also went to immediate work, and turned in 11 minutes of analysis and discussion.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 Trailer Analysis
Put together, there are some interesting theories at work on Breath of the Wild 2's story. For example:
The mummified figure in the trailer is Ganondorf: This theory hovers pretty close to "fact." While I initially assumed the shriveled-up figure in the trailer for Breath of the Wild 2 was some lost, unnamed Sheikah mummy similar to the ones we find guarding the Shrines dotting Hyrule, lots of fans have pointed the wraith has long red hair, a forehead jewel, and Gerudo-style jewellery—all traits belonging to Ganondorf in previous games. GameXplain also caught sight of a mural in the trailer's caverns that depict a figure on a horse fighting Hylian guards with a trident: Ganon's favored weapon.
That means a significant part of Breath of the Wild 2's story likely revolves around Ganondorf, the human form of the beast Calamity Ganon. While we fight Ganon in Breath of the Wild, there's no sign of Ganondorf. Something's kept the Gerudo King sealed underground for ages, and whatever that force is, it apparently gives way in Breath of the Wild 2.
Hyrule Castle is a Divine Beast: We see Hyrule Castle lift out of the ground at the very end of the trailer for Breath of the Wild 2. Is a forgotten Divine Beast rising up out of a long slumber? Maybe Ganondorf was even working on a Divine Beast for himself, and it's finally coming to life. If it starts to rip up Hyrule right from its epicenter, there's going to be a lot of trouble for a kingdom that's already struggling to recover from Calamity Ganon's initial onslaught.
Hyrule Castle might teleport Link and Zelda somewhere outside Hyrule: GameXplain proposed a theory I hadn't even considered until now: What if the shifting Hyrule castle is a prelude to Link and Zelda being sent elsewhere, like a flip-side of Hyrule? After all, "Mirror Worlds" are a very common theme in Zelda games, from the Second Quest in the first adventure to the Dark World in A Link to the Past, to Lorule in A Link Between Worlds. Ganondorf's corruption is what directly causes the Dark World to be created in A Link to the Past, so if he's taking front and center in Breath of the Wild 2, it makes some sense to have his own twisted take on Hyrule in the spotlight, too.
I don't doubt Breath of the Wild 2's development team wants to recycle as many assets as possible, since the first Breath of the Wild wasn't exactly a small project to put together. But the sad, dark world of Termina in Majora's Mask proves assets can be reused to great effect.
Link's glowy hand might replace runes: The trailer makes it clear Link's arm is possessed by some kind of ghostly presence. Whether it's a boon or a curse is yet to be determined: The vague snatches we get of the appendage in the Breath of the Wild 2 trailer suggests it can go either way (or just be a double-edged hand altogether). It's been noted Link's hand glows with the same gentle, blue-green glow of the Sheikah tech that powers Breath of the Wild's runes, e.g. the Bomb rune. Maybe it's a sign Link will channel his Sheikah Slate powers through his arm and hand? It'll sure liven things up whenever he has to use the bathroom.
It goes without saying we'll keep a close eye on any and all Breath of the Wild 2 developments as they spiral and form like so much of Ganon's Malice. In the meantime, check out our guide to E3 2019 for all the news, hands-on previews, and opinions out of the show!