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WMG / The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Post-E3 2016

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Post-E3 2016

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    Link / Zelda 
This Link was artificially created, not naturally born.
Judging by how he was awoken in a mysterious technological pod, floating in water and wearing just shorts, in a thing that was referred to during the E3 live stream as a resurrection chamber. Perhaps the hero never arrived when he was supposed to, so he was created instead.
  • Jossed.

Alternatively, Link was dead at the beginning of the game.
The location Link begins in is the called the Shrine of Resurrection, and the voice makes it seem that Link was there for a long time, calling him the Light that must shine on Hyrule once again.

Guesses of what Zelda will look like this time around!
I think she will be a brunette in a flowing orange dress made of light fabrics. This is because blue and orange seem to be key colors in the game, with Link being shown in blue it makes sense that Zelda would be orange. The lighter, flowing fabric would fit the 'wild' theme by being less structured than past gowns. She seems to be brunette in more "realistic" styled games, with this offering the most realism yet in gameplay. Feel free to list your guesses below!
  • Jossed as of the Release Date Trailer: Zelda wears mainly two outfits; one all white in the model of her Skyward Sword ceremonial dress, and a female version of Link's blue Champion's Shirt outfit.

Zelda is no longer a princess of Hyrule.
It was said that Hyrule is in ruins, so what of Zelda? It could be possible she's living on by running from here and there, or living somewhere in a village.
  • She may have taken up the Sheik persona to protect herself. The game's emphasis on the Sheikah tribe could be hinting towards Sheik's inclusion.
  • Confirmed. Hyrule is gone, so technically, she's no longer a princess. She's not on the run or living in a random village, though. She's the only thing keeping Calamity Ganon from escaping to destroy the world. Most people regard her in the past tense, other than people who knew her personally, who still refer to her as Princess Zelda, but officially the kingdom is gone.

The voice that wakes up Link at the beginning of the game is Zelda's.
She is telepathically communicating with Link, which could be a Call-Back to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, where a previous incarnation of Zelda woke up Link at the beginning of the game using the same method.
  • Confirmed.

Link, Zelda, and Ganon were all sealed away and will revive at the same time.
Of course Hyrule wouldn't want Ganon to get all of the Triforce, right? They seal the Triforce of Courage and Wisdom and the Triforce of Power goes away/gets weakened too.
  • Kinda Confirmed. Link fell in battle defending Zelda, which required putting him in the Shrine of Resurrection. Zelda subsequently went to seal Ganon away with herself in Hyrule Castle, though neither of them were killed like Link was. And the game does begin with Zelda telling Link to open his eyes and with Ganon awakening to swarm around the castle, though it's not clear who among the three was the first to wake up. Jossed in regards to the Triforce, which is never mentioned by name and which seems to be held in its entirety by Zelda.

Link is from 100 years in the past.
He was sealed around the same time as Calamity Ganon arose because he wasn't ready to fight him yet, and Ganon's forces were about to find and kill him before he could become a threat. To prevent this, the people at the time put Link in hibernation in the Shrine of Resurrection, to be awakened when the dust more or less settles and allows Link to become strong enough to take out Ganon.
  • Blink and you miss it dialogue shown during the livestream demo between Link and an NPC just known as "Old Man" support this, as he says it's been 100 years since "the Calamity Ganon" first arose and laid waste to Hyrule. [1]
  • Other dialogue has confirmed that Link has been in stasis for those same 100 years.
  • Confirmed.

Learning what happened before he fell asleep is part of Link's journey
Link will find hints about what happened before he was put to hibernation. Maybe even see if he had a family.
  • Confirmed. Throughout the main story, he occasionally experiences flashbacks of his former life. No sign of a family though, unless you count Zelda and the Champions.
    • His family is mentioned. His father was a Knight and Link is following in his footsteps.

Link agreed to go into stasis because the battle was hopeless by the time he joined.
By the time Link appeared, the battle had already been all but won by Ganon's forces. What was left of Hyrule's defenders weren't even enough to form an effective resistance, so they split into two camps as part of a plan to supplant Ganon through subterfuge rather than blitz tactics. Zelda would lead a faction away from the ruined Hyrule and vanish to a far away land to gather strength and numbers (the rebel Gerudo, Zora, some Hylians, etc.), while the faction that chose to stay and remain hidden through ancient magics (Sheikah, Gorons, ect).

Link remained with the Sheikah faction and agreed to enter stasis until Ganon grew complicit, and his body was hidden away from Ganon's hands while he slept. Unfortunately, the plan went askew and most of the Sheikah guarding Link were wiped out, meaning he couldn't be revived at the originally planned time. Adding to this, because his stasis wasn't maintained properly, parts of his memory started to erode away, which is why he doesn't seem to recognise the Sheikah tablet when he picks it up, despite feeling some familiarity.

  • Jossed. Link was present long before Ganon showed up. Ganon pre-empted all their plans and preparations. Link was mortally wounded and was sealed away by Zelda and the Sheikah to be revived.

This Link was kidnapped by the Sheikah and hidden away before he became a Hero.
Ganon seized power and set about slaughtering anyone remotely resembling the hero with a desperate violence. The Sheikah started kidnapping people matching the Hero's description and hid them away in dozens of those stasis chambers across Hyrule, using magic to imprint training and knowledge n them while they slept, to train them into becoming another generation of heroes. They were just fortunate enough that Link was among the few they managed to snag before Ganon killed them.
  • Jossed.

Link will become the new king of Hyrule.
That will be after finding Ganon and slaying him.
  • Jossed as far as what is depicted in the game itself. Once Ganon is defeated and Zelda freed, all that's really shown is that Link and Zelda go to check on the Divine Beasts and give closure to Mipha's family. With that said, this is one of the few times Zelda is overtly said to be in love with Link, so maybe sometime after The Stinger they get married?

Link was sealed away for his safety after a failed battle against Ganon.
Perhaps in the distant past, Link tried to fight Ganon, but was overpowered and heavily injured/near death. To save him, Zelda sealed him away in a chamber that would both heal and keep him in a long sleep while dealing with whatever Ganon was up to by herself. Now that Link has awoken, he's trying to piece together what happened after his battle.
  • Confirmed.

Link has amnesia.
And all he really remembers is his name, how to use weapons, how to cook, etc. He doesn't really know how he ended up in the Shrine of Resurrection or what kingdom he is in, so his journey is to figure out who he was and what happened and why he can't find any other people besides monsters, Koroks, the Old Man, etc.
  • Confirmed, although he does slowly regain his memories over time.

Link was badly injured during the fight against Calamity Ganon. Both he AND Princess Zelda were placed in stasis: Link so his wounds could heal, Zelda to hold the barrier that sealed Calamity Ganon in Hyrule Castle.
During the first battle against Calamity Ganon and his forces, the Hyrule forces were overwhelmed, and Link was wounded to the point of almost death. Knowing they could never hope to defeat Ganon without the Chosen Hero, Link was taken by Zelda and the Sheikah and places in the Chamber of Resurrection to heal and rejuvenate. Zelda knew they would have to wait until Link was fully healed to ever have a hope in defeating Ganon, but they didn't have time to wait for such a thing, as his forces were getting close to victory. So, just like her ancestor in Skyward Sword, she and the Sheikah were able to lock him inside Hyrule Castle as a desperate last resort, with Zelda being placed in stasis to act as the barrier to prevent him from breaking free.

The two of the them were only to remain like this until Link was fully healed. However, something happened, and Ganon's remaining forces were able to wipe out almost all of the Sheikah and the remaining Knights of Hyrule. One of those Knights, who was entrusted with guarding the sleeping Chosen Hero, survived and is now the Old Man who Link first meets outside the Chamber of Resurrection when Link finally awakens. Zelda, telepathically, was the one finally able to wake Link up after 100 years, though she's had to loosen her seal on Ganon in order to do so.

  • Semi-Confirmed. Zelda seals Ganon away, and in present day is almost fully consumed by him. However, Hyrule's forces were almost completely obliterated before Link's death, not after.

Zelda will aid Link disguised as Sheik, like in Ocarina of Time.
Since the kingdom of Hyrule is in heavy decline and Hyrule Castle serves as a seal for Ganon, it can be presumed that Zelda will be in hiding just like she was in the adult sections of Ocarina of Time, disguised as Sheik. Given the already established emphasis on the Sheikah in the game and them aiding Link, it wouldn't be too surprising for them to bring back Sheik to serve as a sort of Trickster Mentor during certain segments of the game, likely not to the degree that she becomes a companion given Aonuma's emphasis on the lack of one, but to a degree that she will have some kind of impact on the plot when her normal presence as the princess of Hyrule is out of the question.
  • Furthermore, she will unmask herself before Link somewhere towards the end of the game and explain to him the truth of his role on the world.
  • Sadly Jossed, Sheik does not appear.

The resurrection pod is actually a cloning pod
And the Old Man is actually Link. He has grown too old to fight Ganon and cloned himself to give Hyrule a chance.
  • Seems unlikely due to his dark complexion and facial features suggesting he may be Gerudo, or at least a dark-skinned Hylian.
  • Jossed, this Link's the original and the Old Man is the King.

Zelda will become Queen in the end and Link will be made a knight.
After Ganon is beaten, Zelda will reclaim her place in Hyrule as its rightful ruler, and begins the process of returning the kingdom to its former glory as it recovers from the devastation brought about by Ganon 100 years before. Then, in a grand ceremony, she honors Link by making him a member of the Knights of Hyrule for his efforts.
  • If this game is early in the timeline, he will be the first ever Knight.
  • Jossed. They merely talk about traveling the world and attempting to restore Hyrule at some point. Also, Link was already assigned as Zelda's personal Knight as shown in Link's restored memories.

Link is the Hero of Time
This game either takes place in a fourth timeline where something happened to prolong Link's slumber in the Sacred Realm, or lightly Retcons the Downfall Timeline either to the same effect or to have Link be resurrected after his defeat at Ganon's hands.
  • Jossed.

We're gonna see the same plot twist that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain pulled.
Because the game isn't exactly lacking in similarity to it. The guy you're playing as is either a clone or some schmuck who's been altered and/or brainwashed into thinking he's the real Link, the old man at the beginning is the real Link who needs a faker to draw away Ganon's attention while he pursues his own plan to save Hyrule.
  • Jossed.

Sheik will appear in the game.
Given Ganon has been trapped in Hyrule Castle for 100 years (and the game's emphasis on the Sheikah tribe), Zelda may be living under her Sheik persona as she waits for Link to help reclaim her home, much as she was the last time Ganondorf took over it. Bonus points if her arsenal has been updated to include the Sheikah's advanced technology.
  • Jossed.

Link is the resurrected Hero's Shade.
He sealed himself in the shrine, which he created in order to revive himself to stop Ganon.
  • Jossed.

This Link is a Sheikah.
"Sheikah are trained from birth in the secret arts of war." Hyrule Warriors aside, come on, it's a distinct possibility. Link just wakes up with seemingly no memory and he can do a ton of awesome stuff pretty much whenever. He can wield literally any weapon he picks up, surf on his shield, wrangle a horse and ride one, and JUMP on his own, even off of his horse. He can dash, climb just about anything and everything, his perception of time slows to aim expertly with his bow in midair, and when he dodges well enough he can slash a foe at ridiculous speeds. His lack of stamina can be explained by his young age and being asleep for...however long. Also, he finds the Sheikah Slate familiar despite never seeing it before, so it's possible he's familiar with the unique aspects of Sheikah technology.
  • It's possible his familiarity may simply be from having a lose connection to the Royal Family and therefore the Sheikah, whether as a Knight in defense of the Crown or something closer to the Princess. Being Prince Consort would put him firmly under the guidance and protection of the Sheikah just as much as those born into the family. Link also lacks the red eyes common to the Sheikah tribe, unless he was adopted in.
    • OP here. Well, it's also possible that not all Sheikah have red eyes, but you do make good points. In any case, he definitely has some connection to the Sheikah. His abilities are very ninja-esque, especially his wallclimbing and Flurry Rush.
      • Sheikah and Gerudo in this game have varying eye colors. However, Sheikah seem to live longer than Hylians and all have white hair, while Gerudo are taller and have red hair and dark skin. Eye color is not restricted for either of them, though.
  • Jossed.

This Link is a previous Link, but not one from a game.
Instead, given him being locked away in stasis for so long, the state of Hyrule when he wakes up, and how he just hears a voice (assumed to by Zelda), he could be the Beast of Hylia - the Link from the Skyward Sword prequel manga. That could explain why he is canonically named Link, rather than whatever the game save file is named. That Link actually died with his body being carried off by Hylia before forsaking her divine form to be reborn into the world as Zelda, whose bloodline was destined to rule as Hyrule's royalty. Link was supposedly similarly reborn as that game's Link. What actually happened to his original body is unknown, but could have been resurrected after a period where no heroes ever emerged.
  • Small issue: Link's Vague Age. Unless the Shrine of Resurrection reverses time's effects and did so for a bit too long, this Link, who is "not a child, but not quite yet an adult" cannot be a past hero like the Hero of Time or Hylia's first champion. I guess you can say it works that way, but then the question is, why?
  • Jossed, he's a new Link.

Zelda (or Sheik) will be a playable character.
While the ability to select Link's gender may have been Jossed, that doesn't necessarily mean that the ability to play a female character isn't there. Maybe you'll be able to play as Zelda (or Sheik, if she's a separate character in this game) instead of Link.

In possible support of this, the latest trailer released in December appears to show a female character dressed similarly to Link. Plus, when the developers jossed the idea of selecting Link's gender, they mentioned that if there was to be a playable female character, it would probably be Zelda. A possible hint?

  • Jossed... for now. Maybe Zelda could be playable in the upcoming DLC, though?

100 years in the past, Link was killed by a Guardian while Zelda was trying to protect him
From this screenshot taken from the release date trailer, we see Zelda using some kind of light magic against a Guardian. When the camera pans around, we see exactly what the red beam of the Guardian is targetingLink's head. There are also two other Guardians destroyed next to them. Link and Zelda probably were able to fight and defeat those two, but they were smaller than the 3rd one, and Link was probably worn out from battling the first two, and the 3rd one takes them both by surprise. Zelda will try and protect Link, but she won't be able to stop it, and it will One-Hit Kill him.
  • Semi-Confirmed. 100 years in the past, Zelda did use her power to try to protect Link, but Link was mortally wounded from the battles with several prior guardians and collapsed after Zelda successfully stopped the one seen in the trailer.

This Link had previous adventures
His past acts of heroism will be alluded to during the game. Among his victories are ones against alternate versions of non-Ganon antagonists such as Zant, Vaati, and Maladus.

He does appear to have been a Champion of Hyrule before Calamity Ganon after all, he has to have done something to earn his tunic after all.

  • We don't see them, but he is a Champion. He does do some fighting in flashbacks, so that might count.

Zelda is trying to awaken as the Goddess Hylia
The trailer shows her in a location that, on closer inspection, is identical to the pools the Zelda in Skyward Sword had to visit to cleanse her soul and awaken the soul of Hylia within her; Zelda's breakdown in the trailer will either be this process failing, or regaining her memories and it's actually Hylia realising that everything going to hell has been an endless cycle that is partially her fault.
  • Semi-Jossed. She's trying to awaken her powers, but not as the Goddess Hylia specifically.

Zelda has been doing Link's job while he's been asleep or she will be a Hero of Another Story.
Judging by Zelda's near-identical outfit of Link's, she's probably also some sort of warrior meant to save Hyrule from the Calamity Ganon. However, since Link has been asleep for 100 years and going by a previously mentioned WMG that he was not awakened on time to save Hyrule from doom, Zelda has decided to take up the mantle. She will eventually cross paths with Link and will be relieved that she'll finally be able to have the original hero meant for the job around to help. Alternatively, she could just be helping Link out just because she wants to do more than just sit around like some previous incarnations.

Whatever the case, she'll be off doing her own thing and exploring some ruins and temples like Link is to unlock secrets with her Sheikah Slate. She and Link won't really travel together, but they'll occasionally meet to update each other on progress.

  • Sadly Jossed. She has Hero of Another Story in the past where she personally seals Ganon away for 100 years after everyone else is defeated.

Like Zelda, Link will be given fully voiced dialogue
However, this will not happen until a point in the game where Link recovers his lost memories, also giving him the ability to speak.
  • Jossed, he's just as silent as ever in this game.
    • Link does speak (not out loud) in some specific instances, though. Sometimes he seems to comment on food that had been cooked by monsters. Either that or he's thinking but it doesn't mark it like that.

There are two Zeldas in the game.
Hear me out. If the You-Can-Play-During-A-Flashback theory is true there will there two Zeldas. Flashback!Zelda would be the one in the white dress and she is the one who put Link to sleep for 100 year. Present!Zelda is the one in the blue Granddaughter of Flashback!Zelda and she's the one who woke Link up. This is assuming that Flashback!Zelda also didn't got to sleep as well.

  • With all that buzz about some art making Zelda looking pregnant at one point, that could open up a way to have two Zeldas. Though that opens up its own can of worms...

  • Jossed, it's the same Zelda throughout.

Link was Zelda's bodyguard
Based on the this trailer it seems like that might be the case.
  • Maybe Link is part of the Knights of Hyrule, and the King assigned Link to be the personal guard for his daughter. If Zelda is the King's only child and heir, she would need a personal guard, though before it's usually been Impa.
    • Confirmed, more or less. He was one of her knights and closest friends.
  • The sheikah were stated to have been banished, so it's possible something might have happened to Impa that caused her to be unable to look after Zelda.
    • This is incorrect. The Sheikah being banished was mistranslated. Its more the technology that was banished (which is why Hyrule is in medieval stasis). The Yiga clan splintered because the technology was banished. Plenty of Sheikah were royal advisors, and Impa was likely Zelda's childhood protector before Link came along (its not directly stated in-game, though).

Link and Zelda are siblings and the Old Man is their father i.e. the ex-King of Hyrule
And for bonus points, the Old Man is an atoning Ganondorf and Link and Zelda's mother is the daughter of the Link and Zelda from Hyrule Warriors.
  • Jossed on account of the siblings and Ganondorf theories, confirmed on account of him being the King.
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    Timeline 
This game takes place after all previous Zelda games
The Magitek setting helps support this theory, and the fact that there are apparently links to the original Zelda game, as well as the fact that there are races from OTHER games from the three separate timelines, such as the Koroks from The Wind Waker, could mean that this is the Distant Finale to every Zelda game á la ∀ Gundam.
  • The Master Sword in the Rust further supports this theory.
    • That happened due to the events 100 years ago. But based on the timeline its definitely after all games in whatever timeline its in. Which is still up for debate.

This game is set after Ganon won and the old man is Ganon
Whatever time period this game is in, past, future, or somehow both, Ganon actually already won. He got what he wanted and Hyrule collapsed, but because that is his entire reason for existing, he didn't actually know what to do after. Once Hyrule was gone and the rage of Demise left him with its job complete, all that was left was to watch everything crumble and contemplate his life. So the old man from the gameplay we've seen is definitely Ganon, but he's a Ganon who's had many years to try and figure out what to do with his life now that he's won and doesn't have an answer.
  • Confirmed... partially. Ganon won, but he's not the Old Man.

This game is an Alternate Adult Timeline
Rather than leaving the saved Hyrule, Link stays behind in case he is needed. Ganondorf’s escapement from the Sacred Realm, as alluded to in the Wind Waker’s backstory, occurs. Overwhelmed by the enemy army, the Sheikah freeze the Hero of Time until Ganondorf’s Triforce of Power weakens. If BotW’s Link was frozen, as shown in the new footage, I think it could be the Hero of Time. We also know BotW puts an emphasis on mountain climbing, and mountains were very important for the Great Sea of WW. This kind of AU theory is not unheard of, since the Hero of Time’s death at the hands of Ganon(dorf?) split the timeline into a totally different history. What I’m getting at is BotW might feature the Hyrule that was underwater, which would never have been flooded if King Hyrule still had hope in the Hero. The only thing that doesn’t match up is the existence of Koroks, but there have been weirder inter-continuity NPCs.
  • I should note that it doesn't necessarily have to be the Link from OoT; new!Link could very well be just a subsequent reincarnation who happened to be not ready when Ganondorf broke free.

This game is set in the Adult Timeline, set in the time of the Calamity. The lead in the story isn't Link, thus not The Hero. The game ends with the flooding of Hyrule.
Basically, the story told in The Wind Waker with no exceptions.

The Wind Waker's story told of a calamity that brought Hyrule down, but the hero didn't return to save them. Given the appearance of the Ruto and the Koroks, this indicates the time period matches up. Now, as per the reason why this isn't Link: Remember when the game was first announced, and people thought a female Link was being played? Eiji Aonuma's response was (paraphrasing) "Who says that that this is Link?" The developer basically gave away that we weren't playing Link in this game. Moreover, because he's not Link, he's thus not the Hero, and he is unable in the end to save Hyrule.

  • Jossed, Aonuma revealed he was just joking, and that the hero really is Link; every trailer since then adresses him as such too. Besides, the reason why the Great Flood happened in the first place was because there was no hero at all, not "one hero who failed", so unless they retcon that, the WMG is impossible.

  • Jossed even more since Aonuma has confirmed that, story wise, Breath of the Wild has no connection to Wind Waker.

Alternatively, this game takes place in an Adult timeline where Ganon was sealed in Hyrule Castle instead of Hyrule being flooded
  • Likely Jossed, but we can't really tell. Its set so far in the future its kinda irrelevant.

This game is set in the Decline of Hyrule Timeline
An unspecified amount of time — centuries, or perhaps longer — after the events of Adventure of Link, Hyrule has crumbled to ruins and been reclaimed by the wilderness, but as per Demise's curse Ganon is reincarnated/resurrected, necessitating the Spirit of the Hero be reborn to vanquish him once more.
  • I agree about the timeline (seems the most logical) but I have a different theory regarding when: before Tri-Force Heroes and Zelda I. Now, in this timeline, Ganon is killed in A Link Between Worlds, yet he's inexplicably alive in Zelda I (and it's stated to be the same Ganon, not a reincarnation (which in my opinion would make more sense), unlike the Ganon from Four Swords Adventures which is not the same from Twilight Princess). So there are at least two games that take place in the gap between Tri-Force Heroes and Zelda I: a game in which Ganon is resurrected, and is later sealed below Hyrule Castle, and this game that follows such events, which will lead to the events of Zelda I, which may or may not have more games in-between.

Ganon has MERGED the timelines, and this story takes place in the new compilation timeline
On a practical level, the timelines were getting confusing and having all of them have their own lore, creatures, and areas would get confusing and frustrating. If the developers were going back to basics, resetting the timeline to a merged one would allow them to pull in the best of each timeline.

On a story level... Ganon/Demise could have somehow realized that the timeline split. And also recognized that he falls every time. In each time, he starts over fresh. Sure, he has a new body, but he does not learn from what happened last time. So, best way to handle that? Merge everything together so he can learn how he's failed each time and figure out a way to beat it by pulling in each incarnation's knowledge. This has the side effect of pulling in other things too (Koroks, Eldin Bridge, etc), and the land — in massive confusion — quickly is taken over by his forces and left to ruin.

This also screws up the resurrection cycle. Link and Zelda are nowhere to be found. On the one hand, easier to win (as was his point). On the other, he doesn't have the Triforce. Link was never resurrected. The merging affected him badly (as he also gained all of his knowledge from his past lives) and was forced into statis until he could sort himself out. Zelda led her people despite her own confusion, but lost due to Ganon's knowledge and is in hiding herself. But like the others, her next incarnation will also have every bit of past knowledge. Including how she fell this time.

  • Maybe the Calamity is what happens to Ganon's mind when it had three of him inside it. Alternatively, if he did fuse the timelines, would he not have enough triforces of power to make a completed Triforce?
    • The Triforces need a balance of power, wisdom, and courage to work properly. Or alternatively, he did manifest the triforce, used his wish to merge the timelines, and now is trying to recreate the Triforce for other reasons.
    • Hence the calamity. Does he know he apparently needs all three sides? Or is it possible that he thought you could make a Triforce with three Triforces?

The game is a direct sequel to Skyward Sword with the same Link.
Hence his being right-handed (Skyward Sword!Link was previously the only canonically right handed Link). Calamity Ganon was Demise's first incarnation and caught the newly settled Hyrule by surprise. Link was injured fighting Ganon back and was placed in the Shrine of Resurrection while Ganon itself was sealed in Hyrule. Link is awoken at the last possible moment to resume the fight to keep him safe.
  • Except canon already has it that Ganondorf/Ganon made his first appearance in Ocarina of Time, not anytime before that. If BotW takes place before The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, as a sequel to SS, then he should be the Calamity Demise, not Ganon, since Demise is how Link, Zelda, and the rest of the Skyloft/Hyrulians knew him as before OoT.
  • Jossed. Breath of the Wild is confirmed to take place after Ocarina of Time according to this interview.

The game is in a fourth timeline where Link never woke up after claiming the Master Sword in Ocarina of Time.
In this version of events, Ganondorf managed to break into the Sacred Realm earlier and Link was pulled out mid-stasis to protect him. However, bringing him back to the real world solidified his stasis into a coma-like state and he needed to be placed into the Shrine of Resurrection to heal him. The process/Shrine also affected his body as he aged, which is why he's now right-handed.
  • Jossed.

The game takes place at the end of the Adult Timeline.
The Koroks succeeded in draining Hyrule. The Kingdom and Master Sword are in ruins due to water damage and restoring Hyrule somehow set Ganon free (either the draining itself or through someone's acts upon entering Old Hyrule).
  • They wanted to create new land by connecting the islands with tree roots (somehow), not drain the ocean.

The game takes place after an alternate ending to The Wind Waker
Rather than King Daphnes interfering and touching the Triforce before Ganondorf does, Ganondorf gets his wish and the sea is drained. At first, not much changes beyond the sudden lack of Ocean, Ganon just... rules over some rubble. Then he loses what sanity he had left thanks to power corruption, turns into Calamity Ganon, and is sealed in Hyrule Castle.

This game takes place after Four Swords Adventures in the young Link timeline
After Four Swords Adventures, both Ganon and, possibly, Vaati are sealed using the Four Sword, instead of Vaati being sealed by the Four Sword and Ganon being sealed by the Master Sword. It's possible that, rather than remaining trapped or escaping seperately, they merged together and, with their powers combined, destroyed Hyrule. That's why Ganon isn't just Ganon anymore: he's been fused with Vaati, similarly to Yuganon in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. That's also why the Master Sword is rusted: it hasn't been used since Twilight Princess, and nothing is sealed within it.

Also, the Koroks are just the eventual evolution of Kokiri in all Timelines they exist in. It's a bit of a stretch, but so is the fish people evolving into birds after the entire planet is flooded.

It's a prequel to Twilight Princess
The brief glimpse we get of Hyrule Castle shows that it is identical to the one seen in Twilight Princess, and since that one exploded, it is most likely a TP prequel.
  • They very likely could have rebuilt Hyrule Castle after it was destroyed in Twilight Princess, though. Four Swords Adventures takes place hundreds of years after Twilight Princess and Hyrule Castle is back and rebuilt by that time, in roughly the same place, as well.
    • Problem with that, this castle is nearly identical to the one in Twilight Princess, while the one in Four Swords Adventures is not.
  • Well, given that Calamity Ganon is trapped in this Hyrule Castle, maybe it too doesn't survive, just like the Twilight Princess one didn't. It could work, since Four Swords Adventures isn't a direct sequel to Twilight Princess. Anyway, Hyrule Castle aside, taking place before Twilight Princess doesn't really work because of where Ganon is/what he's doing in Breath of the Wild; unless at the end of Breath of the Wild Ganondorf/Ganon is captured and sealed in the Twilight Realm. Twilight Princess - and what happened to Ganondorf before that game in getting sent to the Twilight Realm - was always said by Word of God to be a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask.
    • Word of God also says that this game has stronger connections to Twilight Princess. Which depicts a Castle Town surrounded by several ruins.
      • Word of God, however, has also talked up the imagery, connections, and inspirations Breath of the Wild takes from the original Legend of Zelda game. To the point that they even deliberately mimicked the image - during the Treehouse demo livestream - from the original game manual of Link at the top of a cliff overlooking a valley and vast mountains in the distance when Link first leaves the Shrine of Resurrection.
  • Yeah, but the ruins of Castle Town and the Temple of Time in Twilight Princess are way more decayed and overtaken by the woods than they are in Breath of the Wild. Meaning the game would have to take place before Twilight Princess. But given that a.) the Ganon in Twilight Princess is the same Ganon we saw in Ocarina of Time and b.) he's not trapped in the Twilight Realm in Breath of the Wild but in Hyrule Castle, that would make the ending to Breath of the Wild already set in stone. Ganondorf would have to be captured, taken to the sages, get a failed execution, and then be banished to the Twilight Realm. And has Nintendo ever made a game — especially a Zelda game — where its ending is already locked in stone like that?
    • Logically the ruins would indeed be more decayed if Breath of the wild took place before Twilight Princess. Also consider the fact that Skyward Sword came just shy of confirming that there is more than one Temple of Time. There's the one that was in the desert, there's the temple of Hylia in the Faron Woods, that eventually decays to just the sword pedestal, and there's the one that was in Hyrule Castle Town, as seen in Ocarina of Time and Breath of the Wild. Then there's the change in length of the Master Sword between Ocarina and Twilight. The Guardians look like they are powered by Twili magic (and overtaken by Ganondorf's Red variant) really, Twili blue seems to be the color found in all Shieka tech. Then there's the question of where the sages in Twilight Princess came from.
      • Hyrule Historia flat out confirms that Rauru build the Temple of Time - that we see in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - on the grounds of the Sealed Temple where the Master Sword was at the end of Skyward Sword. So there aren't multiple Temple of Times by the time of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time; and by extension any of the games that come after it in any of the 3 timelines. The Master Sword is still located in the ruins of the Temple of Time in Twilight Princess. In Breath of the Wild however, we've seen via the trailer and gameplay footage that the sword is nowhere to be found in the Temple of Time; instead, it is located in a place that is very reminiscent of where you found the Master Sword in both A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds. Even down to having 3 white flowers by the pedestal alter the sword is in. The Guardians, meanwhile, look more like they are just like the Sheikah Slate - ie, powered by Sheikah Magitek, not Twili magic. And anyway, the Twili and the Sheikah could just be related tribes accounting for things looking similar.
  • Jossed. Its definitely not before TP.

There will be another timeline split, 100 years after The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. "What if Link didn't acquire the Master Sword during the events of Ocarina of Time?"
The appearance of the rusted Master Sword. It was never used for a hundred years.
  • But then the Master Sword would still be located in the Temple of Time. And the Breath of the Wild demo has shown the ruined Temple of Time, and the Master Sword is not there.

Whichever timeline the game takes place in, it will at least take place after Ocarina of Time
Via this thread on reddit, users have been able to place the ruins of the old Castle Town from Ocarina of Time within the Great Plateau starting area of Breath of the Wild. The wide shot of the Great Plateau shows the wall that surrounded the original Castle Town as well.
  • Confirmed by Ganon's presence; he didn't exist until Ocarina of Time. Also, the ruins of what appears to be the Temple of Time are very close to the starting point of the game. Further confirmed by this interview.

Breath of the Wild will ALWAYS be the last game in the timeline, regardless of future games.
So everything here is pretty screwed up, for a few reasons.

First: The timelines are converging. Sort of. All three timelines we know of — Adult, Child, Ganon Wins — all exist separately. However, Breath of the Wild, regardless of timeline, is the ultimate fate of Hyrule. It is, will be, was always going to be, must be, and has always been, the last form of Hyrule. No more timeline splits from here, this is it.

Magic has always been notoriously weird when it comes to this series, there's almost nothing it can't do. And so, when the universe observed that Breath of the Wild is Hyrule's ultimate fate, it FORCES the timelines to converge. Since they're all ending up this way, why not make them the same?

Second: The Master Sword is rusted because Fi is no longer in it. Think about it — all three timelines span at least a century and the blade has has never rusted. Not once. The only time it even dulled was Wind Waker, and that was more to do with Ganondorf than any actual process of time. Whatever happened, Fi is no longer inside the Master Sword to keep it gleaming with the power of evil's bane, possibly because this is the last time the Master Sword will EVER be needed.

  • This part at least is Jossed — Fi is still in the Master Sword, as seen in the final memory unlocked in the game. The damage to the sword is from the fierce battle when Calamity Ganon awakened, and was repaired between the time Zelda returned it to its pedestal and Link's return to reclaim the sword.

Third: Hylia is dying. Hylia's soul has been reincarnating in Zelda for at least a millennium now, and her soul just can't take it anymore. Once Hylia dies, everything magical about the series ends. The Triforce, the enchanted weaponry, fairies, all of it will go away. And when that happens, there will be no need for a Hero either. And once Breath's Hero destroys Calamity Ganon in this game, the three souls that made up Demise's Curse of Hatred will be gone for good. No more reincarnations.

This Link is the Hero of the Twilight.

Link, after beating Ganondorf, went on more adventures. Unfortunately, Ganon came back, driven even more bloodthirsty and berserk by his death. Link returned, and found out about his old enemy’s return when it was all but too late. With no options left, the Twili, the Sheika tribe, and the Resistance (the gang at Telma’s bar), sealed Link away until such time as he could recover and defeat Calamity Ganon. (Note that the swirls on the guardians are similar to the swirls on the Fused Shadow as well as some Sheika creations, and some Twili magic is characterized by blue (Midna) and red (Zant/Ganondorf) lights (the old man may be Auru, the guy who was investigating the desert)).

Link lost his memories and will eventually get them back from meeting Midna, who also went into slumber to await his return when she became aware of the problem.

When the Sheika Slate summons Wolf Link, it is actually externalizing Link’s feral soul. It takes a day for Link’s soul to recover from his exertions when the wolf is beaten.

  • Jossed. It's set roughly 10,000 years after Ganon's last attack.

Breath of the Wild is set 100 years after a Game Over in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, the Hero of Hyrule (who is actually from Calatia) prevents Ganon's resurrection, and restores peace to Hyrule. After that, the events of the Zelda comic happen. According to the manual of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, if Link were to die at some point during his journey, "Ganon would be revived by sacrificing Link and sprinkling his blood on the ashes of Ganon". In this theory, Breath of the Wild is set in a split after Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, seperate from the adventures chronicled in the comic, where the Hero of Hyrule's blood was used to resurrect Ganon. Upon reviving Ganon, a new, monstrous form known as the Calamity Ganon was unleashed, and had to be sealed inside Hyrule Castle. In what I picture to be some sort of Hyrule Black Ops mission, some Hyrulean agents would have to retrieve what remained of the Hero of Hyrule's body after being drained of blood, and stick it in one of the Shrine of Resurrection's chambers, waiting for a century before the Hero of Hyrule's body had regenerated enough to climb out and hopefully stop the Calamity Ganon.

  • Jossed. It's set roughly 10,000 years after Ganon's last attack.

Alternatively, it takes place 100+ years after the good ending from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
Link won, he married Zelda, and they had a child, but Ganon still existed in soul even if not in body, and his followers weren't finished with their work. After 15 years of peace, they returned with a vengeance, this time, not only to kill Link, but to take the Triforce as well. While they ultimately failed to steal the Triforce, they still caused enough damage in the ensuing wars to nearly drive the Hylians into extinction, and in the end, even managed to kill their hated foe, however... it was all for nothing, as his son was now the new Hero of the Gods, and thus their resurrection failed.<br/>Zelda managed to put her son in the same stasis she had been in to keep him safe until his awakening at least 100 years later. As for Ganon... While his body was destroyed and his followers failed to restore it, his wicked, immortal spirit still lived on, and only got stronger with the passing of time, eventually gaining enough power to manifest a corporeal form as the Calamity Ganon.
  • Alternatively, maybe one of Ganon's minions dressed up as a barber.
  • Jossed, again, because Nintendo is going out of its way to make this game's timeline make no sense!

This takes place after The Wind Waker
The Koroks succeeded in planting enough trees to drive away the sea, restoring the ruins of the land of Hyrule and the spirit of Ganon along with it.
  • The Koroks didn't want to drive away the sea and restore the Old Hyrule. They wanted to connect the islands of the Great Sea to create a new connected landmass. If they accomplished that goal, the new connected landmass wouldn't resemble the Old Hyrule, and wouldn't have any of the landmarks of the Old Hyrule (like the Temple of Time) on it. Plus, King Daphnes used the Triforce itself to wish that Old Hyrule be washed away — and the Triforce hasn't been known to have a wish it grants to be reversed unless you use the Triforce itself again to do so. So the Koroks just planting seeds wouldn't drive away the Great Sea anyway even if that had been what they were trying to do (which they weren't).

  • Jossed. Aonuma has confirmed that, story wise, Breath of the Wild has no connection to Wind Waker.

The timeline this game takes place in diverged during Skyward Sword.
The time travel antics that occurred in that game led to it's own timeline split. The result of that is why the Picori based events of the series, and thus their effects on the lore, aren't present, and why this world was able to develop different with more technology and with less strife than the other eras. However eventually fate caught up, and thus by the time it roughly reached the point of later games like Wind Waker and Twilight Princess things went down the drain.
  • What did the Picori (who have only been featured in the Four Sword trilogy) have to do with Wind Waker?
  • OP: edited. I was referring to the missing items and hearts in the grass, not sure why I put wind waker there. Anyway the idea is that the timeline split before the events of Minish Cap, meaning that the only canon events before this game was Skyward Sword. A few theorized that Skyward Sword's timetravel was to blame for this, with the reg timeline being Link returning, and this timeline being the one Link left behind where he killed Demise.

In that past period, Hyrule formed on the surface a lot earlier and developed faster with a lot more technology. This timeline itself was left generally undamaged by the same extremes as the old one, though I am not saying that issues didn't pop up. Then Calamity Ganon.

  • Jossed. Breath of the Wild is confirmed to take place after Ocarina of Time according to this interview. Which means there the timeline didn't split during Skyward Sword.

This takes place after Tri Force Heroes but before the original Legend of Zelda.
The similarities in the world, the near destruction of civilization, the fact that the Master Sword is rusted (when it was discarded for the Magical Sword in Zelda 1 and 2), and the fact there's a big nebulous spot in the plot at this point all give me reason to guess it'll be here.
  • Jossed. Its set roughly 10,000 years after Ganon's last attack.

The game takes place after Ocarina of Time but before A Link to the Past
... and will be the 3rd 3D Zelda game - along with Wind Waker and Twilight Princess - that will explain directly what happened after the events of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, running parallel to those two other games. Among the things in the game will be explained are:

1. How, exactly, the Hero of Time was defeated in his fight with Ganon and what that meant.

2. How the Master Sword ended up in the Lost Woods, and why there are 3 white flowers surrounding it as seen in A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds; which are emphasized not only in the trailers for the game, but in it's official western logo as well.

  • Sadly Jossed.

Breath of the Wild is the ultimate remake of the original game
It takes place in The Frontier, a medley of lush wild lands where almost everything is a monster ready to kill you, yet all disorganized and possibly independent of Ganon, with less than five humans / fae in sight. No towns, no paths, just pure survival combat. Not even a helper fairy to guide you (though you do get a menu screen in the form of a magic version of a smart tablet). Now, does that sound familiar to you?
  • Except, there ARE towns and more than five humans/hylians in Breath of the Wild. Like, the trailers have shown at least 3 different towns (full of people), and we've seen tons of different people/Non Player Characters hanging around the Stables, (of which we've been told there are more than just one Stable), and we've even seen NPCs getting into fights with monsters on their own. Heck, the developers have talked at length recently about how the NPCs all have their own set schedules and timetables and will even go inside if they are near a stable and the weather turns bad. It's only on the Great Plateau area — the starting area — where there are no towns or lots of NPCs. So I'd say this WMG is Jossed — at least when it comes to it being an updated remake of the first game in having no towns and only a small number of NPCs. It could be a reimagining of the first game however, though that's a slightly different thing.
  • Jossed.

How the Zora and Rito co-existing will be explained.
The River Zoras (the ones seen in the 2D games) evolved into the Rito, while the Sea Zoras remained Zoras.
  • Jossed. No connection is made between the Zora and Rito in-game.

This is a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time set in the Downfall Timeline.
It's apparently been stated that the chamber Link wakes up in is a resurrection chamber. This is on top of the Deku tree already knowing this Link according to the trailer. These points seemingly suggest that this is the Hero of Time after he falls in battle with Ganondorf, as there aren't many Links familiar with the Great Deku Tree (or, in this case, presumably, the sprout that appeared after the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time.
  • Jossed. It's set roughly 10,000 years after Ganon's last attack.

Bot W rakes place in the child timeline
Zelda and Impa mention the Master Sword being used in three places: the sky, through time, and in twilight; not above a vast ocean, or between worlds.
  • Jossed. The Zora Tablets mention Princess Ruto becoming a Sage and helping fight an evil man (Ganondorf), which doesn't happen in the child timeline.
    • Maybe she became a sage in the child timeline too? Considering Ganondorf was given the Triforce of Power in TP, there is some precedent for inter-timeline shenanigans with that game.

    Gameplay 

The classic green tunic will appear as an optional set of armor and/or a type of armor.
Or both; it could serve as the basis for one of several types of armor you can wear, but the classic green tunic itself will only be given out after a long late-game sidequest.
  • Perhaps it could be some sort of "ultimate armor" or is armor that's given to you near the end of the game/after you figure out what happened to Hyrule.
    • Furthermore, it could be given to you once you discover your true destiny and role in the fight against Ganon.
  • Or it could be a New Game+ sort of thing, similar to Wind Waker, where you can have the option of playing the game in your pajamas.
  • Confirmed. You get it by clearing all 120 shrines.

The Master Sword will be acquired in the midpoint of the game, but be unavailable as a weapon until the end.
The derelict condition of the sword is indicative of a similar scenario to The Wind Waker, where the Master Sword's power is currently sealed and unable to serve as the true antithesis of evil. So Link acquires it about halfway through the game, but only as an item, and has to spend the rest of the game reviving its power, requiring he continue picking up weapons from fallen enemies. Once the Master Sword is revived, it will be like the Hylian Shield in Skyward Sword and have infinite durability.
  • Alternatively, the Master Sword will be usable in its rusted state, but very, very weak. To the point that maybe even the branches are better weapons.
    • Repairing/restoring the Master Sword has been part of previous games, so it's likely to be used here as well. Since weapons are also breakable, the Master Sword might be the only weapon that can't break, making it very useful even when it's still weak and rusted.
  • Jossed. It's only rusted in the past. You can find the Master Sword whenever you want, but you need a certain number of permanent hearts to remove it without dying.

The player will be tasked with repairing / reforging the Master Sword
Could also include callbacks to Skyward Sword, which was the story of how it was made to begin with. Maybe the three Sacred Flames will again be involved for re-purification? As other entries on this page have said, the presence of towns means it's likely a blacksmith will be present somewhere, and it's worth noting that a few other games have indeed had smiths that could work on the Master Sword for you if given the right kind of ore (most recently A Link Between Worlds). The presence of different kinds of collectable ore, some of which appear to be precious or semi-precious materials, may support this theory.
  • Alternatively, perhaps resurrecting Fi's spirit within the sword will be a plot point, since I believe the ending of Skyward Sword made it clear that as long as she lived, it would be kept fresh and sharp? Or maybe an entirely new Spirit of the Sword will be "born" within the blade upon reforging if Fi is indeed dead...
    • Repairing the Master Sword is Jossed, but this is Confirmed. Fi's spirit talks a couple of times. The Master Sword gradually restores itself over time (in the past it's worn down, in present it' in pristine condition).

Link will gain a gun as a weapon.
It will be made with the same technology present in the game and shoots out lasers. May be alternatively called blasters.
  • Jossed.

There will be multiple endings depending on how deep the player goes into the game.
It's been said that the player can rush off to fight the final boss as soon as the game begins, so I imagine there will be some plot-related incentive for them to wander around and collect stuff instead. Beating Ganon right away will result in a bittersweet or bad ending, in which he's sealed away temporarily but will come back even stronger in the future, and at best Link will have to go through the process again, or at worst the Shrine of Resurrection only works once and he'll be long-dead, with no hope of defeating evil for good. In order to gain the power to destroy Ganon or seal him more permanently, Link has to venture through Hyrule and gather the appropriate trinkets.
  • It would certainly make sense; or if not completely different endings like in Chrono Trigger (which this mechanic of fighting the Final Boss whenever you want reminds me of, to be honest), at least different epilogues like in Pikmin 3.
  • Whether there will be more than one alternate ending is still up in the air, but there will be an alternate ending if certain criteria are met.
  • Confirmed. There's only an extra cutscene, though.

Finishing the game won't mean the end of the game.
By that I mean there will be a New Game+ feature or a Playable Epilogue, with new areas being accessible and new items to find.
  • Jossed.
    • The "New adventure" promised with one of the DLC may be happening after the completion of the main quest, like the Awakening and Trespasser DLCs from the Dragon Age series, for instance.

There will be unbreakable weapons.
Though they'll obviously be extremely rare and/or weaker than a lot of other weapons, so as to not make the weapon switching mechanic obsolete, with the truly powerful unbreakable being reserved for very late in the game.
  • Mostly Jossed. The Master Sword is the only unbreakable weapon, but after using it for a while, its attack power will drop to 0 for roughly 15 minutes or so and has to recharge.

Other Zelda-based amiibos will grant special weapons and/or abilities.
For example, the Zelda amiibo might grant you her rapier from Twilight Princess and/or a spell like Din's Fire. Getting Light Arrows, early, possibly? The Ganondorf one could give you his Sword of Sages or maybe even, as a nod to it being his Smash Bros. variant amiibo, allow you to punch your enemies in absence of a sword, like that ring in the Oracle games.
  • We do get themed treasures for the 30th aniv. ones, so sort of confirmed. Further to be tested
  • Confirmed. All Zelda amiibo except the BotW amiibo grant unique items. Most of it is clothing. Epona is even available. The Bow from TP and Ganondorf's TP sword, along with Biggoron's Sword, the Wind Waker Boomerang and Hero's Shield, are all available as special unlocks.

There will be one or several blacksmiths who can forge, repair, and/or improve weapons and armor.
Maybe it's an obvious guess, but IMO the large amounts of ores and other such items, as well as some of their descriptions, suggests this.
  • Confirmed. But there's only a couple of Blacksmiths who only forge specific unique weapons. Ores are used more for accessories.

Thanks to Monolith's involvement, Link will eventually be able to moon-jump and the Loftwings will be brought back.
Two of the most memorable aspects of Xenoblade Chronicles X were the possibility to reach very high spots by taking advantage of the very high jumps the characters were capable of performing, and the flight module added to the skells during the game's final act, which opened even more of its overworld. These mechanics will be brought back in Breath of the Wild: Link will — relatively early — gain an item/power-up allowing him to jump very high, and, for the game's final act, it will once again be possible to ride the giant birds from Skyward Sword, allowing players to finally enjoy flying above Hyrule without having the view concealed by a thick blanket of clouds. By then, the Moon Jump will also serves as the first step of the Loftwing's summon: Link jumps high -> Whistle in midair -> Loftwing catches him -> Fly.
  • Mostly Jossed. While Link does get a form of High-Jump after completing Vah Medoh, the Loftwings are nowhere to be found. Monolith isn't even doing much in the game either.

There will be optional traveling companions.
Instead of a single companion that accompanies Link throughout his entire adventure, there will be one-off partners that can join him for a while. They'll be recruitable after performing sidequests, will help Link fight enemies and find items on Link's orders, and will be given Character Development through further sidequests, which could also reveal more about what happened to Hyrule.
  • Sadly, Jossed. Except for Wolf Link.

Unimportant humans can die.
In the Life in Ruins trailer, we briefly see humans fighting bokoblins. This made me wonder if these guys can die. I'm thinking maybe, because...
  • If you have humans fight monsters without such a consequence, players could exploit that
  • Certain collectibles have the name of characters attached to them (Boko spear, lizal bow, etc.). You know what other names are attached to certain items? Traveler's bow, soldiers spear, and more.
  • Jossed. No NPC's can die, they only get knocked out. Most NPC's aren't very good at fighting, either. If you assist them before they get knocked out, they'll give you items.

The rumored 4 Dungeons in the game will be the largest dungeons ever seen in the series. Plus, Link will only be able to acquire his most famous gear (The Hero’s Clothes, The Hylian Shield, The Hero’s Bow), by going through those 4 Dungeons.
Many have noted the rumored numbered of dungeons in the game — 4 — is a pretty low number for a console Zelda game. However, given how big the game world is, each of those dungeons will reflect the size of the overworld, each accounting for 1/4 the size of the overworld themselves.

Plus, the main treasure you’ll get in each dungeon won’t be an item that will help you beat the dungeon, but one of Link’s most iconic items that will be either unbreakable, or the ultimate of that type of particular gear: The Hero’s Clothes (meaning the famous green tunic) for Armor; The Hero’s Bow for the Ultimate Bow weapon; and the Hylian Shield for the ultimate unbreakable Shield.

The fourth dungeon may hold something that helps you either get or even repair the Master Sword to its full power, making the Master Sword the ultimate unbreakable/most powerful sword; or, maybe even the Triforce itself will be acquirable in it (since the Triforce hasn’t been talked about/mentioned in-game yet).

  • Partially Jossed, as according to this interview Aonuma gave to a French website, the shrines are the dungeons in this game, as opposed to "shrines" and "dungeons". However, some of the shrines will be much larger than the others, with a boss at the end in traditional fashion, so the gear part isn't necessarily jossed yet.
    • Actually, the part about the dungeons isn't jossed, because what Aonuma actually said in the interview, according to french native speakers, does translate to there being longer dungeons and shrines, not only just longer shrines. Plus, the leaked info for the strategy guides, before they were pulled from Amazon, specifically mentioned dungeons separately from shrines. In regards to the dungeons, what Aonuma says is just that they are no longer themed like they usually are in previous Zelda games. (Such as having a Forest Temple being in a Forest location). Instead they are now built with the physics engine in mind instead.
    Aonuma: It wasn't necessarily an original design point. At first, we were planning to include more large, labyrinth-style dungeons, the sort of things you'd expect in a Zelda title. But the reason we decided to include the smaller shrines — which isn't to say there aren't some larger dungeons in Breath of the Wild — was to strike a balance, between this extremely large (over)world that you're exploring, and these goals and objectives to explore within that.
  • Jossed, in that the explorable portion of the Divine Beasts is the same size or even smaller than in previous games.

You can build a home/base in game

That painter guy, along with some other shopkeepers, can update or improve it. The place can be used to store extra weapons and supplies, can lead to special encounters with certain characters, and can be part of some additional sidequests.

Heck, maybe those Korok seeds can be planted to grow things at your base/home.

  • Some potential items for collecting include
    • Beds
    • Chairs
    • Tapestries
    • Plushes
    • Statues
    • Plants
    • Fountains
    • Art
    • Gems
    • Pet Dogs
    • Pet Cats
    • Masks
    • Horses
    • Anachronic items like a computer.
  • This could also be tied to Amiibo: perhaps using amiibo you can get themed items. For example if you use a Lucina Amiibo you get a Falchion for your base, if you use Pikachu you get a Pikachu plush, if you use a Donkey Kong amiibo you get a DK barrel, etc etc etc

  • Semi-Confirmed. You can purchase a house and add some things to it, but said things aren't highly customizable. Korok Seeds are used for inventory. You can also help NPC's build a town.

We'll be playing what happened 100 years ago.
Since Link has been asleep for 100 years and it's clear that there was a war that resulted in Hyrule's destruction, when we get to the point in the game when Link is told what happened, we get to play what happened. As in, we get to see and play Link as the hero who was chosen to seal away the Calamity Ganon, the battles that took place during the war, how he ended up in the Shrine of Resurrection, etc. And if Zelda was also sealed away, we get to see her and Link's interactions during the war.
  • Jossed. Maybe in the DLC?

Japanese weapons will be available.
With the inclusion of samurai armor shown in the Switch Presentation Trailer, this doesn't seem like that much of a stretch. There could be a weapon for every weapon class in the game. Like katanas for the sword, naginatas for the spear, odachis for the two-handed swords, kanabos for the club. Heck, even having yumis as the bow. They won't be stronger then other swords, but they would nice for those who want to have a set.
  • Confirmed, but there's only really a couple of katanas.

There will be a support/friendship feature similar to Fire Emblem and Story of Seasons
Link could build bonds with important characters (like Darkel, Reebal, and Mifa). This would allow some characters to have a higher chance of randomly giving a gift or make them stronger in battles. Additionally, females (like Zelda, Mifa, and the Gerudo girl) could eventually fall in love with Link. Some characters can have their friendship upgraded more easily like Zelda, since she's the Implied Love Interest. Ways this could work could include talking to them, giving gifts such as materials and food, or fighting alongside them.
  • Jossed.

You can get the weapons used by the people wearing blue sashes.
Darkel, Reebal, and Mifa all wear a distince blue sash (implying they are story important) as well as wielding very distinct weapons. You can get these weapons very late game either by going through the main story or completing character specific side quests and are rewarded with their weapons. Also, their weapons are unbreakable as well as the strongest in the game in their respective class.
  • Confirmed. You get all of them after beating their respective dungeons.

    Other 

Ganon will be silent or wordless when he appears.
First off, this assumes that most of the "Ganon is actually x" guesses aren't true. With that said, a few reasons.

While Nintendo has had luck recently with its voice-acting, the first time they attempted full-voice over for one of their main series games was in Super Mario Sunshine, and most people agree Bowser's voice was...lacking something. In later games, even when Peach and Mario had occasional spoken lines, Bowser was mostly reduced to standard grunts and laughs. It's very likely that Nintendo doesn't want a repeat of that misstep and, since Ganondorf has always been a fairly intimidating and almost mysterious figure, they may not want to give him a voice for fear of backlash.

From an in-game perspective, meanwhile, notice how pretty much everyone refers to the entity as "Ganon". While certain characters, specifically old Red King from Wind Waker, have referred to human Ganondorf as simply "Ganon", in most 3D games, that title is reserved for the more animalistic and beastly form of Ganon. Assuming that is the case, and since "Calamity Ganon" could easily be even more monstrous that normal Ganon, it'd make sense for him not to speak terribly much.

  • If you ask me, they could just fix this issue by having James Earl Jones voice him. He can sound menacing enough.
  • Confirmed, the Calamity Ganon never speaks.

Ganon will remain unseen until the end of the game.
It would be a nice throwback to the NES days, where the same thing happened. It'd be a an excellent way to build his threat up, too.
  • Jossed, you see him quite a few times throughout the game.

The Old Man is Ganon.
Dark skin? Check. Big hooked nose? Check. Purple outfit? Check, check, check. His beard also has a slight strawberry tint to it, implying it may have once been red. When Link asks who he is, he's very cagey ("Oh, you shouldn't concern yourself with me..."), and the first thing he does is ask Link to go get a sacred treasure from a nearby shrine. I theorize that he's Ganon, taking a cue from Kirby's villains, i.e. pretending to be a good guy and getting Link to help him put his evil plans in motion.
  • Jossed. He's the King.

The Old Man is the King of Hyrule.
Because of the decline of the land, and the fact that his very castle is used to contain Calamity Ganon, he feels unfit to rule any longer and has gone into self-inflicted exile. However, when he sees Link, he sees great potential in him and figures that he can at least help the young hero in his quest. And during the ending, after everything is said and done, the King will return; possibly after some persuading by Link and his people.
  • Confirmed that he is the King, though he's just the King's spirit, as he died during Calamity Ganon's attack 100 years before the game starts.

This Ganon is a new one, different from the Ganondorf we all know.
Seeing how the people in the world refer to Calamity Ganon as an "it", it's not unlikely that this is an entirely different entity altogether, a being literally Made of Evil.
  • Jossed. One of the champions mentions a legend that "it is said Calamity Ganon once took the form of a Gerudo." It is the same Ganon, just with no human physical form left.

Alternatively, this is the same Ganon as usual, but he went down the same path as Giygas.
In that his power grew so much that he became a being of pure evil, losing whatever little humanity he had left.
  • Confirmed.

The old man is Ganondorf
At some point, an attempt was made to undo Demise's curse, freeing Ganondorf from his repetitive fate, and saving Hyrule once and for all. This didn't work as planned. With the essence of Demise separated from its vessel, it formed The Calamity Ganon as an Eldritch Abomination that destroyed Hyrule, leaving only Ganondorf behind as the old man.
  • Ominously, the Old Man was killed by Ganon in the Satellaview game.
  • Jossed.

The old man is an incarnation of Groose
And he'll take slowly take on a Retired Badass status as the game progresses.
  • Jossed.

Fi is the voice waking Link up
There was some big focus on the Master Sword in the reveal trailer, and from the gameplay shown, the only voice acting so far has been that person. In Skyward Sword, Fi was the only character with constant "voice acting".
  • It could be Fi's spirit desperately calling out before her physical form completely rusts over and breaks/dies. Maybe her endless sleep can be interrupted under certain circumstances? If so, perhaps she is trying to wake Link up and fix the Master Sword before it breaks, thus taking any chance of defeating Ganon with it.
  • Jossed. The voice belongs to Zelda.
  • Fi's voice does call out in the flashbacks a couple of times.

The Master Sword's power has been destroyed, or rather will be destroyed.
Ganon's power has been trapped by or sealed with that thing for at least two dozen times, and some incarnations seem to possess memories of their previous incarnation. Perhaps this time, Ganon has found a way to break the Master Sword's power, and perhaps even the blade itself, hence its rusted state. Since the Master Sword is linked to the Cycle of Reincarnation just as much as Zelda, Link, and Ganon are, perhaps the way to break its power is if Link isn't there to claim it during Ganon's rise.
  • Perhaps a plot point of the new game is to create a new legendary sword with the shades of the old Master Sword.
  • Jossed from the get-go as the Master Sword is still standing, though heavily rusted.
    • Only 100 years ago. In present, it's been fully restored.
  • WMG title edited for clarity. Maybe the Master Sword we see in the trailer and opening title sequence is simply a powerless husk that remains of the Blade of Evil's Bane. In the same vein as Wind Waker, where the Wind and Earth Sages had to pray to maintain its power, Ganon somehow sabotaged its power. But unlike Wind Waker, there's no simple fix this time. The blade may be well and truly worthless, or even breaks when Link tries to extract it from its pedestal; leading to a quest to find someone to fix it. Or Link tries to reforge a new sword himself.
    • Considering how Word of God mentioned that there were villages with Non Player Characters, it would be likely that Link might find a blacksmith on one of them and will have to go on a quest where he explores the world looking for Master Ore (or at least some kind of equivalent of it), to fix the Master Sword and make it more powerful as he goes along.
  • Jossed. As soon as Link takes up the Master Sword its appearance is instantly restored and it fights at full power against Guardians, Ganon's Blights, and Ganon himself. You can undertake a DLC to make the Master Sword effective against all enemies, but it's already doing the job it was designed to do.

The Shrine of Resurrection will serve as a full-fledged Shrine.
Link will have to return to it after collecting a plot-relevant item, which will reveal a new section of the Shrine for him to explore.
  • Jossed. But you can find a Korok there.

Linkle will make a cameo in some form.
Either in the form of a set of weapons and equipment based on her, or an in-the-flesh appearance as an NPC who could give a sidequest.
  • Jossed.

The Master Sword will completely break in this game, and have to be remade into an entirely new unbreakable sword, called The Magical Sword.
This theory is dependent on Breath of the Wild taking place both in the Downfall and directly before the original Legend of Zelda. If it does, then we'll finally get a backstory on how The Magical Sword, the sword that is the most powerful of the three you can get in the original game, came to be. Namely, that it was built out of the remains of the broken Master Sword.
  • Jossed.

The Ballad of the Goddess will return in some capacity.
Given that Hylia seems to play a role in this game, it's likely that her Leitmotif will reappear, either as an in-game song or just as part of the soundtrack.

The Old Man is a member of the Gerudo, if not the current King of the Gerudo.
The Old Man certainly has many traits found with the Gerudo, leading to some saying that he could be Ganondorf. Perhaps the Old Man is a Gerudo King in self-exile (only one male is born every century, and Calamity Ganon was sealed away 100 years prior), trying to learn more about Ganon and his connection to the Gerudo.
  • Jossed. He seems to show no connection of the Gerudo, although he is the king of Hyrule.

The Differences in the Lizalfos
The Lizalfos here look line chameleons. They look radically different from other games. What if these differences are the same sort as the differences between River and Sea Zora? The Chameleon Lizalfos are a tribe from the far south that moved north during the past hundred years to take control of the settlements that some incarnation of Link cleared out. This could also apply to the other “smart” enemies like Moblins, Bokoblins, and Miniblins.
  • This is never explored, but it should be noted that the Lizalfos also have the blending power of chameleons and use it to try to ambush Link.

The ship shown in TGA video is not the flying thing spotted from the E3 Demo
The thing spotted from the Demo could be seen with the unaided eye from the Plateau. It was located far to the North West. The ship that was shown at TGA was much smaller by my estimation.
  • Jossed. It's the exact same one.

The Bird People are Rito
The Korok are present, and it's stated in Wind Waker that the Rito cannot yet naturally fly, and must receive scales from Valoo in order to gain their wings. By this point in the timeline, the Rito have evolved into full-on anthropomorphic birds who can fly on their own.
  • Confirmed. The latest issue of Famitsu explicitly refers to them as Rito. How they and the Zora can exist at the same time, though, has not yet been explained.
    • There are no in-game references to the Rito being connected to Zora.

Calamity Ganon was originally a Sheikah
A lot of people are noting the increased prominence of the Sheikah in game, and this has raised a lot of questions. They theorize that they are the reason the game has a lot of technology, and that a Ganon controlled tech glows red.

It's possible that Ganon this time around was born into the Sheikah and learned to subvert their tech and used their knowledge to gain more power. It would beat being constantly born Gerudo.

  • Jossed. "It is said that Calamity Ganon once took the form of a Gerudo."

Calamity Ganon was formerly the King of Hyrule
"The history of the Royal family of Hyrule is also the history of the Calamity Ganon." The King is begging Link to save Zelda from himself. This may or may not involve a unified version of the above theories about the old man being King Hyrule, Ganondorf, and Ganon's cast off humanity.
  • Jossed. The two are separate characters.

Sheikah Towers are communications towers
The towers seem to act as antennas for something, and considering the Sheikah Slate is literally a tablet, it uses the towers' signals to triangulate its position in the world, in lieu of GPS satellites.

The Big Bad (or at least a villain) is a fake god.
  • Jossed.

The Bird People are the Fokkā or Fokkeru from Zelda II
Since this game is making a lot of callback to the older games in the series, the bird race we see will be the Fokkā, or Fokkeru; two similar races that made their first - and only - appearence in Zelda II. The Bird People in Bot W look much closer to the artwork for the Fokkā/Fokkeru than they do the Rito. Also, in Zelda II they were only found in The Great Palace; the place where the Triforce of Courage was placed by the King of Hyrule, where he also created the main guardian of the Great Palace, and the final test for the person who entered the Great Palace in search of the Triforce of Courage. So the Fokkā/Fokkeru found in the Great Palace weren't evil or minions of Ganon. They were in allegiance with the King and the Royal Family. BotW will now flesh them out more, and make them another of the main races of Hyrule, along with the Gerudo, Gorons, and Zora.
  • Jossed. The latest issue of Famitsu confirms that they are the Rito.

The Zoras we see are a hybrid race of river and sea Zoras
It explains the more aggressive, predatory design the large Zora from the trailer has. A likely explanation is both races were on the verge of extinction and decided the best way to save their races was to unify the two races into one whole, most likely with a marriage between each of their ruler's children.
  • The Zora history in-game sems to indicate they're the same Zoras from OoT.

The blue sashes
Darkel, Reebal, and Mifa all wear blue sashes. Why? Two guesses: 1) They are the leaders of their tribe/races and that is how they are marked. 2) They are members of a secret society serving under the now-defunct Hyrule royal family. Or both, Or something else.
  • They could be the sages.
  • Jossed. They're Champions, the greatest heroes of the various tribes.

Darkel, Reebal, and Mifa are all dead in the present time, after Link wakes up
And we'll only see and interact with them — as living people — in the 100-years-in-the-past parts of the game. (Meaning the 100-years-in-the-past part of the story will have playable sections.)
  • Confirmed on the Champions-are-already-dead bit.

The world starts off uninhabited, but becomes more populated as the game goes on.
Perhaps, at the beginning of the game, almost all of Hyrule's inhabitants have been wiped out(except for Link, Zelda, the old man, and a few others). By completing quests and dungeons, though, you revive towns and Non Player Characters and slowly start to rebuild Hyrule. Perhaps the NPCs are sealed in stasis like Link was, or you pull them forward through time from before the calamity happened.

  • Partly Jossed, at least from all the footage available so far. The minute you first use the paraglider to leave the Great Plateau, you can catch a horse and take it right to a Stable to register it, where many NPCs are there either hanging around or passing through on their set schedules. No idea about the state of towns or villages at the moment.
  • Jossed. Everything in Central Hyrule is in ruins, but villages still exist on the outskirts.

Epona was Link's horse 100 years ago
Meaning that, while she'll technically be in the game, we won't get to use her in the present. Because horses don't live 100 years.
  • Jossed. Although you don't really get an explanation of how it works, Epona can be summoned by using an amiibo.

     Meta 

This Link will replace TP Link in Smash Brothers
Call it a hunch.
  • If not, it will likely be an alternate costume.
    • An alternate costume would seem to be the most likely option: without a human version of Ganondorf appearing in the game, it's highly likely they will continue to use the TP designs to maintain consistency.

The Old Man's name will be Robin.
In the commercials for Ocarina of Time 3D, American actor Robin Williams sported a fairly large beard, not terribly dissimilar to the Old Man's. When Williams passed away in 2014, there was a notable fan petition requesting Nintendo to name a Breath of the Wild NPC after him (as he and his daughter were known Zelda fans). While Nintendo refused to confirm or deny if they'd fulfill this request, they did acknowledge it.
  • Jossed. There is an NPC named Robbie, though.

Instead of naming him, they'll add references to his roles and quotes form his movies in his dialogues.
Some of his famous lines can even be transferred almost word for word and still make perfect sense in the context of this Zelda game:
Most men lead lives of quiet desperation. Don't be resigned to that. Break out!
Just when you think you know something, you have to look at in another way. Even though it may seem silly or wrong, you must try

Breath of the Wild is a soft-reboot of the Zelda Franchise
Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma have both talked about how much imagery and inspiration Breath of the Wild takes from the original Legend of Zelda game, basically making it almost a remake of the original game, but in 3D. The original game wasn't so much heavily focused on puzzles as the later games — starting with Ocarina of Time — were; it was more about secrets being hidden in the overworld and underground labyrinths (what the dungeons were originally called) that sometimes required a puzzle to find, but not all of the time. All future main-line console Zelda games will follow this path that Breath of the Wild is taking in following the structure of the open worldness of the original game, though still keeping the story continuity of all the previous 3D Zelda games that have come before them.

There will be minor Shout Outs to Monolith Soft games.
Since Monolith Soft helps Nintendo in developing the game, it would make sense to include minor references to the Xenoblade games here and there. A group of kids playing with Monado toys, carvings of characters from both games appearing on certain walls, picture frames with their faces (Much like the Mario characters in Ocarina of Time), and other such minor stuff would make nice Easter Eggs.
  • Confirmed, though it's not really "minor." With the new DLC, there's an in-game costume designed after Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

A Link Between Worlds and Tri Force Heroes were created to pave the way for Breath of the Wild.
The fanbase of the Zelda series has been afflicted with They Changed It, So It Sucks for some years, but Nintendo saw the greater appreciation for the newer styles of The Wind Waker and Majora's Mask. So they designed A Link Between Worlds to hit all the nostalgic buttons of older Zelda fans. Though still successful, it wasn't an incredibly big hit and Nintendo saw that it was now a good time to infuse all sorts of new elements into Breath of the Wild.

Nintendo then released Tri Force Heroes, which is regarded as So Okay, It's Average for the limited gameplay and gimmicky multiplayer options. With a game like that out, Nintendo fans would become even more eager to buy and play Breath of the Wild when it is released.

With this, Nintendo has collectively become the Magnificent Bastard of video game companies.

Calamity Ganon is the result of a botched attempt at breaking Demise's curse.
Someone attempted to break Demise's curse that kept Ganon reincarnating. Rather than breaking the cycle, it unleashed the curse's as a malignant force with very little of the man Ganondorf once was left. In other words: Calamity Ganon is Demise's curse incarnate.
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