Nintendo’s new console will launch with a brand-new, gorgeous-looking ‘Zelda’ game

The biggest video game company in the world, Nintendo, is on the verge of releasing a new video game console. It’s called the Nintendo Switch, and it arrives on March 3 for $299.

The gimmick with the Switch is simple: It’s a portable game console and a home game console, all at once.

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But a neat gimmick isn’t enough to sell a game console, and Nintendo knows it. For a console to sell, it needs games. To that end, Nintendo has an elfin ace up its sleeve in “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”

The game is gorgeous, massive, and arriving alongside the Switch on March 3.

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With just a few weeks to go until the game launches, we’ve put together everything we know right here:


Let’s start with the simple stuff: This is Princess Zelda. The design on her necklace is trademark of the series, echoing designs tracing back to “Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time.”

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You may notice she looks troubled. It’s not clear why!
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Princess Zelda appears to play several roles in “Breath of the Wild” — here she is looking more warrior than princess:

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And here she is in despair:

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And in a moment of calm:

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And here she is looking upon her kingdom — her “kingdom” being Hyrule, in case you’d forgotten.

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Princess Zelda has traditionally appeared as the reigning monarch of Hyrule, a land that’s periodically terrorized (or outright captured) by a recurring bad guy named Ganon (or Ganondorf).

Point is: In “Breath of the Wild,” Zelda’s clearly taking a more active role. It’s unclear if she’s a playable character or not. Here’s hoping!

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Notice the Triforce symbol around her mid-section
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Of note: the producer of the game, Eiji Aonuma, told GameSpot in 2016 that Zelda won’t be the main character in “Breath of the Wild.” Whether she’ll be a playable character remains in question.


Traditionally, “Legend of Zelda” games feature Link as the hero character. But in a trailer released in late 2016, Zelda clenches a fist as Link kneels.

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Some fans are taking this as a clue that Zelda will play a more significant role than “damsel in distress.” Here’s hoping!
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In this image released by Nintendo in early January 2017, Zelda is straight up attacking an enemy. It’s not clear whether this is a playable moment or not.

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Every time I’ve played “Breath of the Wild,” I’ve played as Link (seen below).

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Here’s Link, likely thinking about how long of a walk he’s about to take.

As you can see here, he’s got a bow. Rather than collecting permanent weapons (like in previous games), Link collects breakable weapons of varying quality.

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Here’s that bow in use — expect to see stuff like fire arrows, bomb arrows, and more.

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Horseback combat is also returning. Here, Link battles a moblin on horseback.

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Don’t worry about that destructible weapons bit — the Master Sword has shown up repeatedly in trailers, and appears to be in the final game.

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That said, you may not want to use it very often. After defeating enemies, they drop weapons. Sometimes, those weapons are especially powerful. And Link can use them!

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What’s most striking about “Breath of the Wild” is its sheer size. Everything you see below is a place Link can actually go.

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Like this gorgeous beach area:

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And this sun-drenched desert:

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And this foreboding, snowy mountain pass:

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And this balmy jungle:

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And this lovely plains region:

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Fancy a horseback ride along a beach at sunset? So does Link, apparently.


It’s not all sweeping vistas and vast expanse, of course. There are towns like this one to explore:

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It seems that Nintendo is taking the staples of previous open-world 3D “Legend of Zelda” games and blowing them out. This area, for instance, looks straight out of the Gerudo Valley in “Ocarina of Time.”

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There are, of course, new characters and new enemies. It’s unclear who this woman is, for instance — she appears friendly.

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This…creature appears less friendly. It’s unclear what role it plays in the story of “Breath of the Wild.”

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There are at least a few other friendly faces that are making a return, such as this Goron.

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And this fairy — look familiar?

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Indeed, the character design of the great fairy in “Ocarina of Time” is clearly an influence on “Breath of the Wild.”

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There’s at least one more character who appears to be friendly — this human-like bird! Maybe that’s Link, but with a costume that transforms him into a bird? We’ll see!

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And who are these folks, who appear to be allied with Link? They seem friendly!

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Now, for the bad guys. These are moblins. You can find them in the world of “Breath of the Wild,” hanging out in gangs, waiting to pounce. They’re the standard enemies that Nintendo has shown the most ahead of launch.

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But what’s this? It appears to be a building with tentacles?

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Indeed, it’s exactly that.

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This spider-like creature seems to be responsible for destroying Hyrule. Here are a handful of them rampaging through a village, setting it ablaze:

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But as we all know, extreme temperature is no deterrent for Link. He just suits up, puts up his shield, and goes in. This appears to be a fire temple, of sorts.

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What, you thought because it was open-world that it wouldn’t have temples and dungeons? On the contrary, that’s a standard. Here’s Link doing some exploration:

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He uses a keycard of sorts for puzzle solving that you get immediately after starting the game — it’s called a Shiekah Tablet. It looks a lot like the Wii U gamepad.

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It looks like a Wii U gamepad because this game was created with the Wii U in mind. As it is, the game is heading to both the Wii U and Nintendo Switch.
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This is a game of vast expanse and exploration.

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And clearly also a game of overcoming tragedy.

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If nothing else, it’s a massive, gorgeous new Zelda game. This level of graphical detail is unusual from Nintendo.

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And, frankly speaking, I can’t wait to see where “Breath of the Wild” takes Link. This looks like his most incredible journey yet.

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“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” launches for both the Wii U and Nintendo Switch on March 3 — the same day that the Switch itself arrives. Check out the latest trailer for even more details right here: