Characters and Species in Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Zelda has always been a series which utilizes a wide range of colourful and exciting characters. Despite Breath of the Wild breaking many conventions for the beloved series, recent trailers have shown that we can yet again expect to get to know a variety of new and old characters.

Deku Tree 

Perhaps the most iconic image in the promotion for Breath of the Wild has been the shot of the Master Sword. However in the background there can be seen a grand tree. Certainly the tree shares many similar characteristics to The Great Deku Tree – most notably from Ocarina of Time. Could this be a descendent of the Great Deku Tree, linking to the notion that the latest Zelda instalment is set in the future? The Great Deku Tree is usually the one who makes it clear to Link what his destiny is, so it’ll be interesting to see what part this Deku Tree plays.

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Need more proof that this is a Deku Tree? Well in Wind Waker it was revealed that the Deku Tree looks after a certain species…

The Korok 

First seen in the E3 trailer from Nintendo, the beloved Forest Spirits are making a return. The most recent trailer reveals that there’s quite a few of them within the game. Harking back to Wind Waker this species again appear with the Deku Tree. Evolved from the Kokiri, the ‘fairy children’ who never left Kokiri Forest, they have always been dependent upon the Deku Tree. The inclusion of this species indicates a lot about the time period for Breath of the Wild. The Kokiri evolved due to the water that overwhelmed all of Hyrule, so it must be near the further end of the Zelda timeline. Perhaps the theories are true that the BOTW Link is the same as the protagonist from Ocarina of Time, and now the Korok’s need the help of ‘the boy without a fairy’ once more?

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The Gorons 

Perhaps the plural above is incorrect as we’ve only seen one so far, but it’s a pretty impressive goron to include. The goron included in the most recent trailer looks absolutely huge! On top of that they look angry, even ferocious. Of course this could just be because it’s woken up from a traditional goron sleep, but it could also indicate that this goron starts off as a foe. Either way it looks incredibly powerful, and ready to fight. Surely the inclusion of this goron in the trailer indicates that there are more in the game? I predict that they’re in hiding and this massive one is acting as protection.

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The Great Fairy 

She’s been a regular inclusion since the beginning of the franchise, aiding the protagonist through his journey. It can certainly be expected that she’ll serve the same purpose again. Often The Great Fairy will provide Link with a new weapon or skill: usually to do with magic. It’ll be interesting to see what skills she’ll give to Link, bearing in mind that Breath of the Wild seems to promote a more ‘realistic’ take on Link’s fighting and survival.

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The Gerudo 

Not seen on home console Zeldas since Majora’s Mask, the Gerudo race look set to make a return. They are a secretive tribe of women, known for their skills of combat and thieving. Often they are aggressive towards Link at first until he proves his worth and honesty. Despite not being the most recurring characters, they are an iconic part of the Nintendo 64 games. Perhaps so well remembered due to their red hair, tanned skin, and unique weapons – the latest trailer shows a character who follows that description. Moreover she seems to be included in many of the scenes where the supporting cast are together. Hopefully after a long absence the Gerudo tribe will be making a return.

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The Zora 

Again the zora are a beloved species that are regularly included in the Zelda series. With their iconic turquoise and white skin, fins, and weapons that Neptune would be proud of, they’ve become fan favourites. Being a very secretive race they hide away from most of Hyrule, thriving in beautiful locations where vast waterfalls provide the water they live in. However there is a big difference in how the zora in Breath of the Wild are presented: gone is their light blue and white skin – replaced with red. Also their size seems to have increased. They’ve always been big creatures, but this zora (who is almost kneeling) looks twice the size of Link. Perhaps, like the Kokiri they have evolved? Maybe they’ve had their land destroyed and now have to live out of water and shelter, which is why their skin colour has changed?

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The Rito 

The change in The Zora becomes really interesting with what looks like the inclusion of the Rito. According to Zelda director, Eiji Aonuma, the Rito evolved from the Zora. First seen in Wind Waker, the main purpose of the Rito is to deliver mail across the land. Often they were looked down upon, or met with fear by outsiders. However the trailer shows this Rito has a bow on his back, indicating they’re willing to fight. Possibly they are no longer met with fear, but included in helping to take down the evil in Hyrule. It’ll be interesting to see how the Rito and Zora interact, and whether there are any differences between the two.

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And hopefully many more… 

Breath of the Wild will be the biggest game in the franchise’s history. Surely there will be secrets which Nintendo have not yet revealed, and there’s a land big enough to hide so, so much…


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Written  by Stan Cohen

Already have Breath of the Wild on preorder.



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