We think it's fair to say that the new trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild stole the show during last week's Nintendo Switch presentation, providing a strong flourish with which to end the broadcast. It was packed full of new scenes, characters and sent chills up many spines, in the process exciting Switch early adopters and - of course - Wii U owners sticking to their current system.
After a teasing appearance in the footage at The Game Awards, we also saw plenty of Princess Zelda in the trailer. She's a significant character not only in the game, evidently, but also to fans, and plenty were interpreting her appearances and debating what they saw; some naturally discussed the scene in which she breaks down in tears. It's something that can be argued as a positive or negative although, frankly, the debate has been ill-informed considering the lack of context we have on game events that lead to the moment.
In any case, Eiji Aonuma has been moved to explain that people shouldn't make assumptions about Zelda's character based on one moment of powerful emotion; like anyone, fictional or otherwise, she's a complex personality. He said the following to Eurogamer.
Regarding how Princess Zelda is portrayed in the trailer, obviously everyone has their own ideas of exactly how they would expect a female character to act or behave. What I would particularly like to emphasise is that the scene of her crying in the trailer is just one scene from the game - within the trailer itself it forms a dramatic high point, but that shouldn't be taken too much out of context.
Princess Zelda as she appears in the game as a whole is very complex and multi-faceted, and it's not as if she's crying all the time in the game [laughs], so I would ask fans not to read too much into just that one scene from the trailer, and to please play the game and appreciate Zelda as she is in all her aspects.
Aonuma-san was also asked the age-old question about Zelda as a playable character in the main games; he repeated comments we've seen before but, in the interests of being thorough, here's what he had to say.
I seem to remember three years ago when we showed the first trailer at E3, I said something along the lines of "I never said that Link would necessarily be male" or something along those lines, and that got taken out of context and turned into a rumour that took on a life of its own. Link has always been portrayed as a male character as the protagonist of the games.
After that happened actually, we did discuss in the team about whether or not we should have a female protagonist. I spoke to Mr Miyamoto about it and the whole team talked about it, but in the end, it just didn't happen.
On Wii U of course there's already Hyrule Warriors where Princess Zelda is a playable character, and there's actually quite an assortment of characters including several female ones. And that title is already available of course. So looking to the future, talking about the possibility of having a playable female protagonist, I'd say yes, it's a possibility.
Based on what we see in the trailer, it looks like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will have a rather powerful narrative; plenty of surprises - and character complexity - no doubt await.
Are you excited by what you can see of the game's story in the trailer?