Breath of the Wild 2 E3 2019 reveal trailer breakdown

So, what did the reveal trailer... reveal? Well, you can watch it above to refresh your memory, but let's have a closer look:

It appears to start off underground, presumably beneath Hyrule Castle. Green 'magic' spirals upwards from a point below the castle. Carrying torches, Link and Zelda pass wall paintings depicting a figure who appears to be Ganondorf. The King of the Gerudo is shown riding a horse with his trident.

Zelda is seen riding on a bison-y, oxen-y animal with horns. It's not the only animal we glimpse in the trailer - a cute rat also runs into shot, although the poor guy isn't around for much longer.

As Link and the Princess explore the caverns for the source of the magic, we see that Zelda's had a haircut and both characters have got natty new capes. Link's already got the Master Sword, too, which makes sense - this is a direct sequel. We catch a glimpse of the figure in the pit from which the dark energy is eminating, but it's all a bit murky. Zelda and the animal are seen getting water from a pool which Link loads supplies.

Black and neon red Calamity-like tendrils then engulf the poor rodent and we get a shot of a big bridge. Perhaps this advanced architecture indicates an underground city, or 'Old Hyrule' buried underground.

We then get a better shot of the spiralling green magic as Zelda and Link look on. The spiral culminates in a glowing green hand holding the figure in place and apparently 'suppressing' the evil emanating from it, although dark tendrils still billow out. The figure has long hair and a jewel-like object in the centre of its forehead, not unlike a certain King of the Gerudo...

We then get a quick montage of various shots. Link's right hand seems to absorb the light in some way and the figure. The evil Calamity tendrils shoot up towards the castle (presumably causing it to rise later). Ganon's got form with floating castles - think of Hyrule Castle's transformation for the finale of Ocarina of Time. We then get a shot of what may be a dungeon entrance (are dungeons making a return?), or the entrance to the caverns.

The cavern shakes, presumably after the pair have disturbed something. While Link ascends (presumably with the rest of the castle) Zelda is left below. Zelda turns round and is understandably uneasy to find that the figure - let's just call him Ganondorf because that's who it is (look at the Gerudo symbol) - has woken up with glowing red eyes (rarely a good sign).

Castle in the sky
Image: Nintendo

We then cut to Hyrule Field as the castle blasts off. Where's it headed? To the moon? 500 feet above its previous position? Do we follow Link away from Hyrule? Or, perhaps, we might stay below and play as Zelda! That short haircut would avoid long locks clipping through objects during strenuous activities like saving the world and whatnot. Questions, questions...

Image: Nintendo

And that's it! Anything else is pure speculation, although we're all for that.

What's been confirmed about Breath of the Wild 2?

Not much, still:

  • Eiji Aonuma talked about the team's desire to return to the established Hyrule from Breath of the Wild and to incorporate new gameplay and story in that world; this grew from an overabundance of ideas for DLC. He specifically called it a 'continuation' of Breath of the Wild, so this is definitely the same Zelda and Link we've known for the past four years.
  • The sequel is being directed by Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the same man who took the wheel on the previous game (as well as several previous entries in the series). Fujibayashi reportedly took inspiration from Skyrim while developing Breath of the Wild, and series boss Aonuma confirmed that many of the younger staff on this sequel have been playing Red Dead Redemption 2, although how that will manifest in the final product is still unknown at the moment.
  • Eiji Aonuma also said this entry in the series will be darker, so more Majora's Mask than Minish Cap.
  • The release window is 2022. We don't even have a month yet.

So, what are people speculating about Breath of the Wild 2?

  • That short haircut suggests that Zelda might be getting in on the action this time around - as we said above, a neat bob won't get caught on swords or scabbards strapped to the character's back. Playing as the princess would be an easy way to put a fresh spin on the formula (and also address fans who were disappointed that she wasn't playable in the previous game).
  • Speaking at E3 2019 with both IGN and Kotaku, Eiji Aonuma artfully dodged questions regarding Zelda as a playable character, whether in solo or co-op mode. When asked, he replied with this vague statement: "It's kind of interesting that you bring that up, because in Breath of the Wild, you see Zelda and Link together often too, so to go straight into the thought of co-op is very interesting to me." Is co-op interesting to him, or simply the notion of that occurring to the interviewer? It's not much to go on, and Aonuma has had to become adept over the years at deflecting lines of questioning and giving cryptic responses. All we can really deduce is that he's familiar with the concept of co-op (obviously), and heard the fans hoping to play as Zelda in the previous game.
  • Playing the 2019 reveal trailer backwards for clues reveals that, although it certainly sounds creepy, findings are inconclusive for anyone hoping to discover a hidden message.
  • Playing the 2021 teaser backwards reveals the BOTW theme. What does it mean? No idea.
  • With those cave paintings referencing pre-Calamity times, we'd love to hop back in time and see Hyrule before it fell; to see Castle Town and all the outposts and farms from Breath of the Wild at their peak, bustling before their ruin. It would certainly be melancholy to return to the past knowing what the future has in store. The backwards music in both trailers and the reversed water droplet in the 2021 trailer seem to be hinting at something time-related, too.
  • The 2021 trailer does seem to imply the existence of two Links — one wearing the Champion's Tunic, one wearing a much older-looking green toga getup with longer hair.
  • Some images showing behind-the-scenes motion capture for the Breath of the Wild 2 trailer have surfaced via Nintendo's Japanese recruitment website, although they really don't shed any light on the game.
  • Tyler McVicker, who runs the Valve News Network YouTube channel and has a Nintendo channel on the side, has detailed a number Breath of the Wild 2 rumours. Here's a full summary via the Gaming Leaks and Rumours subreddit:

- Unlike the first part, the game will be linear at the beginning. Canonically, Link already knows Hyrule, so there is no point in climbing the towers again
- Instead, the developers have filled the world with a miasmic version of Ganon, and until the infection is cleared from location to location, it will be impossible to move around the entire Hyrule
- In this regard, the locations are worked out much deeper than in the original. At the very least, McVicker hints at the appearance of dungeons, strongly inspired by one game that knows a lot about spreading dungeons around the open world
- In general, while designing the world of Breath of the Wild 2, developers was inspired by Red Dead Redemption 2 (officially known) and another unknown game

Although none of that information sounds implausible, it's important to note that nothing is confirmed. Still, more traditional dungeons were arguably about the only thing missing from Breath of the Wild, with the four Divine Beasts not quite scratching the 'proper dungeon' itch and the bite-size Shrines being just that.

Image: Nintendo

When is Breath of the Wild 2's release date?

Spring 2023.

Initially, the release window was simply "2022", but that's changed.

Series producer Eiji Aonuma apologised for the delay in a video posted to the Nintendo Twitter accounts, saying:

"We have decided to extend our development time a bit and change the release to Spring 2023. For those of you who have been looking forward to a release this year, we apologise.

In order to make this game's experience something special, the entire development team is continuing to work diligently on this game, so please wait a while longer."

March 2023 is exactly six years after the release of Breath of the Wild, so it sure would be neat to release it then, but let's not get our hopes up. After all, Nintendo didn't too much to celebrate Zelda's 35th Anniversary, or Breath of the Wild's 5th birthday, so it's safe to say that they aren't too focused on making sure that they commemorate "special" dates.

So, what's our guess on the exact release date? Early Spring, late Spring, or worse — another delay into late 2023?

Well, Breath of the Wild 2 is building off an established base, for starters, being set in (what looks like) the overworld of Breath of the Wild. They've been working on this game for some time now, as well, and plenty of retailers are already offering pre-orders.

In July 2019 Nintendo posted job listings for scenario development and level design, which suggests there was plenty of work still to be done, and, of course, that was before the pandemic, which hit Japan pretty hard. Industry analyst and journalist Jeff Grubb already bet on the release date slipping even further, leaving Nintendo free to announce a Wind Waker or Twilight Princess HD remake for 2022 instead.

So, that's it for now. We'll be updating this guide as and when we get new information, but for now feel free to leave a comment with your hopes, dreams, fears, speculations and generally excited exclamations regarding the next brand new game in the Zelda series. Seeing as it's anyone's guess when BOTW2 will actually arrive, you might also want to check out our picks of games to play after you've finished Breath of the Wild if you simply can't wait for your next Zelda fix.

This is part of our Zelda Breath of the Wild walkthrough, which includes All Shrine Locations And Maps and help with specific shrines, including the Keo Ruug Shrine Puzzle Solution, Mirro Shaz Shrine Puzzle Solution, Sha Warvo Shrine Solution, Shae Loya Shrine Puzzle Solution, Eventide Island - How To Beat The Hardest Shrine Quest, and Shee Vaneer And Shee Venath Shrine Answers and Solutions.

If you're just starting out, Getting Started And Beginner Tips will be useful. We also have BOTW guides to help you with the Tarrey Town Quest, how to get equipment such as the Hylian Shield, the Master Sword, the Green Tunic, and the Radiant Set, plus advice on the Best Clothing And Armour Sets and How To Find Every Item in the Master Trials DLC. We can help you find key places such as All Captured Memory Locations, All Great Fairy Fountain Locations, and Where to find The Lord of the Mountain, too.

If you're looking for general advice on various topics, you might want to check out the Best Recipes And How To Cook Food, How To Farm Star Fragments, How To Farm Dragon Parts, How To Defeat Guardians, How To Shield Surf Like A Pro, and How To Get Unlimited Korok Seeds. And if you're wondering what amiibo work with the game, our guide to All amiibo Unlocks lists them all.