Link flying

The best part of working in games journalism is when you get to wildly speculate about a split-second thing in a trailer, and so, here we are. It's speculatin' time! Get yer binoculars and magnifying glasses ready, and take copious meaningless notes!

You may have noticed (unless you were screaming excitedly) that the Breath of the Wild 2 trailer has some weird reversed music in it. It wouldn't be the first time that Zelda games have played with reversed sounds — the iconic Skyward Sword theme is actually a rearrangement of Zelda's Lullaby backwards, after all.

Enterprising ex-journalist and current writer of video games, Mitch Dyer, took it upon himself to reverse it and find out if there was a hidden message, but... it doesn't seem like there was. In fact, it sort of seems like it's the same forwards as it is backwards. Hmmmmm.

Another avid fan, TAHK0, reversed even more of the trailer (that is, all of it) to reveal that the music was just... the Breath of the Wild theme in reverse? But what does it all mean?

[Update 16/06/21: TAHK0's tweet has been deleted; here's a YouTube video showing the same thing.]

Maybe it was just a nice little reference.


UNLESS. (Here we go.) Unless it was a clue, somehow, to what the game's really about. Quite a few people have been theorising that the longer hair on the character with their back to us means that we'll be playing as Zelda herself, possibly when they engage with this new gravity-shifting mechanic. And what is Zelda, but the inverse of Link? (Yeah, okay, that's a bit of a stretch.)

BOTW2 hair compare
ENHANCE — Image: Camila Cumplido

Now, this has been a theory for a long time — some of us (me) even thought that the original Breath of the Wild would be a Zelda-focused game, because we initially didn't see Link's face until right at the end of that first teaser. Plus, remember Linkle? We sure do.

We've never really had the chance to play as Zelda (unless you count the bit in Spirit Tracks where she's dead), and while we don't want to get our hopes up, it would be extremely cool to traverse the open world with two characters for the first time ever. But also... it does just look like Link has long hair in the trailer, doesn't it? Let's not get our hopes up too high.

But there's another prevailing theory, too: Link's actually time-travelling. Where else have we seen those floating islands? That's right — Skyward Sword, the first game in the Zelda story timeline. Breath of the Wild is post-Ocarina of Time, post-Twilight Princess, and post-Wind Waker, so if we're returning to floating islands, perhaps we're returning to where it all started.

Remember that gross arm from the first teaser trailer? What if that's the first Link's arm? What if Link gets possessed by... his own arm, from the past? It's all very Adventure Time season 6, if you ask us. Maybe it's even a timeloop... and we're doomed to repeat the death and birth of Hyrule, forever. The key word there being "maybe".

So, the answer is: we don't know yet. It seems like there's going to be some kind of gravity-play in Breath of the Wild 2, and mayyyyybe some kind of time-play too, but we just won't know for a LONG time. Listen, if you didn't want several hundred words of meaningless speculation, you shouldn't have clicked on the speculative title! We know as much as you do at this point!

What are your running theories based on that trailer so far? Get speculatin' in the comments!