The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 trailer from E3 2021 suggests that Ganondorf may have a very different role in the next game.
By Charlie Stewart
Published 5 days ago
The first Breath of the Wild introduced Calamity Ganon, a version of Ganon that seemed to have completely succumbed to Malice and become an inhuman, demonic creature. However,?The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2’s trailers hint that Ganondorf was still in there somewhere.
Despite that, new evidence from?The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2’s trailer?at E3 suggests Ganondorf’s role in the upcoming game may be very different from past incarnations. Here’s the evidence that Ganondorf may be going in a new direction, and some of the possibilities raised by fans in light of the information from E3 2021.
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Calamity Ganon was one of the most monstrous incarnations of The Legend of Zelda’s classic villain so far. When the Breath of the Wild 2 reveal trailer dropped in 2019, however, fans were quick to notice hints that Ganon’s Gerudo form Ganondorf could be making a return.
The 2019 Breath of the Wild 2 trailer showed a withered corpse beneath Hyrule Castle. The body resembled a long-dead, mummified version of the Ganondorf seen in previous games, and eagle-eyed fans noticed a necklace with a Gerudo symbol hanging from the corpse when it reanimated. Combined with Ganondorf’s red hair, the Gerudo king’s return seemed like a no-brainer.
The first trailer also left fans with some big questions, however. In a series of flashing images, players saw the mummified corpse being gripped by a mysterious hand made from a green, glowing light and bound by metal bracelets. They also saw Link’s hand glow with a similar energy, the mysterious green hand from before grab Link’s arm, and a silhouette of a scene playing out against a castle wall. That scene seemed to show the same hand reaching out to Ganondorf in his more muscular, less zombified form, raising questions about the role the mysterious green force played in Breath of the Wild’s backstory.
In the new trailer from E3 2021, players saw Link’s arm gripped again, but this time by the red-and-black magic of Malice from the first Breath of the Wild. Later, Link’s arm?appears?to be infused with the same green magic and similar bracelets?as the hand seen gripping Ganondorf in the first trailer. Throw in reversed sound effects that seem to imply time rewinding, and the two trailers were a perfect storm for fan speculation about Ganondorf’s role in the new game.
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Some fans took the evidence to mean that Ganon?is actually the secret hero of Breath of the Wild. The theory has been raised before, as the first game’s tapestry depicting what is supposed to be?a legendary?hero defeating Calamity Ganon shows that hero with?flowing red hair like Ganondorf’s. Calamity Ganon, some reasoned, may have been created when a heroic Ganondorf was corrupted by Malice.
The first Breath of the Wild trailer certainly seems to support the idea of Ganon’s corruption by an outside force, with his corpse seemingly reanimated by Malice. The brief silhouette of the mysterious green hand reaching out to Ganondorf was interpreted by some?Zelda?fans as Ganondorf being imprisoned for his crimes at the moment of his corruption.
The new trailer has also led to a lot of questions about Link’s role in Breath of the Wild 2. Link’s arm resembles the hand gripping Ganondorf by the chest, although the mystery hand is clawed. The bracelets seem to match, however, and hints of time travel in Breath of the Wild 2 have led some fans to conclude that the mysterious figure may be Link from the future. If time travel does end up playing a significant role, that could explain how Link ends up being interpreted as an incarnation of the legendary hero when the tapestry shown at the start of the first game seems to suggest a Gerudo having been in the role in the distant past. This could even let players meet an earlier version of Ganon.
One thing’s for sure, Breath of the Wild 2 has the opportunity to drastically redefine and explore the relationship between Ganondorf and Link that has been developed over decades. Whether Ganondorf was a willing participant in evil or not, there seem to be more suggestions of the similarities between Link and Ganon. Either one could be an incarnation of the hero of the Sheikah civilization, and both appear to have been accosted by Malice and the mysterious green force at different times.
After so many years it might be wise for Nintendo to explore a new angle on the relationship as well. Ganondorf has been the avatar of greater evil in the past, most notably of Demise, one of the main villains of Skyward Sword. Breath of the Wild 2 also sees Link take to the skies once again, which could suggest another connection to Skyward Sword with implications for Ganondorf’s characterization.
For now fan theories will continue to circulate, and the identity of some of the powers at play in the trailer are unlikely to be revealed until Breath of the Wild 2 releases. After so many games in The Legend of Zelda series, it’s impressive that the studio can still get fans excited about the strange relationship between Link and Ganondorf. Breath of the Wild 2 appears to be introducing new elements to a dynamic that already have long-time fans questioning the true source of Ganondorf’s villainy, and whether Link really is the hero players – and perhaps Link himself – have been led to believe he is.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2?is currently slated for a 2022 release on Nintendo Switch.
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The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild