The recent delay of the much-anticipated Breath of the Wild sequel has caused many fans to speculate: might princess Zelda be playable?
The highly anticipated sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has released two trailers in the past — one in 2019 that announced the game and teased the story, and another in 2021 that illustrated new gameplay which involves Link adventuring across floating islands in Hyrule. Unfortunately, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 was recently delayed until Spring 2023, the timing update referencing the creation of “new encounters and gameplay elements” that fans of the series will experience. With fans chomping at the bit, many wonder what these “new encounters and gameplay elements” could be.
The 2021 trailer showcased something interesting: Zelda falling down a deep chasm. While some fear this could mean Zelda serves as the typical “damsel in distress” of the game, there are hints that suggest she might not serve as an NPC at all. Princess Zelda could actually be a playable character in the game, alongside main protagonist Link.
Princess Zelda’s initial role in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a researcher in the kingdom. While practicing her ability to unseal her powers as ordered by her father, King Rhoam, she ultimately favored research more. The two fought over this dilemma in one of the memories Link discovers. Zelda states she favors devices such as the Sheika Slate and the Guardians over trying to access her powers, in which she finds little success.
During the Calamity’s awakening, Link and Zelda are cornered against a single Guardian. Zelda’s powers are then activated when she steps in front of Link, showcasing her courage in sealing away the Guardian. While Link unfortunately meets his end, Zelda is able to take him to the Shrine of Resurrection where he is revived after 100 years. This is where the game begins. When Link saves Zelda after adventuring across Hyrule, she vows to work with him and others to rebuild Hyrule to its former glory. Both her research and her powers are tools Zelda can use to fight enemies and progress through the game in the upcoming sequel.
The two trailers for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 feature new elements of the game. The initial trailer teases the title’s beginning chapters: Zelda and Link venture underground while figuring out ways to rebuild Hyrule. They stumble across Ganon’s lifeless body, and Zelda gasps in horror when she realizes that something is keeping the corpse alive. The second trailer features much more gameplay. Link flies between islands and uses the gadget on his arm to push objects through time. Zelda’s fall into the cave below could be where her gameplay begins. Her movesets from Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity also tease ways in which she can fight.
Zelda features two different movesets in Age of Calamity, excluding the Master Cycle Zero in the game’s DLC. Her first fighting style involves using the Sheika Slate, which Link utilizes in the original Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Her combos involve the tablet’s different features: remote bomb throwing, cryonis to walk on top of opponents, stasis to freeze time, and magnesis to control magnetic objects. Since she was so interested in research in the initial game, there’s no question she could use any one of these tools in the upcoming game.
When her powers are awakened after defending Link, Zelda then has access to the Bow of Light. She can float and shoot simple light rays from her energy gauge or use combos that build up the bow with each step. The bow’s power only gets stronger with each input, some shots even busting through bosses’ shields. Since Zelda still has access to her powers at the end of Breath of The Wild, there shouldn’t be any reason why she couldn’t use her magic to fight enemies underground.
It’s still up in the air whether Zelda will be playable or once again take on the “damsel-in-distress” role of the series. However, with plenty of lore and mechanics to draw upon, there’s no question a playable Zelda would be a welcome addition and a serious game-changer for the highly anticipated sequel.