A lot has happened since since June 2014. We had the ugliest US Presidential election in recent memory. We had cracks form in the European Union. We’ve had multiple shootings, terrorist acts, and other tragedies come to pass. And with the constant passing of heroes of yesterday, icons like David Bowie or Prince, to Carrie Fisher or Alan Rickman, the world seems to be growing just a little bit darker with each day.

 But on March 3rd, we have a ray of light. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is finally here. Forget the gender debates. Forget the system launch debates. Forget the DLC debates. Forget the world for just a moment and let’s all take it in together. Breath of the Wild is finally here.

It’s not often that an event comes along that can unify us as a people. It’s usually reserved for something historic, like man landing on the moon for the first time, or the cessation of a World War. It’s not even often you get events that unite a country as one. All too often, we’re divided into the right or the left; with us or against us. I’m from Canada, and the best time to be a Canadian is during the Winter Olympics, as our men’s and women’s hockey teams battle for gold. For that couple of weeks, everyone stops being everything else and just becomes Canadian.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild may not be the ever-reaching event the Olympics might be; nor will it have the historical impact of something like a moon landing. But what it will do is unify a select group of passionate people, all with different ideas, different opinions, and from different places around the globe. It will unify us, the Zelda fans.

“When I get my hands on Breath of the Wild, it will be pure bliss. I won’t be worrying about deadlines, relationships, responsibilities, etc. I want to get lost in Hyrule again, even if it’s just for a short time,” commented Zelda Informer Managing Editor Darrin W. Harr. Being a younger Zelda fan, Darrin didn’t start off with the traditional games many of us did when we were playing our first Zelda titles. “I’m relatively young, younger than most people probably realize. I got into the Zelda series by playing the DS games. I know that sounds awful to some, but I adore Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. My curiosity led me to the main console games, which drew me in with the story and combat. Pretty soon I was playing every Zelda game I could get my hands on.”

On the other end of the spectrum is Nathanial Rumphol-Janc, or Nate, who served as Zelda Informer’s Editor-In-Chief for almost 9 years and has been playing Zelda games since 1991, when he was a kid on a school bus. After wrestling away the Game Boy another kid was playing, Nate was exposed to Zelda for the first time. “The game inside the system was Link’s Awakening. After taking home his Game Boy and playing it all night, I gave it back. For my birthday that year, I got my own Game Boy and Link’s Awakening, and I never really looked back.” Though stepping away from Zelda Informer to launch his own, less Zelda-centric site Nintendo Prime, Nate reflected back on his time at Zelda Informer fondly and spoke about how Breath of the Wild’s upcoming release will impact him.

“This is tough. If you had asked me a month ago, I’d tell you something entirely different than today, because my circumstances have changed. A month ago, I’d simply tell you that it means everything to me. It’s the Zelda game I have always dreamed of, based on my own 3+ hours of going hands on with it, and all I have wanted to do since I set the controller down playing it back during E3 2016 is play it again. Everything else felt like a blur and in a way, still does. That being said, today I now know that a couple months after release, I will be detaching myself from the Zelda community in a more direct way as I move on to Nintendo Prime and other endeavors in life.”

Though his time in the Zelda community may be coming to an end, Nate will always be a Zelda fan at heart “It’s the most hyped I have ever been for a game. Honestly, Breath of the Wild is going to feel like home.”

Another life long Zelda fan is Jesse McCarty, perhaps better known in the Zelda community as GameOverJesse. Jesse runs a successful YouTube channel and spends a lot of time covering the Zelda series there. “Saying I’m a Zelda fan would be putting it lightly.” Jesse exclaimed. “Some of my first memories are of playing Zelda. When I was around the age of 3 or 4, my parents would wake up to put my older brother on the bus for school. While we waited for the bus, and for a short while after, my parents and I would play A Link to the Past until I fell asleep. As I grew up, I would always think back to the fun I would have playing Link to the Past.  Then one Christmas I received Ocarina of Time and I grew from being a fan of the series to being addicted. It became something I was able to connect to other other people with and gain new friendships and even a career.”

Jesse was as excited as anyone about the upcoming Zelda Wii U (as it was known initially) and credits that game for his decision to start his popular YouTube channel. “With Breath of the Wild, I went even deeper and created my own YouTube channel to be a source of news for people, like me, who were spending hours a day looking for information. I began waiting for Breath of the Wild when I first put down Skyward Sword and wondered what was next. We saw the Wii U tech demo and my imagination went wild. What we’re getting now is likely better than what a full game made out of the tech demo would be.”

“A huge open world with a lot of new mechanics and we’re able to take it on the go on a brand new console. For being a Zelda fan, what could be better?”

When talking to these individuals who’ve had such unique insight on the road to Breath of the Wild and the many twists and turns it took, I asked them all the same question: What does this game mean to you? The answers were all vastly different, and yet carried the same undertones of what one might expect from any Zelda fan: excitement, hope, and wonder.

“We all may have our disagreements on stupid things like Link’s gender, DLC, and the like, but Breath of the Wild distracts and unites,” Darrin mused. “That’s what it means to me.”

“For me, Breath of the Wild is almost everything,” reflects GameOverJesse “When the game releases, it will bring more lore and theories to the series and I think most importantly, it will spark the question of ‘what’s next?’

“I’m excited to see how the Zelda series can evolve even further.”

 “Breath of the Wild is life.” Nate said simply “We could all use more life.”

All of their answers made me stop and question to myself, ‘What does Breath of the Wild mean to me now?’ After thinking for a few minutes, I knew.

It means it’s time for all of us to be rewarded. It’s been a long, winding road to get to this day. It means that after everything, we can now all come together in celebration. But more than that, the most meaningful thing Breath of the Wild gives us is this: light. In a sometimes dark and scary world, it’s nice to know that there will always be a hero to bring us the light. I haven’t played Breath of the Wild yet, but I don’t need to. I already love it. Breath of the Wild has brought all of us together, as only something like this could. That is what this game means to me. That is why I love video games. That is why I love this community. And that is why I love The Legend of Zelda.

 

All quotes obtained firsthand. Andy Spiteri is an Associate Editor for Zelda Informer. For more ramblings on Zelda, gaming and life, follow him on Twitter.

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  • Michael Deitz

    Amazing article Andy! I feel a really similar way. Breath of the Wild isn’t just a game, it’s a culmination of years of excitement and work, passion and creativity all being pushed out into one of the best communities I’m lucky to now be a contributing part of. It was inspiring to read and I can’t wait to do my own piece like that. Breath of the Wild means community and home and independence and togetherness. I look forward to welcoming it into my life, as well as all other Zelda fans’ lives, tomorrow.

  • Zelda is life. Reviews are agreeing.

    #excited

    • Dylan

      well I know how far it takes place form ocarina.

      • Oni Link 303

        *chuckles* So do I…100 years is not the only time frame of BoTW

        • Lifeoflink

          Is there a time given in the game about how long after OoT it takes place? Cool!
          Don’t tell me it right now. I want to go find it myself.

          • Dylan

            I won’t tell you.

        • Dylan

          yay, well i’m gussing you played it then 🙂

        • Dylan

          I know 🙂

  • Dragonmaster 150

    Afternoon of the Final Day: 12 hours remain…

  • Anonymous

    woah woah woah. Nate is leaving?!
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Good luck bro!

    • Heh. More on this on the actual final day. I’ll have a pretty long winded goodbye post. Still a couple months off though. It wasn’t exactly a mutual decision, but, ultimately, it may be what is best.

      • good luck, nate. truly wish you the best and i wouldn’t mind if you elaborated on that last part.

        • Greenbeans

          And if I were the Ganondorf to Nate’s Link, then you’d be Zelda, because I’m locking you up in my castle. Unless you’d rather I were Link in this scenario. That works too, Goop.

          • sticks and stone may deplete my hearts, but dungeons and chains excite me

  • Stilzkin

    “We had cracks form in the European Union.”

    Oh boy

  • The Triforce of Shadow

    Great article. Some people think that us gamers like games because we lose ourselves in them to escape real life. To me though, I play video games because they help me be better in real life. The times creating new worlds in minecraft. The friendly competition of smash bros. Most of all, the heroic feeling of self confidence you get from Zelda. That triumphant cheer that you will sound at the end of a battle hard fought, feeling that you earned it. Zelda games make you want to be a hero. They make you want to make the world a better place. While the gaming community bickers about DLC, resolution, framerate, and a slew of other things, I know what games really are. They are experiences that can show the greatest aspects of humanity. I won’t be able to play breath of the wild for at least two years, but I can’t wait for when that day finally comes.

    • Emm

      I’m glad i’m not the only one. Thanks.

  • Kylo Ren

    What a clunky article.

    I’m excited as anyone but it’s just a video game guys.

    Have some persepctice. We’re living in the most peaceful period in civilised history, especially in the west.

    • BravestWarrior

      “It’s just a video game” Not really. Nothing is ever just what it is. We live in a world, and it influences everything.

      Also, you have to understand that peoples’ rights are broken here every day. We may be more peaceful, but that doesn’t mean we’re peaceful enough.

      • Kylo Ren

        And how does a video game change any of that?

        I’ve completed BotW and loved it, so I’m not taking the piss here when I say that this article is very self-indulgent and close-minded. A video game can mean something to you as an individual, but you’re not going to tell someone caught up in a civil war or dying of hunger that a £50 video game brings light to the world.

        • BravestWarrior

          I’m sorry that video games don’t affect your life like they do for everyone else.

          And as for the world? Millions of gamers may as well be the world. You can’t say anything brings light to the world if that’s not true, as those people in civil wars and dying of hunger don’t have access to most things that would.

          • Kylo Ren

            Excuse me, but who are you to comment on how I consume media? I specifically said that video games CAN mean something to individuals. I never commented on what they mean specifically to me, and it’s not your place to make assumptions.

            “Millions of gamers may as well be the world.”
            Exactly as I said, this article is close-minded (and ignorant; stating the cracks in the EU only just formed, when EU members such as Greece and Italy have been in trouble for a while).

            Gamers aren’t the world, the real world spins on regardless of how good a video game is. I’m trying to expand the scope of this discussion to the scale this headline suggets, you keep bringing it back to the individual for some reason.

          • BravestWarrior

            You’re salty for no reason. I can’t have this discussion with you. It’s like trying to defuse a bomb that talks smack to you.

          • Kylo Ren

            You haven’t said anything to refute me, there is no discussion at all.

          • Andy Spiteri

            “And how does a video game change any of that?”

            I think you’re missing the point. A video game can’t change any of that, but it can help some people deal with everything that’s going on in the world. In the grand scheme of things, sure, it’s just a game, but in the same way music and movies can mean different things to different people, so can this. So chill out and let’s all enjoy it 🙂

          • Kylo Ren

            Thanks for a reasonable reply.

            My issue is with the article is its self-indulgent tone, which doesn’t actually amount to anything constructive. It starts with demonstrating a very poorly developed view politics to jumpstart a Zelda discussion, and then it goes into the stories of ZI staff and the youtubers they promote all the time. It would have been an effective piece if it was a real community highlight and asked their audience what Zelda means to them.

            I also find the idea of unity through a Zelda game to be transparent. Zelda games are incredibly divisive amongst the fanbase and gamers at large.

          • raizelmik

            I understand that ‘brings light to the world’ may seem to imply a grand scale that you feel is exaggerated for something like a video game, but things like this categorically do bring more happiness to the world, no matter how little. But, yeah, I understand why you might think it’s insensitive considering the scope of the worst actual world problems, sure. Still, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t bring some extra happiness to this planet. It makes (quite a few) people happier than they were before. To me, that is what ‘light’ means.

  • Greenbeans

    All that wait for a pathetic 98 on Metacritic.

    Typical Nintendo.

  • somebodynow

    I’m just glad it came out now the hype can go away. It is just a game! You love “Breath of The Wind” fine go play it then. Personally I don’t think it is worth the money, Not that it matters it is sold out everywhere any way.

    • Andy Spiteri

      Not to sound demeaning, but what are you doing on a Zelda site if you don’t think the newest Zelda game is worth the money? I hope you change your mind, it’s fantastic so far!

    • BravestWarrior

      “Breath of The Wind”. I’m now convinced you’re a troll. Hating on Zelda games on a Zelda fan site while spelling its name wrong.

  • Scrubtheos

    “A lot has happened since since June 2014. We had the ugliest US Presidential election in recent memory. We had cracks form in the European Union. ”
    I don’t think you should be using Zelda for your political narration. It’s a highly traditional story of a kingdom ruled by divine principles – like the ones that keep you from even dreaming of guillotining the royal family; instead you want to help the kingdom.
    A direct opposition to egalitarian globalization. Secondly, it is a video game article on a video game fansite.

    Thirdly, the Sheikah use frogs as their symbol.

    • BravestWarrior

      They’re not using Zelda as some example of what politics should be.

      It brings light to people. Nobody plays Zelda and complains about its politics (Except you).