Friday, April 15, 2022

Breath of the Wild 2: The Underworld?

Zelda riding an elephant through a cavern accompanied by Link

After last year's teaser trailer for the sequel to Breath of the Wild and its impressive showcase of a sky world, it's easy to forget how things started out in an underground cave system, where Link and Zelda went exploring and then found Mummy Ganondorf. Aonuma recently stated that the expanded world goes beyond the skies above, where we still can assume that the underground world will be a big part of the game.

It literally goes hand in hand with Link's new ability, which lets him morph through ceilings. It can be used to reach the sky islands, but also to get back to the ground from an underground cave. It could even be used to switch floors in a dungeon.

Breath of the Wild took a lot of inspiration from the original The Legend of Zelda, where the development team even had developed a prototype based on the NES game. This was for the overworld, however, at least what they have shown us, where the sequel to Breath of the Wild could use the underworld to take things to the next level. After all, one of the most common requests by the fans is getting proper dungeons. And proper dungeons they shall get.

map of the NES Zelda dungeons, where they fit together like puzzle pieces

What was interesting about the underworld in The Legend of Zelda is that it was basically all connected. The dungeons were all put on the same plane and fit together like pieces of a puzzle. If you could walk through walls, you would be able to move from one dungeon to the next.

And this could be a huge inspiration for the sequel to Breath of the Wild, taking this concept to the third dimension. For example, imagine that there is a new entrance to a cave at Mount Drena, to the east of the Tabantha Tundra. This dungeon goes deep down several layers with some intertwining tunnels and all that. But from there you can actually morph up and access a completely new part of the Forgotten Temple, which you couldn't find in Breath of the Wild.

There could be a gigantic network of different underground dungeons, all connected to each other in tricky ways. Of course this is all just speculation and we will have to wait a little longer until we find out how Nintendo really has expanded the world of Breath of the Wild. But the more you think about it, the more promising the idea of an underworld seems, where this could be as exciting as the new sky world. Let's hope that we will find out soon, maybe in June.

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