BOTW 2 Desperately Needs New Characters | Screen Rant

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 needs to bring in new characters if it wants to succeed. While the sequel to the Nintendo Switch’s launch title will mostly want to emulate its predecessor, it will want to avoid leaving Hyrule an empty wasteland. Creating original characters will not only make BOTW 2’s setting more lively and full but will also help distinguish its identity in the Legend of Zelda series.

Indeed, living in the shadow of BOTW should be a major concern for Nintendo while finishing up BOTW 2. The Nintendo Switch launch title was one of the most financially and critically successful games of all time, and this is no hyperbole. As of March 2022, BOTW has sold 26.55 million units, making it the bestselling game in the series at nearly three times the amount of the second bestselling Zelda game, Twilight Princess (which has sold around 9 million units). Carrying the BOTW name means BOTW 2 will need to expand upon its predecessor while maintaining what made it so special, which is primarily the freedom of its gameplay and exploration.

Related: BOTW 2 Could Shake Things Up Just Like Zelda 2: Adventure Of Link

Though the emptiness of Hyrule in BOTW is in part what enabled the game to be so inviting for exploration, BOTW 2 can improve upon the original game by filling its setting with new characters. Instead of relying on the beauty of Hyrule’s locations, hidden NPCs can serve as rewards for exploration in a manner similar to how Elden Ring tucks away important characters in secret areas to encourage exploration. On top of this, including crucial NPCs in Link’s main story would also allow for a different and more compelling plot line for the game.

BOTW 2 already seems to have plans to include more characters in Link’s heroic journey, as both of its E3 trailers show Zelda alongside Link during the inciting incident of the game’s story. However, Nintendo should include original characters who are still related to the original BOTW. One option would be to have the child of Hudson and Rhondson involved with the game’s story. Though the events of BOTW 2 currently appear to follow immediately after BOTW’s ending, Link helped the two NPCs get married and even constructed the community they call home, Tarrey Town. Hudson and Rhondson’s child would thus represent Link’s efforts to restore Hyrule in BOTW and his continued effort to defend it against evil, which would make the hero's journey feel more fulfilling.

And when it comes to evil, BOTW 2 needs a new agent of Malice for Link to battle against. Calamity Ganon being an abstract manifestation of evil was really cool in BOTW, but Astor of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity provided a refreshing edge to the eternal battle between Link and Ganon. A new enemy for BOTW 2 could similarly be associated with the Yiga Clan, and their mission could be to use the powers of Malice and Ganon to restore the group to its former glory after Link defeated them in BOTW.

With so many possibilities for Nintendo to explore, the much-anticipated sequel has no reason to not introduce new characters. BOTW 2 has already been delayed. To ensure the game lives up to expectations set by its predecessor and long development process, it will need to bring its A game by including original characters and more into The Legend of Zelda series.

Next: Where The Zelda Games Could Go After BOTW 2

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