NOTE: This post will be updated with new information throughout the week as it comes.
This post covers the E3 2016 news about the Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Check this post for the Treehouse recordings of live gameplay footage.
A Message from Mr. Aonuma (from Nintendo UK)
Dear Zelda fans,
The new Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Wii U, has finally been presented at E3. The theme for this new title is “rethinking the conventions of the Zelda series”. Breaking from tradition, the player has the freedom to go wherever they wish to go, to do whatever they wish to do, in a vast open world. This is a whole new, unprecedented game in the history of Zelda.
In the Nintendo booth at E3, we arranged statues of characters from the game in diorama-like settings, borrowed from the game. We wanted to entertain visitors and help them experience the world of the new Zelda game. The picture here shows Mr Miyamoto and I bravely challenging an in-game monster called a Bokoblin. I know we are acting a bit silly for our age, but I hope this gives you a bit of a laugh…
LOS ANGELES, June 14, 2016 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild represents the next great boundary-breaking adventure from Nintendo. The game marks a new pinnacle for the franchise, and today Nintendo gave the world its first look at the immense, living and breathing world of the Wii U version of the game at the E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles. The game challenges and surprises players at every turn, while giving them incredible freedom to explore the massive world found in this open-air adventure.
“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild breaks boundaries for the franchise and for games as a whole,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “Where you go, how you get there, the order in which you do it, and the items, weapons and approaches used to solve puzzles and defeat enemies are all up to you.”
Today Nintendo gave fans just a taste of how The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes the franchise to new heights. Nintendo’s booth at E3 immerses attendees in the world of the game. As E3 attendees investigate Hyrule, they can explore the game any way they want because the world is so vast and players are not required to take a pre-determined path. This sense of freedom and vastness will truly come alive in the final game when the experience isn’t limited by the restrictions of a show floor demo.
During a Nintendo Treehouse: Live demo, Nintendo showed that heroic Link needs to be resourceful as he explores his environment. It’s important for players to become familiar with their surroundings so they can find weapons or collect them from defeated enemies. Food helps Link sustain his hearts and can give him a temporary boost or ability that will sustain him.
The game breaks with some conventions from the series. For example, many of the minor enemies are no longer scattered randomly around the world, as many now live together in colonies. Link can climb towers and massive structures to get a bearing on his surroundings. He can even reach the top of mountains – any mountain he can see, he can climb. He can paraglide to lower areas or even use his shield to slide down a mountain. Link will travel across fields, through forests and to mountain peaks.
The game’s wild world surrounds Link, and he must pay attention to changes in climate, as a shift in weather or temperature can affect the environment and his ability to survive in it. A sudden downpour might douse a roaring campfire or a lightning storm might be attracted to Link’s metallic weapons. Players might need to bundle up with warmer clothes or change into something better suited to the desert heat.
More than 100 Shrines of Trials dot the landscape, waiting for players to discover and explore them in any order they want. As players work their way through the traps and puzzles inside, they’ll earn special items and other rewards that will help them on their adventure. Puzzles in the game often have multiple answers, and secrets can be found everywhere. Exploration and discovery are a huge part of the fun.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is scheduled to launch simultaneously for both the Wii U console and Nintendo’s next system, code-named NX, in 2017. The game also includes compatibility with amiibo, which are sold separately. Nintendo announced a new series of amiibo figures specific to the game that includes Link with a bow (“Archer”), Link on horseback (“Rider”), and a “Guardian” that is the first amiibo with flexible parts. The existing Wolf Link amiibo works with the game as well: When players tap a Wolf Link amiibo to the Wii U GamePad controller, Wolf Link will attack enemies on his own and help players to hunt. He has three hearts, unless players carry over save data from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. Wolf Link disappears when his hearts run out. Details can be found at http://e3.nintendo.com/amiibo/.
While The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is clearly the star of Nintendo’s presence at E3, Nintendo Treehouse: Live also gave Pokémon fans something to go wild about this morning: the world premiere of live gameplay from Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, the seventh, and newest, era of the core Pokémon series. The games*, made for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, include new Pokémon, a new Pokédex, a new region and a new battle format to enhance the Pokémon experience in almost every way.
To see details about all of Nintendo’s activities at E3, visit http://e3.nintendo.com.
Nintendo kicked off its presence at the E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles this morning with the first in-depth look at gameplay from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and the Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon games. Nintendo Treehouse: Live dedicated the rest of its schedule for the day to showcasing more content from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The massive demo for E3 represents just a fraction of the total game, but beyond the physical size of the demo is the depth of the experiences offered, which go well beyond the expanse of the map. Even with a full day of demos, Nintendo only began to scratch the surface of this stunning open-air adventure.
Here’s a quick recap of just a few of today’s highlights. For even more details about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, visit http://e3.nintendo.com/videos to watch individual Nintendo Treehouse: Live segments and more.
Shrines of Trials: More than 100 of these locations are scattered around the world for players to find, and in some cases finding the Shrines can be a puzzle in itself. As a result, Shrines offer more compact challenges that can be solved in a variety of ways. In order to earn a Spirit Orb from the monks who designed these challenges, players must overcome challenges or solve puzzles.
Runes: While exploring Shrines, players can earn Runes. For instance, the Magnesis Rune can help Link lift and toss metal objects. The Remote Bomb has two different types of bombs: rolling spherical ones and cubical ones that stay in place. The Stasis Rune briefly stops moving objects, while the Cryonis Rune freezes water and causes an ice pillar to appear.
Weapons and Combat: The game contains a wide variety of weapons, many new to the series. Players must find weapons or take them from enemies, but weapons wear out as you use them. Players can also time offensive and defensive maneuvers to temporarily slow time and connect with a flurry of strikes against their opponent.
Food: In another break with conventional gameplay for the series, players hoping to replenish their hearts or score some easy rupees will come up empty when they cut grass. Link can forage for a variety of foods in his environment, including apples and mushrooms. He can also hunt for food. Consuming uncooked foods gives him a modest health increase, but cooking different kinds of ingredients together will result in dishes with different effects, such as cold or heat resistance, for a limited amount of time.
Climate: From snowy areas to desert heat, Link must dress appropriately for the weather. If he needs to stay warm, he can don appropriate clothing, warm himself with a fiery torch or even eat food to maintain his body temperature and his health. Link also needs to be careful during lightning storms – if he is equipped with metal equipment during a downpour, he can find himself attracting deadly lightning bolts.
amiibo Compatibility: A new series of detailed amiibo figures specific to the game were announced this morning, and Treehouse staff finally revealed how the Wolf Link amiibo from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD will connect to the game. When players tap a Wolf Link amiibo to the Wii U GamePad controller, Wolf Link will join Link to attack enemies on his own. He initially has three hearts, but players can raise his heart count by completing the Cave of Shadows and carrying over the save data from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. Wolf Link can be summoned once a day, and disappears when his hearts run out. However, you can use Wolf Link again the next day.
Nintendo NY: Hundreds of fans visited the Nintendo NY store in New York today to get their first look at The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in person. Through June 19, 500 lucky fans will get the chance to play the game, and game experts from Nintendo will conduct guided demos for others to watch, bringing the Nintendo experience at E3 to the East Coast.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is scheduled to launch simultaneously for both Wii U and Nintendo’s next system, code-named NX, in 2017.
Fact Sheet from Nintendo PR:
According to IGN, Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma has revealed that the game will be the “same experience” on Nintendo NX and Wii U.
He also confirmed that the Wii U version of Breath of the Wild will support the Pro Controller rather than requiring the use of the GamePad.
Moreover, it was stated the map is 12 times larger than the Twilight Princess one, and the E3 demo just covers 1% of the full game.
Hidemaro Fujibayashi was revealed as the director of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. He previously held the same role in Skyward Sword and Minish Cap. Eiji Aonuma is the producer and group manager.
The official Japanese website is now open, and you can find it over here.
GameSpot – Aonuma on why the game won’t have a female hero.
ZAM – Miyamoto on how Breath of the Wild goes back to basics of the original The Legend of Zelda.
GameInformer – Hands-on with the game; Aonuma on voice over and Link staying sillent.
Polygon – Aonuma on how you can ignore the story and go straight for the game’s final boss.
TIME – Aonuma on Link jumping manually, upending the series conventions, art direction, the Guardian enemies, and how the younger developers were essential in reworking the formula for this game.
Wired – Aonuma on exploration, climbing, Miyamoto stepping back, single-screen experience, and the younger Nintendo programmers studying where other games succeed so they can apply it to Nintendo games.
IGN – Aonuma on world building, survival, rupees, combat, sheikah slate, story, game’s subtitle, and secrets.
Game Rant – Miyamoto on how the Breath of the Wild team discussed a Sheik spin-off game.
GameSpot – Aonuma on working with a big team, risks of that, coveying ideas properly, and the time it will take to see everything in the game.
Polygon – Aonuma on how Breath of the Wild learned from Skyward Sword’s mistakes.
IGN – Miyamoto and Aonuma on bringing Breath of the Wild to both the Wii U and NX.
ENews – Reggie on how Breath of the Wild is the best of both worlds, merging traditional Zelda elements with non-linear progression.
Game Informer – Miyamoto on how Monolith Soft is helping to develop Breath of the Wild.
TIME – Aonuma on how Link isn’t a girl, but is androgynous by design.