Full Breath of the Wild map leaked online

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was originally prototyped as a 2D game. In their GDC talk, Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Takuhiro Dohta, and Satoru Takizawa spoke about some of the ways they tried to move away from Zelda traditions, and showed off some concept art from the early days of Breath of the Wild's development.

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Have you ever wondered what Link from The Legend of Zelda would look like if he shopped at Hot Topic and played guitar in a crappy metal band? Before building that fully 3D system, however, a basic 2D engine was used to spell out the kinds of freer experiences players can expect in Breath of the Wild. Clearly their 8-bit chops are fresh thanks to Breath of the Wild prototyping, and we also know from Eiji Aonuma that the two separate Zelda development teams (traditionally divided between home console and handheld) aren't being merged in response to Nintendo Switch. To wit: you can cut trees down to get lumber, set a torch on fire, then use it to burn down trees.

Mainly, because the prototype looks like an NES game.

Nintendo's newest entry in The Legend of Zelda series does away with numerous series' longest-held conventions, but some of the company's scrapped ideas for Breath of the Wild were truly. well, wild.

The game's visual style also got a spotlight, demonstrating the evolution from concept to what will be released at launch. Since it's guaranteed to have puzzles, go see how many solutions you can come up with!

  • Carolyn Briggs