SPOILER WARNING: This article contains story spoilers from Breath of the Wild.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a fantastic game, there is no doubt about that. One of the things I loved most about the game was that you had to earn the story by finding the memory locations. Upon regaining memories, you get to learn more about Link’s past, and that made me think about his future. What is this all leading up to?
After recovering a few memories of Link’s, I would often think of what this was building up to. I kept thinking of how these were memories from 100 years ago, and how Zelda, who you were trying so hard to save, has been fighting off Calamity Ganon for all that time. Now having completed the game, while I wasn’t necessarily disappointed with the ending, I actually liked my prediction ending better. Now, I’m not just saying this because it was simply my idea and I like everything I write- believe me, I’ve written some pretty lame stuff before, and this could very well be some of it- but I like the idea because it’s something we’ve never seen with The Legend of Zelda before. With new pieces to the lore added with Skyward Sword, I believe now would have been the best time to try something like this. With that being said, I thought I would share what I had originally predicted the ending cutscene of Breath of the Wild to be.
SECOND SPOILER WARNING: Just to make sure if you haven’t played it, there’s still time to turn back before you read this. I have re-written the finale using actual dialogue and imagery from the game as well as my own creative freedom.
Every part up to the defeat of Dark Beast Ganon would be the same- He lets out a mighty wail after you deliver the final blow and a shining light appears above him, though this time, we merely see the silhouette of a woman, who we can only assume to be none other than Princess Zelda. The dark beast falls before her as she illuminates even brighter. Ganon transforms back into the dragon-like form we originally see him as and swoops down towards this figure as she raises a hand and light expels from it. The triforce appears, banishing the Calamity Ganon from this land. Then the light begins to fade.
When the magnificent glow fades from this figure, and it is indeed Zelda. Link rushes up to her, fully recognizing her and relieved to see her safe once more, but as he approaches, he notices she is not as he remembered. She is now old and frail. Her long golden hair now gray, her skin withered and pale. She turns to you, still a sparkle in her eyes and a smile on her face. Link approaches her cautiously, but as she speaks, he becomes more at ease. This is definitely the Zelda he once knew.
“I’ve been keeping watch over you all this time… I’ve witnessed your struggles to return to us as well as your trials in battle. I’ve always thought- no, I’ve always believed- that you would find a way to defeat Ganon. I’ve never lost faith in you over these many years.”
The old woman falls to her knees, and Link rushes to her side. She struggles to get back up, but Link holds her seated upright. She leans into his arms tiredly and smiles at him.
“So you truly do remember me…” She says in a somewhat raspy voice. Link gives her a gentle smile in return. She gives a soft, frail laugh as she closes her eyes.
“A whole century has passed since we last met… And I’ve had all that time to think. The memories we have shared kept me strong in my most desperate time… But remembering those times, I also have a deep regret…”
She opens her eyes and looks into Links.
“I never realized how precious those moments were until I had finally fulfilled my destiny. I had been so preoccupied in playing my role that I could not truly appreciate the time we spent together. Every wonderful moment should be cherished, because you never know when those times will come around again…”
She takes a deep breath and sighs,
“I’m so sorry, Link… If I could have done it again, I wouldn’t have scolded you or run away, I just-”
A tear trickles down her cheek. Link gives the weeping princess a sympathetic smile, as if to say there was nothing for her to apologize for. She takes another deep breath and gazes into the sunset.
“Link… I have at last completed my role in this legend of old. The time has come for us to part ways…”
Link gasps and holds her closer. She smiles at him once more, placing her hand on his.
“There is no need to fret, we will meet again. I’m certain of it.” She folds her hands over her heart and closes her eyes.
“At last, I can be free…” Her body begins to glow, and slowly begins to fade. Link watches as her spirit begins to drift towards Hyrule Castle, alongside the four champions and her father, the king of Hyrule. Her spirit is the young, beautiful princess he remembers her as. He stares at her longingly as she watches him from above.
“Thank you, Link… The hero of Hyrule.” She bows graciously towards Link, then takes her father’s hand as all six spirits walk towards the great beyond, and fade from this world. Link, still kneeling on the ground takes a moment before standing up. He clenches his eyes shut for a brief moment before staring into the sky where the princess and his companions once were, and we fade to black- but of course, we’re not done yet.
After the credits role, we revisit Link years later in a moderately repaired Hyrule Castle. Sidon, Yunobo, Riju, and Teba are all seated at an official-looking table, seeming to be discussing something serious. The conversation is broken when the sound of a door opening is heard. Everyone looks towards the door to see Link exiting the building.
“Heading out on your daily patrol, Link?” Riju asks with a smirk. Link pauses, still holding the door open, then nods.
“I admire your warriors spirit! Keep up the good work!” Sidon remarks, sporting his famous toothy grin and stance.
“Don’t stay out too long. Don’t forget, tonight’s the 5th anniversary of when we took back Hyrule Castle. It would be a shame if the hero himself didn’t show up to his own celebration.” Teba reminds with a sly grin. Link nods again and proceeds to exit the building.
“Oh, and stay safe!” Yunobo adds, waving farewell before Link closes the door. He retracts his hand and looks at the others, “Did he seem alright to you guys?”
“You can’t really blame him with what he’s been through on this night those years ago.” Riju replies, “Some time alone should do him some good.”
We then cut back to Link, who is walking the streets of an adequately refurbished castle town. A few people wave to him as he travels down the road, and he casually responds with a wave or a nod- always with a smile. He exits the town onto the open field, staring out into the horizon. He takes a few steps forward before hearing something familiar. A song. Not just any song, but Zelda’s Lullaby. It is being hummed by a soft voice. It takes Link a moment, but gasps upon recognition, and he ventures towards the melody.
Link climbs over a hill and see’s someone in the distance, sitting in the grassy plains. He dashes towards them immediately. As he approaches, the other person turns around and faces him, still seated in the grass. It is a small child- a little girl with blonde hair, pointed ears, and glimmering eyes. She stops humming when she hears Link come towards her, holding a bundle of Silent Princess flowers in her hand. She stands up, looking at him curiously. The two stare at each other for a moment before Link finally kneels before her with his head bowed, and the screen fades to black.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you enjoyed. I am curious to know what you think of my interpretation and which ending you would prefer? I won’t be at all offended if you prefer the true ending, this was just for fun. I’ll wrap this up with a few of my thoughts as to why I wanted this to be how the game ends.
I was really inspired after seeing all the memories and having all the new elements from Skyward Sword included in this game that I wanted to add one more of those elements, the reincarnation of Hylia’s bloodline. The 100 year gap seemed like a perfect setup for this, and I would have loved a bittersweet ending. I’m always up for a good cry, and what’s better after a sad cry than a happy one? After meeting Impa and others from 100 years ago and seeing them all as elders, I couldn’t help but think that Zelda, too, would be an old woman. Of course, I also expected there to be some magical reason that she would remain a teenager all this time as well, but I just really wanted to see this twist.
As an addition, I’m sure a lot of us wanted to see was that afterward there would be new champions (or something close enough, even if they didn’t necessarily take control of the beasts)- namely, the four who helped us board the divine beasts. They were such fantastic characters, and I was hoping to see more of them.
Lastly, I wanted Zelda to apologize to Link. We do learn why she acted unkindly towards Link in some of the memories, but I don’t believe we’ve gotten a full apology, and I think that it would be in Zelda’s character to say something before finally moving on. I think it would have helped build the relationship between the two since they were clearly meant to have a strong bond. I felt like she would regret some of her actions and having to wait all this time to finally make up for it, she would do it without hesitation. I loved the cutscenes where she finally eased up and though she still had the weight of the world on her shoulders, she could finally open up to Link, and I wanted to build on it and make the payoff greater.
Even if it wasn’t necessarily done exactly as I have written, I personally would have loved to see something including these elements. I think that about sums up my thoughts, and I would love to discuss what you all thought! Thank you again!