Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Story Recap – What Happened Before Tears Of The Kingdom?

What Happened In Zelda: Breath Of The Wild?

Image: Nintendo

One of the huge selling points of Breath of the Wild was that you could do whatever you want, in whichever order you wanted. While this was a great mechanic, for sure, it does make creating a cohesive story timeline for the game’s events a little difficult.

We will therefore recap what happened in as close to chronological order as we can (if such a thing even exists), starting with the prelude events that take place many, many years before the main game begins…

10,000 Years Ago

Calamity Ganon

10,000 years prior to the events of Breath of the Wild, Calamity Ganon started a war on the entire world in an event known as ‘The Great Calamity’.

In an attempt to hold off the evil laying waste to their land, an ancient tribe called the Sheikah built an army of mobile weapons (Guardians) and four huge fortresses known as the Divine Beasts and used them to tackle Ganon head-on.

The attempt was successful and the Sheikah and Hylian armies were able to seal the Calamity away, ushering in an age of peace.

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100 Years Ago

The Champions

Zelda: Breath of the Wild Champions
Image: Nintendo

This peace was maintained until 100 years before Breath of the Wild, when it was prophesied that Calamity Ganon would be resurrected.

Taking this prophecy as a warning, King Rhoam of Hyrule began a search for the site of Ganon’s imprisonment, where he uncovered the Divine Beasts. The King assembled a team of Champions to pilot these fortresses and prepare to defend Hyrule should the Calamity return.

Included in this team were Princess Zelda and Link, the former of whom was to learn of her magic abilities which, it was said, would be a definite asset in the fight against Ganon. However, no matter how hard she trained, Zelda could not unlock her power.

That is, until…

Ganon’s Resurrection

Yes, just as the Princess was about to give up, Calamity Ganon was resurrected, taking control of both the Guardian army and the Divine Beasts, and killing the four Champions and King Rhoam in the process.

At the final hour, and with Link mortally wounded from the battle, Zelda managed to unlock her magic and temporarily restrict Ganon to the confines of Hyrule Castle, while Link was sent to the Shrine of Resurrection to recover from his injuries.

Fade to black.

An entire century passes and Link is awoken by a mysterious voice, only to realise that he has lost all of his memories. Discovering a Sheikah Slate (a tablet created by the ancient tribe capable of granting the user a multitude of abilities) at his bedside, Link leaves the Shrine of Resurrection and escapes into a Hyrule that has been plagued by monsters and malice for the last 100 years.

The Great Plateau

Zelda: Breath of the Wild Great Plateau
Image: Nintendo

In this opening area, The Great Plateau, Link is greeted by a mysterious old man, who teaches him how to use his new-found Sheikah Slate and subsequently grants him a glider.

Having followed the old man’s instructions, Link discovers that this mystery figure is in fact the spirit of King Rhoam, who explains that Link is the last remaining Champion and must do everything in his power to assist Princess Zelda who has been holding Ganon at bay for the past century.

To do this, Link will have to rid the four Divine Beasts of Ganon’s malice and use their power to save Zelda and put an end to the Calamity for good.

Note. The rest of the game can take place in any order and can involve any number of the following Divine Beast quests. We have presented the events in the order that we first played them, though your experience may have differed depending on where you chose to venture first.

Zora’s Domain

Link travels to Zora’s Domain in an attempt to free the Divine Beast Vah Ruta.

It is here that he is greeted by Prince Sidon, a Zora, who explains that the Divine Beast threatens to destroy the nearby reservoir and flood all of Hyrule. Link agrees to help and remembers his past relationship with the Zora’s Champion, Mipha — a childhood friend who made him a set of special armour for navigating the waters.

Link boards Vah Ruta and sets about reinstating the fortress’ control panels before battling (and defeating) Waterblight Ganon, which has been the force behind the Beast’s submission for the past 100 years. Doing so frees the spirit of Mipha, who promises to aid Link in his battle against Ganon and aims Vah Ruta’s attack blast at Hyrule Castle in preparation.

Death Mountain

Zelda: Breath of the Wild Daruk
Image: Nintendo

Link ventures to Death Mountain, home of the Gorons, where he must take on the Divine Beast Vah Rudania.

Heading into the nearby Goron City, Link discovers that the Divine Beast is behaving erratically and is disturbing the residents’ mining operations. Goron boss Bludo explains that he usually calms the Beast by firing himself from a cannon at it, but, having hurt his back, he requires the descendent of the Goron’s Champion Daruk, Yunobo, to do it for him.

Having sedated Vah Rudania by firing Yunobo in such a manner, Link boards the fortress and successfully defeats the parasitic Fireblight Ganon, freeing the spirit of Daruk in the process. The Goron Champion also promises to aid Link in his fight and prepares the Divine Beast to attack the castle.

Gerudo Town

Link heads into the desert to Gerudo Town, home of the woman-only tribe of Gerudo warriors and the Divine Beast Vah Naboris.

Before he can get to the malfunctioning fortress which is spewing lightning across the land, Link disguises himself in women’s clothing and assists the tribe’s leader, Riju, in reclaiming the stolen Thunder Helm from the Yiga Hideout.

The Yiga are a clan of banana-obsessed, ninja-like warriors, who have hidden the Gerudo’s Helm away in the desert. Link is able to infiltrate the camp, defeat the group’s leader, Master Kohga, and return the Thunder Helm to Riju, granting him access to the region’s Divine Beast.

Link reestablishes control over the beast and defeats Thunderblight Ganon to reinstate Gerudo Champion Urbosa’s spirit as the fortress’ protector. Urbosa tells Link not to feel guilty for the group’s previous failure in stopping the resurrection and prepares Vah Naboris’ lasers for an attack.

Rito Village

Link heads to Rito Village in western Hyrule to aid the bird-like resident race in their attempts to stop Divine Beast Vah Medoh’s aerial assault.

It is here that Link remembers Revali, the Rito Champion whose spirit is trapped in the Divine Beast which hovers in the skies above.

Instructed by the Rito elder, Link successfully aids the courageous warrior Teba’s attempt to board Vah Medoh, where he once again goes about removing the malice from the sky-borne fortress. Defeating the corrupting presence of Windblight Ganon, Link frees Revali’s spirit and persuades him to support the other Champions in their stand against the Calamity.

The Master Sword

Link makes his way into The Lost Woods to retrieve the Master Sword — placed there by Zelda 100 years earlier to restore its strength.

Proving that he is worthy of wielding its power, Link manages to pull the sword from its stand, reclaiming the legendary blade as its rightful owner.

Fighting Calamity Ganon

Zelda: Breath of the Wild Ganon
Image: Nintendo

With all of the Divine Beasts restored and the Master Sword at his disposal, Link heads to Hyrule Castle, where he has to navigate a labyrinth of corrupted machinery and malice-controlled monsters to make it to the centre and face off against Calamity Ganon.

Before dealing the first blow, the four Champions unleash a powerful blast from their respective Divine Beasts, weakening the Calamity and leaving Link to finish the creature off one final time (which he achieves).

But it doesn’t last for long. Before he can free the Princess (who has been holding the Calamity at bay this entire time, it should be noted), the antagonist transforms into Dark Beast Ganon, a huge pig-like creature who begins rampaging across Hyrule Field.

With the help of Zelda’s Light Arrows, Link manages to weaken the beast enough for Zelda to permanently (well, maybe not permanently) banish it to another realm.

Hyrule Restored?

The Calamity is defeated. The Princess is freed. Peace is restored. Having achieved all of these, Zelda tells Link that she has been watching over him for the past 100 years and asks if he now truly remembers her.

As the pair walk away from Hyrule Castle, the spirits of the four Champions and that of King Rhoam disappear into the air, content that the adventure is finally over.

Except, it isn’t quite done. If you have restored all of Link’s memories before reaching this point, there is still one final piece of story to be had which shows Link and Zelda beginning to restore Hyrule to its former glory and beyond. Zelda confesses that she can no longer hear the voice inside the Master Sword, saying that her power must have weakened over the past century’s imprisonment.

And that really is the end… for now…

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