RetroVision – Do Breath of the Wild and the Original Legend Of Zelda Take Place in the Same Hyrule?

The Legend of Zelda is one of the all time greats of video gaming. With its roots in the 1986 retro classic, the series has gone from strength to strength. As such, it should come as no surprise that the latest instalment for the Wii U and newly announced Nintendo Switch, is easily on the most hotly anticipated games currently in development. However, if you’re a fan of the original on the NES / Famicom Disk System, and why wouldn’t you be, Nintendo have been teasing more than just a passing connection between the two.

A Familiar Hyrule?

This time around, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild finds Link awaken from a deep sleep, only to find himself guided by a mysterious voice to the Kingdom of Hyrule, a kingdom which now lies ruined and desolate. Upon his arrival in Hyrule, a mysterious old man explains that 100 years prior, Calamity Ganon destroyed Hyrule, and when the people couldn’t defeat it, those remaining sealed it inside Hyrule Castle. Nevertheless, despite being trapped, Calamity Ganon only continues to grow stronger, and Link must find a way to stop it before it manages to escape.

As such, Link must venture deep into Hyrule, a version of Hyrule it seems we have more than likely visited before. This is because within all of the already released footage for Breath of The Wild, there seem to be more than quite a few familiar sights and locations. Especially for those if us who have extensively explored the original 8-bit masterpiece.

Much of this was recently compiled by Nintendo themselves, only further hinting that these links are a part of Eiji Aounuma and his team’s design for the game. For example, take a look at the following potential links between the two versions of Hyrule:

The Man in the Caves

The Man In The Hyrule Caves
The Old Man In The Hyrule Caves

We all remember discovering the man in the caves, the one who hands you your sword in the original Legend of Zelda. Well it seems like history is about to repeat itself, well in a manner of speaking. You see, whilst this time a man in the caves won’t be providing link with the most essential of weapons, he will though offer you advice, alongside allowing you to borrow a torch from him.

Spectacle Rock

Hyrule's Spectacle Rock
Hyrule’s Spectacle Rock

As Nintendo quite rightly points out, the rock formations in original Legend of Zelda are quite distinct. In fact, to many they look like a pair of spectacles, hence the charming nickname. As such, given their distinct nature, it would arguably be hard to miss these should they ever reappear, and many have noticed something in the early footage of Breath of the Wild that resembles these iconic rocks (just take a look above). Although, with no confirmation, I’ll have to leave each of you to draw your own conclusions here.

Skull Cave

Hyrule's Skull Cave
Is this the remnants of Hyrule’s Skull Cave? Or just a coincidence?

Here we have another iconic landmark from the original masterpiece, although unlike Spectacle Rock, this one does seem to be a little more clear cut. We all remember the final dungeon from The Legend of Zelda, yes I mean the one shaped like a giant skull, well it seems that it could be back, or at least this is a very similar location. You see, just take a look at the picture and it’s evident to everyone that this enemy hideout is definitely shaped like a skull.

Skull Cave's Weakness
It’s definitely not as strong as the original Legend of Zelda’s Skull Cave

However, unlike Skull Cave, this enemy hideout doesn’t seem to be as well fortified. In fact, as Nintendo have demonstrated, one targeted arrow to the lantern inside, and well the whole thing will go up in flames, with those hidden inside running away in fear for their lives.

Sailing The Seas

Hyrule Raft
It seems like Link still doesn’t have the ability to swim great distances.

Back in the original, players would regularly be trapped on one side of the water, constantly trying to find a bridge to cross it. Well that is until players discovered the raft that could be used to automatically cross the water. Well, it seems like this specific mechanic is going to play a part once again in Breath of the Wild, with Link able to use the breeze to control the direction of the raft. It is arguable though that this also takes from Wind Waker too.


According to Nintendo these uncovered links may only be the tip of the iceberg, something that at least has myself questioning whether this game could directly tie into the original. Either way, it seems like come Breath of the Wild’s release, retro gamers may have more than one reason to jump into this hotly anticipated title. Sadly though, it’s made the wait for next March even more unbearable now.

Simon Aubrey Drake

A lifelong gamer with a fanatical love of all things Nintendo and Japan. So much so that I've written a thesis on one and lived in the other. Currently on a quest to catch every last Pokémon. Follow me on twitter via @DudeXChill or @RingsandCoins.

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