We know surprisingly little about the currently titled game The sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But that won’t stop me from speculating furiously about it anyway, based on all the trailers we have so far, and everything I know about Zelda games!
You probably clicked on this feature because you also I love wild theories, so welcome to my equivalent of a shed covered in newspaper clippings and red string. Today I’m particularly focusing on the new feature I’m going to call “Link’s Weird Arm”, which could be the main new mechanic in BOTW2. We just don’t know!
Let the speculation begin.
Theories of the arm, part one
A Link to the Skyward Sword
skyward sword is, canonically, the first in the Zelda timeline. Breath of the Wild is at the very end. But in some trailers we’ve seen that BOTW 2 will involve pieces of Hyrule being blasted into the sky, although we have no reason why. Why. The beginning of Skyward Sword tells the story of how a chosen part of Hyrule was sent into the sky by the goddess Hylia, to later become Skyloft – the place where the first Zelda and the first Link were born.
Could the timeline… be a circle? Current The Legend of Zelda is a cycle in which we are all trapped until the end of time? Hmmm. Likewise, it could be that Breath of the Wild 2 is actually set, well in the past…
The connection with Link’s arm is interesting. For starters, Link uses his right arm in BOTW and the BOTW 2 clips we’ve seen so far, which ties in nicely with Skyward Sword – Link’s sword arm changed from canonical left-handedness to hand right to fit better with motion controls on Wii. Second, his new arm look is all black with tattoos that look a bit like someone we’ve seen before…
That’s right, Skyward Sword’s antagonist and servant of Demise, Ghirahim, also has all-black arms and weird branch-like tendrils. Demise would later reincarnate as our old friend, Ganon(dorf), the troublemaker of the Triforce…so who is Ghirahim? Is this Link from the future? Hmmm…
Demise’s eventual disappearance in Skyward Sword locks him into the Master Sword, which serves a dual purpose: one, to make the Master Sword full of evil (which sounds bad!) and two, to trap Fi with it. Let’s dive a little deeper into this…
A Great Fi-turn
The Master Sword in Skyward Sword is personified by Fi, a spirit who really likes to tell you very obvious things. fi is kind of present in Breath of the Wild, as Zelda mentions there is a legend about a voice in the sword, and later – when Link is nearly killed – Zelda hears the master sword speaking, telling her to take Link to the shrine of the resurrection.
There are also Skyward Sword-like sound and visual cues scattered throughout the game, such as when Link picks it up. toward the sky after completing the trial of the sword. In this clip, around 1:03, the sword glows as it does when Fi is about to speak and makes her signature sound. It must mean something.
If Fi and Demise are still inside that sword (or even if it’s just Fi!), it could be the start of another great fight between good and evil – one where Link is again trapped in the middle.
Arguably, this detail is more about the sword than the arm holding it… but maybe it was the sword’s evil power that made the arm all weird in the first place.
Melty’s Master Sword
Of course, we’d be silly not to mention the melty Master Sword. It seems the malice that slithered into Link’s arm also affected the Master Sword, rendering it utterly useless in the process. It’s unclear if Link will have to go on a quest to fix/restore it, or if he’ll just use his Wavy Sword from now on, but we’re guessing the former (mostly because we haven’t seen it actually use the sword in any of the clips so far).
But if Fi is inside the sword, you can’t imagine she’s having a good time being all melty. Does this compromise the sword? Is Fi forever broken? Does the sword still work? We just don’t know.
Sick Tats, Bruv
Perhaps Link’s Weird Arm’s most notable detail is its tattoo-like design, which echoes many images from trailers and previous games. As I’ve covered before, this looks like Ghirahim’s own arm designs, whatever that means.
For now, we have to wonder if this sleeve is actually a tattoo, or if it’s part of a curse/power that Link acquires in-game. Presumably, we won’t see Link getting a tattoo, but it does. is still a bold new look for him.
Notably, the patterns – the kind of digital tree branch-like things on Link’s shoulder – look like something Twilight Princess. A good time to re-release the HD remaster on Switch, then? You have to refresh your memory!
An interesting new feature of Link’s cool arm is the long fingernails. While long nails are relatively common on female video game characters (with high heels and ridiculously small armor, usually), it’s extremely rare to see a male character with manicured nails. In Breath of the Wild, and the BOTW 2 trailer, he has short, regular fingernails, so what happened here? Do nails mean anything? I certainly think so…
It’s not His Arms
In the 2019 trailer, there’s an important detail: the sigil on Ganon(dorf) is a disembodied hand, grabbing him in place. Under the hand, Malice (the manifestation of evil) escapes. The arm is decorated with runic looking metallic bracelets, similar to all the marks we see left by the Unknown Zonai Race from Breath of the Wild.
The seal breaks and Link’s right arm glows a lovely mint green, as magical-looking swirls surround it. Later in the trailer (but maybe before the events I just described?), the ethereal hand grabs his (normal) left arm as he falls, and we see a split-second scene arm grabbing Ganon (dorf) while still attached to – presumably – the owner of the arm. Interestingly, even in this past scene, when the seal was formed, the arm looks all old and shriveled, with long witch fingernails.
We don’t know whose arm this is. But we know it’s not Link’s. He just borrows it. And he was, at one point, strong enough to seal away the greater evil…
…His Ganonis the arm?
In the tapestry we see in BOTW, the hero who seals evil is a red-haired, teal-colored figure covered in Zonai-like spirals.
What if the hero wasn’t Link, but Ganondorf? His origin is somewhat heroic: Born as the only male in 100 years in the Gerudo female line, Ganondorf was a red-haired man capable of great power, leading him to be the embodiment of the goddess, the favor of Din. In Skyward Sword, he is revealed to be the embodiment of Demise’s hatred of Link and Zelda, the hero and the princess… but what if he was a hero once too? A hero corrupted by power and hatred?
What if it was his arm? It would match the teal color, and you never see the face of the hooded figure whose arm belonged… So why not Ganon?
Also, growing up in an all-female tribe would likely lead to having really nice fingernails.
This bombshell ends the first page of crazy theories… Head over to page two to read more about my wild color theories and whether or not BOTW Link is the hero of time, reincarnated (or preincarnated? timeline is weird).