The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a huge step forward for Nintendo’s beloved series, but it also removed one of Link’s most iconic tools: the hookshot. After BotW’s release, the company revealed how close it came to including an exciting new version of the classic item, and with the announcement of Breath of the Wild 2, some fans are hopeful that the hookshot could be making a comeback. Based on everything we know, it actually seems pretty likely — the new trailer might even tease a fresh spin on the old feature.
In case you’re not familiar with the larger Zelda franchise, the hookshot is a pretty consistent item typically found within a dungeon during the game. As the name suggests, it’s a spring-based grappling gun that let’s you vault across the map by attaching to specific targets — or pull enemies/items towards you. It first appeared in the third Zelda game, A Link to the Past, but really got an upgrade when the series when from 2D to 3D graphics in Ocarina of Time.
Breath of the Wild represented a similar leap as Nintendo embraced an open-world design where players could complete the game in whatever order they wanted, rather than follow a strict narrative path. That shift meant the traditional hookshot, which appears at a specific moment to help you complete certain challenges, wouldn’t work in BotW, though it didn’t stop the company from trying.
In a 2017 interview with IGN shortly after Breath of the Wild’s release, Nintendo executives explained that they actually came up with a new dual-hookshot system to let Link swing through Hyrule like Spider-Man — but it was ultimately scrapped for a few important reasons.
“That kind of defeated the purpose of what we wanted to accomplish in Breath of the Wild,” said series producer Eiji Aonuma. “With the hookshot, we always had to give it towards the end of the game, or else players could just go anywhere. But in this game, you could do that by climbing and parasailing.”
Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi added that they even included a hookshot in early internal versions of Breath of the Wild:
“In the early stages of development, we did actually do some tests with double hookshots and just being able to kind of go anywhere, like Spider-Man. Your mobility and your speed was just kind of incredible. We did do some tests like that … Honestly, the hookshot kind of completely breaks the climbing mechanic.”
So what does this mean for Breath of the Wild 2? Well, Nintendo could simply add-in that scrapped dual-hookshot feature (which sounds freaking awesome) and build the game around it to ensure that Link’s Spider-Man-esque abilities don’t ruin the rest of the experience.
Alternatively, we could be getting a new type of hookshot entirely. As some fans on Reddit recently noted, it’s possible the BotW 2 trailer could be teasing a magical new hookshot. In the teaser, Link is saved by a glowing green arm that was previously keeping Ganondorf contained. Could that arm become a new sort of hookshot as Link teams up with this mysterious new force in his fight against evil?
It might sound ridiculous, but this is a video game series where you travel through time and dimensions, transform into a wolf, and ride around on a talking boat. So a magic green arm that doubles as a hookshot wouldn’t be that out of place.