'Breath of the Wild 2' leak reveals alleged release date, title, and more

The game could be tied to Nintendo's next console release.

Nintendo teased Link’s next adventure in the much anticipated sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild when it confirmed the game was under development during E3 2019 in June. Fans have only received slight hints about BotW 2 ever since. But an alleged leak might have just revealed its release date, official title, and key gameplay features.

4chan user Xhyll claimed to be in contact with an unnamed former Nintendo employee with insider knowledge of the company’s future plans. They said BotW 2’s release will be pegged to the launch of the rumored Switch 2, which Xhyll says will be exclusively for home gaming and will support 4K resolution.

The rumored console will bring major improvements to computing and graphics, which will be showcased through BotW 2. Xhyll claims their source has seen a 10-minute gameplay demo of the upcoming title, revealing crucial details about the shadowy follow-up to one of the Switch’s most popular games.

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Screenshot of Xhyll's post on 4chan regarding 'Breath of the Wild 2'.

When is the Breath of the Wild 2 release date?

The leaker claims BotW 2 will be a launch title for the Switch 2 in January 2021. A release alongside a high-end Switch would mirror the release of the original game, which debuted alongside the hybrid console on March 3, 2017. Nintendo could repeat this strategy to boost sales of this enhanced console given the odd post-holiday timing.

The open world game would be an excellent way to demonstrate the power of the Switch 2. BotW suffered from occasional frame drops and graphical hiccups because its expansive world was sometimes too much for the original Switch’s barebones specs. A new console means Nintendo could make BotW 2 bigger and more immersive than before.

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'Breath of the Wild 2's plot could be much spookier than the original.

What will the official title of Breath of the Wild 2 be?

Nintendo has yet to even confirm what the official title for BotW 2 will be, but Xhyll claims it will be something along the lines of “Zelda Breath of the Darkness.”

That sounds a bit awkward and could be just a placeholder, though even a slight tweak, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Darkness, has a better ring to it. But these two potential names perfectly complement the spooky plot Nintendo teased during E3 2019.

Hyrule will seemingly face a new cataclysmic event. Link and Zelda discover Ganondorf’s dried-up corpse as it’s being resurrected deep beneath Hyrule Castle. One of the final scenes shows the castle being lifted into the sky by an unknown force, which suggests something hellish is about to emerge from its depths.

Exactly what that could be remains a mystery, but glimpses of the evil threatening Hyrule in the trailer suggest it might be engulfed by a dark and twisted dimension. Twilight Princess, A Link Between Worlds, and Majora’s Mask all involved Strange Things-esque mirror worlds, which suggests Nintendo could opt for a similarly dark story in 2021.

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Link and Zelda might embark on a journey together in 'Breath of the Wild 2'.

What have Breath of the Wild 2 leaks revealed about gameplay?

Xhyll briefly describes a battle in the BotW 2 demo seen by his source, which provides further evidence that Zelda will be a playable character in BotW 2, or, at the very least, a companion that helps Link throughout his journey.

“A battle is then shown where Link and Zelda fight together against a Dark Guardian in underground ruins,” wrote Xhyll. “Zelda helps Link by assisting him in the battle by protecting him with a dazzling light when he is in trouble, and highlighting the enemy’s weaknesses.”

It’s unclear if players will be able to switch between controlling Link in Zelda in the middle of fights or if the princess will be a CPU teammate. This could be the foundation of co-op play in BotW 2, but the leak doesn’t provide enough details to say for sure.

Xhyll also mentions the return of Guardians, ancient machines that Calamity Ganon possessed to fight Link on-sight in the original game. That means the setting of BotW 2 might be different, but the enemies could be familiar.

The much-anticipated sequel might have just been announced, but a steady trickle of updates, leaks, and rumors have slowly been painting a picture of what BotW 2 could be like.


Breath of the Wild 2 is currently under development and coming to the Nintendo Switch … eventually.