In theory, Link will be totally overpowered when The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 begins. It's the paradox that most game sequels suffer from. If you complete the first game as intended, Link will have the Master Sword at his disposal. This weapon is one of the most consistent and powerful in the Zelda franchise. So what can Nintendo do to ensure that players don't have it early in Breath of the Wild 2?
If Nintendo wanted to shake things up and make their weapon degradation system more interesting, they could make one major change to how the Master Sword works while also creating a compelling plot hook in the process — just like the Marvel Cinematic Universe did in one of the best Phase 3 movies.
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Our pitch: Destroy the Master Sword when the game begins. It's such an iconic weapon and one that players worked hard to get in the first game, so this would make for a super memorable moment to set the stakes of this new adventure.
Very early in Thor: Ragnarok, Thor's mighty hammer Moljnir was destroyed, which seemingly depowered the God of Thunder and forced him to redefine and rediscover who he was as the newfound king of Asgard. Stripping heroes of their power to have them rise back up again always makes for compelling drama.
Destroying the Master Sword could recontextualize Link's adventure and pave the way for some interesting new gameplay mechanics as well.
We still don't know who exactly the villain of Breath of the Wild 2 is now that Calamity Ganon is out of the picture. Whether it's Ganon again or another great evil, the story will have to create a dramatic reason why Link isn't capable of immediately confronting them. Destroying the Master Sword would make for an exciting opener and immediately raise the stakes.
The villain could also force players to start from the bottom again, slowly growing Link's power in ways we've never seen before. Having to face down a new villain without the Master Sword is an easy way to let players know that they are a real threat to Link, Zelda, and Hyrule. Still, this story beat could have some interesting gameplay implications if Nintendo lets players transfer its power, which comes from Skyward Sword's Sacred Flames, to other weapons.
In the first Breath of the Wild, players had to rely on the weapons they could find around Hyrule until they were powerful enough to wield the Master Sword. If you could only find a stick or torch, that's what you had to fight with. Weapons would also deteriorate over time and eventually break. This system proved to be one of the most divisive aspects of the game, as some people believe it hurts the pacing and blocks players from using the weapons they like.
While there's a chance that Nintendo could remove this feature in the sequel, but if it returns, they'll need to iterate on it in a compelling way so they don't just repeat the same mistake again. One way they could do this is by allowing players to make any weapon they find their Master Sword in spirit, infusing it with some kind of magical power.
If enhanced like this, it could then deal more damage or give players more attacks to use — and that could be drastically different depending on what weapon type the player invests in. This system, in turn, would make weapon durability feel much less frustrating as players would be encouraged to experiment with and power up different weapons scattered around Hyrule as each of them breaks.
As a sequel, Breath of the Wild 2 has the chance to improve on both the best and worst parts of the first game. The weapon degradation system, in particular, is one such mechanic that really needs to be reworked. Until we see gameplay, we can just hope that these systems will get reworked in interesting ways and not repeat the sins of the original Breath of the Wild.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is in development for Nintendo Switch.