Breath of the Wild Sequel Teaser Speculation

Nintendo just teased the next Zelda game. So now we get to get to dissect a minute-long video and speculate the heck out of it. I’ve been spending way to much time re-watching it and listening to others’ observations, so I may as well present my findings during this obsession.  Not much has been confirmed. We don’t even have a title yet. However, a lot was squeezed into that teaser. It seems like they intended it to be very cryptic. It takes place in a crypt, there’s gibberish backwards chanting in a game that is safe to assume has actual voice lines, and it makes 14 cuts in about 7 seconds. Below, I’ve presented a few of my theories sorted from most to least likely.

Almost certainly true

The game takes place a few months or years after Breath of the Wild. It is obviously the same Link and Zelda. They do not appear to have aged significantly, but there are a few indicators that at least some time has passed. The biggest is probably Zelda’s haircut. Sure, she could have trimmed her hair immediately after the events of the last game; however, off-screen changes in hairstyle usually imply a time leap. A good, recent example is Avengers Endgame. My guess is that at least a year has passed, but probably no more than five. Either way, this would make Link and Zelda slightly older than they usually appear in games.

The map will be mostly the same. The part near the end of the clip where Hyrule Castle rises up confirms that Hyrule doesn’t look all that different. I opened up Breath of the Wild again just to make sure. That view is the same one from the opening scene in Breath of the Wild just after you leave the Shrine of Resurrection. The castle rising up seems like a callback to the events at the beginning of Breath of the Wild where you activate all the towers, which then rise out of the ground. It might also related to what Ganon does to the castle in Ocarina of Time, or the ascension of the Hylians in Skyward Sword, or the City in the Sky in Twilight Princess. The Zelda team must really like the idea of floating buildings. Whatever the reason, this would be a good excuse for the map to change dramatically enough to be interesting.

Hyrule will have new monsters and enemies that weren’t in Breath of the Wild. The teaser showed rats. Rats are a recurring enemy in the series, but they never appeared in Breath of the Wild. If nothing else, this new game will have rats. Based on the theme, there’s a good chance we’ll see some ReDeads as well. Maybe that black stuff that glows red is also something you can fight. It might just be more Malice, but it looks a bit different. The red actually forms a distinct, glowing outline, while the red in malice looks more like veins.

Likely true

Zelda will play a bigger role in the adventure. Zelda, with her hood and short hair, appears ready to explore the secrets of Hyrule alongside Link. Maybe this teaser is actually the prologue right before Zelda gets trapped by that mummy in the castle again, but it seems weird to advertise a clip with Zelda herself so early on if that was the case. Some possibilities:

  • Link gets trapped this time. You play as Zelda, who must rescue Link. It did seem from the teaser that Link’s hand got possessed by a monster, so maybe he’s not going to be helpful this time.
  • You get the option of playing as either Link or Zelda, or even swapping out at various points in the game. Their screen time was about even.
  • You stay in the same party and work co-cooperatively. The teaser briefly showed Link and Zelda grabbing each other’s hands. This could actually be a significant part of the game, working together as partners in this adventure. Maybe this would just mean switching who leads, or it could even be an opportunity for multiplayer.

Ganon/Ganondorf/Demise is involved once again. The most popular theory is that that zombie is Ganondorf, but there is support to suggest it might be one of the other two. The head jewelry makes him look like Twilight Princess Ganondorf, but Calamity Ganon also had a glowing forehead. The jewelry looks Gerudo, but it isn’t actually the same as what we see in Twilight Princess. The pointed teeth and the shadow look more like Demise, but Demise is more immaterial (his hair is made of fire). Finding a Ganondorf corpse would make more sense, but ultimately Ganon, Ganondorf, and Demise are really just three manifestations of the same dark entity, so it could just be referencing all three. Or all the speculation is totally off, and this is just an especially scary ReDead. It is also possible that, Ganondorf corpse or not, this is just a puppet at this point for whatever entity created (or broke?) this spell.

Maybe true

There will be time travel. The only thing I have to go off this time is the fact that the audio is reversed. This could just be for creepy effect or to hide a message, but it could also suggest that reversing time is part of the gameplay, much like Majora’s Mask, where you manipulated time by playing a song backward.

This game will explore a secret history in the games, connecting mysterious organizations like the Sheikah, the Interlopers, and the ancient tribe in Majora’s Mask. This one is a bit of a stretch, because references to other games are usually more Easter eggs than important plot points. While this specific theory might not be exactly confirmed by the teaser, there’s evidence to suggest the game might touch more on these subjects. The connections with Twilight Princess are particularly strong.

  • The weird singing voice sounds a lot like the Twilight Princess warp sound if you speed it up.
  • The Sheikah drawing on the wall shows someone holding a trident. Beast Ganon often wields a trident, but so does Midna when uses the Fused Shadows, which we know is Interloper magic.
  • The style of the Sheikah drawings and language somewhat resembles the patterns on the Fused Shadows with its blocky spirals, symmetry, and obsession with eyes.

  • Who else had a giant, glowing magic hand? Midna.
  • The singing voice sounds like a creepier version of Fi, so that could be yet another connection to another game.
  • The magic around the corpse and hand forms strange glowing symbols, similar to Sheikah technology/magic. However, the symbols are more curved and flow-y than the box-y Sheikah alphabet or the straight-lined constellation patterns in shrines. It is also green instead of blue. Ganon’s magic tends to be red or violet as well as chaotic like fire. This green magic is not only in the middle of the spectrum between the Sheikah blue and the Ganon red, but it is also a compromise between Sheikah order and Ganon chaos.

Conclusion

Well, that turned into a bit of a conspiracy theory. If I missed something let me know. I’m excited to see how off I am on this when we get more details about the game. It’s presented as a Breath of the Wild sequel, but the themes and nature of its development are setting it up as a spiritual sequel to Majora’s Mask, and if any of this speculation is close, an indirect sequel to Twilight Princess. Whatever it ends up being, I’m excited.

Fail to Win Update: Chapter 2 Shenanigans

I’m just writing something quick to let everyone know Fail to Win is being worked on, specifically chapter 2. I can’t say much because of spoilers, but I attached a few screenshots just to show how ridiculous this game is getting. These stages definitely need some work, but the plan for this chapters is pretty solid now. The original plan was to make Fail to Win a short, 1-2 hour game, but the demo ended up being that. Now, the plan is much larger, something you might have a hard time finishing in one sitting. Also, I’ve been making progress on the stage builder. I plan to include that with the game so players can make their own deadly puzzles.

Also, I’ve been gradually updating the chapter 1 demo based on feedback from players. I swapped out/tweaked some puzzles and I clarified some of the instructions. These early challenges are crucial for getting a sense of the weird rules of the game so you are prepared when tackling the larger, interconnected puzzle-box challenges planned for later in the game. The free demo is still downloadable at the same location: https://tykenn.itch.io/fail-to-win-chapter-1

Fail to Win: Chapter 1 released

The first chapter of Fail to Win is now available for free on itch: https://tykenn.itch.io/fail-to-win-chapter-1. It’s a ragdoll puzzle game where you progress by dying.


The game now consists of four stages, each with a handful of puzzles. The game should last about 30-60 minutes. Please check it out! Also, you can join our feedback and discussion discord: https://discord.gg/jkjFRAq. We’re hoping to turn this into a full game with at least four times as many puzzles, because we have a lot planned.

Fail to Win Update: Demo Coming Soon!

After an awesome Christmas with White Elephant, I’m feeling a lot more confident. If you haven’t played White Elephant, it is a first-person 3D puzzle platformer where you must open an absurdly-wrapped Christmas present in an escape-room-like way. The game was well-received with nearly five-hundred downloads, five-star ratings, and lots of recorded walkthroughs. It was one of the most popular games on Itch this past week. This was an exciting response to a game I threw together in four days. Now that Christmas is over and I expect the excitement of White Elephant to die down, I’ve been turning my attention over to my other project: Fail to Win.

What is it?

Fail to Win is a 3D puzzle platformer where in order to progress, sometimes you have to die. With a respawn point that acts as a teleporter and explosives that can launch your corpse at hard-to-reach locations, you solve a series of puzzles while being led by mysterious fourth-wall-breaking guide.

I actually started making this about a year ago when I was playing with ragdoll physics. It was just a proof of concept, and I had no idea what direction to go with aesthetic or plot. I left it for some smaller projects hoping that when I came back to it, I’d have a bit more popularity and could actually get this game in front of people. It is one of my more ambitious projects, so I want people to actually play this one.

Then, a couple months ago, I got impatient and indirectly returned to it anyway by working on making some Asset Store tools. I’m an Asset Store publisher, currently with five code packages for sale. I hadn’t published any new packages recently, so I figured I could work on programming a stage creator designed around 3D puzzle platformers. I’ve been making a lot of progress, so I started using this stage creator to build stages for Fail to Win.

The demo

The demo currently consists of a single stage with a few simple puzzles, acting as a sort of tutorial. The whole experience lasts about ten minutes. You can download it at http://kenningtongames.com/wp-content/uploads/misc/FailToWin.zip.

It isn’t quite ready for releasing on Itch, but it is getting close. Expect the demo to make an official appearance some time in January. Recently, another game jammer, Yru2kind, offered to help out with audio. The full demo might just be this single stage with a little extra polish, or I might add a couple other shorts stages that are close to ready, depending on how much time I have.

What’s coming later?

I’d like to make Fail to Win into a full game, but that is up to the response the demo gets. If people like the demo, and I get enough people following the project (Itch follows, YouTube subscriptions, etc.) then I’ll start looking into crowd funding. The full game will likely last a couple hours for the average player, but maybe more depending on how much funding we can get. Development will take about a year to incorporate all the things I currently have planned for it.

Even the demo is currently a work in progress (more of a demo of a demo), but please try it out and send any feedback my way. Thanks!

Puzzle Platformer Stage Creator for Unity

I returned to work on Fail to Win and decided to build myself some better tools. So I started build a stage creator. It is front-facing, so it makes it possible for players to design and save their own puzzles, something I plan to include in the release of Fail to Win. I figured, though, that there isn’t anything quite like this on the Asset Store currently, so once I’m done, I’ll make it available for purchase as a framework for creating 3D puzzle platformers.

All of the above were built using the stage creator. Each stage is a single mesh with no hidden geometry. The stage can be saved as a JSON file and then loaded into the game later. The developer can configure the stage creator to pick what is exposed to the in-game stage creator (list of props, stage size, etc.).

There is still a lot more to come. Currently, I’m working on finishing prop placement and play-testing. If you are a Unity developer, please let me know what you think and what you might like to see in this framework. If you are a gamer, I’m interested in your thoughts on player-generated content and stage creators.