What kind of story do Breath of the Wild speedruns tell?

Last Updated July 3rd, 2017

Now that we have all had a chance to really drink in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, we can see how Nintendo crafted a humongous game world to tell a story purely through mechanics. This works…most of the time.

Any random playthrough of Breath of the Wild will tell the story of Link, a warrior from a century past who failed in his duty to defeat Ganon and gets a second chance to prove himself by exploring the world Ganon has ruined and gaining the power of its peoples. However, Breath of the Wild speedruns tell a different sort of tale.

There will be spoilers in this article. Also there will be a lot of eating bugs, snowboarding in your underwear, explosions, and random French yelling. It’ll basically be a Michael Bay film from his experimental years.

A Speedy Adventure

The game starts as you would expect, with our hero, Link, waking up in the shrine of resurrection. After a hundred years of sleep, Link, rattled by his jumbled and fading memories, has only one thought cross his mind.

“Man it feels good to be naked!”

Picking up the Sheikah Slate and ignoring the shirt and pants laid out for him lovingly, Link runs out to the mouth of his tomb to see the vast world before him. He sees an old man by a fire, and with no other place to go, he heads in his direction, but not after stopping to add a couple of awesome looking beetles to his newly formed beetle collection.

What? He’s just been resurrected from the dead. He’s got to at least have hobbies.

“Ah hello young man. It’s nice to… hey wait, wait, wait, that’s my axe!” The man shouts in a thick and heavy French as Link becomes easily distracted by the woodcutter axe embedded in a nearby stump.

“Sweet axe!” Link says as he dashes off in the opposite direction. He can hear the faint echo of the old man’s voice shouting “at least put on some paaaants!” fading into the distance as he looks for his first axe victim, passing by trees and other obvious axe targets. Holding the massive blade in his hand, Link begins to recall faint fragments of his old personality. He remembers… that he is a complete psychopath.

“Wood and stone are not suitable materials to test this axe out on. I must test it on flesh!” Link makes a beeline for the first living thing he sees, a Bokoblin just minding his own business. He run in a bizarre and rattled fashion, sprinting as fast as he can before shoving his fingers in his mouth like a horse’s bit, and every so often whistling, a haunting whistle that Bokoblins still tell horror stories about a century later: The tale of the naked whistling murderer.

Hefting the blade over his head, he swings it at the first Bokoblin he sees with inhuman force, knocking the leather shield out of its hands and mortally wounding him. But as psychopathic as Link is, he is just as easily distractible. “Sweet shield!” he thinks, as he picks it up off the ground and promptly ignores his murder target, distracted by a blue light in the distance. Guided by a ghostly voice in his head (which he is used to…there are a lot of voices in his head) he places the Sheikah Slate into a pedestal and finds himself rocketed into the sky on the top of a tower.

“Well, only one way down,” Link thinks to himself as he promptly jumps down the 100-foot tower, screaming and brandishing his axe, only to find himself landing daintily on his feet. “I can’t believe that worked!” 

“I can’t believe it either” the old French man says, paragliding in to stop Link from immediately dashing off in another direction. He proceeds to explain to Link that he will need to gather up some treasure if he wants his paraglider. Unfortunately, Link does not speak French, so the conversation is a little awkward and one sided.

Eventually Link dashes off to the next shiny thing he sees, his first shrine. Here he is given the power of Magnesis and asked to clear a path to a zombified monk’s corpse. Blocking the way is a laser-shooting spider robot.

“Noooope!” Link screams in his own mind, not having time for any of this mystical garbage. He sprints like a madman, kicking down the metal doors in front of him and practically yanking the spirit orb from the desiccated corpse.  

After exiting the shrine the old man once again comes by to offer some sage advice but, as stated before, Link doesn’t speak French. “Man, I wish something could get me out of this conversation,” Link thinks to himself. As if on cue, fish materialize out of thin air! Not wanting to let this strange gift from the heavens go to waste, Link shoves some fish into his underwear and takes off for the next shiny shrine.

At Cryonis shrine, Link regains his memories of being a champion uphill snowboarder, prompting him to ride his shield even short distances across the landscape. At the Bomb shrine, Link rekindles his love of explosives, recklessly dropping bombs everywhere as he pushes forward. At the Stasis shrine, Link remembered then end of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, and uses bubbles of frozen time to pummel obstacles in his way.

“But what if I use all of these abilities at once!?” Link thinks to himself, and so he does. Freezing a boulder, smacking it with his axe, and climbing aboard. The resulting momentum rockets Link clear across the Great Plateau, right to the Temple of Time. Link has found a deadly, reckless, and ill-advised method to travel Hyrule. Of course he would do it again!

But first, he must deal with the old man again. After having a short flashback, the man explains that Link’s destiny is to defeat Ganon. He suggests that he head to Kakariko and free the four divine beasts. Also, he should put on some pants.

“Nah!” Link thinks to himself as he uses Stasis on a nearby boulder. “I’ll probably be just fine if I stab him a lot.” Link sets up yet another boulder rocket but this one malfunctions, smacking him in the face so hard it hurtles him through the air. Luckily, his new paraglider allows him to take advantage of this momentum, landing in a Hyrule field. If Link had even one admirable trait, it would be his outstanding luck, which allows him to survive things that would kill many other reckless adventurers. His luck strikes again as a horse materializes in mid-air, a fine steed that will take him right to the gates of Hyrule castle.

Except he gets bored halfway through the ride, and decides to just create another boulder rocket. WHEEEEEE! Riding the boulder directly into Hyrule barracks, Link pilfers a bow from a nearby chandelier, a spear from a rack, and several bomb arrows from nearby crates. “Time to begin my path of carnage!”

Flying to Hyrule Castle

Moving like lightning, Link slinks through the barracks, remembering his days as the whistling naked murderer. He stabs three Moblins and a Lizalfos in the back, taking their weapons and shoving their guts into his underwear. However, it is then that he has an attack of conscience. What use are personal belongings if the world is ruled by evil? Deciding, instead, that he needs all the strength he can muster for the upcoming battle, he dumps his assortment of underwear beetles, fish, and monster organs into a pot and brews up a disgusting looking potion.

Deciding that the time is right, Link creates yet another boulder rocket, this time using a crate that conveniently materializes from mid-air. It’s that good old luck helping him out yet again. One has to wonder how he managed to fail the first time.

This rocket lands him right in the Hyrule Castle throne room. Chugging his brew, he feels his muscles bulge with an otherworldly strength. Eyes bloodshot and lips dripping with bug ichor, it’s time for Link to experience the most important 10 minutes of his life.

The showdown begins. First he must face Ganon’s demonic constructs, the blights. Here, he unveils his secret technique: spinning around while holding a heavy object and screaming. The blights are powerful, wielding arcane magical arts and powerful weapons of ancient technology, but they are no match for Link’s masterful martial arts.

When Ganon himself shows his face, Link lets his archery skills take center stage. Link fires a bow 50 times, each shot landing directly between Ganon’s eyes. When Ganon tires of this assault of arrows, he puts up a magical shield to defend himself from the pest. Luckily, Link has a secret weapon: spinning around and screaming!

Obviously bested, Ganon retreats to Hyrule field, taking on his dark beast form. There, Link hears the voice in his head again. “STOP TELLING ME TO DO THINGS FRENCH GHOST WOMAN!” Link grabs the Bow of Light and proceeds to fire it with the same accuracy he had before, dismantling Ganon’s malice-ridden form and freeing the princess Zelda.

As she uses her divine powers to once again seal Ganon away, she lowers to the ground with a smile on her face. “Thank you Link. You saved me,” she says before her smile fades to a perplexed look. “Uhm… why aren’t you wearing any pants?”

Link, stepping forward to greet Zelda, looks into her eyes, smiles and says, “WHO THE HECK ARE YOU!” He then blows himself up and rides a boulder across the land before eating more beetles, leaving Zelda alone to rule over a desolate kingdom.

Link was never seen again, but every so often you can hear a soft whistling in the air or see a boulder flying through the sky, and you know that the naked whistling murderer remains at large.

The End

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