Zelda fans often have a torrid time of trying to decipher references and untangle timelines, but just like any other fandom, they will doggedly pursue any leads until they know the truth. There are a lot of theories surrounding Breath of the Wild, and where it sits in the Zelda universe, and which timeline it’s involved in. More ‘out-there’ theories suggest that it attempts to reconverge the three timelines, but we can’t say for sure at this stage.
However, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity gives players the opportunity to not only fight the forces of Ganon, but to experience a slice of Breath of the Wild’s Hyrule, 100 years before the events of the acclaimed Switch game.
Many townships and buildings that Breath of the Wild players know as mere ruins are whole again, not least the majestic Hyrule Castle. However, while defending the kingdom and the castle gates in the Age of Calamity demo, which went live during yesterday’s Nintendo Direct Mini, some eagle-eyed players have noticed some old favourite locations rebuilt in the Nintendo Switch visualisation of Hyrule.
First is Mabe Village. Breath of the Wild players may remember this location from the 2017 game, as you could stumble across Mabe Village Ruins while roaming Hyrule Field. However, as the ruins were relatively indistinct – and because most players will have been preoccupied fighting the Guardian that resides there – most people thought it was just a nod to the first village in Link’s Awakening.
However, now we can see the village pre-destruction, it is clearly an accurate representation of the Mabe Village that first appeared on the Game Boy, despite the fact that Link’s Awakening was not set in Hyrule. Twitter user and general lore-hound TAHK0 spotted the connection, and tweeted out corresponding images which show clear parallels between the layouts of the two towns, including the iconic well with the Flying Rooster weathercock.
I found Mabe Village from Zelda Link’s Awakening in Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity.
Not just a spot on Breath of the Wild’s map-
but Link’s house, the Shop, the Cucco, the Fisherman’s house, the top house on the hill, even a sign that translates into “Mabe”.
It’s all here. pic.twitter.com/CQWpWs7DCU
— TAHK0 ☕️ (@TAHK0) October 28, 2020
While we had our suspicions about Mabe Village from Breath of the Wild, TAHK0’s second discovery comes entirely out of the blue. Lon Lon Ranch is a nostalgic location from Ocarina of Time, as it’s where Link meets Talon, Malon, and of course his trusty steed Epona. Lon Lon Ranch has also featured in Minish Cap and Four Sword Adventures, but most people will remember the location from its large role in the Nintendo 64 classic.
In Breath of the Wild, not far from Mabe Village Ruins, is another set of ruined buildings named only Ranch Ruins. However, this could point to any number of ranches in the series, including the many that populate the Breath of the Wild map. However, 100 years ago in pre-apocalypse Hyrule, this ranch clearly resembles the iconic Lon Lon Ranch – and the sign, when translated, even spells it out!
Although we all assumed the ranch in Zelda Breath of the Wild was Lon Lon Ranch, a sign post found in Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity confirms it’s named “Lon Lon” when translated.
Which means, in some form or another, the Lon Lon family exists in BotW as well. pic.twitter.com/H6WBAkuVpx
— TAHK0 ☕️ (@TAHK0) October 28, 2020
This level of detail is just one of the reasons we think Breath of the Wild is one of the best Switch RPGs, and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity looks to be just as exciting. Now we just have to hope that Malon makes an appearance, or maybe even survived the Calamity and can be found in Breath of the Wild. Loremasters, get to work!