Zelda, BOTW, Breath of the Wild

Playing Breath of the Wild without goals

Blogging about video-games is 30% playing games, 40% writing  and 30% reading up on gaming news and other blogs. After all, you have to stay up to date if you want to add something interesting to your site. And sometimes what I read prompts me to write my own take on something, which is what happened today.

I thoroughly enjoy reading the articles on Nostalgia Trigger, where Geddy spreads his perspective on all the Nintendo games he loves. We’ve had fun chatting back and forth about Nintendo games we love, and he always comes up with unique ideas to write about. Like in this blog asking you what you’d do if you would get a 100 hours free uninterupted hours, granted by some wonderful genie, to spend on one game.

Today I came upon his writings about Zelda: Breath of the Wild that I hadn’t read before. Geddy has logged multiple hours in the game, and has found that his mood about the game changed from Honeymoon phase, to the Exhaustion phase and now the Burnt Out phase. Kinda glad I didn’t read it last, as I wonder if I’d bought the game then?

Anyway, his uptake is that although Breath of the Wild is perhaps one of the best games of all time, it has its flaws. That perhaps Nintendo has made the map of the game too big. Too many Shrines, too many towers, too many new areas to explore. While he was in awe of the game at first, wanting to play on and on, after some 30 hours the game started to get repetitive.

Currently I am at around the 30 hour mark, and I feel as if I haven’t even scratched the surface of the game. Geddy talked about his modus operandi of tackling the exploration part, which for him was:

  • Pick an undiscovered part of the map
  • Find the Tower
  • Find all the shrines around it

He talks about his need to find goals in the game and I guess his way of exploring the place is clear evidence. That got me thinking: how is it that I go about it in such a different way? Because to tell the truth, I’d already been to Kakariko town and Hateno town, before I realized that I hadn’t unlocked the areas yet by claiming their towers.

I can spend hours in the game just roaming around hoping to forage a lot of good materials, find some good weapons and enjoy the scenery.  And is that the reason that the game hasn’t become a chore at all (yet). I include ‘yet’ in there because I do know about games becoming a chore. The Story of Seasons games have that effect on me sometimes, I really have to be in the mood to keep on watering field after field after field.

I’m good at playing without goals. In fact, I love it. The less goals, the better. Maybe it’s because Animal Crossing turned me into a gamer, a shining example of a goal-less game that you can play at your own pace. Want to lay paving? Lay paving using one of the zillion patterns out there on pinterest. Don’t want to lay paving? Fine too, the animals will gladly walk on the grass.

Back to Zelda. I know the ultimate goal of Breath of the Wild will be to conquer Ganon, but there’s no doubt in my mind that I will never reach that. I’m pretty sure that I won’t even be able to get half way through the boss fights in there. But, I don’t mind. For me, it’s all about the journey, and the fun I’m having there. And as I always do, I play as long as the mood takes me.

Maybe it’s because I’m not a Zelda fan, maybe that’s why my enjoyment in the game comes from a different source. How does it work for you? Did you sink hundreds of hours in Breath of the Wild, and still enjoy it? Or do you feel too that the game is frustrating because you suspect you will never complete everything? Drop me a line, and have fun reading Geddy’s blog!



  1. The only reason I stopped playing after getting to the 100-hour mark was that I had found all shrines, towers, and done all sidequests. Otherwise, I sure would have continued! =D

    Given your love for goal-less games, it’s easy to see why you like Breath of the Wild.

      1. Yeah! So it was all over for me, except for some hundreds of Korok Seeds. But going after all of them is just crazy!

        I will admit I tried it, though! =P

          1. I am not sure. I am looking at my gaming calendar (it is not an actual thing, it’s inside my mind, but it would be nice to have a physical one I guess) and it is looking pretty busy until the end of the year with all Switch and 3DS releases coming up. So I will probably not go for it, not until next year at least.

            1. Lol, I solved that calendar thing by making a separate gmail calendar specific for games. And linking it to my website under upcoming games. But I’m afraid mine isn’t nearly as full as mine!

  2. It’s so interesting hearing people’s different perspectives on Breath of the Wild, especially because there are so many varied ways to play the game.

    Breath of the Wild forced me to reconsider many of my assumptions about videogames and how I play them – I assumed, for example, that I’d never be as immersed in any game as I was with Ocarina of Time when I was young… I was wrong! Had I played the game differently however, I might not have experienced that immersion. During my playthrough, I varied things up as much as possible: at times I would go after the Divine Beasts, other times I would unlock towers, other times I would search for shrines, explore the map, catch wild horses, and so on. Playing this way kept me engaged for a good 80+ hours, even long after Calamity Ganon’s demise. After that though I decided to try and complete all the shrines but without the variety I started getting bored, so I stopped.

    That’s my story with Breath of the Wild, and I think it shows that depending on your playstyle you may play the game in such a way that you enjoy it less or more. I guess what I’m saying is that with so many choices and decisions to make about what to do and in what order, you could potentially self-sabotage your playthrough!

    1. Sounds like you played it by going along with your mood, as I have been doing. I did the Divine Beast Vah Ruhta last Thursday, playing till deep in the night. I feared that if I didn’t pull through, I might put the game down in defeat. But I managed and it felt great. This weekend though, I went back to climbing mountains trying to find out what was behind them. Exploring is my main goal now, along with doing some side quests. When I feel brave enough again, I’ll go for the next Divine Beast!

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