When I was a child, my boundless imagination carried me on many adventures. When I was with my friends, we would gather plastic swords and gadgets and embark on grand and fantastical adventures throughout the neighbourhood and battle the evils our minds concocted. I was also always a curious individual who enjoyed exploring new places and seeing what secrets lay around me, both in areas I had grown familiar with and places I had yet to investigate.
It was a fun time. A simpler time. A time when nothing seemed to matter except how we would best explore the world around us.
However, as is the case with many people, that sense of mysticism and desire for exploring deteriorated as I grew up. My focuses moved away from the world around me and were instead concentrated on school, jobs and career paths. While it was an exploration in its own right, it couldn’t take the place of the grandiose journeys I had as a child.
I craved something more. Something new and exciting. Something that would rekindle that sense of childhood wonderment once again. And that desire manifested in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the latest game in the long running adventure series The Legend of Zelda.
Breath of the Wild released in early March of 2017 to both widespread critical acclaim and fan reception across the world. This new iteration in the loved Zelda series had enticed players from the very start, including myself as I’ve poured almost 75 hours into the game to date – and every moment has been a magical and unforgettable experience.
If you ask most players, one of the greatest strengths that the game compared to previous titles is the huge sprawling open world for the player to explore. This enormous landscape combined with the freedom to traverse wherever you desire helps make the somewhat tired formula the series has fallen into feel fresh and fun, despite having a weaker narrative focus. Of course, a huge open world is pointless if there is no reason to explore, however, Breath of the Wild has a multitude of hidden secrets to discover across the vast lands presented to you. Collectibles, new equipment, interesting characters, fun side-quests, and so much more litters the world, and it has helped recapture some of that magic I experienced playing with my friends outside as a child.
Though there is a central plot driving the game, I often put that low down on my priorities list in favour of just venturing into new areas and finding new secrets every time I loaded up the game. I’d pump my fist in excitement when I discovered one of the many mini-dungeons spread out across the world and gain a new sense of determination in finding a tower that would provide me with a detailed map of the unknown landscapes I found myself in. Mixed in with these feelings of accomplishment was always a driving sense of excitement. I never knew what I would find at the peak of the mountains or in the depths of a volcano, and there always ended up being something there waiting for me. Whether it was a major discovery that would progress the story or a minor collectible being added to an ever growing total, I never lost that sense of wonderment at my new discovery. For the first time in a long while, I felt like I was in elementary school again, being able to leave the stresses of my everyday life and just sit back and experience the simplicity of gazing over a grassy field or climbing up a hill to reveal the mysteries found on the other side.
After being lost in a world where speed and convenience were always the focus, where exams and careers were all one could really focus on, Breath of the Wild was able to take me back to a simpler time. A time where I would explore for hours on end. A time where I was entirely enraptured by a fantastical world around me and left to explore. A time like when I was a kid, and the world was home to infinite possibilities. A time I will never forget.
2 thoughts on “Breath of the Wild and Childhood Wonderment”
This piece was absolutely breathtaking. My words of admiration cannot even come close to giving this blog the praise it deserves. You were able to take a universal “coming of age” topic, and reiterate it beautifully based on your own experience, which made it that much more interesting. Your voice was very prevalent in this piece, and it was extremely well written.
To improve, I can’t say much, but adding a bit of parallel structure or something of the sort would make this piece more cohesive.
Again, it was an absolute pleasure to be able to read your blog, and I look forward to reading more of your work in the future. Bravo!
Thanks for taking a look at another one of my pieces and thanks for the kind words. This has been something that I’d been thinking about a week before writing it up and I’m glad my efforts were fruitful.
In regards to your criticism, I’ll try and add some parallel structures. Implementing literary techniques has always been something I’ve struggled with so I’m always up to learn about and execute them more in my writing.
Again, thanks for taking the time again to read my blog. I hope that I’ll be able to build up and improve in the future.