Movie Reviews

BOTW 2 Is The Perfect Chance To Bring Back Ocarina Of Time's Sheik

With Zelda apparently avoiding her typical damsel in distress trope in the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it is the perfect time for Nintendo to reintroduce a role like Sheik from Ocarina of Time. Details remain scarce on BOTW 2, with the game only receiving one full-fledged trailer and a couple other clips, but footage so far suggests that Zelda may not be sequestered in Hyrule Castle. Sheik is the princess’ iconic alter ego, but has only been seen in a single Zelda game. There may not be a need for Zelda to completely hide her identity and adopt Sheik’s male persona, but a similarly active role in the narrative would be a nice change for her character.

In Ocarina of Time, Zelda disguises herself as Sheik when Ganondorf conquers Hyrule after entering the Sacred Realm behind Link and claiming the Triforce of Power. When Link arrives at Castle Town with the three Spiritual Stones needed to open the Door of Time, Zelda is fleeing Hyrule Castle with Impa, the only Sheikah character in the game. Zelda remains in hiding for seven years, learning the trade of a Sheikah warrior before re-emerging and posing as a man to help Link in his quest to awaken the Sages.

Related: Zelda: BOTW 2 Is Already The Game To Beat For GOTY In 2023

The reveal that Zelda and Sheik are one and the same comes fairly late in the game, but it’s a much more dynamic role than Zelda usually has in the series. She isn’t exactly a passive character in BOTW, holding Calamity Ganon at bay while Hyrule has been in ruins for a century, but it’s functionally the same as being Ganon’s prisoner. Breath of the Wild is in many ways a grand, three dimensional reimagining of the original game from 1986, and Zelda unfortunately inherited her stationary role of waiting for Link.

Zelda may be reunited with her personal bodyguard, but the wilds of Hyrule are still incredibly dangerous – more so than during the pair’s travels one hundred years before BOTW that players glimpse through Link’s recovered memories. BOTW‘s ending left Link and Zelda preparing to start the reconstruction effort, but the sequel trailer clearly shows them becoming preoccupied with some new threat. If the story makes any sort of time jump, there’s the opportunity for Zelda to have picked up some combat training, most likely from Link or the Sheikah. The Legend of Zelda‘s Sheikah tribe played its most prominent role to date in Breath of the Wild, and is poised to make a similarly strong showing in the sequel.

The series frequently gives Link companions – Navi, The King of Red Lions, Midna, and Fi, for example – but BOTW proved to be a solitary experience outside of the very few population centers. Zelda doesn’t have to be with the player constantly, but making her self-sufficient and more involved in the present-day narrative would be a welcome evolution of her character. Ocarina of Time already duped players with the Sheik/Zelda reveal over two decades ago, so a similar disguise probably wouldn’t be as impactful, but the alter ego can return in part. Breath of the Wild‘s sequel is set to avoid longtime Zelda clichés, one of which could be making sure the eponymous princess isn’t trapped and helpless, but instead an active participant in the main quest.

Next: BOTW 2 Has To Change Its Hyrule Castle

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