SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
History will look back fondly on Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild. No, actually, history will look back with the ultimate reverence for one of the greatest games ever created. People will wish the hands of time would turn back so they could experience it for the first time again. It does have its faults, yes, but they are far outweighed by its brilliance, not just macro-brilliance, but micro-brilliance as well.
It is that micro-brilliance, the little moments away from the main questline, that make Breath of The Wild to stand out among its peers. Last night, I experienced one of those moments, and it left me speechless.
If I told you I spent three hours collecting 110 bundles of wood and five characters from five villages spread across the entire of Hyrule, to create an entirely new village in a hitherto abandoned part of Hyrule, for a reward of three diamonds, you would think I was mad to enjoy such a journey. But you would be wrong.
From the moment I started the Tarry Town mission or the ‘from the ground up’ quest to be precise, I didn’t know where it was going. ‘Collect ten bundles of wood’ I was asked. I did. ‘Go and find someone strong whose name ends in son’, an odd one, but I’ll play along. This was repeated with more bundles of wood and more people with names ending in ‘son’ (a truly bizarre notion every time). Even though it seemed repetitive, the development of the settlement I was creating, and more importantly the character development of the people I was introducing, was something I had never experienced before.
As I introduced new villagers, the town grew. It grew new abodes, and crucially, new merchants. I wasn’t just creating a town for the sake of it, I was creating a proper settlement; somewhere I could return for supplies not found anywhere else.
Before long, with the town taking shape, the gentleman who was asking for my assistance was about to be married to a character I had gone and found to help build the town, the tailor to be exact.
This had all happened because of me and away from me, and in retrospect, from talking to the two characters before they met, it made perfect narrative sense. The tailor, Rhondson, was looking for her perfect match and the builder, my gentlemen friend, Hudson, was all alone in a far away place. They met and fell in love. It may sound cliche, but it worked. Brilliantly.
That sort of attention to detail in a quest, that kind of development away from my direct actions, is something that very few games have achieved. (or at the very least, achieved well). Many games have seen a progression in story away from the players direct actions, but not many are combined with excellent and challenging gameplay and set in a beautiful and diverse world.
Upon completion of the quest, I was left speechless. Under normal conditions, I should have hated this quest. A glorified ‘go here, get that’ style quest has been done so many times before, but Nintendo put enough of a spin on it, that three hours flew by.
The Tarry Town quest is just one of the many great micro-quests that make Breath of The Wild a real triumph. Quests like those will be up there among the many, many reasons why Beath of The Wild will be remembered so fondly.