BOTW 2 Gameplay Mechanics On Display in New Nintendo Patents
Zelda Breath of the Wild was one of the standout hits of 2017, released alongside Mario Odyssey, players from around the world had one of the best launch years for Nintendo’s newest console. However, with the Switch being out for a whopping 4 years now. Players are wondering when some of these blockbuster titles are going to see sequels. Luckily, Nintendo has announced that Breath of the Wild is getting a sequel, which was shown at Nintendo’s 2021 E3 Presentation, including aspects from other Zelda games, like the Sky Islands from Skyward Sword. However, there’s still plenty of questions remaining about the new Breath of the Wild game. How do some of the BOTW new gameplay mechanics work? Are they going to be implemented outside of the shrines? Is the game going to let us freely use these mechanics? While Nintendo hasn’t revealed these gameplay mechanics, they have elaborated in another place, like the patent office.
Nintendo’s Patents About BOTW 2 Gameplay Mechanics
There are three patents that have been filed by Nintendo that go over some of the gameplay mechanics shown in the BOTW 2 E3 trailer. One of them is seemingly how Link is going to be able to get up to the Sky Islands from the ground.
This is shown in the trailer, with Link shooting up into the sky, and then phasing through the island in the sky, to crawl out of the ground when he makes it to the surface of the island. In this particular patent from Nintendo, it shows how this is going to be achieved.
According to the images, it looks like certain conditions need to be met before Link is able to phase through the world. From the patent, it looks like Nintendo isn’t going to let Link phase through the terrain if the landscape on the top is ridged or if the ceiling above him is higher than a set limit either. More images show that Link will bypass rough terrain if there’s more terrain above what he’s already passing through.
Another aspect to look into for this is also the camera for the game as well. Being that Link is going to be going through the floor of the world and into the Sky Islands, where he does this action is going to determine what the camera sees as well. If the camera can’t get away with Link moving through the world without it going through with him, then it is going to remain outside of the landscape until Link reaches his destination.
However, if the camera is going to go through the terrain with him, a background is going to be applied to the camera to isolate Link as he moves upwards. This is going to hide the inside of the terrain, as well as not exposing the player to the back-face culling from the inside of islands.
For those who don’t know, when models are made in video games, they have to be rendered, and since the inside of the model isn’t seen by the player, the inside of the model is invisible. This is called back-face culling. It’s done to save resources, so objects that aren’t seen by the player won’t impact performance. This is most likely going to be applied to all manner of landscapes, including ones that link can phase through, and rather than have the innards of every single environment link can possibly see through be visible, it’s easier to put a background behind Link to keep performance high.
The second thing to be mentioned in a separate patent was another one gameplay mechanics shown in the BOTW 2 E3 trailer. While it was only shown briefly, the trailer did showcase a rewind mechanic in the title. This lets the player move around physics objects which the player can then rewind.
The patent doesn’t have any extensive imagery like the previous patent discussing the phasing mechanic. However, the next mechanic, which wasn’t shown a whole lot in the trailer does.
The final patent to be shown is regarding how Link falls from the islands. It looks like a newly implemented skydiving mechanic is being worked on for the title. Which is going to allow Link to fall at varying speeds. Link will also be able to jump off of platforms backward, which will show him falling on his back. However, once link enters a freefall during these segments, the camera is going to shift to show the ground directly below him.
These special movement mechanics that Link is going to use while falling are also going to be implemented in Link’s ability to shoot his bow, with Link diving downwards and still being able to shoot his bow while he’s falling.
The patents also mention that the player is going to be able to switch between these states while falling, which is going to introduce new combat mechanics for Link to tackle..
While nothing is set in stone yet, these patents paint a clearer picture of the new gameplay mechanics and how they are going to be included in BOTW 2. Nintendo delayed the original game, and the date given to the sequel is a goal, not a promise.
Not the First Time a Gameplay Patent Has Been Filed
This new data does show that the game is coming along smoothly enough for Nintendo to patent these specific versions of BOTW 2’s gameplay mechanics. While it does sound odd, this wouldn’t be the first time it’s been done. During the era of loading screens on older consoles, Namco patented adding minigames to loading screens, something to keep the player busy while they’re waiting for the game to load. However, this patent is over. Regardless, this new information, while small, is something that players are going to be thinking about for a while. There hasn’t been an official announcement for another Nintendo Direct, so there’s still a long wait before any more announcements regarding the new iteration of the Zelda series.