Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Ending Explained
Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Ending
(Last Updated On: March 6, 2017)

Now that the Nintendo Switch and Wii U versions of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have released, gamers are playing through it and trying to figure out everything that goes on. Luckily, the story isn’t that complicated but given that it’s told in a disjointed manner and sprinkled across a lengthy play experience, some people are wondering exactly what was going on and why. Well, this article here will give you a quick crash course in explaining the ending for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

The game starts with Link waking up in the Shrine of Resurrection, with no of his memories. The spirit of Zelda’s voice awakens Link and he’s aided by an old man who turns out to be the spirit of the former king of Hyrule… King Rhoam.

Rhoam informs Link that Hyrule has been destroyed 100 years ago, and that what little remains will soon fall unless Calamity Ganon is stopped. Rhoam tasks Link with finding the long-time Legend of Zelda character, Impa. She’s no longer the young and feisty warrior by the time Link discovers her in Kakariko Village.

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild - Calamity Ganon

Impa, 100 years older than when Link last saw her, gives Link a rundown on the history of Hyrule following his memory loss, explaining that 10,000 years in the past the Hylians were technologically superior and created the great Divine Beasts and the Guardians, mechanical beasts designed to protect Hyrule. Over the years the Guardians and Divine Beasts were retired to time, hidden under the mountains. Eventually they were recovered by Hylians as a way to prevent the prophecy of Ganon’s return and destruction of the land.

Things didn’t go as planned, however, and after recovering the Divine Beasts and amassing an army of Guardians, Calamity Ganon wakes up early, taking everyone by surprise. He not only manages to incapacitate control of the Hylians’ devices and turn them against the people, he also manages to possess the Divine Beasts.

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild - Link's Death

King Rhoam, Link and the Champions all get defeated during the battle, with the four Champions piloting the Divine Beasts being killed in the process. Link is fatally wounded in a battle with the Guardians, mostly meeting his end while protecting Zelda. As he’s dying, Zelda manages to use the power of the Triforce to wipe out the Guardians and have Link secretly taken into the Shrine of Resurrection where he was laid to rest for 100 years to recuperate from his fatal wounds.

In the meantime, Princess Zelda managed to hold Calamity Ganon at bay at Hyrule castle, waiting for Link and the four Divine Beasts to return and lend their aid in the fight to lock Ganon away for good.

Impa tasks Link with reestablishing alliances with the four Divine Beasts and their champion pilots, all of whom are under a blight of Ganon. He does so by first visiting King Dorephan, who explains to Link how to defeat and tame Divine Beast Vah Ruta. Link accomplishes this task with the help of Prince Sidon and the spirit of the deceased Princess Mipha.

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild - Link and Mipha

Link then sneaks into the Forbidden City of Gerudo by dressing up like a woman. Link manages to work with the new chief of Gerudo and the spirit of Lady Urbosa in order to tame Divine Beast Vah Naboris.

Link then travels to Death Mountain and visits Goron City in order to recover he Divine Beast Vah Rudania with the aid of the deceased Champion Daruk. Link’s last location is to tame Divine Beast Vah Medoh with the help of a Rito warrior named Teba and the spirit of the egotistical Rito Champion named Revali.

Along the way, Link manages to recover his memory and it’s discovered that 100 years prior to Calamity Ganon’s awakening, Zelda was on her own adventure; she was attempting to get stronger in order to harness the power to seal away Calamity Ganon. Link was her bodyguard during this time, but Zelda was unable to unlock the power of the Tri-Force during this time, not until Link had fallen protecting her.

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild - Zelda's Failure

While Link slumbered, Zelda put the Master Sword in a safe place with the Great Deku Tree. Link needs the sword in order to defeat Calamity Ganon and seal away his evil. After recovering his memories and getting strong enough, Link finally recovers the Master Sword and makes his way to Hyrule Castle to battle Calamity Ganon.

With the Master Sword in hand and the four Divine Beasts striking Calamity Ganon simultaneously, the evil scourge is handily defeated in an epic showdown at Hyrule Castle. Before going quietly into the night, Ganon resurrects as Dark Beast Ganon, a pig-like monster filled with dark energy. Zelda gives link the Bow of Light to finally finish Dark Beast Ganon.

With the final blow from the Bow of Light towards the core of Ganon, Zelda is freed and uses the power of the Tri-Force to finally seal away Ganon.

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild - Link Saves Zelda

Link and Zelda visit Hyrule Castle to gaze upon it in its destroyed state. Feeling dejected, the two leave the castle ruins… although the spirits of the Champions and King Rhoam watch over Link and Zelda as the two venture back out into the wild. In the secret ending of the game, Zelda explains to Link that they can restore Hyrule to its once former glory if they work together. The game fades to black with Zelda smiling at Link as they stand atop the plateau, overlooking the ruins of a hopeful and potentially prosperous Hyrule.

TL; DR: 100 years before the events of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Hylian region worked together to prepare great machines called Divine Beasts and amass an army of powerful devices known as Guardians, all in an attempt to stop an evil force known as Calamity Ganon, as per a prophecy. However, Ganon awoke early and surprised-raped their armies, taking over all the Guardians, killing the pilots of the Divine Beasts, and fatally wounding Link, throwing Hyrule into disorder and ruin. With the power of the Tri-Force, Zelda manages to save a dying Link and hold off Ganon for a 100 years while Link is taken into a shrine for protection. Link wakes up and travels around the devastated Hyrule to cleanse the Divine Beasts of Ganon’s corruption, recover his memories, defeat Ganon and free Zelda.

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild - Ruins of Hyrule

Ads (learn more about our advertising policies here)


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Brandon Reyna

    I really enjoyed the full ending. If you paid attention to the memories and the “secret” ending, you’ll notice the area they’re standing in is now covered in the silent princess flowers, which were previously said to be rare and difficult to cultivate. The ending left the story totally open, which is good considering the new story mode we’re getting in DLC later this year.

    Nintendo needs to continue using this version of Hyrule as long as they can. So much time, resources, effort and money went into creating that world that using it for one game only would be an awful waste. I think next we will get something in the vein of Majora: reusing resources while introducing new story and new mechanics.

  • Felipe Santos

    Do you know why the Divine Beast constructed?

    • In order to stop Calamity Ganon. They were preemptive measures put into place.

      • Felipe Santos

        10 thousand years ago also had calamity ganon? Were not they protecting themselves from an invasion from the twilight (other dimension)?

        • The machines were there to protect them from encroaching evil, known evil and the evil to come.

          Impa explains that the prophecy had foretold that Ganon (or the essence of evil) would come back (as he always had) and that they needed to prepare for it.

          The cycle of evil was neverending, which is why they designed the Divine Beast as protectors.

          • Felipe Santos

            So they were built for protection without any other reference. But is there any reference to the timeline, outside the twilight items (mirror and master sword text)?

          • Sadly no, just that they were built 10,000 years ago, before the Calamity.

          • Jennifer Knight

            I believe the machines were constructed because Demise threatened to return and curse the bloodlines of Zelda and Link for the rest of time. Demise eventually became Ganon.

            This is all from Skyward Sword which I assume was 10,000 years before this game.

          • I’m pretty sure they were built 10,000 years before WITH Calamity Ganon in mind. If I’m not mistaken, there was a profecy about Ganon and the way to stop it being buried underground. So, somehow, the ancient Sheikah knew Calamity Ganon was coming.

            My guess is… Breath of the Wild takes place tens of thousands of years after most of the games in the chronology. So, Demise (SS) has already been reincarnated as Ganondorf (OoT) and has already come back countless times as Ganon. So they just knew he was eventually going to return and prepared for it.

            It kinda bothers me how Hyrule is THAT old. So old that 10,000 years before BotW is still thousands of years AFTER most of the games. I think they overdid it, it didn’t need to be that much lol Especially considering that Skyward Sword, the “first” game in the chronology, is already set thousands of years after a PREVIOUS advanced civilization already met its end.

  • GTJ

    Spoilerama! Thanks!

    • Brandon Reyna

      You’re commenting on an article titled “ending explained”. I have zero sympathy if you’re spoiled.

  • Fear Me I Am Free

    Ever think there will be a Zelda game that ends with them actually kissing? I mean the romance between Zelda and Link has always been there. Probably my favorite version were the Skyward Sword incarnations. The feelings between them were super blatant plus you got the added bonus of them being childhood friends.

    • There was a bit of a Princess Bride vibe to Link in this incarnation. He came across as the whipping boy, but within good reason.

      I agree the romantic tension was off the charts, but I loved how they played it with restraint. In today’s generation there usually isn’t a lot of restraint shown for these kind of things.

      • Fear Me I Am Free

        Still, I’d like a version where they actually kiss before I die. And I’ve played every Zelda game… XD

        • Jennifer Knight

          so you played Zelda 2 The adventure of link? ^^

          • Fear Me I Am Free

            Actually no. One of thew few I haven’t played. How about A Good Zelda where they actually kiss. XD

      • Jennifer Knight

        Eh, I didnt get a romantic vibe in this incarnation of the two – more like really really close friends.

    • Bitterbear

      They Implied that at the end of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

      • Fear Me I Am Free

        Hmmm, it’s been awhile since I played it, but okay. Once, but it was only an implication. XD I want to see it on screen. I half expected it to happen in Skyward Sword, but all that happened is that Link and Zelda stayed together on the world below instead of going back up to their Sky Village.

        • Bitterbear

          That was also one of the reasons the 1980s cartoon was endlessly pushing that kiss me Zelda joke.

  • Bitterbear

    Nice story, but all I want to know is if the ass-shaped stone is still in the game:


  • Disqusted

    Zelda sure looks weird. Reminds me of someone, but I can’t recall who.