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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.