Much like its protagonist making his way through deserts, mountains, forests, and other dangerous terrain, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild took a winding path to release. It was supposed to debut in 2015 as a Wii U exclusive; instead, it was released March 3, 2017 for Wii U and the Nintendo Switch. Even now, it seems the team isn't ready to leave Breath of the Wild--it's the first game to feature downloadable content in Zelda's long history.
Now, fans will get a peek at how this game made its way from concept to (almost) finished product with a three-part documentary called The Making of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Each video has a different focus: the first is devoted to the game's original concept; the second discusses the game's story and characters; and the third is all about how Nintendo made its own twist on the open-world genre with the "open-air" Breath of the Wild.
The videos are all 10 minutes long. (Minor spoilers ahead.) That's not bad for such a large game: Breath of the Wild is packed with 120 shrines, 900 collectible Korok seeds, four dungeons, and many different items and side quests. It's also one of the least constrained Zelda games--there's no companion or strict limits on where Link can travel. It's no wonder Nintendo wants to strut its stuff with 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage.
The Making of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild makes a good companion to the directors' 90-minute talk at GDC 2017. There, we learned more about how the game works mechanically through what director Hidemaro Fujibayashi called "multiplicative gameplay," the "clever lies" behind its physics and chemistry engines from technical director Takuhiro Dohta, and the Studio Ghibli-reminiscent style from art director Satoru Takizawa.
If you've enjoyed Breath of the Wild--or if you simply want to learn more about how the game broke from series norms--all the videos are worth a watch. You can also learn more about one of the game's platforms, the Nintendo Switch, in our hands-on article about the hybrid game console. And if you're curious about what Nintendo has planned for the first Zelda to offer DLC, you can check out our report on Breath of the Wild's coming expansions.