Breath of the Wild definitely got creative with the designs of its main villages. From a balmy beach village to an spiraling aquatic kingdom, the wildest dreams of all architects have come true. Since home is where the heart is, let’s see all of BOTW’s towns ranked by designs and attractiveness!
9. Hateno Village
Hateno Village is by no means bad, but it is also by no means good. It’s simply not creative enough. It looks something like a rundown town in real life that’s dotted with Fantasyland-like houses. It’s a shame that such an important village in the storyline wasn’t created with thought out of the box. Fortunately, the spectacular view of the Lanayru Mountains can somewhat balance this out, along with the fact that Link’s own house is located here.
8. Kakariko Village
Kakariko Village, while it is closer to an ordinary village that could exist in real life than a whimsical Sheikah hideout, is more creative than Hateno in its choice of music and house designs. The symbols and large rooftops that are common with nearly all the houses clearly echo the Sheikah atmosphere intended for the village. It makes sense why Impa chose to age away here; it’s not too busy and crowded, and there’s some kind of architectural magic in the air that is impossible not to notice.
7. Zora’s Domain
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Zoras and their Champion, Mipha. (Sidon’s great, too.) I also love their home: the Zoras sleep in pools, and there’s a thin layer of water that rests on top of the turquoise floor. The entire domain carries out the intended aquatic theme perfectly with its color scheme and dominant elegance. Even the throne room has an elegantly curved fish head atop it! The only problem is one thing that many players have likely already experienced: getting lost. In its maze of pathways and ramps, it is likely you’ve gotten unnecessarily caught just to reach your destination. You basically have to memorize every single turn and twist to get around successfully.
6. Lurelin Village
Lurelin Village, built off of Wind Waker‘s Outset Island structure, is a wonderful place to live, in all of its off-the-grid tranquility and beach lifestyle vibes. Unfortunately, what could’ve been one of Breath of the Wild‘s best towns turned out to be suffering from the same problem that Hateno does: lack of thinking out of the box. It’s fundamentally the Zelda incarnation of a Hawaiian island town. At least it’s not that hard to get around…
5. Gerudo Town
Gerudo Town is probably one of the most creatively designed towns in Breath of the Wild. The homes and walls give off the desert settlement-ish vibe, and the culture is extremely vibrant. The Gerudo of Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess have been officially upscaled to become a bigger, more important race. Only downside: it can get kind of annoying to change into female clothes every single time you want to experience this electrifying (get it?) aura. Riju, why do the rules have to be so strict?
4. Goron City
If Gerudo Town gave off some serious cultural vibes, Goron City gives off even more. The rocky metal slab houses are deeply connected to what makes Gorons Gorons. I also love how their city isn’t shy to have streams of lava and volcanic rock composing the natural surroundings. If there’s one town that tells you obviously that Gorons have comfortably made their home here, it’s Goron City. Ah, the steam from the ground and the burning embers in the air…
3. Tarrey Town
Tarrey Town is the only town that doesn’t exist from the very beginning of the game. You must build it (see my How to Build Tarrey Town walkthrough) and assemble all of Hyrule’s races to create the possibly most homey place in the entire game. The Gorons’ slow saxophone music and the Ritos’ signature flute theme is seamlessly blended into the relaxing mood, not to mention the unique “block stack” houses that surround the pond in the town’s center. It’s also one of the only places we see the races of Hyrule coexist and work together.
2. Korok Forest
Korok Forest is notable for being the safest place in BOTW… well, technically, all the towns are safe, but which other one is surrounded by a maze of dense fog? It’s protected so well for a good reason: the legendary Master Sword is concealed here in the cheerful forest’s heart. I mean, come on, it’s Korok Forest. Harming the Koroks would be plain cruel. The lighthearted ambience a Korok’s “Yahaha!” should bring is emphasized to the max in here, while keeping the magic of the sword is still kept perfectly intact. There’s just something hauntingly beautiful in the essence of Korok Forest.
1. Rito Village
Rito Village is by far the most creatively and well-designed BOTW village. Aside from the fact it’s the only main location built on rock pillars, I absolutely love how reminiscent the landing pads and height are of Skyward Sword‘s Skyloft (which is referenced obviously by BOTW 2’s land in the sky). Unlike Zora’s Domain’s spiraling, Rito Village’s spiraling staircases and landings put the unmistakable rustic beauty of the town in place. It’s the perfect example of a flawlessly designed piece of architecture. Those bridges, too… even those who are afraid of heights can’t help but stand on one and stare into Hyrule’s landscape. In short: Rito Village is stunningly – and naturally – enchanting.