Breath of the Wild‘s Link is emotionless and robotic, you say? Think again. The Adventure Log (record of Link’s quests and progress) is hiding a shocking truth about both Link and BOTW itself.
We all know that diaries of NPCs and main characters alike can be found across Hyrule, which reveal hidden feelings and document important events. But have you ever wondered where the Adventure Log comes from? Who or what is writing down every one of Link’s quests and updating them with his current progress? While the first answer that comes to mind is the Sheikah Slate or the “system,” the Japanese translation says something quite different.
Link wrote the Adventure Log. Yes, Link wrote this long account of everything he’s been doing across Hyrule, but this log is not just straight-to-the-point documentation of his journeys. He also includes some of his own personal thoughts and feelings, showing the hidden compassion, care for Zelda, and even happiness for a newlywed couple in the much more descriptive Japanese translation.
The American Translation Changes the Adventure Log to 2nd Person
You can blame it on the American translation for hiding this secret so well. It changes everything in the log, originally in 1st person (I, me, we) in Japanese, to 2nd person (you) in English. This means that Link is no longer the narrator, but rather the Sheikah Slate or an outside person documenting Link’s travels. However, even more shocking is the erasing of emotional sentences Link adds to his “diary.”
Above is an image of the completed “Hero’s Sword” main quest page. Notice the Japanese character “自分” (myself) in the left translation, and the 2nd person writing on the right. Translated from Japanese, the left picture reads:
(I) Finally retrieved the legendary Master Sword. (I) Don’t know if it’s just an illusion, but the sword itself seems to be delighted about this.
To this moment, Princess Zelda is still inside Hyrule Castle, fighting to suppress the Calamity.
She is still holding on to the faith in me, believing that I will definitely come for her…!
But with the power (that I have) now, can she really be saved (by me)…?
Link Wants to See Zelda Again With His Own Eyes
The memories Link recovers of his time with Zelda and the Champions are certainly emotional, and Link feels the same way. He shows genuine concern and a heartbreaking desire to see her again with his own eyes. The most disturbing thing, though, in this specific description is the fact that Nintendo completely removed the last sentence to replace it with an order.
(I) finished visiting all 13 of the locations in the old pictures. I remembered everything I’ve been through together with Princess Zelda.
In those memories (of mine), Princess Zelda always strived to complete the task burdened onto her…
Even if it’s just a moment sooner, (I) want to save her as quickly as possible
(I) want to see her smile again, with these eyes (of my own).
Link Playfully Imitates the Goron Language
The Gorons in BOTW are famous for using their made-up word “goro” at the end of their sentences in replacement of “brother.” They say this to Link casually, and apparently Link caught on only to playfully imitate it in the Test of Will quest.
Ah… (I) kinda want to write down Kabetta’s Bro Motto, but there’s not enough space goron?
That’s too bad goron…
Link’s Wedding Congrats
And finally, after the Tarrey Town sidequest is completed, Link gives his wedding congrats to the newlywed Hudson and Rhondson. Here’s the proof Link isn’t just assembling a bunch of people for a couple he doesn’t even care about:
As a sign of appreciation for bringing the town together and as compensation for the work done (by me), a hefty amount of gems that were unearthed during the town’s construction were given by Hudson (to me).
(I) wish the couple could live happily ever after.
This Isn’t the First Time That Personality Was Erased
While it isn’t as unsettling as the complete removal of Link’s heart in the Adventure Log, the American translation of other characters’ lines also erases key personality aspects. Revali is the main example of this. The American version portrays him as a heartless, arrogant guy, but his Japanese lines give him a much deeper personality. They flesh out his character much better to make him more likable.
It’s interesting two of BOTW’s most controversial characters have received so much hate because of the failure to cross over from Japanese to American. Hopefully, BOTW 2 will do a better job bringing out Link and other characters’ personalities in all languages – and make a crucial change to the Adventure Log.
Discovery credit: @atomaruU
Tumblr content credit: Vadynl’s Art Dump