From Rito Village to Gerudo Town, each of Breath of the Wild‘s Divine Beast villages are very atmosphere-communicating. They also tell us a lot about the people who live in them without even knowing much Zelda lore at all. It’s obvious to see what each of Hyrule’s four races are built off of just from looking at their settlements, as they have seamlessly integrated their beliefs and personalities into their architecture. Here’s what each of BOTW’s towns actually says about its people.
Rito Village: A Height-Loving, Diligent Species
It’s not easy to build a village, not least one that soars up into the sky like Rito Village does. But the Rito did it. They show themselves to be a height-loving and diligent species by how they crafted their hometown. Complete with landing pads for taking off, spiraling flights of stairs, and bridges leading to the entrance across Lake Totori, Rito Village is a spectacular place that clearly demonstrates what BOTW’s Rito are really like.
In the game, the Rito also prove their village’s style statement correct by their natural behavior. They take pride in their people, their wings, and their home. They are also hard workers, as Revali and the other Rito Warriors dedicated their lives to perfecting themselves. Even the housewives keep themselves busy by making sure their children follow the customary Rito standards: boys practice archery, and girls practice singing.
Zora’s Domain: A Graceful, Delicate Species
The aura that Zora’s Domain extends to all visitors stands in plain sight. The entire architecture looks like it was made painstakingly and with delicate effort, with the fact that it’s perfectly symmetrical and consists of fancy dwellings and shops. The Zora themselves reflect the exact same vibe of their domain: they are gentle, delicate, and soft-spoken people in general. The use of the turquoise color for the monochromatic structure is also a point of interest. Shades of blue generally remind us of water, and the Zora are a water-loving tribe.
More recurring aspects of Zora architecture around the Lanayru province are curved edges and dim green lights. The curved edges could represent waves or the gracefulness of the Zora, rather than sharpness. The dim green lights could possibly only act as an addition to the aqua-blue palette, but it could also draw similarities to the green hue of BOTW’s ghosts. The Zora are very sentimental people and revere their Champion Mipha’s spirit, so it would make sense for them to include her spiritual color.
Goron City: A Rough and Tough Species
Goron City’s atmosphere is one of the clearest to identify since it’s instantly recognizable. Living in a rough and tough igneous environment, the Gorons put together equally rough and tough dwellings of metal slabs. They paint their tribe’s symbol in red on many of their architectures and sleep on beds of magma rock, and if that doesn’t scream their identity loud enough, you should check if there’s something wrong with your vision. Most of the Gorons that you can find in or around their home city also behave in the same way: they are rough, humorous, and maybe even a little bit clumsy.
Gerudo Town: A Strong, Complex Species
Gerudo Town brings out what exactly makes BOTW’s Gerudo so likable. They are deeper and more complex than any of their previous depictions, with the Champion Urbosa even resenting Ganondorf’s legacy as a Gerudo like Nabooru did. The town also displays this clearly, as everything appears to be diligently put together. The town even has walls around it; none of the others on this list do, save for Zora’s Domain’s dams. Guards stand strong outside, shifting the weight from one hip to another. Everything about them just gives off an atmosphere of girlboss and strength.
Inside the town, the dwellings are crafted with what appears to be some clay material that they formed their home with many years ago. Most of the houses resemble modern homes the most out of all four Divine Beast towns – after all, the Gerudo look most like humans than the others, too. Riju’s palace is the one that does a lot of the essence-emanating, though. It’s significantly larger than any other building in town and contains the Gerudo’s motto written in their language on the throne. The Gerudo are built on strength and design complexity here, and their town definitely proves it.