Breath of the Wild is hard enough that death has become one of the most common shared experiences for players discussing the game. Link has died in all sorts of surprising and absurd ways, and it’s a joy to watch.
Perhaps “joy” seems like a strange word to use when talking about failure, but that’s how well-designed Breath of the Wild truly is. You die because complex mechanics intersect in ways you can’t predict—but you’re often back at it within seconds, thanks to Breath of the Wild’s generous auto save. Dying, then, can feel like a fun experiment: you’re encouraged to try whatever outlandish ideas you might have, because you have the confidence of knowing that no matter what happens, you’re never going to be punished too severely. It’s great. It also helps to feel like Nintendo respects the player enough to allow us to make mistakes, instead of making us go through the extreme handholding of some other recent Zelda games.
Here are some of the best Zelda deaths players have shared on social media.
The first puzzle kills Link
Goat rams Link off a cliff
Drawbridge stomps Link’s head
Metal doors body Link
Killer raft takes out Link
Link runs out of stamina in the worst possible place
Link’s shredding does not go as planned
GIF source: HilariousSaltyAfricanpiedkingfisher
Sword magnesis backfires
Catapult experiment goes wrong
GIF source: IdealisticHopefulChick
Link has a tough climb
Players also have plenty of death anecdotes, too:
Bonus: this isn’t a Link death, but it is worth sharing: