Everyone's Trying To Figure Out The New Zelda's Map

Everyone's Trying To Figure Out The New Zelda's Map

Nintendo's surprise Zelda footage reveal was the highlight of the Game Awards last Friday night, and with it came a close look at what appears to be the full world map for the upcoming Wii U game. Of course, the Internet is already exploding with theories about what's on that map and how it's all connected.

Based on previous Zelda games, it's easy to theorize that series staples like Lake Hylia and Death Mountain will make an appearance in this open-world incarnation. But where will they be? And which sections have we seen so far?


For starters, let's take another look at the video:

There's a lot of skipping and jumping, which makes it rather difficult to tell where each section of the map is in relation to everything else. Still, over on NeoGAF, poster RagnarokX spent some time analysing what we've seen so far, and the results are pretty interesting.

For starters, here's the beginning of the gameplay video, where we see Link looking off at a huge mountain — Death Mountain, perhaps? — that appears to be in the northwest corner of the world.

Everyone's Trying To Figure Out The New Zelda's Map

Seems to fit, right? It's possible that the mountain in that screenshot is actually far closer — in which case, holy crap this map is big — and it's also possible that the map was skewed and faked for this demo, but hey, speculation is fun.

RagnarokX also theorizes that that lake toward the bottom of the map is Lake Hylia, and that it will have a big ol' bridge, Twilight Princess-style. His theory: there's only one possible place where Link can be in the following shot:

Everyone's Trying To Figure Out The New Zelda's Map

Based on that analysis, RagnarokX surmises that the part where Miyamoto and Aonuma comment on the nearby dungeon is also near this presumed Lake Hylia:

Everyone's Trying To Figure Out The New Zelda's Map

And, finally, here RagnarokX speculates — and, yes, this is all highly speculative — the exact path that Link takes during the demo we saw last week:

Everyone's Trying To Figure Out The New Zelda's Map

Of course, we're still a year away from Zelda Wii U, and it's likely that all of this stuff will change as development continues on Nintendo's big 2015 game. But it sure is fun to imagine what exploring this new Hyrule will be like, especially given how Zelda boss Eiji Aonuma has talked about his desire to shake up all of the series' formulas. Hell, maybe the big lake and mountain will have TOTALLY NEW NAMES. I know, I know. Probably not.


    am I the only one who loved the Zelda games formula and all? I don't even care if they use mostly the same map like they did with A Link Between Worlds.

      I think what shot Zelda games into the realm of major commercial success was Ocarina of Time, which for it's generation was open world, what I believe happened is; people played Ocarina of Time and thought WOW imagine what Zelda games will be like in years from now, imagining even bigger expansive worlds to explore.... We never really got that Zelda game, sure there has been great - even fantastic - Zelda games since but I don't believe we have ever had the Zelda game our imaginations have deserved.

        Well, this game seems to be edging towards that dream, and if it is a decent-sized world full of typical Zelda things to do (and not barren), this could potentially be a system seller for the Wii U and up there with OoT as one of the best Zelda games yet.

        Wind waker had a huge world with poi dotted all over it. It was quite exploration driven, even though the dungeons had a rigid order.

          I loved Wind Waker, but the open world aspect of it was via ocean travel ... the actual land was fairly small islands with a generally linear progression.

            I don't see the difference. Walking over hills in skyrim to get from interesting point to interesting point may as well be flat water. Skyrim doesn't have the density of something like skyward sword in much the same way that ww doesnt. Then you get to a dungeon an it's pretty much a linear affair.

            ALBW had the important step of removing hard locks from the dungeon order (harking back to Zelda 1), combine that with a large overworld ala ww and you have an acceptably modern open world game.

            I like the slow mo horse dismount. That's pretty badass.

              I don't see the difference. Walking over hills in skyrim to get from interesting point to interesting point may as well be flat water. I strongly disagree with that statement :)

        this may just be showing my age but Zelda has always had a major commercial success. I still remember the commercials for the original Zelda on the NES, and almost every one I knew had their own copy of Zelda because no one would ever lend theirs out. I won't deny that Ocarina was a high point, but there have been many games that have met and fed my imagination.

        to be clear I am not opposed to an open world Zelda, I am looking forward to it and will probably be the only reason I buy a WiiU, but I still want my classic Zelda.

    I'm wondering if this is even the entire map, it would be very surprising if they revealed it all in this demo.
    One a side note, I loved that you circled "rocks"! lol.

    I picked up a Wii-U mid this year for Zelda which is still a year or so away, that's how keen I am for this. Also no way I'd get a better deal on a Wii-U than the MK8 kmart stuff up before then lol.

      EDIT: Oops, replied to wrong person :P

      Last edited 09/12/14 1:56 pm

    Okay, now where do people think this game will fall in the timeline? :P Let wild speculation commence!

      After Skyward Sword.

      Sail Cloth, fancy arrow from E3 looks like it could be part time shift stone (slow motion horse vaulting?)... an untamed wilderness that hasn't been inhabited because all the people had been in Skyloft for ages?

      One thing I've noticed is that the Bokoblins have gone back to the pig style from Wind Waker it seems... maybe before Wind Waker? Sail Cloth seems to function like the Deku Leaf.

      Ah, hell, I don't know.

      Also, everyone should check out GameXplains Zelda U Game Awards Trailer Analysis.

      Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MGlHnwVDmc&list=UUfAPTv1LgeEWevG8X_6PUOQ

      With WW getting a HD remake this year my thought was perhaps the very end of the WW timeline, after the water has once again been drained from the world.

      Their comment about having made lots of "high peaks to look around" made it sound like they would be the islands that were above water.

      Also: Map looks eerily similar to the map released with Zelda Monopoly

        That actually seems pretty likely!

    Looking at the map, I'd think Death Mountain would be that left area. THe one with the big black hole in it

      I think the darker means height so it's some sort of huge pillar?

        That makes sense. If darker = higher then it'd be weird to go flat to super high.

      One will most likely be death mountain, and the other Goron or something similar.

    Read as "New Zealand's Map".... facepalmed.... then facepalmed at myself for temporary poor reading comprehension.

    Map shape, location of coasts and islands etc looks the same as the map that comes with Zelda Monopoly

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