The Legend of Zelda fans band together to translate the fictional Hylian language from the map bundled in Breath of the Wild‘s Special Edition to decipher the game’s backstory.
Remember when Nintendo debuted the limited editions of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Inside the Special and Masters Edition of the game, there is a collector’s item called the “Relic of Hyrule: Calamity Canon Tapestry and weather-worn map.” It turns out that the tapestry part of the object contains a complex organization of the fictional Hylian language.
While looks have only been fleeting thus far, that didn’t stop fans from translating the language and unraveling the backstory of the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game. The effort was organized on the Discord chat of YouTuber Zeltik. Once translated, here’s what the tapestry says (Those who want to stay completely spoiler free should beware. The text doesn’t ruin the story of the game but does reveal the lore and backstory going into the game.):
Hylians pass stories of a destined time long past where multiple races lived and worked together in harmony. The Sheikah Tribe’s blue aura breathed through the land and this mutual prosperity continued until a cataclysmic disaster stuck. The Hero and the Princess attempted to seal the terror which became known as the Calamity Ganon. Divine beasts awoke from four directions and deployed a mechanical army which made the King and his people fearful. They fractured Ganon’s power and sealed him but the Sheikah were banished from the land ever since.
In order to decipher the map, fans used screenshots of Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime showing off the map and tapestry on a live stream during the Nintendo Treehouse event where full details about the Nintendo Switch were revealed. From there, the fictional Hylian language was translated by fans, but the catch is that Hylian translates straight into Japanese, not English. So even though fans had a translation, they still needed to translate everything one more time into English.
It appears that Breath of the Wild may have a stronger story than ever before. The game’s trailer, which debuted at the Nintendo Switch Treehouse event, showed off a cinematic story accompanied by voice over for the first time in a Zelda game. This backstory, and the actual narrative of the game that will follow, are sure to add to the growing universe of The Legend of Zelda with its numerous timelines and eras.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s Backstory Translated from Special Edition Map