Everything That Happened During Nintendo's E3 Livestream

By Keza MacDonald on at

Nintendo is having a bit of a rest year in 2016 - we knew before E3 started that Zelda would be the only thing at the show, and it was also going to be the only subject of the company's E3 livestream until the last-minute addition of Pokemon Sun and Moon to the lineup. Nothing big happened at the company's E3 showing, but nonetheless, if you're a Zelda fan it was pretty exciting. (Well, the second hour, at least.)

Here's everything that happened.


-Reggie Fils-Aime starts with a moment of silence for the victims of the Orlando shooting before the livestream begins. We're live from the show floor, where preparations are being made for the opening of the show floor. As we already know, they're only actually showing Zelda at E3, but they're REALLY hyping up Zelda. Let's have a look at it.

-Lingering shots of beautifully colourful open-world vistas, from meadow to canyong to sparkling water. We see a ruined temple, before rain starts to fall - then Link leaps from a mountain and opens a hang glider. We see him taming a horse, then free cliumbing up trees, mountains and buildings. There's diving, hunting... I want to live in this Zelda forever, already. We end with a shot of the Master Sword, standing in the forest.

-We've got a name: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

-It's truly seamless, says Reggie - you can move from one place to another without restrictions. Hyrule is described as "a resource, an ally, an enemy". What they are showing this week is a "tiny fraction of the map".

-Before we get onto all the Zelda, though, a look at Pokemon Sun and Moon, out November. Game Freak's Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Omori are here to talk to us about it.

-It's a live gameplay demonstration over a leisurely conversation. Some pertinent bits: the title refers to the sun as the source of all life, and the moon as its counterpart, reflecting the idea of a region teeming with life; Pokemon will have different Formes; the tropical island setting of Alola is home to a load of particularly interesting creatures. We then saw the game's opening, with the player character wandering around his mother's abode and venturing into some long grass with Popplio (hey, someone likes Popplio!). We saw a new ferret Pokemon called Yungoos, and another called Pikipek. And the Pokedex appears to be alive, this time.


-This really is going on a bit. I love me my Pokemon, but given that the opening of these Pokemon games is nearly identical to the opening of almost every Pokemon game ever, it seems like an hour might be overkill. Least it looks pretty; the town area especially looks nice and populous.

-Few more details: there's now a visual cue when you get near a rival trainer, warning you about battles; trainers now have unique animations; the battles look a bit more dynamic.

-A new mode: Battle Royal. It's a four-way, free-for-all battle.

-All riiiight, 50 minutes in, we're back to Zelda. Eiji Aonuma is going to be talking about it live. But not before a 10-minute enforced break. #momentum

-Might go get a sandwich. Is it OK to have three cans of Coke in an hour?

-Oh, they're back! Mercifully, we are jumping right in. Nostalgically, the demo begins with a female voice urging Link to wake up. He appears to be in one of those sensory-deprivation water tanks. He steps out of the tank, in swimming shorts, and walks around a strange sci-fi landscape. He's in the Shrine of Resurrection.


-He picks up something called a Sheikah Slate, a guidance item of some sort. Instead of magic, this Zelda has technology. SCIENCE FICTION ZELDA! Oh my goodness.

-Link finds a shirt in a treasure box. Apparently, though, you can play nude. If that's what gets you going.

-Link opens a door, walks into the light, and here we are in Hyrule: the first thing we see is a beautiful vista, encompassing Death Mountain in the distance. It is just gorgeous. Hyrule Castle juts out of the landscape in silhouette.


-Link wanders around picks up a stick, finds a mushroom; then we see these new climbing mechanics in action. He appears to be able to basically free-climb any mountain, tree or wall, making traversal significantly different from any other Zelda game. He can also do things like push boulders around, affecting his environment.

-The kingdom is in a state of decay, says the presenter. Link plays around with fire, finds an axe, and heads further into the wilds. You can chop down trees to gather wood, with which you can then start campfires.

-It's a Korok! These wee guys are hiding everywhere around the world, the demonstrator says. Link finds a rubbish old rusty broadsword jutting out of a rock in the middle of a lake.


-There appears to be nobody in this world. Any buildings I've seen appear to be in a state of disarray. What's happened here, in this Hyrule?

-The first combat encounter shows familiar, target-based sword combat - though it breaks both Link's sword and shield. You'll have to keep an eye out for new ones throughout the game. The demonstrator arms himself with a spear, taking it from a defeated enemy.

-Link can also eat what he forages to restore health. The demonstrator heads towards some ruins; mossy, rusty structures jut out of the ground, next to a ruined bridge.


-"It's almost like a survival game," says Aonuma.

-Special moves slow down combat and give you a chance to land extra hits, if you dodge with perfect timing. I'm maddened by the mystery of what's happened in this Hyrule. Has Link been sleeping for aeons before being brought back? Is this a Ocarina of Time situation, where he has been stuck in suspended animation?

-There is very minimal up-front story information, says Aonuma. Players will have to figure out what unfolded from the clues around the environment itself. Aonuma mentions that the world's art style has been heavily influenced by Japanese animation.

-Link finds a bow: just hidden in a chest in a ruin, not carefully placed in a pre-planned place in a dungeon. As a life-long Zelda fan, this is revolutionary stuff.


-The demo cuts off after 20 minutes. Wow... that's quite a taster. Unfortunately, this apparently wasn't supposed to happen, so now we're going to have to sit through a lot of that again whilst the Nintendo Treehouse people fill time.

-The demonstrator takes a completely different route this time: it's very quiet, as he wanders. The music is dynamic, when it's there, but largely it seems to be absent.

-I love this idea of picking up different weapons and doing what you can with them, Dark Souls style. They all look significantly different to play with.

-There will be Zelda items going live on Miitomo later today, as a random aside.

We're going to leave it there for live coverage. It was, as promised, a very in-depth look at Zelda, bizarrely delayed by an hour of Pokemon. Nintendo Treehouse will be streaming more of Zelda throughout the week, showing slightly different things (though no characters or story) - if you want to watch more of it, the Nintendo Treehouse website has you covered. Otherwise: here's a continually-updated post covering everything we know about Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Catch up on E3 2016:

Everything That Happened at EA's E3 2016 Press Conference

Everything That Happened at Bethesda's E3 2016 Press Conference

Everything that Happened in the PC Gaming Show

Everything that Happened at the Ubisoft E3 Press Conference

Everything That Happened at Microsoft's E3 2016 Press Conference

Everything That Happened at Sony's E3 2016 Press Conference