Listen, I know the Greek Gods are established characters and that might not necessarily be fair to something like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, who, beyond Link, Zelda and Ganon is mostly filled with new characters.
But it’s the way these characters are portrayed. While Link is, as always a silent protagonist, in previous games he’s always had something like a fairy to portray thoughts and reactions to things. Breath of the Wild did away with that making the silent character almost completely mute. To even further help things, some of the concepts for these characters are just funny. The Oracle, for example, is just a wandering hippy who has no powers, only dad jokes, who isn’t aware that sometimes he’s possessed by a being who gives out prophecies. Prophecies AND dad jokes? Sign me up, please.
Fenyx is not only a character that speaks but there’s the narration as well adding to the grandeur of moments by getting reactions to the things around you. There are characters all over the place and they speak, audibly, regardless of how minor a character they are and it gives the world so much life.
One of my inspirations for this article was one of these NPCs. I was walking past a group of soldiers and one says to the other, “It seems like every time I get into battle, my weapons keep breaking. Am I doing something wrong?” I realized they were taking a dig at Breath of the Wild‘s system where every weapon breaks.
And while the story can sometimes be goofy or a history lesson on Greek Mythology, it can also be equally charming and heartfelt. One of the gods who had their powers stripped was Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom. She was turned into a child without any of her abilities. Your character comforting the childish Athena and helping her learn she’s good enough already is an amazing scene that made me want to get in on this hug.
Even the scenes that have no right having characters in them are overflowing with personality. For example, if you gather enough of Zeus’ lightning you can raise your stamina. But you don’t just get a bigger meter, your character actually goes through a training montage, encouraged by the brilliantly written Hermes.