Zelda: Breath of the Wild feels totally different with a realistic look


What a transformation

Ever wonder how a game like Zelda: Breath of the Wild would fare with a darker, more realistic style? Thanks to modders and the Wii U emulator Cemu, we don’t have to strain our imaginations.

This curious showcase from YouTube user Arkh Longstride demonstrates just how mood-defining Nintendo’s aesthetic choices were for Breath of the Wild. The footage shows the game running on a PC with the lush “cel-shaded” effect turned off, and the end result is downright transformative. The world shifts from this cheerful, inviting, whimsical place to giving off a glum, almost hopeless vibe.

That said, I’ll never get tired of seeing Breath of the Wild with extra bells and whistles and higher-than-normal frame rates. Props to anyone who has the patience to get this PC version up and running.

This second video from Arkh is more in line with what we’re used to from the non-modded version of the game on Wii U and Switch. It uses the same settings as before, but it’s daylight, there’s “a bit of fog” added back, and the Clarity preset was swapped “to a more colorful once since people asked for it.”

An interesting experiment, to be sure. I’m picturing a potential Majora’s Mask successor in this vein.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild FX8320 @4.3/GTX 960 @1507 CemU 1.15.3b with Cel-Shading Removal + Defogger [reddit] [Thanks, indigit4l]