Although Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launched without the fan-favorite hookshot, it almost had two, according to an interview with director Hidemaro Fujibayashi. Furthermore, the dual hookshots were almost used to enable Link to travel “like Spider-Man.”
Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi revealed, “In the early stages of development, we did actually do tests with double hookshots and just being able to kind of go anywhere, like Spiderman. Your mobility and your speed was just kind of incredible. We did some test like that.” One of the potential issues with including the hookshot was that its role in the game was accomplished by the ability to climb and parasail, according to series producer Eiji Aonuma during the same interview. Gamers who wish to travel like Spider-man will sadly have to wait for Insomniac’s PS4-exclusive Spider-Man game to release, which recently received a new gameplay trailer.
While this certainly seems interesting, it may have been a major change for fans of Breath of the Wild. It seems unlikely that this would have been a welcome change to The Legend of Zelda’s typical formula, but it also seems that the exclusion of the hookshot, while generally a non-issue, wasn’t the most popular decision. Fujibayashi also revealed that there were a lot “of fans in the staff…who really like the hookshot and they kept bugging me about it.”
It seems the hookshot was ultimately removed because, as Fujibayashi stated, “the hookshot kind of completely breaks the climbing mechanic.” Since Breath of the Wild mods have gotten slightly out of control, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the hookshot, perhaps in this capacity, introduced with a mod. The hookshot doesn’t look as game-breaking in comparison.
While Breath of the Wild fans cannot travel like Spider-man, Breath of the Wild still offers a lot of content for its players. (For example, the latest downloadable content, The Champions’ Ballad, released on Dec 7th.) For this reason and much more, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild won Game of the Year at the 2017 Game awards – without a hookshot.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is available now on the Nintendo Switch and Wii U.