The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a VERY different kind of Zelda game. First off, there was the open-world, which encompassed so much of what the game had to offer. For this time, there were numerous things to do beyond just dungeons and mini-games. It was intoxicating. But what’s more, the game used dungeons in an entirely different way. For instead of 7-8 major dungeons, there were instead Shrines hidden all over the land of Hyrule, and then, there were four major dungeons via the Divine Beasts.
So, how did the Zelda team come up with this for Breath of the Wild? Well, they looked at the past dungeons of Zelda games and tried to figure out how to make it more unique. So, they came up with the shrines. Now, as for their length, it was all about balance:
“And as for size, we thought about perhaps making long, big dungeons, but that would take long, and players would dedicate their time too long in the dungeons, so we thought perhaps one Shrine is maybe 10 minutes.” Game Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi told the reborn Nintendo Power Podcast.
Funnily enough, the team did consider making the shrines longer, but realized that if they did, players would be spending a massive amount of time in these dungeons just trying to get through them, and not enjoying the rest of the game. So, 10 minutes was settled upon.
The Divine Beasts on the other hand, well, they wanted to do something very special for them. One of which was the idea that they were moving entities. Something that could “be seen from afar”. Originally, they were meant to be humanoid in shape, but then were morphed into the creatures we know them now as.
For the most part, it worked, and it made Breath of the Wild very unique. And with confirmation of the next Zelda game, players are looking forward to what comes next.