Video Podcast: Hyrule Archaeology

An Archaeological Analysis of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, ft. Mike Sowden

Welcome, dear readers, to another fantastic Game & Word video podcast episode! I’ve got quite a treat for you all today—an archaeological survey of the ruins in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild!

If you’ve ever played this game, you know the game’s setting is dotted with ruins—but have you ever wondered who built those ruins, or what they were used for?

Well, I’ve got an amazing guest to help us piece it all together. Mike Sowden, publisher of the massively popular, award-winning publication “Everything Is Amazing.” Not only is Mike himself a trained archaeologist and accomplished travel writer, but his newsletter is actually one of my favorite Substack publications. If “Game & Word” were named “World & Word,” it’d be Mike’s newsletter. I’m thrilled to have him as a guest on the podcast.

Furthermore, Mike is going in completely blind—he’s never played Breath of the Wild before, so he’ll be relying entirely on his archaeological training to figure out what stories these ruins are trying to tell.

How well did he do? Well, you’ll have to watch the video to find out!

Before we proceed, please be warned that this video contains massive SPOILERS for Breath of the Wild, and for Zelda lore more generally. If you want to experience this game for yourself (especially now that its sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, is right around the corner!), I highly recommend you skip this video and return to it after you’ve experienced this gem of a game.

Also, if this is your first time here, be sure to check out all my other gaming deep dives on — subscribe for free to get a new issue every week!

Finally, I’d like to thank Game & Word’s founding members for making this video possible:

  • Le_Takas, from Luzern, Switzerland (Member since April 14, 2022)

  • Ela F., from San Diego, CA (Member since April 24, 2022)

  • Alexi F., from Chicago, IL (Member since May 13, 2022)

  • Elvira O., from Mexico City, Mexico (Member since May 18, 2022)

Ok, now that all that’s out of the way, let’s get started with Game & Word’s archaeological survey of Breath of the Wild. Enjoy!

Game & Word is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

Podcast Notes & References

Font Credit: Hylia Serif by ArtsyOmni

Jay Rooney