Early on in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Impa tasks you with finding a dozen of Link's lost memories from 100 years before the events of the game begin. This is basically optional, but we're telling you right now that you want to do this. For better or worse, the bulk of the game's story is contained within these memories. You won't know very much about the backstories of Link, Zelda and a few other key characters without seeing them.
Each memory is a short, fully voiced cutscene that depicts a different part of the leadup to everything that's going wrong in Hyrule. The English voice acting isn't great, but they provide essential details for the game's deliberately thin narrative. In order to entice you to find them all, here are a few of the coolest moments contained within Link's lost memories in Breath of the Wild.
(Editor's note: Zelda: Breath of the Wild spoilers below.)
Zelda: Breath of the Wild Link's lost memories: The timeline reveal
In the "Subdued Ceremony" lost memory, Princess Zelda is dispassionately giving Link the official blessing of being her anointed protector. In reciting the stodgy, traditional speech, she gives the game's only real hint at its place in the convoluted Zelda timeline.
Hero of Hyrule, chosen by the sword that seals the darkness. You have shown unflinching bravery and skill in the face of darkness and adversity, and have proven yourself worthy of the blessings of the goddess Hylia. Whether skyward bound, adrift in time, or steeped in the glowing embers of twilight, the sacred blade is forever bound to the soul of the hero.
"Skyward bound" and "adrift in time" reference Skyward Sword (Zelda's origin story) and Ocarina of Time (the point where the timeline breaks) respectively. The only question we've had about Breath of the Wild is which of the three timelines that come after Ocarina of Time it takes place in. "Steeped in the glowing embers of twilight" all but confirms that this takes place in the distant future after Twilight Princess.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild Link's lost memories: Zelda hates Link
In "Zelda's Resentment," we see Zelda attempting to research a dormant shrine. The inquisitive princess rejects the notion that she needs a royal protector at all, preferring to research the ancient Sheikah technology on her own. After getting frustrated by not being able to enter the shrine, Link shows up and Zelda is very unhappy about it.
There's nothing mind-blowing here, but it is a little different to see Zelda explicitly deny the need for Link's protection to the point of anger. Given that she has magical powers and can singlehandedly fight Ganon for an entire century, I'm inclined to agree with her.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild Link's lost memories: Link is unstoppable
"A Premonition" finds Zelda telling Link to take it easy after a tough battle. She comments on the increasing intensity of Ganon's forces, speculating that something bad is going to happen soon. That's all fine and good, but the real draw here is a shot of every enemy Link just killed. There are no fewer than three Lynels and a host of bokoblins, which is a significantly tougher crew than you ever fight in Breath of the Wild. Link was a tough fella back then.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild Link's lost memories: Zelda loves frogs
"Silent Princess" is a pretty cheesy comparison between a rare flower and the princess herself, but at the end of the memory, Zelda becomes unreasonably excited at the sight of a frog. There isn't much more to it than that; she is just wild about frogs.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild Link's lost memories: An annoying character returns, sort of
The final memory, "Zelda's Awakening," is a real doozy. Of all the memories, it most directly sets the stage for Breath of the Wild and wraps up the memories' story. I won't spoil the whole thing for you, but I will say that at the end, the Master Sword speaks to Zelda. We don't hear spoken dialogue, but we do hear the telltale sound of Fi, Link's companion from Skyward Sword. Fi takes her place as the soul of the Master Sword at the end of that game. Since Skyward Sword is the chronological start of the series, that means Fi has been around for nearly every Zelda game; we just didn't know it. Breath of the Wild openly acknowledges this with a small sound cue, which is cool if you somehow liked both Skyward Sword and arguably its most annoying character.
More Zelda: Breath of the Wild news and coverage
Find out all there is to know about Zelda: Breath of the Wild, including how to preserve your items, how to beat bosses like the Stone Talus and Lynel, the best recipes for Link and how to take on the game's shrines. If you're looking to snag a giant horse with little stamina, here's you accomplish that. You'll also want to find out where all the great fairies are in the game, how to use amiibo with your version of Zelda and what went into making Breath of the Wild.