Tue Feb 07 2023
"The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" is an acclaimed video game that takes place in a vast and immersive world, filled with complex gameplay mechanics, puzzles, and a rich storyline. One of the most intriguing aspects of the game is the presence of the Kantian sublime, a philosophical concept that explores the power of nature to evoke both fear and awe in humans. In addition, the power of memory is also a central theme of the game, as players are tasked with recovering their lost memories to unlock the secrets of the game's overarching plot. In this essay, I will explore the idea of the Kantian sublime in "Breath of the Wild," while also discussing the importance of memory in the game.
Immanuel Kant first introduced the idea of the sublime in his "Critique of Judgment," where he defined it as an experience that is both terrifying and awe-inspiring. The sublime is evoked by nature, particularly by experiences that are overwhelming in their scale or power. In "Breath of the Wild," the game's vast open-world environment evokes the Kantian sublime, as players are free to explore a rich and diverse world filled with awe-inspiring natural landscapes. The game features everything from towering mountains to vast deserts, lush forests, and open fields, which are all rendered in stunning detail.
As players explore the world of "Breath of the Wild," they are constantly exposed to the power and scale of nature. The game's dynamic weather system adds to the feeling of the sublime, as players are forced to contend with the elements, from thunderstorms and blizzards to extreme heat and cold. Furthermore, the game's depiction of wildlife and its interactions with the environment can also evoke the sublime. For example, the game features giant creatures such as dragons that soar through the skies, and ferocious beasts such as Lynels that stalk the land.
In addition to the Kantian sublime, "Breath of the Wild" also explores the power of memory as a central theme. The game's protagonist, Link, awakens from a hundred-year slumber with no memory of his past. As he embarks on his quest to defeat the evil Calamity Ganon, he is encouraged to recover his lost memories, which are scattered throughout the game world. By recovering his memories, Link gains a deeper understanding of the game's story and characters, and ultimately becomes better equipped to defeat Calamity Ganon.
The memories that Link recovers are often linked to powerful moments in the game's history, such as the first time he met Princess Zelda or the moment he was fatally wounded by Calamity Ganon. These memories are awe-inspiring because they represent moments of great power and significance, and they help to contextualize the player's experience in the game. The memories are also linked to the game's exploration of the sublime, as they evoke a feeling of both terror and wonder in the player.
In conclusion, "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" is a video game that explores the idea of the Kantian sublime and the power of memory. The game's vast and immersive world evokes the sublime, with its awe-inspiring natural landscapes and dynamic weather effects. The game's exploration of memory, meanwhile, adds to the feeling of the sublime, as players recover powerful memories that contextualize the game's overarching plot. Overall, "Breath of the Wild" is a powerful and thought-provoking game that offers a unique exploration of the Kantian sublime and the power of memory.
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