Content Warning: This post discusses mental health and suicide. Please contact a counselling service or mental health professional if you need help.
It is always good to see a game reaching out to touch on, and check in on, the audience’s mental health. Dorkly articles editor Tristan Cooper has made many discoveries, and tweeted a list of small but stunning details in Breath of the Wild.
While Cooper found many instances that play out like a short stories while exploring Hyrule, just one stood out to me. When standing on the edge of a bridge, one Hylian man will talk Link down from the edge. They will encourage Link to come down, and offer to talk to him for a while. Even if there is a shade of comedy to a non-playable character being concerned for a hero with a full health bar a programmed encounter, a simple sidequest, can adjust the audiences world view. A basic encounter could save a life. I’m not exaggerating.
On the other hand, such an interaction in game might been seen as annoying at best, or a superficial and fizzling stand against suicide at worst. I think it is a big deal. Small details placed strategically can have more impact that one large message designed to have widespread appeal. And glancing at all the detailed discoveries Zelda fans are talking about online, Nintendo is standing up for mental health.
Heavy content, but very important content. For something more lighthearted, I’ve also written about the Link Breath of the Wild Nendoroid.