The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild includes a significant amount of voice acting, unlike most other entries in the series. Not only that, but Nintendo’s localized the Nintendo Switch launch title in several languages, and we discovered that it’s possible to play through the game in any of them with ease — although there’s a catch.
To hear the cast of Breath of the Wild in various languages, from English to Russian to Japanese, Switch owners must turn to the console’s system settings. There, they can change the language, which affects not only certain games played on the Switch, but the console’s menus as well.
Now that the Switch and Breath of the Wild are almost out, players may be eager to find out how to explore all the different languages for themselves. The gallery below shows the step-by-step process to converting both the Switch console and Breath of the Wild into another language — in this case, Japanese — which could be worthwhile to Zelda fans who prefer to hear the characters peak in Nintendo’s native language. Unfortunately, the subtitles will also be in Japanese, making it pretty much impossible for foreigners to comprehend.
- Here’s the Nintendo Switch home menu. Notice the English-language text. Nick Robinson/Polygon
- Launching Breath of the Wild for the first time is a pretty breathtaking experience, in large part because of the voiceover. On our Switch, the game features English voiceover and subtitles by default.
- We can change that, though! Heading back into the home menu, we can dip into system settings to switch things up.
- The system option in the settings menu includes all the typical stuff, including language.
- Our Switch may be in English for now, but we can easily change that up. There are nine different options available — but let’s go with Japanese.
- The system needs to restart for the new language to take hold.
- Looks familiar, right? There’s a key difference now, though — all the text is Japanese.
- That carries over into games like Breath of the Wild, which now feature Japanese voiceover and subtitles. This is great if you can understand Japanese or have played the game already, but for those who can’t, well ... it’s nice to have the option to hear different voices, at least.
That may not matter to diehards who have already finished the promising, expansive new Zelda game, of course. The region-free console’s abundant default language options give players a good reason to jump into Breath of the Wild another nine times, one for each possible voice option.
We first heard Breath of the Wild’s characters, including Princess Zelda, in a variety of languages earlier this year. Shortly after Nintendo revealed the Nintendo Switch’s release date and released a new trailer for the game alongside it, fans picked up on the multiple voiceover options, cutting them all together for an easy comparison.
a video of zelda crying in 7 different languages pic.twitter.com/dm7UMXWg6J— ◉﹏◉ (@dodonpahchi) January 13, 2017
Both the Switch and Breath of the Wild launch March 3.
Update: A post-release patch for Breath of the Wild added support for multiple languages, without the need to switch the default language of the Nintendo Switch console. On both Wii U and Switch, players can play the game with one of nine different voice acting options, as well as subtitles in the language of their choosing. The Wii U version requires that players download a separate Voice Pack from the Nintendo eShop in order to enable this feature.