For the first time in the series’ history, a Zelda game has received a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board with “Use of Alcohol” among the content descriptors.
In the official ESRB rating posted today, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was given the “E10+” rating, its content labeled “generally suitable for ages 10 and up”.
Breath of the Wild is the seventh game of the Zelda series to be rated E10+, and so is rated less scandalously than the edgy kid of the Zelda family, Twilight Princess, which received the “T” for teens rating.
The 3 content descriptors attached to Breath of the Wild are for Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, and Use of Alcohol.
For the fantasy violence, the ESRB cites the game’s focus on “melee-style combat against fantastical creatures”, but also notes that visual blood and gore is limited, as defeated enemies “generally disappear amid puffs of smoke”. Special note is made of a brief sequence in which the player sees a battlefield strewn with the bodies of dead creatures, with “a few bodies [that] appear to be impaled by spears.”
The presence of suggestive themes in the game appears to come primarily, as you may have guessed, from the series’ infamous fairies, which, the ESRB points out, feature “moderate cleavage and/or exaggerated-size breasts”. Some playful/flirty dialogue is also labeled as potentially suggestive, including the in-game lines “I get to see a young hunk draw a bow again?” and “If I have to have something pounce on me, why couldn’t it be a lady?”
New in this game’s rating is the inclusion of alcohol, which the ESRB takes from a few instances within the game; at some point, a shop owner mentions to Link that she serves “drinks that are definitely just for adults”, and at a different time players can encounter a character that is visibly drunk, given away by that classic telltale “drunken hiccup”.
The Zelda series of games have always marketed themselves to children and adult fans alike, and Breath of the Wild looks to be no different with its accessible E10+ rating.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild comes out on March 3 for the Wii U and Nintendo Switch.