Gamer and artist Ry Spirit has captured the spirit of both Breath of the Wild and Genshin Impact in a piece of crossover fan art posted on Instagram.
Fans of the free-to-play RPG Genshin Impact and seminal The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have come together to celebrate both games with a new piece of art. This illustration continues a popular trend of posting Genshin Impact fan art online and leans into the game’s cute and colorful aesthetic to create a delightful anime-inspired collage. The charming hand-drawn picture of Link and Aether has been generating plenty of buzz on social media over the past few days.
Since its release in 2020, Genshin Impact has drawn constant comparisons to Breath of the Wild. Everything from the stunning cell-shaded art style and tranquil instrumental soundtrack to the focus on exploration in Genshin Impact is strikingly reminiscent of Nintendo’s 2017 smash hit. More recently, parallels have even been noticed between Genshin Impact and other Zelda titles. While the enjoyable cast of characters, unique lore, and varied gameplay opportunities have made it a beloved game in its own right, many can’t help but see Hyrule when they look at Teyvat.
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Artist Ry Spirit took note of the similarity between the two games and decided to have some fun with them. In a picture uploaded to Instagram on June 8 cheekily captioned “Genshin of the Wild“, Ry Spirit displays a collection of miniature images portraying iconic characters Aether and Link performing a handful of tasks meant to represent game mechanics shared by both titles. These include cooking, climbing, gliding, and searching for treasure chests. Throughout all these vignettes, Aether’s impish enthusiasm appears to exhaust Link, implying that the long-time Zelda mainstay is annoyed by the monkey-see-monkey-do antics of this newcomer.
Within these images is also the sense that Aether is looking to impress Link, perhaps suggesting that miHoYo, the development studio behind Genshin Impact, is attempting to earn the respect of industry titans like Nintendo with its wildly successful debut. Considering the constant conversation surrounding the similarity of Breath of the Wild and Genshin Impact–even the creation and discussion of this piece of fan art– it is safe to say that both miHoYo and Aether have made a massive impression on the gaming world. Whether gamers, particularly hardcore Zelda fans, see this as a positive impression is not so easy to say.
Video game comparisons are always at the forefront of gaming discourse, with some even arguing that Nintendo is now ironically taking inspiration from Genshin Impact. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a universally beloved title, so a game is heavily inspired by it three years later shouldn’t be a surprise. As long as Genshin Impact continues to satisfy gamers and gamers continue to do things like craft adorable crossover fan art, both of these games should be able to peacefully coexist.
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