A mock-up of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past's map rotated 45 degrees shows a striking similarity to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's world map. Decades of Zelda titles have always shared striking similarities to other titles within the franchise, but seeing the maps laid out in such a fashion is revelatory. The Legend of Zelda timeline theorists may have their work cut out for them now.
What the mock-up does is rotate A Link to the Past's map 45 degrees clockwise, pointing Zora's Domain to the east and the Gerudo Highlands to the west. The resulting map isn't a perfect match with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's map, but there are aspects of it that aren't easy to ignore. Specifically, the way Lake Hylia sits directly to the south of Hyrule Castle, with a meandering river moving up and around the castle to the north. The river then moves towards the west, growing into the Zora's Domain. It's extremely similar on both maps.
The positioning of the Lost Woods, as well as Death Mountain, are also both similarly placed on both maps. And while the Gerudo Highlands sit much further to the south in Breath of the Wild than on the tilted A Link to the Past map, it's an excusable drift. After all, the towering walls along the desert are shared between both games as well.
As Nintendo rarely comments on this kind of speculation, obviously the Breath of the Wild and A Link to the Past connection will have to remain purely speculation. And let's be fair, the layout isn't unheard of within the Zelda universe, either. Ocarina of Time has a similar layout with the Gerudo Desert to the west, Zora's Domain to the east, Death Mountain to the north, and Lake Hyrule to the south. If Breath of the Wild isn't meant to mirror A Link to the Past, it's at the very least a love letter to the game, and to the franchise.
More than anything, though, organizing the map in this fashion is just pure innocent fun. Imagine kids poring over the map when A Link to the Past was first launched, hunting for heart containers and great fairies. Now those kids have grown and perhaps have kids of their own, and they're able to pore over Breath of the Wild's map together. This mock-up is a great example of the generational achievement of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is available now on the Nintendo Switch and Wii U.
Source: Nintendo Today