One of the biggest and most interesting locations in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the Yiga Clan Hideout. Located in the by the mountains close to the desert, the Yiga Clan Hideout is packed with powerful enemies that can kill you in a single blow! Link has to sneak around, avoid detection, carefully place mighty bananas, and loot the base in order to recover an important piece of equipment for a future battle. But after you reach the end, and beat the “boss” of the level, the player is left wondering just what exactly is the purpose of that final arena?
At the end of the Yiga Clan Hideout we are faced with Kohga, the current leader of the group, in an arena with a giant hole in the middle. In this particular battle, Link has to utilize the enemy’s attacks against him, eventually culminating with Kohga falling down the giant chasm to his probable death. Once the battle was over, I was left wondering just exactly what that hole was doing in the middle of the stage. Were the developers trying to be funny? Was it simply for the purpose of giving Kohga a Disney death? We never found the body, thus it’s possible (if unlikely) that Kohga will somehow be alive in future downloadable content. I simply couldn’t fathom any reason for its existence, until I learned more of the Yiga Clan that is…
The Yiga Clan (as mentioned in my previous article) are former members of the Sheikah, who opted to follow Ganon after a former king betrayed them. This is an understandable, if misguided, sentiment as Ganon wants to destroy everything once he is finally free. But the Yiga Clan still chose to follow the darkness, and it’s safe to assume that they’ve been involved in many assassination attempts, including one aiming for Princess Zelda (we’re actually able to witness it via memory, and read about it in her diary). This is a group that has probably been working towards resurrecting Ganon for an extremely long time. That’s not speculation either, as the falling out happened around the time the Sheikah buried all their technology which is historically noted to have happened fairly soon after Ganon’s last sealing. What if during those 100 years, prior to the start of Breath of the Wild, they actually succeeded?
What if that chasm is the remains of the location where Ganon was originally summoned? While some might argue that the Yiga Clan was perhaps looking for remnants of their former technology. There are only a few shrines in that general area and one of them happens to be above ground frozen in ice. The tower for that region is also located far enough from their hideout that they wouldn’t have found it digging in that vicinity. Thus, that leaves us with one possibility: the Yiga Clan did not want to be found. Karusa Valley is far away from any settlement that nobody would have noticed a giant excavation site. If we keep all of this in mind, it becomes even more plausible that the Yiga Clan was performing dark rituals in this location. It’s also important to note that, even after you defeat Kohga, the attacks from the Yiga become more frequent and vicious. Thus, it’s likely they have more than one hideout, but none so prominent as the one in Karusa Valley.
This probably gives a lot of significance to the location, and it’s very possible that when Ganon attacked on Zelda’s 17th birthday, it was the Yiga clan who instigated the whole event. This would create a serious disconnect with what we see in the memories and what could have potentially happened in the background of Breath of the Wild. It’s true that the very first thing we notice when Ganon arrives is his invasion of Hyrule Castle and how he originally arrives from what appears to be a vortex in the sky. But such unbridled energy must have made some form of an opening, and while Breath of the Wild features enough bottomless chasm, none of them are as distinguishable as the one in the Yiga Clan Hideout. This leaves the very possible outcome that, once Ganon was summoned, his first target was Hyrule Castle, but not where he originated from.
This is the reason why the Yiga were left alive, in-spite of being humans; Ganon is simply keeping another one of his minions alive. The Yiga Clan proved their loyalty to Ganon and, in return, he allows them to continue living in order to continue their evil ways. It’s not as if the Yiga were particularly interested in getting back their technology after all; the advancements we see in their hideout aren’t anything too exciting. Even when Kohga noted the Sheikah Slate, he only did so because it identified Link as the hero, not because they wanted access to their old technology. The Yiga Clan has long since given up their humanity in exchange for following Ganon, and it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that they discovered a way to either communicate with him or bring him back from the brink.
What does this mean for Link and Zelda in the future? Who knows? Perhaps the next DLC will feature the Yiga Clan heavily, seeing as we hardly got to learn much about them. But one thing is certain, they are amongst the most intelligent and deadly of Ganon’s followers, and the Yiga Clan is not to be trifled with. Their generals can kill Link in mere seconds, and not even Mipha’s Grace will save him. Were they the actual ones responsible for summoning Ganon and being directly responsible for everything that happened in Breath of the Wild? I guess we’ll never know for certain.