Nintendo modders have discovered a way to transfer Miis to and from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In a thread on Twitter, user HEYimHeroic, curator of Wii Facts Plus, documented findings that showed how the game's NPCs are built via an "advanced version" of Nintendo's character creator.
Hi, Mii expert here. Turns out, the NPCs in TLoZ:BotW use an advanced version of the Mii format. This means that with modding, you can inject Miis into the game. :)Thinking about opening commissions for Mii injects, both screenshot/images of your Mii and mod downloads! pic.twitter.com/8NfVr4zyqAJanuary 4, 2021
HEYimHeroic says that "with modding, it's possible to convert and import Miis" into the game as NPCs, showing off characters inspired by Final Fantasy VII's Barret, Super Smash Bros Ultimate's Gunner, and Wii Sports' Matt, as well as a character based on their own Mii. It's not a perfect system, however - the modder explains that Breath of the Wild's NPCs use "an evolution of Miis." Those updated characters "have almost all the same parameters as Wii U/3DS Miis, with a few minor differences here and there."
Those differences extend to some facial features not being supported, but the most obvious change is to hairstyles and colours, some of which aren't included in Breath of the Wild. If you try to load an unsupported hairdo, the game will call on a different style, although it will try to ensure that it looks similar to the original version.
The discovery means that it's also possible to convert the game's NPCs into your very own Miis, although backporting characters won't be as accurate as going the other way. HEYimHeroic explains that Hyrule's Miis "are a little too advanced" for exact copies, and that you'll likely lose a lot of information as the systems attempt to convert the characters. It doesn't, however, mean that you'll be able to download characters like Link and Zelda - many of Hyrule's most important heroes are premade, specially-built, 3D models. Since they're not Miis, they aren't subject to the same rules.
Currently, the ramifications of HEYimHeroic's discovery don't extend all that far beyond character creation, but it'll be interesting to see to what extent Nintendo has adapted its approach when Breath of the Wild 2 comes around. We've not seen or heard much about the upcoming sequel since its initial reveal, but with a new year upon us, we could be set to learn a lot more very soon.
While we wait to return to Hyrule, here are some of the best Nintendo Switch games to help pass the time.