Our Reactions to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom




On September 13, 2022, a Nintendo Direct revealed new games and, most importantly, more information regarding the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, including its name–The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom–and its release date of May 12, 2023.


If you missed this portion of the Nintendo Direct or want to re-watch it--and we don’t blame you!--check out the video below:



Source: YouTube


Although the footage of the next Zelda title is only 1 minute and 23 seconds long, fans of the series are likely already creating their own theories about everything showcased. A few people from the Another Zelda Podcast team could not resist sharing their own thoughts, too!


If you’d like to follow the writers on Twitter, click on their names for the links to their profiles. If you’d like to discuss your thoughts, join our Discord!



 


Carlos


With The Legend Zelda series, I have found that the reveal trailers have a lot of interesting insight, tidbits, and occasional misdirection to mentally absorb. The Tears of the Kingdom reveal, no doubt, shows that the clear and absolute focus of the game is the character etched in stone. Her eyes are similar in design to those of Midna’s Helm or Majora’s Mask, with an emphasis on the lower lashes. This historically has always been attributed to powerful beings to include the “Zelda” figure carved into the stone. Overall, there is a lot of focus on eye symbols throughout the short clip. Historically, the eye symbology has been attributed to the Sheikah, and I wonder if we will go deeper into their history during this game.

Moving forward, we see seven symbols surrounding the center figure, which harkens back to the sages in the Temple of Time. Is this the Goddess Hylia? Are we looking at Skyloft’s lore or something even older? There is a battlefield featuring humanoids fighting monsters, and what is particularly interesting is the fact that the symbols on the shields are not Hylian. I wonder if this may represent the mysterious Zonai tribe, which is hinted at when visiting the Zonai Ruins in Breath of the Wild. In addition, there seems to be two different versions of Link in the game. One is the Link we know from BOTW, and one has the more wild-man look (think Robin Williams as Alan Parrish in Jumanji).


I tried to look at this trailer through the lens of Skyward Sword, which seems to be the source of inspiration for this entry. I wonder if this pointy-eared person and sage-wielding figure is a Zelda from the past. Perhaps the purpose is to take Zelda from BOTW and have her reassume her place as the Goddess or as protector of the realm. I say this because if you look at the very last screen shot, it looks to be the carving of this “deity” and what appears to be Zelda grasping hands. If you’re not looking closely, you will miss it, as the game title is cleverly overlayed to obscure the clear view. The symbol for the game is two dragons in a circle, which could lend itself to the idea of each Zelda replacing a previous version throughout time to protect Hyrule.


Whatever the case maybe, Nintendo has given us just enough to salivate and stir up the fandom into a buzzing bee hive. I am sure no matter what we were shown, it will not compare to what the story truly contains. I could not be more excited for the next iteration of video games’ greatest franchise.

 

Celeste

I was unable to watch the footage for the next Zelda title live due to work, but once my meeting finished, I immediately jumped onto YouTube to see what Nintendo has in store. I noticed some friends had mentioned Zelda in a few Discord channels, which only increased my excitement.


Here is my stream of consciousness:


The beginning of the trailer features a stone carving of what appears to be a winged creature–are those wings on its head, or is it just an ornamental headdress?


OK, we see more stone carvings of what resemble Moblins and Bokoblins facing a human figure. That human must be Link. Do these carvings act like hieroglyphs? Will we run into them in the game itself? I would love to carry around a Book of Mudora-like tome.


Now we see that carving of the figure from the beginning again. Upon closer examination, I think it looks like Ganondorf from the first trailer for the sequel to Breath of the Wild. It’s causing what appears to be a female human to levitate? Is that Princess Zelda? I assume she is in jeopardy once again.


Link is opening huge stone doors. I wonder if he has been slumbering for several years again? How cool would an opening scene like in Breath of the Wild be? Just taking in all the majesty of the land before us… Also, Link’s shield has a Sheikah eye on it?


Now we see multiple tiny islands floating in the sky–are we revisiting the lands of Skyward Sword?--and Link just dove off a floating rock. Does this location hint that Loftwings will return?


More climbing awaits, as well as the functions of the Sheikah Slate (at least Stasis seems to be used here). Will we gain new abilities with it?


Now Link is descending from the sky once again, but he lands on the back of a flat bird-shaped glider. The screen darkens and shows us the title of the game: Tears of the Kingdom. Is this an ominous or a joyous title?


I wonder if the ambiance will be reminiscent of Majora’s Mask: sorrow, regret, destruction, fear, and longing. Or could “tears” have a happy implication, like renewal and tears of joy streaming down the cheeks of everyone in Hyrule? Will time travel be featured again?


Note to self: schedule off work on May 12, 2023.

 


Ryan


Breath of the Wild 2… or should we say Tears of the Kingdom?


There isn’t a whole lot to see in the latest teaser trailer with a few shots of wall carvings and Link running around (or falling down in a lot of cases), but there are a few things that stick out to me. Let's take a sorta dive off the cliff to point out some things.


The first thing is there is no Ganondorf shown here at all, and there is no real shot of Zelda, either, but that isn't a really bad thing–just more of an observation since the only other trailer is so focused on a possible Ganondorf being resurrected with Zelda and Link teaming together to check it out. Nothing more to see here.


My big point, though most viewers likely noticed, is the possible return to Skyloft or to what remains of Skyloft after the events in Skyward Sword. It is somewhat obvious in the first jump Link takes! And since it has been millions of years since Skyloft was last seen (if we are thinking that the previous games are not just stories and the timeline presented is real), it looks the right part, but the question is, why is it here? Could this also confirm that the timeline is correct and not just legends passed down? Could the Loftwings make a return (would be nice to have something reappear from Skyward Sword as I discuss in a previous blog)?


For my next big point that some may also notice, I have two takes. The fox-like creature on the wall looks very familiar to me… it could either be one of the two creatures from the Silent Realm (the better guess), or could we have another return of a creature from Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask: the Keaton (not as likely, I think). I know we all try to forget the Silent Realm when replaying Skyward Sword, but if we are revisiting Skyloft, the SIlent Realm couldn't be far from the same path, right? I would like to see the return of the Keaton and see what power the deity (check out the aforementioned article again for what they are based on) could have.


The last thing is the name itself: Tears of the Kingdom. As last we saw (no matter the timeline you are in with the Breath of the Wild line or the Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity line), everything was on its way to being better, as the Calamity was gone. So the “kingdom” with tears would not be the one we just saved, but it could again refer to the Skyward Sword-era kingdom that is discovered.


Now, get your tinfoil hats on, as I am going to drop a theory that would make sense with all of the Skyward Sword mentions, and that is… the first trailer features not Ganondorf but Demise himself. A HUGE stretch, I know, but it is possible with all the information tied to Skyward Sword. If this is the case, I am super excited for this game. Maybe we will see a return of Fi as well.


Those are my thoughts on the new trailer, and, yes, a lot could be overthinking it, but, man, what if I were right about some of these? If you want to chat it over, you can find me on Twitter @rambokuhn or @wiseoldowlsbrew to dive in more.


Now we all mark our calendar for May 12, 2023 (hopefully it stays there). Cheers!

 

Shane

As I am ready to start watching the live trailer on my break at work, the typical event occurs, which never fails: my amazing coworker, who has no infatuation with the Zelda series or video games in general, waltzes into my area and starts talking. Of course, I was half listening to both him and the Nintendo Direct, but as a good friend and coworker, I ultimately stopped and paid attention to the questions at hand. Then I proceeded to have a 3-hour meeting, which both was and wasn’t expected. So, immediately I had to utilize my lunch to watch and thoroughly examine the footage, and here are my thoughts.


Per usual, the beginning starts off a bit slower and shows a story depicted through art on what seems to be a wall. About 24-30 seconds into the trailer, you see a being surrounded by 7 tear-shaped symbols. Immediately, three things crossed my mind. First, that 7 in the past is associated with the 7 sages. Second, this brings me back to Skyward Sword with the tear trials in the game. Lastly, it gives me huge dungeon vibes. Traditionally, whenever you need to obtain something in the Zelda series, you associate it with a dungeon. Could we then be getting items back, and could each tear represent a trial?


The next scene is also interesting. Link opens a massive door and heads out running to an open area in the sky. What I found most interesting is this seemed just like when Link leaves the cave in Breath of the Wild, but this time, instead of stopping at the cliff to admire the massive landscape before his eyes, Link takes a leap of faith, Assassin’s Creed style, off the floating island. This leads me to believe the action and story will be quicker and not as slow-paced as Breath of the Wild. Hopefully this also hints at a stronger narrative as well.


The last thing I want to point out that I found interesting is the symbol of the reptile-like creatures eating one another, forming a circle. This automatically brings to my mind the ouroboros, which symbolizes an eternal renewal or cycle of life, death, and rebirth, whether it be the same thing or the transfer of a soul to a new vessel. This symbolism could mean the cycle of Zelda, Link, and an evil persisting through the ages that never dissolves or diminishes but transfers its hate into a new home like a hermit crab upgrading its shell.


I had a lot of thoughts on the new trailer, and I’m sure I will have more. I can’t wait until May 12th, 2023!

 

Stephanie

Like thousands of others, I waited with baited breath for any Zelda news during the September 2022 Nintendo Direct. Our dreams came true with a brief trailer, title card, and release date. Delay after delay, we now have The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, releasing May 12th, 2023.


There’s not much I can say other than I am filled with excitement and gratitude. There may have been minimal story points and gameplay revealed, but all I wanted was a name and a date. The title, Tears of the Kingdom, lends to a darker, sadder theme, and the neon green coloring hints at the initial trailer–where this mysterious vortex holds a mummified corpse (Ganondorf?).


The new trailer opens with a scroll depicting a never-before-seen being, with images of war and a horizontal figure. The camera pans to another shot of a figure intertwining her arm and hands with…the screen cuts to another image. This is a mystery we will soon have to figure out.


We also see this creature surrounded by seven objects, which likely are these “tears,” but I also would hope it will herald the return of sages. The music swells, and Link bursts through the double doors and dashes from the ledge and free falls through the sky.


With close observation, much of the landscape below is consumed by Malice or Malice-like material. Link moves about with new moves and skills that bring a sense of verticality to this new game.


The trailer provided me with more questions than answers, but this only whets my appetite for this upcoming sequel. Part of me wonders if this will become what The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword should have been. For now, I’m grateful for what Nintendo has shared, and I am looking forward to more information–likely in the Spring of 2023.






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