At the time of writing, there are less than twenty days left until the release of the hugely anticipated sequel to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Until this final look at the sequel was revealed Zelda fans had very little idea of what the game will entail. As it happens, the final trailer raises more questions than answers, but the three minute preview also hints at a lot of things to be excited about. If anticipation wasn’t already high, the trailer did a great job of igniting the excitement again for players who have been waiting since the sequel announcement at E3 2019.
While this post is by no means a full analysis of the trailer, there are lots of interesting things packed into the three minute video I’d like to mention. We already know that players will be spending time in the sky during this sequel, as many floating islands of various sizes have appeared in the skies above Hyrule. Link has an edgy new look; his usually tied-back hair is loose and tousled in this preview along with a new Greek-style robe that only covers one arm and shows off some new tattoos. The outfit seems to highlight Link’s hand and arm which have been encased in some sort of gauntlet. In later parts of the video we see that same arm charred and damaged, most likely by the large amounts of malice at the bottom of Hyrule Castle where Link and Zelda were exploring. Since this particular outfit has been featured so prominently throughout the teaser trailers and artwork, it seems likely that Link will start with this armor set. Alongside the new armor are a few recognizable ones: the Rito and Goron sets, along with Link’s traditional Hylian armor but with a few design changes.
There’s a lot of other interesting stuff besides new clothing, however, as we see a glimpse of some new enemies that I have only spotted on the floating islands. Unlike the Bokoblins, these constructs don’t seem to be outright hostile. In a couple clips they are shown chopping down wood or defending one of the islands from Chuchus. A noble task indeed. While Breath of the Wild carried a more somber and isolated tone with its music and trailers, Tears of the Kingdom seems like Link will have more company this time. We see some familiar faces who are notably related to the champions of the past who operated the Divine Beasts: Chief Riju of the Gerudo, Tulin of the Rito (Teba’s son), and Prince Sidon of the Zora (needs to introduction.) The trailer does not reveal who the new Goron champion might be, but it might have something to do with Death Mountain’s malice problem. We also see a couple completely new characters: a young woman who resembles Princess Zelda and a draconic-looking person. It was also officially revealed that Ganondorf would be making his return, along with a new look and new voice by Matt Mercer. The last time Ganondorf appeared in his Gerudo form in a main-line game was nearly seventeen years ago in Twilight Princess.
This trailer possibly answers a question about the void left by the Divine Beasts and what will take their place for dungeon-like activities in the sequel. Over the course of the video we see Link travel to many places and encounter bosses and new puzzles. These locations may serve as the locations Link will need to travel to in the new game to do… something. In Breath of the Wild, Link needed to travel to the four corners of the map to expel malice from each infected Divine Beast. Whenever I think of “tears of the kingdom” I remember the Tears of Light from Twilight Princess that Link needed to collect in different areas in order to fight back the twilight. Maybe the tears are a way to combat Ganon’s malice, or perhaps just symbolic of something else? Zelda and the Zelda look-alike character both have teardrops tattooed below their eyes, so it might have something to do with them. Speaking of Zelda, she seems to be going on her own quest during the game and I hope she’s a playable character. Zelda is seen falling down to the bottom of the crater that Hyrule Castle is rising out of and presumably survives since in other parts of the trailer she is calling out for Link to find her. Also, if Zelda flat out dies at the beginning of the game it would be pretty depressing and wouldn’t make for much of a “Legend of Zelda.”
Overall, I am incredibly excited for Tears of the Kingdom and have been counting down the days until its release. The game seems to have an energy that Breath of the Wild lacked. That’s not at all meant to say BoTW was a bad game. It was an amazing game and one I would wipe from my memory and experience from the beginning if given the chance. But it was quiet and focused on Link exploring Hyrule in its aftermath of his failure to defeat Ganon. Friendly faces were few and far between, and the people he did meet seemed defeated and too willing to accept their broken world as a permanent reality. My hope for Tears of the Kingdom is that it will have more of an emphasis on rebuilding. The new champions shown in the trailer seems to point on that being the case, as it echoes Zelda’s champions from one hundred years ago. I look forward to reading this post over again after the game releases and noting where I was right and wrong, and, most importantly, writing more on the subject.